Happy Mother's Day,
thanks for the cool DNA

Hi Mom. I just wanted to say, um, Happy Mother's Day. And thank you ... for literally everything.

Like for that time back in '61 when you went to the hospital and it was really painful, but you hung in there, and then when you came home, you were holding me in your arms. Or all those times when I made Winnie-the-Pooh and you got me cleaned up, good as new.

Have I ever mentioned that I am eternally grateful for the approximately 12 tons of food you have given me over the years, even, in retrospect, the 9 kilograms of lima beans. (I only ate two kilos though, the other seven are hidden in a crawl space in our old house in Pennsylvania.)

And thank you for the nice DNA. I really am enjoying it and promise never to monkey around with cloning or tissue regeneration.

Oh and while I think of it, thanks for the name. I know it must have hurt your feelings when I was about 8 and announced that I didn't really like the name John. I had decided there just were too many of us at school, and so could you please just call me Catfish from now on? Talk about humoring a kid. I'll never forget my birthday cake that year. Eight candles and "Happy Birthday, Catfish" in sweet cursive frosting. Now that I'm older and … older, I also feel I should thank you for putting up with my (inherited?) eccentricities, even when I refer to myself by my favorite pseudonym. You know the one: Arturo Dimanche.

This is a family online newspaper, but I guess it's OK to mention that my rump still thanks you for your philosophical opposition to corporal punishment. (P.S. Thanks, too, for firing that mean baby sitter who spanked me with my Hot Wheels track.)

And may I please express my enduring gratitude for teaching me to be polite. I don't know what you did, but I get a huge kick out of being extra polite to people. Thank you, my dear mother, for this and so many other simple gifts.

Thank you also for these things:

-- For the way you took care of everything, all the while letting Dad think he was really calling the shots.

-- For that time when I lied to you, remember? About my involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal. And you said, "Hmmm, is that what really happened?" And of course I broke down and told the truth, learning from you that it was better to be honest than to go on trying to protect President Reagan and Oliver North.

-- For stopping me from wearing those blue pants with the extra-hideous stripe embroidered down each leg to school for the fourth straight day back in '72.

-- For not panicking when I got Ds in penmanship from Mr. Mariner in the fifth grade because you knew that what I wrote was much more important than how it looked on a piece of paper, and that it was essential to encourage and nurture an active imagination in your children.

-- For that time when I stubbed my big toe on a deranged armadillo when we went to the zoo in Afghanistan (OK, it was in the pool during a vacation in Maine) and you stopped the very rotation of the Earth so it wouldn't throb quite so much.

-- For that time when I was about 5 or 6 and I put on your boots and went in the hall closet... On second thought, never mind about that time.

-- For getting me all those great shirts and, really, for knowing me better than I know myself.

My appreciation and love for you cannot be overstated, even under the intense pressures of satire. But most of all, thank you so much Mom for your joyful, tender, protective, fearless, empowering, unconditional and life-giving love.


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New poll finds Jacko is wacko

Michael Jackson spent much of the week tweaking his legal team, his entourage and of course his appearance. The embattled pop star said his new "Extreme Patriotic Makeover" is intended to show solidarity with "my fans fighting in the bad and dangerous war."

Jackson, who pleaded not guilty Friday to 10 counts of "Beat It" with a minor, dumped his attorneys saying he felt more comfortable being represented by "someone with long silky white hair." In other legal developments, Jackson insisted he could not be tried as an adult because he is actually a cosmetically altered, anatomically disturbed little Caucasian boy at heart. He also sought legal advice from Robert Blake and fired five aestheticians from his nose maintenance team.

The famed singer hired a ringmaster to preside over the media circus that follows him everywhere, whether he's moonwalking on a monster Hummer outside the courthouse or juggling Spiderman babies on a hotel balcony. Phineas T. Elephant-Bone is a veteran ringmaster whose clients have included Robert Downey Jr., Pamela Anderson and Tinky Winky.

Jackson also overhauled his entourage after seeking entourage advice from MC Hammer. He dumped the Nation of Islam and renounced his Muslin name (Jiggy al-Jacko) then briefly dabbled in Buddhism before turning Catholic to fully embrace his love of "Jesus juice."

Jackson admitted several family members back into his posse on a probationary basis. Also back in the fold are Macauley Culkin, Emmanuel Lewis and Pee-Wee Herman. Newcomers include Yao-Ming, Mini-Me and an unidentified chimp wearing a Gucci diaper.

Jackson reportedly has been spotted sipping hot chocolate with Diana Ross. Elizabeth Taylor is said to be mulling a photo-op. Gary Coleman is now handling security.

In a recent Humor Gazette poll, 82% of black respondents said Jackson is white and 18% of white respondents said he is black. Public opinion is split over whether Jackson is a sick child molester. But 93% "strongly agree" with the statement: "Something is terribly wrong with the crotch-grabbing former African American known as Michael Jackson, moonwalking that fine line between artistic genius and perverse insanity. Poor Jacko is wacko."

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Jackson denies plastic surgery escape scheme
People magazine's "50 Most Insignificant People"
Parade magazine's "What People Earn"

President to appoint Iraq czar

With the June 30 deadline for his make-believe transfer of power looming, President Bush today announced he will appoint an "Iraq czar" to help find a taker for that smoking terror-pit of a country.

In an unrelated move, Halliburton has announced the creation of a tax-exempt "sovereign entity" division.    MORE

Environmental retard

By John Breneman

President Bush marked Earth Day by announcing a new environmental initiative with his pal Prince Bandar. Under the plan, Bandar will whack a few pennies from the price of crude if Bush promises to clean up any messes involving the Saudi royal family.

Meanwhile, John Kerry charged that Bush's war on the environment will launch 21 tons more pollution into the atmosphere, trigger millions of asthma attacks and help cause up to 100,000 premature deaths. Kerry said Bush gutted the nation's environmental laws with his own bare hands, raped virgin wetlands and defecated on decades of progress made since the first Earth Day in 1970.

The president, who bombed as an oil company executive, defended his petroleum-based ecological record during an ecosystem-op at a Maine nature preserve. Bush, who at one point seemed to confuse the terms "E. Coli" and "e-cology," made a fake promise to restore and protect 3 million acres of wetlands then relaxed by burning up the waters off Kennebunkport in his dad's cigarette boat.

Asked about the threat of mercury, Bush said his intelligence shows Mercury is not a threat because it has no weapons of mass destruction. He added that if he thought it would buy him a couple thousand votes, he'd pledge to put a man on Mercury by 2006.

Bush explained that environmental protection plays a key role in our economic and political system. By whining for laws regulating pollution, environmentalists spur a multibillion-dollar industry funded by energy lobbyists funneling cash to politicians who will keep the world safe for Arctic degradation.

Critics claim the president, an "environmental retard" who has let corporate super-polluters rewrite the nation's environmental laws, is drooling to drill up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But Bush countered that opponents of unrestrained drilling are not very patriotic. "We must always take clean air and water for granted," the president concluded, "and stay the course against environmental extremists who threaten our oil supply."

Earth Day 2002: Bush declares War on Environment

President tells nation, 'I'm sure something
will pop into my head'

By John Breneman

Make no mistake. Gathering threat. Must not waver. Stay the course.

His Tuesday night press conference was going along just fine. The president had successfully ducked one question about whether he'd made any "errors in judgment" and dodged another about "personal responsibility for September 11th."

He in-your-faced the nation by playing the dunce, twice, when asked clearly and directly why he and the vice president insist on appearing before the 9/11 Commission together instead of individually.

George W. Bush had wisely chosen to field questions from the East Room of the White House instead of from the deck of an aircraft carrier in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. And when Uncle Dick picked out the evening's attire, the famous military flightsuit was tucked deep in the White House play closet.

President Bush did not waver from his message while he stayed the course. There was no talk of outsourcing the fighting to India if the violence does not abate.

He even answered a question on the minds of many. "Mr. President, who will we be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?"

BUSH (actual words): "We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over."

See, Brahimi is on it. He's gonna let us know. No truth to the rumor Cheney plans to sell the strife-torn nation to Halliburton for an undisclosed sum and some quid pro quo to be named later.

Once the entity is identified and order restored it will be safe to implement the president's time-tested economic development strategy -- distribute generous tax breaks to the rich and open the region to exploitation by corporate friends with addresses in the Bahamas.

Some of the questions were kind of tough but stuff kept coming out of his mouth. "Now is the time and Iraq is the place." And the smirk stayed tucked away, at least until it leaked out when he said the oil revenue stream there is "pretty darn significant."

But trouble loomed ahead, a grave and gathering question. Mr. President: "After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be … and what lessons have learned from it?"

BUSH (actual words): "I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could've done it better this way or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet. …"

"I hope -- I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."

And don't get him started on those weapons of mass destruction. "They could still be there. They could be hidden, like the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm," some of Col. Gadhafi's leftovers found in Libya.

Stay the course. Hypothetical linguistic analysis reveals that President Bush favors the word "course" because it subconsciously reminds him of country club living and shooting golf with his dad and that he favors the term "stay the course" because it's stuck in his head from hearing Dana Carvey poke fun at his pop.

"Stay the course" means never having to say you're sorry, never having to answer any question you don't want to.

Stay the course, and you'll probably find those weapons after all. You may even get that parade for the American liberators you promised yourself way back when.

Make no mistake. Gathering threat. Dangerous man. Stay the course?

A comic bomb:
Bush slays 'em with WMD gag

By John Breneman

With a comic touch as deft as a Baghdad bombing raid, President Bush reduced the side-splitting Iraq weapons of mass destruction fiasco to a punchline.

The Commander-in-Cheek laughed off the world's concern about non-existent WMDs at the 60th annual Radio & Television Correspondents' Association dinner Wednesday night.

War on Iraq
U.S. death toll: hundreds
Cost: untold billions
Bush's standup routine: priceless.

Too bad the families of soldiers killed in Iraq don't get the joke.

If you missed it, President Bush was showing funny pictures and cracking jokes about them when up popped a photo of him looking under a desk. "Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere," quipped the White House wagster. "Nope, no weapons over there … Maybe under here."

The bit unwittingly lampooned Bush's cluelessness that his phony weapons bluster for a war that has now claimed hundreds of U.S. lives might not be the best fodder for cornball humor from a leader regarded in much of the world as a malevolent moron.

Sources say Bush is planning followup jokes about some of his other wacky stunts, like tagging the U.S. Constitution with anti-gay grafitti, giving phony $4 billion cost estimates for the $5.5 billion Medicare bill and sporting a flightsuit for his side-splitting "Mission Accomplished" caper.

"Sheer comic genius," raved the respected comedian Carrot Top, who is helping the president build an arsenal of one-liners and witticisms of mass destruction.

John Kerry, after consulting with political humorist Al Franken, issued a statement calling Bush "a big fat idiot."

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Grain Expectations

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