By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Title: The Benefits of Dying in Iraq
Problem: More than 260 American soldiers have already died during the war, along with thousands of Iraqi civilians and hapless soldiers. All for just a billion dollars a week. There is much speculation as to how long the people of the United States will abide, and we must end that speculation.
Spokesperson:Any well-kempt, handsome soldier in Iraq will do.
Script:"You think it's tough being dead? Try being in my shoes for three days. [Sound of explosion and falling debris] Oh shit, is that somebody's toe? It's a hot summer, man. When we're not sweating and cursing Don Rumsfeld's name, we're getting picked off by bastard Baathists. I don't know much about Iraqi hearts and minds, but I've seen plenty of guts and brains. And have you ever inhaled a cloud of depleted uranium? It's not new age aroma therapy, I can assure you. But there's an upside. If you die over here, you get to skip the syndrome. And like I always remind the guys, who wants a syndrome? [Machine gun fire erupts] And if we die, the government gives our families a one-time $9,000 death benefit -- most of it isn't even taxed. Pret-ty sweet. Plus, since Saddam put a $5,000 bounty on our heads, every time one of us gets popped, it helps stimulate the Iraqi economy. Kind of like a tax refund. We're here for the Iraqis, right? Yeah, Bush loves him some Iraqis. What kind of life was I going to have in America anyway? I'm strictly working class. Even if I used the G.I. Bill for college, the best I'd do is spend my life clawing my way up to middle management. [A huge bomb explodes nearby] Sweet mother of God! No, really, the president is doing us all a big favor over here."
And here are a couple of Jeb's future campaigns:
Title: The Benefits of Medical Malpractice
Problem: To keep doctors happy (and contributing huge dollars to the Republican Party), Jeb has tried to convince people -- and the Florida Senate -- that they should support a measly $250,000 cap, including attorney's fees, for pain and suffering. Last week, Jeb compromised with the Republican-led legislature on a $500,000 cap, but this fight is far from over.
Spokesperson:A well-kempt, articulate man missing a leg.
Script: "I'll admit it: When my doctor accidentally removed my right leg instead of my appendix, I was a little upset. It cost me my job as second-string kicker for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. And, even worse, it stole my dream of dancing with the Rockettes at Carnegie Hall. I tried to kick a field goal after the accident, but after more hopping and falling than I care to recount, the farthest the ball would go was three yards. I knew that wasn't enough, even for Arena ball. But hey, I already had another leg, after all. And limbs are way overrated. There are big-time benefits to being unilegged. During the surgery, I lost that 35 pounds I've been trying to shed since college. And get this: When a sock disappears in the laundry, it's only half as vexing as it used to be. So it's great. And I still have faith in our great medical system, though I will take my old football cup to the tonsillectomy I have scheduled for next week."
Title:The Benefits of Being Lost in the Foster Care System
Problem: Everyone knows that the state Department of Children and Families has had some, um, difficulties in keeping up with Florida's foster children. Rilya Wilson is just the most famous example. We need to change that perception.
Spokesperson:Think a very young Justin Timberlake.
Script: "I was a foster kid before the State of Florida lost me. A lot of people figure this wasn't a good thing, but they are wrong. For one thing, I didn't have to deal with that old guy in my foster home called "Uncle Ray" anymore. I don't want to get into the details, but his idea of fun generally involved a feather boa and a half quart of Crisco. And since they lost me, my drug problem has gotten much better -- I've scored more rock and weed in the past couple of weeks than I did in two years with the state. I haven't been to school in about a year, but I was no good at it anyway. They even held me back in the third grade after I failed the FCAT. But now that I'm away from the pressures of the classroom, I'm starting to read more, especially since the library is air-conditioned and all. So don't ask me to take any of that public education charity. It's time to grow up. I'm almost 11 now, for Chrissakes."