Inside the Washington chambers of Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr:
Starr: Thank you for coming to see me.
Witness No. 1,993: No problem. So what's this all about? Some lady with a clipboard stopped me outside The Gap and said something about a free lunch.
Starr: Right. But before we get to that, I'd like to ask you a few questions.
No. 1,993: I get it. Is this one of those focus groups? You're doing some kind of survey?
Starr: In a way, yes.
No. 1,993: Fire away. I've got opinions on everything, the last "Seinfeld," the Lilith Fair lineup, the new Beetle. Do I get free movie tickets or store coupons for doing this? I could sure use some new CDs.
Starr: Why don't we get started. How long have you had firsthand knowledge of the president's sex life?
No. 1,993: What?
Starr: Was it something he let slip or did you catch him in the act?
No. 1,993: I don't know what you're talking about. I've never even met the man.
Starr: Well, be patient. You will eventually.
No. 1,993: You can arrange that?
Starr: Look, President Clinton claims he's met hundreds of thousands of people over the last eight years. He'll get around to you, and when he does, I want you to be prepared. From now on, I need you to wear this hidden microphone taped to your chest at all times.
No. 1,993: Gee, I don't know. My chest is pretty hairy. Just last week I found a pair of Baltimore Colts tickets I lost back in high school.
Starr: While you're thinking it over, why don't you treat yourself to some CDs. Here's my American Express card.
No. 1,993: On second thought, Scotch or duct tape?
Starr: Hi there. Welcome. I was wondering if you know anyone who's fooled around with the president?
Witness No. 12,828: No, can't say that I . . .
Starr: Think. Maybe she didn't put it that way. She referred to, I don't know, hoochie koochie?
No. 12,828: No.
Starr: Going all the way?
No. 12,828: Nope.
No. 12,828: Sorry.
Starr: The birds and the bees -- ring a bell?
No. 12,828: Ring a bell? I've never heard it called that before.
Starr: So you're telling me that no one has ever personally told you that the president has scored more often than Wilt Chamberlain?
No. 12,828: Not that I recall.
Starr: Well, you're lying.
No. 12,828: I am?
Starr: Of course you are. I just mentioned it, didn't I?
No. 12,828: My gosh, you're right!
Starr: Think of all the other incriminating evidence you must be suppressing.
No. 12,828: I -- I had no idea.
Starr: Relax. I'm here to help. Fellas, bring in the hypnotist.
Witness No. 103,677: How've you been?
Starr: I'm the one asking the questions here.
No. 103,677: Whatever you say, boss.
Starr: You look awfully familiar. Have we met?
No. 103,677: Don't you remember? I was witness No. 512 back when you were doing the door-to-door campaign in Little Rock. Things got a little confusing when I said I knew "everything about white water" and you didn't know I was talking about rafting. So you injected me with truth serum, and all I could confess was my fantasy of getting frisked by Janet Reno.
Starr: So what are you doing here now?
No. 103,677: This time your henchmen pulled me out of line at Home Depot when they heard me talking about "Clinton dirt." I tried to tell them I'm a gardener in Clinton, Maryland, but they just said, "Tell it to the judge."
Starr: Oh, for Pete's sake. So you still don't have anything on the president?
No. 103,677: No, sorry. But as long as I'm here, could I get a copy of that videotape of my Janet Reno fantasy? Things get kind of lonely in Clinton . . .
Starr: Get out of here! Scram!
No. 103,677: All right, all right. See you again in a few months.
Starr: It says here you're a woman.
Witness No. 5,000,001: You're a quick study. No wonder this investigation is taking so long.
Starr: Enough chitchat. Tell me, have you had an affair with President Clinton?
No. 5,000,001: Wha -- are you kidding? I didn't vote for the man. What makes you think I'd throw down with him?
Starr: Throw down? What does -- never mind. Do you know anyone who's had a presidential affair?
No. 5,000,001: No, I don't.
Starr: All right. Know anyone who knows anyone who has?
No. 5,000,001: I don't think so.
Starr: What about someone you know who knows someone who knows someone who's had an affair with him?
No. 5,000,001: How would I know that? The chances are pretty remote if you ask me.
Starr: Not really. It's just a matter of time before I find a friend of a friend, or a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who knows something, or better yet, has actually done something.
So before you go, here's an independent counsel refrigerator magnet in case you need to reach me. It has my home, office, fax and pager numbers as well as my e-mail address.
No. 5,000,001: Oh, OK.
Starr: And take this key chain, too. It also has all my info.
No. 5,000,001: How convenient.
Starr: Let's see, I've also got pens, bumper stickers, hair barrettes, fanny packs, beach towels, bottle openers, coffee mugs, pen knives and mouse pads. Here, share them with your family and friends. I insist.
No. 5,000,001: Gee, thanks.
Starr: Remember, if you're calling from outside Washington, dial 1-800-GET-BILL. Call any time!
Pub Date: 5/25/98