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Original Issue


Listen up, people.

Beg pardon? You're "all ears," you say? Well, you people are
real comedians, you know that? A regular buncha Steve Allens.
You'd rather be Vancouver Grizzlies, is that it? That whatcha
want? Didn't think so. But don't try me. I won't hesitate to
exercise free trade, if you know what I mean. Now, can I finish?
Can I? Will ya let me finish? That's better.

See, my son, Ross Perot Jr., is buying y'all. That's right. He
owns you, the Dallas Mavericks. Or he will when the deal is
announced, probably later this week. Anyhoo, Junior asked me
into this here locker room to light a fire under your fannies. I
didn't wanna do it, but it's the will of the people, so here I am.

See, it's time to take out the garbage and clean out the barn.
You people just finished the season with 26 wins and 56 losses.
Now, that's just sad. That giant sucking sound you hear is you.
The good people of Dallas deserve better. They demand better.
And y'all are gonna give it to 'em. Simple as that. Easy as pie.
Easy as this here pie chart.

See, if the United States armed forces had a .317 winnin'
percentage, y'all would be salutin' the Russian flag right
now--and your friend in Denver would not be sittin' down during
that anthem. If he thinks the Timberwolves play in the NBA's
Siberia, he oughta visit Irkutsk at the All-Star break. So let's
lift the hood and see if we can get this sucker to turn over.

What's wrong with this team is what's wrong with the two-party
system of American government. It's got no center, see. So the
first thing we're gonna do is bring in the admiral. You folks
like that, do ya? I agree, he is great, a true giant. If anyone
can right this ship, it's Admiral James Stockdale. As my runnin'
mate in '92, he asked, "Who am I? Why am I here?" He'll replace
Coach Motta, who's been sayin' the same thing all season.

That reminds me. We've got another great naval officer as a
minority owner. Y'all know Roger Staubach. Quarterbacked the
Dallas Cowboys when they were America's Team, not America's Most
Wanted? Yes, I know he's a Republican, y'all didn't have to tell
me that. Criminy. Now, can I continue? Can I? Or wouldja like me
to bring back another QB: Quinn Buckner. Is that whatcha want?
Then pipe down.

Now, I'm told a couple of you ladies hardly spoke to each other
all season. Is that right, Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson?
Well, that is sad, sons, just sad. You can't make potluck
without swappin' a few recipes, so stop swingin' your handbags
at each other. Remember: United We Stand. (Which happens to be
the name of my fan club. There's a toll-free number on the
blackboard here for those who'd like to join.)

See, you people have a sacred duty to your country to win the
NBA Finals next season. Think the American people want the
Chicago Bulls to be their champions? Is that what they want?
Croatians and Aussies, tossin' American jobs on the barbie? I
don't think so. Some tattooed carnival freak in a rainbow fright
wig who likes to hold up signs at televised golf tournaments: Is
he a good role model for our kids and our grandkids?

Come again? They're not the same guy? Well, what difference does
it make? We're not here to mow our neighbor's lawn. We got our
own sink to fix. So don't tell me my business. I mean, that's
rich. Y'all have been layin' bricks like Jimmy Carter at a
Habitat for Humanity site, and you're tellin' me how to do my
job. That is precious. From now on it's my way or the highway. I
don't know what the previous policy was here. Seems to me it was
"Your way or the doorway."

Take this Roy Tarpley fella. The man went through new lives like
Larry King through new wives. Donald Hodge, are you here, son?
Got arrested this season for possession of the "wacky tobaccy,"
didn't ya? Isn't that what the kids call it? Think ol' Ross is
some kinda square who doesn't know these things? Don't let the
haircut fool ya, son. I've seen American Bandstand.

It's no wonder your jobs are goin' across the border to Toronto
and Vancouver. The ads say, "NBA action is fan-tastic!" Isn't
that what they say? Cute, huh? I got news for y'all: It ain't
fan-tastic, it's NAFTAstic! Understand what I'm sayin'? No?
Someday ya will, when we're all speakin' Canadian and hummin'
Anne Murray songs.

Beg pardon? Y'all think I'm a crazy billionaire? Is that it?
That whatcha think? H. Ross is nuttier than the pecan log at
Stuckey's? See, that's what they said when Republican-backed
Mexican commandos were plottin' to abduct my daughter on her
wedding day. That's what they said when I sent Green Berets to
Iran to spring my employees held hostage by the Ayatollah.
That's what they said when I didn't run for president in '92 and
got 19 percent of the vote. So call me crazy, but I say y'all
are gonna be world champions in 1997. Do we see eye-to-eye on

"Eye-to-thigh," huh? I get it. You people are a real hoot. n

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: VICTOR JUHASZ [Drawing of Ross Perot and basketball player]