My Comic Mom – 2/28/2000

When I was a young girl in upstate New York, my best friend’s mom was my comic mom. My own mother was very funny with a mordant Irish Catholic wit, but with five kids, she didn’t have a lot of time. My best friend’s dad was a thoracic surgeon, so although there were four kids in her family, her mom had help, leisure time and disposable income.

We listened to her comedy albums: Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley. She got the Fredericks of Hollywood catalogue before anyone on her or my block, and would do dramatic readings of lingerie descriptions. She would call our house and say, “Channel Four, right now,” and hang up and I would turn on the television and there would be Bette Midler on Merv Griffin for the first time.

I had been watching Impeachment Kabuki Theater, like some bizarre Internet chat room come to life. People were wandering in and out, responding to statements made hours before, taking no responsibility for anything they said.

Henry “Human Life Amendment” Hyde was our chat room host treating John Conyers from Michigan seated on his left as if it were his job to get him snacks.

So I decided to give my old friend a call. She’s almost eighty now and has a few health problems. Before I could get a word in, she told me she thinks she has Alzheimer’s Lite because she’d just written a check to “Blue Cross, Blue Cheese.”

I told her I was the designated watcher of the Taliban Lite Show among my more fully employed friends and the only way I could stand it was by combining my watching with working out on the second hand Stairmaster in my bedroom. She said, “You must be half-way up Mt. Washington by now.”

She told me that when she was teen in her little farm town in northern New York, she and her gal pals savored a very racy joke. Whenever some authority figure would make a pronouncement, they would finish it with a side-mouthed “under the sheets” and crack themselves up. She said that she found herself yelling her old punchline at the TV during the hearings and it had given her a very helpful perspective.

Her insight added a missing aerobic dimension to my workout.

When Representative Asa Hutchinson, who I suspect is mostly showing off for his brother, said the President lied to the American people – Under the sheets!

When Rep. Lindsay “Never Met a Tobacco Lobby He Didn’t Like” Graham, said that he was going to vote his conscience – Under the sheets!

When Representative Makes no Sensenbrenner says this is the hardest thing he’s ever done – Under the sheets and wait until you try to get re-elected!

When constitutional scholar, Representative The Widow Bono, says this will destroy sexual harassment laws – Under the sheets!

I think the National Director of Communications be Larry Flynnt.

His job is to put captions under every talking head and he should follow the example of Jesse the Body Ventura.

Bill “The Bone” Clinton.

Bob “The Bottom” Barr.

Arianna “The Beard” Huffington.

We also need term limits on pundits. Pundits have been punditing that this whole sorry shmegege is a referendum on the morals of the 60’s. Well, maybe the 1860s. It’s the last remnant of the Civil War.

We are not approaching Y2K. This is Y3K, Ku Klux Klan. Or Y3C, if you prefer the softer sound of the Concerned Citizens Councils. (Not that the Democrats are much better. They are the other white meat.)

“Will the Senator from Mississippi please repeat that? We cannot hear you under the hood.”

Or under the sheets.

Kate “Can I get a witness?” Clinton is a humorist.