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Solving the Do-Gooder Crisis

Inspired by J.L. and C. C. A huge creative debt is also owed to Mustapha Gormsby (aka Geoffrey Erikson) the wicked author of K.T.A.N.

They're everywhere. While other species have dwindled to the point of becoming tourist attractions or sinecures for Endangered Species bureaucrats, this worthless creature has proliferated like mammalian kudzu, infesting the highways, byways and my ways of America.

It is, of course, the Chronicus Do-gooderus. It infests the cities, towns and villages of the land, performing no useful function whatsoever, not even occupying a valuable place in the food chain, where it could serve as nourishment for some superior animal or insect species. It makes an utter nuisance of itself everywhere it goes, without even having the cosmetic virtue of being as cute as a racoon or as majestic as a rose-consuming doe.

The most pernicious problem lies precisely in its undistinguished appearance. Do-gooderus Noxious looks exactly like its benign cousin Normalus Minditsownbusinessus. The only difference lies in the behavior patterns of these two deceptively similar species.

While Normalus Minditsownbusinessus can be found at home, at work or at play, tending its own gardens, raising its own children, plinking with its very own firearms and surfing the Web sites of its very own choice, its cousin Do-gooderus is always seen:

  • Frantically determining that everything is 1) immoral, 2) unsafe, 4) unenlightened, 5) not "beautified" enough, 6) insufficiently centrally planned 7) insufficiently taxed, 8) insufficiently protected, 9) insufficiently restricted 10) insufficiently regulated, 11) insufficiently managed, or 12) otherwise not precisely up to the Do-gooderus' specifications;
  • Proclaiming that whatever's annoying it at the moment is the MOST serious crisis that has EVER afflicted the 1) children, 2) environment, 3) women, 4) obscure desert jumping fleas or 5) Generally Sensitive Human Beings;
  • Proving that at least 300,000,000 Americans are 1) homeless, 1a) overbuilding, 2) killed each year by firearms, 3) starving, 3a) obese, 4) bulemic, 5) racist, 6) oppressed, 6a) oppressive, 7) anti-government, 8) addicted, 8a) apathetic, 9) abused, 9a) abusive, 10) practicing habits of which the Do-gooderus does not approve, or 11) not paying sufficient attention to the Do-gooderus' opinions, in which case a Presidential Order, er, Directive, er, Edict, whatever they're calling them this week, is necessary to MAKE THEM BEHAVE, DAMNIT!!!!!

Sometimes these people are our VERY OWN ACTUAL NEIGHBORS, trying to run our very own actual lives. They don't have the power to, say, declare an entire state a Sacred National Rattlesnake Reserve, but they are just as verminous in their own way as those who do. I offer an example, in the form of a letter forwarded by a correspondent, who received this from the director of his homeowners association. (The Egregious Capitalization is In The Original.):

"I am writing today with great concern….It appears that you may be using our recreational facilities without signing in on the Attendance Sheets. It has been brought to our attention that you have been seen recently at Social Center East, appearing to sign in, although your actual signature cannot be found on any of the Attendance Sheets. I am aware that you feel you have been under suspicion by other members…"

Upon receiving this, I wrote to my correspondent by return mail, urging him to escape from this suburban Gulag (complete with snitches) -- immediately!

However, no sooner was my letter in the mail when I realized – WAIT! This isn't right! Whose country is it, anyway? Theirs or ours? We have allowed them to make it theirs simply by doing what is natural to our own species – MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS!

Here's what happens. WE mind our business. THEY go to the city council meetings, join the Improvement Groups, get elected Second Left Poobah in Charge of Civic Flower Pot Management – and suddenly show up on our doorsteps, infesting our neighborhoods and MINDING OUR BUSINESS FOR US. They crowd us out of our own natural environments, like puny Russian olive trees driving magnificent, flourishing cottonwoods from the streambanks.

Well, clearly, something needs to be done. Clearly we can't simply move and move and move and move as they destroy each new habitat we seek. The spread of this rogue species must stop!

But how, how? We've let the problem go until they outnumber us. What can we do to reduce their population and the shocking damage they do to our habitat? Natural selection doesn't seem to operate in our favor. With such an overpopulation, they should be starving. Instead they keep feeding off what we produce.

We could, of course, keep their population down by hunting them. Aggressive, year-round open seasons would help, as my friend Charles Curley points out. Perhaps in areas where they've become a particular nuisance, like state and national capitals, dysfunctional families and the aforementioned homeowners associations, we could even offer bounties on their heads (or perhaps on just their noses, since that part sticking into everything seems to be the problem).

At first, I thought there was a flaw in this scheme. After all, their carcasses aren't worth anything. You can't make jackets out of their skimpy hides. They're too stringy to eat. They don't even have impressive racks of horns to mount on your wall. I mean, what do you DO with them?

But when I protested to Charles, "You can't just hunt them down and leave them lying in the streets to molder!" he countered, "Why not?" "Well, it's unsanitary!" I objected.

"That sounds suspiciously like a do-gooder attitude," he growled.

Of course, he's correct. And the evidence that we need to aggressively wipe out this nuisance species lies right there in the fact that their aberrant behavior has even influenced pure Minditsownbusinessuses like me. My god, I'm starting to sound JUST LIKE THEM!

So yes, let the dogs eat them! Let the perfume of their decay improve the air of Washington, DC, Sacramento and Albany. Let the kudzu vines use their intestines for fertilizer. Let their brains, such as they are, ooze back into the earth they're often so eager to be One With. When nature's run its course, we can at least salvage their skulls for pencil holders, or plug the orifices and toast each other with Properly Organic drinking vessels – "Skoal!"



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