All-purpose excuses are there if you need them

October 01, 1998|By Kevin Cowherd

EXCERPTS from the "Bill Clinton's Apologies For All Occasions" (Random House, 221 pps., $24.95)

Chapter 2: Forgot Wedding Anniversary

First, let me say this: I did not forget our wedding anniversary.

In fact, I want to say it again: I ... did ... not ... forget ... our ... wedding ... anniversary.

What I forgot was the token or expression of love and affection customarily given to one's spouse on such an occasion.

A gift? Well, that depends on what you mean by the word "gift."

If you mean something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation, then I suppose there may have been a failure on my part to follow through on that entire process.

I am seeking the spiritual rejuvenation of the Scriptures, and vow that this will never, ever happen again.

Chapter 4: Arrived Late for Social Occasion

In your very kind invitation, you indicated cocktails would be served at 7: 30 p.m. There was, however, no mention of when dinner would be served. So when I arrived at 10: 30, I was not, in the legal sense, late for the dinner party itself, merely late for cocktails.

Was I guilty of poor judgment? Yes. The Beltway was jammed, we should have taken an alternate route. Should I have allowed myself more time? Absolutely.

I have sought pastoral guidance for this problem, and feel certain this will not happen again.

Chapter 7: Forgot Loved One's Birthday

Let me begin by saying that when I looked at the calendar and realized what day it was, and that I had not even telephoned or sent you a card, I was embarrassed, both for me and the country.

This was inappropriate behavior. I deeply regret it.

As to how this could happen, well, there have been many things on my mind of late. This may have been the most important thing in the world to you, but it wasn't to me, which may sound harsh, but ... Happy Birthday.

I am in counseling. This will never happen again."

Chapter 12: Angered Boss at Work

As I recall the events of that day, and you may correct me if I'm wrong, you asked the deponent (me) if the McWilliams report was done, and the deponent answered, truthfully, no it was not.

The deponent further stated the reason the McWilliams report wasn't done was because he had played golf that afternoon and then gone home, as he intends to reclaim his family life for his family.

I deeply regret any confusion this has caused. I am currently working on all the things I need to work on, and can guarantee this will never happen again.

Chapter 15: Caused Fender-Bender

Sir, please try to remain calm. You're upset, I can see that. And you have every right to be. I let you down by not yielding, even though I don't recall seeing a "Yield" sign, although there well might have been one, I don't know.

Honestly, I couldn't say one way or the other.

The point is, I have brought pain to you and your family, especially your wife, who now appears to be clutching her neck. This was not my intent. I deeply regret it.

What I think we should do now, though, is put this behind us.

Let us not wallow in talk about liability coverage, $200 deductibles and emergency road service addendums -- all Americans are entitled to enjoy a private family life.

I have joined a support group, and you can be sure this will never happen again.

Chapter 17: Missed Doctor/Dentist Appointment

There is a sign in your office, above the aquarium and to the left of the magazine stand, with its outdated issues of People and Reader's Digest, which states: Patients must give 24 hours notice in the event of a cancellation.

However, during my last visit, a very large woman was seated directly in front of the sign, blocking it completely. She was probably a good girl, a fine woman, her heart was probably in the right place.

But I did not see the sign and therefore did not know notice was required when I missed my appointment to do the work of the American people.

I have been in therapy for many weeks now, and you may rest assured this will never happen again.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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