Two years ago, a bunch of men sat around a big fancy table in some huge government building and scrambled to save the nation's financial institutions. They -- the institutions, not the men -- were deemed "too big to fail." That's what she said. We imagine there were a lot of phone calls, emails, memos, fists pounding the table and cursing. Possibly Jack Daniels.
Four days ago, something similar and perhaps more historic occurred around a much smaller table. A table designed not for economists and industry leaders, but for people who still occasionally make in their pants (assuming they're not the same thing). This was a table in a preschool classroom where our kids go. It was convenient.
The reigning leaders of MommyLand, Kate and Lydia, who share power in the bi-partisan manner of the UK's Cameron and Clegg, invited two daddies to participate in the summit (for the purposes of equal representation). Our task? To create the next step of the bailout plan, the one that's actually meaningful to American families: The MommyLand Bailout Plan.
So we sat down at the tiny table, knees crammed up to our chins and sorted out just who and what institutions are too big to fail for American Family. We're not suggesting these institutions actually need bailing out; we're simply suggesting that if they ever do falter, a nation's worth of parents will lose their collective Schmidt.
Let's start with an illustrative example:
Who They Saved: The Detroit Three. Following dramatic drops in automobile sales throughout 2008, the Big Three automakers -- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler -- asked for emergency loans. Seems they were out of cash. Cue the cavalry. Oh! And the Mounties! Both the U.S. and Canadian governments controversially provided unprecedented financial bailout support to allow the companies to restructure and "jettison legacy debt." We're pretty sure that means "pretend it doesn't exist anymore..."
GM is now owned by the United States Treasury. Chrysler is now owned primarily by the unions and Italians. And, Ford got a HUGE line of credit from secret people. We suspect elves. Or Ryan Seacrest, whom we suspect may possibly be an elf.
May We Suggest: The MommyLand Big Three: Look, we like our cars, but we've long ago given up on anything fancy or name-brandy. If it transports us to school, Target and the grocery store, we're happy to drive a yak. Frankly, the yak probably smells better. There is something more inviolate to the American family than its vehicles: the triumvirate that is our nation's parental sanity safety net. The trinity is comprised of TV, Wifi and Wii. Car companies can fold, but be advised that if any of our Big Three require help, a bailout, or "restructuring", you bet your long-haired bovine we're yakking up the cash.
We can do without air conditioning. Or refrigeration. Possibly food. Last winter, we survived twenty-three days trapped in our houses with our children during Snowmageddon. But only because the kids cracked out on TV and battled each other on the Wii. And we either built farms on Facebook or mocked those who did.
If we lose the MommyLand Big Three, especially during football season, all that will be heard across this great nation will be the stunned silence of parental eye twitches and children sullenly plotting their revenge from the dreaded time out.
Let's move onto some other important examples:
Oh, any chance we can "jettison" our asses? According to our mirrors, they're definitely too big to fail... at pants. That's what she said.