Who Do I Have To Blow To Win The Bancroft Prize In American History?

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Vol 38 Issue 02

Howie Long Expresses Desire To Direct Radio Shack Spots

LOS ANGELES— Pondering his next career move, Radio Shack pitchman and former NFL defensive end Howie Long told reporters Monday that he is interested in directing an upcoming installment of the series of commercials in which he playfully endorses high-tech gadgets with actress Teri Hatcher. "I've given it a lot of thought, and I think I'm ready to get behind the camera," Long said. "I've done the acting thing for a while now, and I just feel like it's time for a new challenge." Long said he could bring the kind of experience and insight to directing the commercials that only comes from having spent countless hours on the set.

Receptionist Takes Leave Of Absence Citing Dehydration, Exhaustion

QUINCY, IL— Citing "dehydration and exhaustion," a spokesperson for Andrea Conklin announced Monday that the Quincy dental receptionist will take an extended leave of absence. "The stress and strain of answering Dr. Taubman's phones all day long has finally taken its toll on Ms. Conklin," spokesman Chris Vinocur said. "Andrea is now in the care of her personal physician, who has recommended that she take two months off to regain her strength." Vinocur denied rumors in last week's National Enquirer that Conklin had checked into a drug-rehabilitation facility.

Consumer Reports Rates Self 'Excellent'

NEW YORK— Consumer Reports magazine earned a rating of "excellent" in its special "Consumer Advocacy Magazines" issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday. "From our exhaustive, unbiased appraisals of all types of consumer products to our clear, concise writing style, Consumer Reports is once again the undisputed winner," the article read. "For the latest in consumer information and product-safety recalls, look no further than us."

Enron Executives Blamed For Missing Employee Donut Fund

HOUSTON— The Enron Corp. scandal widened Monday, when The Houston Chronicle reported that top company executives stole nearly $10 from the employee donut fund sometime between June and August of last year. "There should be at least $9.25 in the coffee can next to the filters," said Laurie Baker, a recently laid-off Enron employee. "I personally put $2.50 into that fund, and now it's gone." Enron CEO Kenneth Lay is already under grand-jury subpoena regarding $45 in Chinese-food-delivery allocations that mysteriously vanished on Nov. 17, 2001.

Confused Marines Capture Al-Jazeera Leader

DOHA, QATAR— In a daring effort to dismantle the vast Arab network, a company of confused Marines raided Al-Jazeera headquarters Monday and captured leader Mohammed Abouzeid. "Al-Jazeera has ties to virtually every country in the Arab world, and this guy was the key to their whole operation," Lt. Warren Withers said. "Nothing went through the Al-Jazeera communications array without his go-ahead." Pentagon officials praised the soldiers for their "courageous and swift action," but noted they would have preferred that the Marines captured someone hostile to the U.S. instead.

Homeless People Shouldn't Make You Feel Sad Like That

I realize not everybody can make mid-six figures like my husband. But just because you're not as fortunate as others, that doesn't give you the right to go around depressing people. That's my problem with the homeless: They spend all their time shuffling around in their tattered, smelly clothes, making you feel awful about having a nice home and job. Well, I don't think they should make you feel sad like that.

Developmentally Disabled Senator Wants To Be Treated Like Any Other Lawmaker

WASHINGTON, DC—When he was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2000, Sen. Freddy Rigby (D-NE) knew he had a tough road ahead of him. Developmentally disabled since birth, Rigby's controversial election provoked reactions ranging from misty-eyed admiration to outrage. But to supporters and detractors alike, this very special senator makes one simple request: to be treated just like any other lawmaker.
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Who Do I Have To Blow To Win The Bancroft Prize In American History?

For the past seven years, I have devoted myself wholly to the task of studying the life of William Howard Taft, becoming, in the process, the world's foremost authority on our 27th president. I have delved deeply into both his personal and political history, tracing his journey from a hardscrabble Ohio boyhood to the highest office in the land.

At the risk of seeming immodest, I firmly believe that my recently published book, Taft, is the definitive biography of the man, breathing new life into an all-too-overlooked president better known for his girth than for his considerable skills as a statesman and orator. That said, it came as a great surprise to me when, on Jan. 14, the nominees for a certain prize were announced, and my name was not among them.

So I ask, just who the hell do I have to blow to get a Bancroft Prize in American History?

I mean, is there a particular committee member around whose penis I should wrap my lips, or should I just blow the whole lot of them, sucking and slurping phalluses like a Singapore whore?

My research for Taft was painstaking and exhaustive. In addition to studying archival documents from the Taft Presidential Library, I unearthed as many new sources as I could, going door-to-door in an effort to track down descendants who might have letters, photos, or any other personal artifacts that could potentially shed new light on his life. In late 1999, I spent three months devoted exclusively to researching Taft's 1890–91 stint as solicitor-general under President Benjamin Harrison. Apparently, though, that wasn't enough. I guess it's time for some feverish cock-gobbling.

Maybe if I'd dressed up all sexy and shook my ass like David McCullough did when he won for John Adams, I'd have had the Bancroft people eating out of my hand.

Lest you think otherwise, let me make it clear that this is not about the $4,000 cash award. This has nothing to do with money. This is about recognition for what I know in my heart was a meticulously researched, passionately written book on a subject sorely deserving of attention. But I guess as far as the Bancroft Prize committee is concerned, that only matters if I'm slobbering on their knobs.

I guess I just needed to get on my knees before the committee in a display of inferiority to their alpha selves. Then, each male committee member could have unzipped his pants and roughly thrust his skinflute into my mouth before pulling out and covering me in a thick coat of love snot. Maybe then I would've been in the running for that prestigious award.

You can't tell me David Nasaw didn't choke on a few throbbing Johnsons to win the prize for his Hearst biography. I mean, how else could such sloppy, uninspired prose on such a painfully obvious subject win? Please. And Philip D. Morgan? There's no question in my mind that he boarded the dick-smoking train to Bancroft Prizeville, a ticket he paid for with gallons of Tijuana toothpaste.

It's not like I didn't try to play the game a little bit. I sent out holiday cards to every member of the committee along with a complimentary copy of Taft. Maybe if I'd also attached a note reading "Good for one free blow job," I'd have gotten somewhere.

Will somebody please explain to me why I even bothered putting 84 months into this book when instead I could have scrawled "Taft was awesome" on a scrap of paper and then spent a few hours deep-throating the committee chair?

For my next project, the most ambitious biography of Boss Tweed ever undertaken, I'll know how to play the game. Instead of tireless research and countless rewrites, I'll limber up my lips and suck off everyone in the entire academic community. Then, at long last, the Bancroft Prize in American History will be mine.

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