Final Word

Posted October 22, 2009 in News

Politicians tax things. That’s how we know they’re politicians. (Well, that and the sex scandals, favors for money and near-constant lying, but it’s a short column so let’s stick to the tax stuff.)


The truth is most of us don’t know how taxes work because, well, taxes involve percentages and we’re not very good at math: 


Sally has 12 apples. If she gives Johnny one apple, what percentage of apples does Sally have left?


A better question is what is Sally doing with twelve apples? Who eats twelve apples? Is Sally a grocer or some sort of fruit fetishist? One thing’s for certain. If I were Johnny, I’d try to make some less apple-kooky friends.


Most of us are grateful we’re out of school and don’t have to answer word problems involving Sally anymore. And, come tax time, we may grouse a little, but paying our taxes is still better than getting shanked in a federal prison. 


But every once in a while those Sacramento jackwads try a math-free stunt that everyone can understand and it hits too close to home, on or in this case, the living room:


California regulators are considering forcing TV makers to produce high-definition televisions that are more energy efficient, according to the Los Angeles Times. Because, really, what else is there for California legislators to do these days? Every other possible thing in this paradise is rainbows and lollipops except—for those horrible electricity-sapping televisions.


“This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs,” said an empty suit named Julia Levin.


Levin then waved her right arm and said, “Pay no attention to the burning hillsides, record unemployment, tanking real estate market, gnarled freeways, overcrowded prisons or underfunded schools behind me. Lookie over here, everyone. Yoo-hoo. It’s energy-efficient TVs!”


Frankly I think it’s a bold political strategy, because Democrat or Republican, nothing will unite California voters faster than politicians demanding more energy efficient televisions. Of course what it’s going to unite Californians to do is stop voting for these idiotic TV-hating politicians. (Seriously, Julia Levin, your job is going to get canceled faster than ABC’s sitcom Carpoolers starring that fat kid from Stand by Me.) But, still, way to think outside of the 52-inch, 1080p backlit box. 


You can meddle with my health care. You can threaten to take away my social security. But when you start screwing with my picture-in-picture and cinema-quality surround sound, its time to fetch the night goggles, face paint and “back off man” Yosemite Sam mud flaps because now? Now it’s personal.


Men, women, gay, straight, Coke and Pepsi drinkers alike, the one thing we all have in common is the unshakeable belief that everything should be watched on a big-ass TV. Why? Because things just look better when they’re bigger. It’s why Kelly Clarkson and inflatable bounce houses are so popular. 


And it’s why even though I’ll pay $100 a ticket to sit up-close at a concert or football game, I usually spend most of my time gawking at the JumboTron off to the side of the action.


And if it all takes a little more electricity, what’s the big deal? Electricity never hurt anybody. (Well, except for all those guys who get electrocuted on death row, but even they probably enjoy a good episode of Oz.)


I’m not going to lie to you. I’m a very shallow person without any friends and even fewer personal accomplishments. But I make up for all that by staying inside all day and watching a lot of TV. If I’m ever in a near-death experience, right before the bus hits me, my life isn’t going to flash before my eyes. It’ll probably just be a re-run of a ’80s sitcom, and not even a good one like Cheers. It’ll be a show like The Tortellis or Alf. 


Meantime I have the biggest volt-sucking TV I can afford and if some political hack wants take it from me, he’s going to have to rip the remote from my cold dead hand. Or better yet, I’ll just have Sally come over and bean him with a percentage of her 12 apples.


Contact Jeff Girod at



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