Time Once Again ...

Well look at the time. Can it really be that close to spring? We're forced to wrap ourselves in industrial-strength Saran Wrap to avoid drowning in the leakage of enough weepy award show insincerity to fill a 55-gallon drum worth of ego splooey every night? Already? So soon? It seems like only last week we columnists were handing out our End of the Year Awards. And now its almost March and I got a crick in my neck from ducking all the gold-plated statuettes being flung around like lids at an airport Starbucks kiosk. Like hair spray at a West Virginia Junior Miss Pageant, like profanities at a Dick Cheney press conference, so in the spirit of the season, let us now settle in for the most serious and consequential of all the awards ceremonies: The Will Durst Thank God for These Liquid Squeezebags Because I'm a Comic Awards. Get yourself a cache of adult amber beverages, sit down and relax. Your gift bag is being diverted to Halliburton's Home Division as we speak.

* BEST MAKE-OVER: Howard Dean. New head of the National Democratic Party. Risen from the dead to preside over the graveyard.

* WHY WON'T ANYONE RETURN MY CALLS AWARD: Sen. John Kerry.

* HORSE'S HEAD AWARD: Doug Wead, the guy who secretly taped phone calls from Dubya.

* COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD: Martha Stewart. Emerges from 6 months in prison with a primetime series. An abject lesson to all evil doers to think twice before breaking the law.

* THE HE KNOWS MORE THAN HE'S LETTING ON AND I'M NOT SURE ITS GOOD NEWS AWARD: Alan Greenspan.

* THE NOT AS DUMB AS HIS HAIR LOOKS AWARD: Donald Trump.

* BEST CHOREOGRAPHER: Karl Rove. Exit polls, schmexit polls. It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes.

* THE AREN'T YOUR 15 MINUTES OVER YET AWARD: Paris Hilton for third year in a row.

* THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN AMERICA AWARD: For the fifth year in a row, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens‚ doctor. Hang in there, doc.

* SHEEP'S CLOTHING AWARD: George W. Bush for the provision in his education package which mandates high schools turn over names and addresses of students to Defense Department recruiters. In an era of recruitment shortages, it gives a whole new meaning to the program's title: "No Child Left Behind."

* PIXIE DUST AWARD: To all baby boomers even halfway counting on Social Security still being around when they get old. Like next week.

* BEST COMING ATTRACTIONS: The administration's line on Iran: "We have no plans to invade Iran at this time. That being said, we're keeping our options open." Sounds to me like the sell-by date of "at this time" has already passed. Pretty sure if it were milk, you'd want to check it before dumping it on your corn flakes.

* UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT AWARD: Michael Jackson for wearing lipstick while reading a press release maintaining his innocence on child molestation charges.

* THE I'M SO LUCKY, I'M UNCONSCIOUS AWARD: Fifth year in a row, George W. Bush.

* STAR WARS AWARD: U.S. Defense Department for using unmanned drones to spy on rebel enemies. Only problem is, I think this makes us the Evil Empire.

* BEST SCORE: Whoever sold the grilled cheese sandwich graced with the image of the Virgin Mary on Ebay for $28,000. The sandwich is now on a nationwide tour. Wonder who's opening? The french fry that looks like Abraham Lincoln?

* THE OH MY GOD, NOT YOU AGAIN AWARD: Newt Gingrich who is threatening a run at the White House in 2008. President Newt. That's scarier than the Donald Rumsfeld Swimsuit Calendar.

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