2006.07.18: July 18, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Washington Post: RPCV Kinky Friedman says: "I can't screw things up any worse than they already have."

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Special Report: Author, Humorist and Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Kinky Friedman (Malaysia) : 2006.07.14: July 14, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Ether Zone: Sean Scallon writes: A Friedman Win could be the dawning of a new coalition : 2006.07.18: July 18, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Washington Post: RPCV Kinky Friedman says: "I can't screw things up any worse than they already have."

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-111-210.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.245.111.210) on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 11:06 am: Edit Post

RPCV Kinky Friedman says: "I can't screw things up any worse than they already have."

RPCV Kinky Friedman says: I can't screw things up any worse than they already have.

Kinky Friedman removes the cigar from his mouth and reveals the wisdom that his old friend, country icon Willie Nelson, imparted when Kinky began his campaign: "No pedophile jokes till after the election." So far, Kinky has followed that advice, and it has served him well. The pols and the pundits said he was a clown who could never collect the 45,540 signatures necessary to get on the November ballot as an independent candidate. But Kinky showed them: He got 137,154 certified signatures.

RPCV Kinky Friedman says: "I can't screw things up any worse than they already have."

But Seriously, Folks

Heard the One About Kinky Friedman Running for Texas Governor?

By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; Page C01

FORT WORTH

Smoking an illegal substance, Kinky Friedman heads for the Flying Saucer.

Kinky -- nobody calls him Friedman -- is a comic country singer, mystery novelist and Texas humorist. The illegal substance is a fat, stinky Cuban cigar. The Flying Saucer is the Fort Worth bar where Kinky is about to deliver a speech in his campaign for governor.

But first he removes the cigar from his mouth and reveals the wisdom that his old friend, country icon Willie Nelson, imparted when Kinky began his campaign: "No pedophile jokes till after the election."

So far, Kinky has followed that advice, and it has served him well. The pols and the pundits said he was a clown who could never collect the 45,540 signatures necessary to get on the November ballot as an independent candidate. But Kinky showed them: He got 137,154 certified signatures.

He ambles down the sunny street, wearing his trademark outfit: black cowboy hat, black shirt, black leather vest, bluejeans and black cowboy boots. Those duds, along with the Frank Zappa facial hair and the Groucho Marx cigar, make Kinky look like the bad guy in a bad western. They also make him instantly recognizable all over Texas.

"Kinky!" yells a guy who recognizes him from across the street. He gives a thumbs-up sign. "I'm votin' for you!"

"May the God of your choice bless you," Kinky replies.

When Kinky steps into the Flying Saucer, the crowd erupts in cheers. The place is packed, with several hundred people sitting at tables and others filling the aisles. Nearly everybody is drinking beer, which is good preparation for any political speech, particularly one of Kinky's.

"Well, folks, it looks like the election is getting more and more interesting," he says. "The other three candidates seem to have humor bypasses. If you're a politically correct person, you should vote for one of them. You have to be politically correct to be a politician, and the three of them are. Me, I'm a compassionate redneck."

The crowd cheers, and the man President Bush once called "a Texas legend" launches into his stump speech, a zippy combination of Borscht Belt humor and populist politics.

"As you know, I'm 61 years old, which is too young for Medicare and too old for women to care," he says. "But I care about Texas and I want to fix what's wrong with it. We are probably the richest state in the country, but we got potholes in the roads, we can't pay our teachers, we can't provide health insurance for our kids and they're trying to sell off the state parks!"

Kinky promises big changes. He'll legalize casino gambling and use the proceeds to fund public schools -- "slots for tots." He's the only candidate in the race -- or maybe anywhere -- who supports both school prayer and gay marriage. ("They have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us," he explains.) He'll clamp down on illegal immigration. And he'll run the state's school buses on the biodiesel fuel that Willie Nelson uses to propel his tour bus.

"We can make Texas number one in renewable fuels -- which is a helluva lot better than being number one in executions, toll roads, property taxes and dropouts!"

The crowd cheers and Kinky tells them that he can win this race. In the 2002 gubernatorial election, he says, only 29 percent of the voters even bothered to show up.

"Last time, they spent $100 million just to drive 71 percent of us away from the polls," he says. "This time, that 71 percent is coming roarin' back -- with pitchforks ! -- to throw the money-changers out of the temple!"

After the speech, Kinky's supporters swarm the merchandise table to contribute to his campaign by purchasing posters, T-shirts and a $29.95 Kinky doll that utters a couple of dozen of his one-liners when you push a button on its back. "How hard can it be?" the doll says. And: "I can't screw things up any worse than they already have."

An hour later, Kinky is still autographing these items for a long line of fans. It's hot, and he's sweating in a shirt he's already worn for two days. He turns to Jeff Shelby, his childhood friend and campaign chauffeur, and whispers, "Man, I just smelled my shirt -- whew!"

Shelby laughs -- he had told Kinky to bring more shirts -- then Kinky sticks his cigar back into his mouth, lays his wilted black sleeves across the shoulders of two middle-age women and smiles for a cellphone picture.





When this story was posted in July 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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The Senate confirmed Gaddi Vasquez to head the FAO on June 30. Jody Olsen will be acting Director until the President makes a permanent appointment. Olsen has been Deputy Director of the Peace Corps since 2002. She has previously served as Chief of Staff for two directors, as regional director for North Africa, Near East, and Asia and the Pacific, and as country director in Togo. She served in Tunisia as a PCV.

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Story Source: Washington Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Malaysia; Writing - Malaysia; Humor; Election2006 - Friedman

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