Never in modern politics has an expression so strange and strangely disturbing gotten so much play. Sarah Palin's three possible locations for the spoils million-dollar fashion spree include two semi-sane ones and one baffling heretofore unconsidered Valley of Ashes.
- Returned to Neiman-Marcus, etc. (Plausible, normal, okay)
- Accidentally went back to Alaska and got packed up and shipped to the RNC (weird, tedious, as anyone who has ever ordered a queen's ransom in bathing suits from Lands End only to keep one sole vaguely flattering Swiss-dot bikini bottom will tell you, but okay.)
- The Belly of the Campaign Plane (gross)
The Belly of the Plane. There's a lot of insistence going on about stuff that has been left in the Belly of the Plane. Is this the cargo hold? Like where the luggage goes after it's stickered at the ineptly-named self-check-in? Why belly? Is the plane's belly, as it sounds like, some strange peristaltic cavity where aviation bile and breaks down the fibers of moldering heaps of Bill Blass silk shantung suits with jaunty self-bows at the waist? Every time Palin mentions the belly of the plane, I get grossed out and confused.
Just how big is this belly? How much loot can fit in a belly? How long can you keep merch in a belly before it passes the no-return date? Is it longer than I can keep four H&M bags sitting in the corner of the living room that I so should have tried on before buying but will probably miss the cruelly short return window for and end up with yet another pleated monstrosity I am never going to wear? Is it longer than the two weeks I have to use my Duane Reade Dollar Rewards $5 coupon before it cruelly--and I seriously mean cruelly here because that is one great reward with a few very unfair strings attached if you don't run out of Tampax Pearl fast enough--expires?
Why belly? Why not overhead compartment? Is there someone down there in a headlamp, prowling around in the Belly of the Plane, rifling through a lot of garment bags, making lame comparisons to the Belly of the Beast? Is mentioning the Belly of the Plane just a tic now, a hip visual aide to conjure the Land of the Lost or the Valley of the Dolls or other territories into which Palin would certainly never venture?