Nothing fictional about Buchanan's favorite joke

September 13, 1995|By ROGER SIMON

Simon Says:

Say what you want to about Pat Buchanan's politics, but his jokes are true.

He begins almost every speech with the same anecdote:

"You know, folks, when I made a decision to run for president of the United States, a cynical journalist came up to me and said, 'Pat, are you serious about this?'

"I said: 'Am I serious? I've given up my shot opposite Michael Kinsley on "Crossfire."

"I gave up my radio talk show.

"I gave up my column.

"I even gave up my book contract -- it's not as impressive as Newt's, but I gave it up -- so what does that tell you?'

"And he said: 'What that tells me, Pat, is that it gives me my lead: Unemployed, angry white male seeks presidency!' "

Typical fictional anecdote, right?

Wrong!

I found the "cynical" reporter last weekend.

He really is not cynical at all, just very, very funny and one of the most highly respected reporters in the business.

And he uttered the line as a joke when he was following Buchanan on the campaign trail in Baton Rouge some months ago.

Buchanan thought it was so funny, he appropriated it for his speeches.

I relate all this by way of warning to the other candidates:

In this age of truth-squad journalism, even the jokes are going to be checked out.

So if a politician says the chicken crossed the road, the press is going to make darn sure it wanted to get to the other side.

*

I have never known anyone who could use the word "jejune" correctly in a sentence. (And I am not sure I want to.)

*

Another million-dollar idea I am giving away for free:

L What is the biggest problem when you are buying new glasses?

You take off your old glasses to put on new, sample frames.

But since the new frames don't have lenses in them, you can't really see what you look like.

So you end up scrunching your face to within about a quarter-inch of the mirror and you still can't tell what you look like. (If you're near-sighted like me, anyway.)

So why not have videotape cam- eras in all optometry shops?

You take off your old glasses.

You put on the new frames.

They videotape you. (Heck, they could even use a Polaroid.)

Then you put on your old glasses and take a look at yourself in the new glasses.

Only one thing troubles me about this idea: I am not that bright, so how come nobody but me has ever thought of it before?

*

Airliners take off during thunderstorms all the time. So why can't the space shuttle?

*

Bumper sticker of the month: "The Indians had bad immigration laws."

*

It is the burden of all left-handed people to notice when other people are left-handed.

You can't help it.

Whether you see them in person, on TV or in the movies, you always notice.

(And if you see them in person, you usually say something bright like: "Hey, you're left-handed!")

Which is why I can tell you for a fact that the following are lefties:

Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Roberts, Marge Simpson, Bruce Willis and Whoopi Goldberg.

*

Whatever happened to Ione Skye?

*

Can't we end reception lines? They are agony for the standees and the standers. (How about a nice round-robin hug instead?)

*

If African-Americans had a responsibility to denounce some of the remarks of Louis Farrakhan, and if Jewish people had a responsibility to denounce some of the remarks of Meir Kahane, don't police officers -- no matter where they serve -- have a responsibility to denounce some of the remarks of Mark Fuhrman?

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.