Saturday, April 9, 2011

Budget shmudget. My Quarter Pounder is getting cold.

At the risk of committing the cardinal sin of blogic redundancy, I'm beginning this piece using the same scenario as my previous entry. 

As I drove my teenager to school Friday morning, we pulled up next to a white Toyota Camry, with a dark blue hood.

"Hey, that's Eric." My daughter's eyes transformed from the usual glazy randomness to a more sharpish focus.

"Did he get into an accident?" I asked. "Looks like he had to get a new hood."

"No, he painted it blue one purpose, so he'll always be able to find it."

I had to take a moment to not blurt out the first three thoughts that sprang into my brain:

1) A blue hood would've come in really handy in finding my friend's car after seeing Kansas and Styx at the Coliseum in '79.

2) Is Eric planning on moving to Los Autos del Blanc, or "Land of White Cars," after graduation?

3) What a freakin' ridiculous thing to do.

I verbalized none of these thoughts as we continued the additional six blocks to the school, where hordes of adolescents slowly shuffled into the building. I mumbled a silent prayer of thanks to the childcare gods, grateful that the impending government shutdown would not affect school teachers and hence, unleash these idle masses of hood painters onto our daytime society.

As we all know, the Congressional pillow fight ended just before midnight, when Mom must have come into the rec room and told everyone to settle down, clean up the chip crumbs, and get into their sleeping bags.

Crisis averted. Barely.

This never had to happen. A federal budget totaling $3.7 trillion whittled itself down to an ideological urinating contest over women's health. Once again, that evil lightning rod, otherwise known as Planned Parenthood, prohibited Congress's right wing faction from exercising the will of the majority of Americans.

Or so I'd like to believe. Throughout this skirmish, I had to wonder if the majority of us really cared that much about a seemingly abstract budget debate. Public outrage wasn't all that apparent, especially compared to what might happen if the Fox Network abruptly announced, "American Idol has been cancelled for the foreseeable future, due to a Havarti dispute regarding Mr. Tyler's dressing room deli platter."

Rioting, looting and disastrous ratings.

Or what if French Fries were declared illegal due to health concerns and their sales halted throughout our nation.

Citizens would take to the streets with signs and bullhorns, screaming their discontent. They'd become a little winded, sit down and loudly voice their vapid displeasure from collapsible camping chairs. Then they'd Thank God Funyuns and pork rinds have yet to feel the scythe of government overreach.

What if our military personnel were told to keep throwing their bodies on IEDs and we'd settle up their wages in three weeks or so, while their wives, husbands and children on the home front scramble paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet?

Hang on a second. That almost did happen.

Perhaps if this fiasco had lasted much longer, more of us would have felt the impact of a government operating on fumes, but I'm not so sure.

Gotta go. The Kardashians are on.

1 comment :

  1. UGH, I musta heard wrong. I thought it was the Kardashians who were throwing themselves on IUDs in opposition to the ideological urinary tract infection...in support of the use of their own genuine liposuctioned animal fat for frying french potatoes...I'm so confused TIM! Thank goodness you're there to tell me what to think!

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