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the pre christmas weeks worth

From Our Ranch To You

Happy Holidays y'all.

Usually George writes the annual holiday letter, but with all those resumes piling up on his desk (and a few FBI files too... just kidding!) he asked if I'd do it. And I'm loving it. As you can imagine, we are happier than a rain barrel full of hopping frogs at a mosquito convention down here in Austin. Even if it does mean we have to move to D.C. next month. Into a smaller house, I'll have you know. Well, George Herbert Walker and Barbara survived that rank hole of barbarism and corruption, so I guess we can too. Here's hoping my hair doesn't turn white.

What a year! January 1st found us taking our lives in our hands as we tempted fate and Y2K (what was that all about anyway?) flying the whole brood up to that horrible little northern state known as New Hampshire. Spent so much time up there, some people suggested I consider running for Senator. Ha ha. There was quite a bit of consternation in the ranks when we lost to Mr. War Hero Guy but George's Dad called in a few favors and we pulled out South Carolina and Michigan, and the rest of the primary process was pretty much a cruise.

February through June, saw us traveling from sea to shining sea as W sold himself like a bar of new soap, while I spent my time eating bad chicken and listening to nice Republican women tell me how to redo my hair so it would be "more attractive to the menfolk." I tell you, if George decides to run again four years from now, I'm going to spend the entire year faking a coma. Kind of like what Tipper did this year. Ha ha ha. Kidding!

August meant Philadelphia and trust me, those people could not have been sweeter or sweatier. Gosh, it was hot. Otherwise the Convention was sunshine and seashells and some sweet entertainment. The Temptations rock! It was also a lot of fun getting to know the Cheneys. And let me tell you Dick is like nothing like what you've heard, but a dear sweet man when that wacky Lynne isn't hiding his medication. I will never forget Jim Baker spitting wine through his nose while Dick held us spellbound with his seeming unending repertoire of Danny Quayle jokes. Even Barbara managed a weak snicker or two.

Like the rest of the country our family couldn't have been more shocked and saddened by Gerry Ford's sudden hospitalization. How was anybody to foresee a minor sinus condition escalating into a stroke? All in all though, I think it actually helped us by emphasizing the importance of hubby's health care proposals even more. Poor Gerry. Must have been the cheesesteaks. Or the tequila shooters. Not kidding.

During October the debates proved to be the turning point in the race, where my boy beat the human dialtone and all those so called experts by simply being himself and not drooling. Of course I'm hoping I may have helped the teeniest bit by forcing him to watch that series of deer in headlights tapes and then advising him not to look like that.

Quickly came a November seventh our family will never forget. And a November eighth. And a November ninth. And all the way up to a lucky December 13th. Let me just say here that Al Gore is the most wonderful living product of reverse taxidermy I've ever met, and I'm sorry someone had to lose, but to be perfectly honest, I was really really glad it was them and not us. Is that catty? Well then, just call me the "Hiss Miss." Rowwr.

Well, that's enough gabbing out of me. All of us here at the ranch wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and New Years. I'm telling you, its going to be a good one. I overheard George on the phone, talking about big plans for his first term. Something about a 15 per cent tax cut... or was it a tax increase? Read my lips just kidding!

We'll see you at the big old white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20th. Don't forget to call a physician and arrange for your shots. Don't worry, we're fumigating. And oh yeah, the twins are doing just fine. I hear.

Merry Christmas.
Happy Chanukhah.
Krazy Kwanza.
Super Ramadama.
Felix Navidad.

All the best.
Laura (Tempo) and George W (Tumbler) Bush et al.

Home Is Where The Covered Dish Is

We all know comfort food when we see it. Macaroni and cheese. Cinnamon raisin toast. Tuna casserole surprise with crushed potato chip crust. Squirrel scrapple. Any meal whisking you back to emotions and rhythms of a simpler time qualifies. A naive oasis sequestered in today's desert of smug braised sweetbreads on beds of radicchio drizzled with impertinent raspberry currant reductions.

Being from the Midwest, I could be permanently ostracized for even knowing what radicchio is. Salad is an eighth of a head of iceberg lettuce smothered in 1000 Island dressing, with a razor thin slice of tomato drooped bowlside only if cheffie feels creative. Living in the big city, I have come to realize I enjoy arugula. Makes me dirty somehow. Lurking spiderlike in the dark recesses of my high falutin pseudo sophisticated palate persists a primeval appetite for the consoling tastes of kidhood. And no, I'm not just talking grilled cheese sandwiches, but they're way high on the list. Top five easy.

Comfort food is the stuff you need to eat to feel better. The universal quintessence is chicken noodle soup. Certified by nanas of umpteen ancient cultures to contain mystical curative properties. And everybody knows Thanksgiving dinner is comfort food exponential factor four. Screw that Tryptophane BS; the real reason we nod out during halftime of the second football game is we're straddling a rare seam stitching tender nostalgia to culinary bliss. Or a succession of discrete head blows courtesy of recently paroled thug cousins.

On a personal basis, I have yet to encounter a rejection of the heart or a failure on the stage resistant to the first forkful of my mom's spaghetti and meatballs. Even while traveling, I have collected regional comfort foods my taste buds initiate salivation for when foot one hits the jetway. In New York we're talking Pastrami sandwiches from the Carnegie Deli as big as my head. Milwaukee: the cracker crust pizza at Zaffiro's. Skyline Chili in Cincinnati. Chicago: Mr. Beef. And here in San Francisco, its Diana's meat pie at Hunan on Sansome or burgers at Bills.

To truly convert it helps to witness firsthand the epiphinal accomplishments of comfort food. My baptism occurred during the first year my lovely wife Debi Ann lured me into enlisting in the Pritchard Posse for the annual assault on New Orleans' Jazz Fest. New Orleans and food go together like LA and asthma. Seattle and mold. Fireworks and beer. Unless you think cholesterol can kill. Then the Crescent City is an AK- 47 with a grenade launcher. Ground zero for the neutron bomb of foods. Destroys your internal organs, but leaves your will to drink intact. Surprised Zagats doesn't sponsor angioplasty balloons available next to the mints.

Our typical Fest regimen consists of sleeping till noon, out to the Fairgrounds, hours of wandering from stage to stage, eating and drinking in amounts repulsive to Sumo wrestlers, precipitating sundry treks to the secret grandstand bathrooms. Home around six, nap til nine, dinner, hit three or four clubs before staggering home near dawn. Then repeat. For eight days. Definitely where the maxim about needing a vacation to recover from a vacation originated.

We consumed soft shell po- boys, crawfish bread, pork cracklins, etouffee, snow cones, beignets, all before dinners at Emeril's, The Gumbo Shop, Courtyard of Two Sisters, Tujague's and Bayonna until Debi couldn't look at a two sided menu without suffering a brutal case of the shakes. The only recourse was a group sojourn to the Clover Grill for waffles. She required dough. And it worked. She was cranky no more. And many innocent walkie- talkie toting yuppies were spared grisly fates.

See, that's the deal. Comfort food morphs. Not just because of who you are, but where you are and how you feel. In Paris, after sauceous overdoseous, we decompressed at McDonald's. Mock if you will, but a Big Mac is globally indestructible. Miami, Moscow, Montana: tastes the same. No surprises. You know what to expect. Sometimes that's enough. The knowing. Reassurance is key.

At home, when Baby is feeling a little less than, I fix gumbo. Or beef stroganoff, or yes, macaroni and cheese. Of course I'm using Emanthaler and Gruyere now (don't tell her), and admittedly, the finished product lacks the precise day glo orange color of yore, but it abides. And when my life sucks and the world hates me and I'm living in a cartoon, the mere feeble attempt to recreate mom's spaghetti is like a slow warm belly rub. Speaking of which, anybody know where I can procure a halfway decent bottle of 1000 Island dressing?

There are times when Will Durst would kill for a debris sandwich from "Mother's".
Don't forget to catch Durst and Company in the 8th annual, Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show coming to a theater near you, Dec 26 31.


Goonal Eclipse
A horizon of sand whipping exposed flesh raw will affect your aim. Not for the better. And when attempting to deter some major goon from shuffling off your mortal coil, vision is advantageous. I laid face down on the beach atop a butchered swordfish disguised as a harpoon. Hurricane Al whistled more than sand over our heads. Small shells, palm fronds and the occasional chaise lounge flew past at 135 mph as well. I expected Helen Hunt or a cow next. Would have preferred Helen Hunt. But wouldn't we all? A cold dark shadow consumed me, as he pointed what appeared to be a Bazooka at my head. The sand tore at him. "Enjoying the facial?" I asked. "Like you'll enjoy the brainal." He leveled the gun. I rolled, pinning his neck to a palm tree with the two foot long dart on a string.

Desert Dessert
Relentless hotness. Painful elbow blistering. Scorched toenails. Warmth. Burning. Ouch. Distinctively arid. Did I mention the heat? Tired. Beer would be nice. After two days crawling through anonymous wastelands from the wreckage of a plane crash caused by two very negligent pilots who tied me up and parachuted out, flocks of big ugly birds followed the red trail left by my scraped knees. During bouts of cognizance, I saw them pecking at each other for dibs dominance. Flurries of action. Squawks of distress. Stillness. Munching noises. Nibbling at each other's eyeballs. Hey. Looks good. I drag myself over, wave the large recalcitrant scrawny turkey looking thing away and pop a blister together. We're dating now.


the very next weeks worth

First, We Make All The Lawyers Do Karaoke

This is another fine mess. A couple of old Jews accidentally vote for a Nazi and the Republic falls apart like a five dollar wool coat hung on a fence post at a corporate moth farm. Third world banana Republics mock us. We're forced to view the grisly spectacle of Chris Mathews' near nightly aneurism. Not to mention Bill Clinton dropping heavy hints he wouldn't mind sticking around. All we have to do is ask. Somebody go find a fat lady, drag her to Florida and force her to sing. Bring a cattle prod if need be.

The amazing thing is a month later and we still don't know whether to order donkey or elephant frosting for the Inaugural Ball cakes and no rioting in the street. As a matter of fact, ennui seems to be the overriding emotion. "Yeah, whatever. Wake me up when you guys decide, or when pitchers and catchers report, whichever comes first."

It's still closer than Mississippi first cousins. The fate of the nation has boiled down to 537 votes out of 6 million cast. That's like 537 out of 6 million. To get a hold on this, think of it as almost the exact same ratio of teachers to students in California. You'd get better odds in a lottery, except Gore and Bush are holding all the tickets. And all but one are counterfeit.

Which is why it is now, oozing their way onto the playing field, the legions of end game specialists advance. I'm talking about the only real winners in this case. The ones with a warranty. The lawyers. The matter of who got the most votes is moot: now it comes down to which side is able to employ the most efficient anonymous looking blue suited balding white men with glasses, with the smile of a fat bellied jackal playing about their lips. And perhaps the smallest drop of blood lingering as well. Is that a handkerchief dabbing at it or a napkin? These ones always get fed.

Isn't this great? Politicians, lawyers and the American attention span. Together again. Mmmm boy, the best of all worlds. Just like the Impeachment trial. Just like OJ. Court TV isn't a channel in this country, its a way of life. Making up with volume what we lack in substance.
Don't get me wrong, its not that I don't think lawyers have a place in society, of course they do. When properly prepared they can be an important source of protein. Its just if you've seen one honest lawyer, you've seen them both. Lawyers are to justice what Gallagher is to fruit. What Tori Spelling is to the Emmies. What Stinger heat seeking missiles are to basement furnaces.

Even when its all over, it still won't be over. There will be appeals and injunctions and briefs filed questioning the legal parameters of the definition of the word "dimple." "Your Honor, we maintain the previous judge erred when he based his determination on whether a clear abuse of discretion existed solely on the basis of reasonable probability when no credible evidence has been presented that a dimple cannot also be accompanied by a wrinkle or a cute little twist of a nose."

My theory is the loser will keep filing until every last avenue for appeal has been exhausted or the money runs out, whichever comes first. But just in case they run dry of litigant targets, I'm here to fill their quiver.

10 Florida Lawsuits That Have Fallen Through The Cracks

  • Sue all Northern Yankee States for forcing snowbirds to leave by criminal tacit encouragement of bad weather.
  • Slap a gag order on Bill Clinton. Just for fun.
  • Sue the State of Florida Highway Department for allowing thousands of Chryslers doing thirty in the fast lane with their left blinkers on to delay all interested participants.
  • Sue the Gonzalez Family in Miami. If it hadn't been for them, Florida would have escaped the spotlight earlier this year and none of this would have ever happened.
  • Sue Disney World. I don't know how either, but we're talking deep pockets here. Besides, Mickey Mouse has been an implicit factor in this sordid mess all along.
  • Sue Katherine Harris' hairdresser for an irrepressible fascination with the Eisenhower administration. Investigate his or her possible conspiratorial involvement in Jimmy Johnson's hair as well.
  • Throw restraining orders on anyone uttering the word "bipartisanship."
  • Sue Carl Hiassen for writing wild Floridian fantasies that fail to even come close to approaching the level of mad insanity that marinates this state like sweat on a Sumo wrestler.
  • Sue the Florida Legislature for an unblemished record of never rising above the status of party hacks.
  • Sue Ricky Martin for being such a sexy mofo. Use only when ratings are in genuine free fall.
Sue Will Durst. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?


PI Handbook Chapter 23: Falling Down Stairs
Falling down stairs isn't nearly as hard as it looks in the movies. Or as dangerous. You just kind of tuck yourself into a ball and go with the flow. Usually the worst that will happen is a multiple contusion or maybe a chipped elbow unless of course you're being shot at and then you want to hug the inside railing. A lot of guys claim to prefer the wooden railings because they tend to be softer, but personally I've always been partial to metal ones because I kind of have a phobia about splinters. Its all a matter of taste, although nobody likes marble. If you're not being shot at, try to go high on the corners while making the turns. It'll cut down your speed. And avoid spiral staircases at all costs. Without fail, there's an inebriated blonde in a feather trimmed sheer silk robe waiting with a pearl handled .25 at the bottom.

Severe Tire Damage
Spotting her smoking in a pool of light a block up the hill, I lit up. We were going away. She sat heavily on her bag. I reached into mine and started assembling the 30.06. Then I leaned across a newspaper rack and peered through the scope. She flicked her ash, tossed back her hair, glancing at her watch. I was late. I caressed her lips with the crosshairs. Right on cue, a piece of heavy Detroit iron hurtled over the top of the hill right at her. I blasted a couple of shots into the driver's side windshield. The sedan careened hard left and disappeared into the hotel parking garage. A muffled boom blew the wooden restraining bar into the street. She turned, pinning me. I saw her mind work it out who set her up. Not in that order. She waved slowly, then snapped her butt into the street. I did the same. We picked up our bags and walked in different directions.

this this week's worth


Stop. Please. Now. Let it just be over. Yeah, admittedly, it was mildly interesting for a tiny brief moment about four weeks ago, and I'm sure the portfolios of a lot of graphic artist interns at television stations all over the world have been fattened like Wisconsin Provimi veal calves with the feed chute stuck open, but enough already. How much cable news saturation can one poor post votal nation be expected to endure? If I see Brian Williams smirk in his smug blue shirt with sassy white collars one more time, I'm going to hunt him down, stick a fork in his right thigh and call it macaroni.

Flip a coin. Do eenie meenie. Or put two names in a hat and let Elian pick one. Include the names of Cheney and Lieberman as well. What the hell, throw in Nader and Buchanan while you're at it. Okay, you're right. Went a wee tad around the bend there. After all, four is such a nice round number.

Although you can't blame Al Gore for not conceding. This isn't a contest for junior high school hall monitor, this is for President of the United States of America. Leader of the Free World. We're talking King of the Planet here. Power. Domination. Babes. Think Leonardo DiCaprio with a nuclear football.

Besides, it doesn't really matter who wins, they won't be able to govern. No mandate to speak of. Deadlocked Senate. "I don't have to listen to you. You're not the REAL President. You are not the boss of me." Less effectual than a compass in an elctro magnetic power plant.

And as in any media slam overdose spinfest, there have been sidereal winners and losers o'plenty; people tangential to the action whose careers and reputations will either skyrocket into the stratosphere or sink into a swirling morass of shame and guilt like a garbage scow catapulted off the side of a cliff.

Who are those winners and losers? Funny you should ask, because it is my job, my duty and may I say my pleasure to come up this humble list of them for your edification. No need to thank me, I'm here to help.


Winner: Katherine Harris. Does the term Mrs. Ambassador have any meaning here?
Winner: Castro. Proved he possesses a sense of humor by offering to fly over Cuban election officials to oversee recount.
Winner: Supreme Court. Aaron Spelling rumored preparing hot new series on Fox: "Beneath the Robes" starring Darva Conger as Sandra Day O'Connor, Jude Law as David Souter and Delroy Lindo as Clarence Thomas.
Winner: MSNBC's Campbell Brown. If Arthur Kent was the Scud Stud, she's become the Rad Chad.
Winner: Richard Nixon. People talking about grace he exhibited by not demanding a recount in 1960.
Winner: Bill Clinton. Verbatim: "Well, the American people have spoken, we just don't know what they said yet."
Winner: The City of Chicago. Eternally supplanted as butt of voting irregularity jokes. At least when they vote more than once, they know enough to use two separate ballots.
Winner: Pat Buchanan. Verbatim: "These are not my people."
Winner: Ryder Trucks. Publicity algebra: 2X Tallahasse plus 3Y Oklahoma City equals zero.
Winner: Dan Rather. True Texas colors bled through marathon election night. Favorite was "Tighter than the lug nuts on a 57 Ford." Second place goes to: "More sore than a squatting cowboy wearing spurs."
Winner: Ralph Nader. Verbatim: "What are you talking about, Al Gore kept me from becoming President."
Winner: Dick Cheney. Unbreakable.


Loser: Jeb Bush. Barbara's undying affection or re- election? Got to go with Mom.
Loser: New Mexico. "Hey, we're close too. We've only got a nine vote difference here. Hello? We're over here in the corner. Is anybody listening? We have turquoise."
Loser: Elian Gonzales. Elian who?
Loser: Bush spokesperson Karen Hughes. May have worn out welcome mat before entering house.
Loser: George W Bush. What was that band aid on his face? Did he get in a slap fight with Dad? "You promised!"
Loser: Al Gore. Runs like a girl.
Loser: CNN Showbiz Today. Who cares?
Loser: George HW Bush. Tainted. Try as he would to stay above the fray, the guy is the former head of the CIA. Rigging election was his job. That's what he did. Its on his resume.
Loser: Residents of West Palm Beach. Bingo skills desert them at precisely wrong time.
Loser: Florida. Sunstroke capital of country. New movement to cut it off at Georgia border and kick it into Caribbean where it shall heretofore be known as North Cuba.
Loser: NBC's "West Wing." Will be hard pressed to devise fictional scenarios to rival reality.
Loser: The boy's name Chad.

Secretly, Will Durst hopes this anarchy keeps on keeping on till Easter.
a week's worth you can potty train

It ain't over. I don't care if the Florida hair lady did sing. I don't care who's finished counting the hanging chads, dimpled chads, pregnant chads, puckered chads, Sudan, the country next Chad or Seals and Croft, Chad and Jeremy wannabes. It ain't over. No, no, no. They and their minions will be fighting for the Presidency of the United States of America till the very last minute of the very last hour. If the Supreme Court determines this whole thing has to be decided by December 12, expect it to go down to 11:59 pm of December 11. And then expect it to linger, dawdle, stall, tarry, lag, hobble, persist and drag on in the courts for months. Years even. Does the term "New Hampshire Primaries" have any meaning here? Al Gore has spent his entire life priming himself to chase the stick tied to this carrot, and I'm sure he'd rather spend the rest of his life as a convenience store clerk on an abandoned Utah county trunk highway than give up what might be his best shot at it. And you got a better chance of seeing a band of itinerant penguins winning exclusive taxicab rights to SFO's new International Terminal than George W Bush going gently into that good night. Besides, Mom promised. Oh no my friends, it's not over.

Along with MSNBC, FOX News and Chris Mathews, Will Durst couldn't be happier.


If it weren't so predictable it would be funny.

"The votes have been counted and recounted, and my opponent should just quit being a big cry baby and let the country move onto the business at hand."

"We simply want to make sure no one is left out of the process and guarantee that each and every American's vote is counted."

"We stole this election fair and square, and if the shoe were on the other foot, we'd just pack up and go home like good little boys and girls."

"Yeah, right, we'd take the same high and mighty approach too, if our brother was in charge of the damn state."

"Look. Look. You've given him another heart attack. I hope you're happy mister touch football."

"We wouldn't think of extending this crisis if we weren't concerned for the good of the country as a whole, and how did you get that boil on your face?"

"Let the healing begin now, and stop with this whining meshugana crap. So a bunch of old Jews voted for a nazi by mistake. Deal with it bubby. Trafe happens."

"We are worried about certain discrepancies that have come to our attention, like that deer in the headlights look the other night, and simply wish to forestall the process until we can clear up all doubt as to the actual result beyond a reasonable doubt."

"Bite me."

"Suck sand."

Will Durst has reasonable doubts.
a very florida week's worth

No, not Florida. Please don't let it be Florida. Don't let the future of the Free World hinge on 3,000 Sunshine State morons who were confused by the positioning of an election ballot and voted for Pat Buchanan by mistake. Give me a break. Nobody votes for Pat Buchanan by mistake. Please let it be any other state but Florida. Connecticut. Utah even. We can't let the fate of our country be decided by a state where life sized cartoon characters constitute a major cultural contribution. Where sun stroke is your ever constant companion. Where you can see the melanomas floating right in the air. And come on, how equitable is having the brother of one of the two guys fighting for the clinching 25 electoral votes is Governor of the state in question. Why not put Barbara in charge of Broward County and let Neil run the whole Keys run? Just to be fair, shouldn't Tipper be in charge of half of the recounts? But God, this is exciting. Imagine telling our kids we were watching when Dan Rather said Florida was in Gore's column, then it was too close to call, then was in Bush's camp, then was too close to call again. Can't wait for Nader to go on Larry King Live and crowto the left about his resposibility for Gore's loss, "see how galvanized we are." Yeah, right.

Will Durst is happy for the material, but sorry for the country.


Bill Clinton: "Well, America has spoken, we just haven't figured out what they've said yet."

Ralph Nader: "What are you talking about, Al Gore kept me from becoming President."

Jeb Bush: "I recuse myself from the Election Commission." (Of course, everybody who's still on it was appointed by me.)

George W Bush: "What I'm saying is, the people have voted twice, and they chose me both times. We have a responsibility to honor their wishes."

Cuban election officials: "We hereby offer to pay our own airfare to oversee and supervise the West Palm Beach recount."

Richard Rosen, 87 year old West Palm Beach Jew after accidentally voting for a Nazi: "I feel like an idiot."

Pat Buchanan: "No way I get those kind of votes there."

Dan Rather: "At Bush headquarters right now, they are more nervous than a long tailed cat in a roomful of rockers."

Philippine newspapers: "America has become a third world banana republic. Heh. Heh. Heh."

Bill Daley: "We're just trying to make sure the people's will is upheld." (Just like dad did in Chicago.)

Al Gore: "There's no legal controlling authority."

Headline in New York Times: "First dead man elected to Senate." (not the first to serve. See Strom Thurmond for clarification)

Will Durst can't wait for it to be over. Then again he can.

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This. Florida Recount Edition.

  • Now it's assumed that some people punched out more than one holes because they were confused and thought they were playing Bingo.
  • Oh my God, don't tell me they were confused. In Florida? How is that possible? Anybody's who's ever driven on a Florida Interstate behind 3,000 Chryslers doing 30 in the fast lane with their left blinkers on knows that's their natural state.
  • From the Windy City, local raconteur, Terry Sullivan, says at least in Chicago, when voting twice, they're smart enough to use two different ballots.
  • Hey Al, does the term "no legal controlling authority" have any meaning here?
  • What I don't get is why the vote counting deadlines always have to happen at five pm? Isn't there anybody in the state able to authorize overtime?
  • Loved the Cuban election officials who offered to fly over at their own expense to oversee the recount. Who says Fidel doesn't have a sense of humor?
  • Does it bother anybody else that George W Bush's dad used to run the CIA? People, rigging elections is what he did. That was his job. It's on his resume. Of course, the Dems got Richard Daley's kid on their side, so it's probably a wash.
  • This is true. In New Mexico, all election ties are broken by flipping a coin. And the vote margin there right now is 4. You think Bush would fall for "heads I win, tails you lose?"
Will Durst would give it a shot.
the last ditch weeks worth

It's like a rejected episode of "West Wing." Five days before the election, front running Presidential candidate discovered to have 24 year old drunk driving conviction. October surprise, fuhgedaboutit. We're talking November astonishment. Loved Bush's response. "How come you never mentioned this?" "You never asked." We never asked if you suspended puppies bundled in plastic tarps and beat them with gaffing hooks either. Should we? Where's your character issue now, Moses? Time's running out: he's going to need an Indy 500 pit crew to handle this damage control. I tell you what's really disturbing: Laura Bush's frenzied smile exactly the same as usual, only more so. The woman is on the verge of a running with scissors seizure. George keeps explaining it away as he's "made mistakes." Yeah, well we can understand that. After all, we've made mistakes too. Nixon. Nixon. Carter. Reagan. Reagan. Bush. Clinton. Clinton. We're just trying to keep from being nine for nine. Now it turns out the lawyer who turned over the document to the television reporter was a Gore delegate to the Democratic Convention, which could precipitate a backlash. "Hey, I was just trying to help." Not to mention that whole group of undecideds who will use this as an opportunity to vote for Bush. "Why, hell, that Bushy fellow is just a regular guy."

Will Durst loves it: finally a President who's been arrested more often than him.

Please don't let it be an electoral tie. A landslide. One of the contenders gets cold feet and concedes before the polls even open. Or they all caucus together and decide Harry Browne is the best thing that could happen to the country directing their electors to vote accordingly. Anything to get these handpicked squeezebag lackey mouthpieces off my tube so I can watch reruns of the Simpsons in peace. What I don't understand is why the networks even bother featuring such obvious paid lap dogs? They're so damn predictable. A steady parade of "My candidate is society's last best hope and the other guy is a thinly disguised demon whose mission is to destroy goodness and light as we know it. Blah. Blah. Blah." "Al Gore's cowardly strategy to win consists of lying to seniors." "George Bush is too dumb to know the difference between a federal program and yellow paint." Even the supposedly undecided normal focus groups were marginally more interesting. Although the fantasy of anybody still being undecided at this point seems a bit far fetched. What kind of stone crazed looney can't tell a difference at this point? Are they waiting for a sign from God? The magical appearance of bunnies with red neon lightning bolts spelling out a name on the side of their fur? Hope they're not sitting on the sideline waiting for an endorsement from Reagan. Or maybe that's a good idea actually. Anybody who still can't figure out who they're voting for, just bide your time until either Uncle Ron or Calvin Coolidge or Malificent telepathically nudges you. Trust me, we'll all be better off.

Come to think of it, Will Durst actually would like an electoral tie. It would extend his career a couple months.
  • Who will explain it to Dubyah? "Well yeah, you won, but then again, you lost too. Kind of a technicality deal thingie. You're still Governor though." "Okay."
  • In Missouri Senate race, Ashcroft loses to dead guy. For years to come, people pass him on the street. "Hey, I know you, you're the guy who couldn't win on the 'I'm Alive' Ticket."
  • In New York Senate race, Hillary Clinton wins and in six years faces a primary challenge from ex husband Bill, who means no disrespect, he just loves politics.
  • Senate ends up in dead heat, with both major parties holding 50 seats, meaning Vice President Lieberman in position to break many ties. Republican rules committee schedules tough votes for Saturday.
  • According to polls, if None Of The Above were on the ballot, they would have won. Or wouldn't have won. The logic is tricky here.
  • New Jersey Democratic Senator Corzine spends $31 million of his own money to come in second. Arianna Huffington claims she never met the guy.
  • After failing to garner enough votes to qualify the Green Party for federal matching funds, Ralph Nader teams up with Dr. Jack Kevorkian to create youscarethehelloutofme.com.
Will Durst thinks when Alec Baldwin said he would leave the country if Bush won, it boosted the Governor poll numbers.
the long awaited next week’s worth

Well, there you have it sports fans. It's all over but the posturing. We've seen the standing debate, the sitting debate and the arms akimbo debate. But somehow I find myself still itching for more. I, like you, don't think we've seen nearly all the facets of how these two white male Ivy League millionaires react under enough different circumstances. Where's the underwater debate? The scampering around the aerie of a redwood like Julia Butterfly debate? Or the debate mounted on the back of a team of incontinent mules? Or how bout arranging a debate where both candidates are driving separate SUVs filled with two dogs and a third grade co-ed soccer game filled to the armrests with empty McDonald's wrappers and they have to keep circling a toll booth manned by Jim Lehrer. Or the debate where the whole hour and a half is devoted to Medicare and prescription drugs and held in an operating room and the loser according to the CNN-Time instant poll has to undergo gall bladder surgery with a local anesthetic available at Rite Aid. Okay, okay, how about the foreign policy debate held in the hole of the Cole?

Realizing we already know more about these gentlemen than we need to know, Will Durst is rethinking this whole plan.

Yeah sure, I know the big freaking deal is still a fortnight away, but without a wee tad of solace for the also rans we might never again see the all important dark horses comedy requires, so I'd like to soften the inevitable blow with my Quadrennial Will Durst We're All Winners Here Awards, which are conferred on the deserving after great reflection and a six pack of Anchor. So here goes.

The Claude Raines Invisible Man Award: Pat Buchanan.
The Norm Crosby Vegas Lounge Doublespeak Scholarship: George W Bush.
Who Can Kiss Like A Drunken Sailor After 7 Months At Sea Competition: Al Gore.
Alf's Dad Lookalike Medal: Joe Lieberman.
Least Likely To Be Asked To Appear On Sesame Street: Tie. Dick Cheney, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan.
Mannequins R Us Man of the Year: Al Gore.
Best Name: Ezola Foster.
Seems So Lifelike Award: Ralph Nader.
The John Muir Sways Like A Birch In A Force 6 Gale Award: George W Bush.
The Jimmy Carter "I Can't Believe I'm Losing To This Guy" Memorial Trophy: Al Gore.
The I Don't Do Rubber Chicken Subsidy: Ralph Nader.
Letterman Cup: Al Gore.
The Coyote Love Gnaw Your Own First Name Off Trophy: Dick Cheney.
The I Am Rubber You Are Glue, Whatever You Say Bounces Off Me And Sticks To You Championship: George W Bush.
The NAZDAQ 24 Carat Gold Ribbon Money Clip: Tie. George W Bush and Al Gore.

Will Durst is a perennial champion of the underdog, and that's who he thinks is most qualified: Underdog.

"Thank you Mr. Goofy Toes. I just want to tell you all what a gosh darned thrill it is to preside over this opening of the fourth annual American Circus Clown Convention here in the Republican stronghold of Lafayette, Louisiana. What? Oh, sorry, Crystal City, Virginia. Explains why the Cajun food at the hotel was so bad last night. Cilantro pesto gumbo, surprised there's not a law. Let me take this time to thank all of you for coming tonight today. Worked with a lot of clowns in my day, although most of them posed as sportswriters covering the Rangers. You know, in Washington, which is what, right across Lake Potomac over there, they might try and tell you it's silly to waste my time working a crowd of 40 with just 10 days left till the election, but you guys are what my campaign is all about, and I intend to personally seek out the staffer that arranged this wonderful event and thank him. Repeatedly. Big time. Now I know what you're asking: 'George, how can you pay for your tax cut and still keep social security intact' it was a rhetorical question sir. Well, I'll tell you how a leader does it, my friends. By leading. Because that's what I'll do. Lead. You can lead a horse to water and I intend to. We have a responsibility to pull together, people, and if you give me the chance, it won't be long before this whole country will look like Texas. Now let me take off this red nose and let the seltzer fight begin."

Will Durst knows how he feels.

"Thank you Ron Jeremy. Let me take this time to say what a thrill it is to preside over the opening of the 6th annual Internet Adult Video Awards here in the great Democratic lockbox of Crystal City, Virginia. What's that? Sorry, Las Vegas, Nevada. Explains why I was able to double down for breakfast this morning. I want to thank all of you for coming, so to speak, today tonight. Haven't worked with many naked people in my time, although my boss has. But I'm my own man. The right wing conservative extremists might say this crowd here of 6000 is a comment on the disintegration of our society, but I say, I feel kind of fatherly knowing that all of you are involved in the Internet, which I did not invent, but fostered like a orphaned baby chick found on the shoulder of an Interstate off ramp. Now I know what you're asking. 'Al, how do you intend to turn the most important commodity in our country, that is, the education of our children, around' it was a rhetorical question ma'am. Nice pasties, by the way, I bet my loving wife of 30 years, Tipper, would look good in those. The answer is easy, I'm going to fight for you. Fight for our kids. Fight for your right to party. And if you give me the chance, I'll fight until this whole country has the integrity and morals of people like you. Now let me remove this strap on device and let the seltzer fight begin. At least I hope it's seltzer."


What They Say: This election is about trust.
What They Mean: If we actually win this thing, we trust all of us will become filthy rich.

What They Say: This race is going down to the wire.
What They Mean: Who knows, California might actually count this time.

What They Say: Our children should be our number one priority.
What They Mean: And they will be right up until the election.

What They Say: I am a big supporter of campaign finance reform.
What They Mean: I am a big supporter of campaign finance reform for the other guy.

What They Say: Ralph Nader is nothing more than a spoiler.
What They Mean: Try not to get too close to Ralph Nader, he smells like he's already spoiled.

What They Say: Every vote counts.
What They Mean: But every vote in one of the swing states counts more.

What They Say: The Republicans owe the American people an apology for impeaching me.
What They Mean: They ain't getting an apology from me.

What They Say: 23% of the electorate remain undecided.
What They Mean: 23% of the electorate keep hoping another choice will suddenly materialize.

What They Say: We face a fork in the road.
What They Mean: Fork is real close.

Will Durst wishes every year was an election year. Oh yeah, they are
a week's worth in mourning

Go with me on this. The Bi Partisan Commission on Presidential Debates is truly bipartisan and monitors answers with the latest technology. Contestants are wired. Two noises. A soothing beep to indicate the speaker is telling the truth, while an annoying ennnh! noise indicates either an evasion, a blatant falsehood or the subject is speaking on an issue he is blissfully unaware of.

Jim Lehrer: As a test for the monitoring devices, could you please state your name and profession.
Bush: My name is George W Bush, and I am governor of Texas.
Gore: My name is Al Gore, and I'm Vice President of the United States.
Buchanan: My name is Patrick Buchanan and I'm the Reform Party candidate for President.
Buchanan: Okay, My name is Patrick Buchanan and I'm one of the Reform Party candidates for President.
Nader: My name is Ralph Nader, and my job for thirty-five years has been point man for the American people in their never ending fight against corruption and hypocrisy.
Lehrer: The judges have ruled that to be a beep. Mr Bush, can you pronounce the name of the Serbian opposition leader?
Bush: Of course I can.
Bush: Sounds like more fuzzy noises to me.
Lehrer: Thank you Mr. Bush. Mr. Gore, could you explain to me what you mean by the word humility?
Gore: Why yes
Gore: Jim, I wasn't finished.
Lehrer: I'm sure you weren't Mr. Vice President. Mr Buchanan, when you say you want to return America to its traditional values, does that include burning people as witches because their tomatoes grew too big?
Buchanan: No, what I'm trying
Buchanan: Sounds like foreign noise to me.
Lehrer: Mr. Nader
Nader: No. There is no truth to the rumor that I had prior knowledge of the problem with Firestone tires.
Nader: That was Michael Moore.
Lehrer: We'll be right back with round two, after these soft money messages.

Will Durst is grateful we don't have this technology yet.

I can just imagine what's going through Al Gore's mind right now. "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." Poor poor Prince Albert. He's done everything the way he was taught it should be done. And then they told him he had to change his whole debate strategy from the first time out. And he did that as well.

  • Got his makeup done by someone whose training was not in Mortician Sciences.
  • Kept his sighs, grunts and rolling eyes to a minimum.
  • Covered his bald spot with huge Reagan comb over.
  • Let the Governor say "hey, me too," thirty or forty times without once snapping, "yeah, right, sure."
  • Used sarcasm instead of head waggle.
  • Didn't ask Jim Lehrer for a clarification of what the dope next to him just said.
  • Physically refrained himself from picking up pen and stabbing Bush in eye with it.
  • Never once looked over at Bush and just laughed and laughed.

Unfortunately, after ninety minutes of this, the cumulative effect was he looked like a beaten dog who'd been hit with a rolled up newspaper one too many times, and flinched and sulked through the whole night handing the debate on a platter to the Texas Governor. But this is a best out of three falls, and the rubber match is next Tuesday.

Will Durst wishes Al Gore's two debates a week policy was in effect. Then we'd have eight more of these to go instead of just one.

Not New York, New York, that's all I ask. Grapefruit spoons in my eyes, leaded paint chips under my fingernails, but not Mets versus Yankees. Cigarette burns on the upper inside of my thighs. You know, the really soft squishy part. Anything, just not New York squared. The baseball gods already spit in my face by coating the bats of my San Francisco Giants with some sort of deadening varnish for four days. Best record in Major League Baseball, my ass. And oh yeah, the Oakland A's lost too. Big deal. Except we had a shot at another Bay Bridge Series meaning another earthquake, which would have lowered property values to maybe only twice what normal humans can afford. But now you're going to rub my face in 40 weight liquid regret with a stinking Subway Series. Yeah, there you go. Just what we need. Ten days of Flushing and Bronx fans shouting their discreet epithets in extreme close ups. Like the denizens of the city that doesn't sleep aren't annoying and arrogant enough, now we got to give them exclusive sports page coverage for ten days and endure endless rapturous little self satisfied smirks and inside jokes amongst the network hosts who already ignore the rest of the country like it's redolent with snake venom. One can only hope for a massive riot.

Will Durst is kidding. No, really.
a week's worth with playoff frenzy on it

Did you ever wonder why politicians lie to us all the time? I do. All the time. Lie. Lie. Lie. Fib. Fib. Fib. Say one thing. Do another. Tell us they don't know, then it turns out, not only did they know, but they were personally in charge of convincing other people to tell us how little they knew. They mislead, prevaricate, deceive, bear false witness, distort, equivocate, misrepresent, fudge, and right to our face tell us stuff they are well aware is not true. Maybe they're afraid of not keeping in practice. Must be the Nixon rule. Or it's gotten to the point where they don't even know they're lying. Perhaps they can't tell the difference anymore. Either that or they think they're only telling us what they think we want them to think we want to know. I don't know. All I know is I see one of them on TV and saying something incredibly mundane like "education is good", and I think to myself, "I know he's lying, I can't figure out why." My favorite though, is when they can't remember. Just can't recall. Trying hard. On the tip of their tongue wait a minute– nope, sorry, just slipped their mind. Drawing a complete blank now. And we don't care. That's the best part. We don't care. We know exactly what's going on. And then try to find the guy who lies the best. In a way we can almost believe. And we vote for him. And then look the other way.

Will Durst was lying just now. Could you tell? Sorry, not looking.

Alright, I'll tell you, but you can't tell anybody. If they find out who squealed, I'm history. They, and I know better than to even intimate who, have had people disappeared for less, or worse, banished them to some hellhole like Antioch. Or even, God have mercy on their soul, Sacramento. This fiendish coverup makes Watergate look like a misplaced memo. One might expect this sort of shameful ignominy from those pissants down in Los Angeles, but here it's sacrilege. I'm talking about a condition so atrocious the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce will do anything short of asking Oakland's help to keep the public, read: prospective dotcommers, from discovering, so listen up. The ugly secret about San Francisco today, is, we're prisoners. Little more than Pterodactyls with skooters entombed in a fog enshrouded tar pit with incredible take-out available. Nobody can move. Not ever. We are chained to the 415 area code like 670,000 debased felons sporting liberally enforced ankle bracelets. Rooted paradoxically to paradise in a state of condemned occupancy. Doomed to either a swirling vortex of roommate hell conspicuous by a constant string of vacancy interviews for a "private room with separate entrance" once known as the hall closet, or damned to endure relationships withered to barren husks years ago because neither party is willing to abdicate residency, meaning a fugitive re-entering of the housing market, and the quixotic torment of deciding whether to overbid on a studio in the Mission with no parking and the smell of old men embedded in the walls with an asking price of $2200 a month. It's a velvet trap, people, so please, whatever you do don't move here. It's the Hotel California come to life. You can check out anytime you like. But you can't ever leave.

Will Durst wouldn't leave even if he could.

You can't make stuff up like this. The debate edition.

  • Accusations are running rampant that Gore's staff stole Bush's debate strategy briefing book. Which when you think about it, is a lot like pilfering the navigation log of the Titanic.
  • Still can't believe the Bush people, give, tried subliminal advertising, me, when it's been proved beyond a doubt, money, it doesn't work. And lots of it, I mean research has rendered it totally meaningless, now.
  • Right now Bush and Gore seem to be spending most of their time attacking each other's education and prescription drug plans. Which has come as a surprise to voters. Who knew either one of them had an education or prescription drug plan?
  • Expectations are so low, the only way Bush can really lose the debates is if he pronounces his own name wrong.
  • Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney are going to go at it on Thursday. Of course if the Connecticut Senator does chew up the Wyoming oil executive, he will be required by his religion's dietary laws to immediately spit him out.
  • Locked out presidential candidates Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader are talking about holding their own series of debates. Could work if they air them as late night infomercials. I wouldn't try pay- per- view though.
Will Durst thinks all debates should all be packaged together as a boxed set.

You can't make stuff up like this: the debate edition part two.

  • How to tell the Presidential debates from the Baseball playoffs: Roger Clemens is on the hill, Dick Cheney is over it, and Al Gore is raking it to cover Clinton's footprints.
  • What the American people have to understand is that this election is about jobs. Joe Lieberman's job. Richard Gebhardt's job. And Hillary Clinton's job.
  • It's always great to see November approach, just to reaffirm how important it is to vote. How else can we tell how accurate the polls really are?
  • Dick Cheney is the kind of guy who sees nothing wrong with building a bomb with a destruction radius of 50 miles and a delivery range of 25 miles.
  • Al Gore's mission is to prove to the American public he's more than a robotic automaton who will say or do anything to become president. He's even gone so far as to install more RAM and update his operating system.
  • George W's mission is to prove he's more than a privileged frat boy whose major achievement is the ability to suppress his smirk. He's even gone so far as to hire someone to smirk for him.
Will Durst is looking forward to the battle royale tonight, or the teeny tussle, whatever.
a tupperware week's worth

I hate summer. No, I'm not crazy. I hate not being a kid where summer means three months of lazy indolence next to a pool. Maybe I hate being an adult, or maybe I have residual memories of the back of the station wagon. Either way, I start getting depressed with the vernal equinox. Because I know what's coming. And these are just some of them.

10 Reasons Why I Hate Summer

  • Hotel hallways full of softball teams eliminated in the first round of some tournament so they are free to party until three am.
  • Baseball games on the radio I am not listening to.
  • Super soakers. Only because we were stuck with those stupid leaky 2 oz micro dampers.
  • Flights are so packed the passengers feel like futuristic freeze dried sardine snacks.
  • My producer invariably thinks the best light is right after dawn and just before sunset, which means on June 22nd, we work 16 hours a day while on December 21st, my favorite day of the year, we work around 8. Of course, in the best of all possible worlds we re shooting in Barrow, Alaska on the 21st of December.
  • The smell of other people's barbecues.
  • For some reason, all the stories we are sent to cover are in East Arkansas, Mid Central Louisiana or anywhere else the weatherman gets to say these words: highs in the low 100 s.
  • Denver International Airport.
  • It's hot and I'm wearing a vest.
  • Two words: 102% humidity.
Will Durst needs air conditioning bad.

So the deal is, there are approximately six weeks left before the presidential election. That's the good news. The bad news is one of these squeeze bags is going to win. And both camps pretty much agree whoever wins the women's vote will be that squeezebag. That's why these guys are sucking up to moms and would be moms like vacuum powered barnacles with every breath. Shameless pandering of a magnitude not seen since Rosie O'Donnell interviewed Barbra Streisand. Fine tuning their stances and making counter proposals on what are considered women's issues like education, the environment and area rugs. They even went so far as to match each other kiss for kiss: Gore with his wife at the Democratic convention, and Bush with Oprah on her show. That's right, he kissed her right on her show. It's only going to get more heated as we get closer to E Day.

Here are some of the wrinkles one might expect.

Muffy things. Women like those muffy things that go on and around the toilet seat. First one to propose their installation be mandatory in bars and stadiums wins.

Flowers. For some reason, ladies appreciate cut flowers. The attraction must be the sheer extravagance of buying something pretty that will die in a week. Buy all eligible female voters something pretty that will die in a week. Like the physical representation of a campaign promise.

Curtains. What this country needs is an official policy on curtains and curtain rods.

Will Durst has a policy on curtains. He's for them.
a five ringed weeks worth

17 Short Tips On How To Save Time and Stay on the Go.

  • Commission full size model of self and prop it up at meetings, thereby avoiding hundreds of wasted hours.
  • Take a tip from the astronauts. Food in tubes.
  • Espresso machine with cigarette lighter adapter.
  • Hardwood floors and roller blades.
  • End time- wasting stops. Install own catheter.
  • Instead of normal front door, put in remote garage door opening device so you can come and go without unnecessary movements. Same with car and office doors.
  • Establish a wardrobe consisting solely of formal sweat suits appropriate for any and all occasions.
  • Chutes, ramps and slides instead of stairs.
  • Caffeine suppositories.
  • Pack a portable flamethrower. Comes in handy for snowy driveways, slow pedestrians and recalcitrant security guards.
  • To save time and help clean up the environment, have hibachi set up in trunk, and utilize road kill in an efficient and nutricious manner.
  • In lieu of sleep, play cassette tapes of Ralph Nader speeches.
  • Schedule all project review meetings at exact same time and place. Then refuse to attend.
  • Don't just burn candles at both ends. Light middle as well.
  • Fast forward through all movies with Gwenneth Paltrow in them.
  • Tanning light strips activated when car is stopped at red lights.
  • Two words: electronic forks.
Will Durst is here to help.

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.

Accused by Gail Sheehy in an article in Vanity Fair of suffering from dyslexia, George Bush laughed it off, saying "I never interviewed her." Dubyah, unh never mind. Methinks he doth protest too little.

Appearing on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," Joe Lieberman joked the new Democratic slogan will be "Gore-Lieberman: no bull, no pork." Funny, but he never mentioned: no lying, no cheating or no stealing. Or would that run the risk of him turning into a pillar of salt?

If George Bush, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman were in a lifeboat and it capsized and all of them drowned, who would demand an investigation?

    A. Janet Reno.
    B. The American public.
    C. Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan.
    D. None of the above.

Each Olympic host city gets to include its own event. If the Olympics were ever held in Washington D.C. The event would be:

    A. The graft grab.
    B. The hot air marathon.
    C. 400 meter sucking up individual medley.
    D. The coxless 535.

Television stations around the nation are expected to benefit about $1 billion from this year's bounty of political commercials. That's a lot of hair spray.

Will Durst is starting to need some hair spray. Either that or some spray- on hair.

"Welcome back to the 54th American Political Olympiad. I'm Wolf Blitzer."

"And I'm Jim Lehrer. We're here looking live at Pennsylvania, one of the big battlegrounds, if not the biggest, for Al Gore, representing the defending champs, the Democratic Party and George W Bush, the number two seed, and son of the last Republican Party victor."

"These two teams have really emphasized their breeding programs to great advantage recently. As you know Wolf, Gore is also the son of a senator."

"That's right Jim. Not to mention the incredible strides the team trainers have made in the areas of nutrition, stamina and fund raising. And let's not ignore the fairy tale path both these competitors took overcoming great personal ordeals to get here."

"Undeniably Wolf. Of course most of our viewers are familiar with the heart rending story of how a middle aged crisis came within a hairs breath of felling George Bush, or Dubyah, as his family affectionately refers to him."

"Yes Jim, but how many people are aware of the great heartache Al Gore suffered waiting in the wings watching Clinton fritter away all his hard earned good will. Next, in an exclusive Up Close and Personal, Tipper will share with us tragic moments near the pool."

"But first this message from one of our major sponsors, Archer Daniels Midland, supermarket to the world. If you want to eat it, we want to own it."

Will Durst doesn't know if he can't wait for the commercials to end or the program.
welcome back week's worth

Immediately preceding an appearance in Naperville, Illinois, George W Bush was caught too near a microphone as he leaned over and mumbled to Dick Cheney that a passing New York Times reporter was "a major league asshole." Cheney was also heard sucking up in the grand tradition of proper obsequious running mate protocol, "yep, yep. Big one." And of course Al Gore responded exactly like you'd expect any self righteous president of the Student Council to react. "Teacher! Teacher! George said a bad word. Oooh, he's naughty. Doesn't deserve to be president." The only people who might not behave as anticipated are the voters, the vast majority of whom already believe all New Yorkers are assholes and ones who work for the Times might just be worthy of even more emphatic expletives. If focus groups prove this inadvertent slip of the tongue somehow works in his favor I can foresee all the candidates being encouraged to slip in a carefully formulated off color comment meant to stimulate credibility with whatever mini- interest groupette is in attendance. In front of doctors, you tell a particularly disgusting lawyer joke. Facing a bunch of newspaper publishers, the carefully placed, "TV sucks" comment might engender a little comraderie. Then, just before the big Latin Calypso dancer convention it might behoove you to drop a snide reference to Riverdance. Of course, when is that not appropriate?

Will Durst had to leave Riverdance, he needs to move his arms.
  • Dear Mr. Cheney: I'm a former CEO of a large international oil concern who is headed into the public sector, but because of a couple of deferred pension payments that won't vest until I'm in office some pansy ass organizations are screaming "conflict of interest." What should I do? Dehydrated in Dallas.

    Dear Dehydrated in Dallas: Screw em.

  • Dear Mr. Cheney: I got hit a lucky steak and amassed a salary of about $20 million over the last ten years, but my tax returns show only 1% of that went to charitable contributions. Because my new partner has recently been spouting off about how a policy of private donations is so much better than that old tired discredited philosophy of public assistance I've been catching a lot of heat lately. Any suggestions? Wired in Wyoming

    Dear Wired in Wyoming: Screw em.
  • Dear Mr. Cheney: Recently, I was on a podium and my boss called a guy wandering past us an asshole and I agreed with him. So far, no problem. The guy was an asshole. Unfortunately we were near an open microphone and all his colleagues heard what we said about him. Should we apologize to him or to his colleagues or both? Irate in Iran.

    Dear Irate in Iran. Screw em all.

Don't forget to read, "Dear Mr. Cheney" each and every week or just for the next nine, for more of his trademark new generation, kinder, gentler advice.

Will Durst can't wait for the compilation.

Oh dear. The second guessing of George W has begun. Gentlemen, start your misgivings. Just when you thought it was safe to settle down with a tub of fried chicken the size of a sofa bed to watch the Olympics, now comes a sudden wave of the Bushqualms. According to one of the "a--holes" at the New York Times, high level supporters are worried Dubyah has recently seemed either "defensive, bumbling, weary, detached or peevish." Not to mention dumber than a bucket of hairballs, slimier than warm fishguts, more stubborn than a dead mule, as distant as the Hubble's far focus while running the worst campaign since France in 39. Of course a lot of the apprehension is being written off as simple buyer's remorse. Obviously, with stakes this high, it's not hard to elicit advice from the pros. Said counsel ranges from a new haircut, to "Debate Already!" to "don't worry, we'll just shoot him if we have to." The last reportedly coming from inside the George HW camp. But all agree it's time to put some STP in the gas tank, clean out those valves, shift it into third and step on the gas. Or give PCP a try. Couldn't hurt.

Will Durst tried STP once and it hurts.

The "how to tell you're working too hard" test.
Add up the numbers of your answers and check score at end.

    My idea of getting away from it all is:
    1. Driving an hour, unpacking a picnic spread in the shade overlooking a babbling brook and curling up with a good book.
    2. Turning off the cell phone.
    3. Leaning my head against the carpeting on the side of my cubicle while on hold.

    In my experience most workaholics are:
    1. Unusually driven.
    2. People running the risk of burning out.
    3. Slackers with a fancy name.

    When I need a time out I:
    1. Lock the door and take an hour nap.
    2. Grab a couple of winks at red lights.
    3. Chug a series of triple espressos.

    A really good restaurant:
    1. Has cloth napkins.
    2. Delivers.
    3. Doesn't force you to speak into a clown's head when ordering through the drive through.

    Quitting time means:
    1. When every other person has left the office.
    2. My mental fire extinguisher needs refilling after putting out all the fires.
    3. A quiet ceremony in the shade by a babbling brook.

    Casual Fridays mean:
    1. Everybody else shows up in sneakers and jeans.
    2. Only one day to Sunday, which I occasionally take off.
    3. Three entire days before anybody is reachable by phone.

    My kids are:
    1. My strength and my solace.
    2. The reason I work so hard.
    3. Reportedly doing much better since their medication was tweaked.

    Perks I look for in a hotel are:
    1. Modem hookups.
    2. 24 hour room service.
    3. The flat soft thing.


    Score: 7- 10.
    You drink de-caf because you can. Your children recognize you, often speak of you in the present tense and are determined to beat your high Tomb Raider III score. Co-workers try in vain to emulate your wide awake appearance with scotch tape and toothpicks. You have a Palm Pilot and use it to store recipes.

    Score: 11- 14.
    You are reachable via four different answering machines, none of which you ever hear ring. To save the ten minutes every morning it takes to put your contacts in, you had your windshield ground to your prescription. Underlings refer to the period before you've had your third cup of coffee as DKT: Daylight Killing Time. The school counselor called again to discuss "attitude problems," and for a minute there it sounded like they meant yours and not your kids'.

    Score: 15- 18.
    You shower every four days whether you need to or not. The Lexus's fax machine is in the shop again. Your kids just "love" the new boarding school. Your PDA just interrupted a meeting where you and three others like you seriously considered chipping in out of pocket to buy an antenna for the elevator so you are never out of cellular contact, to remind you of your monthly scheduled dinner with your spouse.

    Score: 19 or over.
    Given a choice, your kids will run to hug the live in nanny and often try to speak to you in Flemish. The cashier at the multiplex keeps offering you a senior citizen discount even though you're only 30. You worry your system might not survive the shock if you experience too long of a lapse between nervous breakdowns.

Will Durst scored a six.
Don't forget! Will Durst and Deb and Mike at the Punch Line, San Francisco, Tuesday through Saturday, the 19th through the 23rd. Call 415 397 4337 for reservations. And I assume you'll have many. I do.
i'm sorry this is late weeks worth

I'm sure at one time each and every one of us has looked at Booger T. Snapchippy running for president on the "Stop The Alien Voices In My Head" ticket, and wondered what the hell his tiny little echo ridden brain thought was going to happen. These thoughts are not reserved solely for the sandlot candidates but the minor league ones as well, and yes I'm talking Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. Why do 3rd party candidates actually spend the time and money and energy to run? Because you never know. You know? You never know.

  • What if, on November 6th, a huge earthquake demolished all of North America except for a small square roughly corresponding to where Northern Idaho now exists? Buchanan could have a fighting chance.
  • Consider this: an Ebola Virus laden buffet at the Presidential debates at St. Louis University attended by both halves of the Republican and Democratic tickets. Could mean a fight to the finish between Nader and Buchanan.
  • Two words: giant meteor.
  • Pictures. Videotapes. Film at 11 featuring a menage a cinq with 4 men and a goat. And you know who I'm talking about.
  • Mideastern Biblical scholars unearth a scroll that states the world will narrowly avoid being annihilated by a fleet cart known as "the Corvair." Nader in a walk.
  • Russian subs with Firestone Tires. Don't know who this helps, but that's my point. Just being in position is what counts.
Will Durst thinks hey you never know.

It's hot here. So was Philadelphia. Which was humid as well. And it's humid here, a place normally never humid. The forecast for Friday is cooler and drier. Just like the entire East Coast cooled down the day after the Republican Convention ended. See a pattern emerging? I'm convinced it's us. This movable feast known as the major party conventions. The politicians and we media have created our own micro climate. A muggy cloud following us around like the one that hung over some "L'il Abner" character. You could even feel a suspicion of it in Long Beach, which was warm, but too many real people and not enough media to put the city over the big wet hot hump. The moist torrid tipping point. Maybe you need a quorum. Or maybe it's Sam Donaldson all by himself that creates the clammy sultriness. Which would explain the damp thing that sits on his head. No, I'm convinced it's the collected hot air and forced soaking prose coming out of our mouths creating these soggy atmospheric conditions. Which I don't think the planet is going to take to kindly to. As we all know, it's not nice to fool Mother Nature. Might want to use our new knowledge for good. Pick cities for the 2004 assemblies where we can help. I'm thinking either Butte or Duluth.

Will Durst really is thinking Butte or Duluth.

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This. Democratic Convention Edition.

  • Hey, guess what everybody? Al Gore is in favor of working families. Who knew? Next you're going to tell me he's against crib death. Shocking.
  • Al Gore is going to work and fight for me. So, if you ever get pissed I'm not covering my end, just take it outside and wait for Al to show up.
  • Convenient timing on the reopening of the Grand Jury investigation of President Clinton concerning what we euphemistically call the Monica Lewinsky incident. Hmmm, on the same day Al Gore is giving his acceptance speech. What are the odds?
  • The Vice President said he's not the most exciting politician in the world. Wow. The numbing revelations just keep piling up.
  • Wonder if Tipper learned to dance at the "Spike Heels On Hot Asphalt Dance Studio."
  • Think the only way they could have gotten Bill Clinton out of here faster was if they strapped him to roller blades with a bunjee cord.
  • Until that speech, I thought the only way Gore could get a bounce big enough to catch Bush was if he delivered it with shoes whose soles were made out of Flubber. Maybe he talked to somebody at Disney.
Will Durst is glad to get the hell out of Dodge and will take a couple of days off. See you after Labor Day.
this week's worth read under protest

The Republicans trotted out so many minorities on their Convention stage, we all deserve to be patted on the head and comforted, "there, there, baby," for being gang forced to watch what seemed to be a four day marathon amateur slot at Showtime at the Apollo. The only difference was the Philly audience: and yes, I do mean whiter than Minute Rice mixed in with fresh snow. More like a brightly lit helium inflated restaging of the Cotton Club. So, in response, the Dems raised the bar on the minority stakes high jump by picking a Jewish guy for the bottom of their ticket. Sacrificing that crucial Michigan Militia vote in the process, not to mention all of West Texas. As a practicing Orthodox Jew, Lieberman, keeps Sabbath, which means he does not work between Friday sundown and Saturday sundown. I don't know about you, but it might be nice to have a politician who we know doesn't work only one day a week. Of course he is allowed an exception and may, by Jewish law, work, only if it is to save a life. So you know what's going to happen? That's right. "Joe, I swear to God I mean Yahweh, or whatever you call him, you got to give this speech to the West New Rochelle Rotary Club Junior League. Yes, it's a matter of life and death. Mine. And if you don't give it, schmuck, yours."

Will Durst is happy to be able to say schmuck.

You can't make stuff up like this: Pre- Democratic Party Convention Edition.

  • You can tell Long Beach is going to be a little bit different than Philly when you can pull up to a meter right outside the Reform Party Convention entrance.
  • Surprisingly enough, there were more guys wearing yellow pants here than I expected. Which means more than 2. And they don't seem to be enforcing the minumum teeth requirement.
  • Hey, guess what everybody? Some folks in the Reform Party aren't all that happy with the prospect of Pat Buchanan carrying their banner. What are the odds? Next you'll tell me poisonous space leeches should be removed before serving chocolate pudding.
  • Tokyo officials say small children should not be left unattended lest they be subject to seige from 21,000, two foot long crows which attack passersby in roving bands. That's the bad news. The good news: kids that are attacked tend to eat more chicken sandwiches at McDonalds.
  • Gore- Lieberman. Sounds like a chant at a Jewish bullfight.
  • If these guys get elected will Tipper be known as the First Shiksa?
  • Arab- Americans are complaining Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Lieberman is too pro Israel. He's an Orthodox Jew. Duh! Like saying a horse is too hoof dependent.
  • Bush praised Gore's choice of Lieberman. But reportedly, talk of a Cheney- Lieberman trade broke down when Gore demanded Bush throw in J. C. Watts.
Will Durst is vibrating like a beetle caught in a belt sander waiting for the Democratic Convention to start.


The competition between election year major party conventions is a lot like a baseball game, with the party in power the home team. That's why they always have "last ups" at the convention World Series. The score is kept in terms of "bounce." And the Republicans, the visiting team, scored about 9 points in their turn at the bat. One point was overturned when Gore blurred the memory of their diversity sideshow, when the GOP Big Tent met the minstrel show, by tapping Joe Lieberman as his second in command. Between innings, there was a Triple A game "dizzy bat" contest, also known as the Reform party convention(s.) Both Buchanan and Hagelin stumbled across the plate in a photo finish, with the winner of the $12.6 million cash prize to be decided in about two weeks by that dysfunctional One Hour Photo Lab known as the Federal Elections Commission. Now the Democrats come to bat and they need to score at least 14 points to make up the GOP bounce and the six points they spotted them coming in.

Other ways the conventions are exactly like baseball games.

  • Both teams have really ugly mascots.
  • If they don't win, the manager (candidate) gets canned.
  • Old Boy network guarantees the manager always gets another job.
  • Can never find a beer vendor when you need one.
  • Fans dress funny.
  • Media writes about it like it's a life and death situation, when it's really just a game.
Come to think of it, Will Durst would rather be at a baseball game.

He's a monster. Bronze the stage right now, because nobody can follow that. Should have thrust both fists into the air while sweaty guys with comb overs threw a cape around his shoulders as he trudged off the stage. Because The Comeback Kid just retired undefeated heavyweight champion of American politics. I don't know if Ted Williams was his hero or not, but he and William Jefferson Clinton went out the same way; hit home runs in their last at bats. Not only did he eloquently recite an embroidered list of ersatz accomplishments, but barely lifting an eyebrow, he squandered some political currency to lever up the legacy of Jimmy Carter with nothing more than a fulcrum of charm. A gargantuan modern Democratic task on the order of rehabilitating the image of Caligula. "Not a bad guy. Nice to horses." Then The Man From Hope slyly inserted a plug for his wife, and later, as a seeming afterthought, mentioned the guy who would follow in his footsteps wasn't a bad sort and folks might want to take another hard look at what's his name, oh yeah, Al. A special Academy Award would be the proper thing to do considering the locale. But I think Bill could be coerced to accept a major production post in one of the local dream factories. If he could oversee the production of just half of the fantasies he spun, even the Mouse would be forced to sit up and barf up cheese.

Will Durst needs a cold compress.
showtime at the apollo week's worth

First you got "the Bounce." "The Bounce" being the significant jump in polling that a four day long multi station commercial is bound to effect upon whatever thick yet shallow audience is watching. Think us. Mere guileless innocents experiencing a political Helsinki Formula. No, that's Robert Vaughan. Stockholm Syndrome. When hostages come around to their kidnappers' way of thinking. Which is how advertising works. Of course you still have to be careful the message doesn't overwhelm the product. Like with Taco Bell. They had to can the dog, because even though everybody loved him, people weren't buying more tacos. But just having a "bounce" isn't enough. Then you have to put some spin on "the Bounce." Which is when you tell the press, so they can tell us, exactly why the poll numbers have grown so much/ so little/ so mean. The spin on Bush's "bounce" is it won't be very large because he's already consolidated his base, a pre-emptive way of spinning Gore's "bounce" by setting up expectations it might be bigger than Bush's since the Democratic base is more splintered than a six foot square crossword puzzle. A great way to claim victory from the jaws of defeat. Of course, nothing, including poll numbers, really matters till late September. Can anybody say: "Yo Quiero Olympics?"

Will Durst is looking forward to reality TV, with some actual reality in it.

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This. Republican Convention Edition.

  • At a fundraiser where an estimated ten million dollars was collected, George Bush said "it's time for change." I imagine his staffers are very happy it's not time to pay with change.
  • Don't mean to make fun of a tragedy here, but my theory is Gerald Ford is not the first guy to sustain a stroke while talking to Larry King.
  • George W keeps saying he will leave no child behind. Doesn't anybody but me find it suspicious he refuses to say where the hell he plans on taking them?
  • Think in 20 years, journalists will gather together in bars and wax nostalgic about the 2000 campaign? "I swear to God, I was there when Cheney finished up 3 minutes and 45 seconds after prime time and the place went totally chaotic. No, you won't see the likes of that kind of spontaneity again."
  • During his speech, Quibble Dick Cheney stole Gore's 92 line "it's time for them to go." Of course Gore was talking about George W's dad at the time. Circles inside of circles. Head hurt.
  • Does this carefully orchestrated fraud being perpetrated on the American public by the Republicans mean the Democrats will respond by featuring a week long parade of rich white guys at their convention?
Will Durst thinks a trip to Euro Disney would be a refreshing dose of reality at this point.

You can't make stuff up like this. Republican Convention Edition #2.

  • I got to be honest, I haven't seen the Republicans this excited and energized since Dole- Kemp in 96.
  • The nice thing about the GOP is it doesn't matter what you do or who you know, VIP entrance to all the good parties inevitably comes down to one thing: how much money you contribute. Now, that's Democracy.
  • One of the lyrics of Bush's official theme song, "We the People," goes; "here's to every waitress working hard for those dimes." Now you know why restaurant workers aren't that sorry to see the Republicans go home.
  • Loved the intro of Bo Derek: "Please welcome actress and celebrity " Has "celebrity" become an actual job title these days? Next you'll see: "Wanted. Big Cheese. Experience a must."
  • "Renewing America's Purpose. Together." Still accepting submissions for exactly what that is supposed to mean.
  • Noticed Bush threw shots of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into his little film paean. Funny, nothing about Nixon. What are the odds?
  • Since the Republicans have co-opted the issues of diversity and education, does this mean the only thing left for the Democrats to address will be tort reform and a unified bashing of the National Endowment of the Arts?
Will Durst is so sorry to see it all end. Then again, he's not.

Packing List For Democratic National Convention In Los Angeles.

  • Inflatable steel reinforced vest in case I get stopped by LA police for motor violation.
  • Extra credit card for price of admission to Disneyland when convention gets really boring, which means any of the four days.
  • Lots and lots of Vivarin.
  • How To Speak Wonk airport book to figure out what the hell Al Gore's advance team is talking about.
  • A New York Rangers cap for Hillary Clinton.
  • Bandanna soaked in Visine for everyday walks down street.
  • A copy of Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat to give to Jesse Jackson.
  • List of all local AA meetings to distribute to members of Kennedy clan.
  • Sunglasses, a bag of oranges and a leaf blower so I can blend in outside the convention hall.
  • Granny glasses, fringed jacket and chukha beads so I can blend in inside the convention center.
  • Either an ankle bracelet or a specially equipped muzzle for Bill Clinton's manhood. "Mr. President, I want you to meet Ms Electra." "Down boy." "ZAP!"
  • "Best of Beach Boys" CD.
  • Case of chamois to shine up Tipper Gore's hair helmet.
  • Earplugs in case I get caught on elevator with Ann Richards or Barney Frank.
  • "Democrats Used To Do It From The Left But Not Anymore" T-shirt.
  • Portable personal espresso machine as feeble attempt to stay awake.
If Will Durst wanted to be in LA, he would have moved there 24 years ago. Oh yeah, that's right, he did.

Maybe we've become too cynical. Maybe we're concentrating on the too too slight differences between the candidates and not enough on the similarities that make them leaders among men, and sons among Senators. Maybe I should shut up while I'm ahead and try to elicit some laughs with a little something I like to call:

Similarities between Bush and Gore.

  • Tied to the hip with the ghosts of phantom Presidents: Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and William Henry Harrison.
  • White male Ivy League millionaires with fire in their bellies and that frontier spirit that is American poetry in their souls. Well, four out of six ain't bad.
  • Want to save social security, and keep criminal activity down. Or is it save criminal activity and keep social security down? One of the two.
  • Horrified historians by waging ruthless and relentless campaigns to win party's nominations without regard to ethics, morals or charity.
  • Hobbies include killing and burying loners picked up on lonely desert highways.
  • Married, with children.
  • Allergic to cactus pollen.
  • Between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall.
  • Have same connection to regular guy as a Lear Jet has to a two car stucco garage.
Will Durst is sure there are additional examples but he doesn't even care anymore.
a cheesesteak weeks worth

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This. Cheesesteak version.

    Social conservatives on the GOP platform committee are intent on including language opposing same sex marriages and gays in the military. Seems Newt Gingrich's "Big Tent" is hammering a couple more stakes around the bottom flaps.

    On George W's website, he lists his goals if elected. His third priority is "putting education 1st."

    Why does Dick Cheney remind me of Richard on "Survivor" given the chance to vote everybody else off the island?

    Dick's wife, Lynne, wrote a novel about a Vice President who dies of a heart attack which his staff covers up. Lets hope her middle name isn't Nostradamus.

    The city of Philadelphia awarded rights to all events held at public venues for the weeks of and before the Convention to the Republican Party. Wonder what a fortnight of 1st Amendment Rights goes for these days? Should have given it a shot on E-Bay first.

    Microsoft, AT&T and General Motors each contributed a million bucks to both the Republican and Democratic Conventions. You know what would be fun? Closed circuit video footage of the boardrooms if the Green and Reform Parties run one- two. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Will Durst is staying at a Days Inn in New Jersey. Just one of the many perks of becoming credentialed as a big time journalist. Eat your heart out Tom Brokaw.

See Dick.

    See Dick run.
    See Dick run sideways.
    See Dick go on Sunday morning talk shows and dodge questions about his votes as Wyoming's entire House contingent.
    See Dick quibble about voting against releasing Nelson Mandela from prison.
    Quibble, Dick, Quibble.
    See Dick clumsily explain his voting against the Equal Rights Amendment was actually a compassionate gesture in order to protect the gentler sex from being drafted.
    Nitpick, Dick, Nitpick.
    See Lynne, Dick's wife, be tapped by Aaron Spelling to play the Wicked Witch of the West in a made for TV remake of the "Wizard of Oz" set in Malibu.
    See Dick change his mind and announce that he might change his vote to ban cop killer bullets and plastic guns this time around.
    See Dick forget to mention now means he's presumptive Republican Vice Presidential Candidate and all.
    See Dick say the 80's were a long time ago.
    See Dick's old friend George the Elder cringe when George the Younger looks at him as if to say, "Thanks Dad."
    See Dick demonstrate little remorse when he alters George the Younger's "different kind of Republican" phrase to mean a throwback to the Goldwater campaign.
    See Quibble Dick call the Democratic charges that he's a little to the right of Newt Gingrich silly.
    Quibble, Dick, Quibble.

Will Durst thinks the bar is raised for Al Gore to make a worse choice, but he's just the guy to do it.

Can't figure out if the Conventions are just big company picnics. Or four day infomercials. Most likely company picnics where in lieu of playing softball, they produce a four day company infomercial. But you can't produce an infomercial without a cast party. And these people know how to party. Especially when it's on someone else's dime. But are the Democratic Party parties the same as the Republican Party parties? No.

How you can tell you're at a Republican Party party.

  • When you see two guys in a stall together, they're exchanging stock tips.
  • Ratio of bartenders to guests is 3 to 820.
  • Odds that women have shaved their legs is very high.
  • You can tell how good the parties are in advance by how many blocks away the limo lock begins.
  • Librarian chic is in.
  • Tip jars at bars considered an exercise in futility.
  • The pearls are real.
  • You can tell the big time celebrities by their cowboy boots.
  • A hair spray concession in the female rest room would make a lot of money.
  • When you see a balding guy with a grey pony tail you know he is with the band.
Will Durst is experiencing gastronomical distress due to a severe case of cheesesteak poisoning. catch the boyo at the shadow convention wednesday and tuesday. not in that order.
your very own weeks worth

Packing List For Republican National Convention In Philadelphia.

  • Inflatable steel reinforced vest in case I get stopped by Philly police for motor violation.
  • "How To Speak Texican" airport book to figure out what the hell George W's Texas Ranger security detail is saying.
  • Three dozen yellow roses for Barbara Bush.
  • Bandanna soaked in eye wash for walk to protest pit.
  • Cell phone with three backup batteries and little wire so I can look like a homeless guy talking to myself.
  • One copy of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" for Dan Quayle.
  • One copy of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" for self to read during slow parts. Also a copy of "Remembrances of Things Past" and "War and Peace" and entire Edward Rutherford collection.
  • Palm Pilot VII set up for wireless Internet connection to check email hourly.
  • White shoes and belt.
  • Two packages each of Tums and Rolaids to follow up taste test tour of cheesesteak shops.
  • Scaffolding in case I get enscripted to groom Ted Koppel's hair.
  • Snake bite serum.
  • Earplugs in case I get caught on elevator with Chris Mathews or Rush Limbaugh.
  • Viagra to wave at Bob and Elizabeth Dole.
  • "Republicans Do It On Top" t-shirt.
  • Portable personal espresso machine as feeble attempt to stay awake.
Will Durst is going to need a bigger bag.

O my God, no! The mideast peace talks have failed. Again. Imagine that. Quelle surprise! What next? Cell phone wielding Lexus drivers annoying? Branson Missouri Wayne Newton concerts cloyingly sappy? Authentic "Survivor" wear available at cbs.com? This just can't be. Although when you think about it. It's almost kind of comforting. One constant in an ever changing world. Two millennium old stone tablet scrapings reveal the headline "Mideast Talks Fail" as will the digital transparent readout on our mesh aluminum wind visors in another millennium. Worse yet, don't these swarthy powerhogs realize they're pissing on Clinton's legacy? That's what lame duck Presidents do during last days. They're supposed to do it. It's in the book. They hold a big press conference, get their picture taken shaking hands with a couple of guys from the Mideast and then someone nominates them for a Nobel Peace Prize. Trust me; there are worse ways to kick off a book tour. And the eensie weensie little stumbling block here is Jerusalem. Only the heart and soul of three different major religions. And dateline of those stone tablets we earlier spoke. And maybe the aluminum mesh wind visor.

Will Durst never expects to get a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and it doesn't bother him. Okay, just a little.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know the Republican Convention is going to be whiter than mashed potatoes on paper plates and slightly more orchestrated than the New York Philharmonic string section at Leonard Bernstein's funeral. Not to mention being beaten in the ratings by a rerun of "Titus." But the possibility still exists for the curious, the bizarre and the grotesque.

My Predictions.

    The Curious: A platform will be written angrier than Attila the Hun's doberman with a bowel constriction, and yet nobody will pay the slightest bit of attention to it.

    The Bizarre: Nancy Reagan will speak and cryptically refer to George W Bush as "Butterfly Lick Boy."

    The Grotesque: In an attempt to prove the Seattle Police Department a bunch of wussies, the Philadelphia Police will spray pepper gas into the eyes of every guest coming out of the hotel where the Log Cabin Republicans are holed up.

    The Curious: Anybody who obliquely refers to or, God Forbids mentions the name "Newt Gingrich" from the podium will summarily be taken into custody and deposited in the lobby of the hotel where the Log Cabin Republicans are staying.

    The Bizarre: Blaming the media for his having lost the Vice Presidential nod, Dick Cheney will call in a few favors and have every member of the press submit to a body cavity search before gaining admittance to the Convention.

    The Grotesque: The Philadelphia Police Department will agree to run the operation but only if they get to use chain mail gloves.

In an attempt to not tell anybody he's media, Will Durst is going to carry a broom.

So how the hell does this work? Dick Cheney heads up George W Bush's search for a running mate and guess what? The final choice is Dick Cheney. What are the odds? "I'm sorry, Dubyah. I got to be honest with you here. The best qualified man for the job is me. I conducted an exhaustive search, and don't get me wrong, there were some exceptional people on that list. A good group. But none of them really sang to me. You know, the fit. You and who? Maybe it's the full employment economy. But I got to tell you, only I was able to answer the really tough questions." Yeah, I bet. Clever how he did it. First he floats Ridge's name down Veep River, you know, where the GOP faithful quadrennially baptise their last ditch baby hopes. Then comes the Frist and Keating wavelets only to be washed ashore by the crest of a Danforth undertow. A Powell puddle surfaces just before the McCain splash evaporates. But all along it was him, the guy with three heart attacks that George Bush plans to use as the battering ram to drive himself into 1600 Pennsylvania. I can't wait for George to race Dick up the Rocky stairs of the Philadelphia Museuem. "Two out of three?"

Will Durst is breathing hard already.
the happiest week's worth on earth

Presumptive Republican Nominee George W Bush strode into Baltimore and spoke in front of the NAACP Convention, to what the papers will call a luke warm reception. The same way they'd refer to the appearance of a volcano in the middle of pre school playground as "inconvenient." But it was a big freakin deal, since the Shrub proved himself man enough on the testosterone scale to brave an arena full of folks who generally regard his party as nothing but a bunch of rich white slime lizard weasels who would rather serve small black children as roasted appetizers on a bed of raddichio than provide them with decent health care. Excepting of course those individuals responsible for commanding the armed forces in a successful desert storm effort on behalf of another guy named George Bush, but that's a different story. It was an especially big freakin deal since four years ago the previous Presumptive Republican Nominee, Bob Dole, would've rather carried the spit bucket for Randall Tex Cobb's comeback tour than get within a time zone of the same group. George the Younger said all the right things, garnering a much better reception than either Mark Furhman or John Rocker would have received, but reporting he was treated politely is a polite way of saying he was tolerated. And tolerance is a good thing. Whether or not his gallant endeavor will translate into November votes all depends on the sorcery of Al Gore's appeal. You're right. Seems like a safe bet to me too.

Will Durst thinks, "Hey, he gave it a shot." He then wonders if Al Gore is going to go to Bob Jones University. What the hell

They're spraying the streets of the Midwest with out-of-control hoses to celebrate the price of gas dropping thirty four cents a gallon since the Feds announced they're going to investigate who or what is responsible for the rapid ascent in gas prices. Besides the timing being a bit more suspicious than a brown towel in a frat house in May, we're not talking a MENSA hall of fame panel here. Guys with a blind spot the size of Montana. Like somebody looking for glasses perched on the top of his head, and nobody wants to tell him.

    "So, where do you think the cheap gas went?"
    "I honestly have no idea."
    "Well, where did you see it last?"
    "Hmmm. Isn't that odd? In an election year and all."
    "What do you mean?"
    "Nothing. So what else you thinking?"
    "Probably just distribution problems. Or those freaking A- Rabs. I always knew that Desert Storm thing would come back to bite us in the ass."
    "Anybody check recent oil company quarterlies?"
    "Got to be the EPA. 'We're cleaning up the environment.' Why? What's their angle? Ask yourself; who's getting rich off of this?"
    "I give up. Who?"
    "I got a guy on it. But so far, nothing."
    "They're good."
    "That's what I'm saying."
    "How about looking into record oil companies profits?"
    "I know. It's those damn tree huggers. I hear that Julia Moth-Human person just wrote a book. Maybe it's the weather. Hey, where you going?"

Will Durst thinks it's probably got something to do with the baseballs being wound too tight.

You could have cut the excitement with a day old bratwurst in Green Bay, Wisconsin today, when Bill Bradley bit the bullet and endorsed presumptive Democratic Nominee Al Gore with the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for FAA spokespeople in the wake of Jumbo Jet crashes. With his usual bubbly personality obviously locked in the outside pocket of a garment bag that had been misdirected to North Dakota, the former New Jersey Senator approached his task with a smile so tight, if you listened closely, you could actually hear the enamel cracking. Eerily, it was the exact expression John McCain sported a few weeks ago when he stood next to Dubyah to do the same thing. The term "Date Rape" came to mind. And for God's sake, don't send email chastising me for using that stinking analogy for Christ's sake. Consider this a personal apology in advance. Al Gore, of course, was his usual oblivious self. "Hey, isn't this great. We're all in this together." It constantly amazes me these guys can spend months savaging each other in the primaries and then play kissy face for the cameras a short while later. Actually though, when you think about it, it's not much different than your everyday normal marriage.

Will Durst is talking about other people's marriages. Of course.

I just want to talk to all those people out there who plan on not voting this November. All you silly numskulls who actually believe your little lame opinion counts, get out of here, you knuckleheads. I mean it. Just you slugs. Okay, all those self righteous smarty pants gone? So, I'm only addressing you guys and gals who can't find any reason to vote, right? Good. I just want to say way to go! Damn straight. That'll show them. Wait till they get a load of how much you don't care. They'll freak, and either change their ways and fast, or risk another brutal chastisement from you. Right? Can you dig it? I can. It's a genius move. You don't care, right? And why should you? None of it affects you. Okay, okay, I'm getting it now. Which means you don't eat or drink water or have kids or ever leave your house at any time for any reason whatsoever. Indicating that the whole genetically modified food thing will never possibly affect you. Which is also why you don't care if your drinking water is full of toxic wastes or if the schools your kids don't go to, close. And since they stubbornly refuse to repeal the Driving While Black laws, you don't ever have to worry they'll amend them to include Driving While Young or Driving While Squinting Through Substandard UV Blocking Sunglasses or Driving While Driving a Piece of Shit laws. No problem. I get it. Just one question: What's the best way to get rid of moss from the inside of cave walls?

Will Durst thinks you ought to know.
a week’s worth with mud on the fenders

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.

  • Why do I keep imagining a remake of the Sorcerer's Apprentice starring Janet Reno as Mickey Mouse and Microsoft as the broom?
  • United Airlines pilots claim management is ignoring their contract demands. Didn't even know United was using flight attendants as negotiators.
  • K- Mart is launching a webstore. Perfect for people who want the K- Mart values but want to avoid anyone seeing them shopping there.
  • If Clinton gets disbarred in Arkansas will that be categorized as an example of community service?
  • Every time I look for a current history of the Clinton Administration, I find myself directed to the "True Crime" section.
  • Congress voted to normalize trade relations with China. I assume that's why the hard drives from Los Alamos were found behind the copier.
  • CNN turned 20, having witnessed ugly unrest, heinous skirmishes and outright wars. And that was just board meetings with Ted and Jane.
  • Let me get this straight. "Survivor" pits sixteen desperate individuals seeking big time riches by sleeping with rats and working to eliminate each other from contention. Sounds like a typical day in Hollywood.
  • Charlton Heston was elected to a third term as head of the NRA. Celebrations were kept to a one-clip salute.
Will Durst thinks the guy working Heston's torso strings is out of synch with the guy working his butt strings.

It ain't easy being Green, but its a whole lot easier being a talking frog than it's going to be as Presidential nominee of the Green Party. As Ralph Nader is about to find out. The consumer David may have slung the stone that plucked the Corvair out of the GM constellation but that Goliath effort will seem like Shaquille O'Neal stepping on an ant compared to competing with the two political parties in a general election, where the volley of mud will be adjudged to be unsafe at any speed. Of course, the speed will not be the problem. It’s the volume. Volume in terms of gibberish projected at ear shattering decibels as well as the sheer tonnage of bull-sourced fertilizing products about to be dumped on the trail. If a Libertarian can be defined as a Republican who smokes pot and a Reform Party member as a Libertarian with a Kevlar wardrobe, the typical Green Party member could be said to smoke pot in a Kevlar pipe. Lot of NPR listening, tofu eating, white wine sipping, Volvo driving, Birkenstock wearing, grey ponytails. I would imagine Ralph Nader was wearing a suit at the Green Party Convention in Denver this weekend. And maybe, that formal Dr Kevorkian presence will give the Party a chance to deny Al Gore his heritage by garnering 5% of the November vote, ensuring the Greens a permanent slot on the ballot in the coming years. But at least now Prince Albert can't take the left for granted and might be forced to utter some Democratic pap as a sop to attempt to sway some votes from the colorful party that is our future.

Will Durst doesn't have much of an opinion here.

"One pill makes you smaller, and one pill makes you tall." If there's one thing we baby boomers have seamlessly integrated into our generational personality, it's drugs. Growing up, pot defined who was Us and who was Them. Not even denim was a bigger factor in determining the very fabric of our group identity. Acid and coke were just another dividing line for the adventurous, the pioneers and the poor souls who belatedly discovered they possessed a genome map including a cul-de sac known as Substance Abuse Problem Way. Like liquor to the Greatest Generation. "And the ones that Mother gives you, don't do anything at all." Well, now the ones that Mother gives you do indeed do many things at all. We post haste hippies still can sate our hunger for all things chemical, the difference being they're legal now. You got your Prozac family, probably responsible for saving the lives of more innocent bystanders than the Brady Bill. Then of course, there's Viagra, of which the same could be said. The anti baldness drugs, Rogaine and Propetia, which allow a guy to get to the place where he can take the Viagra. And Olestra, which allows you to eat fat and not digest it. But for the life of me, I can't figure out which foods people would want to eat so badly, they'd be willing to risk one of the published side effects: anal leakage. "Go ask Alice, when she's in the stall."

Will Durst likes his fat the old fashioned way
Don't forget to watch for the new episode of "Livelyhood" called "Nightshift" on PBS this Friday. Check local listings. New issues of "Time" and "Entertainment Weekly" if you want reviews.
Hey, give it a shot. What you got to lose besides an hour of your life.
a week’s worth you can dig

You're probably tired of me telling you, "you can't make stuff up like this." Might even think I make a lot of this crap up. I don't. This year PBS held its annual national convention at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Does this make the teensiest bit of sense to anybody? PBS and Nashville. Got less in common than block and tackle pulleys have with cream soda. Tweed jackets with leather elbow patches mixing at the bar with turquoise belt buckles. Nobody knows why. Could have been a bone tossed to the southern affiliates. Could have been a last practical joke played by a pink slipped event planner. But incongruity was the order of the week. The place dripped with irony like a rock concert Port- A- Pottey. Just the sight of PBS programmers leaving the announcement of latest Ken Burns' latest opus, the nineteen hour "Jazz," passing by Roy Acuff's gun collection on the way back to their rooms should have been enough. But, oh, there was more. Dainty nibbling of pulled pork sandwiches ranked right up there. As did the breakfast consternation of normal guests talking about last night's special previews of next season's PBS rollout gems on the in house tv. But the South worked its charms better than expected. By the end of the week, East Coast arts programmers were going to their rooms, finding the channels with NASCAR racing and keeping it on.

Will Durst is getting to know the names of the guys in WWF. Is that good?

In an attempt to narrow his search for a running mate, George W Bush is sending out background questionnaires to prospects. Due to my string of incredibly well placed inside sources, who work solely for the solace that public knowledge gives them and my contributions to their yeast deficiency containment regimen, I am now able to leak portions of that questionnaire directly to you, with no hidden obligation on your part.

1. The most important quality I would bring to a national ticket is:

    A. A fierce dedication to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
    B. The electoral vote guarantee of an important swing state.
    C. Respect and dignity.
    D. Money. Lots and lots and lots of money.

2. Which of these statements is truest?

    A. "Blood is thicker than oil."
    B. "Oil is thicker than water."
    C. "Blood is thicker than water."
    D. "Oil and blood have approximately the same viscosity, but oil is easier to use as leverage."

3. The investment of portions of social security in the stock market is:

    A. A good idea.
    B. A great idea.
    C. A great idea the public will come to trust after I've talked to them about it.
    D. The worst idea since oyster-flavored popsicles.

4. Please spell potato. Singular and plural.

5. True or false. Hunting is better than golfing.

6. Did you ever know or work with or have as a good friend, Jack Kennedy?

7. Jeb Bush's children are:

    A. Black.
    B. Red.
    C. Brown.
    D. Short.

8. Complete this statement. Women:

    A. Should be seen barefoot and pregnant but not heard.
    B. Are best served with lemon butter and capers.
    C. Got to learn to relax for the inevitable.
    D. Deserve to be executed just like normal people.

9. As an impressionable youth, I experimented with:

    A. Pot.
    B. Coke.
    C. Acid.
    D. Campaign Finance Reform.

Will Durst doubts anybody interesting could pass this test.

Al "Quit Calling Me Scarecrow" Gore is switching gears again. He fired, I'm sorry, I mean, reluctantly accepted the health related resignation of his campaign manager, Tony Coelho, replacing him with the presiding Secretary of Commerce, Bill Daley, brother of the current mayor of Chicago, and son of the late Richard Boss Daley. The man who did for mayors what ketchup did for cocktail sauce. Unfortunately the Vice President needs another change in direction the same way he needs a picture of himself in fishnet stockings, lace garters and stiletto heels surfacing in Vanity Fair. And don't tell Naomi Wolfe I said that. She might get ideas. Of course on the other hand, this could be just what the doctor ordered, as it finally completes Robo- Veep's prime directional circle so he can start right back at the beginning. I imagine a campaign where he keeps spinning and twisting and twirling in ever widening circles pleasing each and every person he comes in contact with. Kind of like Clinton without the charm, which is like calling the Mojave a beach without the ocean. Then again, maybe Mr. Daley can dredge up some family gumption and put his shoulder to the rudder and straighten this damn ship of near state. Then again maybe he can't. But who would notice?

Will Durst thinks a free fall would be an improvement.

You got to love Al Gore. You got to. Or he'll be really really really sad. And then he might just do something drastic like change his clothes again. I for one am not looking forward to the shorts, tank top and flip flop Al Gore. The tight polo shirt Al Gore was frightening enough to star in a Wes Craven horror series. And now that he's dumped Coelho for Bill Daley, I'm sure the next direction will be solid and down to earth. And that will last at least a couple of days. Then who knows what ghastly variant we'll see. I do.

Roots Al Gore.
Mr. Tennessee. Overalls, work shirt, and bandanna. Barefoot, he carries a broken mouth harp in back pocket.
Dotcom Al Gore.
Black Metallica t- shirt, ripped jeans, Doc Martens. Three piercings, two visible.
Brave New Al Gore.
Silver unisex jump suit and beret. Wraparound shades. Tipper in spandex.
Hip Hop Al Gore.
Baggies, one leg rolled up. Knit Cypress Hill hat worn low. Oakland Raiders jersey with tiny hole sin front.
Ikea Al Gore.
Crisp chinos, polo shirt and mustache. Nicely trimmed. He's already got it in the closet.
Ralph Nader Al Gore.
Think Colombo. Rumpled $200 suit. Raincoat: even wrinkles have wrinkles. One tie, dirtier than Tonya Harding's living room rug.

Will Durst doesn't have the attention span
a week’s worth with rubber tips on it

It's been a tough couple months for Al (I Can't Feel My Own Legs) Gore. First there was that whole "Stole His Programming From An East German Female Swim Team Computer" charge. Then there was that ugly melting wax problem neatly solved by the chance discovery of an abandoned refrigerated limo on the Alabama coast. Now he's being accused of being a slumlord. And who of us never thought he looked a little beady around the eyes? Tracy Mayberry, who rents an apartment from the Man Who Gets An Oilcan Every Father's Day, in Carthage, Tennessee, says he not only failed to fix overflowing toilets and backed up sinks, but also threatened to evict she and her disabled husband, mentally retarded daughter and another daughter with a seizure disorder. He then picked up her puppy and nailed its ears to a two by four, which he proceeded to fling over a bridge abutment. Okay, the last part was made up. But really, the as unsympathetic as slumlord part is true. But its an election year, so Gore cleaned up that place faster than you can say Mike Wallace and now the story has a happy ending, except for Democrats because Al Gore is still the apparent frontrunner for Democratic Nominee for President.

Will Durst hasn't yet lined up credentials for either of the Conventions and for some strange reason he's not all that upset about it.

Rapidly wilting on my 94- 55- 44- 65- 7- 40 road tour of America, as the temperature and humidity race each other to 100, let me take the time to recount the weird discovery there truly is a time warp dimension to the small towns of this country. One of Rocky Horror proportions. I'm talking places where the sale of a two-bedroom house on an eighth of an acre lot does not ignite a bidding war with offers escalating into the stratosphere of Lewis Carroll's imagination. An America unimpressed with dotcom riches and the sweaty nightmares of harrowing Nazdaq corrections. An America more concerned about the frenzied excitement at the community swimming pool's opening than Alan Greenspan's future plans to control irrational exuberance. I'm not saying the stock market craze is out of hand, but the other day, one of the employees at the Pink Elephant Car Wash in Seattle took me aside and gave me stock tips. (Tri- Quin. Krispy Kremes.) Getting rich is great. Trust me. I'm not knocking getting rich. It's what makes America great. Because here the idea is, anybody can do it. Yeah, right. I'm not knocking focusing on getting rich to the absolute exception of everything else. When you do something, do it well. All I'm just saying, boys and girls is roses time smell.

Will Durst says sniff sniff.

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.

  • Atlanta Brave pitcher John Rocker said if he quit baseball, he might check out a career as a stockbroker. Yeah, I can see that. "Well then, I think our best move is to beef up your portfolio with some emerging stocks from one of those slanty-eyed countries."
  • Give Vince McMahon credit. He finally figured out how to put semi naked women into professional wrestling. And you got to admit, these wrestlers have similar acting skills as Steven Seagal.
  • Why do I think both apparent Presidential nominees need to be constantly reminded that "domestic problems" do not mean Mother is arguing with the help again?
  • There are two different kinds of campaign consultants. The kind that give cab drivers big tips and tell them to vote for their candidate and the kind that give no tip at all and beg them to support the opponent.
  • Don't think Al Gore is holding up too well. Lately he seems to be spending more time running for cover than running for President.
  • You can't say Jon Corzine stole the New Jersey Democratic Senate nomination. Obviously the man paid cold hard cash for it.
  • Gas prices in Chicago have risen to around $2.15 a gallon. Add that to the rising cost of housing and you have to ask yourself: how long before the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce starts recruiting people to enjoy their lower cost of living?

Will Durst would go in a minute if they would guarantee him a dish so he wouldn't miss any episodes of "Survivor".
Will Durst tried out for the 45th National Spelling Bee, but stumbled on the word "blunder."

George W Bush.

He is the NRA.
Definitely got the hint of a whisper of a shadow of that steely "cold stiff fingers" look in his eye.
Third cousin removed to Moses.
But you got to admit, the man knows a female vote when he sees one.
Minutes before the Million Mom March in DC, he announced he's eager to see that every gun owner in Texas receives a trigger lock.
For free.
Even though, the very same bill passed the Texas legislature last year, and he vetoed it.
Changing your mind these days is no longer deemed a manifestation of being wishy washy.
It's now known as being practical.
Considered by 5 out of 6 campaign managers as an essential trait in elected officials.
You may not know this, but close to, if not 100% of all successful politicians are celebrated regional record holders in the 180 Degree Whiplash Turn.
What it means, is, if a trusted pollster tells you: one of your opinions will cost you votes.
You alter it. Immediately. From black to white, if necessary. In front of as many cameras as possible.
Then dare the press to explain how they can question a move favoring a Measure.
Cut to George W Bush in the middle of a stump speech:
"That might save lives."
Children's lives.
Blind minority colored little-bus, geekazoid kids.
You know, the freaks in AV. Band members.
Dorks the student council guys paid the offensive line to give wedgies to during homecoming sophomore year.
Well, maybe you had to be there.
What, no. (Listening to voices in head)
I'm sorry. (Turns to cameras again)
I'm sorry, what I mean to say is every child.
Mine, ours, yours.
Just kidding.
Not yours.
Now I'm kidding.
Hey, great tie.
We met before, right?
New Hampshire? Iowa? South Carolina Hey man, I want to apologize for that whole mess. That wasn't me. You ask anybody.
Don't get me wrong, my staffers are a great great bunch. Loyal to a fault, but sometimes
Hey, how can I hate them, after all, they're only trying to help South Carolina went down, and I just went whew, that's not W, you know?
And I stood in front of that whole crowd and said, 'anybody who thinks that's who I am, can just get out right now.
I mean it. Leave.'
And you know what. Not a single person left. Not one.
I'm serious. I did.
In was in, unh, the, unh, I think it was what you call the unh, the, you know, the big room with the bulletin board, what do they call it, the club has one, I don't know, the . . . staff room. Is that right? The staff room?
Yeah. The staff room. In Ohio. Not Cincinnati or Cleveland, but that weird little podunk town where the freeways don't connect.
I mean small, you know.
Couldn't get a decent espresso to save your life.
What was it, Dayton? No, the capital; Columbus. Or was it Colombia, no that's the capitol of one of those Dakota places. North or South.
Must be North Dakota, because the capital of South Dakota is Pierre.
I know they pronounce it Pier, but I tell you what, looks like Pierre to me.
Anyhow after my stand in Ohio, I always felt the campaign was more me. More my vision. You know what I mean? No, man, don't write down vision.
"Hey, you ever taken a helicopter ride?"

Will Durst doesn't have a helicopter.

Yeah, sure, I know, they're as different as snowflakes and each and every one of them is a beautiful creature of God with their own special qualities and animals love them. I'm talking about politicians. But as much as they are like us, they are different as well. With their own separate rules. Rules which we normal people don't understand. But because I am not normal, I'm able to translate them for you.

The 10 Commandments of Politics.

  1. You can't lose if the other guy doesn't have any money left.
  2. There are no winners in politics. Only losers who haven't hit the Finish Line yet.
  3. It's not cheating if you don't get caught.
  4. The best part of an election . . . there is no best part of an election.
  5. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever take a stand on social security unless you have to.
  6. You never have to.
  7. Deny. Deny. Deny. Even if they got tapes, deny. Especially if they got tapes, deny.
  8. A good politician takes risks. A better politician takes chances. The best politician takes it up the ass and keeps smiling.
  9. Money isn't everything. It's the only thing.
  10. When in doubt, make an incredibly vicious attack ad.
Will Durst doesn't make the rules, he just copies them off the bathroom walls.
red white and blue weeks worth

The NRA plans to open a theme restaurant in Times Square tentatively titled "NRA Sports Blast." Now, I can figure out what the "sports" part signifies, it's the "blast" component that intrigues me. AK-47 grenade launcher pot pie? Waco Texas Explosive Fried Chicken? Hot blood sundaes with shrapnel jimmies? One side will feature trap and skeet shooting and the other an NRA Grille featuring wild game. No report if the two are related. "Shoot it. Skin it. Eat it." Which to many is a cherished way of life in New York. But if a rash of immigrant cab drivers go missing, we now know which meat cooler NYPD Blue might want to drop some donut crumbs in. My thinking is, like a lot of the thinking done by everybody's favorite organization run by an actor who once played Moses, they're only about forty years behind the curve on this one. The ghosts of theme restaurants retired to that big buffet in the sky haunt the Big Wormy Apple like pigeons do Central Park Statues of guys on rearing horses. Especially in Times Square. That's so 90's. Could have made a killing, I mean a bundle on the whole idea back before the place was sanitized with Disney's All American Magic Dust. You know, rock bottom property values and municipal tax breaks.

Will Durst thinks this is the perfect joint to name a sandwich after John Rocker. Lots of baloney.

Forget the Solstice. Forget the almanac. Forget whatever the weatherman or your next door neighbor with the hair growing out of a mole shaped like the state of Delaware on his nose told you. The beginning of summer was yesterday. Memorial Day. When the whole of America stops to honor the valiant young men we tragically lost in midwestern automobile races, and of course to ritually char flesh. Ours and that of many brave mammals who gave their lives so we can raise our cholesterol levels to heights where sherpas fear to tread. That's right cookie, Memorial Day is the biological start to summer. It ends on Labor Day, and the All Star Game is dead solid center summer. And if you haven't spent at least one week in the middle of August jammed in the back of a station wagon with no air conditioning, an incontinent 18 year old basset hound and a leaking Coleman cooler, you're a Commie Pinko yellow rat bastard with no true understanding of this country's hardships and should scurry back to whatever pitiful run down Dacha you crawled out from underneath. It's because of this collection of nightmarish remembrances I no longer camp. I'm sorry, but my idea of a good time does not include sleeping on rocks and peeing behind trees while dodging mosquitoes the size of Lazy Boy recliners. To me, the outdoors is where the car is. Roughing it, means TV without remote control. You say Wilderness: I think K-Mart. So don't bother paging me around the campfire.

My vacation plans include room service, Spectravision and the crazed early morning looting of many hotel mini bars.
Will Durst is moving a little slow today. Bad case of rib belly.
Going to Chicago? What a co incidence. I'll be there for the Chicago Comedy Festival. Check out the Mudslingers Ball, with Tim Slagle, Lewis Black, Jeff Jenna, and me, this Sunday the 4th.

The more I say you can't make stuff up like this, the truer it gets. After relentlessly pursuing ABC on his daily radio show for weeks, Rush Limbaugh auditioned to become the new announcer on Monday Night Football. What a great idea. A stadium is much better suited to accommodating the ego of Jabba the Talk Show Host. Although saying that sharing has never been one of his great strengths is a lot like suggesting brussel sprouts are probably not destined to be the next big fast food fad. However, if anybody is up to the task, I'm sure Al Michaels is the man. Exemplifying professional aplomb broadcasting during the World Series earthquake of 89, he's obviously more than qualified to handle the chore of parrying with our nation's number one natural disaster of logic. A man whose Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Float has been blueprinted to be actual size. Besides this would bring back the kind of Monday Night passion viewers felt for Howard Cosell. No disrespect meant, but Boomer Esiason was sadly lacking in the fervor arena. The intensity of cold oatmeal. I'm just worried about Limbaugh being able to tamp down his convictions from one gig to the other. How long before a crucial contest between the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins is billboarded as: "And today's gridiron battle features the Commie Pinko Yellow Rat Bastard Femi-Nazis versus the Corrupt Thieving Lazy Moral Black-Holes. Lets see which of them fumbles more."

Will Durst wonders if they're going to give Dr. Laura Schlessinger a shot.
your cut rate week's worth

If you thought news about the State Department laptop computer containing sensitive files about weapons proliferation that went missing from the so- called Bureau of Intelligence was bad, this is not the piece for you. If you considered the discovery of a listening device implanted in the arm of a conference room chair by a Russian spy, I'm sorry, I mean diplomat, don't read any further. You'd be better off turning on the TV and watching a Matlock rerun. Turns out these were isolated incidents the same way Wisconsin dandelions in August are. Our Ministry of Foreign Relations has more leaks than an umbrella made out of perforated jellyfish entrails. More than four security breaches are experienced every day, and enough people are wandering around the halls to qualify the place as a bus station lobby. I know with this full employment economy it's hard to get good help these days, but not only do the people who clean the State Department offices at night lack proper security clearances, the Department lacks the requisite staff to inspect outgoing cars and briefcases. We're talking Sieve- O- Rama City here. Marine guards used to practice for overseas duty by conducting surprise inspections on offices, but they averaged 63 problems each time, so the sweeps were cut because they resulted in too much paperwork. To paraphrase Lily Tomlin, no matter how incredulous you get, you just can't keep up.

Will Durst thinks the State Department should adopt the ostrich as its official mascot.

Great freeze frame the other day at the NRA Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. From the podium, Charlton Heston held up high an ancient rifle to the assembled rabble, and shouted, "I want to say those words again for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: From My Cold Dead Hands." To hear and to heed, for crum's sake. You know, if I were Al Gore, I might just take him up on his provocation. Have a CIA Special Forces Team isolate the Great Stone Face at the opening of some Cinema Megaplex, cut him to pieces with an unrelenting volley of 9 millimeter crossfire, break his scrawny little fingers, pry that colonial musket free, cracking the fossilized artifact across his Vice Presidential knee, while crying to the heavens, "Heed this. No more kids die on my watch, Moses." But what will probably happen is this: the Democratic National Committee puts together a commercial featuring the voice over of the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party and NRA vice president, Kayne Robinson, telling an NRA gathering the group would have "a president where we work out of their office," and that would segue into footage of kids at the NRA convention playing with guns and aiming them at each other in a room full of conventioneers, finishing with the Heston clip. Not as efficient, but perhaps as effective. Of course, the horrible thing is they need another Columbine to sell their case, and the horriblest thing is the odds are, they'll have one.

Will Durst goes Wayne LaPierre, who said Clinton likes the body count, one further. He's guaranteed it.

According to the Supreme Court's response to a challenge by Playboy, Congress went too far and violated our free speech rights when it required cable TV systems to restrict sex oriented networks to overnight hours if they don't fully scramble their signal for nonsubscribers. Which means: Boobies! On TV. All the time. Anytime. Of any day. Boobies for breakfast. Boobies for lunch. Boobies for afternoon tea. And no, I'm not talking about the Jerry Springer show or C-SPAN's coverage of the House Appropriations Committee. You know what, it's not really going to change anything. There's already enough boobies on the tube on an hourly basis to equip your everyday normal Wisconsin heifer maternity farm. Hell, in some East African countries, schoolboys learn about puberty by viewing "Baywatch." Besides isn't this is a little like opening up the barn door after the cows have formed a union and gone on a research sabbatical to the Easter Islands? After midnight, the premium channels are nothing more than Soft- Porn- O- Thons featuring soft filtered versions of the Silicone Olympics anyway. Unlike obscene material, the court ruled mere indecent material is constitutionally protected. Which means I'm free to continue my stand up career. Yea! Indecent material. Way to go. Justice Kennedy said "basic speech principles are at stake in this case." And you know what, he's right. Although I have no idea what that means, anytime Hugh Hefner wins in the Supreme Court has to be considered a good day. In a related case, the Justices also ruled any program featuring Pamela Anderson Lee should be entitled "Booby Trap."

Will Durst wonders what the damn deal with mammary glands is anyway.
a week's worth your little brother would love

"Beeep! Hello Mayor Giuliani, this is Shirley. First off, let me tell you how deeply sorry we all here at Speedy Answering Service are to hear of your recent medical and marital difficulties. You have our most heartfelt sympathies, and may a speedy recovery and imminent reconciliation be in your future. Now, to business. While you were away, a Mr. Gianni "No Nose," can that be right? Balistieri called your private unlisted super secret double blind number, and he wants you to call him right away about the, and I quote "bimbo witch situation," although he didn't say witch, if you know what I mean. He also said his package was light, although why he would complain about a delivery problem to you, I haven't the faintest. In what may be a related matter, a friend of Miss Nathan's called very distraught saying she was being hounded by a gentleman from the Enquirer and needed immediate therapy and suggested a month long vacation to Bali might help her relax and forget. She wasn't too distraught to suggest first class accommodations. Oh yes, a nice Mr. Crane from the IRS called and wants you to call him back immediately, if not sooner. Something about a joint return. And I hate to harp on this, but if you could please send us a payment for at least a couple of the nine months you owe. We'd hate to go to an outside agency with copies we've made of your messages. But times are tough, you know what I mean? Although we are reticent to bring more bad news, I'm sure you would much rather hear it all at once rather than spread it over the entire campaign. And great good luck on that. We hope you go all the way. Well, most of us. But you will be glad to hear the new kids, I mean the ones who haven't met you, are solidly on your side. Gotta go. Click."

Will Durst hasn't met Rudy Giuliani but he has experienced a couple of prosecutors and figures the G man is the quintessence of them.

A week old wildfire swept through Los Alamos, New Mexico, placing the Los Alamos National Laboratory, site of our country's largest nuclear weapons stockpile, in imminent danger because of a controlled burn blown into a raging conflagration by 50 mph winds caused by atmospheric conditions PREDICTED by the National Weather Service. I'm not saying it's a big fire, but you can see it from SPACE. The good news, I mean notwithstanding the twenty thousand families forced to evacuate the area and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed, is we have been reassured our cache of plutonium and tritium is safe. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson said so. He ran around with a broom and a dustpan and packed all that nasty bomb stuff in a heatproof locker next to the alien remains from Roswell, and he's got the key on a chain around his neck and no damn natural disaster dares defy him. He didn't say anybody considering themselves in jeopardy should sprout wings and fly to the moon just to be on the safe side, but he might as well have. So, lets get this straight. The same government agency that knew in advance the winds were going to be way too strong for a controlled burn, but tried anyway and then let it get so out of hand its disrupting air travel three states away wants us to believe they have safely stored the worst nightmares known to man so they are impervious to the monstrous random unleashed ravages of Mother Nature. Yeah, okay I buy that.

Will Durst knew what he would say in advance from a lifetime of watching bad science fiction movies.

The Million Moms met the Second Amendment Sisters for the Mother's Day public relations shoot out at the DC Corral on gun control, and the result was pretty much a draw. George W even got into the act by vowing to give away free gun locks in Texas, the very same bill he vetoed last year. This particular election year conversion was probably not part of the third secret of Fatima Pope JII PII is set to reveal later this week. Here's the deal with gun control. The liberals, meaning the bleeding heart, Birkenstock- wearing, tofu- eating, NPR- listening, Volvo- driving, knee jerks, think more and more gun restrictions are necessary to ensure the safety of our kids. The conservatives, meaning the red neck, white trash, fatigue- wearing brain washed lackeys of the NRA, are determined to oppose each piece of attempted legislation in fear these little stepping stones will eventually lead across the big pond to English situation, where the only thing more illegal than guns is a spice rack. Meanwhile, normal everyday frozen- food eating, cable- watching, Sears- shopping, baseball- game- listening humans like you and me who believe Americans have the right to own a gun and yet still have this vague idea some steps should be taken so kids don't get accidentally killed, are being forced to choose between one of these flippo unit groups. It's like choosing between dropping a marble umbrella stand on your foot and walking head first into a lowered fire escape with pointy rivets. Lucky us.

Will Durst wishes both Sarah Brady and Charlton Heston would shut the hell up.


George W has a secret plan to save Social Security. Politicians love secret plans. All the excitement of actually taking a stand without any of the messy intricacies of silly old specifics. He just released something his aides called "guiding principles" on his little secret plan. And I have a couple of rather minor and inconsequential questions I have for he and his Social Security "guiding principles" that's going to allow people to invest part of their savings in the stock market.

  • What percentage of our Social Security payroll taxes will be available to double down on a pair of fives at Fitzgerald's Casino in Reno?
  • Which companies will be authorized to handle these negotiations and will their connections to the Bush 2000 campaign be hidden or overt?
  • How soon before we baby boomers are forced to live on dented cans of dog food?
  • How late into my nineties would I have to wait until drawing Soci,K out and can them as dog food?
  • How much weight would I personally have to gain to make sure not to fall through the holes in the safety net?

If Will Durst knew he'd live this long, he would have bought a condo in Kona.
don't forget to see will durst at cobb's comedy club thursday through sunday. 415 928 4445


Modern Romance
A stolen weekend in Napa under the influence of a recently harvested naive but rutting pinot noir is to believe a marriage could work. Their divorce settlement lay unsigned on the table stained red with glass rings and not more than several drops of her former husband's blood. I perched on one of the few clean surfaces in the room on a burgundy vinyl chair across from her at the little motel dining set. He lay against the wall next to the door, gutted. Smiling. "I guess it didn't work out." "Oh, I think it worked out" she said, twirling the pearl handled stilleto like a cheerleader's baton. Drops orbited onto the top of her white Donna Karan bathing suit, and she idly smoothed one of them into a blotch. "He didn't take to the idea of alimony," she laughed, and I called the cops. Just another one of your messy California divorces.

Nice as PI
Mathemeticians don't die like normal people. They're more composed. Look so nice in their grey wool suits. Sensible shoes. This one had taken the time to write a formula on the linoleum of his kitchen with his blood. "Pi. Minus sign. ZA." Brain work on the pi. Cherry? No. Apple? No. Key lime? I don't think so. Black Forest Torte with a walnut caramel filling? Unh unh. Pizza? Pizza minus ZA. Pete. His wife's brother, Pete. Who turned out not to be her brother. Mathemeticians don't die like normal people. They solve their own murders. And they have neater handwriting. Of course just plain "Pete" would have been one less letter.

this, not that, week's worth

The Clinton Administration wants to increase federal oversight of genetically modified foods making certain details available to the public. This is good news. Among expected changes, biotech companies would have to notify the FDA four months before marketing a new genetically modified food but not require proof of its safety, making such information voluntary. This is bad news. As you can well imagine, most of that information will be along the lines of "Oh yeah, our guys tested this stuff. A lot. Really. And the results are it's great! No problems at all. Not only good for you, but it helps clean up the environment too. And in some cases it cures male pattern baldness." Info like which foods are using GMOs and what the GMOs are could come in handy. Say you're eating corn with genes from a tse tse fly implanted in it and you start making buzzing noises. Now we could at least figure out why you keep circling light bulbs ending up with a series of tiny round burns from butting them with your forehead. Let's face it, as far as Propetia and Viagra go, guys would be willing to keep taking the little magic pills even if side effects meant a third arm protruding from between their eyes. But that kind of thing is much easier to deal with in an adult forum than a third grade playground echoing with cries of "Grabby Nose! Grabby Nose!" And that's all we're talking about here: the kids. I'm just thinking of the kids.

And me. I'm thinking of me. That's me as in Will Durst.

Dear University And/ Or College Colleagues and Partners:

Hello friends.

You may be aware of the recent scurrilous movement to usurp the dominion and authority of the Fair Labor Association by a student led group lobbying us to bend to the demands of the Communist philosophy of the so called Workers Rights Consortium. This pawn of the US organized labor movement with obvious ties to Castro is attempting to continue its socialist agenda by demanding our industry submit to commando style raids on our offshore factories to check labor conditions and employment figures. How can a reasonable discussion be held with people committed to the overthrow of Democracy you might ask? And you'd be right.

We'd like to re-iterate how much we cherish our relationship and would hate like hell to be forced to stop all subsidies and incentives augmenting your all important athletic programs. We regret the circumstances that forced us to sever our ties with the Universities of Michigan and Oregon and want to say they have nothing to do with their embracement of the WRC. Absolutely nothing.
So here's a three suggestions we would like to see implemented to maintain our current mutually advantageous relationship.

  1. An investigation leading to prosecution of the financial aid discrepancies of all Workers Rights Consortium ringleaders and followers.
  2. Assurances that the words "sweat" and "shop" will never appear in the same sentence of any official University correspondence. This includes thesis papers.
  3. We would never ask you to deny campus entrance to anybody wearing Reebok, Converse, Adidas or New Balance shoes. That would be tantamount to trade restriction. Instead, we suggest a discount of 5- 10% at all University stores to students wearing Nike running shoes.

We trust our relationship will remain like Rod Stewart sings; "Forever Young" and the need will never arise for an embarrassment of the sort that would include halftime locker room shoe removal during a nationally televised broadcast. Or worse.

Your friend and treasured associate,


Will Durst doesn't have a shoe deal

After watching these guys for the last couple weeks, I've been thinking, maybe we're going about this whole thing the wrong way. 


Large North American country seeks dynamic, motivated, self-starting individual for full time position available January, 2001. Stable work history and experience with collection and dissemination of fertilizing materials beneficial. Job involves diplomatic relations, both foreign and domestic, stewardship of the free world and the occasional supplanting of foreign governments. Ability to lift and juggle heavy morals weights, good people skills and clean driving record preferred. Flexible schedule. Public relations experience a plus, but not required. Other duties include steering capitalistic rudder, mandatory attendance at numerous funerals and control of nuclear weapons. Must work well with born and convicted liars. Proven problem- solving track record helpful, but not a deal killer. Attractive compensation program includes 200K salary, accommodations, catering staff, car and historical legacy. Superb chance to earn untold future commissions. Can write own health care plan. Note: has been found to be tricky in past. High growth potential and promotional opportunities abound. Nice retirement package. Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer, but don't hold your breath. 4 year contract, with one additional 4 year option available at employer's whim. No drug testing. Interested parties should fax resumes to CNN studios, Atlanta. Attention: Larry King.

Will Durst wonders how any two random applicants could do any worse.
a short pithy week's worth

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.

  • A St. Petersburg, Florida, Post Office Supervisor was ordered to cut 3/4 of her one inch fingernails but instead went on medical leave claiming the mandated manicure was causing her stress. Of course this is probably just standard operating civil service procedure.
  • Wonder how much therapy little Elian is going to require after he grows up and realizes he was forced out of the closet at gunpoint? One weird thing to think about is if Janet Reno had been in charge of the Iran hostage rescue effort, Jimmy Carter might have served two terms.
  • Bill Gates dropped a notch in the worlds richest dude contest after Microsoft's stock plummeted due to his problems with the Justice Department. Poor baby, forced to scrape by on a mere sixty eight billion dollars. Anybody feel like holding a fundraiser? That's what I thought. He'll be crushed.
  • Darva Conger has agreed to pose nude for Playboy for an undisclosed fee suspected to be way over a million dollars. I imagine the spread will be called "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire Then Divorce The Dude Claiming He's A Hound And A Lech Then Become A Millionaire On Her Own By Appealing To The Same Base Instincts On A Worldwide Basis."
  • Republicans recently set a record for a political fund raiser when they pulled in $21.3 million in D.C.. Seems as if that whole campaign reform deal has been set on the back burner until the front runner can pad his way to the top, but then, you watch, real reform with results will rule the day. Yeah, right, and bananas make good electrical conduits.
  • Pets.com sued "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" for defaming the company's sock puppet. Proving once again that corporations without senses of humor should not be allowed to feature comedic ad campaigns.
Will Durst is not kidding.

AFTRA and SAG announced their first strike in 12 years today mandating no work be done on radio and television commercials. Which is so odd. You might think actors project total confidence on stage but underneath we're incredibly insecure people, who face constant rejection and a 95% unemployment rate. Just think of a bunch of big puppy dogs with marshmallow hearts and cast iron bellies. That's us. And to not take a job on purpose is maddening. Like tossing a fat juicy leg of lamb in front of a pack of wolves and saying, "Stay." There's so little to begin with, and most of the voice over work is going to big time fancy pants like Richard Dreyfus and James Garner and Jack Lemmon. Yeah, like they need more money the same way I need more hangovers. But I got to admit we do give colorful rally speeches, and our marches spontaneously choreograph themselves. The deal is management is attempting to force a scrapping of the traditional residual system and wants to pay a flat fee for commercials. Oh yeah, sure, let's force a rollback in the middle of the biggest economic boom in modern times. That's a good idea. Next we can outlaw the internal combustion engine and return to a transportation system of mules and big sway backed sheep. The 135,000 members of the unions are also trying to get basic cable rates up to around a third of what the networks pay, while the internet remains a big fat ugly sticky mess which neither side really wants to address until it sorts itself out. In the meantime, until a decent offer hits the table, you will see a lot of us waiting tables.

Will Durst recommends today's special: steamed bile.
the all elian all the time week's worth

John McCain has truly gone where no man has gone before. He admitted he compromised his principles out of political self interest and didn't really believe the Confederate Flag should be flying over the South Carolina statehouse, but weenied out on the subject because he was afraid his true opinion would lose him the primary, which happened anyway. Turns out when he said "I will tell the truth no matter what," it was incomplete. The full phrase was; "I will tell the truth no matter what, as long as it doesn't affect my chance to win," which is what we all assumed he meant in the first place. This self guided tour to the political woodshed is unprecedented for a politician not retired or on promotional tour flacking some chokingly stale memoirs. And it's not the only shocking revelation to come to light.

Other Campaign Honor Lapses John McCain Has Admitted To:

  • Got through those New Hampshire town hall meetings by picturing everybody naked.
  • Is quite capable of raising his arms above his shoulders.
  • Was physically ill everytime he got on that damn bus with the media swimming over him like rats in a tiger cage.
  • Campaign finance reform: chmampagne schminance reform.
  • Hair isn't really grey. Had it touched up to attract hot older women with daddy complexes.
  • Doesn't actually think whole Confederate Flag is that big of a deal, but advisors say newly rediscovered candor is a good career move.

Will Durst thinks once you can fake candor, you're home free.

"And now on the 13th anniversary of what seemed to be a simple offshore rescue, Dateline's senior correspondent Hannah Storm looks back at the changes one little Cuban boy has wrought. Hannah?"

"Thanks Soledad. Here we are. The Elian Standoff: year 13. It's been 7 years since America has experienced all Elian, all the time, but he still has his own TV channel, our own MSNBC, 207 official websites, the K Mart linen endorsements and 'Freedom-Os', his breakfast cereal shaped like little red white and blue lifesavers. Critics suggest, at 19 years old, his future in the spotlight may depend on negotiating the tricky post pubescent rapids that swamped many young celebrity dinghies such as Danny Bondaduce, Emmanuel Lewis and that creepy little Pepsi girl, whose mutilated corpse recently discovered in the basement of a Bronx crack house saddened us all. And they are not encouraged by his replacement by a younger waterlogged cousin in the newest lineup of the current 'Menudo' tour. Perhaps the most damning evidence is the fact that even New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith, Republican or Reform or whatever party is letting him hang out this week won't return his calls anymore. Not a pretty sign. Almost as frightening as Senator Smith's hair. The future remains to be seen. Soledad?"

Fear not, Will Durst's crystal ball has been known to have some cracks.

Hello, my name is Christian Connor. I am six years old, and I am seeking asylum too. I don't like living in Flint, Michigan and want to live in France instead. Paris, to be exact, the 17th Arrondissemont, near this great pastry shop where they have chocolate crescent rolls as big as my head. My Dad lives there with his new wife Marguerite and they have puppies and the new SEGA Dreamcast and it's a lot better than here because when I'm with my Dad I don't have to go to day care, which is icky because the other kids are dumbasses and don't even know how to speak French. My mom has to work all the time in Michigan and it gets really really cold, and I don't like it cuz it stinks. No really, it does, all the time. Like burning garbage or something. And in France they don't have real potteys but these holes in the ground you poop in and it's cool and you can bring your doggies right inside the restaurants and they eat with you. And oh yeah, the government here is more strict like Mrs. Ratchet at Wee Pals Day Care and they let you play with more toys over there and the cheese is better too. Not as good as where my cousins live in Wisconsin but even Mom says she wouldn't live there if they paid her. So, please let me go to France, and put me on TV too. That's way cool.

Will Durst thinks every family court is going to need a customs specialist.
a portfolio with week's worth on it

The death penalty. You got to love it. Because it never matters until we're waist deep in the lukewarm contagium known as an election year. So now, simply because this is an annum divisible by four, we're forced to watch the spectacle of excessively dressed white men leapfrogging each other over the stickier- the- better matter of which misdemeanor they'd be willing to publicly ice somebody. Al Gore simply favors the death penalty, while Pat Buchanan thinks it should be applied to anybody who makes fun of his sister's hair. George W says he wants to strengthen it. The hell does that mean? How does one go about strengthening the death penalty? Does he plan on administering it twice? Have do- overs? Fake- outs? Are we talking drawing and quartering here? Soylent Green? Is there a secret plan to throw miscreants in vats of poisonous leeches on Saturday morning TV? Is he advocating waiting until the two minute warning of the second half of the Super Bowl before throwing the switch? Maybe mandating the state neglect to apply rubbing alcohol before employing the lethal injection? And what could act as a better deterrent to an habitual criminal than facing the threat of a nasty postmortem infection? Maybe the audio track of continuous episodes of "Suddenly Susan" piped into the chamber in lieu of gas.

Will Durst thinks once we try to use Brooke Shields for evil purposes we are not far from becoming Brooke Shields ourselves.

So Elian Gonzalez made a tape on which he says he wants to stay here in America. What a spontaneous performance. If you closed one eye you almost couldn't see the cue cards behind the camera to his left. And what a surprise. Imagine a kid not wanting to leave his own private 24 hour Disneyland. What are the odds? Next you'll tell me he'd rather open up birthday presents than crush rocks with a shovel. Water the goat? No thanks, this comrade is too busy playing SEGA. Homework? Yeah, sure, no problem. He'll get right on it, immediately after the nightly press conference at the Mayor's office. Of course the kid wants to stay. We have toys over here that aren't made out of dried clumps of dirt. The TV has more than one channel and features programs that aren't "The Secrets of Soviet Hydroponic Farming" hosted by an animated Che. For Christ's sake, we gave the kid a puppy and he didn't have to eat it. I'm thinking, in order to settle this whole thing amicably, why don't we just arrange a simple trade. We get to keep the Elian and in return we'll send them Dr. Laura Schlessinger. And throw in that creepy little Pepsi girl to boot.

Will Durst wouldn't be adverse to upping the ante to include the whole Baldwin clan.

Well, looky here. You might say the little lords of the Universe, those lovable dotcommers, have suffered a minor setback of sorts. You might also say winter strolls around the Antarctic could be brisk. And no I'm not talking about their little cellular headsets cords getting twisted. For the first time in known history, the stock market went down. Perhaps 'went down' is a bit of a understatement here. Sank like a cement truck rocket propelled down an elevator shaft is more like it, and the basement ain't been found yet. "Hey, wait a minute, none of this was covered in the tutorial. You don't understand, this can't happen to me. I was going to retire at age 30. Now that timetable has been pushed back by at least a couple of months. This is all very highly annoying, dude. How am I supposed to pay for my two thousand dollar one bedroom apartment?" Poor babies, working 100 hour weeks for minimum wage along with stock options, and now with their eight year outwardly telescoping investment period just about withing reach of the gold ring, and the freaking floor evaporates. Ain't life odd? Well, the good news is whatever goes down has to go up. Eventually. Doesn't it?

Will Durst thinks sudden wealth syndrome my ass. More like geek lock.<

I don't know if you read this, but Vito Seskunas of Baltimore was skiing in the back country of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park when he broke his ankle, then slid and crawled 5 miles over three days to reach help. He is now listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit of St. John's Hospital in Jackson after surgery. You know what you never hear of stuff like this happening to people going to the multiplex. The hell is he doing in the back country of the Grand Tetons in the first place? This kind of stuff only happens to skiers. And nobody seems to mind spending millions of dollars to find them. You'd think they were F-17's gone missing. Just this year, some lady left the trail in Tahoe, disappeared for a couple of days and eventually they stumbled onto her after sending out rescue parties and dogs and helicopters and seeing eye ferrets with global positioning spleens. She was the one who wrote a goodby note with mascara. No food but she left the trail with eyeliner. They never seem to do this kind of stuff for guys who get lost on the way home after bartime. You know, I wouldn't mind a dog coming to sniff out my location cowering behind a bush someday. Just because I'm not wearing fancy brightly colored clothing that's way too shiny, nobody cares what happens to me. I don't need the helicopters. All I'm really looking for is the damn St. Bernard with the tiny keg of brandy.

Will Durst doesn't even like brandy. But she was a fine girl. What a good wife she will be.
a dewey week's worth

So now Al Gore thinks Elian Gonzalez should stay here with his new Miami family. Tomorrow he'll probably go to South Carolina and say the state is qualified to decide the Confederate Flag situation on their own. And New Yorker voters shouldn't be swayed by a highly placed fast talking carpetbagger. This has proved a couple of things. One, Florida is so electorally important the Vice President is willing to risk throwing his back out executing a double flip flop on the South Coast's crowded main stage and two, Al Gore will say anything to be President. This has shocked pundits. Shocked them! Because we can't possibly elect anyone who is willing to say anything to become elected President, can we? I mean, say what you will about Bill Clinton, old Brillo Head never stooped to saying anything just because he thought we wanted to hear it. Oh. Okay then, well, George Herbert Walker Bush wouldn't have thought to oh. Okay, Ronald Reagan never mind. Next thing you know, Al Gore will surface in Utah accusing Clinton of having the ethics of a rutting spring rabbit. Then he'll claim he's an advocate of campaign finance reform. Oh. Can't wait for George W to call himself a reformer. Oh. You can't make stuff up like this. Oh.

Will Durst has found himself saying "oh" a lot during this campaign.

Well, don't it just look like Bill Gates finally got one of his tiny little cyber octopus hands slapped. By Janet Reno of all people and don't think she didn't have to suppress one of those not so secret George W smirks while doing it. The charge was abuse of monopoly power ultimately harming consumers. Who knew? Wonder what the Justice Department's first clue was: maybe the fact that Microsoft Office costs six hundred bucks a pop while on the streets of Hong Kong you can pick up a pirated copy for a couple of dusty packages of Gummi Bears? Or maybe it had to do with reports of Internet Explorer repeatedly mugging Netscape, tying it up and telling all its girlfriends it was dead, while chowing down all the good stuff in the fridge. The Gnome without a comb was variously characterized as a bully, a hog and an all round greedy guy while two paragraphs of the decision needlessly dwelt on his disturbing lack of hygiene pointing out the stains of drool, food and various remnants of the will of his competitors on his plaid shirt. Some of the possible penalties he faces are a breakup along product lines, the licensing of Windows, or a bib. This whole thing harkens back to the Standard Oil breakup back in 1910 which turned Rockefeller from a multi- millionaire into a multi- multi- millionaire. Maybe the same thing will happen to Gates. That'll show him.

Will Durst's IPO is iminent. Call your broker now to get on the Durstsoft bandwagon.<

Everybody here in town is flipping out like stray dogs left overnight in the Snausage factory because of how much they love the spanking new home of the Giants; Pac Bell Park. But to be perfectly honest I kinda liked Candlestick. I'm probably the only one willing to admit it but I'm going to miss the drafty old barn where the wind came whipping down the ramps like icicles made out of glass shards. I even made a list of the top reasons 3 Com Park at Candlestick Point was way better than Pac Bell Park could ever be.

  • Was this close to receiving the third deck blanket concession.
  • Those hypnotising hot dog wrapper ballets in centerfield.
  • Blue lips are sexy.
  • That incredible 4 star restaurant district right outside the Stick.
  • Our own private vendors.
  • Family sized buckets of coffee.
  • Going to miss those gusts of wind that would pick up old people and pin them against the screen.
  • Foul balls. "I got it."
  • That scintillating odor emanating out of the men's room after an extra inning Friday night game against the Dodgers.
  • One word: Frostbite.

Will Durst is allergic to sunblock and is hoping for some fog on Tuesday.

You can't make stuff up like this.

  • Why do I have this sneaking suspicion that if a judge ruled Elian Gonzales should be sliced in half with both Miami and Cuba receiving equal portions, both parties would scramble over their mothers in baseball cleats to sign the custody agreement.
  • Al Gore keeps trying to distance himself from Clinton while insisiting on partial credit for the booming economy. Sounds like the typical divorced guy who just can't give up those juicy conjugal visits.
  • Rumors are circulating that Quayle's people have sounded out George W's people about the VP slot on the Republican ticket. Not a bad idea especially if they're trying to save money. Could recycle two sets of pins and bumper stickers. Besides, I'm sure we comedians and editorial cartoonists wouldn't mind chipping in a couple of bucks. Call it a tithe.
  • Some people say Bill Bradley lost because he lacked personal warmth. We're talking about a guy running against Al Gore. How do you lose a personality contest with the Tin Man. That's like losing a tango competition to an oil rig.
  • Gore's answer in the face of his history of fund raising problems: "Mistakes were made, and it's time to move on." What I want to know is, who couldn't use that logic? Manson? Dahmer? Hitler? Hinckley wouldn't even have to couch it in the plural.

Admittedly, Will Durst has to pluralize as well.
not your father's weeks worth

Oh my God, what is that moist stickiness emanating out of Washington D.C.? Sniff. Sniff. Why boys and girls, it's a heavy coating of partisan splooey, in the form of another Constitutional Amendment banning flag burning. Yes again. And no, no one's seriously attempted it since about 1973. Which can only mean it must be an election year. Thank heaven Utah Senator Orrin Hatch had the red white and blue gumption to sponsor this year's "I'm- a- holier- American- than- you- are" bill, because otherwise who knows how many stone cold idiots will venture to torch Old Glory who hadn't even thought of it before his little display of patriotic grandstanding. Methinks Mr. Hatch is trying to recover from his 0% showing in the New Hampshire polls with a plus or minus 5% margin of error. Let's be honest, only twisted flippo units want to see a flag burnt. But in America even twisted flippo units are protected. Something Congress should be thankful for and not subverting. Besides we can make more flags. Why not spend the same kind of energy protecting the American Bald Eagle? They stopped making them. Of course, if the birds aren't smart enough to learn how to procreate on their own, maybe they should be extinct. Of course, I'm not suggesting we burn them either. Better put up your rhetoric umbrellas people. This ain't over.

Will Durst doesn't even have an umbrella.

Fidel Castro has decided to kill us with acceptance. We want Elian's dad to come and take the kid home. Okay. We got him. Elian's dad is coming to America. But that’s not all. So is his stepmother and his half-brother and his cousin and a couple of teachers and a dozen classmates and his desk and his doctor and a team of psychiatrists and a legal advisor and for all we know the Buena Vista Social Club and a left-handed reliever with a wicked split finger fastball as bait. The Cuban Strongman says "we're going to bring Cardenas to Washington.” Why not, they already brought most of Colombia to Washington. This could start a trend. Bring the Kona Coast to Washington. Imagine the permission slips parents had to sign for this field trip. "Do you promise to come back even if imperialistic cretins claim it's your birthday every day?" "Will you be sure to point out wage disparities between the stockholders and characters with removable heads at Disneyland?" "Remember to accept all cigars only to spit them out, saying 'what infertile soil produced this manure- twig sandwich?'" The good news is they will all get puppies. The bad news is they have to make the trip in rusted-out life rafts with their own goats.

Will Durst thinks with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Possible alternative answers for the long-form census.
These are not suggested for personal usage since supplying knowingly incorrect answers can result in a year in jail and/ or a $5,000 fine. And you have follow up with door-to-door questions in the Treme district of New Orleans in August.

Q. Do you have a working indoor toilet in your domicile?
A. No, but after we've consumed the entire contents of the five gallon containers of expired industrial strength carburetor lube we subsist on, there are buckets o'plenty available for evacuations on demand at or within five horizontal feet of every doorway.
Q. How many cars do you own?
A. 342.
Q. How long is your average commute to work?
A. Eighteen hours. Three bridges, four buses, two shuttles, a rickshaw and then I get dragged by a team of diseased goats for the last block. It's quicker going home, the goats go off-duty and are replaced by lots and lots of research rats from Lawrence Livermore Lab.
Q. Toasters?
A. Two functioning toasters, one toaster oven and a long fork we use to burn bread in the fireplace. The amount of toasters almost makes up for the fact we have no west wall.
Q. How much money did you make last year?
A. It depends on what your definitions of "money," "make" and "last year" are.
Q. How many rooms in your house?
A. 1/2. See question above about no west wall.
Q. How many dependents in your domicile?
A. You talking to me? You talking to me? Ain't nobody else around. You talking to me?

Will Durst answered every question legitimately.
a week's worth light on the bile

Hah! If I may repeat myself. Hah! And you womensfolk thought we mens were just stubborn obstinate know- it- alls who couldn't bear the thought of having to consult others, which at times admittedly might have included you. Well, lookie here. According to the University of Ulm: (yes, Ulm. Don't snicker. It’s in Germany, which is north of France, if you must know) we have better hypocampuses. More highly evolved. The researchers at this University of Ulm, dare I say the geniuses, have discovered because of this, men are the better navigators, with a much more developed sense of direction. Running the risk of repeating myself. Hah! And there you were swearing you could hear the shrinking of our genitals over the unfolding of every map. Just like we've been saying it all along: guys don't need maps. We are the hypocamus people. Masters of the maze. Slayers of the street. Freeway field commanders. And the remote is our magic wand, so don't even think of touching it. It's a schematics thing. Stimulates the hypocamus you know. We'd like to explain, but the University of Ulm guys haven't quite finished up their research and we're not really sure we want them to. They might come up with a reason why we can't find the laundry room. To which you may be allowed a small Hah!

Will Durst's hypocamus is bigger than yours.

How often have I said this. You can't make stuff up like this. You know what? I'm right. In Boston, attempting to unseat 37 year Democratic Senate veteran Edward Kennedy, a Republican has flung the first hot mud of the race, and it turns out, he could have done it in a locked closet with a newspaper boomerang since the target was he. In response to partisan attack, Jack E. Robinson III issued an 11 page report detailing all the dirt he and his staff could dig up on himself. And you got to admit, the guy did a pretty damn good job. C'mon, 11 pages. Even double spaced, we're talking at least the appearance of thorough here. Nearing CIA foreign dictator application status. I bet even Pamela Anderson would have perked up at the disclosure, provided someone in her retinue read. The sensation was sufficient, suffice to say had Mr. Robinson been any other person on the planet he could sue for slander. "Where have you gone Henry Kissinger? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Koo kooka choo." In the near scandalous account of a misspent, well, youth and adulthood, the wealthy business executive alludes to a relationship culminating in a restraining order, flunking the bar three times, a drunk driving charge, a court upheld accusation of plagiarism and a propensity to thaw individual Cornish Game Hens in what one James Beard award winning Pan Asian chef has labeled a "hygienically suspect procedure." You might think calling this mind boggling paradigm of pre- emptive public self flagellation- political suicide, is like suggesting the results of the McWorm sandwich rollout were mixed, but don't forget; he's running against Teddy. A man to whom 11 pages doesn't even cover the court documents reproduction service segment of the acknowledgments section. Everybody says they wish all politicians would roll out their sins on a parchment, but what about the law of unintended results. Does anybody really want Bob Woodward covering the Orioles beat? "Smirking silently but walking purposefully away from the commotion surrounding Albert Belle's third cleat to the head prank of the day, Hargrove glimpsed Ripken kick a clump of dirt over the third base line and wondered to himself: 'How many more clumps of dirt does he have left in him? What happens when the clumps become wads and then just sprays of dirt, and finally a single grain of sand? Will he know? Will I know? If I don't know, Tom Clancy tell me? Where's my chaw?'"

Will Durst is headed down to spring training. Sorry for the inadvertent reference.

It’s hell down here in Arizona. And for those of you who have never been able to make it to spring training, all I can say is you should thank your lucky stars. The common reports of happy go lucky baseball fans are obviously a grim conspiracy foisted upon an unsuspecting public by the combined forces of the local chambers of commerce, Major League Baseball and the bottled water conglomerates. The sun beats so hard, not only are most folks compelled to wear dark glasses to block the dangerous UV rays, but many are forced to seek relief by stripping to nothing more than shorts and t shirts in a semi desperate effort to stay cool. Restaurants are so crowded you're forced to spend up to a half hour in the bar waiting to be seated. The rigorous Cactus League regimen can sap the strength of the best of us.

The typical timetable:

10:00 am Wake up.
11:00 Krispy Kremes and coffee.
12:00 noon Breakfast.
12:55 A beer before the game
1:05 Watch baseball in a cozy little 8,000 capacity stadium.
1:45 Eat a brat cooked over an unsupervised open flame.
Wash down with a beer.
3:45 Leave game after Giants last at bat.
4:00 Beer at pool.
5:00 Nap.
6:30 Pre-dinner beer or two.
8:00 Beef. Lots and lots of beef.
10:00 Couple of beers.
11:00 Vicious round of crazy eights.
2:30 Stagger down hall and pass out.


Just when Will Durst gets good at this, it's time to leave. Ain't life odd.
more weeks worth than you deserve

We were giving out awards before and I see absolutely no reason not to continue our little exercise. So here goes.

Best Impression Of A Sleepy Lizard In Search Of A Warm Rock: Beating out perennial favorite Sam Donaldson, Robert Novack.

Best Choreographer: For the seventh straight year Alan Greenspan.

Sheep's Clothing Award: John McCain for his imitation of a warm fuzzy liberal even though he's to the right of Alexander Haig's Nazi brother.

Kahoutek Award For Most Overrated Crisis: Last years champ successfully defends title: Y2K. NASDAQ meltdown moving up fast on the outside.

Best About Face On A Dime: An ever popular award goes to new Populist: Arianna Huffington.

The Hey, What About Me, I Didn't Quit Yet Award: Alan Keyes.

Best Supporting Actor: Tie goes to Bush supporters, the Wyly Brothers, who, when questioned about the attack ad on McCain they financed held a press conference and vowed unequivocally there had been no co-ordination with the Bush campaign. Then they cowered behind a rubber shield for protection against lightning strikes.

Best Disappearing Act: A tie between Matt Drudge and curiously enough, Lucianne Goldberg.

The Energy And Vision Of Cold Lava Award: Bill Bradley.

Best Lamest 2 Millenniums Worth Of Death And Destruction Apology Award: Pope J2 P2 for his Jubilee mea culpa.

Will Durst would like to apologize to everyone for everything.

Feisty underdog John McCain marches back to the Senate this week, and it'll be more interesting than Yukon grapes to see how his confederates treat this vanquished hero after his recent Quixotic quest. Because of his electoral leverage he wields Party Regulars will be sucking up to him like Rick Rockwell at a National Enquirer potluck dinner. Of course everybody knows these two faced toads are the same honorable gentlemen who, in blind support of George W, leaked to the press the former POW had a "hair trigger temper" and was "quite mad," along with hiding a history of intimidating Hunan waitresses by making intermittent barking noises. All made much more interesting due to a recent Newsweek poll showing McCain with 32% of the vote against Bush's 35% and Gore's 28% in a three way November race. The Shrubmeister probably removed all chance of seducing McCain onto the ticket this week by having his bloated surrogate, Governor John Engler challenge the Arizona Senator's Michigan delegates, souring what insiders say was already a relationship with a healthy share of rotting citrus in the mix. Probably the same loving alliance that bonds Bradley and Gore. Not to mention what Reagan and Bush felt for each other and Kennedy and Johnson too. Oh. Strange Bedfellows, my ass. This is more like Alien Shipmates.

Will Durst assumes his wife Debi considers him a Strange Bedfellow.

I don't know why they always do it, but they always do. Maybe aliens spike their coffee with interplanetary stupid juice. Maybe its simply their nature or maybe they harbor the same secret death wish Wooly Mammoths felt at the end of the Ice Age, but every few years, for no apparent reason, the National Rifle Association just up and smacks itself upside the head with the flat end of a garden shovel. Or should I say Wayne R. LaPierre Jr. does. He's the NRA executive vice president who recently said President Clinton had blood on his hands and craved a big body count because it amplified the cry for more gun laws. This is the same brainiac who in a fund raising letter a couple of years ago called federal agents, "jackbooted government thugs." Neal Fox, an NRA board member who considers Mr. LaPierre too moderate (which is like calling a rabid wolverine, daycare tame) says: "I've never seen a gun law that reduces crime." Well, maybe that's because our spineless representatives refuse to pass effective gun laws in fear of screwing up the scheduled heaped wagon loads of campaign contributions. And I know, I know, the first thing Hitler did in 1928 was to confiscate all the guns and registration is the first sled down a slippery slope. Yadda yadda yadda. But for crums's sake, when you see six-year-old kids killing six-year-old kids, does not the word compromise come to mind?

Will Durst majored in rationalization with a minor in compromise.
a pale left week's worth

Well, now that we made it through Super Fat Tuesday maybe everyone will stop whining about how California never gets to dance at the big primary ball. Because we finally did and now look at us. Staying up way past our bedtime tabulating ballots that don't even count. For some supposed beauty contest about as pretty as Ernest Borgnine in a thong. It was the kind of primary where George W Bush morphed into an environmentalist. Yeah, right, George W is to the environment what the Exxon Valdez was to the pelican population of Prince Edward Sound. You could say John McCain's guerilla assault on the Republican Heirarchy hit a glitch. You could also say frozen banana daquiris are inadequate as grouting material. And what can you say about Bill Bradley that hasn't already been said about roadkill on I-5? Al Gore is on a roll. And you can be sure it's an all inclusive roll. A big tent roll, and he's going to fight for that roll. But the real winners of are us. The people of California who don't have to sit throught hose eight gazillion poposition ads any more. Half ot them didn't make sense. Half of them we already voted on, and the other half throw kids and gays in jail for no other reason than: "Because I said so." the bad news is this may have been our electoral high point. It looks more and more like eight months of Bush/ Gore. Where's Ross Perot when you really need him?

Will Durst wonders if Jesse can hear our cry?

Frequently Asked Questions About The End Of The Primary Season.

    Q. What's the difference between Bill Bradley quitting the race and John McCain just suspending his campaign?
    A. The same difference between getting drubbed like fitted sheet clothespinned in front of a tennis ball cannon in every single danged primary entered and winning a couple.

    Q. What's the difference between releasing your supporters and announcing your support of the Party's inevitable nominee?
    A. Its called leverage, my young bucko. Leverage.

    Q. What does McCain mean when he says "I will keep trying to force open doors where there are walls"?
    A. Who knows. Maybe he has plans to become a carpenter or maybe he's just angling to become a carpenter- like guy (wink wink), or maybe Cindy is just looking to add an extra room.

    Q. Why are inside sources floating Grey Davis' name as a possible VP candidate to Gore.
    A. Because its the only way to insure that Al Gore looks like he's outlined in neon. Also, Grey needs all the publicity he can get.

    Q. Why is George W Bush now willing to meet with the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay caucus?
    A. Because the primary season is over. Get it? And now both these liquid squeezebags have to hog the middle. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush picks Bradley as his running mate. Okay, maybe a little.

Will Durst wonders what ever happened to Keyes?

Speaking of which:

The Pope apologized for 2000 years worth of crap the Catholics has dished out to the rest of the world, mentioning in passing he was sorry for the injury suffered by the Jews. Injury? The Holocaust was an injury? That's like a press release alluding to a priest being incarcerated for sexual assault as taking a hiatus. Like saying being crushed by a container car full of rosary beads dropped from a crane represents a setback. That's like calling what happened to Jesus, "a nasty scrape."

Bet Galileo is holding a 17th century celebration in hell kicking the shit out of Urban VIII. Hope Pope J2 P2 forgives him for this too.

Bob Jones University relaxed its stance on interracial dating, but only with written permission from the parents of everybody involved, and the Virgin Mary.

I think I've come up with a title for the Democratic Primary:
"Valium Thunderdome." Two go in, one wakes up.

So I guess we need a title for the Republican Primary. How about:
"Chameleonic Toads on Ice With Results."

The Wooly Mammoth experts say that while the monster mammals matured sexually at age 18, they didn't have much luck at the dating game until age 35. Sounds a lot like a primitive dotcom society to me.

Will Durst has no gigs in Silicon Valley for a while so he's cool.

I don't mean to boost everyone's blood pressure higher than opening bids on an Internet IPO by overreacting here, but if I were you, I'd find a nice safe steel bunker to hunker down behind, because it's awards season and cast statuettes are being tossed around like dimes at a county fair. Like resumes at the Bill Bradley for President HQ. Like vouchers in a South Carolinian Catholic school district. We got the Oscars, Comedy Awards, Country Music Awards and Emmys coming up and now its time for me to weigh in with the most important of them all: the Will Durst Thank God They Exist Because I'm A Topical Comic Awards.

    The Leanest And Meanest Award: Bank of America who gave CEO Hugh McColl a 50 million dollar bonus after laying off 19,000 people in the face of a plunging stock price.

    Playgirl's Male Bimbo Of The Year: Rick Rockwell.

    The What Was I Thinking But Let Me Go On National TV To Ask It Over And Over Again Award: Darva Conger.

    You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This Award: Jesse Ventura for leaving the Reform Party because it was "dysfunctional."

    MENSA's Smartest Move of the Year: John McCain.

    Best Actress: Hillary Clinton for her convincing depiction as an apprentice New Yorker.

    Best Actor: Body of work award goes to George W Bush for his various portrayals as campaign finance reformer, environmentalist and a man to whom breast cancer research is of the highest priority.

    The Sounds Like My Hair Looks Award: Al Gore. Runner up: Tipper.

    Best Score: Whoever bought Incyte at 10.

    Oddest Couple Award: GM and Fiat.

Will Durst is a minority in Minneapolis.
a week's worth with partisan splooey on it

Believe it or not, John McCain has problems. One of them is with analogies. First he calls Bush's penchant for truth twisting "Clintonesque." Then he likens party freako units on the right, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, to party freako units on the left, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, which caused all hell to break loose. I'm sorry, all heck to break loose. Either way, it helped in Virginia and Washington about as much as a bicycle seat hot glued onto a baseball bat. North Dakota doesn't count. Sorry North Dakotans. I'm sure this is not new news. Glad you had a caucus and all, but really, who cares? What was it, three delegates? Nothing personal. It's just business. Another of McCain's problems is the man is ostensibly trying to win the Republican nomination for President even though Republicans don't seem to like him very much. Democrats and Independents find him huggable as all get out, but he stubbornly refuses to run for either of those head slots. I don't understand. What's he think is going to happen? In the middle of a debate, George W Bush is going to turn to him, break down and say, "You. You have a gift. Yes you do. What was I trying to do? The Republican Party belongs to you, the real reformer. Forgive me, Godfather." Yeah, that'll happen. Or at least McCain better hope it does, because otherwise we're looking at six more months of Bush and Gore waltzing around the Ivy League Ballroom, and the only partner left for Iron John will be the Yellow Ross of Texas. And word on the streets is Perot likes to lead.

Will Durst likes to lead.

Once again its time to play; 'Who's The Bigot?'

"Senator McCain, first question goes to you. When Governor Bush recently spoke at Bob Jones University, who'd he defame more? A. Jews. B. Blacks. C. Catholics. D. Canadians."

"I'm glad you asked that question Regis. The truest answer is he defamed the many proud Americans named Bob Jones without a prejudiced bone in their bodies who are looking for the real reformer and not a phony one who thinks he should be President through divine right."

"Good answer. Weird but good. Governor Bush, which hero of the Republican Party did Senator McCain abuse more: Reverend Pat Robertson or Reverend Jerry Falwell?"

"Regis, I think we all know he offended Ronald Reagan the most by besmirching the good names of two of his best friends who stood by him in his hour of need instead of stabbing him in the back by comparing me to Clinton."

"O-kaaay. Thanks. Ambassador Keyes, when Senator McCain and Governor Bush refused to comment on the flying of the Confederate flag over the South Carolina statehouse, did you see that as an ethical forfeiture or a slap against people of your race?"

"You honky poseur. How dare you ask a question like that when you and I and the rest of this good country know the question of race pales in the face of the moral authority of God, which I alone am able to articulate, and I say unto you "

"Well, that seems to be all the time we have. Join us tomorrow when the Democratic candidates play 'Who's Gutting Social Security?'"

Will Durst wants to play "Who Went To A State School?" with these guys.

March 7th, 2000. 16 states and one territory. They don't call it Super Tuesday for nothing. Actually, its not the real Super Tuesday, that's coming up next week with the traditional grouping of southern states. This is Usurper Tuesday where 30% of the total delegates will be chosen. The biggest prizes, California and New York have to compete for national attention with the likes of Ohio, Hawaii and American Samoa even though they contribute 40% of the pie. Several things are expected to happen in Tuesday's wake: Bill Bradley's campaign will be deader than John Rocker's future as a speaker at Martin Luther King Dinners. Al Gore can shift his staff into fund raising overdrive, hopefully circulating a memo instructing his staff to avoid future Buddhist monastery entanglements. What's really exciting though is watching to see if John McCain can continue his guerilla assault on the Republican Party aerie, or if he's doomed to seek a future as quick quipping host of a variety show on Fox. And what happens to George W Bush? Does he continue to adopt McCain's strategy and start calling himself an Arizona Senator or does he slide into Smirkville with a convincing victory? The scariest part is envisioning one of these guys as the next resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A fate Edgar Allan Poe would have trouble imagining.

>Will Durst thinks the thought of Pat Buchanan even running is scary.

One of the best parts of being a big time political comedian is personally getting to meet all of the major candidates (conveniently ignoring Alan Keyes to whom I got no closer than the hem of his leather trench coat in a mosh pit.) But I did manage to shake hands with Bradley, Bush, Gore and McCain and take this opportunity to compare their grips. Who would have thunk you could determine the zeitgeist of an entire campaign from a simple handshake?

McCain: Soldierly. Less of a handshake than a salute. One short up. One short down. Then release. Stare straight into eyes only to detect possible enemy involvement. Move on. Smile. Repeat. Dirt under nails.

Bush: Firm but distracted. Kept looking over my shoulder for somebody in a better looking suit. Might have reflected obvious Texas Ranger unease at my presence. Tiny fingers.

Gore: Perfunctory. Hate to say it, but robotic. Two quick shakes, the same everybody else got. The man plays no favorites. Eye contact: yeah, but then again, not really. Nice manicure.

Bradley: Limp, fishy. Kept looking over my head for possible escape route. "Gotta get out of here before they steal my soul" kind of rabbitty tension. Big fingers.

Will Durst thinks Fat Tuesday will only be celebrated in New Orleans and Nashville.
a week's worth with chagrin all over it

Win one. Lose one. Win one. McCain wins Michigan, and MSNBC, Fox News and CNN are celebrating like orphaned mockingbirds in a Swiss cuckoo factory. Its a horse race again. With all sorts of fixed heats, corkscrewed jockeys and trainers carrying saddlebags full of "vitamins" to come. McCain may have won the Republican primary but he didn't win the hearts of Republicans. As a matter of fact he lost them three to one. I think Keyes did better. Iron John did win Independents two to one and Democrats six to one, but how many of them are going to be immune to the mesmerized skills of Al Gore and jump into the Liberal Commie Pinko Yellow Rat Bastard camp come November? But March 7 looms huge now. With New York and California among the 14 participants. And not even the a bookie with a talking horse could deny Fat Tuesday could go either way. Is George Bush now destined to retrieve the heart of his party because of the upcoming slate of closed primaries or does the CNN poll showing McCain 25 points ahead of Gore opposed to Bush's 5 percent lead sway the faithful into full blown ABG (Anybody But Gore) mode? Stay tuned. Only Lee Atwater's specter knows for sure.

Will Durst hopes it goes down to Philly.

Friends are the lifeblood of politics. The more well heeled the better. They keep a campaign's circulation and cash flowing. Phil Gramm says a politician's best friend is money, but then again Phil Gramm is about as cuddly as a Pit Bull caught in barbed wire. Its the company you keep that helps plot the public co-ordinates that define you. Kind of why nobody hangs with David Duke anymore, and Pat Buchanan is avoided like oysters in July. One of the problems with friends is their enthusiasm is hard to tamp down and sometimes they tend to press too hard in your favor. Take Pat Robertson. Please. Specifically his taped phone calls on behalf of George Bush, where he calls McCain's national chairman, Warren Rudman, "a vicious bigot who wrote conservative Christians are anti-abortion zealots, homophobes and would-be censors," which minus the vicious bigot part, I don't have a problem with, because mostly its true. I'm sure Robertson means it as a bad thing though. He's just pissed because his Presidential shot in 1988 sailed like a garbage scow shoved off a cliff, and must be feeling a little less than, since the Christian Coalition lost its tax exempt status last year and this is his last ditch effort to be Big Time Player by having Bush beholden to him. Although right now it seems McCain might gain the most from his unintentional proxy work. As my dad used to say, "with friends like these, who needs enemies?"

Will Durst has many friends.

Its leap day. Yea! I guess. The twenty ninth of February. Sixtieth day of the year. As a kid, it seemed almost magical. Like the Brigadoon of Days. Don't know what I expected. "Hey, leap day is coming. Leap day is coming." Then it came. No candy. No presents. No nothing. Not even green beer. I'm still not sure what exactly is the damn deal with this day. Yeah, yeah, I know it only comes once every four years to make up for some sort of astronomical accounting screw up. Kind of like a spacer day. The big time scientists call it an "intercalary day." And today is even rarer because a Century is only a leap year if it is divisible by 400. Which means this is the first leap century since 1600. Fascinating, eh? But then there's that whole women being able to ask men to marry them deal. The hell is that? In Scotland, Parliament went so far as to pass a law forbidding any man to turn down a proposal lest he be subject to a hefty fine. Talk about your politically correct. In these modern times, of course, you'd need to add another couple of days. One where a man could ask another man to marry him and an equivalent one solely for women. And it would only have to be 17.76 hours long. 74% of a normal day.

Will Durst thinks women should be paid more than men just for having put up with us for so long.
a weeks worth with tsuris near it

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This. South Carolina Debate Edition.

  • Bush says South Carolina Democrats are mobilizing to vote for McCain because they think the Arizona Senator is the easier target in November. Sounds to me like a pre-emptive paranoid whine.
  • Yeah, that makes sense. Al Gore has obviously hypnotized his followers into mind controlled zombies through his well honed ability to mesmerize.
  • For Alan Keyes, the best part of Forbes and Bauer dropping out is now he gets to answer a third of the questions instead of just a fifth.
  • For George Bush, the worst part of Forbes and Bauer dropping out is now he gets to answer a third of the questions instead of just a fifth.
  • In the debate, McCain called Bush unfamiliar with the term "grown- up." Surprised he didn't offer him a high chair and a sucker.
  • The smirk was missing. Guess they put it up in a kennel for the night. Although it seemed there for a moment, the make up lady might have found it on the counter and applied it on Keyes.
  • Who is the Governor of Texas taking shouting lessons from: Chris Matthews?
  • Making things even crazier in South Carolina is due to McCain's status as the darling of the "liberal elite media," the far right assumes he's one of them. Don't they realize he's giving them candy on the bus?
  • George W claimed the reason he didn't meet with the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay caucus, is because they're in John McCain's pocket. He knows in South Carolina the phrase "and he likes what they're doing in there" is implicit.
  • Bush's best line was "No mothers and fathers are naming their boys Bill Clinton." Larry King missed the obvious follow up: how many kids do you think are being named George W?
Will Durst is a reformer too.

I love awards. You love awards. People just love awards. And its awards season. So let's get it on.

  • The Spent the Equivalent Of A Halfway Decent Sofa Bed For Every Vote Award.
    Steve Forbes.
  • The Gone Way So Far Round the Bend He Can See His Own Butt Award.
    Gary Bauer for holding a press conference at the grave of a fetus.
  • The What The Hell Was Going Through His Tiny Little Mind Award.
    Alan Keyes for jumping into Michael Moore's mosh pit.
  • The Switch On A Dime After The Price Of A Phone Call Went Up To 35¢ Award.
    George W for leaping onto the campaign finance reform bandwagon by the edge of his fingernails.
  • The Too Little Too Late Too Short Award.
    George W for leaping onto the campaign finance reform bandwagon by the edge of his fingernails.
  • The Roll Over And Scratch My Belly You Adorable Beast Award.
    The media for their hard hitting coverage of John McCain.
  • The There Aren't Enough Days In The Week Award.
    Bill Bradley for his nonstop laugh a minute fun filled rallies.
  • The At Least He's Got A Future As A Short Order Cook Award.
    Gary Bauer.
  • The If You Don't Like the Record 7 Year Economic Boom Go Ahead And Vote For Somebody Else Award.
    Al Gore.
Will Durst has a future in the awards biz.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. But George W is taking it to positively Zelig levels. The next thing you know, he's going to be talking about the horrors of the Hanoi Hilton. Here's a few of the things South Carolinians were exposed to during their primary, and what Michiganders can expect.

  • John McCain: Reformer.
  • George W Bush: Reformer with Results.

  • John McCain: Straight Talk Express.
  • George W Bush: Victory Express.

  • John McCain: Town Hall Meetings.
  • George W Bush: Yeah, whatever, I'll take some questions. You, the guy in the suit.

  • John McCain: Can't raise his arms above his shoulders.
  • George W Bush: Can't lift his punches above the belt.

  • John McCain: A maverick.
  • George W Bush: Owns several mavericks on his ranch.

  • John McCain: In favor of campaign finance reform.
  • George W Bush: In favor of campaign finances.

  • John McCain: Got a compelling history.
  • George W Bush: Got thirty staffers in charge of history.

  • John McCain: Desire to change the system.
  • George W Bush: Desire to charge the system to Daddy's credit card.

  • John McCain: An army of young idealistic grass roots activists.
  • George W Bush: An army of old cynical political hacks.

  • John McCain: Positive campaigner.
  • George W Bush: Positively ruthless campaigner.

  • John McCain: An honorable man and a decorated veteran.
  • George W Bush: Dad was President.

Will Durst hopes this race goes down to the wire, and he thinks it might be razor wire.

The days of negative campaigning are over. America has grown too smart for that. Oh yeah, right. And golf is the inner city game of choice. The ghost of Lee Atwater is still with us, people, he's just taken to wearing a new set of Emperor's clothes. In today's fast paced Internet liquid fueled political world the new trend is to first paint your opponent as the heinous negative campaigner and then counter punch him with thousands of attack ads of your own, sadly bemoaning his lack of ethics. In South Carolina, George Bush ran ads attacking John McCain for comparing George W to Clinton which admittedly, in the Republican Party, is like calling somebody Satan's weirdo anthrax infected brother. Two thirds of the South Carolinians left the polls thinking Bush was the positive campaigner while half thought McCain the negative one. Even the day after winning, Bush said, "He learned a lesson I hope, from that kind of negative campaigning." Yeah, he learned a lesson all right. He learned Lee Atwater was right. He learned George Bush won't let reality intrude on strategy. And he learned that voters are sheep. Of course its the same tactic his Dad used on Bob Dole in 88. So maybe its in the genes. Or maybe its a Texas thing. Wonder how far back in the polls Bush will be before he attacks McCain's war record. "He got captured. That's not a hero. The guy sat out the war for crum's sake."

Will Durst had a high lottery number but it wasn't 02222000
a weeks worth with a bunch of good stuff in it

Brothers and Sisters, step right up to see the strangest collection of political candidates this side of a Louisiana Governors race. We're almost talking San Francisco Supervisors quality. Freaks of nature. Chameleons. Shape shifters. As changeable as the Bay Area weather; if you don't like your candidate now, wait an hour. Over on that tilted revolving stage, we have John McCain touring auto factories, praising unions and calling George W's tax plan too generous to the rich. Running ostensibly for the Republican nomination as a Democrat. And why not, Bill Clinton won two Democratic nominations by running as a Republican. McCain is also running a TV spot straight out of Bill Bradley's playbook: "Do we really want another politician America can't trust?" Must be a rhetorical question. Get away Forbes, you bother me. Careening across the other inclined stage, you can see Bush referring to himself as "A Reformer with Results." He also cut his stump speech and has started answering queries from the audience, although the precise definitions of perseverance and preservation remain off limits. He's even attacked his opponent's record on Veterans affairs, which is a bit like a cow complaining fish aren't up on the latest news about water. If things keep going the way they're headed, Bush will end up the fighter pilot, and McCain will transform into the favorite son of Texas with vocabulary dyslexia.

Will Durst wonders if the corn dog stand is open.

An interesting phenomena has taken hold in California. Life long Democrats see their side of the March 7th primary as a low gravity skate for Al Gore since he's spent so much time here, rumors abound Tipper is planning to run for Senator. So they've registered as Republicans in order to cast a vote for either John McCain or George Bush. The ones voting for George II assume he'd be as easy a mark for Prince Albert as hunting a cow with a Louisville Slugger. The ones voting for the Arizona Senator dig the idea a man can respond to questions with actual answers instead of clumsily segueing to tired paragraph four of pat answer three. The emerging conundrum is: Democrats have the same understanding of Republican ways as wire haired dwarf goats have of reactor schematics. They're ordering wines they know they can't afford, and pricing BMWs against their better judgement. Like trying to change an oil filter while wearing dress leather gloves. A few have reportedly inquired into country club memberships without first asking about religious, racial or ethnic restrictive covenants. And there's been talk of fur. Real fur, not that smelly stringy faux fur crap. We're talking rich luxuriant lustrous animal skins with the heads still on em draped over the shoulders of women whose hair has suddenly turned blue sitting next to gnarled bald knobs wearing green plaid pants and lobster bibs whose laughter sounds like tenpenny nails being claw hammered out of rotting two by fours.

Will Durst thinks it’s cool.

John McCain is many things. Maverick. Reformer. Veteran. Dumb, however, is not one of them. He paints himself a lobbyist hater. Ridicules them mercilessly as scavengers on the hull of Democracy, then holds a quarter million dollar fundraiser in Washington filled with these same Armani clad barnacles. Not hypocrisy, he's just trying to level the playing field, you see. He holds a press conference railing against political corruption in the hallway outside an office where he has intervened on the behalf of contributors. Then he declares war on pork barrel spending while still managing to slice a couple rashers of bacon every budget for Arizona. Its the best of both worlds.

Think of where this reformist strategy could lead:

  • Run as an outsider after serving in Congress for 17 years.
  • Decry the expedience of negative campaigning and then attack his opponent with "issue ads."
  • Refuse to raise taxes while leaving open the question of user fees.
  • Promise to tell the truth no matter what, and yet bounces around the issue of abortion like a bunny hopped up on goofballs.
  • Advocate a test round of school vouchers while publicly proclaiming his allegiance to the sanctity and importance of public education.
  • Hold a peace conference on a pile of battlefield collateral damage.

Sounds like a regular politician to me.

Will Durst likes maverick politicians. They're so comfortably predictable.

You always hear claptrap about inevitables in this life. The two hoary staples are of course death and taxes, which have proven to be pretty inviolate, but most of the other stone cold dead cinches weren't. Such as:

  • Not only is the Titanic unsinkable but nobody wants to see a $100 million movie of it.
  • If man were meant to fly, god would have given him wings or at least a smaller butt.
  • No way Harry Truman wins, and no way does the Chicago Tribune print a headline until all the votes are in.
  • Babe Ruth's single season home run record will never be broken and neither will his single seating hot dog eating record.
  • We won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore, but you got to admit he would bring honor back to the White House.
  • Strawberry Quick will outsell Chocolate Quick.
  • Clinton will be forced to resign in disgrace, and Linda Tripp will be hailed as a national hero.
  • Edmund Muskie is a lock for the 72 Democratic nominee unless he speaks in the snow and it looks like he's crying.
  • Hillary Clinton doesn't have a ghost of a chance against Rudy Giuliani, although the fight will be fair.
  • Nothing can keep George W Bush from the Republican nomination.
Will Durst believes in fate.

I want to thank the greatest folks in the country for coming here tonight. First let me say, I know you have concerns. Let me assure you: so do I. As a matter of fact, your concerns are my concerns. And with the grace of God, our good and loving Christian God, we will find the answers. Together. Because we're in this together. And together we will find the good. We need more good in this country and less bad. Much less bad. And taxes are bad. And so is crime. Families are good and so are veterans. And health care. Health care is good. But only good health care. Bad health care is not good. Bad health care is bad. And bad health care is what my opponent is trying to give you. Not me. I know you want less government control of your lives and so do I. And once you vote for me I can control that control. For good. Not bad. Because I'm a reformer who can reform the bad into good. Bad reform is worse than no reform at all. I bet you're tired of people promising bad reform just as you must be tired of all this negative campaigning. Not as much as me, my friends. I am so sick of these negative ads my opponent is airing, when he's the one who was saved from being a convicted felon through an illegal payoff. I will tell you the truth my friends: he is a liar who lies about lying, and I refuse to stoop to his level of negativity, which is why you should vote for me and not him, the mud slinging phoney reformer. Thank you folks. And may God Bless America.

Will Durst worries God is going to be real busy.
home again home again biggedy big week's worth

Notes While Watching The Victory Parties.

  • Lot of white people up here.
  • George W Bush likened New Hampshire to a speed bump in the road on the way to the White House. The French could have used speed bumps like this to bolster the Maginot Line. If the Soviets had erected such a speed bump, East and West Germany would still be separated.
  • For all the money he spent, Malcolm Forbes only went from 12% in 1996 to 13% this time around in New Hampshire's ugly beauty contest. At this rate he'll pop up with 50% in the year 2148.
  • You'd expect Ambassador Alan Keyes' constituency to have rhythm, but up here in New Hampshire, the closest you can come is by saying his constituency uses rhythm.
  • At his raucous celebration at Nashua's Crowne Plaza, we saw the birth of a slogan: John McCain promising to tell us the truth no matter what. Okay John, does it work both ways? Cindy, pearls and brocaded hems do not go together. Besides, Dufy Blue is not your color. Compounding the problem, last night it was the podium's color.
  • Man, this place is white. Mashed potatoes on paper plates white.
  • Gary Bauer only got 1% more of the vote than you and I and you weren't even here.
  • Bill Bradley reportedly was excited. At least that's what we were told. This rumor has yet to be confirmed.
  • Jack Germond signed his book "Fat Man In A Middle Seat" for me at the Wayfarer. I can go now.
  • Being Groundhog Day and all, I wonder if George W had dreams of seeing John McCain's shadow. Either way, 6 more weeks of campaigning.
  • Al Gore as Brad Pitt in "The Fight Club." Perfect analogy since in the movie, Brad Pitt doesn't exist.
Will Durst is on his way home after five weeks on the road. Yea.

More Notes Concerning The New Hampshire Primary.

  • First Bradley challenges Gore to a weekly series of debates. Then Gore responds by saying he wants them twice weekly. Coming soon: every hour of every day, the Sominex Channel.
  • Bradley might have come up with the political version of Ali's Rope-A-Dope. He took it/ took it/ took it/ took it/ and then when Al looked all tuckered out, he retaliated with a massive hit by calling Gore a liar who lies about lying. Below the belt but effective.
  • One thing you got to say about the Forbes campaign: they always had the best food. Here's hoping this Revolution will be catered.
  • To say voters had reservations about Bush's tax plan is like saying the Y2K bug might have failed to live up to its advance billing.
  • Looking at Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes I am reminded of the kid in "The Sixth Sense." I see dead people.
  • Maybe Alan Keyes can move on and team up with Michael Moore to create a Professional mosh pit circuit.
  • Maybe Gary Bauer can move on and create a Pancake Flipping Demolition Derby. Or rejoin the Lollipop Guild.
  • New York Times says Bradley's heart is more fragile than Gary Bauer's hold on reality.
  • I think Gore should change his slogan to "Anybody tired of record economic growth, feel free to vote for Bradley."
  • If John McCain indeed will tell the truth no matter what, maybe we shouldn't waste him as a nominee for President. He might be more valuable as a NFL referee.
  • I'm not sure John McCain's maverick message is going to go down as well in South Carolina. After all, their senior Senator is Strom Thurmond. A man whose seen a lot of changes in his career. And he voted against every one of them.
Will Durst is happy to be back in California.

George W Bush might have himself the same problem a Republican named Lincoln had on his hands a hundred and forty years ago: a breakaway Southern republic. Seems a new poll in South Carolina shows John McCain in the lead by four points. Bush's firewall has become a paper maiche screen overnight. Flash paper city. This turn of events has precipitated a damage control operation one would normally associate with a natural disaster, although I'm not sure even FEMA could help at this point. In response, George II made such a hard right pivot, staffers in the back seat of his campaign bus should be encouraged to call one of those 1- 800- WHIPLASH lawyers you see on late night television. The dauphin held a rally at Bob Jones University in front of 7,000 students and faculty where interracial dating is strictly prohibited, and attendance was mandatory. Then number one son was photographed on stage receiving Dan Quayle's endorsement. Which has got to be worth three four hundred votes. Easy. Nationwide. What a sight it was: Bush and Quayle together again. That's the generous evaluation. The rather ungenerous assessment is Dumb & Dumber. But you won't hear that from me. The Texas Governor is supposedly calling major donors and party stalwarts to let them know although the ship may be have a tiny hole, its still full speed ahead. Sounds to me like the same plight the S.S. Minnow experienced. And that was a mere three hour tour. We're talking another two months of rough seas here. What I want to know is, if this campaign gets stranded on a desert isle, does Bush become the skipper and Quayle the little buddy? Or versa visa? Dad's obviously Mr. Howell, but which will loom as the bigger crisis: no Ginger or John Sununu as the Professor?

Will Durst thinks Laura Bush would make a nice Mary Ann.

Saying George W's momentum has slowed is to imply being repeatedly run over by a 40 ton steamroller might put a crimp in one's all around gymnastics program. You got Steve Forbes nibbling at his right flank, McCain chomping away his left flank and the Boy that would be King is starting to look a mite like flank steak run through a grinder and seasoned with raw egg, anchovies and capers. Candidate tartare. "Fresh ground pepper, sir?" "Get away from me Neil." The GOP big boys are encouraging Dubyah to sharpen his message. But of course that advice is moot, predicated on one's first having a message to sharpen. The committed party stalwarts are blindly and bravely thrusting their chins forward into that same prototype meat grinder insisting that similar to Bradley's assault on Gore, these tough times will only serve to make Bush a more potent candidate. Jeez guys, under that theory, one would be forced to say Gary Bauer is the most qualified aspirant as he's gone through the toughest of times, including tumbling precipitously off a four inch stage. You know who really scares the Democrats? Hatch. There's some talk around the speed bag that Georgie might have what you call your glass jaw. My theory is his training manual came straight off dad's Skull & Bones shelf, without benefit of Lee Atwater's unique pugilistic translation. Meanwhile investigators are sifting through the charred rubble of the New Hampshire campaign for the cockpit voice recorder to see what lessons can be learned. Inside sources reportedly ascribe the vertical failure to a malfunction of the stabilizers. And the navigational unit. And the fuselage. And the rudder. And two partially chewed up wings. The FAA is perplexed.

Will Durst thinks the last two words they'll hear on the CVR are the same last two words heard on 80% of them: "Oh, shit!"
a desperate week's worth

Iowa? Iowa who? Iowa's not here man. I'm sorry Hawkeye people, but your moment in the sun with that cute little caucus stunt was so 8 months ago. We're talking Bronze Age in political years. The spotlight has now moved on to New Hampshire, where the media, just like the American public, or is it the American public, just like the media, has the attention span of dust mites in a wind tunnel. Thus were the newest electoral squeeze, Granite State voters, treated to the stupor bowl of debates. First, for ninety minutes, the Republicans discussed taxes, abortion and mosh pits. Alan Keyes played the race card. John McCain played the war card. George W Bush played the oil card. Malcolm Forbes played the alien space lizard card. Gary Bauer played the creepy Peter Lorre Munchkin with too much lip gloss card and, Orrin Hatch blatantly sucked up by playing the I'm out- a- here card. Then after a half hour Vivarin break, Bill Bradley and Al Gore engaged in a hour long Valium Thunderdome: two go in, one stays alert. Barely. And we're not even talking about the tie issue. Apparently the Vice President's fashion consultant went on a bender as he showed up with some horizontally striped monstrosity recognizable to some of us marginal media as a slice of a Motel 6 bedspread. Some free advice Mr. Alpha Man: horizontal stripes are not slimming. And please, please, please: could some Princeton alum buy Mr. Bradley a new tie. Follow in the footsteps of Spike Lee and Orrin Hatch. Do the right thing.

Will Durst misses the pork tenderloins.

Tuesday's New Hampshire Primary Candidates Schedules

8:00: dig up graveyard looking for fetuses.
12:00: spank naughty boys at Concord Orphanage.
7:00pm: victory party in old Photomat booth near airport.

7:00: shoot hoops with Ted Koppel. Cream the mother.
3:00: get neck lanced.
8:00: victory party at Manchester General Intensive Care.

12:00: practice not smirking some more.
3:00: send Neil to Dixville Notch to pick up ballots.
9:00: victory party at John Sununu's house. Fire him again just to see the look on his face.

10:00: attend Billionaires for Forbes rally at New Hampshire Polo Club.
4:00: re calibrate invisible puppet strings and receive further instructions from alien space lizard boss.
8:00: victory party at Manchester Gazillionaires Club, restricted.

8:00: receive last charisma implant from Teddy Kennedy. Make sure alcohol filter attached this time.
2:00: hold press conference and accuse cretinous scumbag Bill Bradley of more negative attacks.
8:00: victory party at Amherst Buddhist Temple.

7:00: hold press conference, refuse to answer questions.
12:00: pick up pogo stick for Jumping For Jesus Rally, then yell at reporters for trivializing campaign.
6:00: victory party at biggest store in Berlin: Jesus Loves Guns and Bait.

7:00: 1196th town hall meeting at JD Salinger's house.
12:00: hold rally at flag factory in Portsmouth. Remember not to get photographed near Dixie Flag.
8:00: victory party at Mike Tyson Anger Counseling Center, Nashua branch. Counselors on site.

Will Durst will be glad to get out of here, but then again, not really.

Things are getting tenser than monkeys moving a piano on a high wire here in the Granite State, as the primary primary approaches and our distinguished candidates throw subtlety out the window along with the baby and the red white and blue bath water. Each camp is undergoing transformations worthy of a road trip to Damascus.

Bradley: Discovering what aides have been embroidering in his underwear for months, negative campaigning actually works; "Dollar" Bill is hurtling through the state like a neophyte religious convert, pausing only long enough to monotonously eulogize the Vice President with a chant of; "Liar liar, pants on fire" to stunned passerbys.

Bauer: After falling off the stage at the annual Bisquick pancake flipping contest, Gary has concluded crouching down real low, then jumping up extremely fast with a spatula held high is a good look for him.

Bush: George II trotted out George I, the Queen Mother and a portable mural of Ronald Reagan in a royal display designed to emphasize precisely why he should be elected President. Because he's next in line, dammit. Jeb and Neil lurk ominously behind the ropeline.

Forbes: Malcolm is wearing a new red tie.

Gore: Prince Albert the Cougar Hearted's talking points have shrunk to those of a trained parrot stapled to Don King's shoulder: "Fight, fight, fight. Fighting. Fighting for you. Fighting for us all. Going to fight."

Keyes: The Ambassador has given up all pretense of religious acceptance and has taken to lecturing kindergartners on the evils of abortion, false gods and mud people.

McCain: The Arizona Senator whose heartwarming candor has included calling Leonardo DiCaprio, "an androgynous wimp," is ratcheting up and now referring to Cokie Roberts as "Babe-a-licious."

Will Durst says it's all over but the counting.
Call your local PBS affiliate and find out when "The Citizen Durst Report" is airing in your area. Please. Pretty Please. With sugar on it.
a porky week's worth

In Iowa, no one can hear you scream, especially if you're a family farmer trying to capture the attention of one of the candidates. A couple of years ago, the average American family farmer was doomed to extinction by something our government euphemistically called the "Freedom to Farm Bill." Which allowed monster farm conglomerates to eat up smaller farms like a school of killer whales sucking up plankton. They do this kind of thing all the time. Its like calling the destruction of entire neighborhoods, "Urban Renewal," or mandatory castration "The Marital Protection Act." That's the best part of politics. See, most people have jobs and families and other inconsequential stuff to worry about. They don't have time to inspect every line of every item in every bill, so all you need is a nice happy- face title for your act and people buy it. Who's to know "Citizens for the Public Trust" is just a front for people opposed to mothers accepting work outside the home. Or "American Families for Truth, Justice and the American Way" is a grass roots organization determined to ban monkeys breast feeding in public. Maybe the family farmers should put together a group called "People Aligned for Good not Bad," whose explicit assignment would be to remove all corporate money from the realm of politics. But then Republicans would whine such a deal would only benefit Democrats. And nobody ever asks why that is.

Will Durst says hmmm.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Iowa Caucuses

Q. How did the caucuses start?
A. Nobody knows. Its rumored to have begun with early Iowans throwing small ruinish stones which were then interpreted in a hollowed out stump full of pig entrails by men wearing overalls.

Q. How is a caucus different than a primary?
A. People don't vote. They attend. Then move off into designated candidate corners, but if not enough people hang with you, everybody has to go wander around looking for a second or third choice. So the campaign staff that corners the breath mint and deodorant market could hold a huge advantage.

Q. Might there be worse ways in choosing a candidate than by picking the one with the best smelling supporters.
A. Oh yes.

Q. What about other parties, ie: Reform, and Green?
A. What about them?

Q. Can they participate?
A. Only if they re-register as Democrats or Republicans. And bring snacks.

Q. Does it cost anything to participate?
A. Just another piece of your soul.

Q. Can you change your vote afterwards?
A. Yes. As a matter of fact, you are encouraged to, especially Orrin Hatch supporters.

Q. Any other ways caucuses are better than primaries?
A. A whole lot more fun to say. Go ahead, try it in a sentence. "I fell down and broke my caucuses."

Q. If not Iowa, where would be a better place to hold the first caucuses?
A. According to the press, someplace with a more representative population like Hawaii, or American Samoa.

Will Durst notes in the latest poll, Orrin Hatch is still at 0%. And the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. The downside of that is scary.

I don't care what you call it, caucus, primary or pork lips and linoleum eating competition: at the end, like it or not, someone's going to end up a winner and someone is going to end up a loser. Some will be drinking champagne toasts surrounded by network camera crews and others will stop off at the local Kum and Go for a quart of Old Milwaukee Light and drink it in their rental. And this peculiar midwestern voting ritual is no exception. Except of course if you listen to the spin. My favorite part is when a staffer is forced to awkwardly explain how his candidate coming in last was a key part of a carefully orchestrated long term strategy. In politics, it's not enough to be a winner, you got to be a big winner. By definition then you would think Gore and Bush are obvious winners since they won. But you watch, pundits will crawl out of the woodwork claiming they also lost, because of a failure to win by enough. Bradley came in second, so he'll declare himself a moral winner. Although the celebration will be as muted as a saxophone full of scalloped potatoes considering his dismal last place finish in a field of two. Forbes came in a strong second so he'll assert he's the big winner. But so will McCain and Keyes who maintain they're the big big winners for exceeding expectations. McCain because he didn't even run here, and Keyes just because he's a black guy running for the Republican nomination. Bauer and Hatch are medium big winners because they can pack up and go home. But the biggest winners of all are the residents of Iowa, who don't have to suffer through another invasion of carbon based manure spreaders for another four years. Big big losers? The people of New Hampshire, next on the list of the soon to be fertilized.

Will Durst is Scotch Guarding his shoes on his way to New Hampshire.
a pork tenderloin week's worth

Can someone tell me what the hell Major League Baseball expects to accomplish by sending John Rocker to psychological testing? Are they anticipating a sort of miraculous epiphany where the fruitcake tears up his "Idiots R Us" card, burns his hood and takes over Mother Teresa's work? Yeah, right. Dream on big river. The man is a troglodyte. A certified embarrassment. Dumber than a bucket of dead nightcrawler soup. But even a bucket of dead nightcrawlers is entitled to its own opinions. Although most of them probably revolve around inventing an anti squirrel device. You can't change the way people think. As a matter of fact, people have a right to think whatever crazy little thought enters their tiny little minds. That's not against the law. Yet. Acting on those impulses is what's against the law. The worst punishment you can give Mr. Rocker is a lifetime sentence of having to hang out with people like him. Either that or trading him to the Expos. Although, those actions might be prohibited by the 8th Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment.

Will Durst wonders if John Rocker realizes the phrase "Can't let those damn immigrants in, they'll ruin everything" was first heard on these shores from the Iroquois.

"Hey football fans, welcome back. Well, Johnny, you got to admit this is one hell of an exciting playoff game. We're going right down to the wire here and it looks like this contest won't be decided until the final seconds. Up in the booth, replay official Janet Reno has just overturned the ruling by the Florida field judge and the international political football, Elian Gonzalez, is back in play."

"Yes, Bobby, it seems Fidel's Forces have managed to blunt almost every one of Miami's moves, including the flying toys o'plenty formation, the cute puppy lateral and the never before seen specifically designed, 'its your birthday everyday' attack."

"You're right Johnny, and the ironic thing is Fidel has been forced to rely on a zebra defense, and you know he's never had a good relationship with the officials. Today, he still may not like the red white and blue flag, but he has to be a genuine fan of that ubiquitous yellow flag."

"You nailed that one to the headboard Bobby. Its obvious supporters on both sides will be at each others throats until this thing is settled, so let's get back to the play by play. The Miami Dade County Circuit Judge goes back and there's the punt. Fidel's Foreign Minister has it, but he fumbles and both teams pile on Elian again. And as expected there are flags all over the field."

Will Durst thinks the winner will be whoever has the ball last.

Everybody has their panties all atwitter because CBS digitally altered the background of a couple of newscasts to replace a competing background logo with theirs. Much hand wringing ensued. "What about our sacred journalistic integrity?" Yeah. What about it? Methinks you're worried about the security of the barn door lock after the horses and cows hijacked the pigs and hocked them for passage on a tramp steamer bound for Brazil. What about when every reporter in the Persian Gulf rolled over like a troupe of trained Pomeranians with pretty pink bows in their hair during the war? During that glorious time you could have lit up every television in North America by attaching a generator to harness the spinning that went on in Edward R. Murrow's grave. Who, by the way, did a number of ads for tobacco companies and then smoked himself to death onscreen. Aah, but those were simpler black and white times when corporations were drinking buddies and not the bosses. "But this is different. That was government censorship during time of war." War, my ass. That was a munitions training exercise with live targets. "But this is not neglect, this is premeditated. How can we ever believe what we see anymore." The answer is: You can't. As a matter of fact, you never could. And don't ever forget it.

Will Durst is so paranoid, he doesn't trust himself.

Aaah, Iowa, where when you call it the Heartland, they know you are not from around here. I think Spleenland or Pituitary Glandland might be more appreciated. It's getting weirder than Elizabeth Dole at a Coolio concert out here. Not that it wasn't always weird. After all, this is Iowa. People in Minnesota get to make fun of people in Iowa. Of course when you throw Presidential candidates into the mix, the weirdity climbs exponentially to levels on the scale of McDonald's replacing beef patties with marinated tofu squares. First you have John McCain talking about how George Bush's tax cut is bogus and a clear case of class warfare. Then George W Bush criticizes McCain's plan for hurting working single mothers. And these are the Republicans. Steve Forbes announced he's launching a new ad designed to promote his personality. I'm assuming its going to be a short ad. Alan Keyes was actually asked a question he didn't find impertinent, immaterial or inconsequential. And while Al Gore had crisis of faith when for a brief moment his oilcan went missing, Bill Bradley is rumored to be considering purchasing another tie.

Will Durst says stay tuned: it can only get better. Or is it worse? One of the two.
an early short week's worth

She's leaving home. Bye, bye. Well, Hillary's gone. Yes, our little girl has grown up and flown the nest. Wait, I'm tearing up. The First Lady bid a fond farewell to the White House and moved into her new $1.7 million digs in Chappaqua, New York with nothing but a peculiar backwards single finger wave. She then unpacked her carpetbags, put on a Yankees cap and raised the Israeli flag on her front lawn. And Monica's still in Washington, fresh from her Larry King inquisition. Hmmm. Wonder if the Welcome Wagon is going to visit the Hillmeister. I can imagine one of her neighbors dispatching the butler in the town car with a catered casserole. First Al moves his campaign headquarters to Nashville, then Hillary moves out so fast she leaves skid marks I just hope Bill doesn't get a complex out of this. All this on the heels of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda splitting up. You can hear the celebratory cries of high fiving dry cleaners across the country who know divorce lawyers are salivating on their $3,000 suits. Maybe Bill and Ted can get together for an excellent adventure with Jennifer Lopez and re-enact her NYPD strip searches. "Could you please turn and face the wall yes, again!"

Will Durst hopes Chappaqua has enough money in their budget to Scotch Guard the entire town against the incoming barrage of sleaze.

Here we are. Between Millenniums. Y2K, my butt. No Y2Chaos. No Y2Kate Hepburn. Not even any Y2Kaopectate. Apparently the planet Earth just suffered through an extreme case of Apocalypse Not! A worldwide catastrophe not seen since Kahoutek. To call it underwhelming would be overstating the case. A trillion dollar scam by the computer geeks, with cleverly phrased warnings specifically designed to scare the Yuppies: "Oh my god, its going to be Armageddon accidental nuclear missile firings, ATM meltdowns, maybe even cellular phone disruptions." "We got to fix this terrible curse and I don't care how much it costs." I even think that terrorist dude who came across the Canadian border with the 200 pounds of C 4 and a couple of gallons of nitroglycerine was secretly sponsored by the networks so people would stay home and watch the tube. The most frightening part of the evening was watching the bags under Peter Jennings' eyes turn into the luggage hold of a summer economy New York to London 747. Of course I did a quarter of his 24 hour stint on PBS with a staff of six compared to ABC's staff of 200. And it barely showed. When everybody else was re-running the Paris, London, New York millennium countdown footage, we had large Samoan women greeting the dawn. For ten minutes. Then we cut to Vancouver where three guys had sparklers. Hey! Somebody had to cover the low key approach.

Will Durst didn't even have a sparkler but he did get to kiss his baby.
Hey, don't forget to wander over to Stooges on East Layton in Milwaukee, Thursday through Saturday the 13th - 15th and see Will Durst try to squeeze in some new material. The midwest is fun this time of year. You get to practice scraping windshields from the inside

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