“I read the news today, Oh Boy!” This is the first line in the Beatles tune A Day In the Life. As with many of their songs from that part of their career, the rest of the song makes very little sense. And Oh Boy, did John Lennon ever get that part right. The news today makes absolutely no sense at all.
I mean this very morning I read a story about removing a regulation from the oil industry. All right, that much was truly news and made sense. Probably, something I should know. Then the writer felt he needed to include, “The oil industry is in favor of this change, and the environmentalists hate the idea.” No Kidding!! Wow, I could have never guessed that. Next, he’ll be telling me the Republicans don’t like the Democrats. I feel so informed. I’m so glad he told me all this.
Now I’m not anti-news, but I do wish they would give me a little credit for some small bit of intelligence. I’m pretty good at figuring out that if someone asks for something; they will like it when it happens. Pretty simple really. And I don’t need to be reminded of it every thirty minutes.
My family is a great teacher for this. I have three children, and they never agree on anything. The thing is, if I can get two to agree I know the third will hate the idea and without fail this will be the one who will scream the loudest. It’s like having my own little parliament. I would have said American democracy, but I have three parties not two.
Anyway, the other day my wife left for the evening and I was entrusted with making dinner. Now, as I am the father, I consider myself the leader, sort of like the prime minister. I decided to make something easy, spaghetti and meatballs. My wife premade the meatballs and froze them. Certainly, easy for me. Then I mentioned it all to the kids.
The debate was loud and ferocious. My daughter, who leans what we will call left, indicated I should use an alfredo sauce, the regular stuff is too ordinary and boring. My older boy, the conservative, objected stating he liked the regular sauce and wanted the most comfortable food possible. After a long debate I had had enough. I must have looked like Theresa May, trying to get a Brexit deal done. So, as in all democracies, I called for a vote.
Both of them ran to their brother, the moderate. His first response was simple, he didn’t want meatballs. He wanted chicken. Then in a very political move he told my daughter if she would agree to that, he would vote alfredo. My son, knowing he was going to lose the vote, jumped in with the fact he would ride his bike to the store and get garlic bread, if the moderate went his way. This was a deal breaker to be sure. My second son loves garlic bread.
While I, impatiently, called to them to make a decision and my sons cast their votes. Then when it came to my daughter’s vote, she overturned the tables by saying if my son was going out anyway, he should pick up a frozen pizza.
Talk about your amendments to a bill. Before, it could have gone either way Now, I had a unanimous decision. They all wanted pizza. I thought it was okay so I went for my wallet just in time for the next debate. The boys wanted four-meat and my little princess wanted deluxe. Not having planned for this I didn’t have enough money for two pies. So, again the debate raged.
That was when there was a surprise political move. My older son and daughter suddenly formed a coalition and agreed to help pay for delivery if I got pepperoni, sausage, and olives. This move left my middle child in a lurch, as he hated olives. The dynamic had shifted. Now the other two tried to tell him olives can be easily removed, but he insisted the taste was still there. His counter point was to put olives on only half. My daughter agreed. My older son initially agreed but then realized that my other children would get a third of a pizza with exactly what they wanted. His third, however, would be what remained of both kinds. He immediately froze the funds he was supplying. Then he started a twenty-minute filibuster, citing his rights, seniority in the family, the injustice of being forced to settle for whats left, and the preamble of the constitution listing specifically his pursuit of happiness. I wonder if Angela Merkel had this much trouble setting up her coalition government in Germany? Actually, in retrospect it was a pretty good speech. I’ll have to slip a little extra cash to his history tutor.
Unclear on established procedure at this juncture, I banged my gavel and removed all bill from consideration, and called for a state of emergency. This allowed me to shoe them all out of the kitchen, and decide for myself. I went back to the original idea, spaghetti it was.
Then in a procedure which I still don’t completely understand, my three progenies held a referendum. All three voted “No Confidence” in my legislative ability. It might have led to impeachment, but before such drastic measures, they came back into the room with a new addendum. They offered, not only to buy the pizza, but to also agree on the toppings. They even came up with a coupon. Ahh the sweet taste of compromise. I even made it to the phone before disaster struck.
At this point, I could have avoided all the following problems by making an executive decision, and dealing with the repercussions in the next voting cycle. Unfortunately, I still believe a fair system of governance exists, Silly me. What I did was to offer to buy a two-liter bottle of Coke. It was the fastest return to partisan politics I have ever witnessed. He wanted Sprite. She wanted root beer. There was no bending either of their wills. There was a short session when there might have been a consensus on orange soda. But old prejudices ruled the day, when my middle son took the floor and reminded us all that it was he, who had to make sacrifices the last time this sort of thing came up.
I did the only thing I could do in such a situation. I called my wife. In this case she was like the queen of England. She may not hold direct power but everyone loves the royals. She spoke to each of them in turn then informed me all the issues were cleared up. I went out and bought hamburgers. Everybody got what they wanted, except me. Fast food joints don’t sell double-bourbons.