I was at breakfast with some friends, flipping through Bill Clinton's memoirs, when I read the startling news that Clinton was forced to sleep on the couch after he told Hillary about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
'Why did he have to sleep on the couch?' I asked, searching the page for an explanation. 'Do they have only one bed in the White House?' I was in the White House once, but I was asked to leave early in the tour after making what I considered to be a witty remark about Bess Truman's bust line. So, I never got the chance to check out the bedroom situation.
'Sure they do,' said Stacy. 'But if he slept in one of the other beds he would have been comfortable, and there is no way in hell that Hillary would have allowed that. I'm surprised Hillary didn't make him sleep on a bed of pythons.'
(Readers: I must pause the thrilling forward trajectory of this story for a moment. Before I tell you what my reaction was to Stacy's comments, I must first explain the role Hillary Clinton plays in my fantasy life. I have a rich catalog of fantasies starring a number of chilly, emotionally unavailable women. One of my favorites involves a surprise encounter with Hillary in the furnace room of the Capitol building. My natural timidity prevents me from revealing too many details, but I will tell you that Hillary quickly sheds her pastel pants suit because it gets awfully hot in that furnace room. This may explain why hearing Stacy use the words 'Hillary' and 'bed' in the same sentence caused the reaction you will read directly below.)
I shivered with desire.
'Seems like he got off pretty easy,' said Delores. 'When my ex discovered that I was cheating on her not only did she leave me, but she left me with all her pets. Now, I can't even go out at night because I have to tend to all their bizarre eating schedules.'
'When my girlfriend cheated on me I shrugged it off, gave her a hearty handshake, and wished her well,' I said. 'I like to think of myself as someone who is capable of great vengeance and spite. But the truth is that meting out punishment takes way too much energy. I eventually sent her an e-mail filled with damning adjectives, but my hatred petered out mid-way through and I signed it with 'xxxooo.''
'I drank an entire bottle of vodka when I learned that Jean was cheating on me,' said Stacy.
'And?' I asked, waiting for the accompanying tale of retribution.
'And what?' said Stacy miserably. 'I drank a bottle of vodka and passed out for two days. However,' she added brightly, 'Jean had to step over my body to get to her closet to pack her stuff. And that must have been mighty
Greta, who had been uncharacteristically quiet during the discussion, suddenly chimed in. 'When I learned that my girlfriend was cheating on me, I slept on the couch for a week.'
'Well, I bet that taught her a lesson,' I said.
'Not really,' said Greta. 'Since I wasn't in the bed, she felt free to sleep with her new girlfriend in it.'