Ideal Clinton vacation: Bullhead fishing in Wis.


August 27, 1993|By MIKE ROYKO

"How do you give your brain a rest?" asked Slats Grobnik.

I'd say that we're doing that right now, with the help of this kindly bartender. Why do you ask?

"Because it says here in the newspaper that President Clinton is resting his brain while he's on vacation."

Yes, that's the idea of a vacation. Think cool thoughts. Charge up the old battery.

"Well, it don't sound to me like he picked the right place to rest his brain, going to that Marty's Yard."

You mean Martha's Vineyard? That island happens to be one of the most desirable vacation retreats on the East Coast. Why do you think people like Jackie Onassis and Walter Cronkite have estates there?

"Yeah, I read about that. The place is loaded with celebrities. So why would he go to a place like that?"

Why not go to a place like that?

"Because when you got all those celebrities, you got gawkers. I saw on TV, thousands of gawkers. And how do you rest your brain when every time you go out there's a thousand gawkers?"

That's pretty hard to avoid when you are president of the United States.

"Wouldn't be if he picked the right place to take a vacation and rest his brain."

Where do you suggest?


Wisconsin? Presidents don't take vacations in Wisconsin.

"Why not? That's where I go."

Because it isn't fashionable. How would it sound if some network anchorman said: "Good evening. President Clinton announced today that he is going to spend his vacation in Wisconsin. He said he wants to visit a cheese factory, an Indian casino, a roadhouse that has a plastic muskie hanging above the bar and stop at the Wisconsin Dells to get matching moccasins for the whole family."

"Yeah, but he wouldn't have to worry about gawkers."

Of course he would. Wisconsinites gawk as much as anyone else. That's why they all drive so slow. They gawk at gas stations and fertilizer billboards.

"Not if he went to the right part of Wisconsin."

And where would that be?

"He could use me and my brother Fats' cottage on Lake Bullhead. Nobody would gawk at him there."

But there is nothing to do.

"Sure there is. We could take him bullhead fishing, which is very restful."

Nobody fishes for bullheads.

"We do. Then we smoke 'em. Of course, we'd have to show him which end to light and make sure he don't inhale, hah."

I doubt if he would want to spend his entire vacation fishing for bullheads.

"That ain't all we do. In fact, we only fish a little while until we run out of worms. Then we drink beer, play poker and tell dirty stories until about 2 o'clock in the morning."

And you expect the president of the United States to spend his time like that?

"Why not? I read that he already had dinner twice with that Kay Graham, who owns the Washington Post. I bet she doesn't know as many dirty stories as my brother Fats."

I would hope not. I have met her and she is a woman of great dignity and regal bearing.

"See, that's what I mean. He's from Arkansas, right, so why would he want to have dinner with some rich doll who has dignity and regal bearing when he could be catching bullheads and drinking beer with me and my brother Fats?"

What does his being from Arkansas have to do with it?

"Because being from Arkansas means that down deep he's a bullhead kind of guy, except down there they catch catfish with their bare hands. But I been there and they tell good dirty stories. And if he wants to really feel at home, I'll buy an old pickup with no tires and park it in my front yard and put a chicken in the front seat."

You don't understand. Because he is from Arkansas doesn't mean he is some backwoods Ozark rustic. He is a scholar, an intellectual, a Yale lawyer and is comfortable in the company of the rich and the famous. Besides, what would Hillary do at your cottage?

"Bullheads wouldn't be hard for her to fry once we skin 'em."

L But remember, where the president goes, the media army goes.

"The media, huh? Hey, skinned, they might not be bad either."

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