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Friday, Feb. 28, 2003
You know, this is a really crappy time of the year.

Iím talking about weather, weather with freezing rain and snow and ice on roads which instantly transforms the mundane act of driving to the store/bank/bar into a mechanized highwire act, complete with other contestants who have no earthly business being out on the road even when itís sunny and dry. And gloomy? Those overcast 12 hour days? If I wanted to live in Finland I guess Iíd just pack up the brood and go. Donít bring it here to me.

Iím talking about no baseball, no football, no fishing. Watching tall black men in shorts and bad tattoos chase an orange ball doesnít do much for me. Watching stocky white men with no front teeth skim around a refrigerated garage does even less. Seeing large cars go around in a circle can be fun for a while, but just exactly how many times can one get excited about a left hand turn?

Iím talking about having to wear a coat. Gloves. Boots. About looking at swimming pools in backyards that no sane being would set foot in.

This really crappy time of year also comes in a year that is starting out to be especially crappy.

I mean, it doesnít take too much imagination or thought to put reality in focus. Weíre about to start lobbing big things that go boom at a nutcase in Iraq who seems to believe that sacrificing his own people in the name of righteousness just might be a sound domestic policy. Weíre getting ready to send our kids over there to shoot at him, hoping against all odds that he doesnít shoot back. Weíve got an economy in the tank. Weíve got gas prices that make you wonder if it wouldnít be cheaper to just bite the bullet and go ahead with that horse and wagon idea you had as a child.

Best of all, itís tax time. We get to be reminded of just how much dough we spend to let all this stuff happen for yet another year.

So in the interest of taking action, in the interest of not letting all this bad stuff slide, Iím willing to take a stand. To lend a hand so to say. Iím ready for it, Iíve spent enough time in the recliner, Iíve learned all Iím ever going to learn from the History Channel and Tom Clancey and the Dennis Miller Show. If someone in Washington DC can just put me up for a week weíll be all set. Because it might be frantic, it might be ugly, but a terrible justice is about to be visited on our land, our world. The swift sword of corrective action.

Iím ready to be King.

It wonít take very long, mind you. I wonít need to hold the job for years or even months.

Iím more of a short and sweet kinda lad. With steel toed shoes and an agenda.

1. Iraq? This isnít as much of a problem as itís being made out to be. Since all our energy is being expended at removing one dictator on a power trip, why not do just that and remove him? You canít tell me that with the sort of technology we posses, the kind that can make a TV as flat as a matchbook or use a satellite to take pictures of somebody on a bass boat in the middle of nowhere, technology that makes all manner of things possible, that we canít couple that with a few stealthy SEALís and hijack this dude away in the middle of the night. We can. Put him on a plane and drop him off in Leavenworth with the rest of the attitude problems. Then send Ted Turner over there to run the place. I understand heís not too busy these days.

2. Gas prices? I hear Iraq has plenty of oil. Ted, send some over while youíre at it. But long term, weíre probably not going to need it for very much longer. Your new King will take the entire Ford Motor Company and order them to produce a working hydrogen engine for cars. An affordable one. In two years everyone will have a new car with a nice clean hydrogen engine anyway, since. . .

3. King Outfoxed is going to shut down the IRS. Thatís right. Walk in there and padlock the place. The whole country is going on a flat tax system, a 15% deal on everybody over the age of 21 and every business, too. No more loopholes, no need to panic come April 15. No more state taxes, no more sales tax. I mean, they get away with that already in Florida, for crying out loud. And the beauty of it is, it will take about 5 people to run the whole tax system since your King will set up a dozen linked Cray computers to handle it all. Probably put them in the IRS building. Or maybe the GAO building, since Iím going over there and clean up that rathole too. Everybody that works there now can look forward to a new job. Quite possibly at Ford Motor, since theyíll be hiring.

4. Politicians? A thing of the past. Youíll get your say in Town Meetings. Youíll get to vote at home on any and every issue via the Internet. Since the dozen Crays will likely be coasting along on the new easy tax thingy, weíll set them up to tabulate the votes. Iíll have the janitor make the announcements at the end of the day, Iím sure he wonít mind. Iíll just go ahead and turn all those Senate Office Buildings and Congress into spiffy museums, that should satisfy the art crowd.

5. Iíd pass out one time grants of, oh, say $200,000 to anyone who wanted to have a working farm and grow food. With the money weíd be saving out of all those ex-government employees, I think we could end any food shortage problems we might be having.

6. Your King would call up the Prime Minister of Canada and have him send down his team of experts to explain how, just exactly how Canada manages to offer health care for next to nothing to every citizen. Better than that, they wouldnít have to explain. Theyíd just need to start the same freaking thing here! Right now!

7. Everybody would have to buy a copy of the new Steely Dan CD, which is due out on May 6th by the way. This probably wouldnít please everyone, but it would sure make me happy. Think of it as a small way to say thanks for lowering your taxes and getting you better health care. Plus, they make great tunes, theyíre irreverent, and they could possibly use the cash.

8. 4 day work weeks. Mandatory. It can be done. Again, we do have the technology, and life is supposed to be easy, so why not just admit to ourselves that we can get our shit done in 4 days and be done with it? Plus, youíll need the extra day or two to spend all that money youíre going to have. Your local bartender will be so pleased.

9. Teachers, educators, police and fire, armed forces? Pay raises. ĎNuff said.

10. All lawyers would need to spend the last year of their college education working on a construction site with Stu. Without pay. That ought to just about free them of any lurking ideas they might have about how their moral agenda is so much more palatable than the rest of the working world. And theyíd learn how to build stuff to boot.

Having set out to fix the major problems, and by also outlawing telephone solicitors, door to door Jehovahís Witnesses and a handful of other minor annoyances, Iíll gracefully retire as King. No kidding. Iím not going to hang around DC just for the hell of it. Maybe Iíll let Colin Powell be King for a while. I think heíd be just the sort of guy to keep the ball rolling.

Donít even think Iím not serious.

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