This page from a legal pad was found in the trash behind a certain home in Chappaqua, N.Y., next to a crumpled note reading, "Dear Bill: Anxiously awaiting those pages! your editor, Bob Gottlieb."
Bob said gotta get 'em hooked from the very first page.
"Two score and seven years ago our nation brought forth: Me!"
Hmm. How about, "I was the best of guys, I was the worst of guys"? "All happy families are the same, but unhappy ones get HUMONGOUS book deals." "Call me Ishmael ... and I'll sic Janet Reno on you." (This is followed by a doodle of a large woman with a machete, which is followed by a set of doodles depicting the Golden Arches, Poppin' Fresh Doughboy and a doughnut.)
Note to self: Jog.
Note to self: Pick up Hillary's dry cleaning. Or else!
Note to self: Who'd ever want to read about me? (A few words here are smeared by tear drops.) THINK POSITIVE.
I'm positively lonely! Tomorrow, Harlem. But until then (here a few words are obscured by the imprint of a beer can.)
No, no! What did Bob say? "Think of the big picture."
Right on. Think big. I WAS big! I was president of the U.S.A.! I decimated the deficit. Crushed Milosevic! Slashed the welfare rolls and Rolls. Jelly rolls, fresh from the oven. Buns fresh from the oven. Buns. Fresh. Soft. Warm. Round. (This is followed by a doodle that has been scratched out.)
Bob (I'll say), why am I here, a million miles from Arkansas, staring at an empty sheet of paper wondering how she's filling her sheet sheets! of paper? It's all her fault.
PICK UP DRY CLEANING!
The big picture. Get the big picture. The big picture is obscured by a girl with big hair. Actually more than one. And lots of hair. Wonder what Denise is doing for lunch. ...
CALL BOB NOW!
Bob said, "Be honest and you will win our respect." Oh yeah, I can just see all the respect. "Our Commander in Briefs." "A Book Called Hype." "The Other Clinton."
So maybe I'll think small. (This is followed by doodle of a kitten.) Yes! I've got it! "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Socks But Were Afraid to Ask!" A cute little cat book! They'll sell it next to the register! I'll make millions!
Wait. I am making millions.
"Just write about your life." Thus sayeth Bob. Here goes.
"I was born in a town called Hope. I always wanted to be president. ... I just never wanted to be EX-president."
(Here some crumbs are stuck to the pad.)
Ooooh. I shouldn't have done that. I am so stuffed. But I guess I should finish the last Yodel. Hillary will be home any minute and oh jeez!
"I was born in a town called Hope. Now I am running out to the cleaners in Chappaqua. There's quite a story in between. Here goes."
Lenore Skenazy's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.