Forget steak and cigars
at the Palm. The real players meet at Jon's place. And they're
The past six months I had been
hosting our soirees. The crowd: A-list. The game: Scrabble.
The rules: BYOB. The core group -- Clinton, Dole, Gingrich,
Gore and I -- would gather in my run-down one-bedroom above
the Georgetown Domino's and, with little cordial foreplay,
we'd get right down to the game.
On this night, Gingrich begged off. Apparently
his VCR was on the fritz and he hates to miss Friends
and The Single Guy. Since Thurmond was sitting in for
Gingrich, we decided to scrap Scrabble. The game's recommended
for ages 8 to 80 and we didn't want to chance it. After much
partisan debate, I cast the deciding vote for Monopoly.
8:07 P.M. Gore wins the die toss and
gets to select his playing piece first.
GORE: I'll be the iron.
DOLE: Are you shitting me?
CLINTON: Al, nobody's ever
hankering to be the iron.
GORE: I like the iron, it reminds
me I told Tipper I'd pick up her dress from the dry cleaners
CLINTON: Pick another piece, Al.
GORE: (pouting) No. You never
let me make decisions. Nothing I do is good enough... You're
not the president of the game, you know.
CLINTON: Fine, be the iron.
GORE: (happy again) Thank
CLINTON: I'll take the destroyer.
DOLE: (mumbling) Not during
DOLE: Bob Dole wants a solid piece.
Bob Dole wants a piece that represents the working man. Bob
CLINTON: Just choose one.
DOLE: I'll be the shoe.
STEWART: Strom, what are you?
THURMOND: (licking the thimble)
Gleeple florp bimply--
STEWART: Strom, what do you want
to be? The thimble?
THURMOND: (happily) Poodly
CLINTON: Jon, how's about you be
the banker, buddy?
STEWART: Why do I have to be the
CLINTON: Oh, c'mon, man! Just keep
track of the money. It's confusing... you know, for people
like us... help me, guys.
GORE: Some of us are handier with
that kind of thing. Like Greenspan.
DOLE: Or Volcker.
STEWART: What are you suggesting?
THURMOND: Flozzen beermp Jew.
STEWART: (sighing) Fine.
9:53 P.M. The game is relatively even,
with Dole slightly in the lead financially due to his shrewd
takeover of the utilities.
DOLE: (singing to himself)
"I like big butts, I can't deny..."
CLINTON: (rolling) Hot damn,
THURMOND: (excited) Yahtzeeeee!!!
DOLE: (still singing softly)
"White girls got them skinny butts..."
CLINTON: (counting eight spaces
using his finger) One, two, three... four...
STEWART: Bob, what are you doing?
DOLE: Bob Dole is singing "Baby
Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot.
CLINTON: Hell, Bob, we should jam
GORE: Hey! Strom just ate my hotel!
THURMOND: (happily) Arfle...
11:46 P.M. Clinton and Dole control most
of the board, but Dole is slightly in the lead with the Southern-state
avenues. Gore, nearly bankrupt, is on the phone.
GORE: Please, buttercup, you promised
I could stay till the game ended.
CLINTON and DOLE: (singing)
"Been spending most our lives livin' in a gangsta's
DOLE: (high-fiving Clinton) God
GORE: I swear, sweetness, it's not
a party. That was Bob and Sir singing.
DOLE: (to me) Your turn.
Roll the dice, home slice! (Dole and Clinton double over
CLINTON: You kill me, man!
I get up to buzz in Colin Powell.
GORE: It's not strippers, sweetums,
it's just General Powell.
POWELL: Good evening, gentlemen.
CLINTON: Colin, you are my man.
DOLE: Bob Dole wants to know, what
POWELL: Jon, you didn't tell me these
guys were going to be here.
DOLE: Colin, settle an argument for
CLINTON: Is "Gangsta's Paradise"
based on a Stevie Wonder song?
DOLE: I say it isn't. Coolio doesn't
sample, does he?
GORE: ... No, you hang up...
POWELL: I don't know. Listen, Jon,
I've got to be up early tomorrow.
STEWART: Sure, I understand.
GORE: No, you... Okay, I'm hanging
General Powell gets up to leave. Thurmond
sees him for the first time.
I thought I told you to stay with the car.
POWELL: (sadly) I'll
call you, Jon.
STEWART: Okay... sorry.
GORE: (giggling) Are you still
there? You are? Okay, hang up.
1:11 A.M. Dole and Clinton are still
ahead. Pennsylvania Avenue is the only unclaimed piece of
property on the board, and interest in the game begins to
CLINTON: Okay. Bob -- Sandra Day
O'Conner or Barbara Boxer?
DOLE: Bob Dole wants Boxer. Boxer
makes Bob Dole's pants tighter.
STEWART: Guys, do we have to play
the "If you had to sleep with one of them" game?
DOLE: Whatsa matter, Stewart? You
light in the slippers? Eat with the wrong fork?
CLINTON: Yeah... whaddarya... um...
There is an uncomfortable silence.
DOLE: Good one, dipshit.
STEWART: What the hell are you guys
GORE: Check this out! The Monopoly
income tax calls for $200 or 10 percent of your income.
DOLE: Hey that's a choice of a set
amount or a flat rate.
CLINTON: That would really simplify
our cumbersome tax codes.
DOLE: We could give taxpayers earning
more than $200,000 a year a set tax of $20,000 and those earning
less, the 10% rate. We'd save them a bundle.
CLINTON: And we could make up the
shortfall by trimming Federal excesses and running the remaining
bureaus and agencies more efficiently. (solemnly) We
should work together to make this happen...
Clinton and Dole's eyes meet; they burst
over) You kill me, man... (imitating Dole) "We'd
save them a bundle..." Oooooh man.
DOLE: (tears running
down his face) What about you? (imitating Clinton)
"Work together" --hee hee-- "to
make... ha... this happen..."
Clinton and Dole roll onto
the floor in hysterics.
3:07 A.M. A police siren
wails in the distance. Thurmond, believing we are under attack,
flips the board and runs out of the apartment. After a brief
search, we find him huddling in the backyard shed. Using Cheetos,
we lure him back inside, E.T.-style. The game is called.