WASHINGTON, DC—After refusing comment on the matter for days, President Clinton finally admitted Monday that he blew his most recent paycheck, failing to deposit it into the joint checking account he shares with his wife and instead spending it on a variety of items of dubious necessity.
"My fellow Americans, I stand before you to confess that it is all gone," a contrite Clinton said in a televised address. "I honestly did not think I was buying all that much stuff; it just somehow added up. But I want to assure you that I am still deeply committed to fiscal responsibility and will be sure to keep better track of my money in the future."
Clinton said he had intended to deposit the paycheck, but a series of unforeseen circumstances caused him to alter his plan.
"No sooner did Payroll send my check to the Oval Office than Hillary called, saying that right after work I should run to the bank before it closes, and then swing by Safeway to get some groceries," Clinton said. "Well, I forgot that it's a bad idea to go shopping while you're hungry, because I wound up spending almost $160."
Shortly after departing Safeway, Clinton started to head back to the White House. But when he noticed a massive traffic bottleneck on Virginia Avenue, he decided to "wait it out" at the nearby Heritage Ridge shopping mall.
Clinton admitted to making several "impromptu" purchases while at the mall, including a socket wrench set at Sears, a CD tower at Musicland, a copy of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me at Suncoast Motion Picture Company, a stuffed Grinch doll at Pam's Hallmark, and a copy of Tuesdays With Morrie and the latest issue of Cycle World magazine at B. Dalton.
Further complicating matters for Clinton, an anonymous White House source claims that the president is withholding information about additional shopping he did. According to the source, after leaving the mall, Clinton stopped at a Mobil station to buy gas and, while in the MobilMart convenience store, spent an additional $27.11 on a number of impulse purchases, including a set of Yosemite Sam "Back Off!" mudflaps, a Best Of Jerry Reed cassette, a pack of Swisher Sweets and a two-liter bottle of Surge.
"These charges are patently false," Clinton said. "Yes, I did stop at the Mobil station on 10th. But I only purchased gas and a single 12-ounce can of Surge. And some Twizzlers. But I did not buy any of the items I am accused of buying, and I would easily be able to prove it if not for the fact that, just as millions of Americans do every day, I threw out my receipt."
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) called the president's blown paycheck "yet another example of liberal overspending."
"After leaving the mall, the president stopped at Target, where he bought a Hamilton Beach electric beverage warmer," Lott said. "Yet during a September trip to an Alexandria, VA, Montgomery Ward, Mr. Clinton was seen buying a very similar Sunbeam electric beverage warmer. Does the White House really need two beverage warmers? It certainly didn't at any time during the Reagan-Bush Era."
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas was particularly critical of Clinton's Safeway purchases.
"[Clinton] bought the Louis Rich-brand turkey roast, and had he bothered to look at one of the hundreds of flyers littering the store's entrance area, he would have found a 25 cents-off coupon for Jennie-O turkey roast, which is practically the same thing. And why must he always buy Charmin toilet paper, when Scottissue is just as good but cheaper and has even more sheets per roll?"
"I want to assure the American people that during my overspending spree, not a penny of taxpayer money was used," Clinton said. "There is no cause for public alarm, and this matter will be dealt with privately by Hillary and myself."
Whether the Clintons will attempt to return the Hamilton Beach electric beverage warmer was unknown as of press time.