“Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her
husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually
Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game
between Detroit and Washington . Ever since the government passed the
Civility in Sports Statute of 2013, outlawing tackle football for its
“unseemly violence”, the bad refereeing and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,”
Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch
wasn’t nearly as exciting.
Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the
thought of eating another Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best type of
Veggie Meat available after Michelle Obama revised the American Anti-Obesity
Act of 2013, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which
already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t
anything like real turkey.
And ever since the government officially changed
the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2013 to
officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ allegedly brutal treatment of Native
Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.
Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of
government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even
weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since
Obama’s EPA passed the Power Conservation Act of 2013, mandating all
thermostats-which were monitored and controlled by the electric company-be
kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely
tolerable throughout the entire winter.
Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the
family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had
used up her legal allotment of live-saving medical treatment in ObamaCare. He had had
many heated conversations with Obama’s Regional Health Consortium, spawned when
the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced
into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept
on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are
limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the
phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled.
I’m sorry for your loss.”
Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car
last night, the only kind available after Obama’s Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2013
outlawed the use of the combustion engines-for everyone but government
officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed
didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and
Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston
made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion.
No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon
after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely
aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a
cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added
“inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one” step ahead
of the terrorists.” Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing
ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a
crowd gathered, via Obama’s Anti-Profiling Act of 2013. That law made it a crime to
single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when
probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train
stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.
The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a
Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law
intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible,” said the Court’s
Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had cavity search laws like this one for years.
We should learn from their example,” she added.
Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well
with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him.
Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at
any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had
occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was
all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.
His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was
the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the
bird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were “just around
the corner,” but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that
ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help
that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in
the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2014,
which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being.
Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessive
before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE4.
The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated
was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time they promised to push
unemployment below its rate of 18%, but Winston was not
particularly hopeful. It just seemed to create inflation rather than create jobs or encourage
Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before
remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He
felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what
life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make
life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so
many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change
when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could
get used to them.
He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there
was still time, maybe back around 2013, when all the real nonsense began.
“Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is
enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.
Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.