Being President of the United States is a tough job — tough enough to drive a man to drink, or pop pills, or have an epic number of affairs. That’s the thesis of “Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery, and Mischief from the Oval Office.”
“I started out wanting to aggregate the stupidity of presidents, but ended up having sympathy for them,” says author Brian Abrams, who’s speaking at a Politics and Prose-hosted event at Busboys and Poets’ Brookland location on Tuesday.
Even the mild-mannered presidents picked up vices, Abrams found. While in college, Benjamin Harrison ate cucumbers despite dire warnings from his family to avoid the “forbidden” food. Teetotaler Zachary Taylor died in office after contracting a stomach bug, perhaps owing to the “pernicious” produce, according to a senator at the time.
“It was probably dirty water that did him in, but — who knows — maybe cucumbers are dangerous,” Abrams says. “Someone tell Michelle Obama.”
Other presidents kicked back in more conventional, less deadly ways. Test your knowledge of their less-distinguished moments.
Busboys and Poets, 625 Monroe St. NE; Tue., 6:30 p.m., free.
Can’t see the quiz? Click here.
A prior version of this story listed an incorrect location for the event.