Rants & Roadkill

The Annual X-mas Rant

Posted on: Sunday, December 26th, 2010
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment

DSC_0127Christmas has come and gone.  Again.

Beautiful; we still take a few days to BreakAway from our jobs, routines, and rat race.  With any luck, we even reflect, rest, and renew old ties.

But the party is far from over.  Now comes the clean-up, the bills, the weight-loss angst, and the withdrawal from holiday hype.

  • What happened?

What’s happened to this sacred season, anyway?  What’s happened to our culture?  I mean, in an era of unemployment, austerity, and alleged rethinking of values, the season’s headlines obsess about retail sales.  It would appear that Christmas has become Growth Engine #1—and I’m not talking spiritual growth.

Meanwhile, I can’t remember the last time a Christmas carol lilted through a public school.  The radio and mall soundtrack is all “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Let it Snow.”  The Christian denominations are losing souls and houses of worship as fast as other religions are gaining them.

  • Where the GAINS are

Oh sure, you can find a few expanding strains of Christianity.  And they are likely to be heavily political and opinionated (in ways that may not agree with the Beatitudes).  Or they preach the poppy ME message of Prosperity Theology: “Make Me Rich.”  As uber-triumphant (and uber-rich) Reverend Joel Osteen puts it:

God has said that he will open the windows of heaven and pour such blessing that you will not be able to contain it!”

  • Self. Ish.

Oh well, people are just trying to be happy, right?  And when that’s the goal, it may be better to receive than to give.  Better to focus on a personal path than consider sacrifice for world needs or relationship growth.

But the truth (if there is one) of “happiness” may hide in big-hearted, old-school stories like Christmas, not just new-age websites, shopping malls, and self-help shelves.

Search “self help books” on Google and get 191,000,000 links to explore.  Search “self help” on Amazon and ponder 155,000 “results.”  The first “result” is a book with a title that starts, “When Am I Going to Be Happy?…”

Well, “happy” may be a simplistic, self-absorbed pursuit, anyway.  Jesus never promised happiness.  That’s just what we now ask of Christmas, spirituality, and so many things.  And of course, successful living in these times is all about the asking, not so much the sharing.

Was there ever a day when Christmass meant more than merriment, Macys, and money?

I believe.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rants & Roadkill from the World of Work

Posted on: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment

DSCN1276The AP reports that “the squeeze with the sneeze” has gotten so bad that more that more than half of U.S. workers get regular calls from their employers when they’re not supposed to be working—including when taking a sick day.   That is SO sick. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 39% of private sector employees get no sick time at all. 

Is this any way to build loyalty and create leadership?  Heck, no.  Rather, such lack of respect and compassion brings out the beast in people—and smashes any aspirations for future hope and leadership, as another recent survey finds.

  • 24% of people being asked to take on new challenges are more excited to get to work
  • 62% of workers have no desire to assume a leadership role

These stats are outrageous and paint an ugly picture for the future.  We should all be fuming.  But work is sucking our collective energy and creativity away.  So who has time to fight (much less fantasize about Sabbaticals)?  People are tired, poor, and yearning to be free. 

A few folks are questioning these disturbing trends, though, including the Families and Work Institute.  Their president, Ellen Galinsky, smartly sums up work thusly:  

Work is a marathon.  We keep running harder and faster.  What we know now from research is that work is really much more like interval training.  You need time for reset and recovery.” 

Well put, Ellen.  Breakaways for all!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Painful Profiteering of Xmas

Posted on: Friday, November 27th, 2009
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment

DSC_0553What do your Christmas memories look like? With any luck, you see some heartfelt, colorful scenes of gathering, feasting, singing, baking, decorating, giving, gratitude and more. Let’s hope those traditions live on—whatever your beliefs. And that the holidays bring a BreakAway from cold monotony and a time for connection and reflection. 

Be careful, however, when you leave the house or turn on the media.  Out there, the “holiday spending season” has morphed into the biggest capitalism train wreck ever—a sad, sickening farce devoid of spirituality, generosity and gentleness.

Consider…

  • “Black Friday” has become responsible keeping our consumer-centric economy—and country—fiscally afloat. 
  • Shopping numbers move newscasts and stocks like news of war. 
  • Stores open as early as 3 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Shoppers line up hours before then, even in rain, snow and gloom of night.
  • Violence happens routinely as crazed shoppers fight over bargains. 
  • A debt-riddled society dives deeper into arrears, only to bestow stuff others may not want. 
  • The materialism and waste piles up and the real messages get watered down, if not drowned. 

If Jesus were to visit, he’d probably weep. After all, the Bible says “The meek shall inherit the earth,” whereas in modern Christmas the earth is inheriting a greedy mess.

It’s not all one big Bah Humbugapalooza, however. No doubt individuals and groups all over the world still find significance in the holidays—and folks are fighting back against the meaningless money-fication of a holy season.

Just one such sign: More than 1,500 churches worldwide are participating in a program called “The Advent Conspiracy:

An international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption.” 

There’s also a book.  It dares to guide people to give presence, not presents—from the heart, not Wal-Mart. 

So while there’s reason to rant about the roadkill that Christmas is in danger of becoming, there is also—and is this not the main message of sacred holidays?—hope. 

Keep the faith!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

BA Impetus 1: You Done Somebody Wrong (Right, Kanye?)

Posted on: Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment
How many reasons are there to take a BreakAway?  With this new series, let’s find out, one by one.  For Kanye West, a spontaneous inspiration arose when he rudely interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during the MTV Awards to diss her and declare Beyonce more worthy.  Whatever…but now he needs a little Shame Sabbatical. 
 
Work, Work, Work
 
Poor guy.  Kanye works so hard he seems to forget to take time to practice good manners.  As he reflects on the Jay Leno Show, he’ll use this blunder to unplug the fame machine, learn from his mistakes and, well, grow up.  According to the man himself:
So many celebrities, they never take the time off.  I’ve never taken the time off to really — you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else’s hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, ’cause, and I don’t try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That’s period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I’m going to make it through the rest of this life, how I’m going to improve.”
 
President Obama Calls Kanye a “Jackass”
 
One good gaffe deserves another, eh?  President Obama—off the record—responded to Kanye’s actions by calling him “a jackass.”  The comment was not intended for public dissemination.  But of course, we all know that in this digital day and age, no secret is sacred.  Especially when you’re the most powerful person on the planet. 
 
The President will learn that soon enough (or he, too, may need a Sabbatical!).  Meanwhile, we hope Kanye has a great break—really—and that others singing the done-somebody-wrong blues will consider taking time off to apologize, ponder and heal. 
 
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

U.S. Vacation/Sick Time: Lame!

Posted on: Friday, July 3rd, 2009
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | One comment

Yuck.  While some of us rant about taking sabbaticals, the average American Joe doesn’t even get vacation or sick time.  It’s bleak.  And the stats are humbling.  3 months off?  Some folks pine for 3 days. 

Read and weep:  The average PTO time in the U.S.A. is 14 days.  Brits get 24.  Meanwhile, French folks enjoy an average of 39—ooh la la!  As Seattle blogger Lucy Miller put it, “America needs to take a vacation.”  

Years ago, Congress passed the Family Medical and Leave Act, though it still apples to only about half the workforce.  Now they’re considering the Healthy Families Act, which mandates minimal (and modest) vacation and sick time.  Hey—it’s only 100 years late, but let’s do it! 

IF IF IF the bill passes, optimists claim it would be a boon for the travel industry, while also lessening stress and burnout expenses. 

  • Stress and burnout—killers of morale, health, and profit. 
  • Vacation and travel—rewards for a job well done. 

Canada and most of Europe take pride in awarding employees with free time.  Even China mandates three weeks of vacation. But the sad fact is, many Americans still work for low pay, get scant benefits, and often no vacation or sick days off.  If you need more fodder for your frustration, check out this insightful (if depressing) commentary by Marshall H. Tannick.  Then count your blessings for what benefits and freedoms you DO possess.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Working Ill? That’s Just Sick!

Posted on: Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment

How much do people cling to their jobs (that they often say they don’t like)?  So much so that three out of four will go there when they feel sick.  Call me crazy; call me foolish:  But that’s just wrong.  Have we no respect for the health of our friends and colleagues? 

That finding pales in comparison to what execs believe:  Only 17% think their workers show up ill.  Gross. 

A guy could rant on and on about this dizzying info.  But for better or worse, I’m suddenly feeling too nauseous! 

75  Percent of professionals who say they very frequently or somewhat frequently go to work when they feel sick.

17  When executives were asked how often they think empoloyees come to work when they feel sick, percentage who said very frequently.   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Passengers Held Hostage (But it Could Be Worse)

Posted on: Sunday, January 4th, 2009
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Travelog, In Transit, Latest Trip | One comment

“Island time” works well for, well, not working. Not living off deadlines. Not getting anywhere by any particular time or worrying about much. But “island time” fails miserably when trying to catch ferries and make airplane connections. 

3180419184_2920606d67

The ferry floats away from saintly St. John.

 

The good news is we made it off St. John and on to St. Thomas.  Then Anguilla.  Then Antigua.  And eventually to our destination, the island of St. Vincent.  And it is breathtakingly beautiful.  Worth the hassle?  Of course (but that’s easy to say now).  The bad news is the day was, as expected, an endurance test, only worse. 

Stuck on the Ground

"Island time" and flying skeds don't mix well.

 

“Island time” was taken to new levels, and I don’t mean 20,000 feet in the air.  I mean:  Refusing to let planes land.  Stranding people in airports.  Canceling flights.  Holding passengers hostage and inventing a form of “island torture.”  They call it a “soft strike.” 

It comes courtesy of the air traffic controllers on the island of Antigua, a hub for Liat island-hopping airlines.  Seems the Controllers want more money, or something, and the government won’t pony up.  So…they create chaos out of flying (which is already chaotic down here) and make everybody really, really mad (in all senses of the word). 

We’d already received angry and defensive e-mails from the airline.  Every cabbie or airport employee was talking about it—or refusing to.  And frankly, there probably hasn’t been this much drama down here (other than hurricanes) since Reagan and Troops invaded Grenada 20 years ago. 

As for me, I got scolded by a flight attendant and frightfully threatened by a security officer (who was about twice my size).  A Gamegirl was stolen from right under my nose.  And I witnessed unprecedented airport panic and paranoia.  And that’s saying something, since air travel has been increasingly unpleasant since 9-11, if not before. 

In the Antigua airport, most chairs were taken.  Most garbage cans were boiling over.  And the food stand was down to hot dogs and warm beer.  At one point, I stared at an (empty!) garbage can for an hour or more, convinced that this was the appropriate mediation focus for the day. 

Airport Purgatory

Stranded. I meditated on this trash can.

A TV preacher barked in a Patois growl while a nearby CD stand played short samples of reggae, Jamaican toasting, and soca at full volume.  At one point, I thought I would scream.  But instead, I must have zoned out, because that’s when the new pink GameGirl (a necessary drug for CurlyGirl on a day like this) was pilfered.  Disappeared like magic.  

We got lucky.  Our plane flew.  We got out of there, and onto St. Vincent only a few long hours late.  Needless to say, we went out for a celebratory dinner and stayed up way too late.  When getting there is not half the fun, getting there feels twice as good. 

  • On St. Vincent, “island time” is alive and well.  And suddenly, slowing down to soak it all in is a euphoric experience.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Medical Emergency…Requisite BreakAway Bummer

Posted on: Saturday, December 27th, 2008
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Travelog, 1st Stop: St. John, Latest Trip | Leave a comment

When on Sabbatical, expect many surprises—not always good. You can BreakAway. But you can’t run away from the Bad Thing. Moreover, you may unknowingly step out of the comfort zone and into the danger zone. So remember this 5-word mantra: I knew this might happen. Repeat. Breathe deep.

Smashed FingerCurlyGirl has had two strikes already on this trip: a bee sting on the deck and fire ants in her pants in the parking lot of a restaurant. But today she struck out, got beaned, got ejected from the game, AND sent us all into extra innings in the ER. A smashed finger in a heavy door can do that. It can ruin your day—maybe more. Even if you’re a comeback kid.

When S*#@ hits the fan, I like to envision the WCS (worst case scenario). Deal with that first. In this case, death seems unlikely. Surgery? Possibly. But we might still make our plane to St. Vincent next Sunday. Guitar heroine-ism may be compromised, but there’s always piano.

Still, I hate emergency wards. Who doesn’t? The good news is that, so far, (as we say in Minnesota), it could be worse. Today’s long day—one that went according to no plan—went something like this.

  • 10:40.  I leave house to go pick up friends B&E, who arrived from NYC last night but are carless (thanks to car-rental overbookings and incompetence), in a house atop Bordeaux Mountain. We are all planning to go to Maho Bay beach for the day. Coolers and gear are packed. Snorkeling and Red Stripe await.
  • 10:45. As I pull out of the driveway, CurlyGirl screams and AllBoy comes rushing out the door. She has caught her hand in the heavy door. The winds are strong; her hand is small. Partner comes out to help. I leave post-haste as drama unfolds, convinced that this is just sibling stuff.
  • 10:55. Atop Bordeaux Mountain, I can’t get to B&E’s house, because construction vehicles are in my way. I negotiate with Guys who move heavy machinery. Then back down the steep hill to B&E’s house—a death-defying act in its own right. I’m loving it.
  • 10:58. Mom E is waving and yelling from their house as I try to get there. I wave back. I am calm. Navigating steep, pot-holey hills and fresh mud backward in 4WD. How cool is that?
  • 11:01. I arrive. B&E’s 2 daughters greet me, concerned. I am told by the Adults that there is a Medical Emergency. CurlyGirl’s finger is cut open. I call home. Girl caught her finger in the door a SECOND time—after I left—when the wind slammed it shut again. This time: Serious. “I think the end might fall off,” Partner tells me in a very shaky voice.
  • 11:05. Phones stop working. We try them all—landline, 2 cels. I must get home. I suggest that B&E and 2 daughters come with me, or they’re stuck atop the Mtn all day. They pile in.
  • 11:12. I drop the Family at the bottom. Head home, up the other side of the hill. Partner greets me, in near panic. Blood is everywhere. This is unusual. I take a look. Indeed, middle finger is “dangling at the tip; might fall off.” CurlyGirl’s shock symptoms on the couch (watching “Tinkerbell”) suggest this is serious. No movement. Pupils dilated. Shallow breathing. Even AllBoy looks shocked.
  • 11:15. Phones are working again and calls are made to the local medical practice. Dr. C (we go way back) explains that his clinic is closed (it is Saturday, after all) and the ER is probably the best option. Though they have no X-rays. Yet on-call doctor is credible and does mastery stitchery work, if needed. Good to know.
  • 11:18. Strap Self and Partner and Boy and Girl in car. Head back down the hill. Drop Boy with Family B&E, who get to beach via temporary use of Crusty Jeep.
  • 11:20. Girl and Partner ride in back seat. I put on music in vehicle. Children’s Pain Killer begins to take effect. Visions of St. Thomas surgery rooms dance in my head. “I knew this might happen…”
No BreakAway is complete without a visit (or 2) to the clinic.

No BreakAway is complete without a visit (or 2) to the clinic.

  • 11:40. Arrive at St. John’s Only Clinic. Nurse and doctor are awaiting, though it’s doctor’s day off. Impressive. They take us straight to a room, hand me paperwork. They schmooze the patient, who does NOT want them to remove the bandage. Much loud crying.
  • 11:45. They unwrap bandage. Girl screams bloody murder…for next 20 minutes or so. They gradually wash, dab, fondle, pick, probe, confab, and ponder.
  • 12:05. Dr. explains that the cut is severe, nearly through the finger. Straight through middle of the fingernail. They could remove fingernail, but that would hurt more—and nail may act to hold finger together. Don’t know if bone is broken or crushed. Don’t have X-rays. Can only wrap tight and hope it holds.
  • 12:10.   They rewrap the finger, to the sounds of Girl screaming and thrashing. It takes 2 parents to hold her down. I show her pictures of rock stars and bad ads in Rolling Stone magazine to try to distract. It works, at times. She likes Brad Pitt. Yells NONONO when I suggest I grow a mustache, beard, long hair.
  • 12:15. Dr. pulls me aside for a pep talk and discharge marching orders. Finger too small to do stitches, splint, surgery. Let’s just hope. (Smile, shrug of shoulders.) No swimming til at least Tuesday—no ocean, pools, water. Tap water here is NOT good. Wash with bottled water. Use disinfectant. Rewrap daily. Try “liquid band-aid” first times in water next week, but know that stuff stings. (I’ve never heard of it.)
  • 12:17. If fever or green pus, bring in immediately. Know that infections are more common and severe down here. Even the air has germs.
  • 12:20. More paperwork. Sign off; copy insurance card. No cost. Doctor leaves.
  • 12:22. We exit. Head to downtown Cruz Bay to buy medical supplies as suggested, pick up some seafood to cook for dinner, and find B&E a rental car using old contacts.
  • 2:30. Supplies are in hand. As is fresh tuna, salmon, London Broil, and prawns. Car procured after much drama with old ‘friends’ at local car rental joint (owner will rent his own jeep and drive his beater). I stay in Cruz Bay to wait for B, ensure closure on the rental car deal, and drive Crusty Jeep back to Coral Bay.
  • 4:00. Home. Start chopping vegetables and cooking. Good therapy. Never mind that the knives here are sharp and I cut my middle finger…
  • 5:55. CurlyGirl is strong. Her parents are spent. Dinner is served (the first course).
  • 10:55. Dinner is over. Children’s painkiller is served (again). Step outside to thank the stars and repeat: 

“I knew this might happen.”

  • 11:55. Retire.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Storm Before the Calm

Posted on: Monday, December 15th, 2008
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Travelog, Latest Trip, Prep & Planning | Leave a comment

It’s dang cold and snowy here.  That makes escaping to warmth more inviting, but also complicates the daily grind and last-minute errand runs.  Two days before take-off.  HELP!  I’d like to fall on the floor and cry in my beer, but there’s no time, and not much beer, and beer would only slow me down and we CAN’T have that.  Okay, maybe just one…

The snow is pretty, but makes getting around a slippery slope.

Snow is pretty, but makes for slippery slopes.

 

Ever have one of those days when everyone in your family is snitty?  (And nobody is volunteering to shovel the new snow?)  Tempers flare; the house is a train wreck; nothing works?  That’s us.  Except, it’s been that way for about a week.  There is this sense of chaotic desperation in the air.  And it’s amazing the things that choose to break down NOW of all times…

 

 

  • The kitchen sink backed up, and needed a thorough roto-rooting.  Gross!
  • The freezer ceased.  As in, melted ice cream and al dente ‘frozen’ vegetables.  Ish!  
  • The security system went nuts.  Decided there was CO2 in the air and the alarms refused to stop.  (I think it was wrong, but it’s hard to tell exactly what is killing all the brain cells these days.)
  • The Apples have been rotting.  Needing new batteries, more RAM, updated iLife, iTunes triage.  
  • More, but who cares?  Thank goodness for supportive friends and Angie’s List.  

The kids are excited, hyper really.  Cute, but it can make things worse.  AllBoy is bouncing basketballs, like our heads, off the walls–which just ain’t right when the snorkelware and Nikon gear is underfoot and M and D’s patience is kaput.  CurlyGirl is packing 16 tons of Polly Pockets.  Things are getting lost.  Lists are getting longer.  Breaths are getting shorter.  

  • 5 words:  We’ll be on that plane.  (That we just learned serves NO food and charges for ALL luggage AND beverages). 
  • Countdown:  29 hours (til we leave the house).  
  • Ostacles:  At least 2 of us are sick; one goes to an eye specialist for an infection in the morning.
  • Biggest Scream:  Airlines.  They just keep changing the rules, and I don’t mean lifehacking.
  • Biggest loss:  Holiday merriment.  What holidays?  What merriment?  Maybe later?
  • Last night of good sleep:  I can’t recall.  
  • First thing I’ll do on the islands:  A big Iowa Yee-ha scream and seek a Heineken.  
  • Soundtrack ahead:  Reggae.  Tree frogs.  Men yelling in Island Patois.  Drunk tourists.  Goats and donkeys.  Roosters (all night long).  Wind.  Waves.  
  • Note to self:  Keep the faith.  (“It’s all small stuff.”)
  • ODDS OF GOING TODAY:  98%  (a new high).
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Armchair Economist Gives Thanks for Exxon

Posted on: Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Posted in: Rants & Roadkill, Blog | Leave a comment

(Excerpted from his annual “Night-Before-Turkey” speech, as given to family and friends at the Rob Roy Club in Midtown, Manhattan)

FRIENDS, FAMILY, WORLD LEADERS,

IT IS WITH A TEAR—OF JOY, OF COURSE—THAT I MUST TODAY EXPRESS MY PARTICULARLY HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND COLLIES, I MEAN COLLEAGUES, WHO HAVE MADE POSSIBLE THIS $15 BILLION QUARTERLY PROFIT FROM THE ESTEEMED EXXON CORPORATION.

  • THANKS…TO THE EXXON EXECUTIVES, WHO HAVE SO BRILLIANTLY SHOWN NO SHAME IN EXPLOITING CAPITALISM TO NEW RECORDS. RATHER LIKE A GREAT ATHLETE, THEY JUST KEEP SHATTERING THEIR OWN WORLD RECORDS! (aside: HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT!?!) {applause, applause}
  • THANKS…TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (aside: OR SHOULD I SAY, “LACK THEREOF”). {chuckles and guffaws} WITHOUT SUCH OIL-FRIENDLY KINFOLK IN POWER, WELL, PERHAPS OUR PROFITS WOULD HAVE BEEN A MERE $14 BILLION! {laughter, back slapping}
  • THANKS…TO THE U.S. PEOPLE, WHO WILLINGLY PAID MORE THAN $4 A GALLON FOR MONTHS ON END SO WE COULD ACHIEVE THIS MILESTONE. NOW, HOW DO I SAY THIS?…YOU ROCK?
  • THANKS…TO THE OTHER PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, WHERE-EVER YOU ARE, FOR FOLLOWING OUR LEAD IN GAS GUZZLING? AIN’T IT GREAT? {applause, clinking of glasses, more back-slapping}
  • THANKS…TO THE CAR MANUFACTURERS. MAKERS OF BIG VEHICLES, PICK-UP TRUCKS, MOBILITY, AND FREEEEEEEE-DOM! AND MAY I SAY, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY PIGGY BANK, I SURE HOPE YOU GET YOUR $25 BILLION BAILOUT. (aside: IF TIMES WEREN’T SO ROUGH, I’D SUGGEST WE AT EXXON GIVE THEM A FEW BUCKS!) {loud laughter, shouts of “no! no!”, temporary chaos}
  • THANKS…TO THE DINOSAURS—WHO LONG AGO GAVE THEIR GUTS, JUST SO WE HERE AT EXXON COULD FUEL THIS LIFESTYLE REVOLUTION.
  • THANKS…TO THE EXXON SHAREHOLDERS, WHO SO SMARTLY GAVE ME A SEAT ON THE BOARD. I MAY BE OLD AND FADING AND COULD CARE LESS. BUT I ALWAYS VOTE “AYE.” AND TONIGHT, I VOTE “ME, MYSELF, AND AYE!”
  • AND FINALLY, MY DEEPEST THANKS GOES TO THE EXXON BOARD OF DIRECTORS. THANK YOU, GENTLE MEN, FOR BRINGING ME TO YOUR TABLE. OH SURE, I SKIP THE MEETINGS. BUT I ALWAYS VOTE YES. AND TONIGHT, I VOTE YES! YES! 15 BILLION TIMES YES! {uproarious applause, group hugs, champagne everywhere)

PLEASE, PLEASE…I’M ALMOST DONE (aside: WITH MY SPEECH, BUT NOT WITH MY PROFIT-TAKING!). IN CLOSING, MAY I JUST WISH YOU ALL THE HAPPIEST OF THANKSGIVING. YOU’VE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR: MONEY, POWER, GREED—BUT I MEAN THE GOOD KIND. LET THE FREE MARKET—AND THE OIL—FLOW…LIKE FINE WINE! {glasses clink}

AS YOU BREAK BREAD TOMORROW, PLEASE REMEMBER THE LITTLE PEOPLE, AND THE LITTLE THINGS.

BY LITTLE PEOPLE, I MEAN ANYONE WHO HAS NOT THE GOOD FORTUNE TO BE IN THIS ROOM, OR EVEN BEAN EXXON SHAREHOLDER. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEM, EVEN AS THEY GO BROKE BUYING GAS.

AND BY LITTLE THINGS, I MEAN LOBSTER—INSTEAD OF TURKEY. AFTER ALL, NOW THAT THE EXXON VALDEZ MESS IS FINALLY BEHIND US—IN SO MANY WAYS—WE CAN FINALLY GET DECENT SEAFOOD FROM ALASKA AGAIN. {Hear hear! Hear hear!}

GOOD NIGHT! MAY GOD BLESS YOU—AND THE EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION!

(The Armchair Economist shakes the hands of three Exxon “friends,” who shall remain nameless, and then is quickly escorted out of the building by umpteen bodyguards who whisk him into an awaiting, heavily armored, Toyota Prius.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email