By Arnold Ziffel: Guest columnist
Editor’s note: Karl Terry is on safari in the African country of Foolswana in search of the rare pink hippopotamus. In place of his column this week is a piece from TV actor and presidential candidate Arnold Ziffel of Hooterville.
My fellow Americans, I realize it’s been years since most of you have invited me into your homes and, though it’s not TV Land, I appreciate the column space your rather round editor has given me this week.
As you may or may not know, I have launched my exploratory committee seeking the nomination of my party as its presidential candidate. What party you ask — the Green party — Green Acres Party that is.
The rumors that I became ham and bacon and was consumed by other cast members following the end of our successful television series “Green Acres” was greatly exaggerated. Both ham hocks are still firmly attached and my wit is sharp as ever.
My qualifications for president are unique; for years I had a weekly dialogue with Americans everywhere. My plain-spoken words were understood clearly by everyone — everyone that is but that Douglas guy. The double-speak coming from most politicians these days is so unintelligible it might as well be Pig Latin anyway.
Most of you only remember me as that funny-looking grade school kid, son of Fred and Doris Ziffel, carrying his lunchbox off to school. My education continued far beyond Hooterville’s humble classrooms though. After graduating from Hooterville High at the head of my class I attended Harvard, where I graduated magna cum lard with a degree in animal husbandry.
My political experience has included two terms on the Hooterville Independent School board, during which time we successfully integrated the porcine population within our district. Currently, I’m a member of the Hooterville town council, where we are engaged in a heated battle to keep a pork packing plant out of our town. Some call it quality of life — to me it’s truly a life and death issue.
My interest in politics came as a young boy in front of the television. I never missed the news with Walter Cronkite. As soon as it was over I would change the channel and continue my study of Ronald Reagan’s early work — or any Western show that happened to be on TV.
I have engaged Oliver Wendell Douglas as my speech writer. There can be no debating his talent for stringing words together to describe the destiny of our nation. Some would say it’s as natural to him as making hot cakes was for his wife Lisa. The fife and drum corps in the background may be a bit much though and may be replaced with a little hog hip-hop.
Much has already been made of my reputed bi-racial affair years ago with Mr. Haney’s “basket” hound Cynthia. I want everyone to know the affair was innocent, we were working together and became close friends. Or to borrow a couple lines from some recent presidents — “Read my lips, I did not have sexual relations with that basset hound, Miss Haney.”
My first choice for running mate was going to be that goof Hank Kimball, so that I’m not overshadowed by the vice president, as is the current commander in chief. Kimball, it seems, is up for the open county agent’s job right here in Roosevelt County and won’t be available. My second choice is the man everyone likes, Sam Drucker. I thought he had died after closing the general store, but apparently not.
If elected my policy will be one of an open gate. Drop by the barnyard and see me any time.
Karl Terry is managing editor of the Portales News-Tribune and really was born on April Fools’ Day. Contact him at 356-4481, ext. 33 or e-mail: