Bush Cites The Last Starfighter As Inspiration For Entering Politics

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Nation's Dogs Dangerously Underpetted, Say Dogs

NEW YORK—At a press conference Monday, representatives of the Association of American Dogs announced that the nation's canines are dangerously underpetted. "Every night, thousands of U.S. dogs go to bed without so much as a scritch behind the ears," AAD president Banjo said. "If this sort of neglect from our masters continues, it could lead to widespread jumping on the furniture." Upon his owner's arrival in the press-conference room, Banjo abruptly ended his speech, frantically barking, leaping, and rolling over on his back in an effort to communicate his need for a vigorous belly rub.

Stripper Failing School She's Working Self Through

LAS VEGAS—Exotic dancer Tricia "Mercedes" Hrlevich, 22, who is stripping to put herself through school, is failing her Red Rock Community College business classes, sources said Tuesday. "I definitely want to do something with, like, business," said Hrlevich, who has received Fs on three straight economics exams. "Dancing at Cheetah's [Gentlemen's Cabaret] is just a way of getting closer toward that goal." Hrlevich then accompanied a balding 54-year-old to the Champagne Room, where she earned $60 toward a Psych 101 textbook she will never read.

Compliment Goes Horribly Awry

KNOXVILLE, TN—A compliment went horribly awry Monday, when Greg Upchurch, 26, praised girlfriend Sheri Werning, 25, for her "juicy ass." "I didn't mean fat," said Upchurch, explaining himself to the offended Werning. "By 'juicy,' I meant curvy, you know? Like, that you're really healthy and athletic, and not some sickly little stick figure." Having dug himself into a hole, Upchurch pondered comparing Werning's posterior to Jennifer Lopez's, but ultimately decided against it.

Bush To Lovely Chilean Ambassador:'I Must Paint You'

WASHINGTON, DC—After spotting Chilean Ambassador to the U.S. Natalia Verdugo at a D.C.-area café Tuesday, a smitten President Bush promptly invited the bewitching diplomat to his artist's garret in the East Wing of the White House. "I must paint you," Bush reportedly told Verdugo. "I simply must commit your beauty to the canvas immediately. Please, come away with me to my studio, where the early-evening light from my western window shall caress your undraped form." Though she eventually agreed to pose for the president, Verdugo drew the line at "an afternoon of fiery passion" among his charcoal sketches.

8-Year-Old Forced To Eat Organic Macaroni And Cheese

SAUSALITO, CA—In spite of his distaste for Annie's Homegrown Mac & Cheese, area 8-year-old Josh Remmert was forced by his mother to eat an entire plate of the organic pasta for lunch Tuesday. "I like Kraft Mac & Cheese a lot better, but Mom says it's all processed and got artificial stuff in it," Remmert said. "At least it's the right color. The cheese in this stuff isn't even orange." To help wash down the all-natural pasta, Remmert was given a choice between carrot juice and vanilla-flavored Rice Dream.

Continuing Clashes In Iraq

In spite of the war's conclusion, U.S. troops continue to engage in deadly skirmishes with Iraqi protesters, killing 16 in one such clash last week. What do you think?

Have You Been Bitten By The Matrix Bug?

Item! Beware of Matrixmania! Matrix 2: Back To The Matrix is coming out soon, and that means the ladies of the world will once again be drooling over hunky Lawrence "Black Morpheus" Fishburn. But while drooling is guaranteed, many questions remain unanswered: Can the sequel top the original? Did Elron really die in the first one, or will he be back? Will there be more sparks between Neon and Brittany? Tune in here for all the latest cyber-poop.
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Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

Bush Cites The Last Starfighter As Inspiration For Entering Politics

WASHINGTON, DC–During a speech Monday, President Bush disclosed for the first time the pivotal role the 1984 science-fiction adventure film The Last Starfighter played in his decision to enter politics.

Bush at work in the Oval Office, with a poster of his favorite movie nearby.

"My whole life, I'd grown up around politics, but it wasn't until that fateful day in 1984, at a matinee screening of The Last Starfighter at the old Orpheum Theater in Midland, TX, that I finally realized that my destiny lay in public service," said Bush, speaking at a Republican National Committee fundraiser at the Washington Hilton. "The movie showed me that no matter who you are and where you come from, you can make a big difference."

The comments surprised the estimated 600 RNC members in attendance, as well as Bush's aides, who expected the president to discuss his proposed tax cut and plan for governing post-war Iraq. Not even his closest advisors knew of Bush's passion for the Reagan-era space epic.

Straying from his scripted remarks, Bush described at length his "lost" years of the early 1980s in Midland.

"I was holding down two jobs, one at an oil well, the other for a third-rate professional baseball team," Bush said. "I had gotten a local girl pregnant, and I spent my weekends watching golf on TV and drinking with my buddies. My dad was vice-president then, and occasionally he'd offer me some vice-presidential stuff to do, you know, just to get a taste for politics. But I was too distracted by other things. Basically, I was your typical unfocused kid."

One idle Saturday, Bush said he purchased a ticket to a matinee showing of The Last Starfighter. The seemingly inconsequential act would have profound repercussions on the young man–and, ultimately, on the entire nation.

"Just minutes into the film, I found myself relating deeply to Alex, the lead character played by Lance Guest," Bush said. "He lived in a trailer park and had little opportunity to advance himself. His only escape was playing video games."

After achieving a record score on a video game called "Starfighter," Alex is contacted by a mysterious man who invented the game. The man, named Centauri, proves to be a space alien whose home planet, Rylos, is under impending attack by a sinister invasion force known as the Ko-Dan Armada. Centauri had invented the game as a means to recruit standout video gamers who could pilot the real-life versions of the Gunstar spaceships featured in the game.

Bush was enthralled.

"Here's this kid, with nothing going on in his life, and it turns out that his only talent, one that seemed so trivial and ridiculous, could alter the fate of the galaxy forever," Bush said. "That really inspired me."

Bush said he could also identify with Alex's initial reluctance to becoming a Starfighter.

"At first, Alex didn't want to do it," Bush said. "He figured, why should he fight for the Star League and risk his life battling an enemy he knew nothing about? But then, when the other Starfighters were killed in an attack on their base and [evil emperor] Zur sent his vicious Zan-Do-Zan assassins to Earth to kill him, Alex began to realize that the only thing standing between the Ko-Dan and universal conquest was himself."

Continued Bush: "I realized that if Alex turned down the chance to be a Starfighter, he would have been assassinated, and Earth would have been destroyed. It made me think long and hard about my own place in the world: Was I making the right decisions? Was I helping people as much as I could? Was I missing out on a chance to save mankind?"

Bush added that he loved the film's breakthrough computer-generated special effects, as well as the fact that Alex had a robot double–something he had dreamed of having in his youth.

Transfixed by the film, Bush would go on to see it seven times that summer, memorizing its dialogue and buying a VHS copy on the day of its release. But The Last Starfighter's most profound impact on Bush was the way it motivated him to leave the private sector and enter politics.

"It made me realize that politics truly was in my blood," Bush said. "Who cares if I wasn't a good businessman or a sharp scholar? Alex was even worse off than me, and look what he achieved."

Bush admitted that, while running for Texas governor in 1994, he kept his Last Starfighter videocassette cued up in his campaign bus' VCR, ready for rewinding or fast-forwarding to his favorite scenes on a moment's notice.

"When my spirits were sagging, I'd watch the scene where Alex tells Centauri that he's just 'a kid from a trailer park,'" Bush said. "Centauri replies, 'If that's what you think, then that's all you'll ever be.' It helped me remember that the only boundaries that exist are those you create in your mind."

Continued Bush: "Or, as Alex says to [his girlfriend] Maggie, 'Don't you see this is it? This is our big chance. It's like, whatever this is, when it comes, you've got to grab on with both hands and hold tight.'"

The fundraiser audience reacted to the Bush speech with near-silence.

"I sort of remember the movie when it first came out, but I never saw it," RNC chairman Marc Racicot said. "As a Bush supporter and GOP policymaker, maybe I should rent it sometime."

Former White House communications director Karen Hughes, a close advisor to Bush in the early days of his presidency, said she had failed to realize the full significance of The Last Starfighter during her time in the administration.

"When I first started working for the president, he would sometimes mention the movie. Once or twice, he even tried to get me to read his Last Starfighter fan fiction," Hughes said. "But I always assumed that his decision to enter politics was shaped by his desire to continue his family's long history of public service. The Last Starfighter. Wow."

Added Hughes: "That probably explains why [Last Starfighter co-star] Catherine Mary Stewart is our ambassador to Zambia."

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