By Will Durst
Talk about how the almighty have fallen. The dollar is headed downhill faster than Bode Miller on a set of rocket skis. Think nose dive. Plummetville. Plunge City. Belly Floppo Rama. Recession is such an ugly word. Try walking down a New York City street these days without getting knocked off the sidewalk by a gaggle of foreigners brandishing a circumference of high-end shopping bags like a cardboard armada. Can’t be done.
I blame George Bush and his imbecilic economic chicanery for subjecting us to these indignities. Spending $2 trillion on an unnecessary war. Silly boy. Lowering taxes during that same unnecessary war. Sillier boy. Policies that have prompted OPEC to make noises about following Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen’s lead in asking to be paid in euros. Euros, hell, the lady should choose to be paid in clothes, because to look at her she doesn’t seem to own any. Somebody throw this girl a jacket. She must be cold.
The dollar has sunk lower than a strip show flyer stuck to the undercarriage of a leased Lamborghini Murcielago. The pound is up to two dollars, levels not seen since the 1950s. The euro is at its highest level against the dollar ... ever. When? Ever! French President Sarkozy spent his summer vacation in New Hampshire. “400 francs and that includes everything, including zee servants.” Things have gotten so bad Russian mob bosses are back to using 5,000-ruble bills to snort lines of cocaine off of hookers’ chests. It’s like the October Revolution all over again.
That obnoxious sound coming from north of the border: the nonstop laughter of millions of Canadians playing a little game they call payback, mocking the play money we call moolah: “Oh, so I guess you would be talking aboot American dollars, eh? Oooh. I don’t know there, eh.” Our economy isn’t in the doldrums. Our economy can’t even see the doldrums. Our economy aspires to the doldrums. Dubyah has turned us into a Third World banana republic. We’re Costa Rica to the rest of the world. With lousier snorkeling.
Who can blame the hordes of Euro-trash from clogging the aisles of our Tiffany franchises like an extended family of hillbillies at a dollar store? Everything here is so incredibly cheap. We’ve turned into a discount playground for the world’s trust fund babies. High-end restaurants, the good hotels, VIP sections of our most exclusive nightclubs, Saturday night movie tickets: pretty much off limits to anybody holding an American passport. We’re the minimum-wage security guards of a giant high-end outlet mall known as America, just one cut-rate Virgin flight away from true civilization.
And, thank God, we, the general public, never fell for that whole “you got to save your money” BS and are still proud holders of the Least Personal Savings of any Country in the Industrialized World award. Because you know what those dollars are worth now? Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing! Maybe kicking the greenback dollar under the couch is just the neocons’ idea of how to squelch our looming Social Security crisis. Make the dollar worth so little that in the future any one of us will be able to cover the entire shortfall by digging into our own wallets. “$30 trillion? Is that all you’re worried about? Why didn’t you say so? Who here can break a quadrillion?”
Will Durst is a comic, writer, actor and talk show host.