Clown-Factor I ran into Hector at The Abbey the other day. "Wow! What happened to your hair?" he sputtered. "It"s my fallen pompadour. I"d rather not discuss it," I mumbled. "What"s the difference between a pompadour and a bouffant, anyway?" Hector asked. "I think a pompadour is tall whereas a bouffant is puffy. But please, this is a touchy subject with me, so let"s not discuss it," I said. Through the window we saw a gang of Ashcroft Youth attempting to tar and feather a man wearing a turban. Suddenly Rocky the Cat with an AttitudeƓ and his Feline Front - Ikey, Sprite, Blackie and Tux - burst onto the scene, mauled a few of the fundamentalist boys and sent them scurrying away. "I wouldn"t believe that if I hadn"t seen it with my own eyes," Hector marveled. "Life is nothing if not surprising these days," I said. A guy walked in. He was wrapped in duct tape like a mummy. "So anyway, Hector, what are you working on?" I asked. "Well, as I have watched the Bush junta squirm while trying to spin their various lies and obfuscations, I have come to realize that they are, in the end, a bunch of clowns. Just clowns. That"s all, clowns. Next, I wondered: On a scale of clownishness, how do they rate? So I am working on new software for my famous Language-Cruncher machine to transform it into the Clown-Factor machine," he explained. I looked at him questioningly and pushed my fallen pompadour out of my face. "Look," he said, "there"s clowns of the cinema - Charlie Chaplin. Clowns of television - that Urkel guy. Clowns of the circus - Emmett Kelly. I am convinced I can write a computer program that can quantify clownishness. I will isolate the essence of clownishness and from that essence, utilizing a logarithm of my own design, derive a clown-factor. The clown-factor will be based on a scale of 1 to 100. We will then know the clown-factor of each member of the Bush junta." "Who would be the standard, the 100?" I asked scientifically. "Bozo is the 100." "Considering the subjects to be measured, I think you need a scale of 1 to 150!" I laughed.

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