The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois on August 28, 1987 · 9
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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois · 9

Moline, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, August 28, 1987
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TGIF Thank goodness it's Friday THE DAILY DISPATCH, Moline, Illinois Friday, August 28, 1987 Bl tt - ' ' l f U - , ... r - A3( ,i ' C v i , i ,b A A . 4 V ' WvV !f!i! 1 : i'i j 1 1 ''.'iiul : V "If elected ... I promise a litter box on every corner and din-din in every dish. And you won't catch me catting around." Q Q-C cat split over the 6ptiir-fect9 candidate By Jackie Chesser Staff writer Following the lead of Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan, another screen star has thrown his hat (or mittens, as the case may be) into the political ring. Emphasizing his platform of "Si-Lives in every bowl and a satisfied cat in every kitchen," Morris the Cat recently declared his "caf'didacy for the presidency in a press conference at the Washington National Press Club. True to his image as a "cat about town," Morris is running as an independent, vowing to represent the nation's "silent" majority of 56 million felines. Morris told reporters he has not selected a running mate (ambling mate is probably more accurate), but it's rumored that should Ike, the bulldog Kibbles and Bits candidate, not receive his party's nod, Morris who admires Ike's bullish enthusiasm and "dog"matic pursuit of chow will invite him to join the independent ticket. The political hopeful said he decided to enter the race after the results of a recent poll by Opinion Research Corp. revealed his name is recognized by 70 percent of the public, a significant lead over other politi-cos, including Bob Dole (67 percent), Jack Kemp (59 percent), Richard Gephardt (53 percent), Michael Dukakis (41 percent), Paul Laxalt (40 percent) and Bruce Babbitt (33 percent). The famed feline was voted "Animal Star of the Year" by US Magazine three years in a row and was chosen as one of the country's "most admired males" by readers of Young Miss Magazine. Time magazine has tagged him the "feline Burt Reynolds." He was also the first animal actor to be featured on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Morris said he has selected Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale, as his campaign manager. Ms. Mondale hopes her experience in her father's bid for the presidency in 1984 will put Morris in the catbird's seat. "The time has come for a cat to occupy the White House," she said in a recent press release. "Kennedy cleared the way for Catholics, Fer-raro for women and Morris will overcome the hurdle that to date has excluded animals." Karen Sophiea, marketing manager for 9-Lives Cat Food, says if the amount of mail Morris receives every week is any indication, she is confident he will be the next president of the United States. "He's got the quiet demeanor of a Coolidge, the animal magnetism of a Kennedy, and with the honesty of a Lincoln he admits he sheds but never shreds." The results of a recent "cat on the street" interview revealed a mixed reaction to Morris' political aspirations. BEAR, owner of Elsie Walker-Baley, Davenport "I disagree with Morris on the issue of catnip. I feel that catnip should not be controlled but should be readily available to all domestic cats because it is an excel lent relaxant after a long purring and petting session." SHERMAN, owner of Kathy Gehn, Geneseo "Morris? Hmmmm ... let me stretch a minute and think. Aaah-hh. Say no to catnip? Give me a break .... But I do like the policy of having my back rubbed, or my belly. Speaking of .... Is it time to eat, Mom? " CAPTAIN STOKELD, friend of Dorothy Buresh, Moline "Morris is a wimp. I oppose his neuter policy in that it is discriminatory against we male types who still have our virility. Now in my 20th year, I still prowl freely, taking my favors where I find them. "Catting around is a given right of the male species. I have populated the entire neighborhood. My offspring are everywhere making people happy. "Din-din is offered to me in every house on the block. The ladies vie for my presence and often invite me in for catnip or a nap. If I'm in the mood I comply. DomestiC policy -Domestic cats are far superior to wild cats, which are heavy in the lap and ill-humored. Fur-eign policy -Things were simpler when the Persians ran Iran. Controlled substances -Say "no" to catnip. Environment -Put a litter box on every corner. Energy -Conserve at all costs; take a nap. Democracy -One cat; one vote. Campaign Slogans -Walk softly and carry a big can opener. Din-din in every dish and a litter box in every garage. Politics -You rub my back and I'll scratch yours. No tnck fence deals. Animal Rights -Fur coats should be limited to those who can grow them. Population Control -Neuter is neater. Family -Put a cat in your family tree. Political Propriety -You won't catch me catting around, and the media are free to follow my tail. I may shed, but I don't shred. Iran-Contra, Watergate and other scandals -Any cat would have smelled a rat. Education -It all begins with good paper training. '7 "T V A.' 7, ..7. , .,L InfLtS- ' Afgi...,.,,, "Though a senior citizen, I still know I am alive and will live the good life until I do not have an ear to my name." ANONYMOUS STRAY - "I think it is time for a cat to take over the white house. We have been hearing about dogs since the days President Roosevelt took office. Jackie Ken nedy had her German shepherds. Nancy Reagan has some powder puff of a dog she carries around. , "The next thing you know there will pit bulls in the nation's capital. It is time we struck out to make this land safe for cats. I vote for the nomination of Morris and support his candidacy." JENNY, owner of Kenda Burrows, Moline "I think Morris is a wimp, and I wouldn't vote for him. No self-respecting cat would run for his food dish the way Morris does on those 9-Lives commercials, no matter how much he liked the food. Gotta keep 'em guessing. "His platform is ridiculous. As a long-time user of catnip, I know for a fact that it is harmless. I can go weeks without it. The only thing I agree with are his views on naps. He was right on there. I'm hoping Tony the Tiger will run. We need a tough cat in the White House." CALLIE, co-owner of Kenda Burrows "I don't care what his platform is. I think he's cute. Nice tail. He can hang out on my back fence anyday." MAGGIE, owner of Susan Lewis, Moline "I haven't decided yet if I'll vote for Morris. If he chooses a female running mate, I probably will. Have you ever noticed that young feline females don't have any role models? I mean, dogs have Lassie. Monkeys have Mrs. Kong. But who do we have? Nobody. "I just don't think Morris is up on women's issues. Look at his population control stand. 'Neuter is neater.' That's fine for the guys. Hey Morris! What's wrong with 'Spay, don't play'?" TINK, co-owner of Susan Lewis "Judging from Morris' platform, he seems to think we're pretty superior. And he's right. If cats were running this country, things would be in great shape. I do agree with my sister Maggie about the women's issues, but I think we have to start where we can. After all, we're cats first, and males and females second. "I'll probably vote for Morris, but there are drawbacks. I don't care for that food he advertises, but I realize that a job's a job. And I wish he d stop saying 'din-din.' Where's the cat's dignity?" MORRIS, owner of Pat Kamps, Moline "My learned person named me Morris, too, in honor of the one and only Morris. Of course, I'll vote for the great Morris, as will my wife (who shall remain nameless). Morris, as president, will not say things like 'I forgot' or 'I can't remember.' Cats never forget, as you have discovered if you have ever (God forbid) harmed one. OREO, owner of Mike Ashcraft, Rock Island "Well, I'm certainly pleased to see a little more Animal Kingdom involvement in politics. I think we can throw out the whole kit-ten-kaboodle of pachyderms and jackasses. But this guy is not exactly the cat's meow either, if you know what I mean. Domestically, his obvious prejudice against wild cats really rubs me the wrong way. "His penchant for portraying pussy cats as mere lounge-about digestive tracts is purrfectly a-pawing. He barely scratches the surface of our problems. And there's something fishy about wanting to place a litter box at every corner. Just who does he think would be picking up the tabby on this one? Personally, I think that kind of dirty work is best conducted in private. And I smell signs of a cover-up. It makes me wonder if the litter lobby isn't padding this cat fight. "I also think he's a little hard line on the drug issue. We should certainly promote moderation, but a bit of catnip now and again never hurt anyone. After all, as this cat's PAC backers point out, we've got 9-Lives. There's no sense making them joyless incarnations. A ball of string takes you only so far. "Let me just say that if he does win, it will be by a whisker." HALFTONE AND SUNSHINE, owners of Jean Lundberg, Moline "Next to me, of course, Morris is the smartest cat around. I'll probably support him even though I disagree with his stand on catnip because, when he's elected, the Litter Box Police will come after my person. When I tried to discuss the issues of the cat-paign with my kid brother, Sunshine, all he did was ask, 'Morris who?' as he dashed past. But I'm sure I'll be able to convince him to support Morris, since he does anything I do. Besides, he looks just like Morris." Aside from their foreign signs, Germans are quite friendly Knight NwWlr As a widely respected Foreign Correspondent, I recently felt the need to travel to Germany so I could observe firsthand the front lines of this dangerous all-dominating worldwide struggle we have come to know as the Cold War. At least that's what I'm going to tell the Internal Revenue Service. The truth is, I went to Germany because this is the year I turn 40, and I felt the need to be surrounded by the largest possible quantity of beer. They are very good at beer, the Germans, and what is more they tend to serve it in vessels the size of municipal stadiums. Thus a great deal of my Foreign Correspondence activity consisted of going with my traveling companions to historic towns, where we would drink beer at picturesque outdoor cafes and read in the guide book about how the town has a historic cathedral you could go look at. Or you could have another beer, which is the approach we generally K, Dave took. The way you order a beer in Germany is, you say: "I'd like a beer, please." Everybody in Germany, including domestic animals, speaks. English, often better than we do. This is probably because their native language, German, contains very large words that it takes two and sometimes three alert people, working in shifts, to pronounce. The one German word you should learn is "Einbahnstrasse," which you see a lot on city street signs and which you naturally assume is a street name. At least we did. "We're on Einbahnstrasse again!" we'd say, in frustration, while wandering around, lost. "It's not on this darned map!" And then one evening it hit us: Einbahnstrasse means one-way street. Ha ha! Bozo Americans. But aside from the fact that they use foreign street signs, we found the Germans to be quite friendly. One evening at a large and densely populated beer hall in Munich we got into a conversation with a German named Norbert who was so friendly that after virtually every statement anybody made, he insisted that we all whonk our beer steins together as a gesture of international friendship. This was quite tiring because the steins held a liter of beer and weighed approximately 140 kilometers each. Norbert had been to America and had formed a number of impressions, Including: 1. "People eating too much peanut butter in the morning! This was a sur-pri.ebyme!"(WHONK!) 2. "There is no sauerkraut! I asked by Burger King! I asked by Pizza Hut! No sauerkraut! This was a surprise!" (WHONK!) He had a lot more impressions, but I was unable to write them all down and still keep up with the toasts. After a few liters we had all become major international friends, and Norbert promised to maybe visit us in Miami, which he knew by reputation ("Too much criminality!"). We parted with Norbert's traditional German farewell ringing in our ears: "Tomorrow, the hanging over!" Besides beer, the Germans have a number of unusual customs, such as not destroying their public transportation. The subways are clean and vandalism-free, and they operate this will be a large surprise by you on the honor system. It's the most bizarre thing you ever saw. There are no turnstiles or ticket- takers, yet people pay anyway. Imagine what would happen if we were to implement such a system in a major American cultural center such as New York. The entire apparatus trains, tracks, stations would be stolen in a matter of hours. There would be nothing left but a network of dark aromatic holes in the street, which New Yorkers would continue to plunge into by the millions because it would be indistinguishable from their current system. But getting back, for tax purposes, to the Cold War. Another thing we did in Germany was take a bus tour of East Berlin. "See Live Communists in their Native Habitat!" is what the tour brochure did not say, although it should have, because that's why we all went. Our guide was thoughtfully provided by the East Germans, and she spent most of the tour explaining how East Berlin is definitely going to be swell, once they get finished building it; it's going to have so many thousand shops and so many cubic meters of highways and so many kilograms of worker housing, and we should all come back and see it, once it's finished, provided our papers are in order. We made three stops on the tour: a museum of old stones from the Middle East, a Soviet war memorial and a special rest stop thoughtfully set up just for us tourists. It was every bit as pleasant as we had anticipated, especially when we got back to the attractive yet functional Berlin Wall and a guard used a large portable mirror to check under the bus to make sure that no East Ger mans were clinging to the transmission. "Y'all come back now!" was the unexpressed message here. Anyway, I definitely recommend that you all get over to Germany sometime, even if you are not required to do so for strictly business reasons. As I was. (WHONK!)

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