To see or not to see


Martha's Vineyard, Mass. -- THE presidential vacation on Martha's Vineyard is over, and no one here will ever be the same. The calls keep coming in from around the country: "Did you see the president?"

No one in his right mind would admit he didn't see Bill Clinton so we have to make things up.

"I saw him, but he didn't see me. That's why he ran over me in his golf cart."

"I didn't see him, but my best friend Tess has the same bathing suit as Hillary."

"We would have invited the Clintons to our cookout, but we didn't have enough steak."

"We missed hearing from the Clintons because our answering machine went on the fritz when they arrived."

"We're not talking to them. Fred and Bill were at Oxford together -- but when Fred waved to him at the airport, Bill didn't even know who he was."

"Ellen and I are not the types to make a big deal over the president and his wife on Martha's Vineyard. After all, they only rent and we own."

"I heard the president wants to join the Farm Neck Golf Club, but four conservative Democratic members are threatening to blackball him."

"I can't talk to you about what happened when they were here, but Hillary never returned my corn pudding recipe."

"I told the president if he really cared about Martha's Vineyard, he'd give every one of us a new septic tank."

"Bill and Hillary made us promise on the beach if we came to Arkansas to be sure and look them up."

"What I loved about the Clintons on the Vineyard is that they did everything we wanted to do."

"The president isn't much of a sailor, so I told him to sit in the back of the boat and shut up while I was tacking."

"We sent Chelsea a sparrow's egg from Chilmark so she owes us a thank-you note."

"Everyone in the press calls us rich and famous because the Clintons were here. That doesn't mean we don't use the same suntan shield on our bodies as the middle class."

"If I told you that we never dined with the Clintons the entire time they were on the island, would you believe me? I thought you wouldn't -- but that's our story and we're sticking to it."

"Susanna is mad at me because I wouldn't wait on State Road for four hours to wave to Bill as he went by. She claims I would have done it for Ross Perot -- which is not necessarily true, though Perot has a lot of good ideas."

"When we came to Martha's Vineyard, it was a quiet little island and the only thing that ever happened was the Queen Elizabeth crashing on the rocks outside our windows. I put the president's vacation in the same category."

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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