This Is H. Ross Perot | Year In Review | Chicago Reader

This Is H. Ross Perot 

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Establishing shot of James Stockdale in thongs, sunglasses, and baggy American-flag swim trunks, waddling up to a deck chair at poolside with a tall drink of something in a frosty glass: as he lowers his bulk onto the chair, FADE UP RHYTHM TRACK, a steady medium-tempo rap beat similar to Hammer's "This Is the Way We Row." A band of Lilliputian rappers, dancers, musicians, and backup singers climb onto Stockdale's pink belly as the groove becomes full volume--the camera zooms in, and we begin to recognize them:

Dan Rather (in backward baseball cap, shades, gold chains and rings):

He's the drake of the flock at Lake Texoma,

Just an East Tex Home Boy, he's no roama,

On the N-Y-S-E, they call him a puhfohma.

Tom Brokaw (in cornrows, a jewel in one front tooth, dashiki, untied high tops, reflector shades, and two Rolexes on each wrist):

Three or four billion, real short hair,

Ten dollar haircut, he don't care,

Sells ice to Eskimos, GM and Big Blue, and

Stranger yet, himself to you,

Along with James Stockworth . . .

Rather:

Along with James Stockton . . .

Backup singers (Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters in tutus, mesh stockings, kinky boots, and tank tops):

Along with James Stockbridge . . .

Brokaw:

Along with James Stockley . . .

Mike Wallace (playing bass dressed as Father Time):

It isn't David Stockman--is it?

Rather:

Electronic Data, he was the boss,

Sold to GM, worked on Blue Cross,

Two and a half billion is what it cost.

Brokaw:

General Motors, man, it pissed him,

The bells and whistles software, he missed 'em,

Went ahead and founded Perot Systems,

Never dropped anchor in a safe harbor,

Three or four billion later, still the same barber!

All:

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this is H. Ross Perot!

Rather:

Let him tell you somethin'!

All:

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this H. Ross Perot!

Ted Kennedy, in black studded-leather jumpsuit, takes a solo on his Fender Stratocaster; straddling it Jimi Hendrix style, he begins to pour lighter fluid on it to set it afire--then changes his mind and drinks the lighter fluid.

Rather:

His chin be clef', his ears be def,

His facial features cain't he'p theyse'f,

Big banana nose on a frame so wispy,

Lookin' like a little cartoon Rice Krispy.

Brokaw:

He little, he bad, Annapolis grad,

The Jimmy Carter you always wished you'd had,

You dig he started out Brother Henry Ray PEE-ro,

Didn't like it, so he added nine more zeros,

When you be talkin' money, he be a tree--

If he likes it said Purr-Row, well, fine by me!

Changed his middle to Ross for mother Lulu May

When his brother of the same name passed away.

Rather:

In the Navy he didn't chase any Tailgate,

Not any jailbait and not any male date,

He thought his destroyer Sigourney stunk,

Said that his C.O. Captain Scott was a drunk--

He didn't put enough stock in what H. Ross thunk!

Richard Nixon dressed as Michael Jackson does a cameo break dance as security people lead Senator Packwood away from the backup singers and D.J. Jazzy George Bush samples a Tammy Faye Baker record.

All:

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this is H. Ross Perot!

Brokaw:

And it gets worse!

All:

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this is H. Ross Perot!

Perot himself, dressed as Prince, pops up from Stockdale's belly button:

Personally, I always loved Richard Nixon,

He cut the people out and the dirty tricks in,

And got it on with Pat, that hot lil' vixen!

(Holds up a chart; it's upside down.)

He fought the Nam war and called it peace,

Increased the fire and called it cease,

Barfed on the system and named it Ed Meese.

(Throws away chart and picks up a Little Red Book.)

I read Chairman Mao, my man was big fun,

The Nixon of China, he be the one,

(Exchanges red book for another.)

And I run on the doctrines of Attila the Hun;

I'll clean up the national debt in a day,

Con the entire middle class, who'll pay, and

We'll just have to throw the Bill of Rights away;

(Laughs and performs several martial-arts moves.)

With suspected drug dealers we'll kick some butt,

Let the military get all pumped up and strut

Into some little country, I don't care what!

'Cause I'm not an actor, I don't pick or sing, but

In sales we know "the play's the thing,"

I'll be back next election, and then I'll try out

My new strategy, the electoral buyout!

Machines spew greenbacks as German skinheads hoist Perot in a sedan chair, moonwalking off Stockdale's belly as all sing:

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this is H. Ross Perot!

This is H. Ross Perot, Perot, this is H. Ross Perot!

As the music fades and the procession departs, we're left with the sight and sound of Stockdale slurping his drink.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Slug Signorino.

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