Weeks Worth • 19971998199920002001200220032004
Durst Case Scenarios • 20052006200720082009 2010201120122013201420152016 2017

xma$ gift wi$h li$t

Well, here we are, with the mother of all Christian holidays looming like a dirigible 30 feet above us at high noon on a pedestrian bridge over the minefield of social rejection. Its that weird time of the year where we try to estimate how much our friends and family care for us, translate that into a fixed financial amount and meet the challenge dead on by purchasing presents for them in a similar yet classier dollar range. Or we just sneak into Ross Dress for Less when its dark. This confusion is symbolized by the disharmonic colors of the season: red and green. Stop and go. Blood and money. Kill or be killed. Sorry. Too much. As the spirit of Christmas himself, Mick Jagger, famously cautioned: "you can't always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need. Oh mercy."

So too is it with WILL DURST'S 2001 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T. Don't matter what you want, baby, you get what you need. Oh mercy.

  • For Baby Boomers Still Counting On Social Security To Be Around When They Retire: Triple strength lifetime prescriptions of Zoloft, Prosac and Soma for forestalling the inevitable.
  • For Bill Clinton: A Senatorial appointment as ambassador to "Temptation Island."
  • For George O'Leary: A gift certificate to an online resume service in some country where no Irish people live. Ghana.
  • For John Phillip Walker Lindh: A book deal rich enough to hire a lawyer with enough juice to get his case moved to San Francisco District Attorney's Terrence Hallinan's jurisdiction.
  • For the Komodo Dragon that bit San Francisco Chronicle editor, Phil Bronstein: The Congressional Medal of Honor and tetanus shots.
  • For Nate Newton: A bong the size of Montana.
  • For George W Bush: A little wooden plaque for his Oval Office desk that reads: "The XFL Started Out Strong Too."
  • For Geraldo Rivera: An opportunity to fire his gun. Preferably near or at Bill O'Reilly.
  • For Donald Rumsfeld: Another 12 months just like the previous 12. Without all the collateral damage.
  • For Osama bin Laden: A three week smuggling excursion leading to an entry level position as night clerk at a 7- 11 in Tuscon and he has to work in drag.
  • For Rush Limbaugh's sound engineer: Some sort of medication that will totally squelch the urge to giggle and a bong the size of Montana.
  • For the cast of Survivor III: Blessed, well-deserved anonymity.
  • For Gwenyth Paltrow: A happy medium between her two "Shallow Hal" roles.
  • For Gary Condit: Eleven more months of war. At least until the next election.
  • For the Bush twins: Fourteen more months of war. At least until they turn 21.
  • For the Afghanistanis: The discovery of vast underground pools of oil.
  • For Wynona Ryder: A cell phone with Robert Downey Jr's lawyer on all the speed dial positions.
  • For Al Gore: The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Machine.
  • For Britney Spears: Another 15 minutes and a cardigan sweater donated by Bob Dole.
  • For Dick Gephardt: Eyebrows. A couple of pieces of stray yarn, a no. 4 pencil, something!
  • For Joe Liebermann: An electrical implant that emits a charge whenever the word "president" comes up in conversation.
Will Durst wishes you and yours a happy merry.
got to ask, can't tell

Here's your problem. On the one hand you got your reporters asking all the general guys these impossible questions. You know, questions about targets and strategy and what our next moves will be and which Taliban leader's camel has the stinkiest breath and why haven't all our bombing runs had pinpoint precision and such. National frickin security questions. Questions reporters know they could never get actual answers to because any self respecting military guy who does answer them will disappear faster than free beer at a frat party after a homecoming win. And yet they continue to ask the questions. Because they got to. That's their job. The networks don't pay people to just look pretty anymore. So the reporters dunk their heads in desk high piles of Dark Egyptian #4, scaffold their hair up to heights that give mountain goats the shivers and try to look grave yet concerned while inside they cringingly know they got a better chance of finding nutrition in a Twinkie than ever receiving a comprehensive response to one of their queries. But they can't let on to us they know, so we get "Exclusive CNN Night Vision Coverage of America's New War." Which is a green screen interrupted with occasional sparks of light. "Here you can see Coalition forces bombing advance Taliban targets no, wait, sorry, that's a security guard lighting a cigarette on the building next door."

On the other hand you got your general guys who can't reveal a single solitary syllable yet still have to pretend they're not annoyed at being asked these same stupid ass questions over and over and over by the usual smirking college educated blow dried smiley folks. They furrow their concerned brows and squint gravely towards the cameras in their field camo but all you hear is hedge and evade and dodge and divert and equivocate. Its hydra mouths full of nothing and nobody gets close enough to contradict either. Because they know the enemy has satellite dishes. These days, Charley does surf. So whatever they tell us, eventually the bad guys will find out. So us Joe- Imported- Six- Packs can pretty much assume by the time any smidgeon of info filters down to us, believe exactly the opposite. Pull a 180 degree U turn. Unless, of course, that's what they want us to think. So don't believe everything you read. As a matter of fact, my theory is you're better off believing whatever you don't read. But dammit, we have a right to know. You know?

Except for what we don't need to know. The stuff we need to know, they won't tell us. And the stuff we don't need to know, they won't stop telling us. Like the day after, on 0912, a structural engineer sat down on CNN and scolded the terrorists for colliding with the outside of the Pentagon. "If only they had crashed into the center, the courtyard part, the jet fuel would have sprayed on the opposite three sides and the whole thing would have burned down." SHUT UP! "And in order to take out any of our nuclear plants, all you need to do is fly a crop duster into one of the cooling towers " SHUT UP! Ain't that always the way.

Will Durst hopes it's other ways too.
don't let the terrorists win

Dear Mr. and Mrs. American Shopper:

During this troubling time that finds a lot of us worrying about all sorts of stuff that is just gosh darn no longer in our control, like the instantaneous incineration of thousands of people or descending clouds of the anthrax, we understandably might let slip from our minds the fate of the little people who are suffering every day. Who are living lives of desperation during this holiday season fully aware of the danger of losing everything they have taken years to accumulate. Good decent Americans who have become paralyzed with anxiety. My friends, I'm talking about _arts Inc. And in order to encourage you, the American consumer, to follow the President's advice to go shopping for America, all of us here at Skounkers Department Store are delighted to be instituting a series of special events to make this retail therapy a more secure and patriotic experience during this, the most holy of all our holidays; the Xmas shopping season.

  • The challenge is terrorism. The answer is a 20% Patriots Sale® on everything in the store! (Not including video games or consoles)
  • On Saturdays and Sundays between now and Christmas: have Breakfast With Santa and laugh and cheer as Mr Claus and the Elves clean Osama bin Laden's clock! Your child could be chosen to shave off the evil doer's beard!
  • At your leisure, inspect each and every one of our employees' signed loyalty oaths!
  • Finish the entire triple decker Yankee Doodles® desert by yourself in our "Remainders Cafeteria" and receive a free "I'm a Pig for America" button!
  • See our fabulous 25 foot North Pines Xmas tree festooned with one of a kind ornaments etched by a national renowned artist featuring individual images of the different aircraft, weapons and vehicles being utilized in Operation Enduring Freedom!
  • Specially trained guards will be posted at entrances to harass and detain anyone who looks even the slightest bit swarthy!
  • Wear red white and blue and receive a free commemorative Skounkers Department Store American flag bottle opener!
  • Play "Knock the Bourka off the Mannequin" and win a free box of ammo in our Sporting Goods department!
  • View live closed circuit coverage of all dressing rooms on our Giant Xmas Video Tree® in Home Electronics! And remember, by not coming down to participate in our fabulous once- in- a- lifetime annual end- of- the- year Patriots Sale®, we're just letting the terrorists win.
Will Durst doesn't want the terrorists to win, he's just not sure how bad he wants us to either.
giving thanks

Finding time to give thanks this year is going to be a heck of a lot easier than in recent years. Way too easy as a matter of fact. I don't know about you, but its been awhile since I've been properly thankful for air, water and Afghani music. Of course its a dead solid cinch most folks are going to foolishly drain their well of thanks by sprinkling it on the traditional Norman Rockwell trappings, while I am convinced its the eensie teensie tiny insignificant items that fills life's cracks with cake. And so, let me take this time to list a few of the many microscopic details that make ordinary day to day living worth it all for me.

  • Suburban strip mall boutique coffee shops with drive through windows who fill one quart thermoses with dark roast half caf for a buck fifty.
  • Turner Classic Movies Veronica Lake marathons.
  • Anchor Steam Christmas Ale.
  • A four star general named Stufflebeem.
  • President Bush's vow to eradicate world wide tourism as we know it.
  • Not dressing our women as giant shuttlecocks.
  • Co workers conditioned to schedule staff meetings only after third cups of coffee have been quaffed.
  • Win-win situations like Osama bin Laden announcing he'd rather die than be captured. You know what? I can live with that. Who knew? Common ground.
  • The "Simpsons" Halloween Special.
  • The low key persisting sepia- toned silent movie vaseline lensed subconscious fantasy of opening a sports bar on Bora- Bora.
  • Waking to the heavenly weightlessness of Debi Ann snoring on my shoulder. Drool optional.
  • Fireworks.
  • Part of a capacity crowd rising as one in the summer sun to contest the call of an attempted putout at home on an outfield assist burdened not at all by the cheeseburger with ketchup, pickles and onions in one hand and the Sat urday New York Times in the other.
  • The smell of new leather.
  • Snooze alarms. Infinitely engageable 10 minute snooze alarms.
  • Frozen adolescent memories of Carolyn Jones in the "Addams Family." Does the term "latent submissive" have any meaning here?
  • Knowing the directors cut of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" will be available on 5.1 DTS sound DVD with production commentaries and deleted scenes in a matter of months.
  • Sara Paretsky and Almond Joys.
  • The first snow.
  • The tactile reveal of a twenty accidentally discovered while digging meter change from the folded right front pocket of a pair of freshly washed relaxed fit pleated khakis.
  • Dick Cheney has the best medical attention money can buy.
  • The cracker crust pepperoni pizza at Zaffiro's in Milwaukee.
  • Sleeping until ten.
  • A coast side window seat on an early morning San Francisco/Los Angeles shuttle.
  • Lacing up a pair of brand new white Reebok low top Exo Fits.
  • Our ancestors in 1621 feasted on turkey and not squirrel, weasel or raccoon.
Will Durst is very happy he is not chowing down on leftover squirrel right now.
the contractions

More sacrifices we can make for the war effort

After a brisk hike to the summit of a booming expansion in the late 90's, America suddenly finds itself racing shadows down into the valley of constriction. We've changed in many ways in the last two months. We've changed in many ways in the last two years. Excess has acquired the faint odor of decay. Decadence has become decidedly un-patriotic. Consumers are buying less. Major League Baseball has proposed sloughing off a couple of underperforming teams. Airlines have shrunk schedules and staffs to the point of eliminating what were laughingly referred to as meals on many routes. Even 60 Minutes is laying off producers, although the negatives in Andy Rooney's safety deposit box of Don Hewitt and the goat seem to be secure. These are all good ideas. This whole contraction thing is the perfect way for us to connect back. To the basics. To what's important. To get back down to fighting weight. Stripped to run. But we can do more. Oh, we can do so much more. And I'm just the guy to help.

Further Necessary Red White And Blue Contractions

  • Politicians. Lose a couple. Especially the ones stalling airport security legislation in an effort to protect their contributors· New wave coffee shops marketing their own CDs. Pushing water through ground up coffee beans qualifies you to push water though ground up coffee beans. They have DJ's and record producers for that Mister Barista.

  • Restaurant prices. $40 entrees. Still? Hello? Anybody home? Then they continue to cry because people have stopped coming. Makes you just want to hit somebody in the neck with a 10 inch saute pan.

  • Michael Jackson comeback attempts. If there isn't a statute of limitations on re-incarnating freaks, there should be. Let's set it at none.

  • Banks continuing to charge 19% interest on credit cards while the prime rate has dropped below 5. I'm familiar with the protocol of conducting war crimes tribunals after the war, then again rules are meant to be broken.

  • Bill Gates. Is there any way we can convince the Justice Department to somehow compress his reach and ambition down to something approaching human scale? Kind of a unifying gesture. You know, for kids.

  • Smiley faces. I know. I know. I know. The ubiquitous face of American optimism and pluck. But for Christ's sake, give a guy a break, would ya? Just a wee tad too Forrest Gumpy, if you know what I mean. Makes you realize exactly why the French mock us. What, am I alone here?
Will Durst has a feeling he is not alone here.
He is also laying low for a week. Home for Wisconsin turkey and shows in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Madison next week. See Schedule.)
weapons grade comedy

Don't panic, there is absolutely nothing to worry about

So, let's review. Congress cautions us to remain calm. "Don't panic, there is absolutely nothing to worry about." Then they ditch the Capital en masse like rats on fire leaving a sinking oil tanker with grenades strapped to their chests. Thanks, fearless leaders, we are much relieved. They proceed to test the dogs patrolling the Capital grounds before agreeing to test the postal workers working in the infected areas. You know, I'm not sure postal workers are the first group of people I'd be pissing off. Cue the gooey music to hear the Postmaster General pipe in long enough to inform us, "there are no guarantees in life." Well, there seem to be some guarantees sir, and one of them is our leaders will treat us like mushrooms. Keep us in the dark while continuing to feed us crap.

All closely followed by a General, who, during a briefing on the effectiveness of our bombing raids, cannot distinguish between the "before" pictures and the "after" pictures. "As you can see here, the coalition forces unh, no, this is where we, unh no, wait, wait, yes, this is the "before" picture. The rubble is obviously much more orderly here. Isn't it

Throw me a bone, people."

Over at CBS, Dan Rather contracts a severe case of anthrax envy but eventually his secretary is able to scrape up a couple of microns, which leaves Fox News as the only untainted media outlet adding to the suspicion that domestic right wing extremists may indeed be responsible. Meanwhile, uptown, Bill Clinton's Harlem office receives mail containing salmonella spores. Oh sure, everybody else gets anthrax, but not Bill. He gets salmonella because he's special.

In response to apprehension concerning anthrax infested mail, the National Health Service dispenses expert advice on how to properly safeguard ourselves against its ravage. "Wash Your Hands." I am now convinced my mother is running the government. Inevitably the next official pronouncements we'll receive will be to "stand up straight" and then "wear clean underwear." Later in the week, a Pentagon official announces they are soliciting ideas on how to fight terrorism. Hey, I got an idea. How bout we start out by putting some adults in charge?

Finally, at a State Department press conference it is announced this whole assault on Afghanistan thing is turning out to be a wee biiZ@who's ever been there. Later on we hear, "not to worry, because everything is under control. There's absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh shit!"
"What? What?"
"Nothing. Never mind. Just be prepared."
"For what?"
"We don't know. Just watch out."
I'm washing my hands as we speak.

Will Durst is indeed washing his hands. In a Tahitian resort. In honor of he and his lovely wife Debi's 20th wedding anniversary. He will be back on or around the third week of November.
bombing FAQ

Q. Why is our terrorist counter attack being called "Operation Enduring Freedom?"
A. It seems, "Operation Infinite Justice" was a bit too omniscient and held the possibility of offending Islamic sensibilities, while "Operation Who's Got Gum?" was deemed a bit premature.

Q. What is the upside of our actions?
A. Assuring the rest of the world the tragic events of 0911 will not go un-avenged.

Q. And the down side?
A. Bombing Afghanistan is redundant. The equivalent of re-arranging rocks.

Q. Are you saying the bombing raids aren't as effective as we anticipated?
A. Maybe too much so. It's gotten to the point where we can't tell the before pictures from the after pictures.

Q. Didn't we destroy their Air Force?
A. Which consisted of what, 12 planes?

Q. But our burrowing bombs are destroying their bunkers and runways, right?
A. Yes, but intelligence reports indicate we also may be creating more caves. In some of the more remote districts our actions might be considered a massive redevelopment project.

Q. What are you saying?
A. I wouldn't be surprised to find Afghan men building bogus tanks out of spray painted piles of camel dung trying to attract airstrikes in an attempt to give the wife that new addition she's been whining about.

Q. We're shooting off laser guided smart bombs and ready to eat ethnically sensitive pre packaged meals at the same time. Is this sending mixed messages?
A. Well, we're definitely setting important warfare banquet service precedents. From now on every country conducting anti terrorism will run the risk of having their food drops compared to ours.

Q. What message was Bush trying to send when he told Americans to go shopping?
A. Most analysts believe he was encouraging the country to return to a semblance of everyday routine but I'm convinced he was hypnotised by my wife.

Q. Why did the government ask the media to avoid broadcasting Osama bin Laden's complete speeches?
A. The State Department is worried he might be sending coded messages. Of course a way to really piss him off would be to let him say whatever he wanted but dub his translation with a woman's voice.

Q. Any woman's voice?
A. Jennifer Tilly's voice. She sounds like Marilyn Monroe minus the nagging desire to marry Arthur Miller.

Q. Bush says we should be prepared, but he doesn't say for what. Can he be more vague?
A. I'm hip. We don't want to know much. Just, should we break out the umbrellas or the containment suits.

Q. Will this country ever get back to normal?
A. Not only is it always going to be like this, it has been like this for the last thirty years. We just didn't notice. America has contracted a case of terrorist herpes. For the rest of our lives we will experience long periods of semi- normalcy interrupted by unanticipated outbreaks. And I guarantee you, they will always erupt right before a big date.

Will Durst loves New York but not the Yankees.
it could be worse

Well, we finally started hitting back, but its hard to tell what's happening since Afghanistan's television links are a wee primitive rehashing the old Psych 101 conundrum: "If a war goes down but no one sees it, does anyone die?" The ramifications are a bit scary, but by far the scariest part was when Dubyah got all John Wayne on their Afghani ass and warned: "We'll hunt them down and smoke them out because evntually we're going to find him. Wanted, Dead or Alive."
What we can never forget, is it could be worse:

  • President Al Gore: "I think, the answer is simple. What we need to do is get together and work on this answer collectively not forgetting to factor in certain unknowns and our propensity for self delusion which inevitably will lead to an unprecedented success or a major failure."
  • President Bill Clinton: "So let me get this straight: your daughter married Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Now how does that work exactly and how many daughters do you have remaining? Are some of them in the cave with you right now? Can I see?"
  • President Hillary Clinton: "I'll beat you like your name was Monica."
  • President George HW Bush: "Whoa, deja vu, dude."
  • President Ronald Wilson Reagan: "Taliband? Which band is that? Does Nancy Sinatra sing for them? I know her daddy."
  • President Jerry Brown: "We are one people. Borders and flags are insignificant when compared to riding together on the same spaceship Earth to an unknown destination."
  • President Ralph Nader: "To be perfectly honest, I think the Democrats and Republicans have a lot to learn from the Taliban."
  • President Pat Buchanan: "What's flat and glows in the dark? Afghanistan. Tomorrow."
  • President H Ross Perot: "We got to take out the trash, clean out the barn and hose down the pigs."
  • President Bo Derek: "Those beards look itchy."
  • President Donald Trump: "How much do those Cruise missiles cost? Can't we get the Chinese to make them cheaper?"
  • President Jesse Ventura: "They can try and run, but they'll just die tired."
  • President Newt Gingrich: "What's this all got to do with me?"
  • President Larry King "Can't we all just get along?" (Sorry, that's President Rodney King.)
  • President Bill Maher: "What you looking at me like that for? I was right, wasn't I?"
  • President Sylvester Stallone: "Yo, I was in Afghanistan once."
  • President George Foreman: "C'mon Osamy, its time to dance."
  • President Alan Greenspan: "Well the good news is we don't have to guard against irrational exuberance anymore."
  • President Hannibal Lechter: "This operation will require an illustriously grand amount of fava beans."
  • President Judge Judy: "Hey! What's wrong with you? Haven't you heard a single word I've said?"
Will Durst thinks we're lucky in a way and then again not.
america on alert

Hey guys, guess what? We're coming back. You can feel it. The American spirit is slowly climbing out of the rubble of confusion and paranoia and the streets are getting back to normal. People are flipping each other off again. Road rage is back. The not-so-secret agendas of politicians have reappeared. Restaurant hostesses have reverted to their old rude selves. It's a beautiful thing. Part of the healing is being facilitated by wrapping our wounds in red white and blue Band-Aids being applied with the light grace of front-line field tourniquets. You can't find a flag anymore, although some Pakistanis seem to have such a surfeit of them, they got to burn some just to keep warm. Where the hell are they getting their American flags? Probably same place we are, Taiwan. At the San Francisco Giants' Pac Bell Park, the National Anthem is now a production piece and "God Bless America" is sung twice a game. Now when it comes to the National Anthem, I don't care how many trills or warbles you fill it with, just hit the high notes on "the land of the free." Everything else is just frosting, sweetheart. Meanwhile, television has responded to the aftermath with industrial strength exponential factor four patriotism, to the point of altering their logos. NBC's bug is now a red white and blue peacock; ABC has its blue circled logo in the bottom right with red and white stripes shooting off screen, and CBS has a motto: America on Alert. Not all of the cable stations have official mottos but that's why I'm here. To help.

CNN: When Disaster Strikes, America Trusts.

BET: Ain't This Some Shit?

USA Network: Who's Got the Best Name? That's Right. We Do.

TBS: Is, As and Always Will be: Home of the Braves.

QVC: Right About Now, a Real American Would Start Shopping.

C- SPAN: Reality TV Since Before It Was Cool.

ESPN: Well, Thank God That's Over.

Nickelodeon: No Nightmares. Ever.

BBC America: Welcome to the Club. How's It Feel?

The Disney Channel: Why? Because They Hate Us.

TV Land: All Gomer Pyle All The Time

Independent Film Channel: Even More Depressing Crap.

Food Channel: Hey, You Still Got To Eat.

Nostalgia Channel: Remember the Good Ol' Days? Like Labor Day.

Fox News: What Did We Tell You? No, Come Back Here. What Did We Say?

Golf Channel: Did Something Happen?

Sci Fi Channel: Could've Been Worse. Could've Been Aliens.

Home & Garden Television: Suddenly, Growing Your Own Food Doesn't Sound So Stupid.

Lifetime: Moms From Connecticut in Jeopardy During Wartime.

PBS: Commie Pinko Yellow Rat Bastards No More.

TNN: Where the Dukes of Hazard Call Home.

History Channel: Let's Review the Whole Hitler Thing Once More, Shall We?

AMC: Where the Duke Calls Home.

The Therapy Channel: When Bad Things Happen to Everybody.

Comedy Central: Irony's Graveyard.

Spice Channel: Don't Let Your Flagpole Fly Halfmast Anymore.

Will Durst is in the process of developing a new career, and is accepting suggestions.
you can't make stuff up like this
  • It has been reported that Osama bin Laden is one of 52 kids which makes me wonder if he's really a Muslim. Sounds awfully Irish-Catholic to me. Maybe his whole problem stems from being unable to find a decent pint of Guinness in Afghanistan.
  • Bush's approval rating has hit 90%, the highest ever recorded for a sitting President. But Dubyah is advised not to rest on his laurels, don't forget, the XFL started out strong as well.
  • San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown keeps talking about how our town is a likely target as well. "We have international landmarks too. Golden Gate Bridge. Pyramid Building." Sounds like a bad case of terrorism envy. Hey Willie shut up!
  • Etiquette note: when two cars approach the same empty parking place, the spot goes to which ever auto is flying the bigger flag."Hey Mr. Taliban, Tally me banana. Daylight come and me wanna go home."
  • Not only are these people bloodthirsty, they're stupid as well. If they really wanted to disrupt our economy all they had to do was take out the IRS, and the national response would have been: "Oh darn. Gosh, that's terrible. Boy, they better not try that again! Introducing a new product: red, white and blue Trojan Ultraribs. Exhibit your passion by flying the colors of America. You will be saluted."
  • At least the Gen Xers got over their monumental case of crisis envy. Must have been sick and tired of Baby Boomers telling them how easy they've had it. "You don't know what it was like. Losing the Kennedys, Malcolm, Martin Luther King, then the Vietnam War. You just don't get it man." Up until experiencing the events of 0911, their protestations were weak: "I'll always remember where I was when Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire. Entertainment Tonight ran it over and over and over. I can never forgive the NFL for choosing to play that weekend. Never."
  • I can't believe Clinton was at ground zero hugging women. You idiot, that's what got you in trouble before. Hug a fireman for crum's sake. Then, while George W and Tony Blair were touring the bottom of Manhattan, Bill was squiring Mrs. Blair around town. Terrific, now we're going to war with England.
  • Some airlines have announced a plan to save money by ending meal services in coach. So, some good has come out of this tragedy. That and the dramatic drop in the price of turbans.
  • At the Packer-Redskin game in Green Bay on Monday, Lambeau Field was full of red white and blue cheeseheads. Proving that patriotism needn't always be pretty.
Will Durst was frightened to discover those new Ultraribs glow in the dark.
you can't make stuff up like this

Frequently Asked Questions about the World Trade Center Bombing.

Q. At a surreal time like this, how does humor help us cope?
A. Think of this mindboggling assault as a giant bean bag chair we're forced to carry as we go about our daily business. The only thing humor does is help put a handle on it.

Q. But surely there's nothing amusing about a tragedy of this dimension?
A. Of course not. But we all have our job to do and mine is rooting out the items emanating even the faintest aroma of irony, like when Mayor Giuliani cautioned all New Yorkers to remain calm, unless they lived below Canal Street.

Q. Anything else?
A. Yeah, my favorite crawl was on MSNBC: "NYC reports no unusual looting." Apparently, there was just the normal summer Tuesday night load.

Q. What are the possibilities of rebuilding the World Trade Center?
A. Talk is circulating of constructing not just twin but triplet towers with the middle one 50 stories taller positioned latitudinally so it looks like we're flipping off Afghanistan.

Q. Can we be positive this catastrophe was the responsibility of Islamic Fundamentalists?
A. No, of course we can't be sure, yet. It could have been Iceland. For all we know, they're still pissed at us for making Bjork wear that silly swan dress.

Q. Might there not be real long term problems if in our lust for revenge, we rush to judgement?
A. Without doubt. Don't forget Oklahoma City. Foreign terrorists were suspected because bystanders reported two Middle Eastern- looking guys running from the scene. Well, come on, wasn't everybody running from the scene? Besides, what does Middle Eastern- looking mean in Oklahoma City? "They had curly hair, and they weren't wearing no baseball caps at all, and I'll tell you something mister, they had a tan on both of their arms. It was eerie."

Q. Americans physically recoiled from the shots of Palestinians shooting guns, honking horns and handing out candy after news of the bombing. What was up with that?
A. The thinking goes, they might have mistakenly employed Gary Condit's old public relations people.

Q. What about Gary Condit?
A. The luckiest man in America. Said to be considering running for re-election again.

Q. What's the worst part of the Pentagon crash: the destruction, the death toll or the possibility of compromised national security?
A. Actually, its having Pentagon officials asses their own damage estimates: "Considering the quantity of four hundred dollar hammers and sixty dollar screws required, we conservatively calculate the costs of repairs will exceed a minimum of four gazilliondy dollars."

Q. Do any analysts believe Saddam Hussein was involved?
A. Doesn't matter, we're going to kick the crap out of him anyhow. Think Pavlov.

Q. Wasn't it eerie how all eyewitnesses remarked on the cinematic nature of the tower crashes?
A. Yeah, I know, where the hell was Bruce Willis when we needed him?

Q. Speaking of MIA, what happened to Dick Cheney?
A. I thinking the conversation might have gone like this: "Dick, I'm sorry, but what better wartime consiglierie is there than my father?"

Q. Of all the correspondents, who should we trust the most?
A. Well, Andrea Mitchell is married to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, so there is always speculation when she cites an unnamed source, she's referring to notes taken naked and horizontal.

Q. Did Jerry Falwell really blame the attack on gays for causing God to forsake America?
A. Yeah, but don't forget this is the same guy who claimed the purple Teletubbie is a homosexual recruiter. I suspect in a previous life Falwell was a re-usable pinata at an El Paso gay bar.

Q. Are Americans equipped to fight this kind of a war?
A. One problem is Americans can't even conceive of suicide terrorists: "Well, how do they get paid? Is it a union deal? Obviously don't have a decent dental plan."

Q. Any chance these guys might succeed in their attempt to destroy America as we know it?
A. Are you kidding? You can't destroy America. America isn't just a nation, its a notion, its an aspiration, its a dream. You never hear people talk about the Afghanistanian Dream, now, do you? Except for bearded hermit asthmatics with a fetish for uneducated women dressed as beekeepers.

Will Durst is wearing red white and blue on the inside.
you can't make stuff up like this

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This!

  • Bill Clinton signed a book deal in the neighborhood of around $10 million, which you have to admit is a very nice neighborhood indeed. He could never have made that kind of money in his former position unless he had pardoned the entire combined board of directors of Enron, Firestone and Time- Warner AOL.
  • Liberals imagine Jesse Helms leaving DC for his home in North Carolina is causing mass joy everywhere, but they are totally forgetting his constituents, staff, family and the slaves on his plantation.
  • Bush said he needed his month long vacation in order to clear his mind. What is he: a human Etch- A- Sketch for Christ's sake? Could have saved a lot of time just by having Dick Cheney shake his head like an underfilled maraca.
  • Is it just me or does anybody else have the feeling that George W studies for a urine test?
  • For a while, smoking leapt into first place for cause of death in China, dropping dissent down to second. But recent reports have dissent rising again, with a 7¢ bullet.
  • Now what's the deal with Cheney? The Veep has a heart attack every three days, then he's back at work 45 minutes later. Hey, I'm no doctor, but shouldn't recovery from heart surgery last at least OVERNIGHT?
  • Headline on page A3 of Friday's USA Today. "Florida Commission: Don't feed the sharks." You know, people requiring this advice are not going to heed it anyway. Might as well tie them to rocks as bait.
  • GM is discontinuing the Oldsmobile nameplate as of 2004. Not only is it no longer your father's Oldsmobile, neither it is destined to be your grandchildren's Oldsmobile.
  • Turns out Bush's estimation of 60 stem cell lines available for research actually ends up numbering around 34. Seems that whole fuzzy math thing could be contagious.
  • Not looking forward to Janet Reno taking on Jeb Bush in Florida's gubernatorial race next year. Poor baby, she's got about the same chance Hillary Clinton had of becoming New York's junior Senator. Oh.
  • Wonder if Little League pitcher Danny Almonte will get together with Elian Gonzalez and file for charter membership in the Central American Chapter of "Don't Dads Suck?"
  • In his new movie "Curse of the Jade Scorpion," director Woody Allen stars as a character stalked by a love struck Helen Hunt and surprised by a naked Charlize Theron lounging in his bed. The only connection to reality is Helen Hunt's character is hypnotised.
  • Having a Bush oversee an economic recovery is like having your drug intervention hosted by Robert Downey Jr. And Darryl Strawberry is driving the van. And Ben Affleck is at registration. And Mariah Carey is supervising the sponge baths.
Will Durst has always been partial to sponge baths. Don't miss the Durstian appearances at the New Orleans Comedy Festival September 12- 16. Drop down to the 504 and share some humidity sipping a hurricane.
gary condit is right

Well, I think we all now understand why Gary Condit is not chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Facing up to a prime time assault by the fierce inquisition of Connie Chung, the Modesto Congressman exhibited the cowering body language of an inmate at a Turkish prison expecting another surprise inspection by the swarthy guards. And considering the fallout, well should he have been. This guy couldn't have come across worse if he had greeted the cameras wearing Chandra's clothing backwards mottled with suspicious bloodstains on the bodice. What we saw was damage- causing damage control as its Zenith. As comforting as pewter slippers. As forthcoming as a California divorce attorney. As warm as freeze dried granite. I can imagine OJ Simpson bounding from the couch screaming at the screen: "Who the hell do you think you're kidding buddy? Stick a fork in your leg, because you are done. I can tell you're guilty just by looking at your hair." And exactly which poor endangered species was he was wearing on his head? Obviously meant as some sort of cheap suck up move on behalf of the Modesto Sierra Club. Yeah, the Modesto Sierra Club, almost as mythical as the Berkeley NRA.

After four months of jauntily grinning at passing cameras, apparently the Congressman decided to go on TV in a deep heartfelt desire to not talk about what happened. The hell is that? Does he also make reservations at exclusive restaurants two weeks in advance, arrange for a sitter, then split as soon as the silverware's been dropped? Dial 1- 800- COLLECT and wait for the operator to arrange for the call to be accepted before hanging up? Wouldn't trust this guy as far as I could throw a handful of hot epoxy. He looked like Clinton without the charm. Say what you will about Bill, he was smoother than a baby's ass dipped in a polyeurathane bath. Imagine him sliming Connie with his crocodile smile then looking right into the camera and cooing "I didn't do anything wrong and I promise not to do it again." And America swoons again.

But you know what, Condit does have a point. If I were in his position I might have done the exact same thing. At least he stonewalled high, well above the twist ties of the media trash bag. Face it, if he had admitted an intimate relationship with Chondra, ABC would have wanted to know what positions were favored, and then if he mentioned in which direction whose butt was facing, they would have asked the name brand of lubricants used, and the specifics of the particular barking noises being made. And had he chosen not to respond, then there would have been high level pouncing, with cries on the order of "AHA, what is he hiding?" "I'm thinking Labrador, Larry"

"No, he's definitely a Pekinese man. I can hear the toenails on the linoleum from here."

Will Durst is definitely a terrier.
He would also like to thank everybody who watched the first episode of the two part Livelyhood special "Planet Work" last Friday and encourage them to watch the second episode this Friday. And if you're in the Minneapolis area next week, why not wander by the Acme Comedy Club and watch his Durstness attempt to record a funny comedy humor CD. Call 1 612 338 6393 for details.
bush's vacation

From A Nap To A Coma

You got to love George W Bush. Tuckered out from being so near the vicinity of actual work, the guy simply needed to escape back to his ranch in Crawford, Texas to get back to basics and remember what its like to do nothing. On the job for a scant seven months and he needs a 35 day vacation. Nice work if you can get it. People, five weeks is not a vacation, that's a sabbatical. No wonder everybody wants this gig. Who does he think he is, the president of Europe? The only people who get five weeks vacation are German trade unionists, Parisian waiters and Santa Claus and the last two are fictional. Before this period of vacating, Bush has already spent a month of his administration in Crawford, he's been at Camp David for all or parts of 38 days, and weeks o'plenty gallivanting around re- introducing himself to various world leaders. "Remember me, I'm Pappy's kid. Sorry about trashing the guest wing last time. Karl Rove's got a check for you." So that means, since being on the job from the end of January, he's actually been at work, what, about a week? George W, the first slacker president. He truly is from Austin. "Dude, the job don't pay much, but the perks are egregiously righteous." Thats what the W must stand for: "whooaaa!" President Keanu.

Not to mention 5 weeks dead solid summer in West Texas which has to be as enchanting as a herd of gut shot armadillos tied to your daddy's trunk in the attic. The temperature down there's been shaking hands with triple digit dew points his entire stay. So we may be talking brain fry here, which just might explain how the Administration conveniently discovered $4.3 billion they claim they didn't know they had. Apparently it was in the back pocket of their brown slacks hanging in the hall closet down on the ranch all along. Actually, they changed an accounting column and took some money headed for social security and changed it to money not headed for social security. Reagan did the same thing in 83 when he changed the unemployment equation. One minute people were unemployed, the next they were labeled unemployable. In the private sector this activity is known as creative bookkeeping and can be rewarded with long stretches of quiet time in federal institutions where those perfume swatches in magazines are worth a lot of cigarettes. The favorable thing is this precedent frees us individuals to futz with our own budgets including the reporting of expenses on our tax returns. Are you with me here?

For instance, that $600 dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House was really a "franchise investment study."
The trips to the Cayman Islands are "mathematical chaos theory research."

And that monthly case of vintage French champagne is an "extremely complex ongoing chemistry experiment."

Will Durst is in the midst of a lifelong chemistry experiment.
philip morris

Philip Morris just held a sham press conference professing their extreme sorrow for sponsoring a Czech Government study proving every smoker's death saves the state $1227 on future health care, pensions and housing benefits. They chided their own unacceptable disregard for basic human values and severely rebuked themselves for putting profit above mortal life to such a nauseatingly cloying level I was surprised when mister spokesperson turned from the podium and didn't display a "Kick Me" sign taped to his back. Blah blah blah. Yeah, right, whatever. Nice attempt at damage control, but the point is, their original study was right.

It's what I've been saying all along. It may not be a pretty tale, but there are indirect positive effects from smokers. Smokers save the government money. We die quick. None of this drawn out lingering crap. Who's clogging up all the hospitals beds using bedpans full of rare expensive drugs leading to the ruination of our health care system? Old people. Smokers don't get old. A couple of racking hacks, a bucket of spit up blood and bam, its over. And Philip Morris has the documents to prove it, and could be doing more important research except for some namby pamby liberal do- gooders scaring them into recanting thus avoiding a lot of foot stomping, finger pointing and Congressional inquiring.

Scoff it you must, but smokers aid society. Besides providing an easy scapegoat for all the community's ills, we hardly use any of our social security benefits which should give some politicians pause what with the whole boomer crisis looming like a punctured triple trailer oil tanker hurtling down Pike's Peak after losing its brakes.

It's similar to how corporations cut down their staffs, through a system of forced attrition. That's what this country needs to learn. How to become lean and mean.

And we shouldn't limit ourselves to smokers. You want to live long enough to become a financial albatross around the neck of your grandchildren, fine and dandy, but you're going to pay through the nose for it.


  • Steep taxes placed on the sale of asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • You need to purchase a permit in order to jog.
  • Inner city black kids peddle passing motorists individual doses of B- 12.
  • Municipalities provide jumping platforms on all bridges.
  • Fresh fruit requires a doctor's prescription.
  • All across the country school systems convert their cafeterias to McDonald's.
  • Make airbags illegal.
  • The army initiates a campaign to defoliate whole grain crops.
  • Bars are open all night and the left lane is designated for drunk drivers.
  • The four food groups are changed to sugar, salt, beer and grease.
  • Cotton candy and bacon are handed out free at kiosks scattered around the city.
  • Bullets are free. You still got to buy the guns. But the ammo is gratis.
Will Durst is excited about that whole bacon thing.
chinese olympics

Okay, I'll be honest, I have no idea what the hell happened. Maybe the Chinese government detained members of the International Olympic Committee's families in super secret locations and piped in a steady diet of John Tesh ballads, agreeing only to divulge their whereabouts after they were awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics. Or maybe they commissioned a big fat crocodile tear video hammering home some exponential factor Susan Sarandon guilt trip about their poor idiot martyred fighter pilot who wandered into our bomber over Hainman Island earlier this year. What probably went down is NBC realized that unless the chosen site for 2008 was on the other side of the planet from New York City, they wouldn't be able to utilize their expensively copywritten phrase: "Yesterday's Olympics Tomorrow."

This pick really proves that the Olympiad powers don't care what security forces do on the outside of the arenas as long as their money is safe on the inside. Some of the so called rationalization that went into this decision seems as confused as Jim Jeffords at a Republican leadership conference. "We have to encourage them for the great progress they've shown in the area of human rights." And how clever of Communist Part to hide all those examples of this fantastic progress up till now with only vague promises to unveil it in seven years in time for the celebration. Human rights, schmuman rights.

You got to admit though, this does provide a great opportunity for the Communist Chinese to turn world opinion around by welcoming the world's media and athletes to experience the finest, most secure monitored concrete bunker tunnels in existence. And those are the dorms. Wonder if the official logo will be the five rings with tank tread imprints across them? And of course, the nominations for mascot are already being proffered. Here are mine.

Blim Blim: the re-educated Panda.

  • Cagey: a portable six sided titanium barred cell.
  • Clinky: the happy go- lucky dancing handcuffs.
  • Buzzy: the red bullet of righteousness.

And since it is a tradition that each host country gets to include their own event one can imagine what the Chinese government will decide to shoot for. I mean choose.

  • Tibetan underwater breath holding competition.
  • Jiang Zemin look alike contest with the loser hung on the Great Wall.
  • Tiananmen Square tank stare down.
  • Synchronized Falun Gong free range target shoot.
  • The land mine belly crawl sprint.
  • Imported rice relay.
  • Combined pole vault and sharpshooting competition.
  • Firing squad precision. (Demonstration sport)
  • Razor wire climb.
  • Triple jump into Kowloon Bay.
  • Russian made discount grenade toss.

Of course, it could set a standard for future athletic events. After all, if liberals ran the Olympics, the results of the 100 meter time trials would be weighed equally between how fast you run the race and a 20-page paper exploring the theme of man's continuing inhumanity to the slow. Or as they say in Berkeley; the rapidly challenged.

Will Durst has no favorite event, unless you count the 12 ounce curl.
41 to 43

Wearing a hat with the number 41 stitched on it, at a golf course near their vacation compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, Former President George H. W. Bush gave his son, President George W. Bush, a matching hat with the number 43 on it, in celebration of the kid's 55th birthday. Reporters were allowed to snap some photo ops but were then forced to retreat. Imagine the conversation they missed.

43: Nice drive old man. Looks like it squiggled down near that bench over there. Oh yeah, got to thank you for the hat. Saw you had a number 44 made up for Jeb. Is Neil getting 45?

41: No, he asked for 69. Son, I'm just glad we're able spend some quality time together. Vis a vis, you and me, one on one, that is.

43: Hey look at that squirrel. Lets throw tees at him.

41: Now George, pay attention here, its important that you and I, you know, the two of us, talk about the summer session coming up.

43: Aww dad, you said Dick was supposed to take care of all that junk. Toss me that water bottle, I think I got him cornered.

41: I, unh, well boy, you know this, unh, whole thing isn't turning out to be as easy as we thought. What with Dick having his heart problems and all.

43: You could say problems, yeah. You should see people freak out in Cabinet meetings every time he turns blue. Ashcroft especially. Gets all huffy. Thinks Cheney's mocking him. But that pacemaker is cool. Sometimes when he's nodding out, and I have to leave him a note about something really heavy going down, I just clip it to a refrigerator magnet and pop it right onto that garage door opener. Makes a nice snap sound. Snap! Snap! Snap! I like the smiley face ones. Sometimes by the time he wakes up, there's a whole bouquet on his chest.

41: That's enough. We got to get serious here. We might have played the oil hand a little early there. I don't know if you noticed, but our polls are dropping faster than a sparrow dragging a container car full of coal. You have to get back out there for some more photo ops communing with nature.

43: Oh, man, I never saw you wading around in bear crap.

41: Yeah, and look what happened in ?2. That's not going to happen to you mister. By the way, how come the twins aren't up here for your birthday?

43: Oh, I don't know. Laura says they got a gig on South Padre Island filming some TV show called "Girls Gone Wild." I think its a sequel.

41: That's nice. You still got the little bugger in your sights?

43: He's somewhere in that tree.

41: Excellent. Get Karl to bring the hose. We'll flush him out. Pretend he's Jeffords.

43: Use the 5 iron dad. Its your best stroke.

41: 10-4.

If Will Durst had a number it would be 100. For bottles of beer on the wall. Oh yeah, watch him do funny comedy humor atThe GO Club in Olympia this Thursday through Saturday.
Bush report card

Most of us live under the mistaken impression that since summer is a quarter of the year, it is three months long, but the season of the sun is way too elusive to be fixed between the pages of any calendar. It is the antithesis of mathematics.

Summer is the slippery feel that clings like fresh varnish to every swinging screen door. Its a loosening of the social gravity. A vein of sweet odoriferous charred pork flesh wafting down a shaded sidewalk. The ant that climbs to the top of the tallest blade of grass in the glade, looks around and scurries off into the dwarfing forest of green again only to get stepped on by a loping bare foot. Glade. How can you even say glade without seeing shafts of bright light piercing a waving canopy of leaves in your mind? And air freshener of course.

But the focus of it, the whole reason for summer's existence, its raison d'etre, is school's out. That's when summer really begins and it ends the Friday before those dreaded doors open again. 12 impossibly short weeks blissfully free of homework and cafeteria ladies' hairnets. Three parts indolence mixed with a dollop of sand strewn dreams. Mock chicken legs and 2% milk replaced by corn dogs and lemonade. And its all been imprinted throughout childhood on the adult brain like the residual impression on the retina of a plumbers butt crack.

Normal people with actual lives may call it "vacation time," but in Washington DC its known as "recess." And since George W. Bush started Term One way back in January, its high time to hand the 43rd President his first semester freshman report card. No telling whether Laura, Dick, Barbara, Colin or George the Elder gets to sign it.

GEOGRAPHY: C minus -- Successful trip abroad but confused his handlers when he claimed Europe needed more countries.

SOCIAL STUDIES: C -- Socially superior but studiously inferior.

MATHEMATICS: Incomplete -- $1.6 trillion tax cut may actually cost much much more. Fuzzy math cited. Further review by Professor Greenspan expected.

SCIENCE: F -- Refuses to review most recent texts. Stubbornly adhering to outdated lessons.

SEMANTICS: B -- Still getting mileage out of saying one thing and doing another.

CREATIVE WRITING: A minus -- Crafted some beauties over the past five months, especially estate tax repeal which will last for exactly one year, making 2010 a very dangerous year to be a millionaire on life support.

HOME STUDIES: D -- Avoided failing grade owing to fact twins have not been caught drinking with Teddy Kennedy. Yet.

HISTORY: C -- Student suspected to have confused Ancient History with Modern History.

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: A plus -- Has administered to business like a sap sucking shepherd to a flock of fat sheep. Fat sheep with awfully deep pockets.

THEATER: B minus -- Performance of "Compassionate Conservative" role exemplary but needs to exhibit more range. Nice makeup.

PENMANSHIP: A -- Signs his name well and often.

ATTITUDE: S -- Works well with others. Little Jimmy Jeffords excepted. $300 per person buyoff didn't hurt.

INITIATIVE: U -- Needs improvement.

APPEARANCE: S -- Good grooming.

PUNCTUALITY: S -- Serious upgrade from previous White House tenant.

Will Durst came home with a report card like this one spring and was forced to attend summer school. Don't forget to catch Will Durst this weekend at the DC Improv at our Nation’s capital less than a mile away from George W.
Global Economy Quiz

Add up the numbers of your answers and check your score at end.

I'm aware of globalization's affect on me because:

1. I can't pronounce my car.
2. I bought a cell phone with an international plan.
3. My third grader can make bail for me in six languages.

A really good restaurant has:

1. An extensive imported wine list.
2. Entrees translated into English.
3. A chef who once worked in the States and can grill a halfway decent burger.

It's obvious my job is going global because:

1. I can't understand a single word of what the maid is saying.
2. I can't understand a single word of what the bartender is saying.
3. I can't understand a single word of what the boss is saying.

In my experience, jet lag is:

1. An excuse relatives use to get me to wait on them hand and foot while visiting.
2. An occupational hazard.
3. A welcome diversion from the chronic insomnia.

In order to relax, I:

1. Pore through brochures featuring travel to exotic locations.
2. Watch camcorder footage from previous trips to exotic locations.
3. Make goo goo noises to my pets from public phones in hotel lobbies of exotic locations.

To deal with time zone differences, I:

1. Usually ask, "what time is it there?"
2. Feign ignorance.
3. Wear twenty four watches.

The best part of leaving the US on business is:

1. Free drink privileges on international flights.
2. Frequent flyer upgrades to business class.
3. Not having to listen to George W Bush explain his environmental policies.

The worst part of leaving the US on business is:

1. The hangovers after abusing free drink privileges on international flights.
2. Last row, middle seat, coach on corporate coupons which means no frequent flyer mileage.
3. Having to explain George W Bush's environmental policies.

The Internet:

1. Is great for making travel reservations as long as you can leave at midnight on a Tuesday and return within 18 hours.
2. Is as convenient as swimming while wearing chain mail in a tar pit.
3. Means spam in alphabets I can't even recognize.

A person willing to do my job for 30¢ an hour:

1. Probably lives in Asia.
2. Probably lives in Mexico.
3. Probably lives next door.


SCORE 10- 15.

You are aware of what day of the week tomorrow will be. You not only arranged your child's birthday party, you knew all the names of the other kids attending. Sometimes it seems the car can find its own way home from the mall. You talk to a family member twice a day and can usually finish up some chores while doing it. You've seen "The Lion King" 132 times. When leaving on a business trip, the whole family troupes down to the gate to see you off.

SCORE 16- 20.

It always seems like Monday, except on Mondays when is seems like Saturday. You belong to a Katie Curic withdrawal support group. The kids mimic your ritual complaints about the quality of the local Thai restaurant's Spring Rolls. The postman, pharmacist and your husband keep getting your first name wrong. Your most valued possession is your collection of snow globes. When leaving on a business trip you get dropped off with a kiss in the white zone.

SCORE 21- 25.

Your wake up calls originate from Stockholm. Last week you got lost on the way to the grocery store again. You can't remember if your favorite television show airs on ABC, the BBC or the Spice Channel. Both friends and family recognize your presents as the ones wrapped in plastic bags from airport gift shops. You've seen the same episode of "King of Queens" on 3 different continents. When leaving on a business trip, your youngest yells from the den, "Cab's here!"

SCORE 26- 30.

The whole household runs on Greenwich Mean Time. A neighbor called the cops the night you tried to clean out the garage. You constantly flush the toilet to figure out which hemisphere you're in. Your favorite restaurant is a little sushi bar at Tokyo's Narita airport. Every time you answer the phone your mother emits a startled "oh". When leaving on a business trip, the shuttle driver picks up an Egg McMuffin for the two of you to share.

Will Durst is host of PBS' "Livelyhood" which will air nationally August 31 and September 7 with new episodes called "Planet Work."
bush's briefing book

George W Bush is on his way to Europe and we're going to need all the help he can get. Fortunately, some of the best Republican minds in America have prepared briefing books the size of small Buicks to keep him from committing some incredible gaffe like ordering an airstrike on Margaret Thatcher because she got old. Fortunately, I am wired into the inner sanctums of DC like a Russian Pepsi distributor having forged intimate relationships with various custodial engineers of top administration offices. And so I am pleased to leak a sneaked peek at the briefing book for George W Bush's European trip. Please remember this is Confidential Material. Eyes Only. If it should somehow fall into the wrong hands, all hell could break loose. Then again, maybe not.


1. Europe is not a country but rather a bunch of little countries jumbled together with sketchy borders they're always getting in fights over. (See pages on WWI and WWII)

2. Next year, a lot of the countries in Europe are going to get together on their own currency called the Euro but don't worry, it'll only be worth about 80 cents.

3. Not all European countries like each other. (See #1)

4. If Europe had a capital it would be Germany. (See #1)

5. The rest of Europe knows this and pretends its okay, but they're really nervous about it.

6. Most Europeans are closet Communists.

7. The ones that aren't closet Communists are total bleeding heart liberals who spend most of their time whining about our capital punishment policy when they're not harboring International Terrorists.

8. They call it football, but they mean soccer.

9. Most Europeans smoke like chimneys, drink really really strong coffee, bathe once a month whether they need to or not and still act like the environmental martyrs of the world.

10. Europeans liked Bill Clinton because he was amoral.

11. Europeans dislike George W Bush because he is determined to bring dignity back to the White House.

12. If a European woman shaves her legs or armpits she is restrained in a French cave for three months and forced to grow cheese.

13. The good news: Europeans pay about twice as much for gas as we do and they don't care.

14. The bad news: they have this weird thing about clean air and water.

15. Your typical European will waste two and a half hours eating lunch if not more.

16. The whole month of August is devoted to hibernating. Nobody knows where they go.

17. The English are like Europeans only different.

18. Europeans would rather pay taxes than hunt pheasant.

19. Stubbornly, the Europeans refuse to accept we have their best interests at heart and keep wanting to have their say in things.

20. Most European leaders don't cotton to nicknames too well. You might want to wait awhile before calling Jacques Chirac, "Wacky Jacky," and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, "Hoser or Mary."

Will Durst will consider the trip a huge success as long as Dubyah doesn't throw up on anybody's lap.
you can't make stuff up like this

You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This.

  • The Jeffords defection has the rumor mill buzzing. Its even been rumored Gray Davis may declare himself a Democrat.
  • Wonder if Davis tried to mesmerize Bush into submission with his boring voice like he did the State of California? I'm told the really stupid are impermeable to hypnosis.
  • Bush is working hard to build a consensus with the Democratic Senate. He's putting in 12- 14 hour weeks.
  • If they were smart, capital punishment opponents would demand from now on that all death penalty cases be turned over to the FBI.
  • Sony pictures announced the film reviewer from the Ridgefield Press, David Manning, who conveniently loved all their films, is fictional. Probably another creation from their extremely fertile accounting department.
  • People, the permafrost is melting. The permafrost. Never in recorded history has the permafrost melted before. Hence its name. Not enough to worry about, now we have to rename the permafrost. I'm thinking "the frost formerly known as perma," or "often frosty?"
  • After getting rid of Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr and Alex Rodriguez in the last three years, the Seattle Mariners are leading the AL West by 16 and a half games. All they got to do is dump Edgar Martinez next year and they could go undefeated.
  • The state of Utah has convicted a man of having 5 wives. I doubt the state is progressive enough to sentence him to doing the family's laundry for the next 15 years but it would make me laugh.
  • Wouldn't want to be scheduled for a vacation in Jerusalem this summer. Of course it might be preferable to a stint as an intern at Gracie Mansion.
  • Had to love Bush's commencement speech at Yale. "Hope for C students everywhere." Was expecting a paraphrase of his heart to heart with Jenna. "A beer is a terrible thing to waste." So is an honorary degree.
  • The best part of Celine Dion signing a five year deal to sing in Vegas is the rest of the world is now a 60 month Celine free zone. Wonder if we can arrange for John Tesh to receive the same deal.
  • Bush met with the Dali Lama. What a pair. One is totally out of touch with how the real world works and is mainly a figurehead and so is the other.
  • The Senate is investigating profiteering on oil and gas. The important questions are:
    1. Which oil companies are raking in huge profits? and
    2. How big of contributors are they?
  • Am I the only one in response to Al Sharpton's hunger strike thinking, "you know, if his demands aren't met for a couple of weeks the guy might be better off."
  • Don't you think its a little too ironic the AARP appoints its executive director for life?
  • The Supreme Court has cleared the way for Casey Martin to use a golf cart. Let's just hope he doesn't let John Daly drive.
  • Some critics see Canada's attempt to decriminalize marijuana a lame attempt to encourage more people to sample the local cuisine.
  • The third Jurassic Park movie features scientists visiting a group of dinosaurs and no, it has nothing to do with 60 Minutes.

Will Durst needs a golf cart to get from his front door to the driveway.
find the brightside

This is America. Whimpering is not allowed. We should take a chisel to the sign under the Statue of Liberty and change it to read "no whining." We got problems: we take care of them. My parents for example. They made it through the Depression, one World War, two nasty foreign incursions, quadraphonic sound and eight years of Ronald Wilson Reagan. They're as indestructible as a Nebraska dumpling and so is the country that forged them in that crucible of change. As they are so fond of saying, "it's an ill wind that blows no one some good." Look at the recent historical reappraisal of the Ford administration. Who would have thunk? Just goes to show, for every problem comes our way, there is an opposite and equal brightside. And if we as a nation are unable to find it, I will.

The Problem: Retirees and folks on fixed incomes can't afford to pay electric bills.
The Brightside: Think of the money to be made renting out basements to hang meat and transforming kitchens into dark rooms.

The Problem: Supreme Court says medical marijuana is a crock.
The Brightside: Tobacco companies will have to wait a little longer to gain control of crop distribution and free lance pilots still have plenty of employment opportunities.

The Problem: George W Bush receives doctorate from Yale.
The Brightside: An inspiration to trust fund babies, C students and recruiters from non Ivy league schools whose bonuses depend on exceeding quotas everywhere.

The Problem: $135 million extravaganza "Pearl Harbor" expected to hog summer box office.
The Brightside: War movies about to make huge comeback. Can "Kent State" be far behind?

The Problem: FBI loses its director.
The Brightside: The director it lost was Louis Freeh.

The Problem: Giant meteor to destroy Earth in 2028.
The Brightside: Plenty of time to cash in that second mortgage and head to Vegas.

The Problem: Theodore Olson, Bush's nominee for solicitor general, the administration's voice in front of Supreme Court, is accused of rampant anti- Clinton activity at American Spectator magazine.
The Brightside: Olson guaranteed to have extensive experience pawing through briefs and is obviously not afraid to get his hands dirty.

The Problem: California mugged by huge energy corporations to the tune of 10 billion dollars.
The Brightside: Once again, the golden plated state is setting a trend the rest of the country is sure to follow. And then comes food, and then comes

The Problem: Spy plane secrets stolen by China.
The Brightside: Maybe they'll go bankrupt after paying $600 for hammers and $2000 for toilet seats.

The Problem: Charles Robertson, mayor of York, Pennsylvania, indicted on racially motivated homicide charges.
The Brightside: Pretty good if you live in York, Pennsylvania.

The Problem: Rudy Giuliani's lawyer announces his client is impotent.
The Brightside: Three words. David Letterman's writers.

The Problem: Gasoline prices expected to hit record levels this summer.
The Brightside: Still cheap enough to crank air conditioning up to frostbite force in convertible with top down.

The Problem: Smoke blankets state as Florida fires continue to rage.
The Brightside: Diminished vision of seniors now shared and understood by all residents.

The Problem: Scientists unite to accuse Bush of policies exacerbating global warming.
The Brightside: Dune buggies everywhere dude.

Will Durst knows it may not be good for the country but the next four years promise to be good for him.
commencement speech

The Generic Commencement Address

Friends, graduates, parents, teachers, agents and seekers. Today is a happy day. Today is a sad day. Today is the day you say goodbye to one thing and hello to another. A fond farewell to the past and yet at the same time a cheery salute to the future. All hail the unknown. Let's look at the word knowledge. It has two parts. Know and ledge. That's where you are - on the ledge. And knowing it. You know you have an education but what ledge are you on exactly? The really really high one where the wispy clouds of naivety obscure your view of the horizon or the tiny ledge just above the basement window with the gladiolas in the little half oval fenced off area by the steps? Beyond that, what is an education? An education is a gift. A precious gift. But not a fragile one. A rugged gift perhaps, but at times brittle too, and always unique to each and every one of you. What you take from this time as your individual gift will be different as puce and mauve. Some of you will walk away with a gift that you tear the paper and ribbon off like four year olds mindlessly ripping through a boozy Christmas morning and others of you will be maiden aunts folding the wrapping away in a neat square, wizened but steady hands carefully smoothing out all the wrinkles of the gold foil. And a few will file your gift away in a hall closet behind the winter coats and never think to take it out until it's been gnawed on by huge rats. Don't fret. Its all good.

But an education is much more than just a gift.

An education is also an obligation. Not a burden, but a weight, yes. Yet not all weights will be the same. Some of you trudge from these hallowed grounds carrying a heavy weight. And others saunter away with a light weight. Some pack middle weights and others fly weights and welter weights but one thing's for sure. All of you will be out there looking to avoid the TKO by the always unseen left hook of reality. There will be rabbit punches too, and below the belt poundings with rusty nails poking through chain mail gloves but now is not the time to talk of those. There will plenty of time soon enough.

Education is also... HEY, SHUT UP! Thank you. An education is also a ticket to a land far away. But whether it is a round trip ticket or a government issued one way, or a first class ticket or one of those discount last minute deal middle seats between two fat guys and you don't even qualify for frequent flyer mileage and the bathroom has a leak in it so when the plane comes in for a landing a stream of you- don't- want- to- know- what gushes right between your legs and you have to put your feet in the seat pocket in front of you and roll your pants up tickets is not for you to know right now. Just remember to always carry your passport, but not in your suitcase. That's just what they expect.

That's my best advice. That and you can mix wine with beer and beer with hard liquor but not wine with hard liquor. And never get behind a driver wearing a hat or a Volkswagen bus and especially a driver in a hat in a
Volkswagen bus. And if at first you don't succeed, find a gap in the fence or a civil servant who could use a double sawbuck. And never ever eat pork sausages at a carnival. And avoid getting in fights with ugly people, they got nothing to lose. Above all else, remember, eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired and drink when you're horny.

Thank you and good luck. You're going to need it.

Will Durst didn't write this. Kurt Vonnegut did.
What TheySay/What They Mean

100- 150 days edition

You'd have to have large quantities of moss growing on the north side of your butt not to realize game shows are noisily making a conspicuous comeback these days. Of course, not even the slimiest TV producer on the lowest rung of the Aaron Spelling dynastic empire would try to replicate the silly boring little game we've played with our leaders for years. You know, the one where pollsters tell them what they think we, the public, want to hear. Then every last trace of breath gets sucked out of the research and it's mouthed back to us with faces pinched so tight the wrinkles at the side of their mouths could be used as menu stander the arid flat lifeless words trying to figure out who could possibly be that callous and shallow and mean: us, the politicians, the pollsters, the media, or are we all, deep down, closet hosts of "The Weakest Link?" Not only that, it's caught on. Now, everybody mouths merely what's expected of them, rather than what lurks in their heart of hearts. But that's why I get paid the big bucks. To read between the lines of the deceits. To pour lemon juice on the invisible ink of invention. To steam open the envelope containing the Navajo codes of social distortion separating what they say from what they mean. Listen up my friends and all will be revealed. Okay, most. Some?

WTS: I'm the Environmental President.
WTM: Not the whole environment. Mostly just the plots of land right under the headquarters of Texas's seven major energy conglomerates.

WTS: The Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism, it's a token of our heritage.
WTM: Screw you non- whitey.

WTS: We expect to take the same professionalism we showed in Australia and apply it to Salt Lake City next winter.
WTM: Yesterday's Olympics Tomorrow.

WTS: We are simply attempting to provide the best and most economical service possible to our valued energy consumers.
WTM: Ha- ha- ha- ha. Cha ching. Cha ching. Ha- ha- ha- ha.

WTS: The declining economy and falling stock market is the single most compelling reason for the country to receive the benefits of my tax cut right now.
WTM: Don't hear much about my whole scheme to tie social security to the stock market anymore, does you?

WTS: Honey, should we take the Landcruiser or the Suburban to the "Save the Blind Albino Unwed Spotted Owl" fundraiser?
WTM: We want to have our raspberry reduction tiramisu and eat it too.

WTS: Leading scientific indicators on what constitutes a dangerous level of arsenic in tapwater are unclear.
WTM: More is gooder, right?

WTS: The semi dimpled half hanging quarter pregnant chads deserved another look.
WTM: If only I hadn't invented the Internet, everything would be different. Pass the double stuffed Oreos.

WTS: Ronald Reagan has decided to give up his office space in Century City due to the fact he hasn't needed it for quite a while.
WTM: Ronald Reagan has decided to give up his office space in Century City due to the fact he hasn't know what Century City is for quite a while.

WTS: George W looks so serene.
WTM: So do coma victims.

WTS: This hotel is totally committed to maintaining an Earth friendly policy.
WTM: We don't want to wash your towels.

WTS: What this country needs to get back on track is programs like those originated by our forefathers.
WTM: Faith based executions.

WTS: After intense study of the genome project scientists discovered humans only have 450 more genes than your typical mustard plant.
WTM: There have always been Arkansas trailer courts and there always will.

WTS: The Navy crew returns from their tortuous Chinese captivity true American heroes.
WTM: These people have missed two entire episodes of "Survivor." Fortunately their long nightmare is over.

WTS: Strom Thurmond barely speaks, appears bewildered most of the time and votes exactly how his staff directs him.
WTM: Business as usual.

Will Durst says what he means and means what he says and when he says it means a lot to him, it does.
FAQ bush's first 100 days

Frequently Asked Questions About George W's 1St 100 Days

Q. So the Shrub has been President for approximately 100 days and the consensus is ?
A. Well, excepting his frequent dips into the tar pit of toxic love he isn't regarded to have done too badly.

Q. By whom?
A. His vast lists of corporate contributors mostly. And journalists amazed and stunned the front of his suits aren't stained with drool.

Q. See any lingering resentment over his unprecedented appointment by the Supreme Court?
A. Surprisingly little residual anguish. One would think there'd be some cacophonous strangled noises coming from either Berkeley or Madison, but so far, zip, zero, nada, squat, nothing.

Q. Perhaps they realize if it weren't for their obstinate pig headed unyielding support of Nader we would not be suffering this odious reign of Bush the Younger?
A. I think the word you're looking for is mulish.

Q. Apparently, they're still sticking to their "no difference at all between the two" chant?
A. Yeah. A bit harder to sell, reflecting on George's decree that there's nothing wrong with America a little more arsenic in the tap water couldn't cure.

Q. What's next?
A. Hard to say, but the odds against ketchup's imminent reinstatement as a vegetable have dropped precipitously.

Q. I hear some people are a bit miffed he pulled us out of the Kyoto Pact.
A. In the form of a question please.

Q. Oh, for crum's sake. All right. Aren't a large faction of us extremely pissed he rescinded compliance with Kyoto?
A. Thank you. Yes, but after he patiently explained how the fate of the planet pales in comparison to the health and welfare of a few US based oil companies most of the country, as they say, threw down with him.

Q. Are you saying Americans don't give a rat's ass about the rest of the world?
A. Let me think. Yes. And it's understandable really. If you live in Iowa, your family and job are almost two thousand miles from the nearest foreign country which is Mexico. Explaining why most people in the midwest think NATO is the past tense of neato and foreign affairs have to do with New York City borough politics.

Q. Canada doesn't count?
A. Afraid not. Canada is just a wide Minnesota with a rail system.

Q. And how are relations with Congress going?
A. Too early to tell. But the Democrats seem to have folded faster than a sheet of 60 pound arctic ice poster paper at an origami competition in Tokyo.

Q. Isn't part of the problem the 50- 50 deadlock in the Senate?
A. Certainly, for those of you who live by numbers alone. Actually, both Senators from Louisiana are Democrats in name only, as is the Republican Senator from Rhode Island, which by the way is not really an island. So it's really much more complicated. Especially when you throw in tons and tons of money. Which people unlike you and me do everyday.

Q. Whatever happened to John McCain and that whole Campaign Finance Reform deal?
A. Tabled. Committeed. Compromised. Amended. Mitch McConnelled. Buried. You know. The usual. We might see a watered down version with more holes in it than cheesecloth at a target range but let's not hold our breath.

Q. Any truth to the rumor George had the hole in his butt enlarged to accommodate Dick Cheney's hand?
A. Well, the gentleman does seem to have a heart attack every four days, then scampers back to work within 36 hours. One would be hard pressed not to wonder what's so gosh darned compelling.

Q. So, what's the deal, are we totally screwed here?
A. Not entirely. Think of all the non profit money raising records being smashed because of W. Besides, we made it through 8 years of Reagan didn't we?

Q. Who's asking the questions here bubblebutt?
A. Bubblebutt?

Will Durst wonders if Alec Baldwin really did leave the country and if so, does he has a spare room over there in France?
tax day

As welcome as a recurrent bout of yellow fever with the sticky drips. The national equivalent of a herpes eruption before a big date. The darkest day of the year. A stain on the calendar. And no, I'm not talking about NBC's premiere of "The Weakest Link," although the host really should be forced to run naked through Yankee Stadium during bat day with $100 bills duct taped to her head just for her closing wink at the audience. No, what I'm referring to is April 15th plus or minus 24 hours. The day we part with our hard earned money and give it to the government. Perfectly good money that could be used to buy beer. "Please Mr. Pentagon: take three months of my take home pay and buy yourself a hammer. I'll just stay in and eat tuna right out of the can over the sink like an old man." You pay taxes and I pay taxes. The difference is you don't pay enough and I pay way too much. And I'm sure you feel the same. And Texaco doesn't pay anything. It's a day we Americans look forward to the same way the mother of twelve looks forward to a snow day. All the better for the Administration to ramp up the drumbeat for Georgie's $1.6 TRILLION DOLLAR TAX CUT. And yes, it has to be written that way. I'm sorry, but there's no possible lower case in $1.6 TRILLION DOLLARS. Not when you're throwing around a figure equal to 7% of the annual gross national product of EVERY NATION ON THE PLANET COMBINED.

Now, you would think eliciting support for a $1.6 TRILLION DOLLAR TAX CUT would be as difficult as finding volunteers for a free 5 day 4 night Hawaiian vacation giveaway wouldn't you? But no. It seems the general populace is less than enthused. Maybe 10 years of Clinton and Gore as the Brothers Grim spinning their scary deficit fairy tales have sunk in. Or just maybe we Americans are not as dumb as we look. Although you couldn't prove it by watching the WB. Perhaps we realize they're trying to bribe us with our own money. Perhaps we think that the whole weight loading to the rich is getting a bit old. Or maybe there just aren't a whole lot of us clamoring to have our services cut, so fiscal responsibility gets tossed to the states, who would hot potato it to the cities which means in about 5 years library fines will cost about twelve hundred dollars a day. You'll need a co-signer for a bus pass and jaywalkers will be sold into slavery. And it doesn't help licking the envelope every Idesish of April picturing the feds cashing the check and laughingly tossing the money into a bin on the wall marked "Roller Blading Bull Insemination Study: Series Two– Sans Pre Warmed Inseminator Tube." Taxes: you can't live with them, you can't pass the costs onto the little guy unless you're a major corporation with a minimum of three $80,000 a year lobbyists on the payroll. Go figure. Will Durst has paid enough taxes to cover many insemination studies.

Punch Line. San Francisco. Tuesday through Saturday. 415 397 4337. Give it a shot!
a pre brazilian weeks worth


To say George W has been less than rapid in his response to California's whimpering pleas for a bone of energy assistance is like intimating the Clinton legacy has hit a bit of a snag. As a matter of fact I'm sure on the rare occasion George the Juvenile does find time to think about us in his cluttered work- out schedule, he stops, doubles over, is assisted to the weight bench and offered a lemon scented towel to dab away the tears of laughter. One can only fantasize about the New York Post headline writer responsible for penning "Ford to New York: Drop Dead" moving to the Chronicle and "Bush to California: Wear Coogi Sweaters" glaring at us from yellow boxes.

The worse news being, if there is a policy, which right now is about as clear as Czech opera, the Texas Coital Boys, Bush and Dick, are a dead solid lock to base it on the same two clumsy wooden clubs America's been hitting itself over the head with for the last thirty years: oil and gas. And the only forseable new news on this front, besides the predictable cycle of squeezing and loosening of the OPEC thumb on our national throat is a remote possibility of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now I know I'm running the risk of forfeiting my membership as a card carrying bleeding heart commie pinko yellow rat bastard liberal for even thinking this aloud, but if you want to be perfectly honest, I don't give a moose's bald behind about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Don't get me wrong, I believe all the happy propaganda about how it's pretty and pristine and brisk in a frigid sterile Nancy Reagan's soul kind of a way, but face it I'm never going up there. My kids are never going up there. And if it weren't for genetically implanted migrational instincts I doubt any moose kids would go up there. And isn't that precisely what evolution is all about?

Besides it's huge, and we're only talking about drilling on a mere 1.5 million acres which might conceivably force some slumbering parasitic blind ice worms to seek new frost-ilicious quarters, but as it's approximately 3 light years from the nearest Interstate, hence not in what you might call my back yard, it inhabits a pretty gosh darn low position on my immediate worries priority list. Right below being disinherited from Strom Thurmond's estate and above Roger Clinton's future fiscal opportunities.

That said, there are major problems I can foresee in its rape, abuse and defilement, excuse me exploration; 1. It will take years before we see Crude Drop One hence any visible effect and 2. That visible effect would probably result in a net powering of three TV's in a Montana trailer court for a month. Three weeks if they got cable.

Locally, we're treated to the defeatist staccato drummed out by our Gubernatorial Buddy Rich wannabee, Grey And That's A Gross Exaggeration Davis. The official stance from our esteemed Guber is, the only way California can make it through this crisis and he can become the 2004 Democratic Nominee, (not necessarily in that order) is if we learn to conserve. Get it? Its our fault the State Legislature was dumber than a bucket of hair and allowed Texas energy giants to mug us like Salt Lake City tourists in a Turkish alley and our only way out of this fine mess is if we cook our meals over fires of our own broken up furniture. Great, the California Dream meets Century 21: camping out in the living room.
Using the wail of our self pitying cries as cover, Bush, in his first International State visit, recently waltzed down to meet with President Vicente Fox and instigated talk of a plan whereby Mexico sets up a series of power plants, transmitting some of the spoils to us. Big Texas energy gets to eliminate all those cumbersome environmental restrictions and construction costs shrink to a third. This is a genius idea. We already treat Mexico as a subhemispheric temp agency dipping into their vast labor pool whenever our unemployment numbers go down, why not use them as a basement corner as well where we can hide our unsightly pipes and wires. As a matter of fact, why stop there? Surely we can figure out a way to use it as a cubby hole to dump all our messy societal problems south of the border. · Off Shore Oil Drills. Oh yeah, that's right, already got those in place.

  • Toxic and Nuclear Waste Dumps. A lot of empty space in Mexico and it yanks Nevada and Wyoming off the hook.

  • SUVs. Not the vehicles themselves. They're the innocent victims in all this. Mostly I'm talking about the owners. Speaking of which Lawyers. In a country where bull and cockfights are national sports, imagine this: one pit, two lawyers, no rules. Jerry Spence versus Johnnie Cochran? Who loses now? Not the public.

  • Tire fires. We don't like em. If the money's right, Mexico won't care. And we can use them as semi perpetual sources of energy as well.

  • Dot Coms. We don't like em. If the money's right, Mexico won't care. And we can use them as semi perpetual sources of energy as well.

  • Eminem. We don't like you get the idea. Aw hell, throw in Kathi Lee Gifford, N'Sync, Brittany Spears, Kenny G, your favorite goes here __________.

  • Affordable Housing. Turn Baja into a typical California suburb. The commute couldn't be much worse than it is from Modesto.

  • The South. The most efficient way to get rid of low test scores in Alabama, Mississippi and the southern parts of Texas is to simply hand them over to Mexico. Instant rise in residual literacy rates. And speaking of illiteracy

  • Florida. Just cut it off at the Georgia border and kick it over so it touches the Yucatan peninsula asking absolutely nothing in return.

  • Frizee. No sir, I don't like it.

  • Bill Clinton. Well, he needs to take a sabbatical anyway. Maybe a couple year long siesta is just what the doctor and the Democratic leadership ordered.

Will Durst is an ersatz political comedian looking forward to his annual sojourn to the desert to honor the three B's: beer, beef and baseball.

I don't mean to be smartass equivalent of Chicken Little, but you might want to be more careful than a sea slug on the Great Salt Lake out there because it's awards season and gold plated statuettes are being flung around like vaselined lenses at a Joan Collins shoot. Like shattered pollution restrictions falling from Air Force One. Like doubts circulating in California Governor Gray Davis' re-election committee. We just had the Oscars, and the Comedy Awards, Country Music Awards and Emmys are coming up but now sit back and relax, as it's time for the most portentous of them all:

The Will Durst Thank God For Them Because I'm A Comedian Awards.

  • THE DUMBER THAN HE LOOKS AWARD: Governor and XFL announcer Jesse Ventura for putting himself in a position to be fired by either the people of Minnesota or Vince McMahon.

  • BEST SCORE: Whoever sold Incyte at 240.


  • THE METHINKS HE KNOWS MORE THAN HE'S LETTING ON AWARD: Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill who has (deep sigh) resigned himself to sell his $100 million of Alcoa Inc. stock to avoid any appearance of impropriety for Christ's sake.

  • BEST CHOREOGRAPHER: Beating out perennial winner Alan Greenspan Karl Rove.

  • BEST IMPRESSION OF A SLEEPY LIZARD IN SEARCH OF A WARM ROCK: Neither Sam Donaldson nor Robert Novack but rather Dick Cheney.


  • BEST ACTOR: John McCain for playing footsy with Dubyah all year long and only rolling his eyes on national television once or twice.

  • I'M A SKANKY HO BEFORE MY FIRST LEGAL DRINK AWARD: Tie between Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

  • THE LUCKIEST MAN IN THE WORLD AWARD: Tie between George W and "Survivor" host Jeff Probst.


  • THE IT IS A GREAT TIME TO BE SILVER AWARD: Tie between Jesse Jackson and Willie Brown.


  • "WEST WING" WOULD REJECT THIS SCRIPT AWARD: Bush's DUI arrest surfaces four days before the election and Democrats claim to have nothing to do with it.

  • "WEST WING" WOULD REJECT THIS SCRIPT AWARD PT TWO: West Palm Beach, Florida. An entire community of retired Jews accidentally votes for a Nazi.

  • "WEST WING" WOULD REJECT THIS SCRIPT AWARD PT THREE: One of the candidates' brother is the Governor of the State up for grabs and his father is former head of the Secret Police.

  • THE TAKE OFF THE BLINDERS AND HE'LL STILL RUN RIGHT INTO AN 18TH CENTURY WALL AWARD: Charlton Heston for pronouncing the problem with the recent spate of school shootings is schools.

  • MENSA's SMARTEST MOUTH OF THE YEAR: Ralph Nader, who responded to a reporter, "What are you talking about. Al Gore kept me from becoming President."

  • UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT AWARD (poison division): George W Bush for dropping restrictions on arsenic in tap water claiming there's "no clear scientific indicators."
Will Durst won an award but he thinks it had something to do with popcorn consumption.
a post italy weeks worth


There are plenty of sights sadder than the current crop of Democrats crawling on their bellies like spine damaged weasel toads mewing for total strangers to spoon feed them milk in the dark. I can't think of any right now, but don't you worry my friends, there's plenty. Oh wait, there's the harrowing elder abuse being perpetrated on the cast by the producers of "60 Minutes." That's pretty sad. And Thai food in Arkansas, that's really sad. And, oh! oh! what about licorice underwear? That's sad. Actually, it's more sick than sad. Whatever.

You can't really blame the party for feeling lower than Robert Downey Jr's AA sponsor at being totally shut out of power of at least one house of Congress or the Presidency for the first time since 1954. Perhaps all dose Dems need is a different way of looking at their banishment to the Siberian kids table of this political feast being catered courtesy of one Bush family. Or is it two? A fresh perspective as it were. Yes, that's it. All they really need is this boy to coax them away from their cardtables, off their tiny little folding chairs, and towards the big picture window so they can Find the Brightside of life during the 107th Congress. To wit:

  • Problem: The spirit of bipartisanship has disintegrated into a one sided mudslinging rout.
    Brightside: America's children can be enfranchised into following the political process by designating the official bipartisan mascot to be the Tooth Fairy.

  • Problem: The Secretary of Interior, Gayle Norton, is a former apprentice of James Watt.
    Brightside: 20 mile lines to gain admission to Yosemite's Bridal Veil Falls Water Slide sponsored by Crystal Geyser.

  • Problem: John Ashcroft, Attorney General, the product of a strict Pentecostal upbringing, promises to run the Justice Department with an iron hand.
    Brightside: Can always be leaned on by Colin Powell to help in foreign crises by speaking in tongues.

  • Problem: The National Education Association claims high school science textbooks are rife with errors.
    Brightside: Not that many kids can read them anyway.

  • Problem: The man running the country has at times appeared arrogant and erratic.
    Brightside: Doctors assure us the heart incidents were no big deal, and Mr. Cheney is expected to function like a normal human for the length of his term.

  • Problem: Al Gore has deserted the party and turned to teaching.
    Brightside: Those Colombia kids will drive him nuts before half a semester is over.

  • Problem: Campaign Finance Reform is probably just a lot of empty talk.
    Brightside: Campaign Finance Reform is probably just a lot of empty talk.

  • Problem: The United States Navy seems to be screwing up left and right.
    Brightside: Not my watch.

Will Durst went to Italy and all his wife got was some cheese. He is in deep doo doo.
Don't forget to see the durst posse in phoenix for spring training this week. They'll be the ones with glazed looks.
a pre italy weeks worth

Frequently Asked Questions about the Clinton Pardon Scandal

Q. So, what's the deal with Bill and Hill?
A. Apparently the Republicans are trying to impeach them again.

Q. Can they do that?
A. They can certainly have fun trying. Think of it as essentially the same impeachment, with a short intermission for some elections.

Q. Any ulterior motives?
A. A jaded cynical person might point out the country is conveniently ignoring the stumbling antics of his successor who won the office through a coin flip conducted by HIS BROTHER. Just a simple case of misdirection.

Q. Where are the Democrats to defend him?
A. They don't need him anymore. He has nothing to bargain with, except security guard positions at his new Harlem offices. Hence his colleagues and former staffers are ditching him like rats with grenades strapped to their backs running from a sinking oil tanker dodging kids tossing matches from the pier. The word hubris comes to mind.

Q. Well, didn't he pardon felons?
A. Yes, of course he did. That's why they needed pardons. Because they were in jail. You don't pardon people convicted of misdemeanors. People like Mother Teresa don't need a pardon. Besides, when you get right down to it, couldn't we all use a little pardoning now and then?

Q. But isn't what people are outraged by, is the sheer audacity of pardons for hire?
A. Yes, and few spectacles on earth rival those of a self righteous Washington politician shocked, shocked by the revelation that money gets you access which gets you influence. Oh my God, lawyers being paid to lobby, what next? The Pacific Ocean moist? Arctic camping chilly? Fire hot?

Q. Don't you even think it's significant Roger Clinton had a list?
A. You mean as opposed to a fixed address? Never mind. Private joke. Even his most strident detractors admit Roger wasn't paid, because apparently he's an idiot, and nobody on his list got pardoned. To be honest, I imagine folks came out of the woodwork like termites at an abandoned balsa wood factory trying to get their grubby little mitts on one of Unblushable Bill's endless supply of "Get Out of Jail Free" cards. Socks and Buddy had lists. I have a list. I can't get anybody to look at it, but I still have a list. And Heidi Fleiss heads it if you must know.

Q. Expecting a reciprocal display of appreciation?
A. Flagrant.

Q. Doesn't this prove the rich have an advantage in this country?
A. No, really? Who would have thunk? That's the first I've ever heard of it.
Q. What about Mark Rich?
A. See,the whole problem is the guy's last name. If he had been known as Murray Indigent, nobody would have given a rat's ass.

Q. Shouldn't America be concerned with a guy who traded with the enemy?
A. You mean as opposed to Ronald Reagan, the PRESIDENT who traded with the enemy? And then he goes and pardons Caspar Weinberger. And nobody said nothing. The whole attitude then was, "forget about it. Let's move on." I guess Reagan's enemies just didn't hate him as much Clinton's do. Ford pardoned Nixon for crum's sake. NIXON! Don't get me started.

Q. Are you intimating this is another "right wing conspiracy?"
A. Where is most of this sound and fury emanating from? Dan Burton and Bob Barr. Oh yeah, there's your impartial observers. Like having wolves write the rules for a meat eating contest with sheep. And yes I'm calling Democrats sheep.

Q. Why?
A. What is wrong with you people? Clinton is the first Democrat to win consecutive terms since Roosevelt. Why do you think they previously lost five out of six presidential elections? Because they're the only party that positively delights in ganging up on themselves. A Democrat who wants the Presidency has to fight off two parties.

Q. What about all the furniture and artwork he swiped from the White House?
A. What about it?

Q. Could you answer the question please?
A. Yes, he took stuff from the White House. That's what happens when you leave a job. You strip the joint. Its a great American tradition. The Park Service announced all the stuff taken was either legitimate or mistakenly listed. But does anybody listen? No, they tell jokes like, "the only thing Clinton left in DC that wasn't nailed down was Hillary."

Q. Still, you got to admit that's pretty funny.
A. In the form of a question please.

Q. You have any more?
A. Bush's policy is "leave no child behind." Clinton's apparently was "leave no Louis XIV armoire behind."

Q. Funny, right?
A. Yeah, the only problem is, just like the rest of this Teapot Tempest, it's inaccurate.

Will Durst is an ersatz political comedian looking forward to his annual sojourn to the desert to honor the three B's: beer, beef and baseball.
passport to a weeks worth

Helpful Hints for the International Business Traveler. Or, How to do Business in the United States.

More and more foreign business executives have discovered their tiny world shrinking like a traveling carnival t-shirt left in the dryer overnight, along with the realization the only sales route worth mining is a global one. Crawling over oceans like inflatable fire ants. And belatedly, many are also learning about the hidden obstacles lurking behind the waffle iron of every international deal making breakfast. Although our American culture may be the red white and blue bowling ball on the ping pong table of commerce, a lot of folks find themselves unprepared for the peccadilloes, strange customs and fascination with rear seat cup holders Americans desire while doing business with each other here in the States. It is for them and for their children I have created this primer that will allow the huddled masses to fit in and wheel and deal just like they was born in Biloxi and knew what chicken fried steak was.

  • Children in the United States are a bit precocious. Don't be surprised if an American child approaches you with a handgun and requests money, sexual favors or your shoes.
  • In America, short term rewards are prized way above long term results, and when the short term rewards involve cash in hand, the results will very likely turn into long term associations.
  • Business is commonly conducted between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. But if you're actually serious about getting a deal done, avoid early mornings, the hours immediately following lunch, Mondays and Fridays. Best results can be achieved Tuesdays through Thursdays between 10:00 am and noon.
  • Remember America is the most litigious society in the world. As you enter the country, a lawyer will be given your name and your movements and actions will be closely monitored by a close knit band of khaki clad confederates at all times. Except in New York, where they will be wearing black.
  • The official language of the United States is English, but while conducting business in the South, wiser folk than you have been known to hire interpreters and food testers.
  • Often, after dinner and a couple of drinks, it wiil not be unusual for American business types to ask you up for a cup of coffee before returning to your hotel. The term to keep in mind here is "quicksand."
  • Compliments are freely exchanged for no apparent reason. If you wish to chat up an associate, start by referring flatteringly to a part of their body that appears attractive to you.
  • US executives start talking about business immediately. Often, contracts are signed in elevators on the way to offices. Sometimes they will neglect to get out of the car.
  • Coffee will be mentioned, but what they're really talking about is vast amounts of liquid candy with chocolate and whipped cream.
  • The greeting "How are you?" is not an inquiry about your health. Just mumble some vague nonsense or make rhythmic clicking noises. Just so long as you constantly emit sound. Americans have a deathly fear of silence. Try not to recoil from their grunting noises. They can sense fear.
  • Until you know a person well, avoid discussing religion, politics, money, abortion, race, sex discrimination and the WWF. Food and health insurance are fair game.
  • A man may take your business card, and put it in his wallet which he will then place in a back pants pocket. This is not meant to show disrespect. However if he takes your hand and puts it there, call security.
  • When dealing with the government it is best to retain the services of a person who will stand directly at your side and shout your responses at an ear-splitting volume. Either that or a small rototilling device.
  • Americans will pretend to be knowledgeable about football but will be referring to huge behemoths wearing body armor crashing into each other over the possession of a misshaped ball. Their comprehension of pro falconry stats will also be uniformly woeful.
  • When dealing with a large American corporation be prepared to remove your scruples and leave them in a jar by the door. Any door. Every door.

Will Durst needs to get some sun.
a jazzy weeks worth

Clipping Around the Edges of Bush: The Sequel
I shivered like a blind poodle duct-taped to the bow of a skiff on the Potomac watching Washington DC transformed into Branson East over the weekend. Wayne Newton, Yakov Shmirnov, Lee Greenwood, and would someone pretty please nail this guy to a stool and teach him another freaking song for crum's sake? The best part was God raining on Bush's inauguration, causing many recently unstored full length fur coats to be splattered with much mud, which only a sleazeball like me could find satisfying on multiple levels.

At the podium during the swearing in, Bush's hand seemed to spasmodically twitch every time he spoke, but I assume they'll fine tune Cheney's remote control device in a month or so. The ensuing parade was soggy and lined with more protesters than actual fans. The real FOW, Friends of W, learning from the experience on the Mall, were undoubtedly safely ensconced in limos well preserved from the damp. Besides, these protestors had the suspicious look of Nader supporters using their sodden demonstrations as something of a penance.

The ball I attended Saturday evening was peculiar exponential factor four. Nothing against the great state of Ohio, but come on you guys, dance music provided by the Guy Lombardo Orchestra? And yes, he is dead. This has to be punch line to some weird twisted legendary Buckeye joke. "And we would be so proud if you were to lead us in a dance, Vice President Garner." Poor Drew Carey. He was host. Just happy to be asked. Wore his glasses and told jokes and everything. Not really a Republican, as he went to great lengths to inform all who asked him, and lots of people who didn't. "No, really, I'm a Libertarian." Yeah, right.

In between the intermittent wacky zany antics of Drew and Guy, the major excitement consisted of watching the wings of the ice sculpture eagles melt. Kind of like going to a prom at a high school to which you did not attend. In a suburb where you were stopped for a daunting series of speeding tickets. And only cops and chaperons were allowed in.

Drinks were six bucks and the food ranged from weird sausage rollups with the consistency of sawdust to steam table offerings without the steam. And teeming over the spread like swarms of huge albino locusts were large Republican women stuffed into beaded gowns which obviously hadn't been tried on since Bush Elder, circa 88, so flesh was cascading over spaghetti straps like spring Sierra waterfalls, begging the question "do Republican women own mirrors in their house?"

The answer being, "Who cares, you schmuck, we won." Alas, after a few choice remarks such as these, I noticed the celebrants became increasingly unresponsive to my repeated inquiries for directions to the post prom party, and I wandered back to the hotel down the snowy streets of DC seeing cowboy hats and big hair and boots slapping backs and smoking cigars and laughing. That was what stays with me, the laughing. Better get used to it folks. The compassionate conservatives are back in charge and the charge for compassion is going skyhigh. Prepare for a bull market.

Will Durst hopes the Bush administration has as much fun as he thinks he will.
After the Beep

Hello. You have reached the office of the President of the United States. Unfortunately he is either on another line or away from his desk. Please leave a message at the beep and Dick Cheney will return your call at his earliest convenience. This call may be monitored to insure quality service.

"Hey Dubya. How ya doing? California here. You know; Golden State. Big long lanky plot of land hugging the left coast. Not as big as Texas mind you, but fairly large. Vastish even. Well, we like it. Remember us? We're the ones that sent you that nice fruit basket middle of December. Hope you enjoyed the grapes. A little nervous here. You can understand. Anyhow, thanks for agreeing to take this call. Hang on a sec, while I preheat the hot tub.
There. Sorry. Just ground some beans and made myself a double de-caf no fat soy milk latte. Starting to settle down now. Okay. First of all, want to congratulate you on a most excellent inaugural. As the kids like to say, "you rocked, dawg." And what a lovely capper to the evening to see you and the beautifully gowned First Lady waltzing or whatever you call what you did at our ball, even if it was for about three nanoseconds, but we understand your schedule was more hectic than a Miami weatherman practicing bigamy during hurricane season. Scuze me while I pop this cup in the dishwasher.
And speaking of Florida, could you believe what a mess they made down there? Again, kudos o'plenty are definitely in order for your discrete handling of a very ticklish situation. You'd think former Vice President Gore (and I bet both you and your dad enjoy the sound of that), you'd think he could have mustered the simple common human decency to spare the country weeks of agonizing indecision by tactfully bowing out. But no. Perhaps the accumulation of eight years of close proximity to Clinton is not washed off by a simple series of showers. Need to steam clean that boy.
Now, if we may, let's get to the point here. Despite our surfer image, we're not totally dim. Obviously our 54 electoral votes could have come in handy, making the whole Florida thing moot. Unfortunately it was one of those things. Not meant to be. But just because we didn't vote for you, doesn't mean we don't respect you as our true Commander- in- Chief. The time to put petty resentments aside is now. And the time to defrost the roast in the microwave is also now. Be right back. And I'll tell the kid to knock off the leaf blower while I'm at it.
We're back. Straight out? We have problems. To be honest, Mr. President, we're cold. Not Minnesota ears- break- off- from- frostbite cold, but shorts are not a viable indoors option anymore, which for us is tantamount to being sentenced to North Dakota. And we've got dark. Sudden dark. The worst kind. Imagine how you'd feel if your mother were on an elevator when without warning a rolling blackout struck and she was penned in there with Hillary Clinton for a couple hours. That's really what we're talking about here just plain folks. Kids are being stuck in those elevators too you know. Mostly it's about the kids.
We weren't the only state duped into selling our regulated utilities for some magic beans, so your administration could send a strong compassionate yet conservative message to the rest of the country were you to throw us a bone during this crisis. Imagine how this could also cement your position as a champion of bipartisanship. We're talking first 100 days here. Just think of us as a friendly new neighbor knocking on your door asking to borrow a couple of gigawatts of sugar.
Maybe you could personally confab with Kenneth Lay, chairman of Enron, and is known as a family friend. God knows all it would take is a couple of kind words in his ear from you as a pal and we could be back to wearing flip flops and tank tops in no time. How bout it? You don't want to be known as the guy who roused America from its California dream and stuck it in a Yukon nightmare, do you? This isn't the Soviet Union for crums sake. What's next, bread lines?
And we're not talking gratis either. Perfectly willing and able to pay for whatever we get. We just need something now. Whatever you can spare. Diesel fuel. A couple of tanks of propane. Government issued Ronson's lighter fluid. Anything. You want to raise exhaust emissions, no problem. Drop a derrick smack dab in the middle of Grey Davis' forehead for all we care. Listen, man, all we need is a taste. C'mon, just something to get us through the winter. Otherwise the country is going to be treated to some weird candlelit shadows dancing across their Oscar ceremony.
Well, that's enough yakking. Get back as soon as you can. Got to light the Tiki torches around the pool and take the SUV in for its 500 mile check up. Catch up with us on the cell."

Will Durst was recently kicked out of K-Mart for violating the dress code.
a forlorn weeks worth

And Now A Concerned Letter From Your Friendly Local Utility Company. Dear Consumer,

Recently, you may have noticed a slight increase in your utility bill. We here at YourEnergy apologize if this scant unforeseen rise may have caused you or your family any inconvenience. Contrary to certain media reports, we want you to know we are doing everything in our power to keep costs low. Certain market forces too complicated for you to understand are responsible, so settle down for crum's sake and quit with these "gouging" and "collusion" charges. Jeez pete. You people have been skating for years and now we get a chance to make back a couple of measly bucks and you start whining like four year olds at a carnival frog marched past the pony rides.

The new deregulated process by which market rates are set is a very very complex business and best left to us, the professionals, and we don't need any "civilian review board" to help us, thank you very much. Maybe if you turned off your hot tub once in a while and quit driving hundreds of miles in your gargantuan SUVs to protest a tiny ascent in rates, in reality, nothing more than a correction, then we could all enjoy the fruits of the California economic boom and none of us would be forced to take drastic steps like rationing. If you get our meaning.

We here at YourEnergy think it's fair to say our energies are best spent collectively searching for solutions rather than a futile campaign of name calling, finger pointing and regulatory commission hearing. As our President- Designee George W Bush likes to say, this is a time for uniting, not dividing. So let us take this time now to unite together to explore possible answers to this crisis and spend less time filing injunctions and tying up an already crowded Attorney General's calendar with silly time consuming investigations.

For our part, we here at YourEnergy have invested time and money in an exhaustive research into the subject of everyday tips and tricks to save you money and keep the California ball rolling downhill. Spend a couple of minutes looking over these simple and fun hints on how all of our families can conserve. After all, we're in this together.

Your Energy Tips To A Less Consumptive California

Walking to work is a wonderful way to exercise, and it helps to conserve energy, not to mention the wear and tear on our roadways and public transportation seating consoles.

Sweaters. Sweaters are nice. In Paris it's known as the layered look.

Lower your thermostat to 50. No, 45.

Caulking. Caulk your kids.

Drink more coffee. A warm insides translates to a warm outsides.

Don't grouse, make lemonade. When the rolling brownouts sweep past your house, tell the kids you're practicing for an adventure trip to the Yukon. That way mom can wear her mother's mink coat, and the whole family can pretend she's a polar bear and hunt her down. Running is always a good way to stay warm.

Call your local state legislator and tell him you believe in democracy, and the red white and blue benefits of a free marketplace.

Look in the basement. Have unwanted furniture? Have a fireplace? You figure it out.

Dogs. Lots of big dogs. Then train them to sleep with family members. You might find you like it.

Eat out more. This will encourage local merchants as well.

Convince everybody in the household to take another job. That way, they'll be too tired to notice how cold it is.

Burn newspapers without reading them. Especially this one.

Hook up an exercising bicycle to the tv. Then, whoever wants to watch a particular program has to provide the power. This could work with the VCR, microwave and hair dryer as well.

Read aloud Jack London's "Call of the Wild." If that doesn't cut it, try James Michener's "Hawaii." If that fails as well, shadow puppets by candlelight are fun.

Sew together an effigy of Governor Grey Davis and huddle around while it flares.

Close off rooms that aren't in use and turn them into a penalty box where misbehaving children go.

By rigid adherence to these few simple suggestions you will be able to slash your energy consumption considerably and we here at YourEnergy will be getting as much if not more money as before. It's a win- win situation for everybody.

Thanks for your attention and good luck.

Will Durst wonders where the logo guy made out of lightning bolts is when we need him.
Will will also be appearing at Hotline's Children Hospitals at the Warner Theater in DC the day after the inauguration. Come on down. What the hell, it's for a good cause.
a martin luther king week's worth

Will Durst's 2000 Xma$ Gift Wi$h Li$t

Well, here we are, basking in the afterglow of that time of the year, where the entire country has gone giddy due to holiday spirit and yes, I am talking about the nog. "More rum, less nutmeg, dear." In this altered state it is usual to share our blessings with others who are less fortunate. But what about the more fortunate? The forgotten men and women of the holiday season? Let us weary consumers take some time from our patriotic duty of sinking heavily into debt to honor the birth of our Lord and Savior by paying greedy homage to a bearded fat man in a red suit with this humble offering to the least deserving of us, via WILL DURST'S 2000 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T.

For Bill Gates: another planet to conquer.

For George Steinbrenner: A lifetime supply of left handed Cuban relievers.

For Baby Boomers Who Still Think Social Security Will Be Around When They Retire: A pound of Pixie Dust for each of them to stay forever young.

For NASDAQ Brokers: Industrial strength Mylanta patches.

For Hillary Clinton: Six months of slack, a weekend in the Senate hot tub with Antonio Banderas along with a commemorative T-shirt that reads "Payback is a Bitch."

For Warren Buffet: The presence of mind not to say, "I told you so."

For Chris Mathews' sound engineer: A remote control tracheal silencer.

For George W Bush: Just the hint of a scintilla of a whisper of a honeymoon but it can't be kicked of with a photo-op of Cheney carrying him across the threshold.

For Saddam Hussein: If Bush's approval rating falls in February, a foxhole near hell.

For Katherine Harris: A phone call from either Hefner or Guccionne and not Flynt.

For The US Supreme Court: a banner for the bench: "First Presidents appointed Supreme Court Justices, now we appoint them."

For Ted Fang: Further genius intuitions like the hunch that compelled him to hire me. Or was it a spasm?

For Bill Clinton: An appointment as ambassador to "Baywatch."

For Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown: A 55 gallon drum of that medicine they give to Attention Deficit Disorder kids.

For Willie Brown: Stan Lee Gatti's job.

For Dick Cheney: A massive spool of monofilament line so no one can accurately determine when he is and isn't pulling the strings.

For Joe Lieberman: Another shot, maybe one spot up on the ticket.

For the cast of Survivor II: An acquired taste for dingo.

For Alex Rodriguez: An offshore account.

For George HW Bush: Ten minutes alone in an alley with Bill Clinton, no questions asked.

For Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarznegger Jean Claude Van Damme: The formation of an Action Hero Seniors Tour.

For Gwenyth Paltrow: A lifetime pass to In- N- Out Burger.

For Regis Philbin: A partnership with Kathie Lee to produce "So You Want To Be A Millionaire" sweatshop clothing in monochromatic hues.

For Monday Night Football: Three weeks of Stephen Wright replacing Dennis Miller.

For Jesse Ventura: A red white and blue muzzle.

For Ricky Martin: Another 15 minutes.

For Al Gore: Six weeks retreat at the Kennedy compound to receive various charisma implants.

For Alan Greenspan: A storage space large enough to hide another six months worth of smoke pellets and mirrors.

For Robert Downey Jr.: A cell phone with Johnny Cochran's number preset into all the speed dialer positions.

For Dick Armey: A one way ticket on the clue train.

For Dick Gephardt: Eyebrows. A couple of pieces of stray yarn, a no. 4 pencil, something!

For Ted Kennedy: A Thighmaster.

For the Bosnians: The discovery of vast pools of oil.

For Rush Limbaugh: A new publicity push jumpstarted by a "Where Are They Now?" retrospective.

23 Resolutions per Minute

For a while there, it seemed like it was going to go on forever, but right on schedule, at the end of December, the year 2000 mercifully sounded its sorrowful swan song. And I got a funny feeling if you tracked down the source of the noise you'd find it emanating from a gravity-enhanced female residing in Florida. Thank you lord. 2000 was to annums what Alexander Haig is to panty hose. What Truman Capote had in common with mule skinning. Henry VIII to marriage counseling. The rare arced vector connecting Pamela Anderson and advanced particle physics. What Calista Flockhart is to $3.99 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets at Denny's. As stainless steel knitting needles are to orange plaid Sans-A-Belt pants.

Of course, now that we're on the paisley verge of the greying pony tail that is the Age of Aquarius, people are going to stop acting in their own self interests and start championing the common good. Yeah, right, and the next big thing is a chain of strip mall schools teaching poodles to type Braille. Assuming the worst, that the world stays the same (meaning the rich get richer and the good guys are forced to sit cross-legged on park benches pulling bright green splinters out of their butts) here's a list of resolutions which probably won't but should be made in the 1st year of the third millennium. In 2001:

Alan Greenspan assures Business Week the only time in the next year he will use the words "irrational exuberance" is while attending Metallica concerts.

Mayor Jerry Brown promises to focus less on the vast spaceship that is Earth and more on the run down long term parking shuttle that is Oakland.

Amazon.com vows to get out of the retail business entirely and concentrate on forcing its stock back up to Berkshire Hathaway levels.

The Airline Industry makes every effort to finally rid the skies of the most dangerous security element known to man: the second carry on bag.

California's Governor Grey Davis will not rest until he gets a colorful nickname like "Slappy."

The 107th Congress resolves to emulate the 105th and the 106th Congresses by doing absolutely nothing. And proves to be fabulously successful at it.

John Ashcroft vows to open his Congressional confirmation hearing with "Who wants a piece of me?"

President- Elect Bush pledges to outline a plan to fix the Social Security problem once and for all. Unfortunately, it involves raising the retirement age to 90.

George W further attests he will bow to Dad's pressure by having the hole in his butt enlarged to accommodate Dick Cheney's hand.

Dick Cheney vows we will never see his lips move.

The Long Distance Giants affirm their commitment to continue merging and merging and merging until they evolve into a single entity which they will rename: Ma Bell.

Every California politician vows to keep his or her involvement in the energy deregulation bill of 1996, quiet.

PG&E pledges to lease Kentucky's entire Mammoth cave complex to hide corporate profits, so they can continue their public relations bankruptcy BS.

Regis Philbin actually makes an effort to keep his 24-hour on-call makeup staff down to a manageable 50.

PBS vows not to do anything to piss the new Congress off and turn itself into the 24 hour Antiques Roadshow Network.

Al Gore pledges to spend more time playing touch football and less time wonking policy. He also plans to take lessons on how to run like a boy.

Congress resolves not to pass Campaign finance reform although they do promise to talk about it until we want to heave something very heavy into our picture tube.

The Banking Industry promises to terminate its merging frenzy when the public has two whole banks to choose from.

Kathie Lee Gifford reassures the public that 7, 9, and 11 are sizes in her clothing line and not the ages of the seamstresses.

Yasser Arafat vows to get more festive.

Barbara Bush swears she will do all she can to avoid snickering every time she sees Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton swears he will do all he can to avoid snickering every time he sees Al Gore.

Donald Rumsfeld affirms he will avoid at all costs uttering the phrase "The way Gerry and I used to do it "

Will Durst vows he will devote most of his energy to become less cynical. There. Oh well. At least he tried. come see will do amazing things with chads at uncle funny's chuckle hut in fort lauderdale from wednesday through sunday — no, he's not kidding

Weeks Worth • 19971998199920002001200220032004
Durst Case Scenarios • 20052006200720082009 2010201120122013201420152016 2017