by Jan Baughman

Act I (and only):

The time: Somewhere in the next millennium
The setting: A conversation between a boy and his grandfather

- Grandpa, I'm studying US Presidents for my history class and I don't understand what happened to President Clinton. There's an asterisk by his name and it says he was impeached, but it looks like he was in office until Gore was elected. I haven't found any mention of a scandal -- what happened?

- Well, son, it's kind of fuzzy to me now -- it was all too complicated to understand even then. It started before Clinton was even elected. People were after anything they could get him on - some real estate transaction started the whole mess and it got into this tangled web about travel and suicide and improper relationships. I'll never forget the man who went after him - name was Ken Starr - he just wouldn't let up. Then there was this floozy named Jones. She sued the President for making a pass at her back when he was governor. She lost, but he had to give her some money to make her go away.

- What happened to her, grandpa?

- Well, she moved back to Arkansas to wait for Clinton to come back after he got out of office. Seems she was upset that she had refused his offer because she would have gotten a lot more money if she had done it like the other gal did, with book deals, public appearances and all. She only got a couple hundred thousand dollars after she paid her lawyers, but that was like a million bucks in Arkansas. Her husband ran off to Hollywood and became a porn star, and she got a job as a manicurist in the local beauty parlor. Her family rejected her because she'd cut her nose off and stuff and she didn't look like family anymore. But for a while, women came from all over the place to have her do their nails. It was a kind of freak show. Anyway, she waited and waited for Bill but he never returned. That was when Mrs. President Clinton was first elected to the Senate and they ended up in New York. Paula couldn't afford to move to New York, because what cost two hundred thousand in Arkansas cost a million there. I think she ended up in Hollywood with her husband but she never made it in the porn world because she wouldn't do all the things they wanted her to. Some legacy she had.

- What about the other girl? Who was she?

- Well, she was called Monica -- I forgot her full name. She was the one he was impeached over. Seems that, unlike the Jones gal, she WAS willing to do it. They carried on for a spell and that Starr fellow got a hold of her and the President denied certain things and the Republicans came after him like foxes in a hen house. They were out for blood. I'll never forget their faces, son. There was ol' Henry Hyde and Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich. The list goes on and on. Man, those were the bad old days. They made McCarthy look like a Shriner. They all disappeared after Clinton left office, with nothin' but a sad legacy of trying to take down a President.

In the meantime, the Americans tried to forget about it but the scandals continued and they erupted everywhere. Next thing you knew, the Russians were at the same game and taking it further. People were secretly videotaped having sex and the tapes were shown on television. Politicians were fired left and right, and sex became the tool for modern-day espionage all over the world. All that's what finally lead to the Second Cold War, you know. It took many years and a lot of ruined lives before the world became sane again. Fortunately, the economy stayed strong and we got through those dark times.

- So President Clinton wasn't a bad President, even though he was impeached?

- No, son. In the end there was a box score and there was only one negative in it. The President did a lot of good things for the country during his two terms, despite all the turmoil he had to endure. And that's why you only found a little asterisk by his name.


Published March 20, 1999
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