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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Song of Myself

Looking for love in the back pages? Laboring over a sonnet of self-portraiture that can pitch printed woo to a potential squeeze? Then "If You Like Pina Coladas" might be the publication for you.

Author Al Hoff plowed through 34,772 personal ads to cull "exotic cocktails" from the language of the lovelorn genre, The Guardian reports. However, his collection (named after a treacly 70s song about, yes, personal ads) is not so much a "how-to" as a "for-God's-sake-not-this" kind of guidebook.

For example, some seekers express needs that might be a tad too rigorous or specific to find a ready response in the general populace: "Must be unafraid of power tools." "Must play the ukulele or be willing to learn." "State troopers only." "Must have perpetual flat stomach." "You must possess qualities of Jesus and Sting combined." And this, no doubt from a lonely guy on Pennsylvania Avenue: "Must be willing to give the president a second chance."

And when it comes to the actual self-sales job, Hoff cautions against the kind of excessive honesty found in these descriptions: "Well-spoken when sober." "Dateless for nine years." "Banned from most tennis courts." "Soon to be divorced (not at my request)." "Flew over the cuckoo's nest years ago." And this, again no doubt from a lonely guy on Pennsylvania Avenue: "Ideal for someone who is not too picky."

However, Hoff's eye-straining troll through Love Canal did unearth at least one exquisite gem, which nicely sums up the essence of the whole amorous quest: "Bla bla bla 32 bla bla bla handsome bla bla bla jazz bla bla bla companionship bla bla bla bla love."

Capitol Punishment

The nabobs of national punditry were nattering louder than ever in America's mainstream media this week, trying to figure out how the heck Bill Clinton's popularity rose after the airing of his "humiliating" videotaped testimony, which, they had solemnly assured the world, would "devastate" the president's standing in the polls and lead to his speedy exit from office.

However, as we all know, Clinton's "ordeal" turned out to be a shot of political Viagra: Instead of skulking away as predicted, he was out plunging into welcoming crowds, pressing the flesh and infusing party coffers with wads of cash at fund-raisers. His Republican antagonists, meanwhile, saw their polls shriveling; nearly 70 percent of the American people say they want Clinton to stay in power f a degree of public unanimity almost never seen on any issue in that fair and fractious land.

But those wise and worldly souls who make big bucks retailing Georgetown gossip and insider "spin" were mightily disappointed in the hick-town masses for failing to see the monstrous perfidy of that heat-seeking missile in the White House. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sump City Tribune, the drumbeat was the same: Clinton was "unfit for office," "a man without honor," "a joke," "a skirt-chaser," even "a sexual predator," while the mule-headed majority who supported him were "dupes," "cynical and lazy," "corrupted by prosperity," and, of course, "a sick society."

Indeed. What other explanation could there possibly be for the pundits being so wrong?

Newtonian Gravity

Meanwhile, the shrivelly Republicans, led by outed adulterer Henry Hyde and convicted ethics violator Newt Gingrich, were unperturbed by the vox populi as they continued their Ahab-like quest to bring down that Great White Whale spouting and sporting in the Oval Office.

Gingrich, who once insisted the only reason the Republicans had ever released Starr's salacious slaverings in the first place was to "let the public make up its own mind and decide the case on the evidence," now says that made-up public mind is immaterial.

"I think people would be horrified if Congress was simply a polling institution" responsive to the will of the, uh, people, he gravely intoned to The Associated Press this week f then promptly dumped another 60,000 pages of "evidence" into the public domain, including Linda Tripp's titillating tapes, yet more gruesome details about who touched what where, and gushy private e-mails Monica Lewinsky had sent to various personal friends.

And why were the shrivelies subjecting an unwilling and indifferent citizenry to yet more sexual minutiae? The answer is obvious, isn't it?

"The people need to make up their own minds on this," Republican leaders f now speaking in anodyne anonymity f said of the latest dump.

Swear Words

And in another sign of the New Puritanism sweeping America's political class, one congressional candidate f and a Democrat, at that! f has gone beyond the mere moral mouthings of his pious brethren and put his goodness in writing.

Gary Mueller, House hopeful from Illinois, has released a legally-sworn "affidavit of integrity," The Washington Post reports. Mueller sets an anxious nation's mind to rest on a number of burning public issues, swearing to God that he has never, ever "committed adultery; abused [my] wife and children; engaged in homosexual activity; experimented with illegal drugs; or been charged with or convicted of a felony."

These heart-sworn denials are all well and good, Mr. Mueller f but a little scanty, don't you think? What about barnyard animals? Monosexual activity? Laxative abuse? The public has a right to know!

London Blitz

Speaking of matters moral, London Records was facing a profound spiritual quandary this week, The Observer reports: Should they go ahead with the first British release by Rammstein, a German rock band adored by legions of goose-stepping neo-Nazi fans?

Right now, the company is on course to release the single, and hoping to stave off a threatened revolt by staff, and by other bands on the label. London officials, perhaps eyeing the potential profits to be had from Britain's many head-bashing yobs, said the accusations against Rammstein are just circumstantial: the goose-stepping of their skinhead crowds, the use of film footage by Hitler-worshiping Leni Riefenstahl in their videos and the lyrics of their most popular song: "Man is burning/Smell of flesh in the air/A mass grave/No escape."

You know, really vague, gray areas like that.