AMERICAN NOTES: Cashing In on Watergate

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It was only a matter of time—and not much time—before various entrepreneurs began flooding the market with Watergate games, gadgets and paraphernalia. Those who like to relax at home with a good scandal can test their aim at a Watergate dart board, or brood over a Watergate jigsaw puzzle, or even write their friends on Watergate stationery. Or they can listen to a recording of the first (but undoubtedly not the last) country-and-western Watergate ballad, At the Watergate (The Truth Come Pouriri Out). Sample lyric: "If you're wonderin' why they wouldn't blow the whistle, it's no mystery/ Lots of cash and lots of hints of Executive clemency."

In the Washington Post, Columnist Tom Donnelly reported coming across The Watergate Cookbook, written, he said, by people "deep in the soup" and featuring recipes for "purée of scoundrel, hush-money puppies and tongue à la Martha." Donnelly was only kidding; there is no such cookbook — not yet. But Howard Mercer, an inventor, and Joe Sugarman, an advertising executive, have created a slick card game called " Watergate Scandal: a game of cover-up and deception for the whole family." The pious instructions read: "To win: nobody in the Watergate Scandal wins. There are just losers. Once the cards are dealt, however, the object of the game is to lie and cheat as much as possible."

Says Kirby Anderson of Cambridge, Mass., whose Urban Systems Products once marketed the Godfather Game and the Howard Hughes Game but has decided against Watergate: "The overall connotation is really kind of sickening."