by Cathy Allie
As if COVID-19 hadn’t dealt us enough new challenges, the pandemic is taking place in an election season, which in and of itself is generally so distasteful that most of us turn our heads. The 24 hour news cycle has us almost unable to avoid seeing or hearing about the election.
It has me thinking from time to time, however, that maybe I missed my calling, and I should have been a politician. While I really wouldn’t want to have debates or run a campaign, I would really like some of the parts of it—kissing babies, one of my all-time favorite things to do; attending dinners that other people prepare; expressing my opinion in long-winded diatribes that mostly no one will read or listen to; and attending inaugural balls in fancy dresses and big earrings. If I only had a platform on which to run!
The origin of the word platform comes from the French, who I don’t particularly love (here’s hoping that did not offend any of the Grain Valley News’ French readership—it’s just that you all are snotty). It literally means flat form and most likely referred originally to the boards that a candidate stood on to deliver his or her remarks at election time.
I suppose my platform would have to include some foreign policy. My first legislative effort would be to have everyone’s passport weight reduced significantly. “Oh, you weigh 157? I think you look more like 142,” the perky passport issuer would say, and the traveler would suddenly be thinner in stature.
Another significant foreign policy move would be to drastically reduce the price of flights to seasonally appropriate destinations. Flying to the Bahamas in January? $50 should get you there and back. Last minute anniversary trip? “Why yes, we can get you to Italy for a cozy dinner for two for about $100 a piece. Will that fit your budget?”
Any good platform needs something about conceal and carry, I suppose, as well. In the case of a middle to late middle age woman, the only conceal that is important is that of the bags under her eyes and age spots from teenage sun worshipping.
In a brilliant stateswoman like move, I would provide way stations of various shades of concealers, placed right next to electric car charger stations, satisfying not only the woman who had little sleep the night before but those hoping to control automobile emissions. Plug in and charge the car, grab a little squirt of concealer and apply it while waiting, as everyone knows the best mirror and light for discovering all your facial flaws is the rearview mirror of a car anyway.
Climate change has also been an area of great debate in politics the last few years. Is the ozone layer actually thinning? Do we have global warming, or is it just a hoax? Let me assure you that any 50 something woman can tell you that she is having personal summers nearly every day, so global warming surely exists.
In my platform, women would be granted the right to have permanent control of the thermostat in any office or home setting. Those who attempted to adjust the temperature without the permission of the HHWIC (Hot Head Woman in Charge—read that for her current temperature and not her attitude, although the two are often interrelated), would be automatically fined. The money from the fines could be applied as energy credits, and pay for most folks’ monthly energy bills.
“Honey, the thermostat is set at 60 again. We just cannot run the air conditioner in winter,” an unenlightened spouse might say. “Senate Bill Fahrenheit 451 actually says we can,” the HHWIC would respond and issue the fine.
My Domestic Policy area would be one of great relief to the female sector, as well. Washer and dryer manufacturers would be required to have automated hands which reach out and poke offending family members when they mix bright colors and whites in a wash load, or attempt to dry something wool.
Also in Domestic Policy areas, dogs would have more freedoms and more say in how things run. I once saw an episode of Judge Judy where she let a dog decide its own fate about who would own it, and ever since then, I have been fairly convinced they are about as smart as humans.
As proof, I offer this: with few exceptions, dogs only “speak” when they have something really urgent to talk about, like the approach of a squirrel, mailman, or Amazon delivery; they don’t fuss too much about the meals they are served; and they go outside to use the bathroom, saving domestic goddesses tons of time not having to clean bathrooms.
If they really ruled the world, we would have to figure out how to stop everyone from sniffing other’s butts, or hiking our legs to mark our spots, but that is behavior I have seen politicians engage in anyway, and perhaps a column for another day.
In my pup-based administration, in homes everywhere, family members would be excited to go on car rides. Naps would be done in sunny window wells. Friendships and political alliances could be formed just over who smelled the most like steak that day.
My platform’s health care policy would have a great deal of focus on “cankles,” the area where our calves connect to our ankles. Research labs around the states would look into reducing swelling in that area, creating happier women, in turn creating a happier everybody.
On the education front, I would insist upon a common sense curriculum, something which seems to be missing today in our country. In fact the phrase common sense seems to be a bit ironic, since as Voltaire said, “Common sense is not that common.”
The curriculum would include things like when you open a drawer, shut a drawer, or if you drink the last bit of milk, don’t put the empty carton back in the fridge.
The bulk of the curriculum would focus on our youth, who perhaps still have time to be saved, as I have primarily give up on adults. The online textbook title would be, “What My Mom Would Do in this Case and Why She is Right,” followed by resources lessons titled, “Yes, Mom Did Tell Me That and I Didn’t Listen” and “Thank You, Mom, for Your Good Advice.”
The cause and effect lessons with video demonstrations would be called “Damp Towels on the Floor Create Mold” and “Hot French Fries Can Burn Your Tongue.”
Finally, no platform would be complete without at least a nod to economics. I read once that individuals can improve the economy with just small acts, like purchasing from a local entrepreneur once a week, outsourcing when you can, and investing in what you believe in. Clearly those are all tied together for me in the restaurant industry.
To improve the economy, I will propose that we order carryout from a local restaurant once a week, outsource our cooking to a local catering company, and purchase stock in donut stores. So simple and yet so effective!
If my “manifesto” seems a little shallow to you, remember that it is all in fun, unlike the very serious decisions we have ahead of us in the coming weeks in our country’s election. Vote wisely, but whatever you do, VOTE!
Cathy is a retired public school English teacher and Public Information Officer.