In Which I Put Forth a Theory About What Went On in the Oval Office

Well, he's done gone and did it now.

 President Clinton (whose motto should be :"You thought the LAST Billy in the White House was embarrassing"), went on TV last Monday and admitted an "inappropriate" relationship with Monica Lewinsky, although he stopped short of saying it was a sexual relationship. He admitted to "misleading" people, but insisted that his answers in the Paula Jones lawsuit as to whether he had had sex with Monica were "legally accurate."

 I've spent a long time puzzling over the major questions raised by that speech. What sort of relationship is inappropriate but not sexual? How can an answer be misleading without being a lie? And will this be the first time the word "semen" has ever appeared in the pages of this newspaper in a non-agricultural context?

 I have this sick feeling that I know the answer to at least the first two of those questions, and the answer centers around the infamous dress, which the FBI is checking to see if it contains residue, shall we say, of Mr. Clinton's appreciation for Ms. Lewinsky.

 By the way, I now have a new front-runner for the position world's worst job: the poor schlub at the FBI who has to secure the samples. That's worse duty than the guy who had to put the wire on Linda Tripp. Personally, I think the FBI is being punished for screwing up at Waco and Ruby Ridge by being made to do the most distasteful jobs in law enforcement. But I digress.

 Anyway, one of the multitude of leaks, rumors, and what-have you is that the dress is stained because the President and his intern didn't have regular sex, exactly, but that he, with Ms. Lewinsky's verbal or visual encouragement...ummm...how shall I say this... learned the sound of one hand clapping, and the dress was, in the words of "Politically Incorrect's" Bill Maher, "in the line of fire."

 Okay, it's only a rumor, and lord knows, there's been a LOT of misinformation in this thing. But think about it (that is, if you can do so without either giggling hysterically or retching). It's an explanation that wraps up everything: how the dress got stained, how Clinton can have an "inappropriate" relationship but still say without committing perjury that he didn't have sexual relations under the supposedly comprehensive definition of that term in the Jones deposition, and especially, why Bill Clinton refused to answer some of Ken Starr's questions in his grand jury testimony. He was too embarrassed.

 Heck, I would be too. I'd rather face a hostile prosecutor any day than a grand jury rolling in the aisles laughing at me.

 If that is the explanation, then Bill Clinton must go. Not for perjury, not for adultery, but for being pathetic, sad, and let's face it, more than a little creepy. I mean how can he face the President of France again? How can he face the mistress of the president of France again? "M'sieur Clinton, zince I see you air alone on zis trip, perhaps we have some magazines you can borrow while you air here (chortle, chortle)" We might as well just give them Louisiana back and be done with it.

 Not that the President is the only one who's redlined the creepy-meter in this whole debacle. They lost me when it was revealed that Monica had given the stained dress to her mother for safekeeping. Now, I'm just a simple country lawyer, to quote Sam Ervin, and I guess they do things differnt out in Californy, but I for one, can't imagine giving such an artifact to your MOM. "What's that on this dress, Monica dear? Oh, that's nice..." It's like something from a David Lynch movie.

 Clinton was right about one thing in his mea-sorta-culpa speech, though. We need to get this over with. Not because we need to get the country moving again, although that would be nice. We need to get thing wrapped up so I can watch the news again without ordering my kids to leave the room. Most importantly, we need to end this because if I see Sam Donaldson say "semen" on TV one more time, I'm going to go drooling mad. There are some sights the human mind was just not meant to absorb without cracking, and that's one of them.

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1998 Jerry D. Rhoades, Jr.

Email: dustyrhoades@booksnbytes.com