MAY 9, 2004

We caught up with Papoon in his digs resting between junkets on his busy schedule. We asked him what distinguished his platform above the other heavy hitters in the field, which include a popular incumbent who has styled himself as the "Wartime President." Bearing in mind Papoon has tried for forty years to become President without success.

"Well," said Mr. Papoon. "First, as you know from my slogan, I am not insane. Secondly, I am very honest."

When queried on substantiation of the latter part, we were directed to Mrs. Papoon, the Candidate's mother. We declined to pursue this and presented several other questions about his intentions vis a vis the economy, the disastrous occupation of Newark by an army of Bums led by Eugene Shrubb, the problem of wayward terriers -- especially the still-at-large Osama Bin Lassie -- the extreme polarization of the Legislature into opposing masses of quivering, shouting, gesticulating and ineffective jellyfish, and the unfortunate Jackson family.

Papoon had this to say at first, which left us quite puzzled and entirely unable to follow what followed for some time afterwards.

"My friend, we live in an age in which cartoons are replacing movie actors upon the silver screen, movie actors are becoming politicians looking for votes, and now politicians are becoming each day more and more like cartoons in search of the punchline to wrap it all up."

Eugenia, the staff photog, brought us back to our senses with a sharp "hsst!" and a jab to the ribs.

Ah yes, that is all well and good, but seeing as this is the 15th time you have run for office do you not observe one particular obstacle to your election," we interjected into a probably meaningful announcement about interest rates.

Papoon, furrowed his brow as if the prospect of losing this election had not occurred to him. He admitted he could not think of a reason.

"Mr. Papoon, lets be frank here. And direct. You are a ground squirrel, are you not?"

Papoon had to agree he was, still puzzled at this line of inquiry.

"Mr. Papoon, you are not of the human species. Is this not an obstacle to being elected President of the United States of America? Isn't there a qualification that you lack?"

Papoon responded quite indignantly that the qualifications state that the Candidate must be over thirty years of age and born in the United States. Furthermore he was not and never had been a member of the Communist Party and, might he add, California had for its Governor a naturalized Alien born in Austria. So there.

Papoon whisked his tail vigorously and cracked open a nut for emphasis before adding, persons of both major parties will have to admit that there have been individuals appointed and elected to be President who have been far more improbable as well as inappropriate than himself.

On this we had to agree and the interview was terminated.


As some of you know, Island-Life enjoyed an exclusive interview with the Presidential Candidate for the Rodentia Party, Papoon, whose motto is an encouraging NOT INSANE!

Clearly, recent events focused upon prison abuses in Iraq have become now an election issue. We Americans like to think that we need to be tough on bad guys, but things like hooding naked men for months at a time, forcing them to perform sexual acts with one another, and simply beating injured people bound helplessly to bedframes with iron rods exceeds human decency, as well as a general sense of fair play and what used to be considered as essential American values.

Papoon has no trouble with events as reported, summarizing succinctly as follows: "Once you claim yourself to be the right hand of God, you put yourself on the same plane as the terrorist and make yourself equal for he justifies all by the same. This only serves to promote my demand that Americans elect a rodent above the likes of Bushy."

Detractors have unkindly compared Bushy's face to that of a simian relative. Is it possible that this species is well off by several chromosomes? We wonder what would be more appropriate as a simile for the behavior of Bushy, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the stained-pants liar Mr. Colin Powell, who once was held up as an example of honorable and straightforward behavior. Would it be a nutria? Too passive. A rabbit? Too frivolous and funny. Something a bit weaselish, but with no compunctions against devouring the dead or savaging the barely alive. We leave comparisons to the few who pay attention to these things. George Bush and Company: Rodents of the Year.

Just don't put them in with ground squirrels, or face the wrath of Papoon, who considers these Washingtons, as he calls them, sub-squirrel in their behavior. Actually, it was Papoon who reminded us of the Graph of Intelligence, revealing a hint of who may become his running mate. So, we repeat the Graph of Intelligence, which indicates why dolphins are a superior species.