Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jiminy Cricket Would Understand

There's an old sight gag that offered a 'door to door' salesman selling encyclopedias, remember those?

For those of you who do not there used to be a publication called "Encyclopedia Britannica" that was comprised of 26 volumes of printed knowledge, you know about what one of your key-chain USB memory sticks hold.

Anyway the joke was that this socially inept salesman would ring the doorbell and after the 'lady of the house' answered he would go into his spiel.

"Good afternoon, ma'am. I would like to show you..."
At this point a child screaming from inside the house would interrupt everything and when the woman turned back to the man he would say, "Uh, um, Good afternoon, ma'am.  I would like to..."
This would go on a few times but you get the picture.

It was generally funny only for the first few minutes, if even that. But it soon became excruciating and painful.
All we wanted was the salesman to start where he left off and finish already!

Unfortunately the same old, bad joke is being played out in Congress today.
Those opposed to anything that would help citizens get the upper hand in the battle over their health insurance providers are so desperate to stop reform that they keep interrupting the grown-ups and then want everything to start over!

It wasn't funny before and it isn't now.  The big difference is the old joke never killed anyone.

I do not care for the health reform bill currently on the table but it's a start.  And to use a phrase that old salesman would understand, it's a foot in the door!

The encyclopedia salesman's sales pitch would take around 5 minutes if he could just get it done.  But with all the interruptions he never actually finished.

The health reform question has been going on for over five decades.  It's time for the grown-ups to ignore the interruptions from the children and at least get it started!  We can hone the fine points and finish it later but at least we'll have a home base from which to do so.

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