The History Lesson
The White House has 132 rooms, and it used to be called “The President’s Palace.” But just because you live there doesn’t mean you’re always treated like a King. The President’s family gets charged for non-business meals they order from the kitchen. And they pay for their own toothpaste.
Maybe that’s why some white house residents are so thrifty. Lyndon Johnson walked the house every night to make sure the lights were off. And during World War One, Woodrow Wilson replaced the groundskeepers with grass-eating sheep. They trimmed the lawn for free. And proceeds from their wool went to the Red Cross. But it’s not like it’s always sober squaresville on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Back in 1829, Andrew Jackson’s inaugural house party got a little crazy. The President hid out in a hotel while 20,000 drunks trashed the place. Jackson’s aides finally lured them away by setting out tubs of free booze on the lawn. Amazingly, many of the white house’s historic treasures survived that beer bust. Residents don’t pay rent, mortgage or taxes on the joint. But it doesn’t come cheap. So far Barack Obama and John McCain have raised over 570 million dollars to persuade Americans to let them move in.
The Fish House Punch
RECIPE as mixed by Jim Hewes, bartender at the Round Robin Bar in Washington D.C.’s Willard Hotel:
In shaker over ice, add:
– 1 oz. rum
– 1/2 oz. brandy
– 1/2 oz. triple sec
– 1 oz. lemon sour mix
– dash of grenadine
– OJ to taste
Shake, pour into rocks glass and fill with club soda… or if you’re feeling celebratory (say on election night), substitute champagne.