January 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Newsday: RPCV Kinky Friedman has a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Special Report: Author, Humorist and Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman: January 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Newsday: RPCV Kinky Friedman has a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.48.182) on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 9:22 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Kinky Friedman has a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies

RPCV Kinky Friedman has a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies

RPCV Kinky Friedman has a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies

Kinky throws his hat into the ring

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Dennis Duggan

January 23, 2005

Kinky Friedman's phone at his ranch in Texas west of San Antonio has a new message: "The next governor of the State of Texas," it proclaims. Then, the Kinkster himself comes on, adding "this is Kinky Friedman, and I approve this message."

And to prove it, he will announce that he is running at an event Feb. 3 at the Alamo which will be carried live on Don Imus's radio show - the two are soul mates - and carried later that same day on MSNBC's "Hardball" hosted by Chris Matthews.

Friedman, who calls himself a "professional friend of presidents," has slept in the White House during the Clinton and the current Bush administrations. But Friedman has friends all over the map, including other songwriters such as Willie Nelson, whom, he says, he will appoint to head the Texas Rangers.

"I am going to give Texans a choice between myself and the paper and plastic politicians who run the state today," he says in a voice that reflects his times on the streets of this city, as well as the early years of his life growing up on his father's Texas ranch.

The current Texas governor is a Republican named Rick Perry who is expected to run for re-election. Friedman has no time for the politician he hopes to replace. He is running as an independent, and he has already begun recruiting an "army" of campaign volunteers and is printing bumper stickers that read: "He Ain't Kinky, He's My Governor."

Friedman says it was the success of two other performers - wrestler Jesse Ventura and former movie star and now California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - that paved the way for his entry into the political world.

"I know a lot of people will say it's a joke," he says, "but I am hoping the joke will be on them. Wasn't Arnold a joke when he started?"

Friedman already has conquered two other hard-to-crack worlds. He rose to fame as leader of a band called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. One of his recordings, "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," is a staple on the Imus show.

In the mid 1980s, using a typewriter borrowed from his buddy Mike McGovern, then a crack reporter at the New York Daily News, he began writing a series of mystery novels starring private eye Kinky Friedman. McGovern became a sidekick in fiction as well as in real life.

Friedman became a real-life hero by stopping a mugging in Greenwich Village, where he lived until he moved back to Texas. "Country Singer Plucks Victim from Mugger," read one headline.

When I called him back then about that bit of derring-do, Friedman invited me to the Roadhouse bar and restaurant on West 53rd Street, where he was performing.

"Life is too important to be taken seriously," he said through a cloud of smoke from his Cuban cigar.

"People ask me why I support Fidel Castro by smoking Cubanos. I tell them I'm not supporting Castro, I'm burning Cuban fields."

That night, he showed me a tattoo on his left arm that he claims - without so much as wink - was pounded into his arm with nails by a Borneo tattoo artist. It showed the eye of a dog, and Friedman said that eye will lead him to heaven when he dies.

But he said there was a downside, since Jews are forbidden to have tattoos. "My left arm may have to be buried in a Gentile cemetery," he says.

He has written 21 books and he says his next, set for publication this year and titled "Ten Little New Yorkers," will be the last in the popular series. It also will send his fictional self on to heaven, bad news for addicts of the books that offer, as one critic wrote, "if not exactly enlightenment, then random illumination."

"I just can't keep writing and run a political campaign," he says, although he leaves the door open for his alter ego's return "if enough people in the reading community clamor for his return."

Friedman's father, Richard, will be his guide throughout the campaign, he says. His father died more than two years ago, but the son says he is still in touch with the former World War II navigator who left him and his brothers and sisters the ranch now named Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

"We have found owners for over 1,000 animals over the past years," says Friedman, who doesn't joke about his love for animals.

Nor does he joke about his service in the Peace Corps and his admiration for President John F. Kennedy.

But Friedman can't resist throwing some humor into his life. "I'm a Jew," he says, "and the first thing I will do after being elected governor is to reduce the highway speed in Texas to 54.95."

"Why wouldn't anyone vote to put humorists like Will Rogers and Mark Twain into a political job if they were alive today?" he asks.

Why indeed?

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When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Newsday

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malaysia; Writing - Malaysia; Humor

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