We got your genuine, unopened Billy Beer can for sale. Just call Al Rotch, a Dumfries, Va., civil engineer. He'll sell his to you for $400.
We got your wine here, the same brand and vintage as the stuff Richard Nixon popured for the Vietnam POWs at his gala 1973 White House dinner. Washington commercial-real-eastate broker Walter Blumenthal has 15 half- bottles of 1969 Louis Marini Cabernet Sauvignon he'll part with at $25 each.
Last year's political souvenirs can become tomorrow's collectibles, though a Washington liquor dealer says the Billy Beer boom is a bust. In fact, at last check Rotch hadn't sold his can through his newspaper ads, though he did receive two calls from people wanting to sell him their cans.
But this year's hot-sellig items are more current, poking fun at Ronald and Nancy Reagan. There are $1 buttons that read "LET THEM EAT JELLY BEANS." There's also a poster for a phony movie called "bedtime for Brezhnev" and fold-out, three-dimensional cards featuring Ronald Reagan. On the distaff side, there are "Queen Nancy" cards and -- most recently -- a "Nancy Adorable Me" dress-up kit.
"All presidents are sort of funny," says Bill Sievert, co-owner of Splash, a Washington gift shop that does a booming business in Reagan paraphernalia. "But this one is particularly funny. And Nancy is known, in part, for her penchant for spending and fancy clothes. It's a way of getting even in people's minds: They can't spend the way she does, but they can buy a cut-out doll and get even."
Sievert says congressional staffers, including some from House Speaker Tip O'Neill's office, like the Reagan products.
"We sell to pro-Reagan people, too," adds Sievert, who says he sold 2,000 "Queen Nancy" cards since June and sold out his first shipment of 100 Nancy "Adorable Me" kits in one week.
"The items have great cross-appeal: They mock the Reagans enough that they're great for people who hate Reagan Reagan, but they're still clever enough that the Reagan people like them, too," Sievert says.
Footnote: Fans of the real Nancy Reagan might be interested to know her autobiography, "Nancy," written with Bill Libby, is available in paperback this month. In "Nancy" the First Lady reveals she was almost "fated to meet Ronnie" and ends the first chapter with this advice for all seasons: "You have to make the most of every moment and the miracle of every morning."