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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Angel SeriousBS: Elian2 (115* d) RE: SeriousBS: Elian2 26 Apr 00


Elian Gonzalez is back with his father, but his soap opera is far from over. CNN, MSNBC and other television networks have renewed the show for at least another season, confident that Americans haven't had their fill of the 6-year-old Cuban boy and his emotional second cousin.

Even ABC's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" can't match the ratings of "Who Wants to be Elian's Guardian?" Especially with a cast as glamorous as Lazaro Gonzalez, the great-uncle, Donato Dalrymple, the great fisherman, and Marisleysis Gonzalez, the great actress.

Republicans will provide more drama for the show by launching an inquiry into the pre-dawn federal raid that snatched Elian from his relatives' Miami home. The congressional hearing will offer communist Cuba another lesson in the workings of a democracy. This lesson will be called "how to waste taxpayers' money."

A number of other events will keep Elian in the news for a long time:

MAY: An appeals court rules that Elian is old enough to apply for political asylum on his own. The court also rules that Elian is old enough to drive, smoke and drink.

JUNE: The stock market gets a major boost as investors spend a record $50 billion to buy into a new Internet company: The Web site allows people around the world to comment on Elian's case, chat with Elian and offer to pay for his college education.

JULY: Strapped to pay their mounting legal bills, Elian's relatives in Miami decide to sell the bed he slept in for five months. Though damaged in the federal raid, the bed fetches $2 billion on eBay. They spend part of the money to organize a massive protest in Washington, D.C., dubbed the "Million Cuban March to Free Elian From His Loving Father."

AUGUST: Elian signs endorsement deals with Pepsi, Cheerios and Colgate. But in a surprising move, he refuses to endorse any of the presidential candidates. A disappointed Al Gore nevertheless tries to win the critical Cuban- American vote by saying, "If I'm elected, the White House will have only honorable interns, such as that cute cousin of Elian's." George W. Bush goes a step further, pledging to appoint Elian -- whether or not he learns English -- as secretary of state. "He'd help improve relations with Cuba," Bush says. "He'd be able to speak to that Fidel guy, whatever his last name is."

SEPTEMBER: Life magazine revives itself by changing its name to Elian's Life. Each issue features new pictures of Elian smiling beside his father. The magazine attracts 5 million new readers with pictorials such as "Elian meets the Pope," "Elian visits the White House," and "Elian replaces Kathie Lee." Marisleysis Gonzalez challenges the authenticity of the photographs, asking, "How come Elian's hair never moves?" Republicans launch another inquiry.

OCTOBER: Republicans finally decide to support a gun control bill. The bill would restrict the use of automatic weapons -- not by ordinary citizens and criminals, but by federal agents. "We cannot have our agents carrying such powerful weapons when raiding homes," Sen. Bob Smith says. "Elian was scared to death and his second cousin, Marisleysis, has been traumatized for life. Poor girl may never own a machine gun."

NOVEMBER: Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan returns to the top of the music charts with a new album called "Illegal Elian." The title song includes these lyrics: "Elian, we wanted you to stay, but Janet Reno's thugs stole you away. Elian, they put you in an Astro van, just to send you to the Castro man."

DECEMBER: Fidel Castro, still beaming about the raid on the Gonzalez home, offers to appoint Janet Reno as Cuba's attorney general. "Here in Cuba, you can use as much force as you want," Castro says. "You won't have to worry about being criticized. We don't have any Republicans."

JANUARY 2001: The American Red Cross hires Elian to teach a survival course. The first part of the course is called "how to survive in the ocean when your boat capsizes." The second part is called "how to survive a five-month stay with an annoying cousin and drunken uncle."

Melvin Durai is a Shippensburg, Pa.-based writer and humorist. A native of India, he grew up in Zambia and moved to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

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