I get that American political life has somehow managed to punch through the earth’s crust to carve out an even deeper crater for itself. But I am also weirdly fascinated by this notion of “sequester.”
It’s a fun word, isn’t it? I mean, until you know what it means. When describing the massive, arbitrary spending cuts that crashed into the country Friday like a flaming Winnebago dropped from an, uh, really big airplane, they coud have said, um, “budget cuts” or “mandatory cutbacks” or something. But they didn’t. They chose the word “sequester.” It sounds like how in the old days doctors would prescribe a weekend in the country to deal with the vapors or exhaustion or whatever. It sounds like something the lord and lady on “Downton Abbey” would do. “Carson, where is her ladyship?” “Sir, she has sequestered to the country manor to recuperate.” “Very well, Carson. Bring my tea.” “Right away, sir.” (I just started watching the show. The blog for the next several weeks will probably have lots of references sprinkled in. My apologies.)
So there’s a whole genteel, romantic, fantasy element to the term SEQUESTER that drowns out the seedy political maneuvering going on in Washington. HA! Got you! No way Congress has its shit together enough for political maneuvering. Those folks are lucky to be able to tie their own shoes. Or are they? Isn’t that what congressional aides are for?
What’s going on in Washington is the same thing that has ever gone on in any bar brawl ever. No one really wants to fight, they just can’t be the one to back down. In the bar brawl, we call it being pig-headed and stubborn. In Congress, we call it sticking to principles. Both fights end up the same: bloody noses and lots of collateral damage.
But still…it sounds fun. Makes me sad that Congress let me down on avoiding sequester and even sadder that the term is misleading.
That’s why I’ve decided to self-sequester. Here, then, are the dramatic cuts I’ve been forced to make for the good of my household:
Ten randomly selected pounds shall be furloughed from my body.
Cauliflower shall be excised from my mixed vegetable side-dish.
From now on, the cats shall be required to clean their own litter boxes.
Buying clothes for two kids costs too much. My son and daughter will have to share one set of clothes.
To save on electricity costs, the TV will only be on when I want to watch something and only on the energy-efficient channels I choose.
The only cars allowed on the roads from now on from sunrise to sunset are mine, my wife’s and whatever vehicles are needed to deliver Doritos, gin and Magnum ice cream bars to the grocery store of my choosing.
All cell phone plans shall be free, but anyone who wants to talk on one when I’m in the room will have to pay ELEVENTY-BILLION DOLLARS for bothering me.
These drastic cuts will be tough on us all (Well, mostly you), but I know we’ll get through it together.