MORONS OF THE YEAR
by Larry Lieberman
American Reporter Humor Writer
TAMPA, Fla -- Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2004. In observation of a "Monday Moron" tradition dating to 2004 (do not adjust your computer screen), I offer this week's two-part helping of "Welcome to an Election Year" and "Moron of the Year."
I urge you to wake up the kids early, add some Kahlua to your Cuban coffee and enjoy this very special edition of "Monday Moron." It has been a painstaking effort of total disregard for reality; you may be amused nonetheless.
As we launch the countdown to November, it is incumbent upon me as a self-proclaimed humorist to amuse the public over this year's issues and those who tackle them. However, I would be remiss if I did not go off on the candidates themselves, so let me start by providing them their political Miranda Rights:
"You have the right to remain silent or non-committal (like Carol Mosely-Braun). Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. You have the right to speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning. If your campaign cannot afford a lawyer, one will be assigned to you by a specially-convened congressional sub-committee on ethics at the taxpayer's expense."
Now that you know your rights as an aspiring politician, allow me to advise you of the ground rules of political debate and rhetoric.
First, it is your responsibility alone to speak incessantly and yet communicate nothing more than buzz-word-filled subterfuge. The more confused you make your electorate, the more they will think you are intelligent enough to actually solve problems which you have yet to analyze.
I call this the "Rain Man" strategy and it works well with the uninformed, voting public. Those with actual mental acuity are too busy making money to vote anyway.
You may want to hire a full-time sesquipedalian. It may help enhance your perceived supremacy (look it up, aspiring lexicographers!). See how the word sesquipedalian made you feel like a drooling slob with a GED from an at-risk high school?
Second, consult a surgeon and have subtle holes cut on both sides of your mandible. This will permit you to speak out of both sides of your mouth without drawing attention, so you can superficially accommodate the priorities of ALL audiences under cover of darkness. Simply cover the hole on the side you are not presently using with a bandage and relate a fallacious story to the crowd about donating a salivary gland to a Viagra user who suffers from the side-effects of dry mouth as a result of his efforts to achieve the American dream of erectile efficiency.
Last, dress the part of a prototypical citizen in the region you are campaigning. The Iowa caucus is up first. I suggest looking like a scarecrow who means business. For South Carolina (not going in chronological order here), dress as a retired California educator and claim Strom Thurmond was the most brilliant, virile, absentee father in world history. In Arizona, wear running shoes and proclaim you could jog from Tucson to the Mexico border - even with pockets full of contraband - with little effort. In New Hampshire and Vermont, your attire should suggest a lisping male flight attendant or owner of a fruit-juice bar. At last, in Michigan, drape yourself in a holed-out carburetor.
Now, let's move to the piece de resistance: The fourth runner-up for "Moron of the Year" is Keyshawn Johnson, the unemployed wide receiver living in parts unknown.
Nominated as a candidate by Mitchell High wrestling coach John Marretta of West-Central Florida and seconded by Ed Olin of the same region, Keyshawn has exerted great effort to remind us of his celebrity status as a world-class athlete and elite National Football League wide receiver.
Keyshawn, while mic'ed up by "Monday Night Football," belittled Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison and other peers. He proclaimed his superiority in previous interviews, telling Tampa papers and talk-radio hosts that he is a chain-mover (a first-down machine), great blocker and and team player who does the "little things."
Why is he a moron? Keyshawn wrote a book titled "Just Gimme the Damn Ball." But he routinely skipped (non-mandatory) off-season workouts, critical team-bonding events and solidified his status as an elite professional sulker and locker-room joy-killer. Add to that his running ability, which closely parallels that of a turtle glued to poster board, and affinity for dropping passes (see passes, catchable) and you can infer the reason for his inclusion in this list of shame.
The third runner-up is American beef consumers.
Gee Raj-Patel of New Jersey offered this suggestion in the wake of Mad Cow reports. This country's marketing wing has asserted that beef is "what's for dinner" and beef producers have even proposed that the non-Canadian-bacon breakfast burrito is a nutritional feast for essential tissue/muscle development and growth. Beef contains no carbohydrates (the Atkins curse) and, advocates say, is therefore part of a healthy diet.
Why American beef consumers are morons: Beef is loaded with fat and, despite being low in carbs, helps consumers develop a massive colonic stash of undigested byproducts (maybe that's how the dog-food concept was hatched). If you choose to consume this product in moderation, I am quite sure you'll be fine. However, as Raj-Patel notes, "We told you not to mess with cows!"
The second runner-up is: readers of "Sugar" magazine, a British publication targeting female teens and young adults.
Though Katie Dunn, who made this nomination, failed to identify her place of residence, it is safe to say that it is abroad. She reminds us that the respondents to a "Sugar" magazine survey have voted Christina Aguilera their favorite role model.
Apparently, kids are taken by Christina's assumption of the "strong, independent woman" character in some made-for-Spice-channel videos.
Why the readers of "Sugar" magazine are morons: Christina Aguilera as a role model? HChristina's primary claim to mainstream society/responsibility for a young adult is that she's been married 55 hours less than Britney Spears at her tender, impressionable age. On top of that, in a recent interview, Christina admitted that when she made the "Lady Marmalade" soundtrack, she was convinced that "Lady Marmalade" referred to a viral discharge common in burlesque dancers practicing poor sexual hygiene.
Now, the first runner-up: Miriam Oliphant, the suspended Elections Supervisor for Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Submitted for consideration by the cogent Jackie Kemp, a human resources director in Coconut Creek, Fla., Oliphant is a solid candidate for "Moron of the Year" who fell just shy of the honor. Oliphant was recently suspended from her job by Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush despite her claims that she is a victim of political machinations, racism (she is African-American) and an "ill-conceived" perception of her competency.
Why Oliphant is a moron: How much room do I have left? Miriam Oliphant has blown her budget like a Valley Girl on angel dust. She mistakenly forgot to train her election-site supervisors on the operation of Florida's new touch-screen voting machines. Some of the before-stated employees even had no idea how to even plug the devices into wall sockets. She also failed to give some of the site operators keys to the voting place they were supposed to supervise, causing many voters to wait hours before they could cast their ballots.
However, she managed to "mitigate" (yeah, right) these shortcomings by losing up to 500 ballots in the 2002 primaries in places ranging from her office's mailroom to filing cabinets in "secure" locations, and "various" places including her "Florida room" at home and an unspecified body cavity (just kidduing, I think).
This type of occupational malfeasance can only be equated to the Los Angeles Police Department's Evidence Room Manager going for a beach-side stroll in OJ's Bruno Maglis.
The winner of "Moron of the Year?"
PETA, of course.
Now that the circus is in town here in Tampa, we all get the chance to take our kids curbside for a gross-out display of over-the-top rhetoric and a coat-splashing display of blasphomous hatred for all things leather and/or edible.
There's nothing like spending half of the circus explaining to your kids that the megaphone-toting animal advocate who announces at 90 decibels that your child is engaging in animal mutilation by going to the circus is simply a zealot who probably wishes we would starve before we'd eat a helpless chicken.
Yeah, the shirts and signs with language unfit for a Shannon Tweed film don't help either.
Why PETA is a moronic group of dolts: even Gee Raj-Patel would tell you that most things non-cow are okay in moderation. When are the people of PETA going to realize that they ostracize, not galvanize, the public with their behavior? Kids should not be the target of adult political campaigns - particularly those with violent images. If I mailed one of their kids a postcard with a picture of a woman's bare breasts on one side and cow udders on the other with the caption, "Go for the one nature intended!," PETA would endorse the campaign.