Good Lord. I thought, “Is everyone in Arkansas related to the Blythes and the Clintons? Hard to believe that our ex-president can trace his lineage all the way back to the Irish kings and probably with a more accurate genealogy might be distantly related to Jesus.

“Elvis” leaves out nothing except his bowel movements as he relates his childhood memories of growing up poor and on the other side of the tracks. We learn early that his puberty was normal and the only time he suffered from concupiscence (horniness) was when he was under stress. Ah! To lead a stress-free life absolved from the rigors required of cold showers and morning doses of saltpeter. If only my own brothers had been as blessed as Clinton.

I nodded off several times through the first 200 pages, my head drooping occasionally to the open page and then rousing myself to read on until I finally reached the photo layout stuck between pages 282 to 283. Unfortunately, the photo pages do not count as reading material, and one must plunge ahead to page 602, where a determined reader is greeted with another seven pages of viewer delights. Try as I might, I could not continue this marathon read and could only digest several pages every few days. At one point, my eyes closed, and, when I awoke, I discovered that I had hit the meaty part.

The name Monica Lewinsky caught my eye, and I avidly read through the drool-stained pages. When I sleep, I sometimes sleep with my mouth open, unknowingly drooling. So I wiped the spit with a paper towel and, to my delight, found that it had only leaked through three pages and not one was blue. Kenneth Starr wouldn’t be able to accuse me of anything other than drooling copious amounts of saliva.

Reading about the Republican assault on the presidency from Clinton’s perspective is enlightening. I am afraid that Clinton is much too charitable to the pin-headed moralistic and self-righteous Kenneth Starr and company. He also gives former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich a bye in not explaining how Newt and the boys were attempting to dismantle our government and force a parliamentary form of government on the yokels outside the corridors of power.

From my perspective, the “Contract for America” failed because the smell of Clinton blood took precedence over the hard Republican swing to the right, causing the Republicans to lose sight of their agenda. Clinton observes that “Gingrich had proved to be a better politician than I was. He understood that he could nationalize a midterm election with the contract, with incessant attacks on the Democrats, and with the argument that all the conflicts and bitter partisanship in Washington the Republicans had generated must be the Democrats fault since we (the Democrats) controlled both Congress and the White House. …The nationalization of midterm elections was Newt Gingrich’s major contribution to modern electioneering.”

Kenneth Starr, meanwhile, continued his persecution of the Whitewater red herring and spending millions in taxpayer dollars until he unearthed a splotch of genetic material that a trip to the cleaners could have eradicated. Starr rallied his posse of rabid Republicans and, among the antipathy of a citizenry more in tune with Clinton than America’s new moralists, spent millions more on a failed impeachment. Hooray for sin! Forgiven but never forgotten.

Yes! It took most of the summer to finish reading this holy chronicle and, upon completion, I can affirmatively state that the next few months leading to our presidential election will allow us another look into the Machiavellian world of politics; but, after all, it is the only real soap opera available to our hard-pressed media.

The amazing thing about Clinton is that he rose as high as he did in an America that has often looked toward an aristocracy for guidance and assurance. Clinton proved to the American electorate that a good intelligent politician evincing a firm grasp of situational ethics and rising from the grassroots has a charisma unknown in the world of the country club set. Three hundred pages fewer of family life, relatives, friends, and love would have made it a more interesting, read but what the hell. We all love cornpone. By Flora Nerk

Remember how it was in the days of old when the summer recess ended, and we trudged back to school. The teacher’s first request was to write a short essay that was always titled “What I did on my summer vacation.” As we gazed around the class, we noticed that some were busy scribbling away and others were staring off into space, trying to conjure up something that would make interesting reading when we knew that we were usually bored out of our gourds for most of our summer vacation.

Far removed from those years and well placed into adulthood, I thought that I’d spend my idle time during this rainy summer productively and catch up on my reading. Off I marched to Talking Leaves. Upon entering, I was greeted by a large picture of Bill Clinton touting his newly published tome, My Life. The first thing I noticed on picking up the book was its heft. I quickly discovered that it had more pages than the Gutenberg Bible and definitely weighed more. It took both hands to hold it up. Plunking down $35, I lugged my purchase home, luckily not rupturing a disc or giving myself an abdominal hernia.

Placing it upon my kitchen table, I began to read page after tedious page, sometimes attempting to balance it on its spine while grasping it with both hands. My hands quickly started to shake, and my forearms and wrists ached from the strain. Having been treated for carpal tunnel syndrome, I quickly decided that I needed something else to support the book. I settled for the pillow off my bed propping the book where I usually rest my head and I read on and on and on.