Editor's Note: The following was written by Reed Galen
We sit down in front of 68" 3D flat-screen that we got from the big box store last week. Who knew you could finance a television? It's been almost 15 minutes since we watched the news. We grimace as we watch a story about renewed fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We've been there a long time. We remember a few people from high school or college who are in the military. The neighbors have a son in the Marine Corps, they hung that flag in their window; we're not exactly sure what it means. Those wars have cost too much, though. They should end them soon, we think.
We flip from the news, it's all too upsetting anyway, and land on the "Real Housewives of Topeka" to find Mary Lou arguing with Betty Jean about who's hog should have won at the state fair. But Mary Lou is not that worried; she's just announced that starting next week she'll be releasing an all-pork cookbook, getting her own talk show geared to 'Real American Women 35-53' "It's the View with Bacon!" Mary Lou laughs hysterically. Nary a muscle moves on her face though, she's also the newest Botox spokeswoman and is moving to LA, she says like an old-hand, because production is so much cheaper there and that's where everyone is. While we laugh at their antics, jealousy and resentment stir within us; "We could do that. She doesn't know the first thing about pigs; she just got lucky enough to get some stupid television show and now she's rich."
We grab our MacBook Air (the one with extra memory!) and surf the political websites. We shake our heads. They talk and talk and talk and give speeches and talk some more. They tell us that things are getting better; but they sure don't feel that way. They tell us we must raise the 'Debt Limit' or the whole world will end. We already hit our personal debt limit; that's when we had to sell the house and the wife cut up all but one of the credit cards. Then we read on CNBC that some big number 'missed analysts' expectations'. Who are these guys? And what are they expecting? Whatever it is, they need a new calculator…We almost spill our double latte when the house phone rings. The wife made us get it; for emergencies she said.
A man on the phone wants to ask us some questions about politics. We're happy to talk politics; we have a lot of opinions, and we want someone to hear them. The guy asks us how we feel about things. We feel bad, we say. Very bad. We tell them the government doesn't do enough to get people back to work. What? They're doing that? No, no, I don't like that at all. They should stop doing that. Taxes? No, I don't want my taxes to go up. They're too high as it is. Someone else's taxes? Sure, raise them; they're probably stealing their money anyway. Government spending? It's out of control! Cut Social Security and Medicare? Absolutely not! That's not fair!
Man, this guy will not stop with the questions. What do we think about other Americans? We don't really think about other Americans. What does it mean to be American? Um, mom, apple pie and the flag? We don't like these questions; they're not easy like the other ones. Are we done? Okay, good, actually have to do some work before the new week starts.
We flip through our spreadsheets and sales projections. Things look pretty good. They haven't been too happy at the office, though. Many of our friends lost their jobs and we had to take a pay cut and take on some more responsibility. What was the choice? That guy Barney would have done it in a heartbeat. Not likely to get a vacation this year, either; maybe next year if things get better.
Contact Reed at: firstname.lastname@example.org