WASHINGTON, May 8, 2007 - You might imagine my disbelief. I phoned the East Wing to inquire upon the whereabouts of my missing invitation, only to be told by the new Neo-Nazi protocol woman, Ms. Hilda Gutterfunck, that my name was not on the list, and that should I attempt to pass the east gate on Monday evening, I would be turned back by a platoon of Marines. Such dreadful words! And after all that I have done for my friends in the White House, up to and including the indispensable PR advice I offered prior to the mid-term elections.

Well, I was not to be undone. I called Poppy's office, but was told by his Adjunct Administrative Assistant that he and Bar were spending the day with Bubba and Hillary in Kennybunkport. Then I called my friend, the night porter of the Mayflower, Mr. Leroy Otis Larue, who indeed had an extra invitation but the price he placed upon it, requests that broached moral turpitude, was too high. So, then I called St. James' Palace, but not even Charles was at liberty to help - he was in the garden tending organic turnips.

Just when I had abandoned all hope, I remembered the AIM SN of the nice White House steward I met on my last sojourn in Washington, and quickly sent a communication. Juan Phillipe came to the rescue - my own gold-embossed, faux calligraphy engraved invitation arrived in Paris the next morning by international courier.

So it was that I made my way into the East Room, there to be seated at a table on the opposite side of the banquette. This was not at all suitable, and so I approached the Nazi Gutterfunck, and explained the situation. I told her that I refused to sit in a slave gallery and demanded a place at the main table. She was not to be moved, until I mentioned the fact that I was in possession of a video of the East Wing Christmas Party that could be posted on You-tube. I was given a seat to the left of Her Majesty.

Where does one begin to describe the evening?

The President looked as if his white tie was choking him, but perhaps that expression resulted from reading the latest poll numbers. The First Lady has the remarkable ability to transform Oscar de la Renta couture to everyday wear simply by slipping it on — silk faille and crystal embroidery notwithstanding.

As for the Queen, well, no amount of re-spinning can really make Miss Havisham's wedding dress look cutting edge — that gown must have had two hundred years of royal mold upon it. None of that much matters, of course, for the secret to HRH's presentation is in the accessories, in this case, a tiara given to her by Queen Mary, a three-strand diamond necklace, a diamond bracelet, a pearl watch, three diamond brooches on a Duchess-blue blue cordon, diamond drop earrings and a silver purse. The sight would have been enough to give Lovie Howell the vapors.

The Widow Gipper was most annoyed that the cameras were not turned to her - poor thing, she looked like she was held together by masking tape, so it was just as well. By contrast, the Speaker always creates flash, an affect not difficult to achieve in a town infested with nerds and geeks. Otherwise, on the male side, Senator Cornpone had forced his girth into an unwilling evening suit (not perhaps of the finest quality, as the finest quality was not available in Senator's size), while Dr. Strangelove had forgotten his cummerbund. He said that although he had no recollection of where it was, he was not able, for security reasons, to divulge further information, and would not name his tailor. And speaking of old relics, there was Arnold Palmer, his golfing days long since a memory. Looking about, it wasn't clear if this was the age of Ford, the age of Nixon or 1959 all over again. The President, in the warm glow of candlelight, began to resemble Ike with hair.

Now the last time I was invited to a White House dinner, it was early in the first term, and in honor of cinco de mayo. This time round it was siete de mayo, and in place of chipolte and bison, the menu was transformed into pea soup, sole with almonds and lamb, carved out of respect to the Queen's palette, which is said to be adverse to spice. Bland was the world, right through to the rice pudding with marmalade, masquerading as petit fours.

On and on this went, until the entertainment was done and the dancing began. The Royal entourage, perhaps sensing that champagne and cowboy boots were a bad combination, took their liberty before the bewitching hour approached. I was not far behind, heading out into the spring night in search of haunts of more savory delight.

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