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The Durst of Times

Will Durst
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San Francisco, California, where both papers trumpeted the fact that Gianni Versace's suspected killer had local roots. Can't tell if it was a civic warning or misplaced pride.

In an announcement with a staggering potential about on a par with Newt Gingrich declaring he's the new spokesperson for Slimfast, Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr has formally ruled Vince Foster's death a suicide. Oh no. This can't be. Next thing you know he'll be telling us the demise of the Titanic was due to ramming into an accumulated hunk of frozen water. Maybe he'll announce to the world the stunning revelation that Dennis Rodman is an odd young man. Or that cilantro can be a tasty addition to guacamole. Starr confirmed the finding of approximately three gazillion earlier probes, saying, "This office concluded that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park, Va., on July 20, 1993." This guy obviously has his eye on a future as the replacement host of Unsolved Mysteries. After Pepperdine, that is. Or maybe Clinton could issue an executive order keeping him on as a kind of Detective-at-Large, probing the deep riddles of life, such as:

  • What exactly is Pauly Shore's appeal?

  • Which one of Peter Falk's eyes is fake?

  • Do tobacco executives really use stagnant electromagnetic sewer mud for brains?

  • What strange urges possess cable TV viewers to buy spray-on hair?

  • Why don't people who live in North Dakota travel south for the winter?

  • What ever happened to the good ol' days?

  • Shouldn't membership in white supremacist movements be restricted to those who can either pronounce or spell supremacist?

All through our lives, we've been bombarded with antique aphorisms apropos of an earlier, simpler age. "There's more than one way to skin a cat." To whose twisted lifestyle could this perverted adage have offered counseling? "Could you list them all, sir?" "Well, there's lengthwise, of course, your classic without the tail, and for the arty a nice spiral like an apple skin." In this muddled age, where right and wrong are harder to distinguish than a pager's beep at a convention of Hollywood agents held in the belly of an oil tanker, what we need is a more modern set of hokey sayings to get us through these murky times.

  • One encryption device linked to your hard drive is worth two shredding machines in the office.

  • Virtual ducks line up in a row when your imaginary bread crumbs are straight.

  • Money is a tool best used for loosening Phillips head screws.

  • People who work in the technology field shouldn't wear shorts.

  • When your mutual fund stumbles, it dives headlong into a steel abutment at light speed.

  • Never count your Social Security check before it arrives.

  • Don't expect to see perfect beauty looking through an imperfect mirror. Or in JCPenney jeans.

  • You can't use your cell phone and conserve your batteries, too.

  • Never look for the warranty card in your free software box.

Will Durst is here to help.

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From the August 1997 issue of the Metropolitan.

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