Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Part of the Debate You Didn't Hear

[NOTE: As most of my well-informed readers know, I'm running for President of the United States. Since I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I don't get much of a chance to air my views publicly, particularly in an adversarial format, me against the press. But the good people at ABC were kind enough to sandwich me into the Democratic debate last Wednesday night. Unfortunately, because of a 5-second time-lag rule, every single thing I said was snipped from the final product. In fact, my entire presence was erased, as if I'd never been there. Fortunately, I managed to retrieve this transcript.]

Gibson: We're going to begin with opening statements.
THE EXTERMINATOR: Hi, America. Vote for me, the Exterminator. Remember: A vote for the Exterminator is a vote for me. And vice versa. Ask yourself: What would I be doing here if I didn’t want you to vote for me? And just compare my qualifications to the others'. I mean: I combine the doddering old age of McCain, the inexperience of Obama, and the sheer obnoxiousness of Clinton. What more could you ask? That’s it, Charlie.

Gibson: Thank you. Let me start with this question. You never wear an American flag pin. How come?
THE EXTERMINATOR: I don’t care for jewelry; I never use it. Not a watch, not a tie tack, not a rhinestone necklace. Nothing. In fact, if I put on a shirt that needs cufflinks, I just roll up the sleeves. Don’t get me wrong: I think every American has the right to wear jewelry, as long as he or she can afford it and it’s not shaped like a cat. But I don’t go for it. Aside from a few coins, the only thing metallic I ever have on my person is a Swiss Army Knife. I carry that, of course, because of my deep and abiding love and respect for Switzerland, which — for those viewers who don’t know — is a small country in Europe, and not to be confused with Sweden. Also, the corkscrew comes in handy if I find myself stranded somewhere with an expensive bottle of wine and no way to open it.

Stephanopoulos: May I follow that up ...
THE EXTERMINATOR: Could you pronounce your name again for me? I keep forgetting it.

Stephanopoulous: I’m not sure I can say that on television.
THE EXTERMINATOR: OK. Fair enough. May I call you Charlie?

Stephanopoulos: I’m George.
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, it makes it easier for me if I call you both Charlie. Don’t get me wrong: I think every American has the right to be called George. But to tell you the truth, I’ve got so much on my mind these days, what with my health care plan, and my energy plan, and my education plan, and my plan to plan even more plans, that I sometimes forget people’s names. It’s a bitch running for president, did you know that?

Stephanopoulos: OK, call me Charlie.
THE EXTERMINATOR: Thanks, Charlie.

Stephanopoulos: Now, in following up the last question, I’d like to ask: You’ve been photographed not saluting the flag. How come?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, Charlie, there are literally thousands of photographs of me not saluting the flag. That might be because I avoid sporting events and public occasions for military propaganda. I’m just not often at a place where it’s appropriate to salute the flag. If somebody passes a law that you have to say the Pledge of Allegiance before entering a Starbucks or a Barnes and Noble, you’d probably be able to get a few of candids of me saluting.

Gibson: I’ve got a follow up to that. Don’t you love the flag?
THE EXTERMINATOR: To tell you the truth, Charlie, I don’t care for it. Too much blue and red, and it’s soooo busy. I’d like to see a dash of purple or orange somewhere, maybe even a daub of green or a nice yellow smiley face. And what’s with the stripes and the stars? I have nothing against stripes and stars, but I don’t necessarily believe in them. Now, if you want to make a flag I’d be proud of, how about a picture of the First Amendment? I’d love that. Or you know what would be cool? A scene from The Magnificent Seven. That was a great film, don’t you think? And we could all hum its theme instead of singing that terrible national anthem. I mean, talk about stirring!

Stephanopoulos: What about your middle name? Is it really Hussein?
THE EXTERMINATOR: No, Charlie, that’s not true. My middle name does start with an H., the same as Jesus’s. But it actually stands for Henrietta. By the way, may I call you both Hussein instead of Charlie?

Stephanopoulos: I’d rather you didn’t.
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, I won’t if you won’t.

Gibson: Now, your religious leader has recently said some pretty terrible things. Are you ...
THE EXTERMINATOR: Wait a minute, Charlie. Wait a minute. I don’t have a religious leader.

Gibson: Christopher Hitchens isn’t your religious leader?
THE EXTERMINATOR: To tell you the truth, Charlie, I don’t even know the guy.

Gibson: You mean it isn’t true that he helped lead you to atheism when you left college, and that later he married you and your wife, and that you go to his lectures all the time and take copious notes so you can memorize his words and quote him verbatim, and that you wear an invisible earpiece through which he tells you everything to say, and that you have a large blow-up picture of him in your living-room that you pray to, and that you used to travel together from city to city doing yoyo tricks and passing the hat, and that you’re actually Siamese twins separated at birth?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, Charlie, you caught me in a little fib on that one.

Stephanopoulos: What about when you said that only idiots like guns, gods, and xenophobia?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Wow, Charlie, that’s the second one you caught me on. I did say that, but I didn’t really mean it. I really meant to say that guns, god, and xenophobia are terrific; they’re what this country was built on. Let me explain, what I meant. Don’t get me wrong: I think every American is guaranteed the right, through the Second Amendment, to own his or her very own musket. I’m not convinced we have the right to actually use one, however. And I also think every American has the right to pray to whatever god he or she wishes, as long as it’s not shaped like a cat. Also, we have the right to hate whomever we want, but we don’t necessarily have the right to contradict the poem on the Statue of Liberty. These are subtle points of Constitutional Law, however, and I know the TV audience is waiting eagerly to see if I stick my finger in my nose when I don’t think anyone’s looking. Which, by the way, I don’t.

Gibson: Isn’t it true that you lied about facing sniper fire in Bosnia?
THE EXTERMINATOR: I think you have me mixed up with someone else. I never lied about facing sniper fire.

Gibson: So you did face sniper fire in Bosnia?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Look, Charlie, don’t get me wrong. I love Bosnia, although I must admit that the knives you get there don’t have thirty-two blades. They’re perfectly OK for stabbing your neighbor if he or she comes from a different ethnic group, but they lack a Phillips Head screwdriver. The truth of the matter is, Charlie: I’ve never been to Bosnia, although I can find it on a map. It’s somewhere on the other side of the Alps from Switzerland.

Stephanopoulos: Well, where have you been under sniper fire?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Actually nowhere, Charlie, although when I was younger I did go to New Jersey once in a while. Believe it or not, that’s a pretty dangerous place, maybe even tougher than Bosnia. As anyone can tell you, the Garden State is no picnic. Don’t get me wrong: I love the people in New Jersey. I just wish they lived somewhere else.

Gibson: Mr. Exterminator, you and a man who once said he’d like to bomb the entire world have both been known to order a 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. Can you explain your relationship?
THE EXTERMINATOR: I don’t know who that guy is, so I guess he’s not someone with whom I exchange ideas.

Gibson: Are you standing there and telling the American people that you don’t know anyone who has ever ordered a 6-piece Chicken McNuggets?
THE EXTERMINATOR: I do have a next-door neighbor who once ordered a 6-piece Chicken McNuggets. And there’s a guy a few houses down who once said he’d like to bomb the entire world. But I have not exchanged ideas with either of them.

Gibson: You’ve never exchanged any ideas with either one of them?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, I may have once had a discussion about dipping sauce. As I remember it, my neighbor likes creamy ranch and I like the barbecue sauce. But the bomb guy convinced us to go with the explosively hot mustard. Don’t get me wrong: I think every American has the right to get whatever dipping sauce he or she wants as long as it doesn’t blow up any buildings.

Stephanopoulos: Well, quickly, because we’re running out of time for this segment. You said that you believe in using former presidents. How would you use George W. Bush if you were president?
THE EXTERMINATOR: Well, Charlie, I would have him put on his old cheerleader suit and go to Iraq with an American flag lapel pin, a musket, and a bible. If that doesn’t win the war for us, I don’t know what will.

Gibson: Thank you, Mr. Exterminator. You’re done.
THE EXTERMINATOR: Hey, what about my health care plan? What about my energy plan? What about my education plan? What about ...

Stephanopoulos: Get your finger out of your nose and stop whining.

Gibson: And now a word for all of you who are trying to decide this really important question: What’s America’s softest toilet tissue?


Anonymous said...

Excellent. I love your idea for a post-Bush Bush.

And what, pray tell, do you have against cats (and cat gods (and cat jevelry (and cat snipers (and cat McNuggets))))?

The Exterminator said...

I'll be revealing my complete cat plan when I outline my parentheses-saving initiative.

Anonymous said...

Dammit. First people want to save me. Now they want to save my parentheses. What is about me ((((((((and my parentheses)))))))) that make people want to try to save me?

Anonymous said...

(((Billy))) - surely you are aware that there is a strict limitation on the number of parentheses available for online publication. If you overrun the limit, you will have to start using [[[square brackets]]]. When you run out of [[[square brackets]]] you will have to use {{{curlicue brackets}}}. Under current law, if you run out of {{{curlicue brackets}}} you will be prohibited from using all forms of brackets for a minimum of one year.

Luckily for you, as the Exterminator's running mate, I have been busy concocting, umm, I mean developing, a plan to expand exponentially the number of parentheses and brackets that will be available for online usage: at the end of each month, we'll appropriate any parentheses and brackets that the print industry has not used and re-allocate them to the Internet. It's sort of like cell phone rollover minutes. Surely, this plan alone will assure the Exterminator/Chaplain ticket of your vote!

Anonymous said...

I think you handled yourself pretty well at that debate. It's really a fucking shame that the producers edited out your segment. It's yet another obvious example of bias against third-party and outside candidates.

I guess I'd better start preparing for the inevitable vice-presidential candidates' debate.

The Exterminator said...

I guess I'd better start preparing for the inevitable vice-presidential candidates' debate.

Yes, I'm sending you a book of tips from Dan Quayle, Joe Lieberman, and James Stockdale. What you'll need to do is memorize the book, and do just the opposite of whatever they suggest.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

How 'bout the chick (I almost said black chick) who ran with Pat Buchanan? She was superb, no?

Anonymous said...

While you handled the Charlies very well, and contributed a depth and breadth of knowledge in your discussion of the issues, something missing from the moderators and the other candidates, your repeated and insulting cat-bashing leaves me no choice but to vote for myself.

Anonymous said...

Chappie: Are you accusing me (the one known as (((Billy))) (though I have a few other handles areound here (some bestowed upon me by my fellow bloggers))) of using more than my fair share (although how one determines what one's fair share is, I don't know (perhaps we need a blue ribbon commission to figure it out)) of parentheses? The way I figure it, most bloggers use parentheses at a rate of less than one per post (this through an exhaustive process of attempting to remember whether or not I saw them in anyone elses posts (or comments)) so, even my elevated use of parentheses does not move the average to more than one set per post and/or comment (yes, I know that this thread is way above average, but I didn't even comment on Hilly Get Your Gun, so it evens out). Just because the rest of ya'll are slackers (and I mean that in the nice way) and don't use your share, well, if your not using them, they're mine. Mine. All mine, do you hear?

Sorry. Got carried away.

Anonymous said...

The offer of extra parentheses alone would secure my vote, but unfortunately I'm British and therefore have no say in who leads your country (or mine, for that matter (not that I'm bitter or anything...)). Would either of you consider running for Queen? Ours must be on the way out by now (she's been hanging on for ages out of pure spite towards her crazy hippie son), so the position should be vacant in a couple of years. Tax exemption and you get to be head of a whole religion! You must be tempted...

Unknown said...

What do you have against cat pins? My grandmother gave me this lovely black cat pin with rhinestones on it. The cat is sitting in a very cat-like pose. For those of you who have never owned a cat that means the cat is staring at you thinking "go fuck yourself." It's like an heirloom to me. And it's positively grand.

And if you won't allow cat pins, well, I can't in good conscience give you my vote. I think I'm going to have to start a third party for cat pins.

PhillyChief said...

I've never felt comfortable wearing jewelry either.

The Exterminator said...

How 'bout the chick (I almost said black chick) who ran with Pat Buchanan?
You're talking about Ezola Broussard Foster. Here are two of my favorite quotes of hers, lifted from Wikipedia:
1. God brought African slaves to America so that their descendants would know freedom.
2. Our people were better off under the bondage of slavery than the Marxist 'Great Society' of Johnson.

... your repeated and insulting cat-bashing leaves me no choice but to vote for myself.
I have nothing against cats. Just cat pins and cat gods. I'm also not crazy about cat cuteness, in general. I've cohabited with dozens of cats, and they've all gotten insulted if I called them cute.

Ask not what your parentheses can do for you, but what you can do for your (and my (or anyone's for that matter (except (of course) people who don't know how to nest them correctly))) parentheses.

Would either of you consider running for Queen?
Would I have to carry a prissy little handbag?

You may wear a cat pin if it's shaped like a flag.

I've never felt comfortable wearing jewelry either.
Well, let's hope Obama can strike a blow for us non-jewelry types. By the way: I've never known an artist who wears jewelry while working. Of course, if you produce your art on the computer, there's nothing messy involved; your rings and bracelets are relatively safe. Still, I suppose jewelry-phobia is a vestigial trait, left over from studio classes in college.

PhillyChief said...

Actually I object more to people cooking with jewelry on. What the fuck are they thinking?

The Exterminator said...

Well, that gives me a new take on both onion rings and diced karats.

Babs Gladhand said...

Ex - Bad pun. Bad, bad pun. I'm with OG. I like cat pins. So, OG, if you start your third party, I'm on your side.

Sorry, Ex, but cat pins are extremely important to me. Extremely.

Anonymous said...

I have a number of cat pins, as well as assorted cat charms. I am going to have to vote for Ordinary Girl if you're adamant on this point.

The Exterminator said...

Man, those lapel pins'll kill you.

Obama takes it on the chin because of his stance on a flag pin, and I'm losing my whole constituency because I choose not to wear a cat.

Would it make anyone feel better if I established an Office of Purr-Based Initiatives? How about if I started an official War on Terriers? I'd even be willing to appoint my kitty as the Pug Tsar.

PhillyChief said...

You would lose the vote of us anti-felinists. If we have to suffer a kitty pin, then we demand you wear a puppy pin. The bird and hamster groups may also have some jewelry suggestions for you.

Any office established to give any specific animal preferenced group an edge in securing federal funds will also be met with opposition there, pal.

The Exterminator said...

Yes, Philly's right. I forgot about the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of pets ..."

Americans are free to have any pets they want -- or no pets at all. So I'm removing all animal conversation from my campaign. I think that one's attitude toward pets is a private matter. Contrary to what erroneous history you may have been taught in school, The United States is not a Feline Country. That's why I hereby scratch myself from the Com-purr-sion Forum.

Unknown said...

Ex, I'm ecstatic about your new stance on pets. I only raised an objection because I think everyone has a right to wear a cat pin if he or she chooses, not because I wanted you to wear a cat pin or any pin, for that matter. Although, I do think a robin pin might look attractive on you if it was tastefully done.

So I formally withdraw myself from the race. But I'll be watching you, just in case you step over the pet privacy line again.