You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Applying for the Obamastration

Well, as it turns out, the Obama application questions I posted the other day were a bit off.* As it turns out, the application is much worse. Nonetheless, I decided that a federal government gig might be better than my current day job, as it would be almost impossible to fire me in government work. So, I've filled out the application and my responses are below.

It's a long application. Very, very, very long.** So, here's Parts I and II. If I get the chance, I'll post the rest.

I. Professional Background

(1) Please furnish copies of all resumes and biographical statements issued by you or any other entity at your discretion or with your consent within the past ten years.

Well, there's the Blog of the Day award from a few years back, and my National Novel Writing Month award. Other than that, an amateur football (soccer) medal, the one hate mail, and the general disinterest of the blog award in this enterprise, that's about it. Well, that and the Emmy, but everyone's got one of those.***

(2) If you are a member of any licensed profession or occupation, please specify the following: the present status of each license; whether any such licensehas ever been withdrawn, suspended, or revoked; whether any disciplinary action of any kind has ever been taken in connection with your license. Please also list any applications for professional licenses or certifications that may have been denied, and the reasons for denial.

Damn, that's a long question.

(3) Please provide the names of all corporations, firms, partnerships, trusts, or other business enterprises, and all non-profit organizations and other such institutions with which you are now, or during the past ten years have been, affiliated with as an advisor, attorney or consultant.

Triple Bypass Surgery Productions and Waste of Time Productions. That covers both business and non-profit, at the same time, unfortunately.

(4) Please chronologically list activities, other than those listed on your resume or biography, from which you have derived earned income (e.g., self-employment, consulting activities, writing, speaking, royalties and honoraria) for the past ten years.

I left this one blank.

(5) Have you or your spouse ever registered as a lobbyist or other legislative agent to influence federal or state legislation or administrative acts? Have you or your spouse ever received payment for acting as a lobbyist or legislative agent? If so, please supply details.

I once called my local congressman and demanded that the local chicken plant start scenting the rendering product. I wasn't paid, unless the sound of derisive laughter is legal tender.

(6) If you or your spouse have performed any work for, received any payments from and/or made payments to any foreign government, business, non-profit organization or individual, please describe the circumstances, and identify the source and amount. Also, please specify if you or your spouse have ever been registered as an agent for a foreign principal.

Whenever I'm in Britain I buy tickets for the National Lottery. According to several e-mails I've received over the past ten years, I've won the bloody thing 453 times. They must be holding my winnings in escrow though, because I've not seen so much as a tenpenny.

(7) If you or your spouse have ever lived or worked abroad, please describe the circumstances.

I'm rather disappointed that the Obama administration is referring to women as "a broad." Whether I've ever worked one or not depends on your definition of the term. (Assuming you don't mean "on the job"). A bit nosy, if you ask me.

(8) Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career.

Let's see, there was the tiff with the National Zoo about the panda naming. We eventually settled out of court, which means they ignored us and we didn't have legal grounds to sue. There was that time I dressed as Dame Edna and accidentally ran into Barry Humphries. That wasn't as bad as running into Alex Baldwin a few moments later. I still haven't called the number he gave me. There are the restraining orders from several actresses, the skinny-dipping in the reflecting pool on the Mall in D.C. (those two are related, I'm afraid), impersonating Dan Patrick at the ESPYs, My stint as Evel Knievel's parachute technician (that didn't work out very well), ... the full list would be longer than this questionnaire.

(9) Please provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three professional references. If possible, please furnish names of individuals with whom you have worked as a peer, a subordinate and as a supervisor.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, London, UK
Elvis, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, USA (When you call, ask for "Bob")
George W. Bush, 2600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC, USA - Please call this last one by January 20

II: Publications, Writings and Speeches

(10) Writings: Please list and , if readily available, provide a copy of each book, article, column or publication (including but not limited to any posts or comments on blogs or other websites) you have authored, individually or with others. Please list all aliases or "handles" you have used to communicate on the Internet.

How to Write a Novel in a Month
It All Started with Ed OR A Yeti in Times Square (with Stew Miller)
How to Garrot a Pike in 12 Easy Steps (written as Phinster Mulligtawny)
The Many Loves of Steffi Graf (written as Ernest Hemingway Jr.)
How to Clean a Non-Flushing Toilet (written as "Jack Sims")
The History of Meat Pies (written as William Shatner with Chris Kreski)
Weightlifting for Insects (as Carl Sagan)

Crosswords for Thick People, The Weekly Monthly (discontinued)
Our Friend the Guillotine, Grit (written as Socrates)

The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas (over half of them, I'm afraid)
Land of Fando

Online Aliases:
Earl Fando
The Dread Warrior of Saxus-Carbuncle
Elvis Jr.
Big Sally
Barack Hussein Obama (of course I stopped using this one as soon as I heard President-Elect Obama's middle name was Hussein. What a coincidence!)

(11) Testimony: Please identify each instance in which you have testified before Congress or other legislative, administrative, investigative or regulatory body, and specify the subject matter of the testimony. If available, please provide summaries or transcripts of your testimony.

Once, at a meeting of the local City Board, I gave a verbatim recitation of the "chicken salad" speech from Five Easy Pieces in response to a board members suggestion that I had "rocks in my head." I got a standing ovation. (See here for the transcript.)

(12) Speeches: Please identify all speeches you have given. If available please provide the text or recording of each such speech or identify any recordings of speeches of which you are aware.

I spoke about 4 dozen times in support of the Pip Clowson Presidential campaign. The theme of each speech was, erm... "Why we should never elect that loser Barack Obama to high office." Water under the bridge and all that, I hope.

(13) Electronic communications: If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to an email, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.

Five words: Photo, nunnery, trespassing, cattle prod. If it's any comfort, the cattle prod had a big "Vote for Pip Clowson" sticker on it.

(14) Diaries: If you keep or have ever kept a diary that contains anything that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.

Do you mean a real diary or a fantasy one? If real only, then there's absolutely no problem here.

* Rather.
** I'm just warning you.
***I'm kidding. I'm probably the only person without one.

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Happy Late World Toilet Day!

It was World Toilet Day on Wednesday. How on earth did we miss that?

... and what all this then about non-flushing toilets? Are these like the old Flintstones cartoon, where you pull the lever and some prehistoric bird flies out and scoops up the droppings with its beak?

Someone explain to Jack Sims and the "experts" how the whole wastewater management recycling thingy goes, will you? They're talking as though they've had their heads down a toilet for too long, dry or wet.

Well, their 15 minutes of fame is up. Time to come out of the loo and give someone else a chance.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Signing Up for the Obamastration

Barack Obama is getting his new administration ready to take the reins of government. However, this being government, if you want to participate in the administration you have to fill out a form. It's a very, very long form with lots of interesting questions, requiring quite a lot of details, proving that President-Elect Obama is already qualified to run the Internal Revenue Service.

Here are some sample examples of the 7,500 questions on the form:

  • Have you ever served in government before? If so, for which administration? (We really need to know this.) Did your guy get re-elected?
  • What degree do you hold and where did you graduate from? Is this a real institution of higher learning or an apartment in San Bernadino, California?
  • Were you born in the United States of America? If so, can you provide a birth certificate or a reasonable fascimile, or anything that looks like an official document of some kind? Seriously?
  • Have you ever been a lobbyist? If so, did you give us money? If so, when would you like to start?
  • Which of the following fields do you have professional experience in: Government, Business, Finance, Foreign Service, Military, Communications, Transportation, Science, Energy, Education, Entertainment, Professional Athletics, Base-jumping, Bull-riding, Ferret-wrangling, Gigolo, Hen-teasing, Juggling, Magic, Creepy David Blaine-style magic, Psychic, Cheerleading, Animating the Dead, Poker, Economics. Are you actually qualified to do any of these?
  • Have you ever lived in any of the following states: Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska (except 2nd Congressional District), South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Alaska, and possibly Missouri?
  • Are you prone to saying really weird, even stupid things in public places, with large crowds and media presence? If so, is your last name Biden?
  • Do you consider yourself more photogenic than President-Elect Obama? If so, would you be willing to consider plastic surgery?
  • How many wives do you have, currently? In the same home?
  • Have you attempted to pick up anyone in a public restroom in the last 10 years? If so, were you arrested? Was there media coverage?
  • Do you keep large sums of money at home? In your mattress? In your fridge? Would you be willing to transfer those funds to a Swiss Bank Account?
  • Have you ever had an intimate relationship with a non-human? If so, please provide names, countries and/or planets, and species.
  • Have you ever driven in an officially-sanctioned NASCAR race? If so, do you also drink a lot of beer? Have you had more than one wife? How many speeding tickets have you had in the past six months?
  • How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • Have you ever walked on stilts? Used a pogo stick? Rode a unicycle? If you have done any of these, are you a professional clown?
  • Do you have any relatives who are foreign nationals? If so, do they reside in the United States? If so, how willing are they to keep quiet?
  • Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, Batman?
  • Imagine an Austrailian Rules Footbal oval with a maximum circumference of 200 yards and a minimum circumference of 150 yards. Given the bisection of the oval is at 100 yards and accounting for the slight curvature of the earth and an average wind speed of 15 knots, using Bayes Theorem and the quadratic formula to calculate the cotangent of the radial hexography, answer the following question: Who won the Aussie Rules Grand Final in 1956?
  • Do you play a musical instrument? If so, is it the bagpipes, accordion, or kazoo?
  • Have you ever written a really cheesy love song for a woman and played it on guitar? If so, did John Belushi break your guitar? Is your name Greg Brady?
  • Have you ever worked for a foreign power, including North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, or Cuba? If not, are you really telling the truth here, because we have to ask this? We don't enjoy this, but the people at the NSA told us it was important...listen, just help us out here and we won't bother you again.
  • Do you like PiƱa Coladas and getting caught in the rain?
  • Have you ever been a streaker at a major sporting event? If so, can you provide video footage documenting this?
  • Is your last name Bush? If so, would you be willing to change it?
  • If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

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