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White house clones, original ( Kerry Stephenson)
(topical, chuckle, politics, original)

As self-appointed Tabloid Journalist on the Politics list, it is
my job to provide the list with timely, entertaining, and entirely
made-up news.  In that capacity, I submitted the following Special

THE VIRTUAL WORLD NEWS               "Never overestimate the public's
                                     ability to read; never underestimate
                                     its desire not to."

************ S P E C I A L   R E P O R T ****************************


It has just been revealed to the Virtual World News that the United
States government has been engaged in secret cloning research, a la
Jurassic Park, for the past three decades.  However, the feds have
not been cloning dinosaurs, but something less dangerous and even
more useless to humanity--vice presidents.

According to sources, the project began out of a misbegotten attempt
to preserve John F. Kennedy.  The source, a highly placed government
scientist who headed Project Veep for over a decade, told us, "We
tried to get Jack back.  We really did.  We even took some cells
from Bobby.  But it just didn't work.  The failures have been
showing up all over the world, ever since, having their pictures
taken in all kinds of compromising positions--including on the
White House lawn with aliens."  On condition of anonymity, the
source gave us the details of the experiment.  Our interview took
place in a secret location, to which we traveled blindfolded.  This
report is the result of that interview.

In 1963, the first attempts were made to clone JFK, in hopes
of getting him back on the ticket in 1964.  It was felt that a
Kennedy clone at the top of the ticket would have been too
"eerie" for Americans to accept, but "he could have been set up
as the vice president without too much trouble."  The scientists
tried mucking around with JFK's DNA in various highly scientific
ways, hoping to remove the more troublesome aspects of his
character.  Unfortunately, their efforts were fruitless.

Deciding that the project was "too much fun" to abandon, the
scientists attempted to clone then-vice president Hubert
Humphrey, but ended up with a disappointingly Elmer
Fudd-ish knockoff.  Undaunted, but running quickly out of
money, they approached former California governor Richard
Nixon, who was rumored in Washington to be "the kind of
guy who knows how to get his hands on a lot of money and
not the kind to ask for receipts."  Nixon agreed to fund
the project, but insisted that he be the next subject in
the experiment.  "I used to be vice president," he
reportedly said.  The scientists, desperately in need of
funds, agreed to the condition, hoping to "get it over with
quick and move on to someone we actually wanted more of."

The Nixon cloning project was a success; too much so.  The
clone was in fact more appealing than the original, and,
breaking out of the laboratory, it declared itself a candidate
for president.  The scientists tried unsuccessfully to kill
the clone, but "he just kept coming back.  It was horrible.
It was a nightmare.  There was nothing we could do but
watch him become president.  May God have mercy on our souls."

Once the Nixon clone had won, the real Nixon persuaded him to
come to a secret meeting in a parking garage near the White
House, where the original, by a method known only to Nixon
and several voodoo priests, terminated it with extreme prejudice.
The folklore of the Project insists that the spirit of the
clone still inhabits the garage, "occasionally appearing to
gullible reporters and constantly plotting a comeback."

Unable to bear the idea of cloning Spiro Agnew, the scientists
all but gave up on the project for years.  Except for a half-
hearted attempt to clone Walter Mondale (which, disappointingly,
resulted only in Michael Dukakis, the scientists spent most of
their time drinking and blaming each other for the Nixon fiasco.

However, in 1985, worried that the presidency of Ronald Reagan
"was hanging by a single neuron that could snap at any time,"
the scientists obtained Reagan's permission to clone him.  Instead,
they cloned then-vice president George Bush.  For the first time,
the experiment was a success.  The source admits, somewhat
sheepishly, "it was the first real success of the Project.  We
had a terrific party and were drunk for weeks afterward.  We
were so wasted we forgot about the vice president for years.
We poured our money into genetic research and got rich.  We
paid off Nixon, and that kind of alleviated a lot of the guilt
we had been feeling.  We got in touch with our true selves.  We
didn't get a chance to replace the vice president until he
was running for president--I only wish we had gotten to him
before he made that stupid tax pledge."

The real vice-president was taken to a small island in the
Caribbean, given a pension and a mansion to share with one of
two failed Marilyn Monroe clones (the other one is now known
as "Madonna"), and warned not to come back.  Our source, who
had by then been demoted to senior assistant Project Director
due to his excessive drinking, says, "He didn't care.  He didn't
want to be President anyway.  Who would?"

With the Project running smoothly, the scientists moved quickly
to clone vice-presidential candidate J. Danforth Quayle.  "That
one worked, too," the source says, "except for the SpellCheck."
Quayle himself was humanely destroyed.

During the Bush presidency, "we had a good chance to figure out
what the drawbacks were of the process.  We had a problem with
the 'warmth' factor, and there were errors in the vocabulary of
both clones.  We tried tinkering with them on numerous occasions,
and Marilyn [Quayle] was hospitalized once because she started telling
people that she thought her husband was someone else.  We got her
under control in time for the 1992 convention, though."

Figuring that the clones were likely to lose the election, the
scientists approached vice-presidential candidate Al Gore,
persuading him to become part of the experiment.  "We told him
we were doing important environmental research.  That's all it
took.  We picked him up at the bus station, drove him into
Middle America, and fed him to a cow as soon as we knew the
project was successful.  It was really easy."

But now the scientists are having second thoughts about the Project.
"What were we thinking?" the source said, "Who in their right mind
would want another vice president?"  Moreover, there are
problems in the current clone that the scientists appear unable
to correct.  "Dammit," our source said, pounding our interview
table with his fist, "he was supposed to *move*!"

It is unclear what will happen in the future with Project Veep.
However, this reporter, when left alone in the room for a few
moments, did observe a chilling harbinger of things perhaps
to come.  There, in the bookcase next to a set of binders
marked "JFK1," "JFK2," "Nixon," and the like, sits a nearly-
empty three-ring binder neatly labeled "HILLARY."

This has been a special report from the Virtual World News.

We now return you to your usual round of catcalls, insults,
and general conversational mayhem.

--Tabloid Kerry, exclusive to the Virtual World News.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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