A FRIEND OF MINE, opening an envelope from the Inaugural Committee as we were talking on the phone, thought he had gotten an invitation to the inaugural, but what he got instead was an invitation to buy a whole lot of "official" things.He was offered "The Official Ronald Reagan Inaugural Medal Series ($1,475), the official First Day Inaugural Cover Collection ($20), the Official Inaugural License Plate ($35) and the Oficial Inaugural Book ($20), and we wondered, as people sometimes do when it is too cold to go out, why the committee had stopped right there when a whole world of officialdom ws there just for the designating.
We thought the official dance would be the foxtrot and the official drink the martini and the official companion, Jerry Zipkin. The official columnist is George F. Will, the official newspaper is Variety and the official magazines are Commentary and the National Review and the official intellectual is the first person who can tell the difference between the two.
In cars it's a Buick, in sports it's golf, in dress designers it's Adolfo and it's officially all right not have a last name. The official race would be white and the official sex would be male and the official shirt would be Lacoste. The official handgun is a Smith and Wesson and the official holster is a pillow. The official expression is a frozen smile. The official mob is the Chicago Family and it officially doesn't exist.
There seems no reason why American cannot follow the example of countless other countries where the regning monarch puts his imprimature on a product. In England, this is called "by appointment to her majesty" and seems to be bestowed on any manner of Scotch whisky or marmalade. Other products have to earn it. In some countries it's beers and some wines and in one it's hairbrushes. In this country, being more democratic and haveing no tradition in this area to speak of, almost anything could be designated official.
The official bean, for instance, would be jelly, the pasta would be macaroni and the dairy product, cheese. The official dish would be macaroni and cheese. The official car dealer is Holmes Tuttle, the economist is Adam Smith, the lawyer is William French Smith and the official female singer is Kate Smith. The official brother is Donny, the sister is Marie, and the official nickname is Muffin. The official hobby is the nap.
The official visual art is interior decorating, the performing art is movies and the official way of rebelling is ballet. The official age for marrying is 22 for a man, 29 for a woman and the official family size is four. The official soft drink is Pepsi, and the official Bloomingdale is not a store, but a Regan friend named Alfred. He headed the Diners Club. It's the official credit card.
The official coffee is Sanka, the official four legged animal is the horse, the official two-legged animal is the chimp and the official insect is the WASP. The official Desert is Palm and in soaps it's 20 Mule Team Borax. The official applicances are from GE, the official fuel is firewood, the official air is clean, and the official forest is a single redwood because when you've seen one redwood you've seen the all. That's official. The official energy crisis doesen't exist.
The official decade is the '50s, the official Act is Smith, the official male singer is Sinatra and the official singing group is Fred Waring. The official univeristy is Southern Cal, the official "10" is Margaret Thatcher, the official think tanks are Georgetown, Hoover and Warner Brothers, the official quarterback is Jack Kemp, the official hardball is NCPAC, the official curve is Laffer's, the official knuckler (brass) is the Teamsters, the official screwball is (barely) yet to be designated. The official Noble War was Vietnam and the official thing to take . . . is a meeting.
The official preacher is Jerry Falwell, the official menace abroad is godless communism and at home iths OSHA. The official color is lime green, the official island is Bermuda, the official width is 35mm, the official private club is The Bohemina Club and the official policy is restricted. The official American hero is John Wayne and the official great presidents are Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt -- Hoover for what he didn't do, Roosevelt for what he did.
Paul Laxalt is the official senator and the official senator-emeritus is Goldwater. The official sense is common. The official mood is upbeat and the official personality is likeable. The official starting time is nine, the official quitting time is five and the official explanation is a shrug, a smile and a wave.