Friday, December 04, 2009

Majority Whip

Yesterday on a long boring ride up to LA, I had one of those flashbacks to another time. The year was 1972 and Vern won a trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl game to be played there. A gang from Xerox went and an all-out week of drunkeness and parties ensued. We had brunches with Bloody Maries and Mimosa's at places like Brennans and The Court of Two Sisters. Group dinners were held at the many revered dining spots in the city but the dinner at Antoines sticks out most clearly in my memory.At the next table were members of Nixon's staff and cabinet. John Mitchell, Romney, Jeb McGruder, John Dean and Erlichman were faces most of us recognized. They were being hosted by military equipment manufacturers and huge construction companies. The wine and food were flowing heavily and their dinner put ours (which was amazing to me) to shame.

Later that night, we were all at Pat O'Brians still drinking and by this time singing Irish songs. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to look into the beefy red face and watery blue eyes of Tip O"Niell, the democratic majority whip. He said, "Baby, baby - wanna go to an orgy?" and shoved one of his cards into my hand. I stammered for an answer and finally said something like - no my husband wouldn't be interested. He turned back to his companions, singing and swilling.

It was the only orgy I was ever invited to and I was "chosen" for the invitation because of the seating. I happened to be in the chair directly behind the man who I doubt was very discriminating at that time of night/morning. Too much beer and partying! In one of my many moves, I lost the card. Too bad.

It's hard for me to imagine even surviving a week like that one again in my life.

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