Sometimes, as I take in the passing scene, I find myself wondering if I went to sleep on earth and woke up on some other planet. And, mind you, it’s not just the politicians who are giving me this queasy feeling.
For instance, Eric and Charlotte Kaufman are apparently the kind of people who are the envy of other couples in their circle. I can hear the wives in that circle looking disdainfully at their own husbands and saying, “Why can’t you be more like Eric? Why don’t you ever decide to take us on a 3,000 mile sailing voyage? You’re such an old stick-in-the mud.”
The husbands are now in a position to give their wives the horselaugh because when the Kaufmans decided to sail from Mexico to New Zealand, they also decided to take their one-year-old twin daughters along. Not too surprisingly, one of the little girls took sick 900 miles out, and the Kaufmans had to be rescued at sea at a cost to California’s taxpayers of $663,000!
Once on dry land, Mrs. Kaufman, defending herself against those who called her a lousy mother, said, “Kids get sick.” She seemed unaware that she was actually making the case for those of us who regarded them as a pair of irresponsible dunderheads. Kids do get sick. With annoying regularity, I would add. That is why normal people with little kids take them to the park or the zoo. Where they don’t take them is on a 3,000 mile ocean voyage in a sailboat just so that their friends will gush, “Those Kaufmans sure are a fun couple.”
While we’re on this subject, I think that anyone, with or without kids in tow, who gets it into his head to sail around the world or climb a mountain should be compelled to take out the appropriate insurance, so that innocent taxpayers don’t get stuck having to foot the bill to finance rescue operations. If you require an adrenaline rush to make your life worth living, it’s no business of mine, just so long as I don’t have to pay for the helicopters and the brave crews who are going to have to risk their necks to save your silly one.
Another example of a civilian behaving as foolishly as a politician was the guy who fell asleep at a baseball game and is now suing ESPN because when he was caught snoozing on camera, the broadcasters made a few jokes at his expense. He is suing for $10 million because of the emotional distress he was caused.
Of course he won’t win, but imagine the precedent if he did, and everyone who ever fell asleep at a baseball game decided to sue. I mean, so what if ESPN broadcasters didn’t humiliate you on national TV? It’s possible you were hit with a bag of peanuts thrown by a vendor or spilled a cup of your over-priced beer while sawing logs. The problem, as even the greediest shyster will acknowledge, is that everyone knows that falling asleep at a baseball game is the real national pastime.
But when dealing with the loons of America, you can only go so long without mentioning politicians. So let us consider Harry Reid.