Back in the Fold

by Will Durst

Give Congress the benefit of the doubt and say they do work out a compromise on the debt ceiling extension. This country could still slip into default, leading to the worst possible scenario imaginable — we have to move back in with England. Who’s going to be happy then? Nobody. You think it’s embarrassing slinking home after graduating college, try waiting 235 years.

Already dreading the dressing down we’ll be forced to patiently endure should we make it through the front door. “Well, well, well, look who’s back. Seems someone couldn’t hack it out on our own, could they, Mister I’m Ready for Independence? How’s it feel to be labeled a fading superpower? Not much bloody fun being mocked by the neighbors, is it boyo?

“Notice you didn’t rush right over to your good friend China’s house. What’s the matter, did you have a fight with your new BFF? Or are they wanting their loans back? What about Egypt? Don’t they owe you a bit of something? Or did you squander it away like your post 9/11 goodwill? Typical.

“So. Here you are. I suppose you’ll be wanting your old room back. Well, you can forget it. Pakistan has been renting that room for almost three decades. Very tidy people. And quiet. Too quiet, if you ask me. But they cook. Nice break for your mother. Stinks up the kitchen a bit with all those spices, but quite tasty, really.

“What in Hades is wrong with you? Why couldn’t you manage your money better, like your younger brother Canada? Yes, they’re a bit boring, but solid as Gibraltar. You never see Canada in the foyer with their bags around their feet like a homeless person. Nose to the grindstone, that’s Canada in a nutshell. Still respect their Royals. Nothing like you or that drunken lout Australia, but don’t get me started.

“Okay. Now, this is totally against my better judgment but your mother says you can crash on the basement couch. Just for a couple of weeks, mind you. But this isn’t the Ritz. While you live in this house, you will live by our rules, mister. That means the TV shuts off at 10 p.m. Sharp. And yes, there are only four channels. Stop whining.

“No more making fun of the Queen. You hear me? And not a single, smirking word about Rupert Murdoch. Can’t say your hands are altogether clean on that one, now can we? Look at me when I’m talking to you. And get this through your thick skull, health care is free. For everybody. The stitches may be a mite larger than you’re accustomed from your fancy Beverly Hills surgeons, but I dare say you’ll get used to it.

“One last thing, no more wars. If I hear of one more scrape you’ve gotten yourself into, you’ll be back on the street so fast it’ll make David Cameron’s head spin. Faster. Nobody wants you mucking about with your sticky little fingers in their business anymore. Do we understand each other? Good.

“Now get yourself downstairs. Unpack and wash up. Put on a tie. Supper’s at 5:00. By the looks of you, I’d wager you haven’t missed many meals. And straighten up while you’re down there. Make sure there’s a clean spot under the stairwell; we’re setting up a cot. Ireland just called. They’re on their way over.”

Will Durst
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