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APRIL 5

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What an addition Christopher Buckley would have been to the Algonquin Round Table: Nestled between fellow New Yorker scribes Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker, novelist/journalist/troublemaker Buckley would have let the caustically comic zingers fly faster than anyone. With the booze flowing around the vicious circle like a stream of cynical fuel, the former George Bush speechwriter and editor (at age 24) of Esquire would have owned the table with his dagger wit and subtle sophistication. But alas, Buckley, who aims his arrows at everyone from politicians to pop icons, has no such hotel hangout to call his own. No matter: The only child of William F. Buckley Jr. has sassed his way into enough verbal scraps without a gang of rabble-rousers egging him on. His controversial novels, most notably Thank You for Smoking, have raised more than a few eyebrows, and his magazine pieces, most of which are collected in the new Wry Martinis, skewer the deserving. In a classic act of ego deflation, Buckley once called megalomaniacal tome-writer Tom Clancy “the most successful bad writer of his generation,” then dubbed his Debt of Honor “as subtle as a World War II anti-Japanese poster showing a mustachioed Tojo bayoneting Caucasian babies.” Clancy was outraged at the piece and began barraging Buckley with irate, er, faxes. When Clancy jauntily compared the review to a mere fly stinging a mighty horse, Buckley faxed back, “I may be the insect, but you’re still the horse’s arse.” Ah, Dorothy would have been proud. Buckley will sling his Wry Martinis over lunch with fellow writer Barbara Delinsky at noon at University of Maryland’s University College, Inn & Conference Center, University Blvd. & Adelphi Rd., College Park. $25. For reservations call (301) 699-3500. (Sean Daly)