Mike the Headless Chicken more popular than Clinton

Prez loses American popularity contest; Mike the Headless Chicken gets his own holiday; Nicole makes contact from the afterlife.

Published May 12, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

More bad news for the Bill-ster: Americans consider President Clinton to be "the person who most symbolizes what is wrong with the nation."

So says a recent poll conducted for Shell Oil Company by Peter D. Hart Research Associates. The nation's most powerful thong admirer got 30 percent of the vote in the phone poll of more than 1,200 randomly selected folks over 18, edging out master of faux fisticuffs Jerry Springer (27 percent) and trouncing doyenne of duplicity Linda Tripp (12 percent), porn-peddlin' Larry Flynt (9 percent) and even ear-munchin' angry man Mike Tyson (8 percent).

The president also slithered in last as a role model for today's youth, with just 1 percent of the vote -- trailing Hillary, the penultimate choice at 6 percent (doesn't bode well for that potential New York senatorial run, does it?). Colin Powell put everyone to shame with 24 percent of the role-model vote, beating the papal pantaloons off Pope John Paul II (19 percent), out-dribbling Michael Jordan (18 percent), upstaging Oprah Winfrey (11 percent) and even sliding into home ahead of Mark McGwire (9 percent).

What's more, 34 percent of the perspicacious pollees consider Clinton's caper with Monica Lewinsky to be "the most powerful symbol of America's declining values." But pollster Peter D. Hart thoughtfully offers the phallo-focused prez this "silver lining": "The marital infidelity of his idol, President John F. Kennedy, barely registers today as a symbol of moral decline. President Clinton can only hope that his transgressions also will seem more forgivable through the lens of history."

Right, so in the meantime, Mr. C, kick back and have yourself a nice, juicy cigar ...

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A campaign laying-on of hands?

Al Gore may be the presidential candidate of choice for advocates of people with disabilities. No, not because his chronic social stiffness is a major political handicap. Rather for his selection, announced Tuesday, of Tony Coelho as the general chairman of Gore 2000. Coelho, a former representative from California and longtime advocate for the disabled, was one of the original sponsors of the somewhat controversial Americans with Disabilities Act. The Gore camp has high hopes that he'll help the limping campaign really ramp up and get rolling.

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If he could be like Mike ...

While he's puffing away, President Clinton might find a little inspiration in Mike the Headless Chicken, a rooster who strutted around, gobbled grain and preened for hens for four and a half years noggin-free, entertaining many while heading off a quick turn as one hungry farmer's dinner.

History has been kind to Mike, who lost his head but not his spirit in 1945, and now the town that remembers him fondly has set aside a special Mike the Headless Chicken Day. Next Sunday, as part of Colorado Heritage Week, residents of the town of Fruita, Colo., will jog in a 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken race (in circles, do you suppose?) and participate in "egg tosses, chicken jokes, a chicken lunch and chicken bingo, in which numbers are chosen by where chicken droppings fall on a numbered grid," reports the Denver Post. There will also be music, to which anyone who's interested may of course do the Chicken Dance in honor of the feathered fellow once described by his peckish owner as "a robust chicken -- a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head."

Feting Mike was a no-brainer for Fruita officials. "We wanted to celebrate this little guy because he was very determined to live," said Fruita Chamber of Commerce executive director Sally Edginton. "We like that." It's a legacy even a U.S. president could love ...

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Don't watch the videotapes, Ma ...

"I guess it goes to show that it really is a small world."

-- Attorney Mike Allen, who is prosecuting Hustler publisher (and, according to popular belief, Clinton's moral superior) Larry Flynt and his brother Jimmy on obscenity charges, after his own mother showed up as a potential juror

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You mean no naked dancing on the bar, not even just once?

"I think the thing that's important for America to know about me is that if I am fortunate enough to put my hand on the Bible, I will not only swear to uphold the laws of our country, I will swear to uphold the dignity of the office."

-- As-yet-undeclared Oval Office aspirant and erstwhile party guy Gov. George W. Bush

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NP makes contact with the afterlife

In 1994, when Las Vegas lounge singer Sal Rainone agreed to step into the studio to record a lighthearted little ditty called "O.J. Simpson, What Have You Done?" he never imagined that "this dumb song" would one day make him famous.

But as he crooned his tune, Rainone heard a voice he is now convinced was that of O.J.'s brutally murdered ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. "She screamed over the speakers, 'Let me speak.' And there were other muffled voices. Her voice was trying to break through as if it was being restrained," Rainone tells Nothing Personal. After checking the lock on his door, Rainone bravely completed the song, played it back and heard nothing unusual.

But later, he slowed down the end of the tape and played it back again. That's when he distinctly heard the words, "Have mercy. Have mercy." Comparing the voice on his tape to the tapes of Nicole's famous 911 call, in which O.J. could be heard furiously pounding on her back door, the nightclub singer was sure it was the same gal. "It was a low, mellow voice," he says. He believes it was Nicole asking for leniency for O.J.

Rainone, who identifies himself as completely sincere and very sensitive to Nicole's posthumous feelings, has since been featured in Fate magazine and picked up by a group in Luxembourg that he says has been contacted via TV, radio, cassette, fax, phone and "hard drive" by the spirits of Scott Joplin and Richard Burton, among others. (The group also believes that when you die you slowly start to look 30 years old again, the fillings in your teeth "squish out" and you grow back any lost limbs.)

And on May 19, in honor of what would have been Nicole's 40th birthday, he's stepping back into the studio to try to contact her via a "dimensional porthole." He's hoping it goes a little better than last time. "I asked her to say something intelligent," he says. "And she said, 'Give me time.'"

Bizarre coda: When Nothing Personal played back the tape of its phone interview with Rainone, it found nothing but silence. (Cue "X-Files" music here.) Wait a minute ... Wait a minute ...

Mike the Headless Chicken, is that you?

By Amy Reiter

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