(To politicians, you’re never dead. You’re just an oxygen-deferred undecided.)
Even dead, he wouldn’t shut up.
“Could be worse, I suppose,” reasoned the corpse, riffling through his Food Stamps as he signed over his Stimulus check. “At least I’m not overweight.”
He grinned at the grocery clerk. At least, I think it was a grin. “What’s your name, dearie?”
“Perfect,” I grumbled to myself. “Just perfect. Friday afternoon, I’m in a hurry. I glide into the Ten Items Or Less lane with two items. Two. But first, this stiff’s gotta share his entire afterlife’s story with Miffy The Checkout Clerk.”
I must have a gift. No matter where I go – the bank, the pharmacy, the movie concession, the grocery, the post-tattoo hepatitis booster-shot clinic – I seem to have a knack for picking the slowest possible queue. But this was the first time I’d ever been stuck behind a member of the post-mortem public who was on government assistance.
And then it got worse. Miffy asked Bone Boy for some ID.
Some days, I just have no luck at all. I’d finally made it to a Friday without the need to recall any exploding Chinese products. Without any workplace distractions that included the words “disgruntled employee” and “hail of gunfire.” So far, so good. But then, on the drive home from work, my new alternatively-fueled car from General Tso Motors, the Chrysler “Commune,” ran out of sunshine. Fortunately, there was a Unionized road crew nearby taking a marijuana and beer break. The work gang heard my frustrated swearing, assumed I was filming a pro-Union political smear ad, and blazed me a quick “exit ramp to nowhere.” That got me off the freeway, and I angled the Commune toward a nearby patch of sunlight. So far, so good.
But then I get stuck in the grocery express lane behind a dead guy on the dole.
So what’s with all these casketeers cashing government checks? How did this happen? I’m sure you heard the news. Those clabber-skulled, clueless clowns in Washington … the same mullet-heads who intend to attend to your internal organs … somehow, they managed to mail seventy-two thousand Stimulus checks to seventy-two thousand dead people. Whoa. There’s a staggering stupidity going on inside that beltway. This is world-class incompetence. I mean, a snafu of this magnitude gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “post-dated check.”
Seventy-two thousand checks, mailed to people who, like Arlen Specter, no longer matter. The good news is that about half of the Stimulus checks were returned by people who, unlike Arlen Specter, are intellectually honest. But that brings us to the bad news: some thirty-six thousand Stimulus checks, apparently sent to zombies with a zip code, were not returned. I don’t want to get into the eschatological issues involved, but this means that, somewhere, we’ve got a huge Michael Jackson “Thriller” video just waiting to happen.
(By the way, an additional seventeen thousand Stimulus checks were sent to incarcerated felons, too. But, fortunately, they were all sent to the same prison that housed co-felon Bernie Madoff. Bernie showed up with a shiv and a prospectus and, before anyone knew what had happened, he had “diversified” all the other convicts. Suddenly, there was a blood-curdling shriek, a giant whooshing sound, and celebrity attorney Gloria Allred swooped in. She’s now representing the felons.)
So now you’re probably wondering, like a good, obedient, 21st century robot: how can I get in on some of this free money? How do I get dead, and live to tell about it?
Well, if you’re not dead already, there are plenty of ways to speed things up. You could smoke. You could hit yourself repeatedly with a stick, but that could take a while. You could stand on the Arizona-Mexico border waving a bogus work visa, or a gram of cocaine. You could go quail hunting with Dick Cheney. You could walk into a West Texas biker bar wearing a full-body tangerine leotard and shout, “I’m gay and I’m here to take your guns!” You could stand between Kim Jong-Il and a lunch buffet, or Arlen Specter and a microphone.
Hey, I’m just saying. You have options.
Here’s another idea for simply ceding all personal control and letting the government pay you to die. Ever considered combining government Food Stamps with utterly negligent, staggeringly gross obesity? Lots of people are! And with a record forty-one million people now shopping for food with Food Stamps instead of their own money, a big behind can’t be far behind.
Every day on TV, you can hear dozens of extremely emaciated, irritating experts, warning that Americans (to use the highly-technical medical terminology) are like really way large and stuff. In fact, according to one report, Americans are getting so morbidly overweight that, by the year 2020, 2 out of 3 people will be 3 out of 4 people.
Come to think of it, the ultimate “free government money” solution may be staring us in the face. After all, we’re only discussing the bat-biscuit insanity that we know about in Washington, concerning felons and Food Stamps and formerly breathing people. There’s no telling how much Stimulus money they might be sending to dead overweight convicts.
And, of course, you could’ve just simply starved to death, waiting behind this dead schmuck last Friday at the grocery, who acted like he’s the first ex-person in history to ever be asked for some ID.
So frustrating, this guy. I coulda re-killed him.