Humor is Nir: Parents cut costs in tight times

Times are tough, I know. Having a frat boy in the White House and anthrax floating around all has surprisingly had an adverse effect on the stock market. With the cost of upscale dining services with congenial and efficient staff, tuition is not getting any cheaper. I know my parents are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn and have begun to curtail expenses. And while they are making small sacrifices like giving that half-carton of milk an extra week before throwing it out – after all, aging does work for wine – I thought these changes for the worse were not going to affect me.

This all changed when I called my mom last week and we got to discussing what I should write for this column.

“Honey,” She began in a voice so sweet that I checked my molars for cavities, “why don’t you write about those fundamentalist groups. You know, poke a little fun at their core values.”

For some reason I let that suggestion slide.

A couple minutes later she began again, “Sweetie, really, daddy and I think your column should deride fundamentalists. Also, why don’t you include a mailing address for some good feedback?”

I went cold. In a flash of light I realized what was happening. The crashing economy had become too much for them. They could no longer afford GW tuition. They were phasing me out.

All the signs pointed to it. I thought back to the care packages I received: all cartons of egg-salad.sent by ground mail.

Pondering this, I realized I should take the Cipro my dad sent me as a precautionary measure. It was remarkable how similar they were in taste and shape to Pez, and so odd that they came in a dispenser shaped like Batman.

In fact, it had been my father’s idea that I apply for an internship in the Capitol building, and now I knew why he insisted I take the position as head mail-sorter. It was either that or the other job he tried to hook me up with – Gary Condit’s personal assistant.

I love my parents dearly, and I know even though the costs of supporting my existence have outweighed the benefits of keeping me alive, I am sure they love me too. How could they not? When they are old and infirm, who else is going to shell out cash for their nursing home?

-The writer is a freshman majoring in philosophy and political science.

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