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Wry Martinis.

Readers will be relieved to learn that "no animals were harmed in the making of" Wry Martinis -- a delicious compilation of Christopher Buckley's writings in such magazines as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Forbes FYI.

Some of the highlights (with chapter titles in quotes):

"Royal Eavesdropping." Charles and Camilla on the phone.

Camilla: I'm lying here in my Wellies and not a stitch else.

Charles: Well, I suppose it's better than what they've got me "inspecting" tomorrow, at seven-bloody-fifteen in the bloody a.m. Bloody poultry plant.

Camilla: But it's so lonely here. Just me and my Wellies...it feels so empty without you.

Charles: I'll tell you what empty is. The inside of her skull. Knock, knock, is anyone bloody home?

Camilla: Oh, darling, how frustrating for you.

Charles: Then she announced she was going to kill herself --

Camilla: What again? With the lemon peeler?

Charles: Oh no, with a soup ladle. This time she meant business.

"Apartment Hunter," written after the New York Post reported that O.J. Simpson was contemplating a move to NYC, includes excerpts from letters of recommendation the Juice submitted to a pricey New York cooperative. From Robert Kardashian: I have known Mr. Simpson for many years, I would describe him as a devoted family man. The crime problem in Brentwood persuades him that it is time to look elsewhere, to New York, with the children where they can have a "normal" upbringing.

From Johnie Cochran: His only desire right now, apart from seeing that the Colombian drug dealers who slew his ex-wife and her companion are brought to justice, is to raise his children in an atmosphere of serenity and security.

From Alan Dershowitz: Another of my clients, Claus Von Bulow, lived on Fifth Avenue, and my visits to his apartment brought considerable social stature to his co-tenants.

From A.C. Cowlings: He's got a gun to his head. You better let him come live in your building. Be cool with this. The response from the Cooperative Association: The board, recalling your statements regarding your activities on the night of June 12, 1994, took note of your predilection for nocturnal golfing on the premises. The board felt rather strongly that nocturnal golfing is inappropriate in a Fifth Avenue duplex, and therefore decided to pass on your application with the keenest regret.

"Lenin For Sale" created an international contretemps.

"It has come to our attention

through private channels that the

Soviet Union is preparing to make

a very unusual, indeed

unprecedented, offering, the embalmed

remains of V.I. Lenin," wrote

Buckley. "The reserve is set at $15

million. The winning bidder will

be contacted within three days. As

a conversation piece it would have

no equal. You might have some

explaining to do to the lady of the

home, but the item is fairly

compact and could be accommodated

to fit most large dens." Peter Jennings aired the story, and the Russians went ballistic. The phrases, "international incident," "brazen lie," and "serious provocation" were tossed around.

When Jennings retracted the story, he told journalists he had believed the report because it had come from Forbes, which he regarded "up to now as a responsible news organization."

Other news organizations expressed outrage and bemusement. One went so far as to demand Buckley be "drummed out of the international press corps."

Postscript: Six months later there was a story in The Washington Post saying the Kremlin had been "inundated with bids" ranging from $10,000 to $27 million for the corpse. Russian officials finally regained their sense of humor and told the Post everyone who submitted a bid would receive a polite letter declining the offer, but thanking them for their interest.

"Modest Proposals," deals with the complications of mad cow disease.

Berlin, N.H. -- Patrick J. Buchanan today proposed that the United States import the 4.7 million British cows affected by mad cow disease and deploy them across the U.S.-Mexican border to deter illegal immigrants.

Washington -- Mayor Marion Barry today offered to use Britain's mad cows to fill District of Columbia potholes. The one problem, he said, is that there are only 4.7 million cows and the District has 7.8 million potholes.

Fairfax, Va. -- The National Rifle Association today announced that it has offered to send its entire 3.3 million membership over to England to assist with its massive cowculling effort. NRA executive Wayne LaPierre said that if Britain did not have such stringent gun-control laws, "they'd have been able to nip this problem at the start." He called on Congress to immediately repeal the ban on some type of assault rifles, including the .50-caliber Elsie Eliminator, so that the membership can "do the job right."

Oak Brook, Ill. -- THE McDonald's Corporation announced today its plans to introduce a new line of sandwiches next month called Mad Macs. "My Own Private Sunday School" describes a conversation between Buckley and his 6-year-old daughter, Caitlin.

Caitlin (sweetly): Dad?

Dad: Yeah, honey?

Caitlin: Does everyone die?

Dad: Say, how 'bout a Flintstones pop-up ice cream bar?

Caitlin: But Dad, am I going to die?

Dad: Well, uh, I guess everyone dies. I mean, it's part of...what's your favorite part in "The Rescuers Down Under?"

Caitlin: But what happens after you die?

You can postpone this moment, but you can't avoid it. Ultimately, the important thing is to remain true to your convictions. If you lie, they'll pick up on it and never trust you again. Which is why, as an agnostic Dad -- difficult as it was -- I looked her right in the eve and said, "You go straight to heaven"
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Article Details
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Author:McElwaine, Sandra
Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1997
Words:942
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