Now Packwood can kiss his career goodbye

September 11, 1995|By MIKE LITTWIN

Whatever the songwriters say, a kiss is not just a kiss. Kisses come in all varieties.

Ask serial kisser Bob Packwood, also known in Capitol Hill washrooms as Senator Tongue. When he kisses somebody, that person stays kissed. She never forgets his kiss. She'll even testify to the fact.

Packwood must feel proud. He must feel like a manly man.

He's no two-cheek man, that's for sure. He doesn't believe in that Hollywood, cheeks-nearly-touching kiss you give your almost-friends, either.

He also doesn't go for pecks or smooches. And later for that mythic, eyes-closed, nearly chaste, dreams-of-second-base first kiss.

Look, there are all manner of kisses. Kissing up. Kissing off. Kiss of death. Kismet. Kissimme, Fla. And the always reliable kiss my keister.

And, of course, there's Kiss, the much-tattooed band from whom an actual kiss -- here's a lesson for you kids -- should always be immediately followed by a penicillin shot.

But the most talked-about kiss these days is the Packwood. This is the kiss that brought down one of the most powerful men in America. It's the scariest kiss since Michael bussed Fredo in "The Godfather."

You know how this kiss goes. Senator Tongue finds a staffer/clerk/page/passer-by and traps her against a wall/in an elevator/behind a bush and thrusts his tongue down her throat as if he were doing a tonsillectomy.

Years later, for this kiss, they throw him out of the Senate.

Some will tell you the expulsion seems, well, excessive. It isn't like Mel Reynolds, who got kicked out of the House because he liked to spend his down time in threesomes with 16-year-olds. Twins, Max. Imagine the possibilities.

After making the obligatory apology -- I must have been drunk at the time -- Packwood himself would describe his own "incidents" as stolen kisses and nothing more.

Hmmmm. For the men who defend Packwood, I want to ask them how they'd feel if Packwood stuck his tongue down their throats.

For the women . . . well, I don't know any women who defend him.

As if you didn't know, the Packwood kiss is a take on the french kiss. A french kiss is very much like a slurpee without the bother of having to actually go to a 7-Eleven. Exchanging saliva is, of course, a fairly intimate thing.

As one woman friend of mine put it: "I can't even stand to think about his tongue, even when it's in his own mouth."

Here's the truth about Senator Tongue: He's a geek. He's from the they-don't-get-it branch of geeks, which is, by the way, the largest branch. It's the branch that should read Bobby Burns' line about the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us.

The thing is, Packwood thought himself a stud. He thought women lusted after him. When he looked in a mirror, he saw Fabio when everybody else was looking at Dom DeLuise.

You women know what I'm talking about. He's the guy in the office who's constantly flirting. He's the same slimy guy that you nTC can't talk to without wanting to take a shower afterward.

The guy in the office is one thing. When it's a senator of the U.S. of A., that's another. You tell him to take his tongue out of your mouth and the next thing you know you've been drafted.

Here's who Senator Tongue is. He keeps a diary. How suave. How je ne sais quois. Like, try to imagine Rhett Butler with a diary. Dear Diary, Scarlett looked really hot tonight in those drapes.

Senator Tongue lost his job because of the diary. When he wasn't writing about his sexual conquests or how, when he blow-dried what remained of his hair, he felt extra confident, he was scribbling about possibly illegal campaign contributions. And then he apparently altered the diary itself.

I was fortunate enough to find a copy of the original. Here's my favorite part:

Dear Diary,

I hired a new clerk today. She's got a really awesome tush. When I smiled at her, she smiled back. Do you think she likes me? Do you, diary, do you?

Because here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to blow-dry my hair, do a few tongue exercises and then spend the rest of the afternoon in the elevator.

Wish me happy hunting,

Bob

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