Phyllis is the kind of person who reads the national and international news.
Then she gets upset about things in Meckling, Timor, Bangladesh and points east and west.
At our house we worry about the possible extinction of whales and polar bears; will the Medicare money run out and what to do about international terrorists; does the Afghanistan army have enough bullets and who really controls the price of pork bellies!
I tried to tell Phyllis that there's nothing we can do about most of those monstrous problems so we shouldn't worry about them.
Her retort was: "If I could just talk to the president, I'd tell him a thing or two, and then maybe we'd get some action on the health bill, too."
"And just what kind of advice would you have for him?" I asked, knowing that her chances for an audience with Mr. Big were comparable to my winning the 100 meter dash at the Olympics.
"Well, first of all," she fumed, "I'd tell him to start listening to us plain folks a little more and not just to that same handful of bigwigs who get to Washington, DC, one way or another and then play musical chairs in government jobs for the rest of their lives."
"Then," she added (and I could see she was starting to warm up!) "I'd tell him to get some of our problems solved at home before we run around the world straightening out somebody else's closets."
"We've got bridges falling down, roads falling apart, farms disappearing, main street store windows boarded up, millions of double-dippers with their hands in the national cookie jar and some silly idea that all the pornography doesn't have something to do with child abuse and divorce rates," she ranted.
"We've got to be good at home before we can act good some place else," she fairly shouted.
(Boy, I've really opened Pandora's box, I thought, but there was no stopping her now.)
"And another thing," she expounded, "take the weird farm program some dreamer is always coming up with. Every time they think up an artificial solution back there in the ivory towers, it messes up the natural flow of things."
"If the government really wants to help out, it could lend money to our little farm operators at the same 2 and 3 percent rates its charging overseas, and then use some of that horrendous foreign aid budget to figure out a way to feed a hungry world," she went on Phyllisophically speaking.
"A farmer is happiest when he's producing without restrictions," she preached, "and if we could just figure out who is manipulating the market!"
"We've got enough of a gamble just with the weather," she growled, looking out over the under-water fields. "How can a farmer operate on the basis of hoping he'll be lucky on the day he takes his load to town? He'd probably do just as well to sell out and move to Las Vegas!"
I should have taken notes because before she got done, she'd reshaped our space program, jailed all the junkies, and had the delightful old passenger trains running again.
The more I thought of it, maybe she should have a chance to visit with the president after all.
© 2009 Robert F. Karolevitz