Dear Bill:

How's it hangin'? Never mind, don't answer that. There has been quite enough speculation along those lines already, thank you very much.

Anyway, I know you're steamed about the House vote today, but really, how much of a surprise was it? Even the lamest Sunday-morning talk-show pundits saw it coming, and I'm sure some terminal dimbulb is even now explaining how a quatrain by Nostradamus predicted the whole sordid affair.

Now, I'm no expert on "sordid", but yes, it was an affair, Bill. You had it bad for that girl; from the moment she flashed you a hint of thong, you wanted her, uh, debriefed. I've been a guy almost as long as you have, so I know what it's like. I'm willing to entertain the possibility of kismet, though it's a slender thread: the man who doesn't inhale, at last finding the woman who doesn't swallow. Did she have feelings for you? Maybe. At her age (or ours, really), nothing makes a whole lot of sense.

I am a firm believer in "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." Finding out what will "harm none", unfortunately, is the hardest part. I don't think any particular damage was done to your household. It's not like the spousal unit was unaware of your tendencies. And if Chelsea is at all typical of her age group, the thought of either parent having any kind of sex, socially approved or otherwise, produces a single reaction: "Ewwww, gross!" And that's where it might have stayed, had you not taken the opportunity to deny it on the witness stand. Now I understand your position here: this sort of matter is inappropriate for public consumption, to be sure, and those casting the first stone are not exactly those without sin, if you know what I mean. But Henry and Helen and Dan and Bob (just to name a few) weren't under oath. You were. And when you are, you are expected to tell the truth; it doesn't matter whether they're asking you about parking tickets or genocide, or anything in between, you are expected to tell the truth. Period. No ifs, ands, but