Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) finally spoke to the press in his home state when they asked him about reports he had recently been shut off at the bar in the congressional lounge after downing 6 shots of vodka. Kennedy didn't respond directly to the allegations in the story which first appeared in Roll Call, newspaper staple of D.C. insiders. He did say that he has always admitted to having, "the disease" [of alcoholism] and that he has, "good days and bad days."
Kennedy also talked about how fortunate he is that, when he falls, he has enough support to, "get back on the horse." That statement may be a mixture of the old adage about always getting back on a horse that throws you, and the metaphor about staying on the proverbial "wagon" to stay sober.
Then again, maybe not.
I have written twice in recent weeks about the congressman's struggle with sobriety. I am sympathetic and I wish him well. But whatever Patrick was trying to say now, he is in no condition to take up equestrianism at this point. He's already had a boating accident and at least one automobile incident since going to Congress. He also had an airport confrontation involving a loud verbal exchange and alleged shoving of a female security guard at LAX (who eventually sought and received a settlement.) But horseback riding is probably not the answer to his dwindling transportation options.
Patrick, it's a WAGON!! Usually you ride on it or in it and someone else drives it or pulls it. It frees you up to concentrate on staying sober; but it's an inanimate object, a metaphor, a word picture of how one might stay above the fray. That means if you screw up, at least no horse gets injured in the process!
So do yourself a favor; stay off the horses and get on the wagon, and try to ride out the last 8 months of your term quietly, safely, and with as much dignity as you may have left.
A lot of us are rooting for you!
(Click the link below to see Patrick Kennedy's comments for yourself)