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Teflon Redux

Will Durst
Why attacking Clinton is like nailing water to a wall

By Will Durst

San Francisco, California, 200 miles from Angels Camp, where the winner of the annual Calaveras frog jumping contest was named Bud Wiser. Now they're sponsoring actual amphibians? Can invertebrates be far behind? Or do they already make political contributions?

Representative Robert Barr of Georgia is having as much luck getting the House Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment inquiry of President Clinton as Robert Dole would have of becoming the newest Chippendale. As Albert Belle would have of guest hosting for Dr. Laura Schlessinger as resident grief counselor. As Siegfried and Roy have of being the next two-man Olympic bobsled team from whatever weird goulash country they claim as their homeland.

Who put that spiny bug in Barr's bikini-cut underwear? The economy is booming. Unemployment is at its lowest level since before the Civil War and the stock market is out of sight from the summit of Mount Everest, and ol' Mr. Turd in the Punchbowl wants to wring the neck of the golden goose with a noose of subpoenas? I suppose he would also like to see us all stick our hands covered with paper cuts in aquariums full of piranhas. Good idea, Bob, let's drive blindfolded down the freeway at 120 mph just to prove the yellow lines are straight. Fortunately this guy is being ignored like a mosquito squashed on the windshield of that very same car. Time to turn on the washers.

San Francisco, California, where according to the Cato Institute, rent control is responsible for the expensive rents. Sounds to me like someone wanted to move here and couldn't find a nice place.

According to Talkers magazine, the trade mag of talk radio, "politics" doesn't work anymore. Americans apparently are tired again of listening to the Washington edition of the Bickersons. I blame Bob Dole. Anybody trying to light a fire off the spark of last year's presidential election is going to end up flopping around gasping for breath like a guppy on the linoleum floor of a Woolworth's pet aisle. I've seen more exciting hedge trimmings. The most boring election since my third-grade social studies teacher rammed Jenny Peterson through as hall monitor on the straight "Because I said so" ticket.

Clinton has to share in the responsibility since he's decided to be this morph-like pseudo shape-shifter who can assume the position of any poll his staff has in their grubby little hands at the time.

Besides having a face made for radio, I too feel the pain of the talk-show hosts. I'd rather skip naked through Yankee Stadium with hundred dollar bills duct-taped to my body than attempt funny comedy political humor during the second term of a president so smooth and slimy he makes Ronald Reagan look like a velcro tar baby dipped in wallpaper paste. But these guys have to learn to stop their bellyaching, and trust the American public. Knowing the goobers we tend to elect, it'll get good and ugly again. Too soon.

Maturing. It's a scary word. A word I always associated with cheese. Not something I ever thought would happen to me. But what nature takes away, it also replenishes. Sometimes in different areas. And no, I'm not talking about hair. No, I'm talking about the fact that although we may no longer have the speed to outrun trouble, we now have enough experience to recognize its imminent arrival and hopefully avoid it. For instance, I have learned to avoid all movies publicized with great quotes from radio station reviewers in Utah.

Also, when I was young, I had no idea that "buffet" was a death-defying concept. As we get older, we get less gullible. We've been to the circus, we know it's always the same old thing, just a different set of clowns. We also have a much better sense of when people are blowing smoke up our butts. Which is probably why most judges aren't 18-year-old boys. "You are sentenced to an entire weekend of listening to non-stop Metallica."

And finally, we gain enough patience to figure out that the world will pretty much stay the same no matter how much we try to change it, and the only thing worse than pretending it won't is not trying.

Will Durst is still trying.

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From the June 1997 issue of the Metropolitan

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