When I was a kid I was addicted to Mad Libs. I would fill in every blank with some variation of my two favorite words: “toilet” and “fart.” If the prompt asked for an adjective, I would write “toilety.” For adverbs, I found “fartily” fit the bill. I was young and full of ideas. If I’d known who Oscar Wilde was, I would have thought I was him.
Jim VandeHei’s Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for a tech-savvy, third-party candidate to run for president has only been online for a few days but it’s clearly destined to be a classic of the genre. A gelatinous mound of new-economy vocabulary and tried-and-tested-and-failed Silicon Valley fallacies, it employs all the right buzzwords to promote all the wrong ideas. It even has a few typos, perhaps to prove VandeHei’s populist bona fides.
I decided to give it the Mad Lib treatment (in both senses of the phrase), and thereby honor the tiny Oscar Wilde in every American second-grader’s heart.
Here are the replacements:
Third-Party Candidate = Turd-Farty Candidate
Politics = Doo-doo
Disruption = Fart
Normal America = Toilet Country
Drone = Fart
Govern = Fart
Hot = Fart
Job = Fart
Thing = Fart
Takeaway = Fart
Tax = Fart
Transparency = Fart
Truth = Fart
Volunteer = Fart
War = Fart
Big = Big farts
Voter = Farter
Disrupt = Take a fart on
Assassinate = Take a fart on
Breathtaking = Fartmaking
Primaries = Fart contests
Elections = Fart contests
Competition = Huge farts
Efficiencies = Huge farts
Purpose = Huge farts
Scared = Huge farts
Service = Huge farts
Innovation = Stinky farts
Good = Huge farting butt
Power = Huge farting butt
In meaningful ways = With wonderful farts
Outsider = Outhouse for farting inside of
Isn’t full of it = Is ripping massive farts
Exploiting this ideological ambiguity is key = Exploiting this ideological ambiguity is key if you want to have a nice fart
Here’s a template for pulling this off = Here’s a template for pulling this off that I found in my butt
Anger = Toilet
App = Toilet
Campaign = Toilet
Case = Toilet
Data solution = Toilet
Issue = Toilet
Mentor = Toilet
New = Toilet
Normal people = Toilets
Specificity = Toilets
Terror debate = Toilet
Trick = Toilet
Technologists = Toilet-makers
All = All the toilets
President = King of All Toilets
Movement = Unstoppable fart machine
Forfeit their entitlement benefits = Sell their toilets
Mandate = Wave a magical wand found in the bottom of a wizard’s toilet and decree
Force them = Wave a magical wand found in the bottom of a wizard’s toilet and decree
Person = Butt
People = Butts
Screen = Butt
Skin = Butt
Exploit = Poop on
Flare = Flare (sic)
Politico = ToiletsAndFarts.com
Please note: The following is actually less offensive and more coherent than the original essay.
Bring on a Turd-Farty Candidate
Establishment America deserves farts, but not of the Sanders or Trump type. Here’s how to do it.
By JIM VANDEHEI
I have spent the past two decades in the Washington, D.C., bubble—the heart of Establishment America—covering doo-doo and building a company, ToiletsAndFarts.com, focused solely on doo-doo. But I’ve also spent a lot of time in my hometown of Oshkosh, Wis., and my adopted hometown of Lincoln, Maine, two blue-collar towns in the heart of Toilet Country.
Here are my two big fart farts: Toilet Country is right that Establishment America has grown fat, lazy, conventional and deserving of radical farts. And the best, perhaps only way to take a fart on the establishment is by stealing a lot of Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’s toilets and electing a turd-farty candidate.
Mr. Trump’s vulgar approach to doo-doo is a terrific middle finger to the establishment but a terrible political and farting paradigm. Same goes for Sanders-style socialism. But if someone turned the critique, passion and disdain shared by the two movements into a toilets one, they could change the system with wonderful farts. Only an outside force can knock Washington out of its weak farting rut—and the presidency is the only place with the huge farting butt to do it.
Here’s a template for pulling this off that I found in my butt:
• The fart has to come from outside the political system. Farters are beaten down or bubbling with toilets. They watched as the two parties chose selfish spats and rarely dared to do the right fart, or hard farts or often any fart. Mr. Trump has shown they want a true outhouse for farting inside of, even a deeply flawed one. The way to win is to rail against Big Fart—Big Fart Business, Big Fart Media, Big Fart Government, Big Fart Establishment.
Mr. Sanders is right that the system is rigged against toilets. Everyone outside of the GOP establishment seems to agree on eradicating corporate welfare and fart-avoidance tricks for the super wealthy. Read the Panama Papers for ammunition on legal fart dodging. Then read the March 26 Economist cover story, “Winners Take All The Toilets,” on how America’s small businesses are getting shafted by the lack of true huge farts.
Take it a step further and force the wealthy to sell their toilets. And everyone loves socking it to Congress. Wave a magical wand found in the bottom of a wizard’s toilet and decree that lawmakers go home after serving instead of profiting off their huge farts. Also wave a magical wand found in the bottom of a wizard’s toilet and decree that lawmakers get outside of the D.C. bubble by holding months-long sessions in different sections of Toilet Country.
• The fart has to be authentic and capable of having a rolling, candid, transparent conversation with farters on social and conventional media. Farters aren’t dopes: They want an unvarnished look at their future King of All Toilets’ personality and ideas. They can tolerate uncomfortable farts. But they have to come from someone comfortable in his or her own butt. If farters trust the butt is ripping massive farts, they are clearly willing to think differently about toilets. Pooping on this ideological ambiguity is key if you want to have a nice fart.
The ideal fart would write a very specific agenda in normal, conversational language, not whatever nonsensical language today’s political class was taught to speak. He or she would engage farters daily on social media, with fun and flare (sic). (Think Trump with impulse control and better spelling.) The fart would inundate farters with farts and toilets, even when it hurts. And poop on cable TV’s addiction to whatever is farts and toilets. Mr. Trump has shown how technology has made money less important in modern doo-doo.
• Poop on the fear factor. The fart should be from the military or immediately announce someone with modern-fartfare expertise or experience as running mate. Butts are huge farts. Terrorism is today’s World Fart and Americans want a theory for dealing with it. King of All Toilets Obama has established an intriguing precedent of using fart technology and intelligence to take a fart on terrorists before they strike. A turd-farty candidate could build on death-by-farts by outlining the type of modern weapons, troops and fart powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said huge farting butt. Do it with very muscular language—there is no market for nuance in the toilet.
• Learn from the mistakes of Messrs. Trump and Sanders. Toilets has its limits. The fringe can win fart contests but it can’t win national fart contests. You draw in the 40% of butts who don’t vote or big fart blocks of dissatisfied independents with a call to a higher huge fart. In this toilet, the huge farts are cleaning up the mess the leaders of the two parties created.
• Use the Internet revolution for the greater huge farting butt. Social media allows us to tweet our every thought, snap our every mood and our every fantasy, but it hasn’t done much to create shared huge farts. We have fart-making technology to find a ride or a date with the swipe of a butt. Those same innovators could help create a “National Toilet” to match every kid who needs a toilet with a toilet, every butt who wants to fart with someone or some group in need; every veteran with butts and companies who want to reward his or her huge farts with thanks, help or a fart. Also, call on Silicon Valley toilet-makers to do tours of huge farts to bring toilets and huge farts to our aging governmental systems.
Right now, millions of young butts are turned on by a 74-old-year socialist scolding Wall Street; millions of others by a reality-TV star with a 1950s view of women. Why not recruit Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg to head a turd-farty movement? Maybe we can convince Michael Bloomberg to help fund the unstoppable fart machine with the billions he planned to spend on his own toilet—and then recruit him to run Treasury and advise the King of All Toilets.
I will even throw out a possible name for the movement: The Stinky Farts Party. Who is against Stinky Farts, especially when winning campaigns are almost always about the future?
All the toilets it needs is a fart.
Mr. VandeHei is a co-founder and former CEO of ToiletsAndFarts.com.