Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Legend of California Blat: Disorder in the Court

"MOMENT MEN’S DAY IN COURT" read the front page headline on yesterday’s Arizona Daily Sun. People were lining up outside the Coconino County Courthouse all the evening before. When the police van arrived, bearing Hiram, Cletus and Jesse Earl (Eustace is still in traction in the hospital) to answer to charges of first-degree murder for the unfortunate demise of California Blat, the crowd broke into boos and hisses and cries of "Burn in hell!"

When Judge Brenda Garcia asked how they pleaded, court-appointed defense attorney Milton Ravioli replied "Not guilty by reason of insanity," which got the crowd going again. Eventually the judge was able to get them calmed down and the District Attorney was able to lay out the case, which you had to admit was a very strong one. All that Hiram, speaking for the defendants, had to say in his defense was, "Yes, we was followin’ him, Yer Honor, but we didn’t kill him. He done turned into a vulture and flew off."

"Never mind that vulture idiocy," said the judge sternly. "Why were you following California Blat?"

The Moment Men did not answer. Jesse Earl opened his mouth but at a look from Hiram he lapsed into silence again.

"Answer me! Why were you following California Blat?"

"BECAUSE RALPH SENT THEM!" came a cry from the back of the courtroom. The crowd rose and turned - and broke into one collective gasp.

California Blat himself stood in the doorway, barefoot and unshaven, covered with a layer of dust, clad in a pair of ragged jeans, a torn tank top and a battered San Diego Padres baseball hat, but with his National Guitar still slung across his back. He now swung the guitar around, struck a chord and began to sing:

I’m alive and breathin’
So set these loonies free.
Old RALPH is on my trail
But he will never capture me
‘Cause I’m a mighty hero
(A mighty hero)
And he’s a big fat zero
Yes he is.

"You mean you’re not dead?" asked Judge Garcia rather stupidly.

"It takes more than a fall into the Grand Canyon and a week in the desert to kill California Blat," the returned hero replied. "The cloning has given me powers you can only begin to imagine. Look at this!" He took off his baseball cap and shook it, and to the amazement of the audience, coins and bills spilled out onto the floor. He picked them up, stuffed them into his pocket, and threw the cap carelessly at Hiram. "Here, take it - It’ll help pay Eustace’s hospital bills."

"It’s a miracle!" cried Jesse Earl.

"Nope," replied California Blat loftily. "It’s all in a day’s work for the Redneck Hippie. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m returning to the desert to seek the truth." And he walked out of the courtroom shouting, "MOMENT-MEN-LOVE! VULTURE-LOVE! DESERT-LOVE! CAMPAIGN-BLAT-LOVE! ALBERTO-GONZALES-LOVE!"

The Moment-Men are still sleeping off last night’s celebration, during which the baseball cap was emptied four times. Cletus did appear at around noon, looking very bleary-eyed, to make a statement to reporters. "After what done happened yesterday," he said, "we’re callin’ off the chase. How can you go harmin’ the man who saved your life? Jesse Earl thinks he’s Jesus Christ, and I’m beginnin’ to think he might be right. So I’m gonna call RALPH and tell him to find some other folks to do his dirty work. Dagnabbit, what happened to my cell phone? It won’t switch on. What do you mean, you gotta charge the battery? No, I ain’t got no battery charger. Mighta thrown it out. I threw out a lot of wires and things that came in that package. Well, whadaya know. Sumbitch."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Konservo's New Act Debuts!

Crowd excitement was once again high as the lights dimmed at the Lookout Bar & Bistro in Ottawa's hot clubbing district, the Market, where latest sensation Konservo was preparing to launch his highly anticipated new act, kept shrouded in mystery until this evening. Our guest correspondent "Nigel" was on the scene and penned the eyewitness acccount which follows.

- - - - -

Well, let me just say, first of all, that the atmosphere in the Club was absolutely so electric. The whole community has been abuzz ever since the Ethel Merman act - replica wigs popped up just overnight! - but the thing that has made Konservo so compelling is the way he has kept us all guessing. The closing night of the Merman act he came out to do the encore as Streisand. Completely took everyone by surprise! His rendition of The Way We Were among the tables, in one case actually climbing onto my friend Lionel's lap and crooning in his memorable, I can't begin to tell you. He's just always fresh.

The cheering and the calls of "Ser-VO! Ser-VO!" started a full five minutes before the stage lights finally came up on low. The fog machine started, cranking out clouds across the stage and into the audience, and the curtain went up to a full moon and glowing stars covering the backdrop. We heard ripples of harp music and a plaintive flute melody. And then, there he was, soaring above the stage from a flying rig, in one of those Sally-Field style nun's habits! He launched into Fly Me To The Moon and, I have to say, he had us in the palm of his adorably-manicured hand from the first notes.

The toilet brush can-can in the habit was probably the one number of the act that didn't work for me. But Konservo really made up for it in the second set. He had a whole backup chorus of novices who came out singing How Do You Solve a Problem Like Konservo? and by the time the striptease started, it had turned into an audience participation sing-along. I still have the rosary I caught when "Sister Inarticulata" tossed it into the audience.

In short, the new act definitely gets two thumbs up from me, and the rest of the audience seemed to agree. Chalk up another surefire hit to the Market's premiere drag act of 2007!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Oh where oh where is California Blat?
He’s vanished utterly.
His bones are bleachin' on the Grand Canyon floor
And the Moment Men will pay the penalty (poor boys)
They’re gonna pay an awful penalty.

For the Moment Men, it never rains but it pours. (It never rains in Arizona anyway, but you do realize it’s a metaphor.) Barely had they got Eustace settled into his hospital bed, when they were arrested and hauled into the Coconino County sherriff’s office for close interrogation.

You have to admit that appearances are against the Moment Men. As the chief interrogator, Detective Sergeant Finn MacCuhal (who came here from Ireland five years ago “for my asthma”) pointed out, dozens of witnesses saw them chasing California Blat out of the Market Plaza parking lot. The BlatMobile was found abandoned at the edge of the canyon, near the place where Park Rescue airlifted the Moment Men to safety.

“But we didn’t kill him!” protested Hiram. “He walked over the edge.”

“Then why haven’t we found him?” asked MacCuhal. “Because you went down there and disposed of the body, isn’t that so?”

“There weren’t never no body,” said young Jesse Earl Pickin (“Banjo” to his friends and “Booger” to his enemies). “The devil done turned him into a vulture. We seen him flyin’ off.”

Strange to say, Sergeant MacCuhal didn't believe Jesse Earl, and charged all the Moment Men with first-degree murder. When he emerged from the interrogation room he was shaking his head. “Sure I’ve seen some nutcases in my time, but this takes the biscuit, so it does.”

Hiram didn’t help matters when he made his one permitted phone call - to RALPH, of course. He’d forgotten to program RALPH’s number into his new cell phone, but he insisted he knew it from memory. But when he tried to dial it he got a pizza parlor, an escort service, an old man who spoke only Ukrainian and the Rolling Thunder Tabernacle (famous for its Roller Derby Worship Hour). Finally the police searched his truck and found the phone number, being used as a bookmark in a copy of The Laird of Lephari Cove.


“Did you say this guy was running for President?” asked Detective Sergeant MacCuhal as he hung up the phone. “You’d better plead insanity – the jury may just believe you.”

So now the Moment Men are at the Coconino County Detention Center awaiting their first court appearance (except for Eustace, whose hospital room is surrounded by armed guards). Since California Blat is a folk hero in these parts, the local residents are, to put it mildly, very upset. A small crowd gathered outside the jail last night, waving signs and chanting slogans. Radio talk-show lines are jammed with callers describing what they’d do to the Moment Men if they could. The unknown author of the “Blatwatch” blog has just announced an essay contest on the theme, “Why I’d like to Throw the Switch on the Moment Men.”

“All we can do is pray RALPH will step in,” said Hiram sadly. “Anyone got any cream soda?”

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Legend of California Blat, Part III - Rapture in the Canyon

California Blat is a spirit running free
He’s crazy as a loon
He’s riding down to the Grand Canyon now,
To meditate beneath a desert moon (oh yeah)
To seek the truth beneath a desert moon.

Having eluded the Moment Men’s roadblock on the outskirts of Las Vegas, California Blat might have gotten away altogether - but he just couldn't resist being the center of attention. When he reached Grand Canyon Village and saw the crowds of people in Market Plaza, he climbed onto the back of his red-white-and-blue GMC Sierra, and began haranguing them:

"I preach LOVE! LOVE!! LOVE!!! AMERICA-LOVE! FREEDOM-LOVE! TROOP-SURGE-LOVE! TROOP-REDUCTION-LOVE! BOMB-THE-SHIT-OUT-OF-IRAN-LOVE! SUCK-ON-THIS-TED-NUGENT-LOVE!!" He took an empty plastic bag out of his pocket and began pulling out handfuls of M&Ms-flavored trail mix, which he threw into the ever-growing crowd. "RAPTURE!!! God shall wipe away the tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death. Nay, neither any bird flu nor high cholesterol nor erectile dysfunction. Not with VIBE vitamins, the cure for every ill. RAPTURE!! VOTE FOR RALPH!! HE NEEDS TO GET LAID!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!"

Now, if his audience had been local people, the Moment Men would never have heard of it, because Blat has become quite a folk hero in the desert. But these listeners were tourists, and as a result the news reached his pursuers’ ears so swiftly that he will still in mid-tirade when they roared into the plaza parking lot. "Oop! Gotta go," he said abruptly, leaped into the driver’s seat and gunned the truck onto the highway with the Moment Men right on his tailpipe.

Down Desert View Drive they flew, with the South Rim of the canyon on their left. They had gone about ten miles when the BlatMobile took a curve too wide, spun out of control, fishtailed across the highway and came to a stop at the very edge of the canyon. Blat crawled out to find the Moment Men and their sawed-off shotguns surrounding him, and a five-thousand-foot drop at his back.

"You gotta surrender now, Blat!" shouted Hiram. "You ain’t got no place else to go." But Blat merely laughed.

You ain’t gonna take me back to Crazy Ralph.
You ain’t got enough I.Q.
And where I’m goin’ you can’t follow me.
Good-bye and may the world be good to you (poor boys).
Good-bye and may the world be good to you."

Then he took a step backward and disappeared over the edge. The Moment Men ran as close as they dared and looked down - but the valley below was empty except for a very large vulture flapping lazily among the rocks.

They decided to go down, hoping to at least bring some of his shattered remains back to the Candidate. But they hadn’t gone far before Eustace Whazzup slipped, rolled downhill until he fetched up against a rock, and couldn’t get up again.

Eustace is now in traction at the Flagstaff Medical Center. "The doctors say he got a shattered femur," says Hiram. "Funny, I thought it was his thigh bone." They managed to get hold of RALPH, and the news of Blat’s disappearance cheered him up considerably - the distraught Sonny Brothers had just arrived with news of Lephari’s hideous fate. Searchers are still combing the bottom of the canyon for traces of California Blat, but so far without success. Meanwhile, the Moment Men have other concerns - since Eustace has no health insurance, what are they going to do about the astronomical hospital bills he’s accumulating?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ralph Needs Women!

Or a woman, at any rate. Having had his overtures to Miss South Carolina Teen USA, Caitlin Upton, met with a dramatic refusal - and a restraining order delivered directly to the passenger-side window of the campaign van as it entered the Lexington city limits - RALPH's desperation for a trophy wife to adorn the Ralph/Blat 2008 campaign has borne unusual fruit.

Sources within the campaign say that RALPH has tentatively embraced a long-distance reconciliation with Konservo, his onetime confidante whose relationship with RALPH was deeply strained by Konservo's turn to a career in cross-dressing cabaret performance during a campaign junket to Ottawa. It has transpired that, while lounging in his dressing room between acts, Konservo has not only been experimenting with different brands of mascara and trying to decide on a signature scent, but has also been writing a steamy romance novel in collaboration with noted Harlequin author Meighan Aubergine. Published this month by Troll Press, The Laird of Lephari Cove is what Konservo describes as "a hot, sensual fiction-based novel" describing his past-life romance with RALPH.

"The author hopes that this intimate look at the man behind the politician/blogger will encourage women across America to 'practice their love' with this exceptional individual," said a Troll Press spokesperson. When asked by reporter Kate Stone of No Stone Unturned how a piece of sensationalized historical fiction could possibly help a present-day political campaign, the spokesperson responded that the publishers felt it perfectly in keeping with the Troll Party platform of living in the past and making decisions based on anything but facts.

From the back cover:
  • From the carriage window, fondling my toilet brush with misty memories of the previous evening's encounter, I watched him stride moodily across the headland, his mane of greasy hair whipped by the wind, his cloak flapping around his flip-flops. A flash of unexpected lightning threw his tortured form into a stark profile, as he threw his arms wide and cried to the brooding skies high above Lephari Cove: "PIAPS!!!! PIAPS!!!!!!!!!! AMERICA-HATE, DOUGHNUT-HATE, INSIGHTFUL-ANALYSIS-HATE, LEPHARI-COVE-HATE!!!!!!!! AAAAAGH!!"
Follow-on promotional plans include the launch of, a site modeled on the Marry Our Daughter web site - endorsed by RALPH, incidentally, as "A GODLY ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRIBULATION THESE FRESH AND NUBILE YOUNG GIRLS WILL FACE IF THEY ARE NOT RAPTURED, AND MUST LIVE ON UNDER THE CRUEL REIGN OF PIAPS!!!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" The new site will give women interested in marrying RALPH an opportunity to post their photos, profiles, and bank account balances. RALPH will then announce his selection just prior to the primaries, after meeting privately with twenty hand-selected finalists to determine compatibility.

RALPH's constant handlers, Über Troll and Campaign Blat, read a prepared statement from RALPH, to the effect that he appreciated Konservo's literary contribution to the cause, would be happy to autograph copies at campaign stops throughout the heartland, and would hereafter make all his public appearances in a long cloak and wide-brimmed, feathered hat. "No comment," was Blat's terse reply to the question of whether or not RALPH's ecclesiastical twin, the self-styled Prophet Lephari, approved of the novel. Lip-readers, however, keeping a careful eye on Über Troll as he flipped through the pages, mopping sweat off his brow and trying to keep his hands from shaking uncontrollably as he did, appeared to mutter "I don't think so..." under his breath.

Ghost-writer Aubergine is expected to take the novel on a nationwide Wal*Mart promotional tour. Konservo, unfortunately, will not be available, as he readies his new Ethel Merman tribute act for an October debut.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lephari, Savior of the World

(the Lephariad continues....)

"HEY, LET ME OUT, YOU ASSWIPE!!" yells Lephari.
He hammers on the ribcage of the beast
Who’s swallowed him. "I told you, let me out!
I am a Raptured minion of the Lord;
My clone’s the USA’s next President!"
"Don’t hammer me like that!" the monster says.
"It makes me queasy. Don’t you worry now.
I’m not about to eat you - not just yet.
I had to separate you from your friends
For I have something vital to impart."
"I KNOW IT! PIAPS SENT YOU!!" screams Lephari.
I’ll be no doughnut for her bumping, nor
Will I consent to be a sacrifice
Upon the altar of her filthy lusts!"
"What, you? A toy for anybody’s lusts?
Don’t make me laugh." The monster scoffs. "No, I
Have a far different task in hand for you.
Stop thumping in my stomach; I’ve a tale
To tell that calls for all of your attention.

"When the Great Flood abated, and when Noah
Set foot upon dry land again, the Lord
Sent him a rainbow, then said this to him -
This isn’t in the Bible, but it’s true -
Another gift I give you. In a vault
In a location I shall not disclose,
Lies that which, rightly used, will save the world
From perils dire. Since I’m a nasty God,
And like to make men work for their reward,
I won’t reveal its whereabouts exactly,
But I shall give you this enormous key
Of gold, with jewels and scrollwork all bedecked,
And I’ll give you as well this list of clues
(All cryptic, else the task would be no challenge).
And since I am a very nasty God
I won’t inform you what is in the vault,
Except that many centuries from hence
it may save mankind from calamity.
And Noah took the key and list; for centuries
He and his offspring kept them safe from harm,
Until, one fateful day, their caravan
Was robbed by brigands, who took list and key
and disappeared with them to who knows where.
But if you find them, then ‘tis you who may
Redeem us from calamity foretold."

"I knew you’d take the job -
And just as well, since if you had refused
My orders were to start digesting you.
Now brace yourself - get ready for a ride."
Lephari kneels inside the monster’s stomach,
And starts to say his prayers. Just as he folds
His hands before him, comes a mighty belch,
A wind most vile, which picks Lephari up,
And hurls him through Leviathan’s insides,
Through his esophagus and up his throat,
And bounces him off giant yellow teeth,
Into fresh air again.. be continued

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lephari Meets Leviathan

Only a week into Prophet Lephari’s pilgrimage, disaster has struck.

Not that the pilgrimage got off to a very good start. Though Lephari had promised that he would drive every teacher who taught evolution out of the classroom, his early efforts in that direction weren’t very successful. At Abingdon Elementary School, the principal assured him, "We took evolution off the curriculum last year. We believe in God and America and freedom in this town, and we’ll tar and feather everyone who doesn’t agree with us." This pleased Lephari so much that he ordered Sonny White to break open the magic pinata. Unfortunately, all that came out was raw sheep liver and anchovies. This was when he realized that he had no control over what the pinata dispensed - it was at the whim of a higher power than he.

At Fairfield, his party triggered a security alarm when it tried to get into St. Brigid of the Hedge Clippers Primary School. The ensuing battle with police has already gone down in local folklore, particularly the attempt by Sonny Black and Sonny Green to heave one of the cops into a pile of cow manure, while Lephari roared out, “IOWA POLICE ARE TRUTH-HATING, BIBLE-HATING, AMERICA-HATING, NASCAR-HATING SERVANTS OF THE ANTICHRIST!!!” But thanks to their pepper spray, the police finally won the battle, pinning Lephari in a half-Nelson while holding off his followers with stun guns.

Miraculously, the Lephari Pilgrims did not get thrown in jail but were merely shown to the town’s borders. When they reached the next town, though, they discovered that the Fairfield police had put out an all-points warning about them, and that they were decidedly unwelcome anywhere in southeast Iowa. The pinata continued to be unforthcoming; all it dispensed in those days was vegetable compost, freeze-dried grasshoppers, and cat food. By the time they reached Keokuk, even the Sonny Brothers were grumbling.

I’ll let the Epic Poet tell the rest of the story.

“Be not disheartened!” bold Lephari cries.
“‘Tis we who shall be Raptured, while those turds
Are squashed within the Winepress of the Lord!
I am the great Lephari, and my powers
Put those of any Demlib cop to shame!
Behold! Before us lies the Mississippi,
The mightiest river in America.
The Lord will bear me up upon its waters.
Now watch, and worship me as I deserve!”
And as his followers exclaim in awe,
Lephari sets his foot upon the water.
Behold! The Mississippi bears him up!!!
He walks - he even dances - on its waves.
He lifts his arms and laughs maniacally.
But even as he laughs, the water boils -
A huge white head, an open-gaping maw,
A thrashing tail that churns up ten-foot waves -
It is Leviathan! A harbinger
Of Armageddon! When its mouth snaps shut
Lephari is no longer to be seen.
Directly, with a monstrous sucking sound,
A final flailing of its giant tail,
Leviathan sinks back into the deep,
And deathly silence falls... be continued.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wedding Bells? Ralph Rumored In Market For Campaign "Trophy Wife"

Rumors are swirling that, in order to remain competitive with the likes of late campaign entrant Fred Thompson, RALPH is seeking a trophy wife of his own. His apparent target? None other than Miss South Carolina Teen USA, Caitlin Upton, whose recent geography-challenged answer to a pageant question has become water-cooler and blog forum chatter nationwide.

Anonymous sources within the campaign say that RALPH made his first approach to the teen beauty queen privately and delicately, by sending her a map outlining his path to her side, bearing "binoculars and hedge clippers," presumably so that he could trim her privet hedge and give her a better view of the roads and streets beyond so that she could find her way from the front door to the curb unaided.


In the background, Campaign Blat and Über Troll - busily repainting the campaign van with all the things RALPH was willing to HATE on Upton's behalf - seemed resigned to this turn of events. Blat shrugged expansively and continued his lettering, while Über Troll said only, "Damned if I know where this came from. I've only ever heard him talk this way about Bea Arthur. Oh, and Henry Kissinger."

Prophet Lephari, predictably, came out forcibly against the situation, insisting that this behavior put his alter ego in peril of missing the RALPHTURE and being led astray into DOUGHNUT-BUMPING and perhaps even FRITTER-SMASHING and CRULLER-BOUNCING. Konservo was said to be negotiating a long-term cabaret contract in Ottawa and could not be reached for direct comment, although some outlets are reporting that he has volunteered to perform gratis at the wedding should Upton accept RALPH's overtures.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Legend of California Blat, Part II - Eat Your Heart Out, Evel Knievel!

California Blat is a messenger of love.
He’s totally out of his mind.
He rides the desert in his pickup truck,
And the Moment Men are just a mile behind (oh yeah)
The Moment Men are just a mile behind.*

For the first time since California Blat started on his wild Love Ride through the desert, he's had a serious brush with RALPH’s Moment Men.

Tracking Blat to Las Vegas wasn’t too difficult, even for the Moment Men. But when they got there, they hesitated. As Moment Man Hiram T. Peashucker explained to this reporter, "We had to get ahold of RALPH, ‘cause we didn’t know what he wanted us to do with him. Just blow him away right then and there or bring him back? And we didn’t know where RALPH was so how could we git ahold of him?"

"But then when we got to Vegas," continued Darrell "Potato-Head" Oilslick, "the Lord gave us a inspire-ation. He told Hiram here in a dream, that all we need do was go into a store and git ourselves one of them there cell phones, and then we could just call RALPH ourselves."

It wasn’t quite that easy. It took a few days before the Moment Men figured out how to use their new cell phone. And after that they forgot RALPH’s phone number and rummaged through their gear for a whole day before they found it. Unfortunately, RALPH wasn’t able to provide them much guidance; he was reading articles about Konservo in Canada’s alternative press, and all he could say was, "THE RAPTURE IS AT HAND!!! THIS PROVES IT!! PIAPS IS PERVERTING MY LOYAL FOLLOWERS, AND NEXT SHE WILL BECOME PRESIDENT JUST AS I HAVE DESCRIBED IT IN MY BOOK!! AND THAT WILL SIGNAL THE END OF DAYS!! RAPTURE!!! RAPTURE!!! RAPTURE!!!" Then he hung up to send off more tracts to Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, so that they would be converted in time for Armageddon.

In the end the Moment Men had to use their own limited initiative. Learning from a call girl that Blat was about to leave town and head for the Grand Canyon "to meditate on the infinite" they roadblocked Boulder Highway with their pickup trucks and stood there ready, shotguns in hand.

But when Blat came roaring up in his red, white and blue GMC Sierra they had the surprise of their lives. As the balladeer tells it:

California Blat put the pedal to the floor
And the truck rose up into the air.
It flew right over the Moment Men’s heads,
And all that they could do was stand and stare (poor boys)
All that they could do was stand and stare.

When they finally recovered their senses, the BlatMobile was nowhere to be seen. But Potato-Head thought he heard a voice from the distance shouting, "MOMENT-MEN-LOVE! REDNECK-AMBUSH-LOVE! SAWED-OFF-SHOTGUNS-LOVE!!"

They might have taken off after him - at least Clete Knothole urged them to do so - but at that moment a car full of drunken young men drove by and, seeing Clete’s beard, called out, "Holy shit! It’s ZZ Top!" The ensuing mob scene prevented them from immediate pursuit - and by the time they had autographed all the CDs, California Blat was long gone. The Moment Men decided to drown their disappointment at the bars and blackjack tables, so who knows how long it’ll be before they take up the pursuit again?
* Those who know the American outlaw ballad "John Hardy" can sing along.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Konservo Fans' Worst Fears Sidestepped

Patrons of the Lookout Bar & Bistro in the Market were at first dismayed and then astonished as Konservo took the stage on Sunday evening, wearing an earpiece and dark glasses, mumbling what sounded like CIA code words, and sporting a three-piece suit. His demeanor was measured and he seemed oblivious to the audience's presence.

"Bloody hell!" yelled one of the assembled crowd toward the stage. "No more of this campaign crap!!! Let's get to the show!!!!"

Konservo startled all those assembled, even the bouncers, into an abrupt silence as he tugged a handgun from a shoulder holster under his jacket and fired a blank round into the air above the stage. "Show?" he retorted in clipped tones to the audience member. "Show? You think this is a show, pal? Not a deathly serious war against global extremists??"

The pregnant pause hung in the air like the smoke from Konservo's blank round.

Then, to the strains of "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" abruptly pouring at ear-splitting volume throughout the club, Konservo launched into the covert-spy-into-LGBT-icon striptease you see depicted in the illustration, at one point twirling his earpiece around his head and yelling "Did you MISS me, Ottawa??!!" before flinging the keepsake into the enthusiastic and agitated crowd.

"But...what's this going to do to the value of my autographed 'Progresso Konservo' paper doll sheet?" lamented one clubgoer. "I only today got it appraised and insured! It seemed collectible!"

"No worries," another patron reassured. "The rate this guy is going, we will see everything from him by the time U.S. elections come to a close. Meanwhile - isn't it a helluva show?!"

This campaign correspondent was unfortunately leaving the campaign venue to file this report just as Konservo was inviting audience members to the stage to spank him with his own trademark toilet brush.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Konservo Goes Progressive? Stunning Revelations from Canada!

In an about-face unusual even for this campaign, it appears that RALPH's former inseparable confidante Konservo, having gotten in touch with his inner diva during the recent SPP summit in Ottawa, has made a stunning reversal of position...including a dramatic break in which he has aligned many of his viewpoints with and bestowed his admiration upon Senator Hillary Clinton, a first-tier Presidential candidate and, to RALPH, the embodiment of all that is reprehensible.

Nightclub patrons in the area had been abuzz about Konservo's showstopping drag act, combining wingnut politics with sultry torch songs in performances that one audience member hailed by saying: "Man, that is completely better than my best acid trip in the Haight in the 60's. He's enough to make me think that, yeah, maybe 'America's Got Talent!'" So audiences this Labor Day weekend were taken aback as, to the opening strains of "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," Konservo appeared not in his customary French maid's costume but instead in a smartly-tailored pantsuit and stepping up not to the back of the baby grand piano but to a nearby podium. His frizzy grey locks appeared to have been neatly trimmed, but it was hard to tell since he sported a sleek, short blonde wig in addition to his other very corporate-leaning wear.

"My!" he began, stumbling a little over the inappropriateness of 'Americans,' the more familiar terminology. "It is indeed a privilege to address you this evening and to continue our conversation about the future of the United States of America. I want you to know that I am here as much to listen as to speak, and I hope you will tell me what is on your minds."

"Shut up the U.S. campaign B.S. already, Konservo!" shouted one voice from beyond the footlights. "Let's see that legendary can-can of yours!"

Konservo only smiled and said "No, no - I have hung up my dancing shoes for tonight. I'm here to tell you why I now believe that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who most deserves my fellow citizens' support in her bid for office, and why I have donned this pantsuit in her honor."

Amid annoyed mutterings from the standing-room-only crowd - some of whom elbowed their way to the exit demanding a refund of their cover charge - Konservo then delivered a long and rambling speech in which he praised the Senator's positions on health care reform, checks and balances in government, and student loan assistance. He advanced his own additional recommendations for school lunch menus offering roasted garlic and beets as the preferred vegetarian choice, for the compulsory observance on the Federal calendar of all Hallmark holidays - including Sweetest Day, on which citizens would be expected to make a pilgrimage to Hershey, PA - and for old women to wear at least one purple article of clothing at all times.

He concluded the evening's act with a rendition of "God Bless America" which would have brought literal tears to Kate Smith's eyes, and distributed to the audience autographed sheets of freshly-printed "Progresso Konservo" paper dolls, which he says he designed in tribute to his new favorite in the 2008 race. (Sharp eyes will spot that he has added his trademark accessory, the toilet brush, to the Clintonesque accessories. The graphic accompanying this article can be downloaded to provide a somewhat less limited-edition version of the paper doll.)

The Ralph/Blat 2008 campaign - in both its political and crusading aspects - was swift to condemn Konservo's statements while expressing hope for their former colleague to return to his previously-established views.

Near the Ohio border, Candidate RALPH jumped up and down on the roof of the van, its slapdash paint job already flaking to reveal U-Haul orange beneath, as Campaign Blat and Über Troll stood by, doing their best to stabilize the dangerously-swaying vehicle. "PIAPS!!!!" screamed RALPH. "PIAPS!!!! SHE HAS LURED MY MOST LOYAL ADHERENT INTO HER WEB OF LIES!!!!! SHE WANTS TO BUILD A SOCIALIST, ANTI-FAMILY POLITICAL MOVEMENT THAT ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO LEAVE THEIR HUSBANDS, KILL THEIR CHILDREN, PRACTICE WITCHCRAFT, DESTROY CAPITALISM, AND BECOME LESBIANS AND CROSS-DRESSERS IN LOUSY CANADIAN GAY NIGHTCLUBS WHERE THEY BUMP DOUGHNUTS AND SLURP WARM BRIE ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!!!!"

At this point RALPH actually did fall off the van, narrowly avoiding impalement on one of Über Troll's horns. Campaign Blat distributed a written statement saying that they hoped Konservo would seek privately-insured medical treatment at once and urging him to come back from Canada, where the flavorful beer and socially-conscious political movements seemed to have addled his brain cell. (Subsequent verification with the campaign confirmed the closing, singular noun was intentional and not a typo.)

The reaction from the RALPHTURE pilgrimage in Iowa was, as expected, far more vitriolic. After speaking in tongues for nearly half an hour - in what awed onlookers described as sounding like a recording of an Ann Coulter speech played backwards, including phrases such as "I swallowed Adam's Apple - now that's creationism for you!" and "William Kristol is so hot!" - Prophet Lephari denounced Konservo in harsh terms, declaring that unless he repents and embraces the RALPHTURE, he will be cast "INTO THE LAKE OF FIERY TABASCO FROM WHICH THERE IS NO COOLING RETURN TO DELICIOUS, JIGGLY JELL-O!!" At that point he fed the masses from a seemingly bottomless bucket of artificially-flavored lime Jell-0 in which slices of ripe banana - which he denied had originated in Cuba - were suspended.

As Konservo had no reply to either campaign's denunciation, his many Canadian fans are eagerly flocking to the Market on this holiday weekend, hoping for a return to his former routine.