Sunday, February 28, 2016

309. Business

“Hey, what are you doing?” C.W. was sprawled on the couch making notes on a yellow pad. He was in one of his favorite shapes: how he imagined Titus Flavius Josephus looked, complete with Roman curls and a long white robe.

“Oh nothing,” he said. “Actually, I’m trying to make sense of your political system. The Elders are questioning me about it.”

“Are you making progress?”

“I’m confused, actually.”


“Yes,” he said. “For example, your candidates running for office don’t seem logical.”

“Oh really? In what way?”

“In many ways. Foreign policy, for example.”
“What about foreign policy?”

He flipped pages on his tablet and consulted his notes. “Here’s a quote from one of them,” he said. “I’ll bomb the excrement expelled from the body out of them.”

“I think it is just an expression,” I said.

“Not a very learned one,” he said, flipping in his notes again. “I’ve consulted Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Dwight Eisenhower, Julius Caesar, Võ Nguyên Giáp, and even George S. Patton.”


“No mention of such a tactic.” He paused, turned to look at me, and said, “But you want to know what really confuses the elders?”

“I’m all ears.”

“No,” he said, “you still have all your body parts … at least as far as I can see.” He giggled.

“What’s so funny?”

“Oh just thinking of how body parts might be switched around.”


“And how funny it could be the next time Mrs, Big Dope yelled at you, ‘Are you listening to me?’”

“Let’s get back to politics,” I said.

“So,” he said, “what on earth do they mean when they say that they will run government like a business?”

“I’m not sure what they mean.”

“That it must make a profit?”

“Well, not exactly.”

“That’s comforting,” he said. “I would hate to see your generals going door to door selling the military.” He giggled again. “Pardon me sir or ma’am, whichever the case may be, you wouldn’t like to buy a war today, would you/” He began giggling in earnest. “We have a special on invasions this month.” He was wiping tears from his eyes now.

“Back to the topic,” I said.

“So how would they run this business called the government?” he asked.

“They haven’t said.”

“Hey,” he said, “how about running it like a pornography business. You don’t have to provide fire or police protection. You just show films of it.” Then he was off laughing again.

“I’m leaving,” I said.

“No, wait,” he said. “I’m okay now. But really, what business would we use to create the model for your government?”

“They haven’t said.”

“Merrill Lynch?”

“Probably not.”

“Bank of America?”

“Not likely.”

“ How about JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs?”

“Are you serious?”

“Citigroup? World Com?”

“Get real.”

“I know—General Motors.”

“Are you through?”

“I’ve got it,” he said. Then with a fourish… “Enron!”

A future historian will have to be
eloquent to explain your species. - C.W.
“You are crazy.”

“I’m not the one saying it,” he said. “Your political candidates are. I have the model,” he said. “How about those defense contractors? Boy, are they models of efficiency.”

 “You’ve made your point.”

“I read here,” he said, “where over half of businesses fail in five years. Is that what they want for your government?”

“I hear my wife calling me.”

“No she’s not,” he said. “I haven’t heard the ‘A’ word all morning.” He became serious. “But the elders do think there is one element of the business model that could do wonders for your country.”

I stopped and turned. “And what,” I said, “would that be?”

“We could move your Congress to Mexico.”

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