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This 'Monster' Is No Mash Note To the Bush Administration

By Richard Leiby
Thursday, October 21, 2004; Page C03

Jinkies! They've even politicized Halloween: "Monster Mash," the pumpkin-centric holiday's anthem, has become an Internet hit -- but this time as a scathing critique of the Bush administration's environmental policies. The Campaign to Protect America's Lands and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund hired Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- who co-wrote and sang the 1962 novelty hit -- to perform the song as "Monster Slash." The new version arrived yesterday at Monsterslash.org, which hosts an animated clip depicting President Bush and Vice President Cheney as ghastly characters laying waste to forests.

Certainly you know the tune, which reached No. 1 during the Cuban missile crisis. Here are some of the new words, which Pickett recites Boris Karloff-style: "The lobbyists were having fun / The horror party had just begun / The guests include big timber, big oil / Mining magnates and their sons."

"Monster Mash" gets a while new slant thanks to Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who turns the hit into "Monster Slash," a critique of the Bush administration's environmental policies. The song goes with an animated clip at Monsterslash.org. (Campaign to Protect America's Lands - Defenders of Wildlife Action Fun)


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"I've never done anything political in my life, so I thought if ever I'm going to do it in my life, this is the time," the 66-year-old singer told us yesterday from Los Angeles. Yes, he's a John Kerry supporter -- and then some.

"I'm about three galaxies to the left of Democrat," Pickett chortled. "You can put me to the left of Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky. I'm what Bill O'Reilly would call an off-the-charts, radical, progressive leftie."

He was willing to redo the tune for free but points out: "They didn't ask me. When they offered me money, I said, 'Sure.' It was a reasonable sum." The Halloween hit has "paid the rent" for more than four decades, says Pickett, and he expects it to keep giving. "It's now in what the record companies call perpetual release. . . . It's the song that wouldn't die."

How appropriate.

Bush Twins & Paris? Or Party of None?

• A party with those rockin' Bush twins and the stylin' Paris Hilton? In Georgetown? Sounds too good to be true, and it may turn out to be a bust.

After several hundred young and thirsty Washingtonians responded to an e-mailed invite to drink and raise money for charity tonight at Smith Point, the Wisconsin Avenue watering hole that regularly hosts Jenna and Barbara Bush on weekends, neighborhood residents pushed the city to enforce the bar's occupancy limit. "The liquor license says there is a limit of 85, and the establishment consistently has upwards of 200-plus patrons," fumed Bill Starrels, vice chairman of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission. "It disturbs the peace, order and quiet of the neighborhood."

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration confirmed to us yesterday that the 85-person capacity, agreed to by previous owners, was still in force. But owner Bo Blair cited the fire department's occupancy limit of 220. "There have been protests going on for four years now, so it's really nothing new," he scoffed.

The E-vite for tonight's event, promising "a few celebrities," came from event planner Jamie Hess, who initially promoted an appearance by reality-TV star Hilton but told us yesterday afternoon: "Paris will not be able to make it." The goal was to raise money for the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University Medical Center -- where Hess said his late father, Richard, was treated. Of the rumored appearance of the Bush daughters, he said: "It was kind of leaked that they were coming, but at this point, I'm not sure."

And last night, he said he might have to call the whole thing off, given the controversy and the fact that more than 450 people had responded to the invitation. "I had no idea it would turn out to be this magnitude," he said.

SQUIBS

• Life in these United States: Dan Senor, who spent more than a year of hard duty doing spin from Baghdad on behalf of the U.S. occupation, has been casually dating Campbell Brown, NBC's weekend "Today" co-anchor. We hear the relationship started in late summer, but neither would comment. An NBC spokeswoman told us yesterday: "She has never interviewed Mr. Senor since they have been dating." Now back in private life, Senor appears on TV regularly offering pro-administration views.

• In other news about good-looking people, Ben Affleck, who was the life of the Democratic Party convention this summer in Boston, says the experience of being a political shill has left him dispirited. "One of the things about politics that's off-putting to me -- besides all the glad-handing and self-promotion -- is the fact that it becomes so petty, vicious and small-minded," he reveals in the new issue of Details mag. "I mean, what a nightmare. . . . Candidacy itself, to be honest with you, just seems too vicious. Particularly after my experiences these past few months." Guess we'll have to take him off our list of potential actor-presidents -- until the next magazine interview.

With Anne Schroeder


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