Everyone Else's Business
by Mad Dog
We all have the meddling gene. But like the
baldness, snoring, and chocolate craving genes its more dominant in some of us than
|| I keep expecting
to open up the newspaper and read that scientists have discovered the meddling gene.
Im sure if they look hard enough and finally get that genetic roadmap finished
theyll find it sitting next to the gossip gene, across the hall from the matchmaking
gene, and down the genetic block from the mind-your-own-business gene (which, by the way
is turned off in most people). Then they can sit back, consider it a Human Genome Project
well done, and spend the rest of their cushy government grant doing the hard part: trying
to re-fold the map so it will fit in the glovebox of their car.
We all have the meddling gene. But like the baldness, snoring,
and chocolate craving genes its more dominant in some of us than others. We all
meddle in other peoples lives from time to time, usually simple things like telling
a loved one that they might want to change into an outfit that makes them look, uh, a
little thinner. Or we overhear two strangers on an elevator talking about the toothpaste
they use and we just have to tell them that the new Colgate Total Plus Ultra not only
whitens, brightens, cleans, freshens, eliminates tartar, and fights cavities but also
closes the hole in the ozone layer and causes trees in the rain forest to grow faster. Or
so we heard on NPR this morning. Or was it the Fox Networks "The Worlds
Stupidest Ideas Caught on Videotape"?
Greenlanders dont smile much. Neither do they say hello or goodbye. This can be
attributed to the fact that they have a gross national product thats so small Bill
Gates wouldnt stop to pick it up if it fell out of his pocket.
|| But some people
arent content to meddle in this small, normal way. Chances are they received two
dominant meddling genes anddammit! theyre going to use them. Politicians
fall into this category. Activists fall into this category. And a group in Ellicott City,
Maryland called the Halloween Association falls into this category.
These people are trying their damnedest to start
the holiday season by putting us all in a bad mood. Their idea is to switch Halloween to
the last Saturday in October. They actually have a perfectly good reason for wanting to do
this: theyre bored busybodies who havent had sex in years and are taking it
out on the rest of us. Of course, thats not what they say. They claim its so
kids wont have that silly old school thing to contend with, letting them
trick-or-treat during daylight which will be safer.
This is a dumb idea. Not because Halloween has to be on
October 31stafter all, the important thing is that there be a Halloween so guys can
get their cross-dressing ya-yas out for another yearbut because if were
going to move it we should at least make it a Monday so we can have another three-day
weekend. After all, the last time I checked there were still a couple of Mondays open that
the government hasnt filled by switching holidays like Washingtons Birthday,
Columbus Day, and Memorial Day from their real date.
The meddling gene is universal. In Canada (official motto:
"The Other United States") theyre now meddling in what people can name
their farm animals. Its true. Those fine folks who run the governments Central
Experimental Farm in Ottawa mandated that their cows, sheep, pigs, and horses can no
longer be given female human names. It seems a woman named Stephani objected that there
was a cow at the farm which was also named Stephani, and I think we can all agree on just
how traumatic that could be. Especially since both names ended inhold onto your
Lest you think Im just a traditionalist at heart and want the status to always
remain quo, I have to say Im all for change. For one, I think we should shorten the
presidential campaign to a month and confine it a website.
|| So the
Canadians accommodated her, which isnt surprising since they are known for their
manners. Or at least thats what the people in Greenland (motto: "The Other
Iceland") seem to think. Greenlanders, it turns out, dont smile much. Neither
do they say hello or goodbye. This can be attributed to the fact that the winter
temperature there sink to 40 below zero, they have a gross national product thats so
small Bill Gates wouldnt stop to pick it up if it fell out of his pocket, and face
it, since there are only 55,379 people in the whole country (True Fact!) how often do they
even get to see other people, better yet use the few manners they may have accidentally
picked up from watching Baywatch?
When a supermarket chain three decided it would be a pleasant
change of pace for their employees to be friendly to the customers, they sent some of them
to Canada to learn how to smile and say "Håf å nïcë dåy", which is
Greenlandic for "Have a nice day". Unfortunately not all of the employees have
taken to the new program, prompting the president of the stores to say its okay for each
employee to smile in his or her own way. Which is double good news for those named
Scientists are another group thats constantly meddling.
They like nothing better than to tell us that something weve believed in all our
lives is wrong. For example, some biologists at Princeton University (motto: "The
Other Yale") recently reported that we make new brain cells all the time when we were
taught for years that we dont do that after our formative years. This is going to
radically change our lives since weve always had a built-in excuse when we lost our
keys, forgot anniversaries and birthdays, and blanked out on our multiplication tables
above seven times eight. Now what are we going to blame it on?
Lest you think Im just a traditionalist at heart and
want the status to always remain quo, I have to say Im all for change. I think we
should shorten the presidential campaign to a month and confine it a website. I think we
should hire the Jehovahs Witnesses to take the census since they already stop by
every house and apartment in the country on any given Saturday morning. And I think we
should spend some of our hard earned tax dollars on figuring out a better way to fold
maps. But were probably better off if we dont do any of these things. After
all, I wouldnt want to be accused of meddling.
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them instead of meddling in someone else's business.