What did Hillary throw?

Art Buchwald

April 14, 1993|By Art Buchwald

THE question I am constantly asked when I am on the road is, "Did Hillary really throw a lamp at Bill Clinton?"

The reason for the curiosity is that stories keep leaking out of the White House that it was either A) a lamp, B) a book or C) a right to the


When I was asked this question I used to honestly reply, "I wasn't there."

This did not seem to satisfy the voracious appetite of most Americans. So recently I have taken a few liberties when the question is posed.

"It's quite possible," I say. "Hillary is furious that Bill holes up in the Oval Office while she spends her time in the kitchen toiling over a hot stove."

Someone in Omaha asked me, "Why doesn't Hillary get a job?"

"The only thing open for her is to head up a task force for the health problems of the country, and like most women she finds this demeaning. She feels that she was educated to be her own person and Bill is holding her back."

A woman in Akron, Ohio, asked me, "What does Hillary really want?"

I replied, "What every woman wants -- a seat on the Supreme Court. At the same time she wants to be at home when Chelsea comes in from school. It's a conflict that many professional women have to deal with."

A man in Baton Rouge wanted to know, "So was it a lamp or was it a book that Hillary hurled at the president?"

"Nobody knows because they were upstairs in the family quarters. The household staff heard a crash that sounded more like a Ming vase than a lamp. It certainly wasn't a book."

A student from UCLA asked me, "Does Hillary always throw things at the president?"

"Only to get his attention. Ever since Bill's been president he has been preoccupied with issues such as Boris Yeltsin, Bosnia, Somalia and he doesn't listen to what Hillary has to say. So she just throws something at him as a reminder that she is still around. We don't have to worry about her injuring Bill because since his election campaign he's become very good at ducking."

A group in Sarasota surrounded me when they heard that I was from Washington, and one person said, "We read that they fight all the time."

"That's not correct. They don't fight any more or less than other couples with different interests. The fact that they are living in a fish bowl in Washington makes it difficult for them to lead normal lives."

"What do the Secret Service do when Hillary beats up on Bill?"

"They go jogging. Their role is to protect both of them and not take sides."

"What's the heaviest thing Hillary has ever thrown?"

"A Barcalounger -- but she made sure that it wouldn't hit anyone. You must understand -- Hillary is a genteel, kind woman and she abhors violence. You people want to believe the worst about her because she is doing things that no First Lady has done before. The mistake you are all making is to think that every night there are lamps flying around the presidential bedroom. It's just not true -- you can't have a government by consensus if the president is constantly ducking missiles thrown by his spouse."

"What should the public believe?"

"When Hillary wants Bill's attention she does what every First Lady tends to do -- she puts a matchbook between his toes and lights it when he is asleep."

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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