Michelle Teheux: Debating the real issues
My son and I recently listened to part of a presidential debate on the radio during a long car ride, and afterward we discovered the techniques used by these candidates can work around the house, too.
For example, when asked a tough question, a candidate doesn’t make the mistake of immediately answering it. He puts his mouth on auto-pilot, thanking the interviewer for asking such an excellent question. Meanwhile, the rest of his brain thinks, “Crap! Why that question? It’s too hard! What can I possibly say that sounds plausible without actually answering the question?”
It isn’t that hard to do, as my son immediately discovered. Luckily he lost interest after the first evening, or I might be treated to exchanges like this:
Mom: “Did you get all that junk out of your room?”
Son: “I’m glad you asked that question, Mom. I know there’s been a lot of concern about room cleanliness in this house. Some people believe soda cans are a problem, but frankly with today’s high aluminum reimbursement rate, I think it’s fair to consider these an alternative revenue source and that’s something I believe in very strongly.”
Mom: “Well, then, did you put the cans in the recycling bin?”
Son: “You bring up an interesting point. Despite some unbalanced reporting we’ve seen on this issue, I believe it’s fair to say that my soda can collection is nowhere near as extensive as that of my sibling.”
Mom: “What about all the dirty laundry on your floor?”
Son: “Dirty laundry is one of those issues we talk a lot about, and I think that’s a good thing. So thank you for bringing that up. But what we have to remember is that no one has offered any proof that the laundry on my floor is actually dirty. I know the liberals like to present all laundry on the floor as dirty, but I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence to prove that. Maybe all the liberals’ laundry is dirty, but I prefer the more accurate term, 'previously worn.’
“I believe 'previously worn’ laundry on the floor is a positive thing. It saves laundry detergent and electricity and frees up valuable closet space for more important things, such as video games. It also saves my time for more valuable pursuits, such as video games. This is just another example of biased liberal reporting around here, something brought up by that one -- my sibling here -- to distract attention from more important issues.”
Mom: “All right, forget your room. What about the dogs? Did you give them their baths yet?”
Son: “I’m glad you brought up the dog issue. My friends, I think it’s important to recognize the role the dogs play in this house. They provide an important source of entertainment as well as adding to our home security. Last year, our dogs provided advance warning in more than 700 cases of squirrel encroachment alone. Liberals accuse these dogs of stinking, even though science proves that, in fact, they only smell like dogs. I believe this patronizing, human-centric idea that dogs need us to give them baths is discriminatory toward dog culture. Dogs should have the freedom to make their own bathing choices, and in fact it’s been well-established that dogs do in fact lick themselves on a daily basis.”
Mom: “I still say they stink. Give them a bath or they start sleeping in your room.”
Son: “Are you kidding? They might sleep on my dirty laundry.”
Michelle Teheux can be reached at (309) 346-1111, ext. 661, or firstname.lastname@example.org.