Your Government Official (TM)

Still looking for that perfect gift for your special someone? Why not buy them their very own politician?

| Tue Dec. 2, 1997 3:00 AM EST

Dear Special Interest,

Congratulations on the purchase of your genuine Government OfficialTM.

With regular maintenance, your Government OfficialTM should provide you with a lifetime of sweetheart deals, insider information, preferential legislation and other fine services. Before you begin using your product, we would appreciate it if you would take the time to fill out this customer service card. This information will not be sold to any other party, and will be used solely to aid us in better fulfilling your future needs in political influence.

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  1. Which of our fine products did you buy?

    • President
    • Vice President
    • Senator
    • Congressman
    • Governor
    • Cabinet Secretary -- Commerce
    • Cabinet Secretary -- Other
    • Other Elected Official (please specify)
    • Other Appointed Official (please specify)

  2. How did you hear about your Government OfficialTM? (Please check all that apply.)

    • TV ad.
    • Magazine / newspaper ad.
    • Shared jail cell with.
    • Former law partner of.
    • Unindicted co-conspirator with.
    • Arkansas crony of.
    • Procured for.
    • Related to.
    • Recommended by lobbyist.
    • Recommended by organized crime figure.
    • Frequently mentioned in conspiracy theories. (On Internet.)
    • Frequently mentioned in conspiracy theories. (Elsewhere.)
    • Spoke at fundraiser at my temple.
    • Solicited bribe from me.

  3. How do you expect to use your Government OfficialTM? (Please check all that apply.)

    • Obtain lucrative government contracts.
    • Have my prejudices turned into law.
    • Obtain diplomatic concessions.
    • Obtain trade concessions.
    • Have embargo lifted from own nation / ally.
    • Have embargo imposed on enemy / rival nation / religious infidels.
    • Obtain patronage job for self / spouse / mistress.
    • Forestall military action against self / allies.
    • Instigate military action against internal enemies / aggressors / targets for future conquest.
    • Impede criminal / civil investigation of self / associates / spouse.
    • Obtain pardon for self / associates / spouse.
    • Inflict punitive legislation on class enemies / rivals / hated ethnic groups.
    • Inflict punitive regulation on business competitors / environmental exploiters / capitalist pigs.

  4. What factors influenced your purchase? (Please check all that apply.)

    • Performance of currently owned model.
    • Reputation.
    • Price.
    • Appearance.
    • Party affiliation.
    • Professed beliefs of Government OfficialTM.
    • Actual beliefs of Government OfficialTM.
    • Orders from boss / superior officer / foreign government.
    • Blackmail.
    • Celebrity endorsement.

  5. Is this product intended as a replacement for a currently owned Government OfficialTM? ______

    If you answered "yes," please indicate your reason(s) for changing models.

    • Excessive operating / maintenance costs.
    • Needs have grown beyond capacity of current model.
    • Defect in current model:
      Dead.
      Senile.
      Indicted.
      Convicted.
      Resigned in disgrace.
      Switched parties / beliefs.
      Outbribed by competing interest.

Thank you for your valuable time. Always remember: In choosing a Government OfficialTM you have chosen the best politician that money can buy.

Jonathan P. Bernick is a humorist living in rural New Mexico. His column "Slings & Arrows" appears in The Frumious Bandersnatch, an online satirical newspaper.