Bush vows to beat Kerry 'dead or alive'

By John Breneman

Looking ahead to the Republican National Convention, President Bush has been touring the country test-marketing campaign slogans designed to counter the Kerry-Edwards promise that "Hope is on the way."

"Terror is on the way!" the president shouted at a pro-Bush picnic in Stratham, N.H.

"Bring 'em on," Bush said of Kerry and Edwards during a stop in Peoria, Illinois. Then, as some unidentified white foam appeared at the corners of his mouth, the president added that he plans to pummel the Democratic insurgents "dead or alive."

An organization called Independents for Kerry has revealed that the Bush campaign is also testing out slogans like "Bush/Cheney '04: Four More Wars," "Leave No Billionaire Behind" and "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"

In Detroit, the president evoked memories of his father when he promised "a kinder, gentler death toll."

But Bush advisers believe they may have struck gold in Madison, Wisconsin. When confronted by a Kerry supporter asking Bush to explain why he is ruining the economy and "getting our boys killed over in Iraq," Bush's response neatly summed up his swaggering, tough-guy, know-it-all approach to the fate of the world.

"Who's Your Daddy?" Bush barked at the man.

And the crowd went wild.


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Ridge terror alert smells fishy

Responding to harsh criticism from the New York Times that his Crayola-based terror alert system is more useful to late-night comedians than the American public, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge today announced that he is switching to a fish-based system.

Henceforth, instead of standing in front of a color-coded chart while simultaneously warning Americans to be very afraid and reassuring them about "the president's leadership in the war against terror," Ridge will simply spread his hands apart - close together if the terror threat is minimal, and very far apart if an attack seems imminent.

On occasion, he may use an actual fish. Perhaps one swordfish if the terrorists are coming by land, two North Atlantic salmon if by sea. Three flying fish if the bastards are coming by plane again. And a standard 12-inch parrotfish when bursting onto the scene at politically convenient moments to hail the captain's firm hand at the helm.

Related story:
U.S. at risk of attack by giant pterodactyl

Nostradamus issues terror warning

By John Breneman

Citing new intelligence received from Nostradamus, Tom Ridge today warned all Americans to "hold onto their hats."

Ridge, director of the U.S. Department of Terror, said agents have discovered a new document in which the mysterious 16th-century prophet speaks of a "grave and gathering danger" posed by an unidentified "beast from the Middle East."

The fact that the new terror alert comes on the heels of the John Kerry's rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention is just a coincidence, said Ridge, who nevertheless warned that registered Democrats may be at heightened risk.

"The terrorists hate the word 'democracy' so much they are hoping to kill as many Democrats as possible," said Ridge, who urged all Dems to re-register as Republicans and vote for President Bush "just to be safe."

Ridge, who has been criticized for issuing vague terror alerts timed to counter any Democratic momentum in the presidential race, said the Nostradamus prophecy was fairly specific. It read, in part:

"Some asshole named Mohammed, or maybe Abdul, will try to blow something up. But instead of a metal bird crashing down from the sky, look for a brownish 1989 Toyota SR5 pickup truck loaded with ammonium nitrate."

As further evidence that a terrorist strike may be imminent, Ridge said President Bush mentioned that in his most recent conversation with God, the Supreme Being seemed a little edgy but would not say why.

The fact that a faceless enemy may wipe us off the map at any moment does not conflict with President Bush's claim that he has made America safer, according to Ridge, who confided that Nostradamus also praised Bush for "the president's leadership in the war against terror."

Responding to skeptics, Ridge pointed out that Nostradamus correctly foretold the breakup of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, and rise of so-called "reality programming," which he called simply "mindless drivel." The terror czar hinted there might be some additional Nostradamus "chatter" containing dirt on John Kerry, but did not elaborate.

Critics counter that the visionary Frenchman failed to predict that President Bush would choke on a pretzel, fall off his bike (twice) and respond to the darkest hour of his administration by continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to a group of schoolchildren.

Humor Gazette endorses Kerry

Though primarily a humor publication, the Humor Gazette is run by actual journalists who reserve the right to be serious about important issues facing America and the world. See our endorsement HERE.

John Kerry promised Thursday night to be a commander in chief "who will never mislead us into war." Here is the text of Kerry's speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president. Also, some analysis by David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine and author of "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception."

Gazette discovers evidence of Iraq WMDs

Humor Gazette investigative reporter Chris Elliott has discovered shocking evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The smoking gun? A slick Madison Avenue-quality advertisement for a hideous biological weapon called "Kurd Be Gone," described as "the latest in tribe control products from Hussein Laboratories."

The ad boasts that Hussein's genocide product is "a triple cocktail of hanta virus, bubonic plague and strychnine delivered in a fine airborne mist." Elliott found the advertisement in a dumpster in the dangerous Thump City district of Baghdad.

A White House spokesman said there can be little doubt the ad is authentic because it so clearly supports the administration's claim that Hussein actually had weapons. President Bush responded, "See? Told you he had WMDs. Nah nah, nah nah nah."

Saddam pens anti-Bush poetry

(Reuters) -- Saddam Hussein is passing his time in solitary confinement by reading the Koran, writing poetry, gardening and snacking on American-style cookies and muffins…

The Humor Gazette has obtained several of Hussein's poems from a source close to the guy who smuggles in his favorite Oreos, Keeblers and Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

The Iraqi human rights minister who visited him in prison said Hussein, who used to get his cardio workout by butchering people for 30 minutes each day, has put on 11 pounds and is thinking of starting the Atkins lo-carb diet. He is also being treated for an itchy beard and suffers from chronic dictator's elbow.

In addition to writing poetry, the Iraqi rhapsodist spends his days drawing Devil horns on photographs of President Bush and silk-screening his new line of "High-Value Detainee" apparel.


"Ode to George W. Bush"

Bush, you oil-sucking piece of devil dung

You took my country and whacked my sons and yanked me from a rathole
but you are messing with the wrong "cowpoke" my mentally challenged friend

You swore I had nuclear yellow cake mustard gas bombs
and linked me with that Osama douchebag
so when my freedom tunnel is finished
I'm gonna get Mesopotamian on your ass

You killed your own people to take me out
and now you're stuck with my stink forever

Plus, you and your God can shove it cause Allah says you suck


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Dubya got boned
in the butt by Abu


Bubble bubble oil and trouble
Bush is dumber than Barney Rubble


The madman has even tried haiku…

"Camel Dung"

Naked aggression
Mother of all warmongers
Halliburton rules


"Read My Lips"

Daddy Bush missed me
Georgie Junior bagged Baghdad
Mission accomplished

Homeland Security horoscope

Homeland Security guru Tom Ridge consults his imaginary crystal ball.

By John Breneman

Memo: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Secretary Tom Ridge, in consultation with the nation's top astrological experts, today issued the following Risk Assessment Horoscope:

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Use common sense when dealing with a grave and gathering menace. Consensual physical affection with a loved one can temporarily numb the haunting specter of imminent mayhem. The future is guardedly bright.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Good day to assess your surroundings for vulnerabilities and take protective measures to mitigate them. Don't let emotion cloud your judgment on severing ties with a relative who may be a security risk. Be wary of unfamiliar smiles.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Monitor your transportation systems to insure readiness in the event of an evening terrorist incursion. Making an obscene gesture in traffic could lead to an unwanted gunshot wound. Vary your daily routine.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Be patient if a loved one's fear of nuclear annihilation causes him or her to question your preparedness. Biweekly drills help you familiarize family personnel with your emergency response plan. Stock up on duct tape.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) A breathtaking sunrise reminds you the end could come before dusk. Coordinate your personal security efforts with local emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies. Do not let your identity fall into enemy hands.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Seek creative new ways to disguise your attractiveness as a potential terrorist target. Be sure to exercise appropriate precautions in the event of an unexpected romantic encounter. Avoid naked aggression.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Redirect your personal resources to give priority to critical emergency needs. Treating yourself to a canister of pepper spray can add zest to your paranoia. Turn your stress about man's inherent capacity for evil into positive energy.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) The threat of media chatter is heightened today. Follow established protocols when dealing with the rhetoric of swarthy political extremists. News reports of possible terrorist activity may be inaccurate or exaggerated.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Think twice before utilizing free speech to criticize the government. Sacrificing a few civil liberties will help the shadowy forces protect you. Limit your contact with those who exhibit an unkempt appearance or beady eyes.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A moment of serenity will likely be dashed by a sudden heightening of tension. Promptly report any suspicious individuals or activity to the Department of Homeland Security. Vigilance is next to godliness.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Going somewhere you've never been could be asking for trouble. Restrict access to your home and work environments to essential personnel only. Don't succumb to a panic attack: Today's threat level for apocalyptic doom is LOW.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Undertake further refinement of household protective measures within the context of current threat information. Unnecessary friendliness could cause unforeseen complications. Fortify your perimeter.

Let phony horoscopes guide you

Newspaper horoscopes are stupid, right? The savvy reader knows they're just pithy snippets of random advice whose actual relevance to our lives is either purely coincidental or completely nonexistent.

But they can be fun if not taken too seriously. In that spirit, the planets have aligned to cast an irreverent aura over my karma. The result may seem somewhat astro-illogical.

Common Sense horoscope

Gangsta horoscope

President cloned by Dr. Gene Meddler

By John Breneman

Scientists at the University of South Berwick announced today they have successfully cloned a multi-cell organism that bears a striking resemblance to President George W. Bush. The president sharply criticized the scientific breakthrough as "morally wrong." But the Bush clone (dubbed W2) believes just as strongly that human cloning is "morally right." This according to its creator, Dr. Gene Meddler.


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Letter to the groom

I'm tying the knot this weekend. Below is a note I wrote to a friend of mine a little while back when he was getting married...

Dear Chris --

I'm thrilled and honored that you've asked me to be your best man. I hope I can help in some small way to make your wedding day unforgettable. Just got your tuxedo instructions in the mail, but it turns out I won't need to be fitted after all.

I have a wardrobe of about 15 custom tuxes for all occasions but am having a new one tailored for your special day. I'm sure you and Lisa won't mind that I have added a few flourishes.

It will be the traditional black velvet, of course, an Armani "Monkey Suit" model with prehensile tails. I've taken the liberty of adding a broad, white Formula One-style racing stripe down my back, with the numerals 910 emblazoned next to it. The suit is fire-retardant, of course, and conforms to rigorous NASCAR safety specifications.

I've also added a trifle of raspberry wainscotting to the jacket and faux alligator-skin ruffles to the legs of my see-through Ralph Lauren pants.

I will be sporting a military-fatigue utility cummerbund, with velcro pockets to accommodate my arsenal of weapons, communications devices and intoxicants.

My bowtie is a little something I found at Weddingo's Novelty Shoppe. It is fluorescent black and will spin around at a rate of approximately 600 revolutions per minute.

My state-of-the-art neckwear will emit a high-pitched squealing sound and shoot white sparks approximately five feet into the air, but its force should not be sufficient to lift me off the ground at any point during the ceremony.

In recognition of my religious beliefs, I will have to insist on wearing a 4-foot-tall chromium alloy cross around my neck, encrusted with polished gravel and etched with the likenesses of Pedro Martinez, Speed Racer and Jesus.

I plan to wear my favorite Indonesian-rules kickboxing gloves, if that is OK, and my steel-toed platform Doc Marten boots. Black, of course.

I've created a lovely organic cauliflower boutonniere, but am waffling on whether to wear my "Whack Iraq" stickpin.

The timeless elegance of matching 4-carat diamond tongue and nose studs should round out the ensemble quite nicely, I think.

I guess that's about it -- other than my Jose Cuervo eyepatch, my 3-foot-tall Dr. Seuss top hat and my fire-red "Congratulations Chris and Lisa" neck tattoo.

Looking forward to the big day!

PS -- Just let me know if you want me to take care of the wedding cake.


Bush received faulty intelligence from God

By John Breneman

A Senate panel not only determined the U.S. used bad information to justify the war in Iraq, it also weighed in on a report that President Bush may have received faulty intelligence from God.

Bush, who claims to have consulted the Lord before making the decision to go to war, said God convinced him that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and told him Saddam Hussein was a "madman" and a "freedom-hating thug." When asked specifically if Hussein was connected to al Qaeda, Bush said the Creator-in-Chief responded, "Yep."

But the Senate panel investigating pre-war intelligence said that, even though the president talks about religion a lot and ends every speech with the words "God Bless America," it could find no direct link between President Bush and the Lord.

However, Vice President Dick Cheney defended a possible White House-Heaven link, saying the absence of documentation that Bush talked directly to God does not mean such a meeting did not take place.

Washington observers say the possibility that Bush got bad intelligence from "the man upstairs" has not diminished the president's faith in God. Bush has resisted pressure to dump the Lord from his Cabinet and said the omnipotent deity is doing "a fabulous job."

Supporters say they cannot blame Bush for faulty intelligence about Iraq's weapons if it came directly from the great warrior in the sky. Democrats, however, claim the intelligence failure between Bush and the Lord dates back as early as 1946, when God created the future president.

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Protest being outsourced by protesters

Mary O'Bannon, a day care worker from Ames, Iowa, is "hassled by the man" while advocating social consciousness in her part-time job as a hired protester.

By Chris Elliott

There is a growing trend among protesters in America to outsource many of their protests to India, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries. Protesters complain that for one thing, there is just too much for them to protest.

"You got Bush with his schnoz so far up Cheney's keister he should probably check for polyps while he's up there," remarked Granny D, New Hampshire senatorial candidate.

Granny claims that between the savaging of the environment, racial oppression, the rush toward gross inequality, and the new imperialism, you could make protesting pretty much a full-time job. Granny sponsors two protesters, both from Indonesia. "What's wrong with hiring a couple of shoe-bombers to hold a sign? They get their four bucks an hour and we get meat in the seats," Granny D said.

Outsourced protesters are typically flown in on a sketchy secret transcontinental version of ValuJet, given six-month visas, and worked six days a week for 10 hours protesting full time.

Tarik Nadeem is a nuclear physicist Ph.D. but couldn't find a job in India because he is unattractive and smells. "I had no idea protesting was so difficult. I never would have come. I would rather sit in my own filth in the slums of New Delhi than protest for one of these spoiled Americans ever again," Nadeem said.

When the Humor Gazette news team caught up to Nadeem, he was peeling off his lobster costume at the end of a 90-degree July day. He had been protesting the concept of lobster harvesting at Mary Tyler Moore's annual fundraiser for buying lobsters and setting them free again.

"They are lobsters for, as you say, Christ's sake," Nadeem said. "If a person's name can raise that kind of money, do it for something godly, which is to suggest something kind to human beings. We are setting lobsters free when if children were able to eat them they would not die. This woman is a crackpot. She used to be very funny, but now, she is an ass."

Nadeem had time enough to shower, get a quick bite to eat, and pray before going to bed in time to get six hours sleep before his next protest. Ironically, he was scheduled to be at a seven o'clock event protesting outsourcing. "This is crazy," Nadeem said. "I am protesting what I am doing to make a living. It is like the hunter purposefully shooting himself."

Nadeem briefly wept into his hands, then looked up. "The man who hired me is a hippie. He is a dirty, smelly man, and believe me, it takes one to know one. I think he has a trust fund."

Any nation with an educated work force and a depressed economy is an ideal place for protest outsourcing. It is conceivable then that Iran could be a future pool of American protesters. Perhaps disenfranchised Iranians will be soon imported into the United States to hone their Western hatred on the bankrolls of trust fund hippies staying home and smoking $400-an-ounce rock star pot.

Graham Stokes is a graphic artist from El Cerrito, California, who sponsors numerous foreign protesters. "One is Indian, and the rest are Pakistani. I find that the Pakistanis make vigorous protesters," Stokes said. "Today they are all going to a protest of the World Trade Organization. I'm really angry about globalization, but I have to go to an art opening and I can't make it myself. Still, I want my voice to be heard."

So why not just hire Mexicans and save the plane fare? "They lack the gravitas of Pakistanis," Stokes said. "Besides, they're usually short and don't make for very good television."

Hussein attorneys claim he's insane

By John Breneman

Legal analysts say Saddam Hussein plans to fight charges of war crimes and genocide by pleading temporary insanity.

"I am Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq," said the disgraced ex-dictator, adding, "Saddam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham."

Hussein told an Iraqi judge that he is also a CIA hitman, a Mesopotamian deity and a porn star known by the stage name Dick Tater. The desperate Hussein also claimed he partied with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld back in 1983-84.

Noted legal superstar Johnnie Cochran told Don Imus that he told Oprah that Hussein's insanity defense is bolstered by the fact that President Bush has called him a "madman" approximately 12,465 times since Sept. 1, 2001.

But White House spokesman Scott McClellan responded that Bush used the term "rhetorically," much like the words "grave and gathering threat," "weapons of mass destruction" and "links to al Qaeda."

McClellan reminded reporters that God had specifically instructed President Bush to take over Iraq and fulfill his destiny as a war president, even if it meant getting thousands of people killed.

Hussein defense attorney F. Lee Chalabi said his client has been a "nutjob" since 1988 when he accidentally inhaled some mustard gas while wiping out some infidels. His legal team estimates the American media has referred to Hussein as the "wacky Iraqi" an estimated 2.4 million times.

"This is all theater. The real criminal is Bush," a defiant Hussein told the judge while swatting away imaginary fruit flies and humming "U Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer.

"Hussein. Rhymes with 'insane'. Can you dig it?" concluded the wacky Iraqi madman.

Carrying a torch for Olympic innovation

Greco-Roman dope-slapping champion Mavis "Ironfist" Smith prepares to "finish" an opponent in an Olympic qualifying match.

By John Breneman

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, today unveiled several new surprises he has in store for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Acknowledging that society today is far more violent than when the modern Games began in Athens, Greece, in 1896, Rogge has announced several new events to give the Games a "tougher edge."

"The fans want action," said Rogge, who fiddled with a blazing acetylene torch during his press conference. "They want guts and glory. Danger. Pain."

Among Rogge's innovations:

Trampoline Taekwondo -- Competitors try to pummel each other with an acrobatic array of kicks and punches, while springing nearly 30 feet in the air and working in such compulsory and optional moves as the double front somersault with a full twist.

Drive-By Pentathlon -- Unlike its traditional counterpart the Modern Pentathlon (an event consisting of shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and running) the gritty urban Drive-By Pentathlon tests a competitor's skill at shooting, trash talking, driving, running and more shooting.

Pistol Whip -- Loosely based on the Hammer Throw, this event tests a competitor's ability to subdue an opponent with the butt end of his weapon, then hurl it for maximum distance and pretend nothing happened.

Rogge also listed among his new "hard-core" events: bareknuckle boxing, extreme fencing and Greco-Roman dope-slapping.

Other new "action" events being tried on an exhibition basis include:

Bungee Pole Vaulting -- Largely an underground sport since it was first popularized by the great champion of the 1970s, Clarence "Umbilical Cord" Jones, bungee pole vaulting is largely indistinguishable from regular pole vaulting except that spectators get to see colorfully and heavily padded competitors use pneumatic pogo-poles to fling themselves as far as 300 feet through the air.

Part of the appeal is that the athletes tend to spray themselves all over the arena, sometimes even into the stands. During the 1999 world championships, local favorite Paul Voltaire Jr. received a standing ovation when he accidentally flung himself through the javelin competition and was speared in the buttocks before crash landing in the long jump pit. Voltaire also holds the distance record with a painful 437-foot vault at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Synchronized Shot Put -- Nimble behemoths heave the lead ball identical distances after a precisely choreographed routine of momentum-building gyrations. Plus, fans love how cute the gargantuan athletes look in their matching leotards.

Equestrian Pommel Horse -- Using extraordinary strength, the athletes fling themselves through a whirling helicopter-like series of moves while touching the horse with only their hands. Unlike the stationary pommel horse in mens gymnastics, however, this event ALSO requires competitors to guide an ACTUAL horse through a challenging obstacle course, traversing high fences and water hazards while holding the reins in their teeth.

"It's all about the TV ratings, baby," said Rogge, who announced that he would soon reveal the steamy details of a new event for 2008 that he calls the Sextathlon.

Other events being considered for the 2008 Summer Games in South Berwick include: Nintendo Triathlon, Quadruple Jump and Olympic Torch Fighting.

Humor Gazette columnist John Breneman is a former member of the U.S. national Synchronized Syntax team.

to the first Fourth of July

By John Breneman

Had to dash down to the Library of Congress this week because I realized I had an overdue book ("Curious George Plays With Fireworks"). While I was there, I began snooping around and stumbled across a document that sheds startling new light on our nation's very first July 4th celebration.

The year was 1776. Thomas Jefferson threw a barbecue at his house and all the founding fathers were there, along with everybody who was anybody during those heady days before the Revolution.

The Washingtons -- George, Martha and little Denzel -- stopped by with some of Martha's famous lo-carb cherry pie, considered to be the tastiest in the Colonies.

John and Abigail Adams brought a crate of lobsters and their 9-year-old son John Quincy, who did nothing but complain that little Andy Jackson, also 9, kept knocking his glasses off.

Adams' older brother Samuel, wearing a stylish puffy shirt and brown vest, hauled along plenty of his famous "hand-crafted" beer and kept urging people to try his Bunker Hill Pale Ale.

Young Aaron Burr brought some pistols in case anyone wanted to duel and Benjamin Franklin had a box full of kites festooned with an array of stripes and stars.

Once most of the guests had arrived at Jefferson's Monticello estate, Paul Revere galloped up on his horse, Tea Biscuit, screaming, "The British are coming! The British are coming!"
"Just kidding," said the patriotic prankster, who then wandered off to ask Sam Adams for a Valley Forge Lager.

Meanwhile, Jefferson was playing the consummate host. He had set up a dunking booth with an unfortunate Tory dressed up like the King of England and the children hollered "Taxation without representation!" as they hurled stones to knock the hapless "king" into the water.

Garbed in a chef's hat and an apron embroidered with the words, "All menus are NOT created equal," Jefferson flipped burgers and hot dogs at the grill and ladled tankards of East India Company iced tea out of a barrel.

"Hey Jefferson," shouted fellow Virginian Patrick Henry, "Give me another corndog or give me death!"

Spirits were high because there was a growing sense that the Colonies were sick and tired of being bossed around by King George III, who little Andrew Jackson kept calling "King Georgie Porgie Fatty."

After everyone was stuffed, Jefferson gathered the whole group and pulled out a rolled-up piece of paper with some fancy writing on it. He cleared his throat and began reading. "When in the course of human events," he began, "yada, yada, yada... We hold these truths to be, um..."

"Self-evident?" suggested Ben Franklin.

"Yeah that's it, self-evident ... that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of …"

"Beer!" shouted Sam Adams.

"Naked chicks?" asked Paul Revere.

"No, Happiness," said Jefferson, who droned on for about 20 more minutes until Revere said Jefferson's "Declaration of Impudence" was right on the money.

John Hancock grabbed a pen and Adams spilled a little of his beer onto the edges of the document, saying it would help give it that "parchment" feel.

Then the celebration really started to get lively. Thomas Paine implored the revelers to use common sense, but Hancock and Franklin began lighting off crude rockets packed with gun powder and various minerals that produced colorful streaks when ignited.

As Hancock lit the fuse of a Red Glare Whistling Aerial Repeater, he was distracted for a moment by an attractive young slave and the charge detonated, blowing off both his right hand and his favorite powdered wig.

Fortunately, a young seamstress named Betsy Ross dropped what she was working on, grabbed Hancock's hand and began sewing it back onto his arm.

Despite the accident, John Adams suggested -- for real -- that henceforth we should celebrate our independence each Fourth of July with "pomp and parade ... guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore."

So that's the story of our nation's first Independence Day. I still can't believe that I found it where I did -- scrawled on the back of a 228-year-old, corndog-encrusted cocktail napkin in the shaky but unmistakable hand of John Hancock.

Humor Gazette editor John Breneman is believed to be a direct descendent of Denzel Washington.

Hollywood spins off Spider-man's web

By John Breneman

Fueled by the phenomenal box-office success of "Spider-Man" (the sequel debuts June 30), Hollywood is spinning out a slew of big-budget films about superheroes who are part human, part bug.

Timed to coincide with the onset of mosquito season are potential summer blockbusters like "Ladybug-Man," "Wonder Worm" and "Captain Earwig."

Executives at Mandible Entertainment are already predicting Oscar nominations for the poignant story of Franz Kaufman, a mild-mannered entomologist by day who scurries behind his refrigerator at dusk and metamorphoses into ... "Cockroach-Man," a crusty crime-fighter whose special powers enable him to survive nuclear holocausts and repeated stompings.

"Praying Mantis-Woman" stars Angelina Jolie as a lanky green supervixen who seduces adversaries with her sensuous triangular head and bulbous bedroom eyes, then mates with them and eats them alive.

George Clooney and Michael Keaton are said to be vying for the title role in "Gnatman," a dark thriller about a wealthy Gotham City businessman who dons a tiny mask and cape to annoy archvillains, making them so itchy they can't concentrate on perpetrating evil.

"Dung Beetle-Man" is the story of Steve Scarab, a tormented waste treatment plant worker who falls into a vat of radioactive effluent and emerges with a rancid but impenetrable exoskeleton and the ability to smother foes in his highly toxic feces.

"Sergeant Tapeworm" features a parasitic crime-buster who infests the bad guys' digestive tract and gnaws like mad until they no longer have the stomach to commit diabolical deeds.
And movie fans are expected to flock like locusts to see cotton-pickin' criminals laid low by "Boll Weevil: Enemy of Evil."

The emerging insect-action genre relies on a familiar formula: Colorful champions distinguished by their rippling thorax muscles team up with trusty sidekicks like Aphid, Flea and Chigger to battle repellent archvillains like Lord Maggot, Venus Fly Trap and the nefarious Woodpecker.

The genre also features unique musical styles. "Grasshopper-Man," for example, hums with a lazy, haunting soundtrack provided by the tympanal organs of the Caped Cicadas.

Hollywood is also buzzing about a string of campy Bee-Movies. "The WASP" chronicles the comic misadventures of Whitey Saxon, an uptight Protestant mud dauber living in a colony of angry black militant hornets. And "Queen Bee-Man" features rock star Sting as a transvestite hive boss struggling to keep his true gender a secret from his faithful but suspicious sidekick, Drone.

Even the adult-film industry is getting into the act with the steamy multiple-organism romance, "Katydid Dallas and Johnny Inch-Worm."

Meanwhile, don't adjust your antennae. Bug fare is also creeping onto the small screen with the major networks set to debut "The Pest Wing" and "Who Wants to Be a Millipede?"

Also at the movies:
Green Eggs & Hamlet
Tinsel town terror

Jesus Christ, box-office superstar

Rumsfeld offers proof of link between Saddam Hussein and ... Rumsfeld

By John Breneman

While Donald Rumsfeld was in Baghdad in 1984 to grease Saddam Hussein for oil, the Iraqi madman was whacking Iranian soldiers with chemical weapons. Rummy must have been outraged, right? Guess again.

Back then it was handshakes and smiles for Hussein, who became a "grave and gathering danger" with plenty of help from his pals in Washington.

Rumsfeld and the Bush gang went to war over weapons of mass destruction that Hussein turned out not to have. But when Hussein was spraying his foes with mustard gas 20 years ago, Rummy kept his yap shut. Here's a quote from an August 2002 article by Jeremy Scahill in Common Dreams:

In 1984, Donald Rumsfeld was in a position to draw the world's attention to Saddam's chemical threat. He was in Baghdad as the UN concluded that chemical weapons had been used against Iran. He was armed with a fresh communication from the State Department that it had "available evidence" Iraq was using chemical weapons. But Rumsfeld said nothing.

He was too busy kissing Hussein's ass.

Around this time the Butcher of Baghdad was also buying all the American-made helicopters he could get his hands on. He was even getting poisonous chemicals and biological agents from U.S. companies, according to this "Rotten" Rumsfeld bio. Here's a quote:

As a result of the openings created by Rumsfeld's (1983-84) diplomatic triumphs, U.S. companies were recruited and encouraged, both covertly and overtly, to ship poisonous chemicals and biological agents to Iraq, by the administrations of both Reagan and George Bush Sr. Care packages to Saddam included sample strains of anthrax and bubonic plague, and components which would be used to develop nerve poisons like sarin gas and ricin.

The nerve of these guys.

Even a bit of pro-Rumsfeld propaganda says, "Mr. Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein did not have time to address Iraq's use of chemical weapons, but instead discussed the (oil) pipeline project and other mutual interests."

Revisionist Rumsfeld now claims he cautioned Hussein about the use of chemical weapons. Do you believe him? If so, perhaps I could interest you in a piece of prime swampland in Falluja.

Related reading:
Rumsfeld's old flame -- by Jim Vallette in Tom Paine

Here's a quote:
The lesson to be drawn from Bechtel, the Aqaba pipeline and the present conflict is that an "evil dictator" is a friend of the United States when he is ready to do business, and a mortal enemy when he is not. Sadly, it is our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, who must pay the price when a deal goes bad.

Bush butchered those pesky words "Abu Guh-reff" abu-again yesterday, this time in a press conference with the prime minister of Hungary. The transcript doesn't reflect it but Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart made hay with the embarassing video clip, which can be seen here.

Repeat after me: "Ah-Boo ... Guh-Reb." Or something like that.

Clinton penned memoir with company ink

By John Breneman

Bill Clinton writes that his dream of becoming president began during a fortuitous 1963 visit with John F. Kennedy, who told him the job was "great for nailing chicks."

As his biography, "My Life" hits bookstores today, Clinton said he failed to launch a more aggressive effort to capture Osama bin Laden in part because intelligence reports indicated the terrorist kingpin had virtually no access to "high-quality Arabian tail."

The book (subtitled "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am") has already hit #1 on the Humor Gazette bestseller list. It is also #1 at Amazon.com despite protests that publisher Alfred A. Knopf raped an Amazon rainforest to print the hefty 957-page wad of Bill.

The New York Times called the work "skanky, auto-erotic and libido-crushingly dull," lamenting that the memoir contains no mention of Clinton's alleged Lincoln Bedroom gangbangs or his racy "Interns Gone Wild" videos.

I did not bang that pudgy, beret-wearing, DNA-stained-dress-saving ho, Miss Lewinsky.

Though the book is jam-packed with what top reviewers call "boring stuff," its pages are not completely unstained by seminal passages penned from the Great Fornicator's indelible dip into "company ink." Clinton does not defend his handling of the Lewinsky Missile Crisis.

Clinton characterized his antics with the White House intern as "morally indefensible," but "grammatically, linguistically and legally defensible." He claimed he "did not have relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" simply "because he could," and also because a devilish 3-inch-high JFK kept popping up on his shoulder quoting the Marilyn Monroe Doctrine to egg him on.

Clinton confesses that when he told Hillary about the non-affair she clubbed him with a Teflon frying pan. He also makes fresh accusations that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr screwed him on a Whitewater rafting expedition.

But perhaps most telling of all, the former president confides that when making key decisions he always listens more closely to his left nut than his more conservative right.

Related reading:
Maureen Dowd -- Because they could
Journalism.org -- The Cigar
Whitehouse.org - Miss Enron

Fistful of Jelly Beans

By John Breneman

The presidency, The Gipper now reminds us, is performance art.

And so George Bush, badly miscast as leader of the free world, plays President George W. Bush - part action hero, part villain, part Burt Reynolds ham - with a devious twinkle and a trillion-dollar smirk.

It is no secret that to faithfully execute their duties as Infotainers-in-Chief, both men have drawn inspiration from iconic movie strongmen Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

Dutch did Dirty Harry. "Make my day."
Bush does the Duke. "Dead or alive."

You with me, punk?

It's Dutch, the Duke, Josey and George.
And it can get a little confusing.

Did Reagan star in "Hellcats of the Navy" (1957)? Or was it Bush in "Hellcat of the National Guard" (1972)?

Was it Wayne in "Sands of Iwo Jima" or W. in "Sands of Mesopotamia"?
John showed us "How the West Was Won" and the West won the Cold War with Ron.
Clint gripped his "Fistful of Dollars," Ronnie his "Fistful of Jelly Beans."

Mucho cowboy karma links the swaggering Duke to the Tumbleweed Shrub.
Wayne played "The Lucky Texan" in 1934. Bush was born into the same role in 1946.
Duke did "Back to Bataan." Bush, "Back to Baghdad."
Wayne personified "True Grit." Bush personifies "True Git."

Year after year, Wayne rode the white horse in films whose titles now haunt the White House. "Born Reckless" (1930), "Two-Fisted Law" (1932), "Texas Terror" (1935), "The Lawless Nineties" (1936), "They Were Expendable" (1945), "Without Reservations" (1946), "Angel and the Badman" (1947), "Plunder of the Sun" (1953), "Trouble Along the Way" (1953), "The High and the Mighty" (1954), "Blood Alley" (1955), "The Conqueror" (1956), "Circus World" (1964), "Cast a Giant Shadow" (1966) and "Hellfighters" (1968).

You get my meaning, Pilgrim?

Once those tinhorn judges named Bush sheriff he headed East, Eastwood-style, packing a "Fistful of Tax Cuts," trigger finger on his .44 Magnum, itching to bust Saddam Hussein "Every Which Way But Loose." The star of "Sudden Impact" has had more than a subtle impact on the failed Texas oilman turned international enforcer.

Clint's movie titles, too, echo through the Bush filmography. "Revenge of the Creature" (1955), "The Beguiled" (1971), "The Dead Pool" (1988), "White Hunter, Black Heart" (1990), "Absolute Power" (1997), "True Crime" (1999) and "Space Cowboys" (2000).

"The Good, the Bad and the Axis of Evil."

From Knute Rockne to Newt Gingrich, Dutch and W. cross paths along the dusty trail. Rancher Reagan's brand was the Silver Screen, Bush's the Silver Spoon. Ronnie instinctively knew when it was "Bedtime for Bonzo." Not so with Georgie and "Bedtime for Rummy." Reagan ordered Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." The wall Mr. Bush wants demolished separates Church and State.

The Hollywood airbrush could never mask all of Ronald Reagan's warts. But he seemed sincere when he evoked the spirit of his 1943 short film "For God and Country." In President Bush's script those words read more like a soundbite from a spaghetti western.

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Bereaved Bush takes Saddam's gun on three-country rampage

By John Breneman

Cowboy diplomacy. How come when Ronald Reagan did it -- "Make my day," "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down the wall" -- it sounded cool, bold, presidential?

But when George W. Bush swaggers into Clint Eastwood country -- "Bring 'em on," "Dead or alive" -- he sounds like some phony John Wayne wannabe trying to prove he's a tough guy?

President Bush is taking Reagan's death pretty hard. The Humor Gazette is reporting that Bush took his favorite new Saddam Hussein handgun on a three-country rampage over the weekend, firing off shots and yelling "Eeee-haaah!!" before crashing a stolen pickup on some loose soil in Pakistan.

Rush Limbaugh called the president's joyride "a fraternity prank" and said Bush was just blowing off a little steam after a grueling week spent perfecting his pronunciation of the word "sovereignty" for the big day. Sources close to the president's inner actor speculate that he went looking for Osama for a gunfight at the Al Qaeda Corral.

Poor Bush. Even Reagan had a military record. He killed a dozen Japs with one steely glare, and 15 Krauts by sneering "Make my day." Not really. "Eyesight difficulties" limited his duty to in the Army's elite movie-making unit. The Hollywood soldier also served as Cmdr. Casey Abbott, captain of the USS Starfish, in "Hellcats of the Navy" (1957).

Somebody should write a movie for Bush. You know he'd love to do an Eastwood or Wayne flick. Or best of all, a Reagan remake. I'm working on scripts for "Hellcats of the National Guard" and "Bedtime for Rummy." Reagan won fame in "Knute Rockne, All American." Bush played an ex-president's idiot son in "Newt Gingrich, All American."

And so the nation mourns. Here's hoping the Reagan children don't fight too much over who gets Reagan Washington National Airport.

Did Bush's silver spoon cause forked tongue?

By John Breneman

Even if the latest rumor is true, supporters say, President Bush will not be the first Washington politician to speak with a forked tongue. The state of the president's tongue has provoked wild speculation, with critics saying Bush's snake-like appendage proves he has been deceiving the American people.

After insisting that intelligence fall guy George Tenet resigned for "personal reasons" (yeah, that's it), Bush was tight-lipped on the forked tongue issue. When asked directly, he hissed at speculation that his tongue has split down the middle, either from habitual lying or from years of rubbing against the silver spoon that has been lodged in his mouth since birth.    MORE

President nominated for Purple Chin award

By John Breneman

President Bush has been nominated for a Purple Chin award for being injured in the line of duty during his May 22 mountain bike tumble. The commander-in-chief reportedly was thinking about ways to fix his bone-headed war without admitting any mistakes when he hit a loose patch of dirt.

Critics dismissed it as a silly attempt to beef up his pathetic military record, first as a flighty National Guard pilot and now as a bumbling war boss foolish enough to don a flightsuit and pose with a bogus "Mission Accomplished" banner.

Bush, who nearly made the ultimate sacrifice after choking on a pretzel in January 2002, also fell off a hi-tech Segway scooter in June 2003, and dropped his pooch Barney on its head last September.

Media analysts differ on what the president might do for his next zany stunt. One suggested he parachute into a U.S. military compound in Iraq carrying a fake turkey for the troops. Another said he should accidentally shoot himself in the foot at an NRA fundraiser to divert attention from his malfeasant handling of the war.

Critics claim Bush evaded Boy Scout duty

U.S. at risk of attack by giant pterodactyl

By John Breneman     The U.S. has received credible "chatter" that al-Qaida may or may not try to attack the U.S. within the next 12 to 1,200 days, perhaps using a plane, a train, acid rain … or worse, a giant man-eating pterodactyl. Justice Department wacko John Ashcroft said he has obtained documents showing that Osama bin Laden may have manufactured a genetically engineered Super Terror-Dactyl using prehistoric DNA from Nigeria. Ashcroft denied he was making up the pterodactyl alert to distract Americans from President Bush's inept handling of the war and his trouble using words to communicate. He declined to reveal the source of his information but said it definitely was not Ahmad Chalabi.     MORE

Bush pledges Democracy R Us for Iraq

By John Breneman     As the clock tick, tick, ticks toward the June 30 transfer of power to a pseudo-sovereign Iraq, President Bush laid out a five-point plan to boost his bum approval rating. Apart from some creative pronunciation of those pesky words "Abu Ghraib," the embattled CEO of Democracy R Us did not waver from reciting each word that had been written for him. (Good news about Abu, Bush aims to demolish the notorious torture house and Halliburton has stepped up to do the job for just $1.2 billion.)

Iraq's conversion to a Halliburton-based economy will be aided by a transitional Iraqi government comprised of guys who don't mind having a terrorist bull's eye painted on their headgear. National elections will come soon enough. But first it is vital to teach Iraqi politicians how to divert millions into their campaign war-chests and slime their opponents with negative ads. Presidential candidates will also need seminars on how to exploit family connections and use the Supreme Court to seize power.    MORE

Rummy's damage control gift pack

Study shows alcohol
effective against sobriety

Presidential punching bag

By John Breneman

Ever feel like you wanna pop George Bush right in the kisser? Smack that smirk off his face? Slug that smug mug?

You’d never do it for real, of course, but wouldn’t it relieve a world of tension to give President 43 the old 1-2? Land a hard left for his right-wing lunacy?

Well, now you can. At www.bushbops.com. The bell rings and the crowd goes wild. Your mouse becomes a fist and every punch connects. You rock him, sock him with Bush-whacking sound effects.

In this corner … from Crawford, Texas … weighing in at 6-0 190 pounds … wearing a black suit and a Shiite-eating grin … GEORGE! … W! …BUSH!!!

And in this corner … from Main Street, USA … mad as hell at this numbskull and not gonna take it anymore … YOU!

It’s wholesome, harmless fun. Take a couple shots. Biff! Pow! Give him an uppercut for letting us down. Then click-click your mouse/fist for a barrage of blows, as you pound his piehole, his thorax and malignant fib-nose.

A lot of people want to “Beat Bush” these days, some of them literally. So if you really want to get physical you can order the presidential punching bag for $24.95 and hammer the bum below the belt like his henchmen have done to John “Coulda Been a Contender” Kerry.

But wait, there’s more! You can dope slap this dope for bungling us into war. Whack him for whacking taxes on the rich. Smack him for being an evasive, unethical sonofabitch.

Bush hid from the fighting in Vietnam, but he can’t duck you. Hit him with a haymaker for being a WMD wiseacre. Give him an ugly shiner to match the one America now has in the eyes of the world.

No boxing experience necessary. Bring him on!

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