you want to be a world leader, do you?
by Mad Dog
President Alberto Fujimori was in a hotel in
Tokyo and couldn’t get online to send an email so he did what any
responsible world leader would do: he faxed his resignation to the
Peruvian Congress instead.
Watching how messy this American election has become, I
can’t help but wonder why anyone in their right mind would want to
be president. Don’t they know they’ll earn less money, have more
headaches, and look ten years older by the end of their first year
in office? And dead by the time they’re out? Sure they’ll wind
up in the history books, spend their Golden Years putting together a
library no one will go to, and have more sex with interns than the
rest of us, but is that really worth it?
Face it, running a country isn’t easy. You have millions of
people counting on you. Well, except if you’re in Monaco,
Liechtenstein, and Andorra where I’m sure we can safely say
you’d have “people counting on you.” You have to keep everyone
happy (unless you’re Milosovec, Putin, or a Republican, in which
case you couldn’t care less), you need to maintain a strong
economy (which means watching out for other people’s bank
accounts, not just your own), and you should strive to maintain
peace (unless you’re running the Ivory Coast, Timor, Israel, Iraq,
and, oh, you get the idea).
Thus, it should come as no
surprise that from time to time world leaders want to quit. This
isn’t like your normal everyday job where you can give two weeks
notice and they’ll mail your last paycheck, hopefully remembering
to include that vacation time you didn’t get to use because those
damned peace talks ran longer than expected. Well, it isn’t unless
you’re Richard Nixon or Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.
think kings and queens have it easier, but that’s not the case.
There are constant crown fittings, astronomical red carpet cleaning
bills, and the pain of having to find a cousin to marry who hasn’t
mated with your side of the family yet.
These world leaders both quit suddenly, and each handled the
situation rather differently. Nixon gave a televised speech to the
nation; Fujimori faxed his resignation. This is true. He was in a
hotel in Tokyo and probably couldn’t get online to send an email
so he did what any responsible world leader would do: he faxed it to
the Peruvian Congress instead. I’m dying to find out what his
cover page was like. Did it say “Urgent”? Or maybe
“Confidential to the whole country of Peru”? Since he was a
classy guy I have a feeling it read, “From the desk of your
ex-president who’s watching The Spice Channel in an expensive
hotel in a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with
Most leaders don’t quit,
they’re ousted, either by force or legal means. At the moment
former actor Joseph Estrada, president of the Philippines, is
undergoing an impeachment proceeding for having appeared in CHIPS.
Just kidding. Actually that was Erik Estrada, and he was executed
for it a couple of months ago. Interestingly, his was the only one
of this year’s thirty-eight Texas executions which no one objected
President Estrada is charged with taking $11 million in kickbacks
from illegal gambling rackets and tobacco taxes. This points up a
major difference between the Philippines and the United States,
other than when they unleash a Love Bug it’s a computer virus and
when we do it it’s a cheesy Disney movie about a Volkswagen named
Herbie. In the Philippines a president is impeached for taking money
under the table; in the U.S. they’re impeached for having an
intern under the table. And they say all we ever think about is
probably think kings and queens have it easier, but that’s not the
case. There’s a lot to it. There are constant crown fittings,
astronomical red carpet cleaning bills, and the pain of having to
find a cousin to marry who hasn’t mated with your side of the
family yet. Oh yeah, and trying to keep the help happy.
After Swaziland received a shipment of donated American
condoms to help stop the spread of HIV, Maahodvwa Diamini, a member
of parliament, announced that they were “too small for us.” He
went on to say that Mexicans are lazy and the Irish drink too much.
is a particular problem at Buckingham Palace right now where
advisors to Queen Elizabeth II are considering closing the staff bar
to save money. It seems that for years the palace servants have been
able to have a drink at their own private bar during working hours
to make up for their lousy pay and long shifts.
This is ridiculous!
Not that they have a staff bar, or that they work hard and are paid
poorly. No, it’s ridiculous that they want to take their bar away.
This is like telling cops they can’t have free doughnuts, stopping
postal workers from driving over the mail with their truck after
they fish it out of Lake Mead, or not letting college professors
take advantage of cute co-eds. Is it any wonder the palace servants
are walking around with signs that say: “Down the Guinness or up
In Swaziland, the king is
having a hard time keeping a different kind of staff happy. After
the country received a big shipment of donated American condoms to
help stop the spread of HIV, Maahodvwa Diamini, a member of
parliament, announced that they were “too small for us.” He went
on to say that Mexicans are lazy, the Irish drink too much, and
Alberto Fujimori could have at least sent his country a “My inner
child can’t cope with running your inner child’s country so I
quit” card instead of sleazing out by sending a fax.
This is where kings come in
handy. The country’s ruler, King Mswati III, had the presence of
mind and Solomon-like wisdom to ask that the country’s
smaller-endowed men come forward and use the donated condoms because
not using them, or sending them back, would be rude. At least he
didn’t suggest sending them to China.
Think about all this the
next time you say “If I ran the country things would be
different.” Or “Hey honey, what do you say I spend $60 million
of our money to win a New Jersey Senate seat?” Or even sing “If
I was king of the jungle!”. Remember, the grass always looks
greener on the other side of the security fence. And it will stay
that way as long as you keep your help supplied with free drinks.
Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while waiting for your fax resignation to go through.