WE'LL be pilloried for this by the animal rightists, but...

salmagundi

March 15, 1994

WE'LL be pilloried for this by the animal rightists, but after all the trouble with the student newspaper at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, there was comfort last week in a front-page Retriever story about a fraternity party at which live goldfish allegedly were devoured.

We say "allegedly" because no one seems to have actually witnessed the swallowing of a fish. But carrying signs reading "Save the Fish" and "Stop Senseless Death," a small group of animal-rights protesters did attend the March 3 Alpha Tau Omega affair.

Accompanied by a Retriever reporter, the protesters spotted a plastic baby pool filled with some 2,000 goldfish, 30 of which (whom?) were floating belly-up. They interviewed several party-goers. All said that swallowing a live fish would be disgusting.

The Retriever described the party room as "dark, with flashing lights and booming music." The fish pool was "10 feet from the nearest [music] speaker." The Retriever didn't say so, but we suspect that human nibbling was not the cause of the 30 goldfish's distress.

IN LIGHT of Hillary Rodham Clinton's influence, who would have suspected that the Clinton White House would harbor appointees who refer to women as "girls"? So the quote from an unnamed "senior White House official" on the front page of the Washington Post yesterday set more than a few tongues wagging.

Referring to a phone call from Mrs. Clinton last Thursday afternoon, the day a number of White House officials appeared before a federal grand jury, the unnamed official said, "She just wanted to know how her girls did today."

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