Defying Conventions

by Paul Krassner

My name is Rumpleforeskin, and I approve this message. I defy conventions for a living, and last week I defied the Democrats' convention. Here are some highlights:

    Teresa Heinz Kerry began by saying, "Onjay and I avehay iftyfay-eight ositionspay." She paused in her speech several times to walk out into the audience and pull delegates' thumbs out of their mouths.

    A 12-year-old girl, who was outsourced from Bombay, representing Kids For Curry, stated, "When the vice president publicly said the F-word to a senator, I realized that's why we have the First Amendment in this great nation."

In the press tent, a fistfight broke out between Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel over whether the word "media" was singular or plural. "Is too," Brokaw shouted. "Are not," intoned Koppel. Fox network presented a montage of Al Sharpton saying "Slap my donkey" over and over. And CNN experts critiqued Dennis Kuchinich while he was speaking but with the sound turned off.

A scandal developed when it was revealed that Elizabeth Edwards inisisted on being paid $100,000 in cash as a reward for product placement if she would mention Wendy's fast-food chain in the context of family values.

John Edwards displayed signs of Tourette's Syndrome as he frequently interrupted his own speech with uncontrollable outbursts: "Bush!" "Cheney!" "Ashcroft!" He seemed to waiting for someone named Hope to arrive, but she was delayed somewhere in Boston gridlock. Edwards kept reassuring the crowd, and explained that if Hope never arrived, then for the 2008 convention, he would be sure to invite Help to be on the way.

A psychic was on hand to predict how many manipulative applause lines each speaker would indulge in. As for entertainment, Michael Moore sang a reggae version of "Won't Get Fooled Again," followed by a trio--Whoopi Goldberg, Linda Ronstadt and Ann Coulter--who performed a stunning rendition of "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

In the streets, a sequel to the infamous Stanford experiments was taking place in a makeshift concentration camp. About a dozen protesters played the part of prisoners being tested by actual guards to determine the precise point at which abuse becomes torture. This study concluded that such a determination is totally subjective, depending on whether you are a prisoner or a guard.

The real heroes of this convention were those plain folks from across the country--walking back and forth behind TV correspondents reporting from the convention floor--smiling at the cameras and saying into their cell phones, "Can you see me now? God bless America. Can you see me now?"

Oh, yes, John Kerry's speech was brief and to the point: "I have decided to decline your generous nomination," he roared above a standing ovation, "because I want to spend more time with my family."

  Backstage, Teresa was absolutely furious.

  "Oveshay it!" she shouted at Kerry. "Oveshay it!"

* * *

Here's the Rumpleforeskin Report, dropping the other convention show--oops, I mean shoe--with some highlights of the Republicans' turn at producing the traditional campaign infomercial extravaganza.

The tag-team mud-wrestling match between the Kerry sisters and the Bush twins was a sure way to attract the much coveted youth vote.

The Swift Boat race along the Hudson River provided a breath of fresh air that sounded more like listening to Nixon speak.

When John McCain referred to a "disingenuous filmmaker," Quentin Tarantino stood up and took a bow in his own living room.

Alan Keyes castrated himself in order to prevent "selfish hedonism."

Tim Russett, host of NBC's Meet the Press, revealed that he is actually the missing Quaid brother.

    As demonstrators chanted--"No more Bush! No more Bush!"--Whoopi Goldberg thought it was a shout-out for the Bikini waxing special interest group.

Every time that the marching protesters yelled out,"Whose streets?" there was a chorus of New York City police responding, "Our streets!"

This event also served as the political equivalent of American Idol, where presidential wannabes such as Rudy Guliani, John McCain, George Pataki and Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioned as future candidates.

Schwarzenegger goosed Laura Bush, then she tried to grab his balls in retaliation, but she couldn't find them due to his heavy use of steroids.

Guliani presented Dick Cheney with a congratulatory microwave oven.

While talking about the state of the American economy, Cheney suddenly broke into a popular country song, "Take This Job and Go Fuck Yourself."

But the biggest surprise during those four days was the introduction of George W. Bush by Osama bin Laden himself, wearing an orange jump suit, handcuffed behind his back and feet shackled to each other. The audience alternated between cheering and booing the bedraggled figure for a full eight minutes. Bin Laden's capture had been a superbly kept secret for five suspenseful weeks.

"Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking," he began, "I am honored to launch the re-election of your President Bush. That may seem strange to you, so let me assure you that my presence at Madison Square Garden has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of plea bargain. First of all, I happen to agree with the message of this convention that the world is a better place without that inhumane infidel, Saddam Hussein. Moreover, I very much appreciated the $43 million that your government gave to the Taliban four months before September 11, 2001. Certainly, I wish to express my eternal gratitude to Allah for providing the best possible recruiter for al Qaeda, and I am speaking here of Mr. Bush...."

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings to walk out onto the specially built circular stage, Bush was plucking the petals of a daisy and muttering, "...gonna win...not gonna win...gonna win..."

© 2004 - Paul Krassner

Paul Krassner is the author of Murder At the Conspiracy Convention and Other American Absurdities. George Carlin's introduction can be read at

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