August 9, 2000

Finally, a Candidate Who
Admits to Getting Baked

By Roy Rivenburg

Presidential Snack Bureau: What an amazing election season this has become. Al Gore is campaigning with the nation's first Jewish vice presidential hopeful. Barbie is seeking the White House as a Caucasian, Hispanic or African-American (but still no Asian or openly gay presidential Barbies). Gumby is the first green candidate for commander-in-chief. And, in the biggest breakthrough, George W. Bush has nominated the first balding white oilman for veep.

Now, another barrier has fallen. The Pepperidge Farm Goldfish has announced his candidacy for the Oval Office (www.vote4goldfish.com).

Barnstorming the nation in a gold stretch limousine, the cheese-flavored cracker is promising to lower the voting age to 8, make every kid's birthday a national holiday and replace Mondays with a second Saturday.

According to his campaign literature, Goldfish, 38, is a uniter, not a divider: "The candidate belongs to neither the Republican or Democratic parties. As a snack food, he's perfect for ALL parties."

But he faces an upstream battle. Critics say the Goldfish's style is too confrontational (in 1998, he sued Nabisco's CatDog animal cracker for trademark infringement), which could make it difficult for him to work with Congress and other food groups.

The snack mascot also faces scrutiny over his environmental record, particularly in connection with Pepperidge Farm's decision to shrink some of its Goldfish crackers. According to one Internet site www.sit.wisc.edu/~aihoward/goldfish.html, Pepperidge Farm is "engaged in the premature harvest of Goldfish tiny crackers in the wild, which could spell disaster for the wild Goldfish cracker population and, indeed, the entire ecosystem."

Weird Polls Bureau: One in four dot-com CEOs said they would try cannibalism if stranded on a desert island, versus a mere 6 percent of brick-and-mortar honchos, according to a survey by Jericho Communications. The most popular menu items among the CEOs included Ralph Nader, Janet Reno and Dom DeLuise.

In other polling news, a survey by Progressive Auto Insurance found that 40 percent of Americans are willing to spend at least two hours shopping for discount underwear, even though it would be much easier to impersonate singer Tom Jones, who gets enough bras and knickers thrown at him during concerts to fill three boxes per show, according to a new biography. (Jones donates the underwear to Oxfam, which recycles it into children's clothing.)

Last but not least, a survey by the "World Almanac for Kids" ranked Bill Clinton as the most important person in the world, followed by Pope John Paul II, "my mom," "my dad" and Microsoft CEO/cannibal Bill Gates. Further down the list, God placed 19th, just behind "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and Rosie O'Donnell.

Alarming Trends Bureau: Potato chip icon Mr. Pringle is being brought to life in a new advertising campaign that "features him as the lead singer of popular songs that provide the soundtrack to good times." Hmm. Sounds like a ploy for free underwear.

Celebrity Birthday Corner: Woodsy Owl, the cartoon bird who coined the slogan "Give a hoot, don't pollute," turned 29 on Aug. 8. Hulk Hogan, Jerry Falwell and Claus von Bulow all celebrate birthdays on Aug. 11, which was once proclaimed "Cheech and Chong Day" in San Antonio, Texas.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: "Duck of Death Claims Eight Victims in China!" (Weekly World News)

WWN says the "hideous vampire fowl" flies at night, feasting on the blood of unsuspecting villagers. Meanwhile, in Italy, another tragedy unfolds: "Father of Four Killed by Butterfly!"

Unpaid Informants: Unpaid Informants: Chicago Sun-Times, Wireless Flash News Service, Internetwire.com, "Tom Jones: Close Up," Baird Jones.

Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by Creators Syndicate