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    Rush Limbaugh: 5 Things You Didn't Know

    To many of us, the name "Rush Limbaugh" triggers a call-to-arms that inspires either a stirring defense of America's leading conservative or a passionate missive on America's foremost jackass.

    Rush Limbaugh sees himself as neither: "I’m a businessman," he told The New York Times. "My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime.”

    Add "modest" to our growing list of perceptions about him, since "great entertainment skills" is an understatement. His self-described "pompous arrogance shtick" espouses the conservative hard-line with brutal efficacy and slices up enemies with a razor-sharp ability to offend that's on par with Lenny Bruce (though the comparison ends there: Rush Limbaugh is much funnier).

    In all likelihood, Rush Limbaugh the radio personality and Rush the man are two separate entities, and there's nothing two-faced or extraordinary about it. If we assumed everyone in show business was precisely how we perceived them, no one would want to spend a moment around Anthony Hopkins for fear of being eaten alive with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    On that note, we offer five things you didn't know about El Rushbo himself, Rush Limbaugh.

    1- Rush Limbaugh likes scented candles

    The first thing you didn't know about Rush Limbaugh is that he has a sensitive side. The big, brash-talking chauvinist likes the fresh, soothing aroma of scented candles so much that his domestic staff is directed to light a number of them prior to his arrival home from work each day.

    Although his olfactory senses are sharp, his auditory ones are not. A few years ago, the king of talk radio went completely deaf and can only hear today thanks to a cochlear implant. It's the kind of irony his detractors seem to enjoy, just as they did when his addiction to opioid painkillers and subsequent arrest for doctor shopping gave them ammunition to "out" him as a hypocrite on drug laws.

    2- Rush Limbaugh nearly went into the potato chip business

    Controversial commentators from both sides of the political spectrum have a common ancestor in Rush Limbaugh, a fact that illustrates his enormous and undeniable influence. However, it almost didn't go down that way at all.

    Rush Limbaugh spent the 1970s and the early 1980s as unsuccessful a radio personality as you can imagine. The best he'd done was to land a position working for the Kansas City Royals in the front office, earning a scant $12,000 salary. He was then faced with making a momentous decision: take a job offer paying three times that amount to work in the potato chip distribution business or pass it up and try one more time to find better work on the radio.

    That "one more time" was in Sacramento, where he started saying outrageous things that nobody seemed able to ignore. An industry, and its biggest star, was born.


    3- Rush Limbaugh is a great tipper
    Another thing you didn't know about Rush Limbaugh is that if you're a waiter and he sits in your section, it might be your lucky day.

    According to Zev Chafets' revealing and balanced 2008 piece in The New York Times Magazine, Rush Limbaugh has been known to tip restaurant waitstaff as much as $5,000. He would have little trouble affording it, as his contract with Premiere Radio Networks is worth $38 million annually, an income he supplements well by commercializing his conservative stances into ventures such as "Operation Chaos" and "Club Gitmo."

    Yet, success hasn't prevented him from major philanthropy well beyond extravagant gratuity; in addition to making substantial personal donations totaling in the millions, he hosts an annual Cure-a-Thon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that has raised over $20 million.

    4- Rush Limbaugh lives alone in five homes

    Radio's clearly been pretty good to Rush Limbaugh. In addition to a Gulfstream jet and a large collection of fine cars, many of them valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, he also lives with one cat on a single Florida property that features five homes. The largest is a sumptuous, 24,000-square-foot mansion he designed himself, featuring architectural influences ranging from the early Rococo of Louis XIV's palace at Versailles to the gilded-age glory of the Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate.

    5- A boil kept Rush Limbaugh out of Vietnam

    The last thing you didn’t know about Rush Limbaugh is that he has the most infamous pilonidal cyst in the history of politics.

    Rush Limbaugh rose to fame as President Clinton took office. Clinton's non-participation in the Vietnam War was an easy target for conservatives, but for some, including Rush Limbaugh, it amounted to shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak, as their own backgrounds were scrutinized.

    According to Snopes, Rush Limbaugh attained 1-Y draft classification (meaning he'd only be drafted in an emergency scenario) due in part to a pilonidal cyst on his ass, a condition often developed from sitting too much. It was common among American GI's in World War II; by Vietnam, the U.S. Army felt it was too much trouble to have to worry about and it became a condition for draft disqualification.

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