Friday, October 23, 2009
I have a co-worker whose conservative politics are combined with an odd sense of humour. On lunch break, the foibles and shortcomings of the Obama administration have provided much material for comedy. One of the hallmarks of the Obama administration has been its appointment of regulatory czars, not subject to congressional approval and able to make life changing decisions by simple decree. My friend is very concerned about the overreaching activities of big government. Recently, there has been news coverage of a government decree limiting executive bonuses. My friend, (I'll call him Ken) thought it was an absurd idea. He felt it set a dangerous precedent for government to regulate even hourly wages.
"I've got to do something" Ken said decisively.
When he said that, I broke into a cold sweat. I never know what kind of crazy idea Ken will come up with. For all I know, he might have had his own distillery in high school, or a chemistry set that you keep in a wall safe. With his sense of humour, I'm not sure how much I want to know about him.
Ken flipped open his cell phone with a decisive air.
"I'm calling the White House." he told me. He had the White House on speed dial.
"What do you want to say?" I asked nervously. I didn't want the secret service kicking down our office door and dragging Ken away, or me for that matter.
"Hello, Is this the White House?' Ken asked. His earnest tone was belied by a mischievous smile.
"I'd like to complain about the price of ice cream." Ken said. "Groceries are getting more expensive. I want to be able to afford ice cream."
I could only hear one end of the conversation. But it seemed as though the operator was being studiously polite.
"I demand that there be an ice cream czar. Someone needs to regulate the cost of ice cream. Right now, the stores can charge whatever they want. Someone has to stop them."
I had a feeling that Ken was goofing. But I just wasn't sure. He listed the various regulatory czars already in office. He had his facts straight. He almost made sense.
When he got back off the phone, he admitted that the White House operator seemed to be holding back laughter and struggling to remain professionally detached.
It is hard to talk very long with Ken without being pulled into his frame of reference. He would have done good in sales, for two reasons.
1) He is very persuasive.
2) A salesman hits the road after a short period of time, so he never has a chance to drive you nuts.
Ken suggested that I call the White House and demand the appointment of an ice cream czar.
"If we're going to have big government micro managing everything, let's go the whole nine yards". he explained to me.
I wrote down the White House phone numbers so I could call later. (White House Comments: 202-456-1111. Switchboard: 202-456-1414.) Maybe we do need an ice cream czar. Fifty seven flavours, fifty seven states... It has a certain symmetry to it. Ken is starting to make sense. I better take a vacation. Sphere: Related Content