GK: Time once again for Famous Celebrities (THEME), brought to you by WilMar, makers of UniFam. It is Mother's Day this weekend and of course famous people have mothers too and some of them are mothers, so let's see what they're up to. How about you, Mr. President?
TR (CLINTON): Well, I just think that mothers are so important. And I think that of all the things this Administration has accomplished, the things I'm most proud of were things we did for mothers.
GK: Like what?
TR (CLINTON): Well, there've been so many things, but for example, our bill to give a $15 tax credit to people who write at least once a month to their mothers, and then there was our National Nap Act, and the President's Task Force on Hugging, and----
GK: So there've been quite a few things.
TR (CLINTON): On the other hand, fathers are important too, and maybe we haven't done enough for fathers, so we're going to be looking at that too, and also at cousins. Our National Cousin Commission is looking at some proposals right now.
GK: Thank you. Mr. Perot---
TR (PEROT): You want to know something? We're losin our mothers to Mexico. It's as simple as that. Thousands of American mothers went there this winter and even more will go next year. Now that's what I call pulling out the driveway after the trailer's been unhitched. I say, we've got to keep our mothers at home. It's just that simple.
GK: How about you, President Bush?
TR (BUSH): Well, thinking of Mother's Day, and all the various memories that brings to mind ----And of course there's Bar, fine mother in her own right, gotta hand to it her, delivered the goods, and then there was my mother, I tell you.....nobody like her.....I remember when the chauffeur would come to take me to school, Mother always said, "Bunnyhuggins----" she called me Bunnyhuggins.....she said, "Bunnyhuggins....you go on to school and you try to talk in complete sentences now," so I did and always tried....still trying.....not easy....mind kind of races ahead, you know.....sometimes I like a martini to put on the brakes....yes sir. Call it my silver parachute.
GK: Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Dole, a word about Mother's Day?
TR (DOLE): Well, let me tell you something about Bob Dole's mother. She didn't bring up Bob Dole to think that it was going to be easy. No sir.
GK: I see.
TR (DOLE): And it's not.
GK: I see.
TR (DOLE): People keep talking about Bob Dole being uncomfortable with himself. Not true. Bob Dole is the same guy now that he was then.
GK: I see.
TR (DOLE): People wonder why Bob Dole is a little weird. It's not Bob Dole who's changed. The world has changed. That's the whole problem right there.
GK: Thank you, Senator. How about you, Julia----- what do you like to do for Mother's Day?
TR (JULIA): Oh, I always make my forty pound salmon loaf for Mother's Day.
GK: I see.
TR (JULIA): I take forty pounds of ground salmon and I shape it into the form of a small child. See? Make the nose and mouth and the cheeks and a couple of boiled eggs for eyeballs and I put a little T-shirt on it and shorts and I put an apple in its mouth and I bake it in the oven, and when I take it out, it always causes a few raised eyebrows.
GK: I can imagine.
TR (JULIA): Yes. Gives the children quite a start. Especially when I slice it. Like this....
GK: All right. Thank you. Mr. Secretary, how do you like to celebrate Mother's Day?
TR (KISSINGER): Well, I always call my Mother out in Bismarck, North Dakota, and I say hello and we talk, that's what I do.
GK: Your mother is in Bismarck, North Dakota?
TR (KISSINGER): Yes, she lives there in Bismarck. With my father. They're both there. In the house. That's where I grew up.
GK: You grew up in North Dakota?
TR (KISSINGER): Yes, of course. In Bismarck.
GK: I thought you were from Germany.
TR (KISSINGER): No, no, goodness no. Bismarck. Do you know where North Dakota is?
GK: Yes, of course. But your accent, Mr. Kissinger. Isn't that a German accent?
TR (KISSINGER): I suppose it is. Yes.
GK: You learned that in North Dakota?
TR (KISSINGER): No, no, I got this accent when I went to Harvard. You ever hear how people out in North Dakota talk?
TR (KISSINGER): Well, you can't talk like that and go to Harvard. People will think you're a dummy.
GK: I see.
TR (KISSINGER): You talk like this, they think you know something.
GK: I see. How's your mother?
TR (KISSINGER): She's just fine. Thank you.
GK: Good. Thank you. Mr. Rogers? Do you call up your Mother on Mother's Day?
TR (ROGERS): Yes, of course, I call up my mother. I call her up after three o'clock in the afternoon. Because my mother lives in a big pink apartment building on the Strip in Las Vegas. Yes, she does. My mother lives in a building with a giant pink rabbit on top of it and she goes to work as a blackjack dealer every night at ten and comes home at seven in the morning. And that's how Mr. Rogers started to talk like this. Because he had to be very quiet while Mother got her rest. Yes, he did. But sometimes Mr. Rogers would go and move Mother's hands while she was sleeping. Just like she was my puppet. Yes, I did. And I'd move her lips and make her say things. I made her say, "I like you just the way you are. I like you even more the way you are than I like Dad the way he is."
GK: Mr. Rogers---
TR (ROGERS): I'm speaking to the children now.
GK: I'm sorry.
TR (ROGERS): I didn't say it was time for questions now, did I?
GK: I guess not.
TR (ROGERS): I'm a friend of children.
GK: That's good.
TR (ROGERS): And that's because I trust children.
GK: I'm glad you do.
TR (ROGERS): I wouldn't trust you farther than I could throw you.
GK: Thank you. That's all the time we have today (THEME) for Famous Celebrities, brought to you by MarCon, makers of DelRay. (OUT)
© 1996 Garrison Keillor