As Moses Might Say, “Let My People Go . . . Slowly.”
I read an informative article from NPR (National Public Radio) the other day. The title of the article, by Yuki Noguchi, is “Feeling The Economic Pinch: For some Ohioans, Even Meat Is Out Of Reach.”
After this ambitious title, the author unfortunately includes a picture of the two subjects of the article, one Angelica Hernandez and her mother, Gloria Nunez; meat may be out of their reach, but apparently not cake, french fries, pastries, Twinkies, bouncy castle with slide for sale pure cane syrup, stove-top grease and . . . hell, by the looks of ’em, maybe hay. They may be in a “struggle to make ends meet;” but if their pictures are anything to go by, the only struggle these two Titan-sized American beauties have been engaged in is a struggle to make their ends bigger.
Yuki, a word of advice: the next time you want to write a lachrymose article about food deprivation in America, either find some skinny people to interview or have the good sense to hire a couple of stand-ins from the Auschwitz Modeling Agency. Jesus . . . you wouldn’t want to be a sofa spring in the Nunez house.
In a nutshell, the NPR story is this: The economy is bad. As evidence of this, witness the trials of the Nunez family. The grandfather of the family worked for GM for 45 years and then retired. Forty-five years, with a pension from an automotive union. Got that? That’s almost as good as a pension for a the average state highway department worker. Gloria’s mother also worked as well. You would suppose that some of that manna would have trickled down in the form of funds to educate Gloria, at least with a vocational education. Now, since the automotive manufacturing jobs have evaporated, life is meaningless and life is a series of economic crises.
The crisis of the moment is that momma Nunez’s van broke down last fall, leaving her 19-year-old daughter — she of the Twinky-induced mega-thighs — with “no reliable transportation out of their subsidized housing complex” so she can look for a job. We are next informed, not surprisingly, that Nunez, most of her siblings and their spouses (oh, joy; breeding pairs to make more little helpless unemployable Nunezs) live on government assistance and food stamps. So, after paying the mortgage, what did papa Nunez do with all that money from GM? It’s obvious he didn’t waste it on higher education or at least vocational training for daughter Gloria and her siblings.
And what of work? Nunez, 40, has never worked, and does not possess a high school diploma! Alas, a car accident 17 years ago left her depressed and disabled, hence incapable of getting a job. She and her daughter survive on a monthly social security check (not to mention the rent subsidy and the food stamps). Daughter Angelica has had some brushes with work – waitresing and retail clerking – but due to the recent rise in gas prices is now precluded from searching for a job, since if one snuck up on her she would not be able to pay for gas for the people she would normally bum rides from.
Gloria Nunez started out life in the middle class, but apparently didn’t realize that you have to make an effort to continue in that vein or improve your status in life. But if you have not graduated high school because you have the IQ of shag carpet, are emotionally fragile over a car wreck that occurred almost two decades ago, and put out a brood of seven kids just as uneducated and helpless as yourself, what do you expect? Short of a religious miracle, Uncle Sam steps in to take up the slack.
Normal people would think that if you’re going to have seven frigging kids, you, or your spouse, would at least educate yourself enough to provide a basic standard of living for them. The government pays for the first 12 years of education, provides numerous chances for vocational training, and provides easy loans for secondary education, so it’s not that difficult to get ahead if you sincerely want to improve yourself. As the Nunez brood sits and soaks up the produce of hardworking taxpayers, the author of the article bewails the grim fact that government-supported Gloria and her daughter have had to cut down on meat and ice cream. Now, seriously, I often go to a local supermarket that is frequented by plenty of people on food stamps (and people like myself, searching for the cheapest chicken wings possible), and their buggies are loaded with everything from packs of steaks and pork chops, and cases of Coca Cola to industrial sized bags of fried pork rinds. The welfare people in this part of the world eat high the hog, literally, and then wash it down in high style. I can’t imagine the same not being true in Ohio.
As the article winds up, daughter Hernandez moans, “What”s going to happen to us?” I’m not a registered sociologist, and I don’t have a degree from an Ivy League school, but let me take a crack at that one: Eventually – in spite of the lack of ice cream on your daily menu – you and your mom will blow up like the Goodyear blimp and explode like an over-stuffed Pinata.
Thankfully, that was the end of the article, since my poor bleeding heart could take no more of the plight of this extended porcine welfare family who can’t find a job, and, even though working Americans are feeding and housing them, wonder how they will survive. Still, I was so impressed with NPR’s Yuki Noguchi’s ability to view the world through a prism of irony so thick that it might capsize the Arctic icecap, that I contacted her, told her my story of deprivation due to the declining economy, and had her write an article on me. The results follow:
Mahone Dunbar: Portrait Of A Victim Of The Economy
Recession And Direct Impact
As a direct result of the Republican caused pseudo-recession, and energy crisis, Mahone Dunbar is facing unknown health challenges. The recession has caused him to cut back on quality cigars (hand-rolled Dominican imports), and he is now forced to smoke a drugstore brand which makes him cough! Additionally, due to rising energy costs, he can no longer afford the gas to visit his girlfriend (who, though
unlicensed as yet, also serves a vital function as his sex therapist); since her trailer park is twelve miles out of town, and Mahone drives a 1989 Ford pick up (with one bad valve), which gets about 10 MPG when the wind is behind it, this has severely limited his visits, causing her to abandon their relationship in favor of several of her other suitors/clients. Now Mahone is caught in the hopeless zone: In spite of the fact that his mobility is limited, and that he has a need for cheap transportation, he can’t afford gas, and so far, due to the inflexibility of medicare rules, he has yet to quality for a “Little Rascal” scooter.
Quality Of Life
When rising transportation costs are added to the small token Mahone pays for sex therapy, and cigars, a domino effect occurs; he is left bereft of extra funds forthe rest of the week, thus negatively impacting his healthy dining choices by limiting him exclusively to Del Taco until his next check comes. As well, the recent price increase at Blockbuster’s has limited his entertainment options (a significant factor in maintaining his mental health), forcing him to occasionally watch the inferior entertainment products offered by the major networks (or the pirate cable hookup he is forced to rely on, with its iffy reception), usually leaving him in a depressive funk.
Lack Of Employment Opportunities
Sadly, Mahone’s benefits were recently cut after his case worker determined that he had applied the term “Number of dependents” to a bunch of stray cats around his neighborhood. This move has forced him to consider re-entering the job market. And therein resides a great difficulty. As a result of several “traumatic incidents” that happened with privileged wealthy bosses early on in his work career (involving nebulous charges of ”poor work habits,” ”tardiness,” ”general insolence,” and “a ‘lack of ability to think in a straight line,”’) Mahone has justifiably been left with a deep seated aversion to authority. This dissociative-anti-authoritarian syndrome is a long term condition that significantly impacts his ability to seek a job.
A proud man, Mahone is more than willing to work: but for the aforementioned reason the work must be in a venue where he is remunerated at a rate that is consistent with his positive self-image and one that leaves him free from the control of authority figures (particularly women, college graduates, and people of color), such as business owners, CEOs, shift managers, or other know-it-alls.
Ongoing Medical Needs: The Green Gap
Due to the intransigence of barbaric state authorities – who still stubbornly refuse to underwrite the cost of medical marijuana for Mahone in spite of the fact that he qualifies for prescription medication assistance – he has had to resort to financing his own self-medication for his glaucoma-like symptoms just so that he can make it through morning, noon, and night. In spite of his deep-seated reservations about the federal government, Washington could go a long way in his estimation by filling this ‘green gap.’
Emotional Crisis Point
BARACKONOIA: fear of Barak Hussein Obama: Since Mahone is a typical white person, he lives an insular life. He has instinctive fear of going outside because of black crime, and the thought of Barack Hussein Obama coming into office fills him with trepidation and dread; thus, he will need additional financial compensation from the federal government to cover the expected rise in the level of his psychiatric care (as well as transportation costs for taxi cab rides to his doctor – far too many black teenagers hang out on public transportation facilities for his mind to deal with that.) An additional complication is Mahone’s fear that Senator Obama is the head of a Cabal of black, or semi-black, pederasts with a pronounced
taste for white meat. “It’s that Ivy League education,” he maintains. “It does something ill to a man’s gonads. You can see it in his face.”
Still, in spite of all the challenges he faces, Mahone manages to face each day with a smile and a stiff toke. Some days he even manages to hitch a ride to the local Walmart . . . a real test of the will on Saturdays, as that seems to be an ethnic holiday or something . . . where he hopes to apply for the job of ”door greeter” someday, providing of course that the government will supply him with a weekly gas allowance and reliable transportation in the form of a new vehicle – air-conditioned, decent sound system, DVD player, a set of bitchin’ chrome rims, and preferably in metallic blue. He awaits the government’s response hopefully.
(Ed note – this story was posted by Mahone long before Rush Limbaugh made fun of the same family.)