May 13, 2016
So my wife and I were settling back at the movies. It was a monster movie, and we were looking forward to seeing some serious action. First came the opening, and then the ominous music. The landscape was serene. Everything looked peaceful. A lady said to the hero: “Everything looks peaceful.”
“Yes,” he said, “But it’s what you can’t see that really kills you.”
OH MY GOD, a volcano erupted and out came a horrible monster! The hero flew with a team to the lip of the crater and they all pointed.
“It’s Unagi-maki!” screamed someone! “Unfunded Liability-San! The legendary Slayer of Budgets. For decades, hidden labor contracts bred promises that could not possibly be kept, and now he arises to claim what is his!”
Wailing horribly, the monster stomped forward, crushing GM and Detroit to rubble.
“Call out the army!” shouted someone.
“We can’t! We had to lay them all off to make our minimum payments!”
Slowly helicopters circled with buckets of future IOUs, and the monster was slowly distracted.
“Yikes,” whispered my wife. “And Godzilla hasn’t even gotten here yet.”
There was suddenly screaming and very scary music. Another volcano exploded and out of a crack in freeway concrete emerged an even scarier beast. It began to methodically crumble the highway.
“NO! NO! It’s Tekka-Don. Highway Disinvestment!!!”
An old white-bearded scientist began wagging his finger and scolding. “I warned you all for years that if you failed to propitiate its spirit with much cash, the beast would arise! Aiyeeee!”
The monster devoured highway cement and with fiendish accuracy began spitting little chunks to destroy windshields, wheel rims, and suspensions.
“Send us offerings!” begged the scientists. “A minimum of one point five billion new money every year.”
“Boss, its Lansing,” one guy turned from a telephone. “They say they can’t do anything until after this election or maybe the next one or the one after that.”
Now the beast’s appetite drove it to chomp on secondary roads and bridge abutments.
“This is awful,” whispered my wife. “And Godzilla hasn’t even gotten here yet.”
MORE SCREAMING AND VERY SCARY MUSIC. “NO! NO!”
A rotting giant zombie came staggering out of a heap of ruins! It bawled and raised its arms.
ARGGHHH!!! “It’s Nigiri Ahi!!! DPS-O-Don! Generations it has blighted, and now it seeks more…”
The Zombie monster stalked blindly and unerringly towards the nearest bank. When:
AYEEEEE!!!! EVEN MORE SCARY MUSIC!! This time an earthquake!!! And out of the tortured earth came gunk and slime and then rusty pipes that fashioned themselves into….
“Not Futomaki!!” The scientists all gasped. “Mutant Child of Infrastructure Unmaintained!! It comes from under Flint, cradle of General Motors, where generations ignored the breeding beast. Bumbling idiots screwed up the chemical formula and released it from its long slumber!”
Shrieking with awful cries, the grotesque mutant sent forth piercing calls, and out of seemingly-placid communities, similar monsters clawed their way to the surface.
“What do they want?” begged haggard expert in white shirt and tie asked.
“They all want money!”
SMASH! The Road-Chomping Monster crawled inexorably forward, DPS staggered and oozed, while the Liability Monster howled and lunged again and together with ever-multiplying Pipe Mutants, they all advanced on the puny human defenders.
“Worse and worse,” said my wife. “And Godzilla isn’t even here yet.”
“You wish.” I shook my head. “Right now Godzilla would be an improvement.”
teaches Political Science at Oakland University and serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.