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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Trials and Tribulations of A Good Kiss

Having completed his famed Convention Kiss, Al Gore let go of Tipper’s lips (and the third of her face that he had passionately sucked in) and jubilantly turned around to face hundreds of cheering supporters. The Kiss was an attention-grabber, all right. Some said it even won the presidential candidate quite a number of undecided women voters.

Don’t count on your kiss having the same public success, however. And be ready for surprises.

Here’s a better scenario for what happens when you let go of your Kissing Companion’s lips: You lean back and see not only the KC — his or her eyes filled with affection or lust or whatever the prevailing emotion is at the moment — but also your own editor, snickering at you from under a funky khaki hat.

Later, you explain to the editor that you spent a night on the train in order to deliver that romantic kiss by the drugstore on the block where you grew up. What can be more romantic, you say, and the editor kindly accepts your embarrassed explanation. After all, it’s hard to believe that you took an overnight train just to have your editor run into you on the street as you are ardently kissing away.

There are several public kissing scenarios of much less appeal. A friend of mine, for example, had his and his friend’s passports taken by the police on a Sochi-Moscow train for kissing in the train’s hallway. Too ardent, the police said. Too emotional. Too much.

One should also beware of the babushkas, who tend to get envious of passionate displays of emotion and are likely to wedge a surprise attack on one or both of the kissing parties with onion-filled net-bags. (My colleague Russell Working in Vladivostok wrote recently that the babushkas’ habit of using their bags as weapons could be used to settle the U.S. presidential conflict. I’m all for the idea of dispatching bag-wielding babushkas — all of them — as troops to a distant country, away from where I kiss.)

I would like to see Gore’s reaction if, as he was French-kissing his wife in L.A., a babushka jumped onstage and delivered a massive onion blow to his back. (Tipper looked taken aback as it was, so I would spare her the encounter with the net-bag.)

It would also be interesting to watch him give up his ID to a couple of bored, morale-fixated cops. "Excuse us, sir, but your behavior onstage qualifies as indecent exposure as there may be minors in the audience." There goes the anticipated presidency.

But I am most curious about what Gore would have said had he opened his eyes and saw what I saw after opening mine Saturday at the Moscow Zoo.

It was a package of chewing gum, made, it said, in Taiwan. It lay on display in a kiosk that also sold squeaky furry birds, plastic motorcycles and toy guns.

It was called "Cock Mint."

Would Gore shriek? Would he scream with delight? Would he add banning kiosks in zoos to his presidential program on the spot — or would the righteous Tipper do that for him later?

I didn’t have an audience. I had no political decisions to make. I’ve had enough. I took my KC by the hand and said: "Honey, let’s go home."

Except, uh, it was someone else’s hand.