ARNOLD THE BARBARIAN
MURRY THE CONTRARIAN
Murry wanted to debate
Arnie on live television
By MURRY FRYMER
Suddenly, I find there is a certain cache in being a Californian. Friends and relations from outside the state have been calling and asking me about the upcoming recall election, asking me to explain what is going on and why and if I know Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Actually the answers are: I dont know and I dont know and no.
It does strike me as sort of bizarre that we are going to have an election on Oct. 7 where the current governor will lose if he gets 49.9 per cent of the vote and somebody else, probably named Schwarzenegger could win with less than 10 per cent of the vote. It took real geniuses to come up with this recall law. A few years ago our legislature came up with another law deregulating the utilities and forcing them to buy electricity from sellers like Enron.
Our current-temporarily current-governor, Gray Davis, got blamed for the stupidity of the legislators, but thats OK because Davis has no charisma and in California having no charisma is a crime. Our prisons are filled with people lacking charisma. On the other hand, our bikinis are filled with charisma all over the state.
Anyway, with Gray proving himself an easy mark, and most pointedly, dull, we are going to get rid of him. And that brings us to Arnold Schwarzenegger who, until all this recall stuff started, I assumed had no charisma, either. Imagine my surprise to find out that Californians love this body-builder who has never learned to act, or speak English, or much about politics. In fact, his expertise, beyond muscles, seems to revolve around real estate. I understand he owns a lot of Santa Monica.
Yes and there are a lot more candidates than Schwarzenegger. Theres Americas lovable Larry Flint and former baseball commissioner Peter Euberroth and former loser-to-Gray Davis just 11 months ago, Bill Simon.
I have a secret. I was considering running for the job myself. The entry fee of $3,500 seemed reasonable for the chance to stand on a podium next to Arnold Schwarzenegger and debate the issues of the day with him, maybe even get off an Ill be back crack.
But to enter the race, you needed 65 names on a petition and I figured I could only get four or five, even if I offered cookies and other bribes like that.
So Ill wait for the Arnold Schwarzenegger recall election, or the recall after that. Eventually, I think, everybody in California will get his five minutes of fame by running for governor. Those who get elected will have 10 minutes of fame.
There are people I know, from other states, who think Californians are goofs, but we are not. We are serious people, but we get too much sunlight and the rainfall is slim, so the only thing that grows here is charisma. Unfortunately, I spend too much time indoors.
I have another secret. I like Gray Davis. He has a beautiful head of hair, a commodity I value more than any other. And secondly, he is the original Mr. Cellophane. He is the only governor who can be in the same room with a ficus plant and get less attention than the plant. I understand Bill Clinton is now giving him advice, but Davis may be a project beyond even charismatic Clintons talent.
Anyway, we are in for seven weeks of bad jokes (a few of which I have used up here) and interviews with the porn queen who is also on the ballet, who can debate Flynt on a subject that they at least understand.
But mostly it is Schwarzegger I dread in this election. I have never seen a Terminator movie, though I did see the one he made as Danny DeVitos twin. DeVito does have charisma and I would vote for him in a second. Schwarzeneger has only that brutal accent, the one I used to hear in all those World War II movies. I hear his father was a Nazi, something that might be a detriment to a guy like Gray Davis. But, poor Gray, fought in OUR army and even won some medals. Dull.
I am probably going to avoid television for the duration of this campaign and I will surely avoid it when Schwarzegger becomes governor. Funny thing, I thought Gary Condit was going to run, but he has had his own battle with charisma, so he is sitting it out.
Anyway, I guess I havent really explained California. Its a neat place, though. Most of us speak Spanish or Mandarin, so we probably wont even notice that Schwarzenegger has an accent, or we may think that is what English sounds like.
I guess Ill vote for Gray Davis, but that porn queen could get my vote if she has some cookies to pass out. But, hey, maybe I should decide too soon. There are about 230 other candidates and I want to hear, in detail, how each will change my life. Yes, I want to hear it in detail. And they better have charisma.
©2003 by Murry Frymer. The Frymer caricatures are by ©2000 by Jim Hummel.
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