Durst writes, "The weekend gross for the reissue of 'Star Wars' with four and a half new minutes was $36.2 million according to studio estimates. A figure to be taken with a grain of salt the size of Mount St. Helens since studio accountants can prove 'Jurassic Park' never made a cent... Of course, since Hollywood is responsible for the phenomena of rushing to where lightning last struck, we would be foolish not to expect many more digitally altered 20-year-old classics and not so classics to hit the big screen this year. Here are some of my theories of what to expect.
Durst writes, "We got mutated frogs, people. It started in Minnesota, then Wisconsin, now they're seeing them in Texas. The amphibians in question are missing minor accouterments such as legs, and eyes and pretty much have all the genetic stability of Robert Downey, Jr. in a liquor distributor's warehouse. The frogs are important because many scientists think that our slimy green pond brethren can tell the future by being susceptible to diseases that will bedevil us bipeds down the line."
Bill Clinton is now sucking up to the religious right by speaking against same-sex marriages. Will Durst thinks that this is silly. Everyone, straight or gay, should know the joys of marriage -- and divorce.
Durst says, "A University of Massachusetts anesthesiologist has figured out how to grow a human ear on the back of a mouse. Well, its about time. I can't tell you how many times I've been talking to my wife and bemoaned the fact that human ears just weren't appearing on the backs of mice like I imagined they would be growing up."
"As damage control, George II is supposedly calling major donors and party stalwarts to let them know although the ship may be have a tiny hole, its still full speed ahead. Sounds to me like the same plight the S.S. Minnow experienced. And that was a mere three hour tour."
"The manufacturer of Beanie Babies announced the entire collection will be retired at the end of the year. Even though he shares their cuddly nature, it is not expected this action will affect Strom Thurmond."
Durst writes: "Americans don't understand any sport that doesn't involve eighth of a ton, no-neck, brain-dead behemoth pieces of premium beef tearing each other apart like the last hamburger at a mad dog picnic. And after all, in soccer, that's the fans' job."
Durst writes: "This Latrell Sprewell thing is getting all out of hand. Now it's a race thing. Which is similar to calling the Jesse Helms/ William Weld deal, an accent thing. No. The relationship between him and PJ Carlesimo was more complicated than that. Like San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown so impolitically said, 'Maybe the coach deserved to be choked.'"
Durst writes: "In an announcement with a staggering potential about on a par with Newt Gingrich declaring he's the new spokesperson for Slimfast, Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr has formally ruled Vince Foster's death a suicide. Oh no."
Durst writes: "In honor of the Scottish cloning story, I figured I'd file the same piece I did yesterday, but I realized the only people who might find it funny would be me. I'm not sure I buy this sheep story anyway. Either a farmboy's wet dream or his worst nightmare. Besides, who pays that much attention to individual sheep?"
Durst writes, "It's one of the saddest and most unspoken side effects of the fall of the Berlin Wall: really stupid spies. The U.S. has spies that other countries would dismiss as bathroom attendants. In 1986, Aldrich Ames, a career CIA officer making 60 grand a year, tops, bought a half million dollar house with cash. Eight years later, the agency got suspicious. Who was in charge of internal security here? Stevie Wonder?"
Durst can't understand why Clinton wants to change the meat inspection system. He writes, "Detecting contaminated meat by giving it a quick smell as it whips by on a conveyor belt at what meat packing companies consider a reasonable speed sounds like a top notch method to me. Cheap too. Besides, can you think of a more effective way to get people to eat healthier than by throwing a wild card like a stack of E. coli burgers into fast food mix once in a while?"
Durst says, "Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of Hooters' restaurants. Ate there twice. Both times I felt like I had felt someone up minus consent. And the wings were just okay. Didn't agree when Hooters waitresses sued, saying they knew the uniforms were provocative, but didn't expect the sexual harassment. The hell did they expect? True love? MacArthur grants?"
Durst writes: "Welcome to Clinton's summer getaway, Martha's Vineyard, where Bill plans to take the pulse of America amongst normal folks. Yeah, right! We're talking about an enclave where the talk around the pickle barrel includes comparative arguments about the chauffeur's dog's current psychotherapist."
Durst writes: "El Nino has been blamed for everything from the poor boxoffice of 'Primary Colors' to the substandard quality of strip bars around the New Orleans airport. The only good news is El Nino is about to check out with a gasping whimper, but lurking in the shadow of her brother's demise is the second act; La Nina."
Durst writes: "It is time for us to wipe the slate clean and start the year percolating with a couple of typically cynical predictions ... In 1998 I expect to see: Mike Tyson hit the talk show circuit to publicize his new celebrity diet book but is turned down by everyone except Jerry Springer. Drew Carey pierce his nipples on live TV, upping the 'Ellen' ante."
Durst writes: "A one sentence 46 word provision slipped into the humungous tax cut legislation which gave a $50 billion, yes, billion, tax break to the tobacco industry was repealed by a 95 to 3 vote in the Senate yesterday. Not surprising. These days, tobacco is less popular than Mike Wallace at a corporate stockholders annual meeting wearing leiderhosen."
Durst writes, "For all you savvy market watchers who regularly turn to the Durst Report for your sage financial advice, it is now time for me to patiently -- but with my typical clarity -- explain what happened with the Federal Reserve's recent increase in the short term interest rate. It's bad. But not as bad as it might have been. Oh, it could have been worse. But not by much. More than a little perhaps."
Durst writes, "Thank God Warren Christopher is out of the State Department. I always worried when he went to state funerals that foreign dignitaries might think we were mocking their deceased leader by sending a corpse. He looked like a stitched together pathology project by Caribbean med school rejects. The only guy in America who makes Dr. Kevorkian seem chipper."
The reigning Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, of Venezuela, has just been told she has two weeks to lose 27 pounds or she will forfeit her crown. Will Durst writes, "What do they want her to do; suck every ounce of moisture out of her body?"
Durst says, "Hard to believe, but here we are back at the beginning of another election year. Let us pray. The American political process has been called a circus wrapped inside a game show covered in poisonous weasel glitter. All right, maybe it hasn't, but it should be...I [have] compiled a political forecast of what we habitual taxpayers can expect in the coming year. Clip and save. All dates are approximate. Your mileage may differ."
Comic Will Durst notes, "In 1950, perhaps under Orson Welles' porch, scientists discovered a mutant obese mouse," now they think they might have an anti fat drug. "A lard balm. A corpulence capsule. Porky pills."
"Yes, supermodels are selling their eggs. What's everybody flipping out about? George Carlin and Dennis Miller both sold their integrity for the sake of some bullshit ripoff 10-10 number. There's the frickin crime."
"Although we probably offended authorities by being drunk in public and utilizing firecrackers -- not necessarily smiled upon within local zoning codes -- I think of it as Civil Disobedience: the best way to prove our independence."
Durst writes: "What's going to happen now in Northern Ireland is a splinter group of the IRA splinter group calling itself the "Real IRA" will emerge calling itself the Realest IRA. And since we know this is going to happen, in the interest of efficiency it might come in handy if we name the groups in advance -- like with hurricanes."
Durst writes: "The Speaker of the House wants to keep his options open to run for President in campaign 2000, so he is now in the process of renovating his image. Like a lizard shedding his skin, this recidivistic event has become anticipated in Washington like Cherry Blossom Blight or herpes."
Durst writes: "How come these great news gathering organizations can't find more than two pictures of Monica Lewinsky? There's more known existing photographs of Sasquatch. But then we've already spoke of Linda Tripp ... "
Durst writes: "Right now, Janet Reno is considering whether to appoint a special investigator to investigate the invesitigation that surrounds the Vice President to see if he breathes through his lungs or has hidden gills."
Durst writes, "So let me get this straight: Newt Gingrich pays off the $300,000 fine he received from the Congressional Ethics Committee for copping a plea on a series of ethics violations with a loan for which he puts up no collateral and doesn't even have to start payments for eight years. What the hell is that? That's not a loan, it's a lottery win. It's like a forger posting bail with a third party out of state check or a counterfeiter paying off his fine with blue cash."
Durst writes, "Recently the McDonald's Corporation did some internal taste tests which showed its burgers rated behind Wendy's and Burger King, so they ordered some changes. Incredible as it may seem, the giant food company is fast tracking alterations in the preparation of their menu items that, if successful, may alter the very nature of how American businesses work. Some of the startling schemes purportedly on the drawing board -- hold on to your hats -- are using less salt in the ketchup, and adding more pepper to the meat."
Will Durst writes, "Bob Dole has an identity problem. For one thing he insists on referring to himself in the third person while just about everybody else keeps talking about him in the past tense. And he doesn't get it. You can see him start to shuffle around, wondering what the hell is going on. "
Durst says, "The big New Hampshire debate was the last time we'll see these eight men in dark suits all together at one time and trust me, Hollywood screenwriters are not sitting around crying. It had all the suspense of watching varnish hardening."