Decision '92, or maybe not


Alook at Ross Perot's diary:

July 17 -- Know what would be neat? Running for president. Living in the White House. Padding around in your jammies through the same office Lincoln used. Sitting in the cockpit of Air Force One and pretending you're firing a 30-cal. machine gun at an Iraqi jet fighter. Having the Secret Service boys shoot you to the front of the line to see "La Cage Aux Folles."

Maybe someday this ol' Texas boy'll think about running for. . . oh, that's right. I just suspended my campaign yesterday.

Call me crazy, but I'm getting the itch to run again. Hell, I might get back in the race tomorrow! No, check that. Got a dentist appointment in the morning.

July 20 -- Can you believe this?! There's a picture of me on the cover of Newsweek and they got "QUITTER" in the kind of huge headline you haven't seen since: "JAPS BOMB PEARL HARBOR!"

That did it! I'm getting back in the race tomorrow. We'll make a few calls to the media and . . . wait a minute. We're playing bridge tomorrow with the DuPonts.

July 23 -- I'll tell you this: If you're not running for president, there's not a whole lot to do around here. Had the maid checked out by my security people. Margot says there's some silverware missing, and one or two of those Sheraton bath towels we both like. The thick, fuzzy ones I stuck in the suitcase last time we were in L.A.

July 30 -- This is why you shouldn't listen to people. Few months ago, my so-called advisers told me: "Ross, you're too dang short to run for president. The American people'll never vote for a fella no biggern' your average seventh-grader."

So we bought this big ol' stretching machine, put it down in the basement. Big, black, rack-type thing, looks like something Torquemada used. You lock your feet in one end and your arms in the other, and someone cranks this lever and your body st-r-e-t-ch-es.

So much for great ideas. Haven't grown an inch. Now Margot wants me to get rid of the damn thing. I'll probably put an ad in the classifieds. We paid $1,200 for it, but I'd let it go for $700 on account of all the bloodstains.

Aug. 5 -- Margot caught me jabbing the cat with the fireplace poker again. The media ever gets hold of this one, it's bye-bye any shot at President Perot. Maybe Margot's right. Maybe I do have to get out of the house more.

Aug. 16 -- Spent a full hour in front of the bathroom mirror studying my ears. I don't see what the big deal is. They don't stick out that much. Ed Rollins said to me: "Ross, the American people'll never vote for a fella with those ears. You're worth $3 billion. Spring for the operation."

Easy for him to say. He oughta worry about himself, spring for a hair-weave.

Sept. 1 -- Another slow day, so I had the gardener checked out by my security people. All I know is, he was trimming the hedges in the back yard near the table where we had those Holiday Inn ashtrays. Now they're gone.

Sept. 7 -- Margot caught me chasing the cat with a letter opener. What happened was, I was dozing on the couch when he jumped up on my face. Scared the hell out of me.

Sept. 16 -- Neither Bush nor Clinton has any handle on reviving the economy. I don't know why. What I do know is that America needs a decisive leader.

Which is why I might run again.

Or maybe not.

Sept. 20 -- Eenie, meenie, meinie, moe, catch a tiger by the toe . . . it's no use. Can't make up my mind about running. Maybe after I take the car to Jiffy Lube tomorrow Margot and I can talk this whole thing over again.

Sept. 26 -- That Larry King is a heckuva fella. Doesn't beat you up like the rest of the media. Just a super individual. I had my security people check him out. One of his ex-wives threw him down a flight of steps once, but apparently he had it coming

'cause he was fooling around with Angie Dickinson.

Besides, Margot did the same thing to me when I quit the presidential race.

That Margot, she has some temper.

Sept. 30 -- OK, this is it. Heads I run, tails I don't . . . damn! Coin rolled under the couch. What is that, tails?

OK, make it two out of three.

OK, three out of five.

Oct. 1 -- Aw, what the hell. Might as well run again. Margot says I'm driving her nuts around here. Got into a big row with the new maid, Luisa. Accused her of taking those little shampoo bottles we got at the Ramada. Turns out Luisa was off that day. Anyway, she got all huffy and walked out on us, so we're looking for a new maid.

Is that the cat scratching at the door?

Let's call a press conference.

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