I get plenty of e-mail. I get far more, in fact, than I want. On any given day, I arrive at work with more than 300 e-mails. Once I get rid of the "Increase your penis size instantly" and "Get rich fast" mails, I"m left with about 100 pieces of mail. Half of those are show listings. About 10 are personal e-mails from friends and friends of friends. That leaves a hefty dose of mail from people who have questions regarding this column.
I try to answer as many as I can, but it gets hard, especially when I"ve already answered half the questions many, many times before. In order to address these questions, I"m creating an FAQ (frequently-asked questions) list for this column.
I"ll start with the most popular question of late.
Q: You like to criticize the president so much, Mister Smarty Pants. What would you do if you were in the White House?
A: A Hammer Administration in Washington would be a fulcrum for a vast societal change. Peace, progress and prosperity would be the hallmarks of my tenure in the White House.
Specifically, I would try to inspire change in the country by setting a good example for our citizens. Instead of worrying myself over details such as tax cuts, budgets and homeland security, I would take a much more relaxed approach to governing, not unlike President Reagan.
I would address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including why cable TV costs so much or why the Pacers can"t find a good point guard. In international relations, I would force the Canadians to divulge the secrets of why Crown Royal and Canadian Club tastes better than most American whiskeys.
If necessary, I would impose a trade embargo or even send troops to Ottawa to force our greedy northern neighbors to either drop the price of their whiskey or fork over the recipe of Crown.
Like at least one of our former presidents, I would work to make the White House a training ground for the leaders of the future by personally overseeing the White House intern program. Instead of letting subordinates make the key calls, I would interview each applicant personally and at length. No detail would be too small for me to address. When it comes to my staff, I"ll be extra attentive.
Basically, my White House would be like the current administration, minus the war, depression and impending apocalypse and plus lots and lots of alcohol.
Q: How do I break into journalism? Since you have a job, it obviously doesn"t take talent. So how did you get your lucky break?
A: I was enjoying a beer at Juanita"s in Little Rock, Ark., in October 1992, minding my own business. All of a sudden, a group of ethnically diverse people came into the bar. They said that the 1992 election had already been decided and that the new administration would need liberals in the media who wouldn"t be afraid of taking on conservatives. They put me to work slandering Republicans, making up allegations about former President Bush and creating mistakes for Dan Quayle speeches.
After making up wild allegations about Rush Limbaugh, Barbara Bush and Millie, the Bush dog, I was welcomed into the liberal media elite. After the election, I was assigned the responsibility to make Steve Goldsmith seem like an uncaring, incompetent mayor who was more concerned with bettering his position among big-money people than he was serving his city. After foisting that canard on the people, I won my lieutenant"s stripes and received my current job.
Q: What exactly do you have against Elvis? And why don"t you like dodgeball?
A: Elvis Presley was a remarkably talented singer and performer. His music lives on in trailer parks everywhere. While I have an affection for the Sun recordings, and can enjoy his early movies, I am against what Elvis has come to represent in society: the cultural imperialism, the co-opting of artforms and the prostitution of talent. Also, his sideburns spawned an entire culture of wide, ugly facial hair.
As far as dodgeball, it is a brutal and savage sport unfit for our children. Their time would be better spent on American history, solving algebra problems or learning to smoke.
Q: You"ve read a lot about the case, so tell us: Who shot JFK?
A: Indeed, I have in fact read hundreds and hundreds of books and thousands of pages of documents about the JFK case. I"ve come to a conclusion that may be surprising. John F. Kennedy did not have just one, or even two, gunmen stalking him that day. In fact, he was likely killed by hundreds of people. Firing at him were Lee Harvey Oswald, Richard Nixon and members of the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia, joint chiefs of staff, Republican Party, pro-Castro Cubans, black militants, John Birchers, Communists, Russians, South Vietnamese, disgruntled postal workers and the Dallas Cowboys. The government covered up the facts in the case because it lacked the prison space for all of the perpetrators.
Q: I"m throwing a party and want to know any tips you have for entertaining guests.
A: Two words: malt liquor.
As always, I"m happy to answer any questions not addressed here. Keep the letters coming. I hope this has cleared up any confusion.