"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 29 January 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CXVI

[sleep used to be one of my favorite activities you relax without trying, get needed rest and dream elaboratly- at least in my case]

Of all the scurrilous complaints

being lodged against

our president at the moment, the

most vicious is the one about

how he should have "waited until

he was out of office." Waited

for what? The ex-presidency is

about as useful for scoring

chicks as having your own Web

site, so while you can blame the

presidential pantload for many

things, his use of executive

privilege in making hay where

the sun don't shine makes

perfect tactical sense. Since

perky young interns aren't

exactly lining up around

Pennsylvania Avenue to blow

White House alumni, and Clinton

is on the fast track toward

early retirement, he might want

to take a hint from

partner-in-ignominy Richard

Nixon, who spun out his dotage

with his own big-haired cutey -

and her name was Monica!

Granted, there was no hint of

hanky-panky between the

stoop-shouldered exile and his

young amanuensis Monica Crowley,

but then Republicans don't have

sex anyway. Crucially, when

Crowley crafted her own tell-all

book, she was admirably

discreet. Nixon Off the Record's

most titillating revelation was

that Crowley once caught Tricky

Dick laughing his ass off at The

Dick Van Dyke Show (no doubt Van

Dyke's Kennedy hair and build

made that trip over the ottoman

irresistible to the vindictive

crook). To paraphrase the script

of Amistad, there's nothing more

pathetic than a former

president, but with the right

big-hearted girl, Clinton may

yet land on his feet.

[but lately ive been aflicted by generally poor sleep]

Does Peter Jennings get the

joke? ABC news gave the first 15

minutes of its Friday night

broadcast over to Tailgate - an

amount of air time that, to be

fair, was pretty much par for

the course. Then they broke for

a commercial. Then they came

back from the commercial, and

Jennings made the point that

many, if not most, Americans

feel that the news media are

giving the Bill/Monica story too

much play. Then he aired another

five- or seven-minute think

piece about how the media are

possibly giving the story too

much play, with experts to

assess the effect of giving the

story too much play, and more

journalists debating what it all

means, the fact that the media

are, despite and in the face of

public outcry, giving the story

so much play. Cut back to

Jennings, grimacing through his

"when we come back" outtro that

lists pope/Cuba, Arafat/DC,

Kaczynski/guilty, and the

continuing Iraqi roll - all of

which lead-on-any-other-day

stories he'll now have to cram

into a few hundred seconds

combined. Of course he gets it,

right? More importantly, do we?

[am i grinding my teeth more than usual or dreaming more vivdly?]

There was a time when your space

program was the measure of just

how deep your pockets were. But

ever since the end of the Cold

War, the Russians have been

showing us how to get by with

less, and the Mir space station

is living proof that high

mileage and buggy life-support

are no match for human ingenuity

and parsimony. Indeed, while his

Russian counterparts were

digging for spare rubles in the

seat cushions this week,

American astronaut Andrew

Thomas joined the party. The

only problem was he didn't have

a space suit. NASA apparently

sent him into orbit without one;

a spare left by a former

astronaut was too big, and the

Russians bungled the tailoring

on a third. We suspect the next

round of experiments in

weightlessness will include

lessons on standing in line,

clipping coupons, and

improvising a bumper out of a


[and why am i waking so early?]

Boff (also boffo, boffola): 

Outstanding (usually refers to box
office performance);
"My Best Friend's Wedding has been boffo

at the BO" (see also, socko, whammo).

Ever wonder why reading The

Wall Street Journal or The New

York Times lets you come away

feeling informed, yet one look

at Variety feels like you just

got bitch-slapped by Milton

Berle? The editors at "the

bible" know your pain and for

the "bow" of www.variety.com

have intro'd the biz "slanguage"

page, a tinsel decoder site for

anyone who ever puzzled over the

word "chantoosie." And in an era

that considers box office totes,

agency shuffling, and indie film

financing structures as

guidelines for what movie to see

Friday night, it couldn't have

come sooner. What a relief to

never have to fake a knowing nod

again when your mom mentions

that "U. Prexy Ankling Post" or

a date mentions that "Pitt has

Coast Legs."

courtesy of the Sucksters