When my kids were small, a family word emerged to describe any kid they encountered with distasteful qualities -- whether they be a bully, a liar, a cheat or someone whose finger constantly found their nose. They were an "icky-doo."
The term came to mind when I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoy the publicity rocket provided by "60 Minutes" for his new book, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story." Nothing personal against Leslie Stahl, but Mike Wallace is rolling over in his grave. (What was up with Stahl telling him how charming he was and how much fun he was to be around?) And as for Maria Shriver, bless the woman for resisting the temptation to put Arnold in his.
For those who missed the broadcast, the former California governor wrote off his many transgressions with an "I'm not perfect," and appeared about as unremorseful as they come. He threw sand in the face of his marriage and lied to everybody close to him. He's going to make a boatload of money -- which he doesn't need, he assured viewers -- off this book and his next five movies. The bottom line is he is an icky-doo.
Here are nine reasons why he fits the icky-doo bill:
Arnold-the-womanizer had no problem fessing up to his multiple affairs. On more than one occasion, he reminded interviewer Stahl that anything not in the book was off-limits for the interview -- making us think that his "unbelievably true" life story might have a sequel: "Who I Screwed Post-65?"
He pooped in the pool.
He not only cheats, he cheats close to home. He fathered a child with his long-time housekeeper and then kept her working in his home for many years later. Most serial cheaters like Arnold know that if they don't want to get caught, they keep their bad behavior far away from home. Seriously, Arnold? The housekeeper?
He isn't loyal to friends.
He credits wife Maria Shriver with being his closest confidante and partner in building his career and political life. And then in the next breath, he admits he cheated on her with "Red Sonja" co-star Brigitte Nielsen in the mid-'80s. And there were other women as well, Arnold-the-Stud-Muffin assured us.
He keeps GIGANTIC secrets.
Here's a guy who instructed his heart surgeon not to tell Maria that he was having open heart surgery. Was he planning on using stage makeup to cover up the throat-to-belly scar? Arnold's plan was to check in to the hospital at 6 a.m., do the open heart thing, leave in four days and then just head down to Mexico for a few days of tanning. He'd come back and Maria would have thought he had just been away on vacation. Because she's stupid and you're not, right, Arnold?
He doesn't keep secrets when he knows he should.
Writing a tell-all book is the height of narcissim. He explained it on "60 Minutes" by saying this was his life story and that he thought it would be more shameful to commit an error of omission and leave the dirty parts out. Right, your wife and kids deserve this public airing of your laundry because you need to tell your life story.
Every kid knows not to tell lies. They leave the people who were stupid enough to believe you feeling stupid. Arnold lied about groping women, he hid affairs from his wife who may or may not have known about them, he icky-dooed everywhere in the truth category.
He blames others.
Sure his Dad was a Nazi and OK, Daddy beat him with a belt. At a certain point, don't we all need to own up to what we do? Daddy sounds like a creep but I'm not sure what Arnold's four kids -- five if you count the son with the housekeeper -- will have to say about their father. Actually, I am pretty sure.
He doesn't cry when he gets busted.
Arnold has this -- to borrow his word -- unbelievable ability to mouth the words and have no sound come out -- at least no heartfelt sound. Some discussion threads yesterday blamed his stoicism on his Austrian roots. While we certainly heard plenty about the discipline and determination of the body-building champ, we heard nothing that came close to remorse for the damage he inflicted.
He doesn't share.
Well, we hope he's going to share big-time come divorce settlement time. If ever there was a guy who deserved to be taken to the cleaners, it's this one.