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Here's the Real Reform Candidate: He'll Overhaul the Greatest Hits CD System

March 01, 2000|ROY RIVENBURG

Toga Party 2000: The presidential race is rigged. Why else would Off-Kilter be banned from the stage in this week's candidate debates, even though they're being hosted by our own newspaper?

The official explanation is that nobody takes Off-Kilter's presidential candidacy seriously, to which we say, "Then why was Alan Keyes invited?"

We have just as many delegates as he does, plus we're the only syndicated columnist in history to qualify for Secret Service protection. OK, maybe "protection" isn't the right word, but agents have definitely been watching us since the other candidates got into town.

Anyway, we're tired of being blackballed by the political establishment, so we're forming a new party, the Toga Party. Our campaign slogan: Vote till you puke.

We've also crafted a platform that ignores boring stuff like education and focuses on everyday concerns, such as Andy Warhol's dictum that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. We think Americans deserve better, so we'll pass a law to give citizens 20 minutes of fame.

Here are some frequently asked questions about our candidacy:

* What is your approach to foreign policy?

We favor compassionate conservatism. For example, during our first term, we'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. However, any nation that refuses to participate will be bombed.

* Have you noticed that greatest-hits CDs always leave off one or two hits, so you still have to buy another album?

Yes, and we promise to issue an executive order requiring that greatest-hits CDs contain all hits, as chosen by a panel of fans.

* Al Gore's commercials say he'll "fight for us." What will you do?

Off-Kilter is the only candidate willing to step into a vat of Jell-O with female mud wrestlers.

* What are your qualifications for office? Have you ever been a pro basketball player, billionaire, vice president of the U.S. or spoiled son of a former president?

No, but if Off-Kilter were a nation, it would have the 457th-largest economy in the world. Also, Sen. John McCain isn't the only candidate who was held prisoner during the Vietnam War. In 1968, at the height of the Tet Offensive, Off-Kilter was confined to his room for two harrowing weeks after throwing a rock through a neighbor's window.

* What is your stance on daylight savings time?

We plan to rewrite the "spring forward, fall back" rule to replace the "spring forward" part with 51 "fall backs" so that Americans gain an hour every weekend.

* What is the proper role of the federal government?

To protect commerce, maintain a military and provide disaster aid for movie studios whose big-budget films flop.

* Who's your choice for vice president?

Originally, we wanted another newspaper columnist, such as Dear Abby. But polls say voters would be more impressed by a "trophy veep," so we're asking Bridget Fonda to join the ticket.

* Will you have a litmus test for Supreme Court appointees?

Absolutely. Nominees must agree with author Jack Handey's theory in "The Lost Deep Thoughts" that the Constitution should guarantee that "if you ever get sucked up into a tornado, whatever you can grab with your hands while you're swirling around up there, you get to keep."

Best Tabloid Headline: "Are You a Servant of Satan? Check Your Foot for the Mark of the Beast!" (Weekly World News)

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Unpaid Informants: Curt Butz. E-mail Off-Kilter at roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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