by Anura Guruge
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At the time of the scandal Monica’s mother was living in the iconic Watergate Apartment Complex in D.C. This high-end complex housed a same day dry cleaning business run by an old, dour Chinese gentleman. Monica got most of her dry cleaning done at this place.
One day, after the scandal had run its initial course, Monica went to the dry cleaners carrying a blue dress.
The Chinese proprietor was just in the process of finishing a phone call as Monica breezed in through the door saying something. He didn’t catch what she had said.
So he says to Monica: “Come again”.
Monica replies: “No. No. Just a mayonnaise stain this time from a party I went to last night”.
Come on. Admit it. Brilliant … right?
In 1998 when the scandal broke my high-tech consulting business was at its height. I had some 30 or 40 clients, a 350 e-mail address mailing list that I sent out ‘flashes’ on a daily basis — and I was doing seminars like there was no tomorrow.
Though the technology was there I, probably because my business was so IBM-centric, wasn’t doing much on the Web per se other than e-mails. I didn’t have a Website or Blog at the time. I was even sending out my monthly 16-page Newsletter by mail or in some cases, if the client paid for it, via FedEx!
Well as was the case then people used to spend a lot of time and energy exchanging jokes and nude pictures via e-mail. With my ‘huge’ contact list I was getting, at a minimum, 40 jokes/nude pictures a day from folks around the World. You remember the drill. When you got a good joke/picture you were honor bound to forward it to your circle of friends.
Well, with Bill-Monica things just got out of hand. At one point I was getting 3 to 4 new jokes/pictures an hour. Plus I was getting requests from folks NOT to be stingy with the Monica jokes. So for about 3 months in early 1998 my consulting business also became a Monica Lewinsky Joke Forwarding operation. I was sending out at least 10 Lewinsky jokes/stories/pictures a day to my entire contact list of 350 (and growing daily). This list included folks in the U.K., France, Canada, Israel, Holland, India, Sri Lanka. So these jokes were going around the World and sometimes getting resent. It was wild. As was inevitable this branched into cigar jokes and my monthly newsletter started awarding cigars for various achievements — with 80% of the readership in on why I was awarding cigars.
So having Monica back in the news is kind of nostalgic for me. I am also very familiar with the Watergate Complex though I have never gone into it. From 1992 to 1994 I was visiting D.C. on a regular basis — for three, four days at a time. We actually had a semi-palatial place a few blocks from the D.C. zoo in the ‘Embassy Enclave‘. So I used to drive past the Complex to get on Rock Creek Drive a number of times a day.
Oh. In those days I was a rabid Conservative Republican that fervently believed that Ronald Reagan was God incarnate. So, I hated the Clintons! So much of the Lewinsky joke propagation had political overtones. I wanted Bill impeached! Wow. How we change over time. This is why I am still amazed with MYSELF that I will probably pound the streets for Hillary in and around Laconia and Gilford — as I thrice did for Obama!