Mudslinging with a Catapult

by Paul Caputo and Jeffrey Carl

Peculiar to the State


            Hi.  We are Jeff and Paul.  As they say, life in politics is Hell.  As we say, so is watching “Mama’s Family.”

            When we, Jeff Carl and Paul Caputo, announced that we were running for mayor (as the composite candidate “Puff Carpluto”), we promised to take on the Tough Issues.  Of course, we thought the Tough Issues were “Should I ‘Super-Size’ that Value Meal™ or not?” and “Should Keanu Reeves be executed immediately, or be tortured first?  You know?”

            Well, it turns out that there really are Tough Issues, like how a great place like Taco Bell could produce something as putrescently vile as “Pintos and Cheese” – and, of course, the matter of Dirty Politics. It is a sad fact that political campaigns are sometimes waged with a ferocity normally reserved for Nuclear War and Fast-Pitch Softball.  It’s ugly, but it can’t be ignored, just like Roseanne.

            We have discovered that our only competing candidate, Richmond Mayor Leonidas Young, has engaged in a sinister plot to be totally unaware of our existence.  It’s underhanded dealing like this that really gets our dander up, whatever that means.  We wanted to run a nice, clean campaign – one where each candidate would be judged on his/her/their merits, like their ability to play Whiffle Ball.  But NOOOOOOO.  Well, “Reverend”  “Leonidas” Young – if that is your real name – have it your way.  The gloves are off, and this time the hand is on the other foot, Mr. Mayor-Type Person.

            Through our investigave journalism techniques (watching “Seinfeld” and drinking Mountain Dew until our eyeballs explode), we have discovered a copy of the script for Oliver Stone’s next movie. (Somebody wrapped a rock around it and threw it through Paul’s car windshield.)  Stone, as you may know unless you’re from Outer Space, or possibly Canada, is famous for controversial films (such as “JFK,” which revealed that Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA, Fidel Castro and “Barney the Dinosaur;” and “Nixon,” which revealed that Nixon was a “jerk.”)  Stone’s next target is the sordid and sinister career of RICHMOND’S OWN LEONIDAS YOUNG. Wow, right?!  You know?

            So, anyway, here are highlights from the upcoming movie:



an Oliver Stone film

brought to you by Jiffy Lube, National Public Radio, Girl Scout Troop #327, and the letter “Q”


            The movie begins with young candidate Leonidas Young (played by James Earl Jones) accepting campaign contributions from a shadowy representative of a “big, out-of-town company” that wants to “build a major facility” in the Richmond “area.”  Reporters discover that the representative is Darth Vader (also played by James Earl Jones).  His plans to build a third “Death Star,” just north of Chippenham Parkway, are scrapped when he proposes a new Toll Road to access it.

            Threatened by a news story revealing his shadowy years as a “Foxy Boxing” promoter, Young blackmails NewsChannel 6 anchor Charles Fishburne (David Hasselhoff), threatening to reveal that Fishburne is actually a Muppet. Young (J. Earle Dunford) blackmails the other major stations as well (threatening to reveal Lisa Schaffner’s role in the movie “Prison Girls, Part 7” and Gene Cox’s days as a  KGB telemarketer). Fox-35 gets the story but boldly decides to “bump” it for a story about a surfing nun who is a “close personal friend” of several Space Aliens (Prince).

            Newly-elected Mayor Young (Scorpio) plots against a political rival (Steve Guttenberg), and strikes a deal with members of an underworld “family” (the Pointer Sisters) known only as “Allen, Allen, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.”  The next day, his political opponent is speaking at a rally when an unknown assailant in the crowd brutally sues him. 

            The mayor’s popularity surges when he announces his plans to change Richmond’s motto from “Richmond: Gunshot Flesh Wound Capital of the World” to “Richmond: Many of Us are Still Alive,” and hires Police Chief Jerry Oliver (Wesley Snipes) to improve the city’s crime rate (Jimmy “J.J.” Walker). At a year-end press conference, he gloats over the mere 118 murders (TRUE FACT! That’s only one every three days!) in the city in 1995.

            “Hey,” he says, “That’s pretty damn good, especially compared to other large cities, like Sarajevo.”

            Young’s popularity peaks when Richmond sculptor Paul “But is it Art?” DiPasquale (Joe Pesci) presents plans for a sculpture of  Young (see page 137) to be placed on Monument Avenue. Young is pictured holding a tennis racket, riding on a horse (John Goodman), and, inexplicably, eating a Pop-Tart (Madonna) (Get it?  It’s witty.  “Pop” ... “Tart?”  Aw, Hell with it.)  But his empire soon begins to crumble.

            Richmond Times-Dispatch Editor Ross McKenzie (Satan) attacks the statue (Kevin Costner) in the paper’s editorial, saying, “Maybe we could have a special place for statues of black people ... like someone’s basement. Furthermore, Bill Clinton is fat.”

            Young tries to pressure the Times-Dispatch (Steven Seagal), threatening to reveal all those calls they made to the “George Allen Fantasy Chat Line.”  For a time, it appears to work: two Times-Dispatch reporters (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) investigating Young’s story mysteriously decide to quit their jobs, saying that their newspaper is “a pile of crap.”  Actually, that’s not mysterious at all.  Two Style Weekly reporters (Pauly Shore and ALF) investigating the same story are stonewalled, because nobody will believe they work for a real newspaper.

            Days later, as Young (BA ‘67, MBA ‘74) is leaving church, TV news reporter Biff McNamara (Patrick Swayze) rushes up to the mayor, claiming to have have uncovered the shocking secret that he “was getting some serious ‘second-base action’ with former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick (Gary Coleman).”  Young (4 Grammy Nominations), cool under fire, escapes the veteran reporter by pointing behind him and shouting, “Wow! Isn’t that ‘Sir Woofs-a-Lot,’ the talking dog?” and running away.  The reporter is discovered several days later in the same place, asking passersby if they have seen a talking dog, and then getting punched.

            Young is disturbed that reporters have found the ugly secret truth (Roseanne, see above).  But who is the “leak” on the inside?

            We don’t want to ruin the movie for you, but since it doesn’t actually exist (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson), why not? The leak turns out to be the Pope, who is involved with a conspiracy implicating the Cubans (Paul Rodriguez and Manny Mota), Gerald Ford (Chevy Chase) and most of the 1973 Philadelphia Flyers.

            In the most dramatic moment in any movie ever – except maybe the shower scene from “Stripes” – Young (Neutral-Chaotic Magic User, +20 HP) holds a press conference, blaming his problems on “cholesterol addiction.” He resigns,and travels the country,getting paid Two Bajillion dollars an hour to speak at graduations and Bar Mitzvahs.


            Now you know the real story, except for most of it, which was “totally false.”  Furthermore, if Young can come up with anything more outlandish about us, we promise not to deny it.  Now that’s fair politics.


© 1996 Puff Carpluto


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