Humor Therapy – Bridging The Budget Gap

Circa 2003

Leave it to California to have a special recall election for the Governor. This state takes diversity very seriously. It’s great to see multiple candidates competing for votes from both the thespian and pornography communities. I don’t recall as much as I did when I was in college. I thought only things like Ford Pintos got recalled. I had a toaster a few years back which blackened my toast and occasionally gave off sparks. Rest assured, this race has no shortage of sparks.

Here in the land of sunshine and botox, politicians need to at least seem charismatic. The image of being a leader is better than actually leading and then running the risk that someone won’t like where it is you have lead. On the other hand, there are times when the solution to political problems is nothing more than a major infusion of cold cash.

It just so happens that I have a solution to this unseemly budget mess: take inventory of key state assets and then sell them off to maximize capital gains. Let’s start with prime real estate. If Governor Davis put the Golden Gate Bridge for sale on eBay, I’m sure it would go for at least a billion. That still leave a deficit of $34 billion but it shows Wall Street that California is getting a grip on the situation.

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I know the readers in New York will write letters to the editor protesting that people have tried unsuccessfully to sell the Brooklyn Bridge for years. This is completely different. The Golden Gate Bridge is a family bridge and Disney caters to the entertainment needs of families. It’s only fair that a California corporation buy a California landmark. What a marvelous photo opportunity! Michael Eisner and Mickey Mouse are shaking hands with the new acquisition in the background.

Just to be on the safe side, the governor should go on the Internet to verify the state owns the bridge. It would be really embarrassing to sell the bridge, pose for pictures with Mike and Mickey and be handed a super-sized check for a billion bucks only to get shut down by George W. Bush. Selling stuff one doesn’t own should be left to corporations with a crooked E as their logo.

Competition is the engine of our free market system. There are even a few mega rich people who might be interested in buying the Golden Gate Bridge. My suggestion is to clear a large scale purchase like the bridge with your spouse. Sure, everyone likes a surprise, but, “Honey, guess what I got on my trip to San Francisco?” Any guy who tries this approach is definitely bucking for several weeks of sleeping on the couch.

Women tend to be more practical on big ticket items. The wife is likely to respond with, “But we don’t need a bridge and besides, where would we put it?” The male response is simply, “I want it. No one else has one and we can just leave it in San Francisco and visit it whenever we want. It will be really cool to walk up to tourists. and tell them that they are standing on my bridge.”

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Another sure-fire way to raise money for California is to cut down the Giant Sequoias. I know those lumber companies will pay top dollar for some choice wood. The environmental community will raise a ruckus for sure. I realize that we are sacrificing 2000 year-old trees. The point is that this is the biggest budget deficit in 2000 years. Even trees need to pitch in.

Hollywood celebrities can also help by auctioning themselves off for dates and then donating the money. All of the dates will be at well established restaurants with Zagat ratings of at least 23. Going on one or two dates at a fancy restaurant is no sacrifice for someone like Jennifer Lopez. She’s a professional dater anyway. Trust me: some plumbing magnate from Columbus, Ohio will be thrilled to pay $100,000 for a date and a chance to save California from bankruptcy. Gray Davis could even go along on the date as a chaperon and explain where the money was going to be spent. If things go well, it could turn into a horror reality show: dating with GrayLo.  

by Gene Feldman

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