Today was a robustly good day. There were accomplishments left and right, and, well, I suppose I could claim to have succeeded at gettin’ ‘er dun. You know, if that was the kind of thing I said regularly. At any rate, today was good and tomorrow at the office we will partake of a hopefully-not-too brief celebration of Thanksgiving, wherein everyone will donate one (or more) dish of epically bad-for-you-food. Tonight I’ll be making Paula Deen’s Sausage Balls and because I have an experimental streak, a love of goetta, and a complete disregard for my co-workers’ cardiovascular systems, I’m going to make a second batch substituting Cincinnati’s favorite pork concoction for the sausage.
Yes, I am a terrible person. This is not news.
To further my terribleness, I seriously considered skipping out on the nightly postage in favor of a getting my pork balls made early and then settling in with a terrible movie (Jonah Hex, anyone?) and an Arrogant Bastard in celebration of today’s sweet successes. Oh, sure, I’d have conjured you up a bawdy limerick describing the manufacturing of tomorrow’s treats in which I would make a half-hearted attempt to avoid using the words Puddin, pounding, and pork in the same line. You know, because I like to pretend I’m more subtle than that, or something.
But then I got a call from Washington DC. I was expecting it to be a family member, so imagine the surprise of finding myself greeted by a recorded survey. Yes, that’s right, apparently one of my elected officials decided they wanted to know my opinion. At dinnertime. On a Thursday.
For the record, we were already finished eating (but that does not make it OK), and the kids had run off to begin planning construction of an explosive device designed with a specific concussive force intended to instantly result in each of their toys being sucked from its respective put-away place and into the middle of the playroom (I can only assume they build these frequently based on the occasional condition of the playroom). The Attitude, being not yet ready for complex engineering feats, was busy complaining that his Little People cart wouldn’t remain attached to the appropriate towing vehicle.
So with the kids occupied and feeling generous, I decided to participate in said recorded survey. The Voice of Doom on the other end of the line said it would brief. Surely she wouldn’t lie to me, right?
I never found out. Halfway through the call, I hung up.
See here, elected officials, pay attention. If you want my opinion enough that you’ve got the pork to ask for it via robotic phone call, then I expect you to give me an opportunity to answer. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT, call me with a recording at dinnertime on a weeknight, ask me complex questions, and demand I answer only “Yes”, “No”, or “Repeat.”
Am I happy with the job President Barack Obama is doing? Um…doing with what? The economy? Foreign relations? Education? The White House veggie garden?
Do I want the Health Care Reform Bill revoked? Gosh, where can I bubble in my answer for that one, because that bill isn’t at all like 10,000 pages of complicated.
Do I support recent immigration legislation in Arizona that gives law enforcement the right to arrest and deport illegal aliens? Wow, really? Holy gross oversimplification, Batman!
Look, political questions are tricky, and if you are really interested in the will of your constituency, you can’t demand they answer you with a “yes” or “no”. Yes or no question make me think that you don’t really care what I think, you’re just looking to stockpile ammunition to take with you to coincidentally televised Rotary Club meetings where you might just happen to drop 5 or 6 sound bites for CNN about what the “American People want”.
If you want to ask me a yes or no question, ask me if I think it’s OK that kids go hungry every day in this country, or any other. If you want a yes or no answer, ask me if I like the idea that convicted felons walk free because we don’t have sufficient space or money to deal with them. If you want a yes or no answer, ask me if I want everyone to get a better education.
I cannot tell you what I believe the government should or should not do for me or anyone else in a two-minute call with only “Yes” or “No” answers. Simple questions get those kinds of answer. Did Spot chase Dick and Jane? Why yes, yes he did. Did Puddin go ’round bend today? Oh, quite, yes.
But, the questions facing us at this or any other point in history are not simple. If they were we’d elect a Magic 8-Ball.
Don’t give me essay questions and then tell me it’s a True/False test.
True/False questions sound like, “Is it true that Puddin should shut up now and go make pork balls?”