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Beatts Me!

A Catty Chat Between Two Political Animals

January 04, 1998|ANNE BEATTS

Scene: The Oval Office. BUDDY the dog is snoozing in a comfy nest of shredded documents when SOCKS the cat enters on little cat feet.

Buddy (dreaming he is chasing the postmaster general): Yowpf! Woof! Grrrrr!

Socks (disdainfully): You still here?

Buddy (growling): Get used to it, fluff ball.

Socks: I thought by now they would've given you back along with the rest of the illegal campaign contributions.

Buddy: Hey, I'm no Checkers. Nothing illegal about me, as long as he remembers to report me on his tax return.

Socks: Don't count on it. His memory has been shown to be highly selective.

Buddy: Besides, he likes me. He's promised to take me to McDonald's.

Socks: Don't you see he's just using you?

Buddy (protesting): But we have fun together. He scratches my tummy, and he makes Al Gore do it, too.

Socks: You dogs are so easy. One tummy scratch and you roll over. You remind me of the American people.

Buddy: Didn't he used to scratch your tummy, too?

Socks: Not just mine. Talk to Gennifer Flowers.

Buddy: You sound almost like, uh . . . a Republican.

Socks: Ever since you arrived, I've been having second thoughts about my political affiliation.

Buddy: You wouldn't!

Socks: Newt Gingrich has dangled some very attractive offers in front of me. Yarn, too. And I hear there are more mice than men in Congress. Currently, I'm mulling.

Buddy: But the Clintons rescued you and took you in when you were just a stray kitten, living paw-to-mouth on the mean streets of Little Rock. Don't you have any loyalty?

Socks: Loyalty? Welcome to Washington, Buddy.

Buddy: What about Chelsea?

Socks: Personally, I blame her for your presence. If she hadn't gone off to college, they wouldn't have had this void to fill in the White House. I don't know why they couldn't have just adopted Janet Reno and be done with it.

Buddy: Wow! You are catty.

Socks: Of course, I'm catty. I'm a cat. What else would I be?

Buddy: But you've still got Hillary. She loves you.

Socks: Oh, Hillary used to be a lot more fun. She didn't care whose feathers she ruffled. I used to love watching her make the fur fly. But now with this Whitewater thing, they've put a muzzle on her. Which is what they ought to do with you, if you ask me.

Buddy: I've been trained not to bite.

Socks: Ha! That's what they all say. Wait till you've been in this town as long as I have. It's a dog-eat-dog world. Sorry.

Buddy: But I'm man's best friend.

Socks: Not any more, you're not. Statistically, cats are now the most popular pet in this country. See? Newt's right. Just another example of the fact that Clinton doesn't have his finger on the pulse of the American people. He's out of touch with his cat-loving constituency.

Buddy: But presidents have always had dogs. It's traditional.

Socks: Bob Dole had a dog called Leader, but that didn't make him one. Bush had a dog--only served one term. Johnson had those pitiful hound dogs he picked up by the ears and he didn't even try to get reelected. And don't get me started on Nixon.

Buddy: What about FDR and Fala?

Socks: That was then, this is now. Cats are where it's at.

Buddy: But can you do all the things I can do? (Excited) I can run for miles, I can swim, I can retrieve birds in my mouth. . . .

Socks: Calm down. If you've ever watched CSPAN, I'm sure you've heard the expression "that dog won't hunt." That dog is you. The most hunting you and old lard-ass will be doing is chasing squirrels on the South Lawn.

Buddy: But I have a great nose. I can find anything that smells.

Socks: That could prove to be a real disadvantage for this administration. What's needed here is flexibility and the ability to jump quickly from one position to another. Like a cat. Get a clue, Buddy.

Buddy: Stop calling me Buddy. My real name is Teddy.

Socks: Like that famous Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt?

Buddy: No, like Teddy Pendergrass. (Howling) I'm a looove dog.

Socks: Hey, don't get any crazy ideas.

Buddy: Why not? Why can't we just get along?

Socks: You mean form a bipartisan coalition? Do a little interspecies bonding?

Buddy: It can get mighty cold in Washington. Couldn't we just snuggle up?

Socks: It's radical, but not any more so than a Democratic president signing the welfare reform bill.

Buddy: They say politics makes strange bedfellows.

Socks: Now you're learning.

BUDDY turns around three times and makes room for SOCKS amid the shredded documents. SOCKS daintily curls up next to him. They go to sleep, but SOCKS keeps one eye open.

* Anne Beatts is a writer who lives in Hollywood.

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