In the last Vent I mentioned that our fearless (in the way sponges are fearless) leader, George W. Bush, was “thinking” about whether to allow federal funding of stem cell research. By the way, using quotes when referring to W’s “thinking” is actually statutorily mandated, like the requirement of using quotes when saying that Lee Majors is “acting.”

Part of the “thought” process consists of vigorous information gathering. W is reading everything there is to read on Stem Cell research, while eschewing his usual “Babar the Elephant goes Camping!” books. He has also consulted with everyone from the Cardinal of New York to the Pope (he likes to hear diverse opinions) who told him stem cell research was bad, but that really big hats were good. Still after months of this, W still has not made up his “mind” (the quotation statute is actually quite broad).

Recently, W had a private one-on-one confab with his chief health advisor, the Secretary of HHS Tommy Thompson. This was the first time the health advisor had actually met with the president, and he required an extensive briefing on how one briefs W. This briefing was conducted by Vice-president Dick Cheney (often referred to as “Sexalicious” in the West Wing). My highly placed sources were able to tell me how that briefing unfolded.

Good morning Tommy

Good morning Mr. Vice President



OK, I just want to go over with you how to brief the
president. First, you’re helping him make a decision
about stem cells, right?

That’s right.

Ok, you’re going to have to start with the very

You mean I’m going to have to explain what a
“stem cell” is?

No. You’re going to have to explain to him what a
“decision” is.

Oh my.

Now that doesn’t make the president a moron.

Oh my God no! I wasn’t thinking it did.

Now there are certain things you should never
say in front of this president. For example, never
call him George.

Of course not.

Never use profanity.


And never use words bigger than “Marshmallow.”

I’m sorry?

Doesn’t like ’em. Also, no compound sentences, no
contractions, except “Ain’t,” no words with silent
letters and none of those tricky words ending in
“tion.” He says they confuse him.


Doesn’t make him an idiot.

No. No, or course not.

During the conversation, he may suddenly blurt
out something like, “Who are you?” or “What the
hell you talkin ’bout hoss?” Nothing to worry about,
just keep going.


If he lies down, closes his eyes and starts to
scratch himself, don’t worry. Means he’s listening.

Well then, I think I got…

…If he takes out any white powder, that’s special “thinking
powder.” Developed by the CIA. Top secret. You never saw


Occasionally the president may make an honest mistake.
For example, if you mention the blastocyst, the president
may think you’re saying something bad about God.

You mean like…blaspheme?

Does not make the man a ‘tard…necessarily.

No, certainly not.

As the conversation goes on, you may feel the urge
to argue with the president. Resist that urge.

No problem.

As the conversation goes even further, you will feel the
urge to leap across the room, grab the president by the
throat and literally suck the “stupid demons” out of his
ears. Resist that urge as well.

I would never…

Will you just trust the voice of experience here? Now,
when you leave the oval office and meet the reporters
outside, please make sure to say that the meeting was
“wide-ranging and productive.” You got that?

“Wide-ranging and productive.”

The meeting was not, as the French ambassador said,
“like teaching a buffalo to rivet.”

He said that?

Also, the president was “engaged and inquisitive,” not
as the head of NASA said, “dull as a coffin and coked
to the fuzzies.”

I understand sir.

Cheney presses the intercom

Send the president in please.

Receptionist’s Voice
I’m sorry Mr. Vice-president. The president has injured
himself learning about fiscal policy again.

Injured himself? You mean physically?

You don’t want to know….Doesn’t make him
a complete chowderhead!

Uh…No, of course not.


Recently several people said to me that while they enjoyed my movie reviews, it seems as if they are all negative. “Don’t you like anything?” one guy asked me. “Yes: slow, wet kisses,” I said. But the guy was a federal judge, and my answer just seemed to creep him out.

In fairness, my reputation is somewhat deserved. I have made negative comments about a number of movies. For example, I called Citizen Kane a “dreadful abomination.” Then there were other reviews: Casablanca–“Atrocious to the point of Atrocity;” Gone with the Wind–“Crap on Celluloid;” Schindler’s List–“A Holocaust about the holocaust;” The English Patient–“I spent three hours praying to die;” The Greatest Story Ever Told–“The worst story ever told;” etc.

And it’s not just movies. My reviews have included the following comments about the following subjects: Betsy Ross–“A bloated, pickle-assed windbag;” Sexual Ecstasy–“What a friggin nightmare;” Foods I really liked–“I really hated them;” Good News–“Bad News.” I gave Nancy Kerrigan “Zero Stars” at the Olympics and referred to Tiger Woods as “Loser Boy.”

So what do I like in movies? Well, if you plan to make a movie, here is a primer on how to get a positive review from me:

Put me in nude scenes–You don’t even have to include them in the movie. By the way, as a scene partner, I prefer Britney Spears to Ed Asner. And I prefer Ed Asner to Carne Wilson.

Depth Depth Depth–I prefer a detailed study of one topic to a superficial look at many. For example, I have yet to see a really good four hour movie about Mexican Food.

A good soundtrack–Music can make a movie. Imagine how much better Schindler’s List would have been with a few Wang Chung tunes in the background.

Don’t rehash old topics–Keep it fresh. For example, if you are going to make a disease movie, we’ve seen enough cancer and bulimia. How about a good acne movie. Or maybe something like “The Elephantitis Boy.” The great thing about nonfatal diseases is that it leaves the door wide open to sequels. You could have “The Elephantitis Boy 2, and ya know what, he’s still got Elephantitis!!!”

A surprise ending–So many movies are so predictable. Surprise me! For example, wouldn’t “Forest Gump” have meant so much more if Jenny turned into a Buffalo? “My Dinner with Andre” would have really perked if it were “My Dinner with Andre the Giant,”–and what movie couldn’t do with more termites?

Be creative in your casting–Another predictable aspect of most of today’s movies is their casting. If we see an action movie, we are not surprised to see Arnold or Bruce or Sylvester…but what if you cast Danny? That’s right, Danny Bonaduce!! Now that’s someone I’d like to see leaping from buildings with gun’s blazing. Whatever the movie, just cast against Type. Make “Spice Girls” with Danny Devito as “Horny Spice.” Make “Roots” with all white people!! If you must use Sylvester Stallone, throw a wig on his ass and make him Golda Meir. Come people, work with me!!!

Use Leprechauns–If all else fails, throw in a bunch of leprechauns. They never fail to liven up a dull movie. Imagine how great “Pretty Woman” would have been with a bunch of Leprechauns running around saying “Blarney” and “Got any weed?” Man, I should direct.

So now you know. All you filmmakers out there, get crackin.


Like Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, I am a women’s man. Ergo, I have no time to talk. And like Pee Wee Herman, I am a sole practitioner (of the law in my case), and thus, I have no time to take vacations. When a lawyer on his own is away for a week or two, he returns to hundreds of angry phone messages (or so I’m told by lawyers who have clients). “Why aren’t you in?”, “Why aren’t you working on my case?”, “Why don’t your clothes match?”, “Do you want to renew your subscription to “Barely Legal”?”, etc. I’m sure every lawyer knows what I am talking about.

Even when you actually go, there is the inevitable pressure to make your vacation meaningful. How can I justify splaying my ass on a beach when I could be studying the migratory patterns of ancient aquatic birds? When I got two brochures, one that says “Learn the Secrets of the Tundra” and another that says “Learn the Secrets of Underage Asian Hookers,” you wouldn’t believe the pressure I got to head up to ice country.

Once you find the time, and a vacation with sufficient gravitas, there is still the issue of affordability. It doesn’t take long to discover that a month in Greece or a cruise around the world is prohibitively expensive. So you scale back, and go back up to the Lehigh Valley for yet another tour of “Cement Country,” or load the family in the car for your fifth trip to the Dallas, Pennsylvania Prison for Sexual Predators (they do give away cool hats, complete with a picture of your very own sexual predator on the visor).

Even once the cost has been dealt with, there are many other issues to resolve. There is distance: Upper Darby doesn’t really feel like getting away. Neptune is cool, but it’s way far. You also want to avoid areas of major unrest. There is an excellent ska band in Macedonia, and the antiquing is terrific on the Gaza Strip, but is it really worth it? Finally, you want a new experience, but you still want to feel culturally comfortable. If you go to a place with unfamiliar food, or where they will shrink your head and put it on a tiki lamp, you may feel out of your element.

As for me, I think there are 10 things which must be considered essential for a great vacation. These are:

1. Good Accommodations – It may be easy to romanticize sleeping in a teepee, braving the elements and mixing with the dung beetles, but trust me, having a cozy bed and a third-world type who cleans your room and you can call “Consuela” (regardless of her real name) goes a long way towards helping you forget any pending disbarment proceedings back home. If…that’s…ya know…what you’re thinking about.

2. A Fake Name – Daylin Leach didn’t trash his hotel room, Dutch Laroo did. Daylin Leach didn’t try to make out with the mayor, Dutch Laroo did. Daylin Leach didn’t run up Daylin Leach’s credit cards, Dutch Laroo did. I think you see where I’m going with this.

3. A Telescope – You never know who will be undressing in the room next door. It may be sick and psychopathic to watch, but you can worry about that after the shade goes down.

4. Bail Money – ‘Nuff said

5. A Large Vibrating Egg – More than ’nuff said.

6. A Series of Good Excuses – You don’t want to be the local huskow being interrogated about what happened to the goat with nothing to say. You want to have your excuses prearranged and ready to go. A few examples:

– We do that to Goats all the time in my country.

– Oh, I misheard the tour guide when he said “Chuck the Coat.”

– It wasn’t me, it was Dutch Laroo.

7. Your Own Stash of Food – When visiting some local, you never know what bizarre local dish they may serve up. So when they whip out the termite fondue, you can say, “Hey, Mumbowondungolimboboboo, how ’bout microwaving me some Tator Tots?” Mumbowondungolimboboboo will understand.

8. Lots of Air Supply CDs – Foreigners love their Air Supply, particularly the early, “edgy” years. You can trade these CDs for valuable things, like carpets, or the lives of family members.

9. Vocabulary Flash Cards – It’s important to be able to communicate. Learn a few simple phrases and put them on Flash Cards so you can say the essential things in a hurry. Things like: “Where is the Bathroom?” “Is your sister really 12?” and “How many Air Supply CDs for you not to cook my nephew?”

10. A Ticket Home – The most important item. You don’t want to be, say, in London, and gamble away your last Shekel (or whatever the hell it is they call currency there) and be stuck eating bread pudding in the rain the rest of your life. Remember, the point of a vacation is to remind you how much you like your real life.

I hope these little tips have been helpful.

Tomorrow: My 25 most insightful marriage tips.

Recently, George W returned from his first trip to Europe. Not as President…EVER! You’d think that by the time he reached 55, he would have tagged along just once on his dad’s 850 trips abroad, if for no other reason than to hit the famous “Malt Liquors of Bavaria” tour. But no.

W’s lack of sophistication did prove to be a problem on occasion. He mispronounced the Spanish Prime Minister’s name, and momentarily forgot what country Belgium was part of. However, he got in even more trouble when he referred to Spanish women as “Spaniels” and women of Crete as “Critters.” Calling the Danes “Pasty-Faced Douchebags” also didn’t help.

W also got in a bit of trouble after his meeting with Putin (who W initially referred to as “Pukin” until Colin Powell reached under the table and applied that gentle pressure to W’s testicles that tells W it’s time to just sit quietly for a while). W came out of the meeting saying that he trusted Vladamir “The-Butcher-of-Chechnya” Putin because (I’m not making this up) he “looked into his eyes and saw his soul.” The last time I heard of someone doing that it was when I myself did it with Debra McCormick in 11th grade. I remember the conversation well:


It’s Debra.

Debra, I have looked into your eyes and I
have seen your soul. And what I see is the
radiance of a thousand Goddesses, flush with
the love of all heaven, and deeper than a million
limpid pools of sapphire.

I’m still not taking off my top.

Well then…gotta go.

Bush further alienated the Europeans with his positions on global warming (“We can’t move forward until the science is definite”), missile defense (“We can’t wait for the science to be definite to move forward”) and the death penalty (“Screw the Icelandic Ballet, where do we go to see someone fried ’round here”). Basically he was a bull in the diplomatic china shop. It led me to wonder what W would have been like at other historical events:


Hey Eve, you have a great set of…

…Adam, I brought you an apple.

An apple?

Yes. From the tree of knowledge.

Did someone say “tree”??

Who are you?

I’m a compassionate conservative. Listen here.
Why have a tree of knowledge, when you can
have an “oil rig of knowledge?”

Oil rig?

That’s right. In fact, we could have hundreds
of oil rigs of knowledge. And we could rename
this place the “Chevron Garden of Eden.”


Forgive them father, for they know not what they
are doing. Into thy hands I commend…

Hey there!


No need to shake hands.

What are you doing here?

Hell, I ain’t missed an execution since
Socrates. Say, what does “H” stand for?


You know, your middle initial.


Robert E Lee
And so General Grant, with safe passage for
my troops my only request, I hereby lay down
my sword.

Ulysses Grant
I assure safe passage and demand only cessation
of resistance in the South. I commend you on your…

Hey! Aren’t you fellers forgetting one thing?

Robert E Lee
What’s that?

A big-assed tax cut!

Ulysses Grant
Who the hell are you?

I’m a uniter, not a divider. But most of all,
I’m a reformer with results. Say Uliptus, are
you chewing tobacco?

Ulysses Grant

That’s what I like to see! Say, you got any
nose candy?

Ulysses Grant
Nose candy?

Yeah. You know, tootski, special snow cone,
Bolivian Breakfast?

Robert E Lee
Uh…I’m just going to leave my sword…

Sword? Way to big. You got a razor blade?


a = 4 pi**2 r / t^2



0 = 225/3 + (30/3)A + B
– 0 = 4/3 – ( 4/3)A /p
0 = 221/3 + (34/3)A
A = -13/2 p- 2/3
7 coda 7



Yeah. I gotta Pee. You fellers got a latrine?

Alas, there is no way to actually go back in time and put W there. For better or worse, he is a leader for our time. But fantasizing like this can be fun. Tomorrow, I imagine what it would be like if Celine Dion were sent back into a nest of saber-toothed tigers.

There are many things about being a lawyer that are rewarding. For example, the liberating feeling of abandoning the dreadful profession for another is almost indescribable. However, as joyous as being a lawyer is, there are some downsides. One is that your clients are invariably in a bad mood. They are either angry enough to sue someone, or being sued themselves. They may be getting evicted. Someone may be trying to turn off their life-support. Maybe they were hit with a bobsled. Maybe they were hit by a series of bob sleds. Whatever; the point is, clients can be difficult.

Because clients are at their most vulnerable, they often view me–not only as their lawyer–but also as their psychotherapist, their priest, their pastry chef, their moil, their cartographer, their erotic sex kitten, etc. Filling all of these rolls could tax even the most Clarence Thomas-like giant of the legal profession. It certainly leads to interesting conversations.

Below are some of my more interesting recent conversations with clients. Now due to attorney/client privilege, I can’t reveal what they said to me. I can only show my end of the conversation. What the client said will be represented by ………… However, I hope these examples can still be instructive.

Some conversations are surprisingly short:

Hi, nice to meet you…….Thank you……..What?……You forgot what?……… You forgot your checkbook???…….. Oh Geez, ya know what, I forgot, my parrot’s on fire, I’ve just got to run.

Some clients get right to the point:

Good Morning……huh……..Well, yes, that is my real hair. What can I do for you?………..Really?…….How old was she?…Wow. But you’re pretty sure her grandmother was over 18?……..I didn’t say positive, I said pretty sure………….Did you remember your checkbook?…….I think I can help you.

Others have a more convoluted story:

It’s very nice to meet you…………Who dresses me isn’t important. How can I help?……………………………………………………………………………………….. So who owned the stock?………………..But then whose donkey was it?…………….And is that when you put on the leiderhosen? …………………Dick Cheney did that??…………………………………You do have to report that to the FEC, except for the part about the “Dirty Sanchez.”

Sometimes I make a mistake, and I have to fess up to the client:

Well, you’re probably wondering how your lawsuit is progressing………. Well, actually, I showered just today. But I do want to tell you that I didn’t quite get the final papers filed yet…………No, not the preliminary papers yet either……………Well yes, of course I’ve opened a file………Well, no, not in your particular case, but………………….Look, there’s no need to use profanity………Hey, I’ve heard all these filthy words before……..Wow, I actually haven’t heard that one………….Uh, I could try, but I don’t even think that’s anatomically possible.

It’s rare, but every once in a while a client is actually grateful:

………You’re welcome…………….And you’re very welcome………..Oh, that’s sweet, but there’s no need to hug me…………OK, come on, stop sobbing, I was just doing my job………………OK, I’m not even sure I’d be comfortable with you naming your children after me………………Look, get off the floor and stop kissing my feet, all I did was not take your case and refer you to another attorney. What?………….No, that is my real wife. The picture did not come with the frame.

But many clients are just difficult:

…………..I’m sorry, did you say “write you?”………………Oh! Bite! I get it.

I suppose if every client was happy-go-lucky and normal, there would be no need for lawyers. Then maybe I would be freed up to follow my true calling: the one thing I am great at and was destined to do. Which is…well…I’m actually not exactly sure. But I know it must involve watching a lot of Bikini Car Wash movies.

We’ve once again entered the season of commencement addresses. Colleges and universities throughout the land are bestowing honorary degrees on everyone from Stephen Hawking (Harvard) to Sammy “The Bull” Gravano (Princeton). With each degree comes an inspirational address to the young generation.

This year Nelson Mandela (Brown) spoke of overcoming adversity. Pat Buchanan (Notre Dame) spoke about creating adversity for others to overcome. Robert McNamara (Columbia) talked about the lessons of Viet Nam, while Ron Popeil (George Washington Carver Telemarketing Institute) gave a fabulous oration on the role of beef dehydrators in US domestic policy.

There were several unusual speeches. Actress Parker Posy (MIT) gave a speech on “New Theories of Molecular Structure” entirely in the character of Wilma Flinstone. George W. Bush (Yale) accidentally picked up a copy of “Jack LaLane’s Autobiography” instead of the speech which was written for him. He then spoke for 45 minutes on the importance of jumping jacks. It wasn’t until he began demonstrating the proper way to do a squat thrust that the secret service intervened.

I myself have never been invited to give a commencement address. Although I did get feelers from my old alma mater Temple, who sent me the following letter.

Dear Daylin:

We want to be clear. We don’t want you to speak at commencement.
We don’t want you to be at commencement. We don’t even like when you say commencement for fear you are somehow referring to ours. Best of luck, and don’t tell people you went here.
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY (and everyone in it)
PS: Give generously at endowment time!!

I’m optimistic that their coyness will end next year. In any event, if I were asked to give a commencement address, to inspire a young generation to new levels of…uh…inspiredness, then I would probably say the following:

2001 Commencement Address
By Daylin B. Leach
With help from Roget’s Thesaurus with the big words

Good afternoon graduates. On this fateful day, there are some things you should know.

Stop listening to the Backstreet Boys. They suck.

When a large man with a sickle says, “Get the Hell off my FOOT!!” he often means it.

Very few women are impressed by a guy who makes them pay for dinner on the first date. Find those women, and date them.

It’s possible for one man to change the world. But obviously it’s easier for one man to hang out by the pool, eat fratatas, and complain about Mexicans.

Don’t become obsessed about how much money you have. Become obsessed about how much money your friends have.

I have found it rewarding to take time to do things for others. If Britney Spears needs a back rub, I’ll give it to her. If Britney needs a big ol’ spanking, I’m there. You get the idea.

Courage is rare. And that’s true for a reason. No one ever regretted saying, “Whoa, I’m getting the hell outta here!!”

As for your career, all I can say is do what you love to do. Unless you love moving refrigerators. Then do something else. Don’t be an idiot.

It’s important to keep a positive attitude. Unless you’re in prison. Then it’s more important to keep your drawers up during rec time. A positive attitude is second.

You have been given a fine education here at Raccoon County Community College (I am being realistic about who is going to invite me). Make sure you use it for good. Like Satellite TV Installation for example. Satellite TV is good.

Finally, remember: There is no limit to what you can become. In support of this point, I make just one argument: George W Bush. There…I rest my case. If he can become President of the United States, then there is no reason that the dumbest of you can’t become Absolute Omnipotent Dictator of the Universe. There is no reason why the most lox infested Jewish guy can’t become the next Pontiff, or the one after that, or both. Just because you are graduating from a school whose minimum SAT score for admission is “an integer,” and whose sole professor has a Ph.D. in “Lion Taming,” doesn’t mean you can’t have it all.

I hope you have all found this appropriately inspirational. I will be at the reception if any of you would like to discuss this further. If however you approach me, and I have a cheese cube in my mouth, that’s your cue to back off and take 5 til the tray is empty. Now go out and take on the world! And stay the hell away from my car!!

Tomorrow: How to work the tasteful “Dick Joke” into a eulogy.

The Big 40

This Saturday marks the big 4-0. It was 40 years ago Saturday that my mother first said, “Are you sure there’s been no mistake” and “I’ll sue!” Everyone keeps telling me how significant this is. But I just don’t feel it. While I may be forty chronologically, I am still seventeen intellectually, and barely bar mitzvah age emotionally. My Wardrobe still consists mainly of “Zeppelin Rules!!” T-shirts which glow in black light, and to this day my favorite food is still Fruity Pebbles, although now I like to eat them while watching “Funky Teen Booty 4” on the Spice Channel.

Regardless of how I feel, 40 is a good time to look at where you’ve been, and where you’re going. When I was a teenager, I wrote a list of 20 things I wanted to accomplish in life. Here is that list, with a progress report.


1. Have Sex

2. Have Sex with another person
Took longer, but check.

3. Have Sex with another person for free

4. Live to see an utter moron become President

5. Win Wimbledon
Not yet, but drop shot improving

6. Have long and lucrative career as soap opera star “Charge Lucas.”
This did not happen, but I did manage to get some gigs as the “before” guy in several plastic surgery commercials.

7. Learn Karate and kick neighborhood bully “Spike McGinchy’s” ass.
Several years after I wrote this goal, Spike stepped on a poisonous sea urchin in Australia, and lost the use of his arms and legs. At that point I realized that learning karate and kicking his ass was silly and pointless, so I just went to his hospital bed and kicked his ass without the karate.

8. Run a Marathon
Check….well…not all at once.

9. Memorize “Moby Dick”
Check. I also memorized the titles of several other books.

10. Learn to think positively
I was going to do this, but then I thought, “What the hell good will that do me?”

11. Convince 3,300 orthodox Jews from Miami to vote for Pat Buchanan for President.

12. Go to a strip club, just to see what it’s like.
Check, check, check, check, check, check, check…etc..

13. Visit every country in the world.
I scaled this one back a little, now it’s “visit every pawn shop in Upper Darby.”

14. Become–not just sexy–but “Doubly Sexy.”

15. Get totally stoned on fine Lebanese Hashish with Henry Kissinger

16. Replace “narcissistic” with “Daylinistic” as the psychological word for “Self-involved.”
Getting there

17. Replace “Adonis” with “Daylin” as the archetype of the perfect body.
Uh…not quite there yet

18. Make it OK for guys to wear pink taffeta
Hey, if you’ve got a hang-up, that’s your problem

19. Use Colin Powell’s name in a pun
What do you get when you sit on a scud missile? Colon…POW!!!

20. Go to law school Well, I do have a law degree, but I didn’t actually go to law school, in the sense that “Nick’s Law School” didn’t actually require attendance. It mostly just required writing a check made out to Nick.

As you can see, I’ve reached most of my goals. This only encourages me to set new goals for the next 40 years. I’m not sure what they’ll be, but I’m sure they’ll offer each of you an opportunity to use your own unique talents, connections, and credit card numbers to help me succeed. I’ll keep you posted.