Sep 052003

The other night the girlfriend and I, as we often do, were eating pastrami at Katz’s on the Lower East Side, the last place in New York to slice its pastrami by hand. Katz’s, like many famous old restaurants, is decorated with photographs of the owner and various celebrities. Politicians flock to the place like moths to flame: Mayors Koch through Bloomberg, Al Gore, Soviet Premier-for-a-Day Konstantin Chernenko, and Bill Clinton, who receives the special commendation of a note saying what he ate. Two hot dogs, a pastrami sandwich, and fries, washed down, in a sudden show of restraint, with a diet ginger ale and a decaf coffee. For lunch. Now Katz’s pastrami sandwiches are not of the Brobdingnagian proportions one finds at Carnegie or Stage, but they are more than ample, and the dogs aren’t exactly anemic either. We watched a little girl wander over to the table, read the list with widening eyes, and return to her mother, gesticulating wildly. (“Mommy! Mommy, look what the President ate!”) I will leave to the polibloggers the question of Clinton’s rank as a policy-maker. His place as the most porcine President in American history remains secure.

  5 Responses to “Make Mine Diet”

  1. Come now…surely Taft beats out Clinton for that honor.

  2. I thought of Taft. He was fatter, but more the walrus type, lacking the tiny red eyes and snub nose that distinguish the truly porcine.

  3. Well…OK, you got me there.

  4. What makes a person porcine instead of walrus-like? It can’t be solely the mustache.

    Could it be that Clinton overate, yet was ashamed of overeating? Clinton’s fat "problem" always seemed to weigh heavily on his mind (ahem!). Taft, on the other hand, certainly wasn’t ashamed of his weight. In those days a portly figure was a badge of honor, a sign of personal prosperity: It meant that you always had more than enough to eat.

  5. Clinton is a 7-7-1, which I believe sheds light not only on his voracious appetite(s), but on his policy making as well.

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