Lanx Satura [sat-ahyuhr]: City Approves $4 Million Dollar Contract With Recycle Ann Arbor To Repossess Gift Cards Issued By RecycleBank
by Pete Nicely
It was H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis or some other dead white Anglo Saxon who once sort-of said, “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.” Or maybe it was Ryan Seacrest who said, “When Lady Gaga shows up at the MTV Video Music Awards, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.”
Either way, costumes matter.
When Big Government showed up at my house in Ann Arbor, it was wrapped in hemp-related fibers, wearing Birkenstocks, and waving a clipboard.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Big Government,” I said. “I’m hoping you’re here to tell me how you’ve got your jackboots and you’re gonna separate into banks and investment houses, again. I mean we had a Great Depression. We passed Glass-Steagall, which made banks and investment houses investment houses. We did that and we didn’t have a depression… until we got rid of Glass-Steagall. So I though maybe, you know, we could put that back. Why not? Nothing will ever cost us more than that crash did. Glass-Steagall is bad branding. Let’s call it the Kardashian bill. Or the Anti-Kardashian bill. Whichever polls better.”
Big Government cocked its head back and said, “One of us has something important to say. Should I just come back when you’re taking a nap?”
“Big Government,” I said. “I’m a fan. Loved it when you saved Chrysler and GM. You did it in a way that didn’t gratuitously punish workers. And then you passed a national health care reform to help 40 million Americans afford health insurance. You did it because lack of insurance kills more Americans in one year—some 50,000—than any terrorist ever could. So please tell me you’re here to sign me up for a Public Option, a Medicare for All that I can buy into. I’m willing to pay to make it fair. I’m like the Warren Buffet of dudes who make $40,000 a year.”
“Would you shut up? I’m trying build some consensus around this ‘Take Back the Gift Card’ program,” Big Government said.
And by the sudden glitter of self-righteousness in its eye, I could tell Big Government was serious. I fell to the floor, rolled on my back and showed Big Government my belly. That’s how it knows you’re no threat.
“What ever you need, Big Government,” I said. “Take it.”
Big Government began softly jabbing at my belly with its sandal. I couldn’t stop the part of me—the slave I’d been trained to be since I first started watching F-Troop—from purring. But I tried.
Big Government said, “We just need that Best Buy gift card you got from the RecycleBank. We’ve recycled the contract to save a bit of money, or at least that’s what we told people, and we get ten cents on every dollar in gift cards we return.”
I’d spent thousands on the cardboard I’d bought to recycle to rack up the points that won me that gift card. But the purring, it was clouding my mind. I reached into my fanny pack and held the card out for Big Government, politely.
“How about my Kroger Card? I think I’m getting like $.10 off a gallon of gas but I have to go to Ypsilanti to fill up. How about my weed?” I asked. “I have a prescription.”
“We have too much stinky weed, as it is,” Big Government said, slipping my Best Buy gift card into its recycled cotton shopping bag. “Just don’t let us tax it and regulate it and everything will be cool.” There was a glint in Big Government’s eye as it used the language of the “kids.”
Big Government lifted its Birkenstock from my belly.
“Deal,” I said, rolling over to my side, suddenly fetal. “Whatever you need.”
And that’s when I knew fascism could never come to Ann Arbor or America. The costume thing is just kinda over. Right?
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