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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 05, 2005

Nicholas Kristof Weighs In On The Pigeon-Crapping Crisis

It's impolite to say so in a blue state, but President Bush has a point: there is a genuine problem with paying for Social Security, even if it isn't as dire as Mr. Bush suggests...

I'm deeply afraid that we're going to go through this debate as we did the health care battle of 1994—by rejecting a White House proposal but agreeing on nothing in its place.

In that case, it won't just be Mr. Bush who loses. We'll all lose.

-- Nicholas Kristof, via Kevin Drum

NICHOLAS: It's impolite to say so in this part of town, but George has a point: whether it's twenty or forty or a million years from now, we're going to face genuine problems with pigeons crapping on public statues.

GEORGE: Exactly! We must build a giant laser to destroy Mars!

NICHOLAS: Well, that's an interesting proposal. I can certainly see where you're coming from, although I have some reservations about borrowing $20 trillion to pay for the laser.

GEORGE: Giant laser! Destroy! Destroy Mars!

NICHOLAS: Yes, well put. At least you're willing to contribute to the debate. But unfortunately, liberals like Mary simply refuse to deal with the pigeon-crapping problem.

GEORGE: Pigeon-crapping holocaust!!!

NICHOLAS: Well, you say tomato... but the point is, Mary is being deeply irresponsible.

MARY: Look. I agree that in a perfect world, pigeons wouldn't crap on public statues. If it starts getting bad forty years from now, it'll be a problem, although a small problem. But here in the REAL world, we have to prioritize. All our town's stoplights are broken, and kids keep getting hit by cars. The water system is broken, and old people are dying of dysentery. Let's fix those problems, and then worry about the pigeons. And let's definitely not spend $20 trillion on a giant laser to destroy Mars that doesn't do anything about the pigeons in the first place.

GEORGE: Laser! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzkkkkkka-BOOOM!

NICHOLAS: Indeed, George. Now, Mary—sometimes I despair for our side! You yourself agree there's a pigeon-crapping problem, yet you have no constructive proposals.

MARY: Oh for the love of god. I have one million constructive proposals if the pigeon-crapping ever gets out of hand. I just think we should deal with our bigger problems first. And I especially don't think we should listen to George. Perhaps you've forgotten, but when I agreed there was a small problem with the hedges in the park getting overgrown, he used that as an excuse to spend $10 trillion on a giant laser to destroy Neptune! In fact, that's one of the reasons we had to cut back on pigeon extermination!

NICHOLAS: Well, you agreed there was a problem with the hedges. I'm not sure what you're complaining about.

GEORGE: Lemme tell ya—everybody on Neptune had something to complain about! KA-BLAM!!!

NICHOLAS: Yes, they did. And while I might quarrel with the way George destroyed Neptune, I certainly admire his willingness to grapple with the big issues. I wish I could say the same for my team.

MARY: You know, Nicholas, I'm not so sure we're on the same team. You seem almost crazier than George.

NICHOLAS: Me, crazy? I'm the most rational person around. Some people want to fix the water system, while others want to blow up Mars. In a better world, we would join hands and compromise. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go free some brothel workers on Saturn.

GEORGE: Don't take too long! Because pretty soon, Saturn's going BLAMMO!

Posted at February 5, 2005 11:15 AM | TrackBack

Excellent post, Jon. Really funny. I can't wait to buy your book on Social Security.

Posted by: Michael Gerber at February 5, 2005 11:29 AM

can we nominate you for a koufax?

Posted by: a at February 5, 2005 02:21 PM

Ha ha ha! Well, heck. I just wandered on over there and voted for you!

Posted by: Ravenmn at February 6, 2005 09:19 AM

Hey, that's some majorly non-lame humor, OK?

Look, I know this is the Internet, and people feel free to do and say just about everything, but I don't think I've EVER seen someone -- on any of the Internets -- dare to ACTUALLY be funny instead of just pretending to be. Get with the program, OK? Tolerance has its limits.

Posted by: frankly0 at February 6, 2005 12:25 PM

You could've used the actual words from the Time magazine here:

For sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his ten-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years, George W. Bush is TIME's 2004 Person of the Year

Posted by: abb1 at February 7, 2005 05:46 AM

Me crazy? That's unpossible!

Posted by: Kip W at February 8, 2005 07:11 AM