The slogan for last week's G-20 meeting here in France was "New World, New Ideas." It should have been "Same World, Bad Ideas." High drama played out in front of the world press as members of the G-20 family squabbled with each other in various displays of political showmanship. Here's a rundown of what really happened at this dysfunctional family reunion:
-- Greece Junior has maxed out his credit cards, now sponges off Mom and Dad, but doesn't want Mom and Dad all up in his business. Maman France and Vater Germany have maxed out their own line of credit to fund Greece Junior's lifestyle, to the point of further considering selling themselves to the foreigners if junior can't reel himself in.
-- Greece Junior decided to show Maman France and Vater Germany how independent he was by asking the people to whom he owes money whether they like the idea of Mom and Dad curtailing his cash flow. With that, Maman France pulled down little Greece Junior's pants in front of all the G-20 neighbors, while Vater Germany gave him a spanking he hopes Greece Junior won't forget anytime soon. So little Greece Junior told his 11 million dependents to forget about voting on whether they still want him to fund their lifestyles, and to just decide instead in a "confidence vote" whether they still like him.
-- Uncle England showed up flashing wads of bills, pretending not to be just as broke as everyone else. He offered to transfer some cash into the family coffers through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Uncle England's dependents told him to shut up, and whispered to the bartender to cut him off because he was starting to talk nonsense. Maman France yelled at Uncle England, "You're so clueless! You don't understand this family's problems! Go back to your island!"
-- Grandpa Italy said he had his finances under control, but the rest of the Family Europe just sat around giving him the side-eye. The family discussed putting him in a home or at least making sure he would be visited regularly by a European Commission or IMF caregiver to keep a close eye on his economic situation, because Gramps Italy is already $2.6 trillion in debt. He subsequently assuaged his bruised manhood by focusing on voluptuous Cousin Argentina and chasing her around the yard while muttering, "Bunga bunga!"
-- Cousin Canada refused to hug anyone from the Family Europe for fear that they might pickpocket him. He walked around with his hands wedged in his pockets the entire time, worried that someone might think their contents were free for the taking. He told the Family Europe that they "have a lot of wealth and firepower," all while secretly hoping to get the heck out of there and back across the Atlantic before this fiscal plague turned contagious.
-- Cousins Brazil, Russia, India and China (also known as the BRIC Family, for their respective initials) sat in the corner playing high-stakes poker, shuffling black chips between one another while smoking Cuban cigars. They joked about how they could buy and sell Family Europe 20 times over. Maman France would approach them periodically to ask whether she could sell them part of her house if Greece Jr. and Grandpa Italy's spending put her and Vater Germany any deeper in debt. Cousin China said sure, and Brazil said he might kick in a few euros, too. China joked to Brazil, "Your money, my money -- it's all the same! Here, have a few more black chips."
-- Uncle America was bummed about it raining in Cannes because he was hoping to go golfing. So he made a wisecrack about how Maman France's new daughter thankfully doesn't look like her, and then focused his full attention on looking cool.