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Ned Goldreyer Headshot

It Is What It Isn't

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Like most of you, until now I've done little to aid our dystrophic economy. Sure, I've complained and I've cursed; I nod vigorously whenever my opinions are expressed by people whose opinions matter. I've patriotically lost my job and even gone so far as to buy a book on how to find another one, but all these carefully executed half-measures have not been enough. The time for three-quarter measures has arrived.

Before doing anything, though, we should acknowledge that doing anything is pointless, without letting that deter us from doing anything. Let's face it, the situation deteriorated beyond repair months ago. Probably years. However, we are a nation unrivaled in our inability to acknowledge defeat. This isn't a depression, it's an ultra-hyper-mega recession. Our business didn't fail, it underwent irreversible negative growth. You didn't dump me, I dumped you. We're better at ignoring disaster than my Silesian grandparents who convinced themselves Germany's invasion of Poland marked the end of Eastern European anti-Semitism. If we can't delude ourselves into thinking this fiscal apocalypse is over, or not happening, or never happened to begin with, it will only be for lack of trying.

Why are we so good at this? Unchecked euphemogenesis. By coining alternates for every noun, verb and state of being describing things we'd rather not face, we have erected a linguistic force field against reality. This is why English boasts more words than any language on earth. Half of them are substitutes for the half we're afraid to say. We have already kissed away the pain of lost holidays by taking "staycations" and "daycations," and redefined our inability to properly feed ourselves by becoming "freegans." Why stop there? I herewith offer this expansion pack for our nation's cutsey-poo vocabulary of denial to help us pretend these are something other than the worst of times.

Melationship - Spend time with the one person you never have to spend money on to impress - You! Find out what you're really like. You probably have tons of fascinating ideas and anecdotes that nobody but you could possibly find interesting. Digging up long repressed memories will make it seem like you really are with another person, and the ensuing psychosis will turn poverty and an arid love life into the least of your problems.

Permahang - Going out is expensive, but nowhere near as costly as renting the place you come home to. Why go home? Leave and don't come back. Crash with friends, stay out in all night diners, subsist on coffee and napkins.

Follicaust - Shaving and cauterizing your head will permanently eliminate a slew of expenses, and the money not spent on shampooing, conditioning, trimming or otherwise tending your skull garden will pay for that trilby you've dreamt of since 2006.

Wearables - The notion of what constitutes clothing has always been highly subjective.

DermaBathin' - Soap is for suckers! The chemical industry reaps trillions turning us against our own delightful natural aromas. Your skin's built-in cleansing power is all you need. Perspiration not only rids you of toxins, left to evaporate it forms a protective outer crust that guards against environmental pollutants. And society in general.

Workation- Get up, go to your job. Convince yourself you're a character in a Dickens novel and there never was such a thing as "time off."

Deadcation- Lie in a box for two weeks, moving as little as possible. IMPORTANT NOTE - Spending a lot on the box will defeat the point of this exercise. Either make the box yourself or crawl under your bed for the duration.

Hitch-lifeing - The animal kingdom is choked with creatures whose survival depend utterly on larger, more self-reliant hosts. Who does not admire the majestic louse, the noble tapeworm, the revolting eyelash mite? Parasites have been grudgingly tolerated by their betters since the dawn of life. So find someone higher up on the food chain than you and move into a rarely used quadrant of their ridiculously oversized house. When the marshals show up insist you've been abducted as a sex slave.

D'eat - Don't eat. Many people believe eating is simply a habit that can be broken as easily as smoking or type II diabetes. Now is the ideal time to test this theory.

Jarbucks - Make your own damn coffee and carry it around in a jar. There, you just saved six hundred dollars a year. You're welcome.