It is often said that being president of the United States is the most awesome and demanding job in the world.
Sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, the chief executive must absorb masses of information and make decisions that could influence the very survival of freedom and civilization.
So imagine how President Clinton must have felt one day when he received an urgent fax from someone named Sara Rodriguez in Chicago, informing him that she had just been fired as an aide to Congressman Mel Reynolds and that Reynolds sometimes beat his wife.
There is the agony of Bosnia; the madness of North Korea; the simmering hatreds of the Middle East; the endless ravings of Newt; political enemies on the Right, the Left and in the Center; and any minute some loony might try to fly an airplane into the West Wing.
And in the middle of all this, there is an angry Sara Rodriguez alerting the president of the United States that horny Mel has been slapping around the loyal but long-suffering Marisol.
If President Clinton saw the fax, we can only guess what his reaction was. Probably something like: "What the heck is this about? Wait, I'd rather not know."
The sending of this unusual message was revealed in Monday's session of Reynolds' kinky-sex-and-hide-the-evidence trial.
The witness was Ms. Rodriguez, who didn't sound like the sort of person you would want as an enemy. And maybe not as a friend, either.
And from the questions that were asked and some of her answers, we get a vision of Reynolds' Chicago office being a pretty wild and crazy place to work.
Forget for a moment Reynolds sitting in his private office, panting and moaning and groaning and making his idea of love talk into his phone.
Instead, picture the stormy Ms. Rodriguez telling other staff members that Reynolds is the Antichrist and vowing to put a knife through his heart.
We don't know if she actually said these things, but that, in effect, is what the defense lawyers accused her of doing.
The lawyer asked if she ever said: "I'll stab him in the heart."
What's a lady to say to a question like that? "Oh, yes, and if that didn't work, I planned to sprinkle a bit of arsenic on his tuna salad sandwich."
Actually, she didn't deny it. She responded: "Why would I waste my time?"
To which the lawyer said: "Because you're a vindictive, vicious woman."
Those are hard words. But someone who would send a nasty tattletale fax to the president of the United States isn't exactly a latter-day Shirley Temple.
It is not yet clear why Ms. Rodriguez had so intense a dislike for Reynolds, although she indicated that he yelled at her a lot. That's understandable. He might have been giving his vocal chords a workout after all the heavy whispering and panting he did on the phone.
If nothing else, the testimony raised serious questions about Reynolds' administrative skills. One measure of these skills is the judgment shown by a public official in the kind of people he hires.
We can only assume that Reynolds never said to Ms. Rodriguez: "Should you fill this important position, can I be certain that you will never refer to me as the Antichrist?
"No? Hmmm, let me make a note of that. And if you become one of my aides, do you have sufficient poise and self-control to never say to your co-workers that you would plunge a knife into my heart?
"No? Hmmm, interesting.
"Finally, can I count on you to never go around saying that I beat my wife or send bizarre faxes about me to the president of the United States?
"No? Well, I'll keep your application on file, and should anything open up . . ."
Of course, the fact that she never plunged a knife into Reynolds' heart could indicate that she never intended to do so. Or that she was busy with other matters and never got around to it.
What matters most, though, is what the jury thinks about all of the strange things it is hearing. I mean, besides asking themselves: "What in the world am I doing here?"
We won't know that until the testimony is over and they have reached a verdict.
But one thing I would bet on. In the future, those 12 jurors will take keen interest in their congressional elections.