By Ray Lesser
Almost everyone can get behind pain relief, but what else is a pain that we would like to be relieved of?
Washington’s neo-con wordmeisters believe we need “tax relief.” Taxes are a pain, right? Never mind that without taxes there would be no public roads, libraries, schools, drinking water, police, or firemen – and let’s not even imagine what people would do with all their garbage – taxes are quite obviously a pain and something we poor citizens are unfairly afflicted with.
But if a little relief is good, isn’t a lot of relief the answer to all our problems? Maybe if we vote for the heroic politicians promising “tax relief,” they’ll relieve us of our entire tax burden. Since most of our taxes go to pay for the military, we’ll be relieved of having to make war in Iraq, build more Star Wars Death Stars, and line the pockets of Halliburton and countless other defense contractors. Also, we’ll no longer have to pay for the salaries, Viagra prescriptions, and hairstyles of all the congressmen and senators who think “tax relief” is such a great idea. Hey, “tax relief” is sounding better and better all the time!
But why stop at “tax relief”? There are lots more things the American public needs relief from, and I’m willing to support anyone who promises me the following:
Aging Relief – I’m sick of having parts of my body sagging, wrinkling, rotting, and falling out. The real terrorist out there is time, and the politician who mounts an all-out attack to bring this villain to a standstill will have my vote, maybe forever.
Coffee Relief – You only have to look at the desperate people lined up in front of Starbucks each morning before it opens to know that coffee is a dangerous drug. The dangers have been suspected for quite some time. According to Malcolm Gladwell: “King Gustav III, who ruled Sweden in the latter half of the 18th century, was so convinced of the particular perils of coffee over all other forms of caffeine that he devised an elaborate experiment. A convicted murderer was sentenced to drink cup after cup of coffee until he died, with another murderer sentenced to a lifetime of tea drinking, as a control. Unfortunately, the two doctors in charge of the study died before anyone else did; then King Gustav was murdered; and finally the tea drinker died, at eighty-three, of old age – leaving the original murderer alone with his espresso, and leaving coffee’s supposed toxicity in some doubt.” Nonetheless, I’m sick of having to live in a culture filled with overstimulated overachievers, anxiously talking on their cellphones, while cutting me off in traffic so they can race to the next red light. Save me before I kill one of them with a pot of scalding tea and wind up in a Swedish jail doing caffeine research.
Homework Relief – When you’re a kid you hate doing homework, but you live with the hope that someday you’ll graduate and never have to do homework for the rest of your life. But anyone with their own kids knows what a false hope this is. Homework never ends! I’m almost 50 but still had to spend last night helping figure out the etymology of the word “clerk” (with at least three sources, only one of which could be from the Internet). Somebody’s got to force these teachers to give us (and our kids) a break. Seven hours a day of school is enough. Let us all have a couple of hours a night after dinner to play Scrabble or watch goofy movies. As an added bonus, teachers won’t have to spend the rest of their lives doing the homework of grading homework.
Debt Relief – Why should debt relief only be for poverty stricken developing countries? I’m still paying interest to MasterCard for clothes I stopped wearing two waist sizes ago. How can American consumers possibly save our withering economy, let alone keep up with the ever-increasing production of China, if we’re stuck on the phone getting lectured by debt collectors. Wipe out our debt, and we’ll go on a buying binge the likes of which has never been seen before, at least not since the hoarding of Y2K.
Gorgeous Airhead Relief – It seems like everyone who the media thinks is beautiful also has the IQ of a tunafish sandwich (but without the bonus points ordinarily provided by lettuce and mayo). Just because someone is beautiful doesn’t mean we are dying to know what they think about biblical prophecy or their favorite spots to get pierced and waxed. Put their pictures on billboards and CD covers, give them scantily clad roles in the latest Hollywood To Die For movie, but please don’t have them wasting precious oxygen molecules telling us what they think.