Funniness Negates Wrongness
Thursday, March 13, 2003
We Took This Trip To Pleasant Grove...
Mid-way through the week and I'm already ready for the weekend already. I'm not entirely sure what the weekend will bring, but surely it will be better than the week itself. It's not that I don't like my job--in fact, I really enjoy it, especially since it might be sending me to Red China at some point in the not-too-distant future. It's just that if I could somehow get away with not working, I would. Like welfare moms. And crazy veterans. Even though polite society may frown upon it, living off the federal government can't be all that bad. I was driving through a less-than-pleasant part of Dallas a while back, Pleasant Grove--which really isn't all that pleasant, and got a first hand look at how the other half lives. Since I rarely venture from my stylish and exclusive loft to the nether regions of the DFW Metroplex, this was an eye-opening experience. I discovered a lot of things about my "disadvantaged" neighbors in southeast Dallas.

First off, if you're on welfare, you are apparently provided with a late-model Cadillac. This was apparent as I cruised Buckner Boulevard south of Interstate 30 as nearly every car was some sort of Cadillac. I imagine that your first welfare check is hand-delivered by a representative of the government who hands you the keys to the Cadillac that he or she arrived upon. All that the government asks is that your welfare Cadillac have a preponderance of gold trim, wide wheels with wire rims and a driver's seat that does not go into a full upright position in order to make it easier for officials, such as police, to identify you as a welfare-recipient and therefore give you special treatment.

One of the drawbacks of welfare is that you are forced to give up contraception and have as many children as possible. This entitles you to even more money from the government, plus there are huge tax incentives. This ensures that in the event of a war sometime in the future, there are plenty of people to fill the lowest ranks of the frontline infantry. All that the government asks is that you give your children easy-to-remember and unique names that use the following syllables in some fashion: "qua", "nay", "la", "shay", "ray", "tah", "dra", "quin" and "wan".

If you're on welfare, you're automatically issued a handgun. You are required to carry this on your person at all times and are expected to use it to enforce the law of the streets. You are also required to wear ill-fitting sports team uniforms or jeans and are forbidden any kind of belt or suspenders to hold said pants up. This makes it easy for government officials to catch you if you are suspected of committing a crime and decide to try and make a run for it.

Welfare recipients, at the request of Nike, are issued hats with the Nike Swoosh on them to act as walking advertisements for Nike. Wearers are required to wear these hats sideways so that motorists in passing cars can see the logo. For the same reason, Nike often provides free oversized pairs of their latest shoes to welfare recipients to wear to social functions and on the street. These NIke programs help defray the cost of welfare to the federal government.

Welfare recipients, because they receive so much assistance from the government, are expected to do something for the government in return. Because they rely on the government for their livelihood and would never do anything to upset the government, causing them to lose their funding, they are trusted members of society. As such, the government, realizing that the United States Gold Depository at Fort Knox is not completely safe from terrorist attacks or international gold thieves employing poison gas dispensing airplanes and large Asian henchmen with razor-edged bowler hats, has entrusted the welfare recipients of this country with protecting our gold. Thus, welfare recipients are provided with large, heavy gold necklaces and are expected to have at least five teeth replaced with teeth made of gold, which are extracted after death. This program protects our national gold reserves by spreading the gold around the nation, making a large portion of it invulnerable to terrorist attacks or thieves.

Welfare recipients are also provided with as much cannabis sativa as they can consume. In fact, many are given so much that they are forced to get rid of the extra by selling it to others on the streets and sidewalks. The easiest way to obtain some cannabis is pick out a block in your nearest ghetto, slowly drive around it a couple of times to get the salespersons used to seeing you, pick a salesperson out and pull up next to them, roll down your window a tad and they'll automatically present you with what they call a "dime bag", which is a misnomer, because it contains not coins, but rather cannabis, which can't normally be used to currency at the more respectable establishments in your neighborhood.

While cruising through the Grove, I happened upon a large electronics retailer. I decided to stop in and see what welfare was providing for the residents. What I saw sealed it for me...made me want to be a welfare recipient too. I walked in, past the rows of tables filled with welfare recipients filling out credit applications, to the TV section. Here, every person--every single welfare recipient in the section--was acquiring a big screen TV. I understood their desire to have a 60" widescreen with Dolby Digital and HDTV decoder, as I, too, want a big screen TV, but am unable to afford one and am stuck with a year-and-a-half-old JVC 32" with just Dolby Surround Sound, despite my white-collar job and Bachelor of Business Administration degree. But here, in the heart of the ghetto, the government was providing people with the means to fulfill their dreams of big screen TV ownership. Oh, how I wanted to press gold nuggets into my gums and throw my belt into the trash and put on a sideways hat and darken my flesh and join them. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to give up the trappings of my stylish and exclusive loft, my middle-class upbringing, my wool suits and Givenchy slacks and the exclusive, private education of my formative years.

"Give me a Cadillac SUV with gold trim, dark windows and the suspension modified so that the ground clearance is only 4 inches. Let me father children I will never know and won't have to care for. Let me live in a high-rise pre-fab concrete block with metal grating on the windows and a stairwell that smells of urine. Give me dark curly hair that I can easily forget I left a comb in. I want to be one of you!" I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs. But I didn't. I looked around at the store's patrons staring at me--the only white person in the place, smiled, flashing unadorned teeth, turned around and walked back out to my car with its factory suspension and lack of gold trim, got inside, locked the doors and took off, up the C.F. Hawn Freeway to North Central and back home to comfortable, safe North Dallas.