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Having sent his report to Congress, Kenneth Starr looks for work.

Insofar as this document is complete, unbiased, and truthful, the special prosecutor herein discloses the process of investigation and the results of that process from their earliest antecedent.

Background Notes on

the Investigation and

Preliminary Findings

November 1998

I have perfected the sweep-and-grasp method of cleaning the gutters and am pleased to report that they are pristine. Received via the post a box of novelty “Monica cigars” on the occasion of the presidential bachelor-party/roast, courtesy, the label reads, of my “friends at The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” who is officiating at the farce. I discarded the thing immediately, along with a churlish letter and contract from Pepperdine.

I spend much of the day organizing my files and awaiting Ms. Reno’s phone calls. She is suspiciously uninterested in an investigation into the vice president’s fund-raising activities, which even the public, with its ill-placed supply of goodwill, understands to bear scrutiny. There’s the mail….

…Another query from Pepperdine, but I’m afraid the schedule of justice does not adjust for the arbitrary deadlines of academia. When I came to the door, careful to negotiate the strip of thick plastic sheeting which protects the white carpet, the mail carrier said, “Beats working, huh?” which I take to mean he believes me unemployed. He wears lifts in his shoes. I did not dignify his query with a retort, but he obliviously carried on, chanting the infuriating verses of that cartoon ditty, the one that begins with a pair of boxer shorts sitting on the Capitol Hill steps:

What’s a grand jury?

It’s all pretty blurry.

Won’t someone explain this to me

In a hurry?

This guy Starr has a beef

With the Commander in Chief

Oh, sometimes I wish

I were somebody’s briefs.

Schoolhouse Rock. I found the dancing chicken leg, the animated white-water raft, and the gate reading “Travel Office” to be in especially poor taste, and it is with great relief that I learn this travesty is no longer on the air.

December 1998

The contract for an on-call driver has run out at the law office, but I find Federal Express equally convenient. Apparently, Ms. Reno is no longer taking calls, although it is obvious that Dan Burton’s out-of-wedlock child indicates a wellspring of perfidy elsewhere. I have also discovered on my sojourns to Front Royal Video that their copy of Company Gator: 15 Ways to Serve Cajun Sirloin has been loaned out no fewer than six times. This is a clear indication that James Carville is not a native Louisianan. Check birth records: New Jersey, Iowa, Arkansas. I also have it on good authority that Mary Matalin streaks her hair.

The incompetence of peons never ceases to amaze me. Ms. Reno’s secretary can tell me nothing, but almost certainly the Attorney General’s office is determined to disregard the Burton situation. It is too late—I received a flier in the mail for his re-election campaign that sported a photograph of Grover Cleveland in a shameless gesture of defiance toward the American people. I heard a distinct snicker from the mail carrier as he unloaded this monstrosity into my mailbox. The carrier’s name is Jim Slatsky, as I’ve found, so I will know to treat his hypocritical cries of “Merry Christmas” with a grain of kosher salt.

January 1999

The new year brings nothing from Ms. Reno, now permanently in absentia, and a multitude of forms and what look like handwritten letters from Pepperdine, via registered mail. Slatsky insinuated a copy of some entertainment publication in my post. I tried to tell him it wasn’t mine, but he was squashing my lawn hastily in the direction of Mrs. Lalune’s house next door—the widow with the kimonos. She has yet to buy drapes.

The publication, while vulgar, is interesting. I will fly to Los Angeles next week for a meeting with someone named Puffy. So far his accusations against one Marion “Suge” Knight are unfounded and therefore ripe for dismissal; it’s clear his organization needs a professional. Once again I have overcooked the Wednesday night halibut, although I adjusted the cooking time for my requisite 3-ounce serving. Very distressing.

…The meeting was a perfect fiasco. I learned in no uncertain terms that he is to be called Mr. Combs and was prevented from seeing him through a series of lamentable misunderstandings in the front office, which struck me as more lounge or pool hall than place of business. It is incomprehensible to me that these people have not read a newspaper in the last four years, as my name made no impression on them at all. The scent of shady doings was everywhere. My offer to neutralize the threat of their rival, Mr. Knight (they call him something else entirely, by the way), was met by an extraordinary interpretation on the part of Mr. Combs’ organization. I left in fear for my life.

The mail has piled up in my absence. How did Slatsky get it all through the slot? I have the feeling he got in, somehow, with the help of Mrs. Lalune. Her feet must be freezing in those little shoes with the pompoms on top. Last night, I dreamed of the Investigation: All I can recall is a photograph in the Post in which the Witness and I were tumbling, smiling, from a limousine in front of the courthouse, and reporters were murmuring, “Oh, look—they must be together. He’s a lucky man.” I had the feeling that I was enveloped in warm water and woke up inexplicably happy. The vagaries of my subconscious make me shudder.

February 1999

Clocked Slatsky delivering next door—2:38! How much mail can a widow get? He definitely wears lifts. Cannot discern a wedding ring under winter gloves—kicking myself for not checking sooner. I read the newspaper cover to cover now; it seems the Threadgill High marching band won’t get their new uniforms in time for Homecoming. The band leader made a special requisition, and the money simply disappeared. I wonder if Masterson Tech would be interested in some more information on that subject. Nothing from Pepperdine for two months now. Withholding mail from an American citizen is a punishable offense. Slatsky lingers on the widow’s doorstep, his sack bulging, no doubt with requests for my services. A circular for infrared night-vision goggles sounded promising, but it was addressed to a “Ben Stare”; I shredded it along with the compost.

March 1999

I have been absorbed in the matter of wrongdoings in the Pee Wee soccer league, suggested by Masterson Tech’s coach, but transcribing the interview tapes is a near-impossible task. I can make out the words “ice cream” and “poopy pants,” but the rest is garbled. Very clearly in the background one voice repeats, “Cameron pushed me” in piercing tones, an accusation which may bear following up, but I have accidentally erased a statement from a 6-year-old guard to the effect that someone “looks like my baby sister, only mean and droopy.” Thanks to a witness who gave his name as Billy Cahill, my left wingtip now sports something wet and indelible. I have subpoenaed four episodes of Teletubbies, but the representatives at PBS are belligerent, as I expected.

The gutters are once again spotless. Pure ammonia is the secret, I’ve found through a tedious trial-and-error process, to most housekeeping chores. The soccer league investigation is stalled. Mrs. Cahill has been uncooperative as regards my Florsheim bill.

April 1999

Memorandum to the

Attorney General

The Hon. Janet Reno

Attorney General

Department of Justice

Constitution Avenue & 10th Street NW

Washington, DC 20530

Dear Ms. Attorney General:

It is clear that the real perfidy can be found on my own doorstep, in the person of James Slatsky, United States Postal Service letter carrier. I submit the above evidence that, as an employee of the United States government, Mr. Slatsky is misleading the public as to his real height, he is embarking on an adulterous affair with a widow, he is willfully withholding mail, and he is engaged in a campaign of destruction of private property by indiscriminately trampling citizens’ lawns. I hereby attest that this investigation has taken place in the best interest of the American people and was executed in a legal and unbiased fashion. The judicial fate of Mr. Slatsky is now in your hands. The thermometer in the guard booth reads 52 degrees. My fingers are like ice. The watchman should have been back by now to announce me. What time is it?—Arion Berger