from July 1, 2004
It has become common for ex-presidents who have undergone the humiliation and money-drain of impeachment to write best-selling autobiographies, in order both to set the record straight or at an angle of their own choosing, and to refill the coffers that have been ransacked by their loyal, high-minded defense attorneys.
As the presumptive candidate for president on the ticket of the Dead Rights Party, I wish to alter this grand tradition by composing my own best-selling autobiography before the scandals have been uncovered. This massive volume, tentatively entitled My Life in a Coconut Shell, will appear sometime between Election Day (or the day after all the votes in Florida and Cook County have been recounted) and the day of my inauguration as the 40-somethingth president of these United States.
There is a good reason for this revolutionary step. I am already dead. The scandals and perversions of my past are behind me; I have been cremated and thus purified for almost 46 years, though I should note that this radical act seems to have had no deleterious effect on my ability to patch English words together into something resembling a sentence, a paragraph, sometimes even a column. I also speak German and Russian, and, when I have the time and inclination, occasionally I can come up with the mot juste.
I have already taken steps toward finishing this colossal project. My first was to choose one from among the myriads of agents who have sought to represent me. She will remain nameless—which is not to say that I have had sex with her (Disclosure: I have not even lusted after her; cremation will do that to a guy).
My second step was to come up with a book proposal. Publishers are funny about that. They want to know what the book will be about. I have had to tell them that it will be about my life, or, more precisely, my life in the pre-ashen state. Thus the title, which, after much deliberation, I decided were the mots justes.
Before signing a contract, the publishers my agent had slept with wished to have more information. They wanted to know, in a general way, more about my life.
To this request I could not say No. Thus I set aside fifteen minutes from my busy campaign schedule to outline the book on a 3 x 5 card. This outline is as follows:
1. Enemies list (someone or something, preferably an immense conspiracy, to blame for any indiscretions uncovered);
2. Brief chapter on religious convictions (existence of God, sense of chosenness by same);
3. Hardships encountered (e.g., birth in a mud hut to an unwed teenager);
4. Courageous acts performed (e.g., singlehandedly, and under intense enemy fire, rescuing, one by one, a battalion of buck privates in one—possibly both—of the world wars);
5. Courageous acts yet to be performed (rid the world of terrorism without resorting to bloodshed, get everybody to love America, grant dead folks and talking parrots over the age of 18 the right to vote);
6. Choosing ghost writer (preferably a living specimen with a gift for selecting le mot juste).