"There's a party in your in-box, and everybody's coming!"


WITZELSUCHT (vit'sel-zookt) [Ger.]  a mental condition characteristic of frontal lobe lesions and marked by the making of poor jokes and puns and the telling of pointless stories, at which the patient himself is intensely amused. 
-Dorland's Medical Dictionary, 27th ed.

"I'm just like you."

-LINDA TRIPP, leaving the US District Courthouse in Washington, July 29, 1998.

"You're just like me."

       -DENNIS HOPPER, beating up Kyle McLachlan in "Blue Velvet," 1986


What started twelve months ago as a one-shot lark to test a cranky email program mushroomed crazily out of control into a zany juggernaut that WASHINGTON CITY dubbed a "highly influential e-zine" informing and entertaining literally dozens of carefully selected subscribers from coast to coast and spawning a host of imitators, most notably National Journal's POLITICAL HOTLINE and THE DRUDGE REPORT.  It's been a dizzying, hectic year, living on a shoe string by the skin of our teeth, struggling to keep body and soul together, our nose to the grindstone, and the wolf from the door.  There were days when we thought we just couldn't go on, but a few key friends and sponsors -whom we honor in this issue- came through at critical moments (In particular, we'd like to thank RICHARD MELLON SCAIFE for his generous donation of no less than eleven roast chickens.)  In the end we came through bloody but unboned, and years from now we'll all look back on this as "WIT MEMO's first year."

But it wasn't all fun and games, and we can't get away from the fact that our first year was marked mostly by ABJECT FAILURE, innumerable times when we were way off the mark and ran clean out of the money.

We augured a quick death for FOX's ALLY MCBEAL, saying it stood as much chance of being around in a year as BILL WELD had of becoming Ambassador to Mexico.  Nobody remembers how JESSE HELMS single handedly squelched the ex-Mass-gov's fledgling diplomatic career, while Ally McBeal won a fanatical following and a mind-boggling ten EMMY NOMINATIONS.  I'll take that crow well done and on a stick, please.

We turned roadie with cool rock band KISMET, only to see the band break up the very next week (but stay tuned for the lowdown on progeny SIGNS POINT TO YES and POWDER PUFF DERBY (now LAVA).  We heaped praise on HBO's too-brainy MR. SHOW, and it soon went way of the dinosaur and common courtesy.

We had great sport in December poking fun at the BILL CLINTON SEXUAL HARASSMENT HOTLINE -"If you believe you have been sexually harassed by Bill Clinton"- tweaking founder Michael Riley of the Free Congress Foundation with smart-assed but folksy emails... and then a scant month later we learned POTUS really WAS out of control, hittin' on every halfway decent-lookin' thang with a hole and a heartbeat - which should have come as no surprise as we'd already limned POTUS'  "hankerin' for taters 'n' tail."

But it wasn't only a year of failure.  Like the blind pig that manages to stumble across an acorn or two, we also had brushes with success.  We solved the JonBenet murder mystery . . . we provided unprecedented and timely insight into the Death o'Di coverage and the scene at the British embassy . . . we called MTV on the carpet for its decision to stop airing music videos ... we saw two WIT MEMO FIRST EVER ANNUAL 1997 MUSIC AWARD winners go on to cop grammies just a few weeks later ... and our musings turned up in places as varied as DAVID LETTERMAN'S Top Ten List, THE GREASEMAN radio show, and WASHINGTON CITY

And, we had our share of bull's eyes with the White House joint-noshing scandal, despite choosing to sit out the one-liner fest ("In memory of [fill in latest tragic death], President Clinton ordered today that his pants be flown at half mast") as it's been done to death by folk who do that sort of thing full time.  [Not that we haven't loved ALL those jokes and been particularly amused by the unlikely characters chiming in:  last weekend Ohio Congressman JAMES TRAFICANT, JR. -whose bizarre fright-wig hair is so scary that it just has to be real- was heard reciting a bunch of by-now shopworn JOHNNY COCHRANisms about the wet-spot frock - if the tests show jism, you have the right to quiz him- that sort of thing.  We think it was well worth OJ getting off for that genre of adage to win staple status in our nation's laughter lexicon.]

Instead, we chose to look under stones others left unturned.  While the NYer magazine bemoaned the dearth of tasty scandal names, WIT MEMO minted the only moniker that successfully synthesized the essence of the alleged acts and POTUS' backwoods origins, so original that no one's dared rip it off, PECKERGATE.  And we presaged the scope of the whole magilla, predicting in October that the Paula Jones case would be the trial of the fin-de-siecle, "as big as OJ but a lot more fun:  tawdry as Marv AND nobody got killed, so your lurid pleasure needn't be diminished by anguished bellowing that my son was butchered." On that score we were on the nose.  Paula's suit may have been dismissed, but without it there'd be no POTUS deposition or Peckergate, and KEN STARR's grand jury would've been able to take their winter, spring, and summer vacations. (Whitewater?  What the hell is that?  Girlfriend, please!).  And true to our word,  PECKERGATE has spawned a heavy industry of lightweights (thanks, cable!) that makes the OJ coverage look like a kids' lemonade stand.

We were the ONLY media outlet to dub HILLARY CLINTON the MARY JO BUTTAFUCO of American politics, a handle all the more apropos now that the chorus of PUNDTWITS calls for a Presidential mea culpa.  WIT MEMO says don't hold your breath.  Big Joey didn't come clean until check-in time at the cross bars hotel, so don't look for BC to 'fess up any time soon.

And, finally, we've been the only ones to state the obvious, common-sense explanation why blowjob queen MONICA's confession on the LINDA TRIPP tapes is the gen-you-wine article:  if she was a self-aggrandizing fabulist who lied an affair with the cummander in chief to impress her friends, as some claim,  then why would tell THAT lie, in which the romance was never consummated and the assignations left her unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and bitter?  'Nuff said!

So what does the future hold for WIT MEMO?  Stay tuned!  The next year will see the birth of the WIT MEMO WEBSITE and the CENTER FOR DECONSTRUCTIONIST POLITICS (we support MARION BARRY (write in for DC mayor!), BOB DORNAN, and RON PAUL).  On the other hand, if we can manage to corner enough of the long green, we just might chuck it all and head out to the country and that catfish farm we've been dreaming about!


And now, WIT MEMO would like to thank our kind sponsors who made it all happen.  THESE ISSUES OF THE WIT MEMO WERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

KWAANZA KEEPSAKES AND COLLECTIBLES, Hyman Schwartzberg and Ho Jung Lee Park, Proprietors.
TOMS OF MAINE-and-FINLAND.  The organic toothpaste favored by brawny, beefy men in skimpy, cut-off lumberjack clothing.
PT INNOVATIONS, INC. . . .  The world leader in upskirt imaging technology.
The FOX TV HITS  --  DON'T GO THERE, GIRL!  the eagerly anticipated breakthrough in daytime audience-interaction programming, from the producers of YOU GO, GIRL! and GO AHEAD, GIRLFRIEND!, and,

From the creators of BAYWATCH, CODE BEER -- the sometimes- tragic, always-comic adventures of an emergency rescue team in a big-city beach resort town, who, trying to deal with the busy pressures of the long hot summer season, probably drink a little more than they should.  Join Chuck, Hamm, Jax, and Genny on CODE BEER as they race to save revelers from the life-threatening scrapes that flare up when the beer flows a little too freely, and a good party turns ugly.  Declare CODE BEER Saturday nights this fall on Fox!

The revolutionary comic stylings of the Middle East's brilliant new star, TARIQ, THE WACKY IRAQI.  Now slaying them three shows nightly at the Kirkuk Mecca Dome, with favorites from "Pardon My Scud" and "The 2,000 Year Old Suicide Bomber" on Hezbollah Records.

"A Jihad of laughter" -Bahgdad Times 
"Putting the fun back in fundamentalism"  -Shiite Sun Times
DUCKBUTTER'S, the rockin'-est, rip-roarin'-est, off-campus party bar in the quad-county area!  DUCKBUTTER'S has the best, pack-em-in drink specials all week long!  Monday is back-to-school night, happy hour starts at lunch and goes ALL NIGHT LONG!  Tuesday is Werewolf night, half-price Silver Bullets!  Wednesday is Jaegermeister chug-a-lug night, drink six shots of Jaeger during happy hour and get ten-cent beer ALL NIGHT LONG!  Thursday is Thoroughgood night, half-price bourbon, scotch and beer combos!  This Friday is mid-term night!  Show us your "F", get two-for-one shooters!  Saturday is civic duty night, designated drivers drink HALF-PRICE, ALL NIGHT LONG!  It's always Frat Week at DUCKBUTTER'S!  This week, Delta Upsilon Iota pledges get three-for-one Jello Shooters ALL NIGHT LONG!  EVERY night is ladies' night at DUCKBUTTER'S ... Wet t-shirt contests daily!  And stay late for the patented DUCKBUTTER'S feeding frenzy!  All drink prices SLASHED twenty minutes before closing time!  The party starts and ends at DUCKBUTTER'S!!  On Highway 51 right before the hospital ... step on it to beat the light!  DUCKBUTTER'S!  Now under NEW MANAGEMENT ... the barf smell is just about gone!
QUICKIE MART . . .  It's just like the Quickie Mart on THE SIMPSONS, only in real life!
And, finally, WIT MEMO would like to express its undying gratitude to THE MAKER'S MARK DISTILLERY, INC., epynomous distillers of MAKER'S MARK old sour mash Kentucky straight bourbon whisky.

See you in '98!!

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