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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

THE OUTDOORSMAN




With all of the hustle, bustle and excitement surrounding the American president's visit last week, people were constantly asking, "Guy, how does Clinton rate as an outdoorsman?"


Well, as much as I admire President Bill Clinton for all that he's done f namely, being the man to finally bring some dignity back to the White House f I'm afraid that he scores pretty poorly as an outdoor action man. Come to think of it, I can't remember him ever doing anything very outdoorsy. I know he goes to Massachusetts a lot to go sailing with the Kennedy family, but more as a passenger than as a crewman or a skipper. I've seen a picture of him on horseback, but that was something of a disappointment.


I've also seen a picture of him and Hillary, both in bathing suits, hugging each other during an intimate moment. It's not, well, what I'd call a particularly erotic photograph f in fact, I've tried to erase it from my mind. I've never seen a picture of George and Barbara Bush in bathing suits, but I'd like to.


Clinton does love to play golf though, as have most American presidents of the last 70 years. But it must be said that swinging metal sticks around on big manicured lawns does not count as a very manly sport. Also, the head of the golf club is very small, which is damned stupid because it makes it hard to hit the ball.


No, much more rugged is the game of croquet, in which the mallet is wooden. And, in regard to the playing field (called the "green"), one must succumb to the wiles of nature. It's a well-known fact that Arnold Palmer would have played croquet instead of golf had he not been such a big sissy.


I have long held that so many of Moscow's children get into such trouble because there are not enough public croquet greens to keep them active. (Before croquet, I was an extortionist.) I recently hired my neighbor's son to caddie when I play croquet in the yard behind my apartment building. His parents are proud, but no doubt concerned: Croquet enthusiasts have a reputation for hard, fast living. When we're not holding a mallet, there's a cocktail in our hand, and a woman on our arm f so the saying goes. But it keeps us off the streets, and anything's better than growing up a sissy.


f Guy Archer