How I Spent My Summer Tax Rebate Check – The Progressive, 8/30/2001

The first week in July, I replaced the vacationing Dick Cavett as narrator in The Rocky Horror Show on Broadway. My old high school teaching skills came right back to me, since it was my job to ride herd on a raucously interactive audience who had grown up on midnight art house showings of the movie.

Parents brought their young kids to the theater and on ancient ritualized cues, yelled out the most scabrous things at me, at the cast. Their children sat gape mouthed at their parental units spewing obscenities, forbidden to them. Brad. Asshole! Janet. Slut!

It was, in an airtight, uptight first world, wonderfully, riotously transgressive. I encourage people to continue the tradition, and give a shout out whenever they hear the names of George or Dick or Rummy or any of the other horrors ranged before us. And I mean no insult to assholes.

All of July, I breathlessly awaited the debut of the “new” CNN. Formerly Clinton Nook News, now Conduit [slut]! the get-to-the-point nutwork proclaimed desperately, “We’re doing things different!” Forgoing adverbs? Muzzling Tucker [asshole!] Carlson? Doing some actual investigative journalism to honor the memory of Katherine Graham by finding out what really happened to J.H. Hatfield, author of Fortunate Son, the Bush expose conveniently squelched just before the election, who died of natural causes at 43? Silly me. Sap!

Just as the corn was getting high as a GOP elephant’s eye, but before it was charred by whatever that was that fell from the sky – old Mir chunks? That long lost Mars Probe? Non-raptured evangelicals? Shards of the ABM treaty? – I began celebrating the imminent arrival of my tax rebate check by doing voluntary rolling blackouts with Jenna and Barbara. Whoopee!

The tax rebate is a lot like Bush [I can’t hear you!] down in some rough and faux tumbleweed Texas watering hole, buying a round of drinks for everyone. They used to do it right on election day, but what with that unfortunate mess in sonny’s Florida, it was unseemly.

It cost the IRS thirty-million bucks to send out notices of that old punchline, “the check is in the mail.” It’s not just Dick who’s fibbing better, because it turns out, the kickbacks are not for everyone.

The transparent vote buying made me so livid, I improperly tore the three sided perforated line on my notice when it arrived in the mail. I believe I made some chads. I loathe those who cavalierly say that $300 will buy them a moderately priced dinner in the Hamptons. Three hundred dollars is a huge needed cash influx for some people. As if they will ever see it.

We’ve started our own rebate renegade group, our motto is, “Payback is a bitch, so be one.” We’re pooling our money and going to choose one of the following group plans:

Pay Dick Cheney’s utility bill. Old Tick is hooked up each night to his recharger and it costs. He wants the Navy, last I heard, one of those pesky government groups, to pay it for him. Hi Sailor! Want to see my three pronged adapter? We’ll pay it, so the Navy doesn’t have to do private fundraising luncheons on crowded submarines.

Underwrite a month of Weight Watchers in the White House. Started in May, the group chaired by Mr. Karen Hughes, meets every Tuesday, and has lost a total of 150 pounds. Help them lose 180 ugly pounds and impeach George Bush.

Hire our own private investigator to find out what did happen to J. H. Hatfield. We will not hire any investigators from the DC area. They are busy. They might get more done if they didn’t spend so much time being interviewed by “fair and balanced” FAUX news.

Make little sachet bags for the Salvation Army Kettles come holiday time. I can’t tell you everything that’s in the goodie bag, suffice it to say that the aroma will be more fecal than faith based. And who knew a truck load of elephant dung could cost so much?

Sponsor as many new voting booths as we can afford for northern Florida. One of our members wanted to have little gold plaques with “This is James Baker Free Space” welded over each entrance, but she was voted down. Sponsorship of a “Keep Your Trifocals at Home” to prevent candidate/lever alignment errors, is being debated for Miami Dade County.

Invest in long range, TelePrompTer scramblers for widespread civilian use. The small hand held device emits a laser beam that shuts down W’s TelePrompTers, effective within a three block radius. Or invent them. Now.