Dear Aunt Sophie,
I’ve just written my autobiography and it’s getting rotten reviews. That doesn’t bother me, because I’m used to criticism, but even so, I could use a little TLC, if you know what I mean.
Honestly, I don’t understand the bad reviews. How can you pan an autobiography? It’s my story, so who’s to say it isn’t good?
Also, some people are saying I lied. How anyone can accuse me of lying in my own book is beyond me. I was there. They might have been there, too, but heck it’s my book. If I say something happened, it happened. You can count on it. Anyway, I don’t see how they can talk about my having made stuff up when they’re all running to see that skuzzy fat boy’s new documentary. Now that’s a liar.
But what really gets me is that some people say it’s dull. It’s the classic American story of a poor boy making good. I came from a dysfunctional family. And then I became the President of the United States – me, a poor boy from a screwed-up family. How can that be dull? I’m the most interesting thing I can imagine.
Just between you and me, I think the problem might be that everybody is so darn serious these days. All they want to talk about is Iraq and Abu Ghraib and Bin Laden (did you know I almost got him?). They just don’t seem to care half as much as they used to about what really makes the world go round - sex. I did have plenty of it, but I couldn’t put everything in the book or people wouldn’t be able to carry it around. So I left out a number of names and dates.
I feel kind of bad about Monica. I hope the girl is OK. She seems to be, even though she says she’s hurt. I guess she’ll adjust. I have to admit it was pretty tacky, but I could do it, so I did.
Telling my wife was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She never acts tacky so she doesn’t understand it when I do. That’s always been a problem for us, but we’ve settled it pretty well by now. If you know someone long enough you learn how to adjust. I had to sleep on the couch for a couple of months, but she adjusted. We don’t sleep in the same house any more. You know, she’s not making as much on her book as I am on mine and I think she may be a little jealous. When we were young she was always the one who made the big bucks. But she’ll adjust.
Anyway, deep down I know I couldn’t have written a bad book. After all, I’m making a s***load of money on it. But what can I do to feel better about myself?
PS - If I knew what you looked like I’d invite you for hamburgers and Coke and we could talk about my book. Send me a picture?
There are several ways an autobiography can deserve bad reviews. One is for it to be horribly written - you know, lots of short, colorless sentences describing the neighbor’s asphalt siding and the cracks in the sidewalk on the way to school. Another is for it to be so full of self-justification and self-pity that the reader is left hoping against hope that the author will expire halfway through, even though he knows better.
Fiction is problematic in an autobiography, too, although if yours weren’t full of whoppers no one ever would believe you’d written it. If you don’t want people revising your recollections in the courts, you should confine your inventions to people who can’t dispute you – like Vince Foster. And that bit about sleeping on the couch – maybe the Lincoln Bedroom was overbooked, but do you mean to say there wasn’t another unoccupied bed anywhere in the house?
Your almost-autobiography befits a man who almost inhaled, almost got Bin Laden and almost had sex. If only you’d almost been elected.
As anyone who’s been near an airport in the last couple of years has noticed, the world has changed considerably since you were president. It is a more serious place. How different it might have been for us all if your time in the Oval Office had been devoted to something other than devising novel uses for your double coronas.
So what can you do to feel better about yourself? Just keep stuffing the dough into the bank and try not to get sucked into that big vacuum where your conscience almost was. You’ll adjust.
Good luck and God bless.
PS - If you’re making all that money why do you only offer me hamburgers and Coke?