Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Redistribution of French Fries

Big Brother was eying my French Fries. Not no that Big Brother. My big brother, and it was absolutely fascinating. It was like watching one of those claw machines on the Boardwalk in Wildwood (or whatever seaside resort you’ve ever visited).

“You don’t want those french fries, do you, Squirrel?”

A massive hand reached out and then down, in a peculiar, mechanical fashion, from its side of the table to mine, and clamped down on a my small serving of French Fries. When the hand lifted up and away, only a few, scraggly French Fries remained, the survivors of a wreckage, as the French Fry crane carried the rest off.

One or two fries dangled from the clenches of the fist and fell off. But in an instant, my own pile was cleared. They never made it to his plate, though. There was a momentary delay as my mother bellowed.

“What do you think you’re doing?! Those are your sister’s french fries!!”

The cry came too late, though. In a moment, the entire plunder disappeared into my older brother’s considerable maw. My mother got up from her seat to scold him. She wanted to know why I let my brother take all my French Fries and why, if he wanted more fries, he didn’t ask.

Knowing my weaker appetite, my mother suspected me of food avoidance (a charge at which I would scoff – french fries were never on my Food Avoidance list).

“She didn’t want them,” he informed my mother. “Did you?” he added prompting me.

“No,” I repeated, mechanically. “I didn’t want them.” Now my mother was extremely suspicious. But I didn’t want them. Or rather, I considered them a reasonable price to pay for this spectacle of my brother’s arrogance, greed, and selfishness.

It was as though I had, indeed, placed a quarter in a machine on the Boardwalk in quest of a greater prize. One I knew, as a budding writer, that would be of considerable value at some later date.

That Rasputin-like gleam in his eye, thinking that he’d put one over on little sister when he thought he’d convinced me to “hand over” the french fries. That he’d connived me into “sharing” my french fries, when it was really out-right theft.

That consciousness of his that superior intelligence had triumphed, that a master of cunning and artifice had won a satisfying, if trifling, victory over a lesser being. That he’d escaped the long arm of Mom’s law, depending on sisterly affection to cloak his guilt and expiate his crime.

That I wouldn’t remember, just as I had trouble remembering dates in history class, or scientific terms in biology. That not being able to pinpoint the details I would never see the bigger picture. No – he wasn’t smart himself to see the bigger picture, so he’d never suspect I possessed that ability.

I laughed the incident off, and since I registered no complaint, there was nothing my mother could do, except wonder herself at my seeming gullibility. Probably I should have socked him on the spot. We were older, but still young enough to get away with childish behavior.

I just couldn’t resist, though. In the long-run, I knew I’d be the true victor. It was well worth the sacrifice of a few calories at the time, just to register that look in his eye, those french fries dangling in his clutches. This perfect picture of the redistribution of wealth.

Payment has come due for this pilfering of my little french fry cache. His sentence? Community service. My big brother will serve as the allegory for Big Brother.

Today, I watch with equal fascination as the claw machine of the Obama regime extends its claw wide to possess itself of a huge portion of taxpayer wealth. Equally helpless as I was at the Burger King, the American public watches this thing descend upon them.

The prize (for Obama) is the U.S. health care system. This is a mighty chunk of the U.S. “horde” – that is, “economy.” Six percent of the U.S. economy is about to vanish into the maw, never to be seen again.

Arrogantly, Obama and his minions give us Rasputin-like speeches about how this will help the uninsured, how no one’s taxes will increase, about how much “fairer” this system will be. You can practically see the Big Brother glint in Obama’s eye as he says it.

Big Brother cites the “millions” of Americans without insurance, a much lower number in actuality than the statistic they provide. He touts how much healthier Americans will be, although having health insurance has nothing to do with how healthy you are.

It’s only fair, Big Brother claims, that everyone must be compelled to buy health insurance in order to subsidize their own health care further down the road of life. If it were affordable, younger people probably wouldn’t balk. Thanks to the health care unions, fraud, and bureaucracy, private premiums are astronomical.

Once upon a time, people only really needed hospitalization insurance, which they often got from their employers. They were able to carry the weight of their own medical care on their own shoulders, without insurance. Now you must be insured for every medical procedure on the books. That’s how expensive health care has become.

You’ll be able to keep your own doctor, Big Brother assures us. Not if the doc can’t operate in a profitable manner. The only way I’ll be able to visit him is if I fly to Honduras or some such place. Those evil, greedy doctors. My, how times have changed.

There are no “death panels”, Big Brother laughs smugly. Or health police. Or huge deficits in store with this bill. Those are all smoke and mirrors thrown up by the opposition Conservatives. They’re losers, according to Big Brother.

No, they’re the Big Mother who’s caught Big Brother stealing his sibling’s French fries. With the passage of the bill, he’s already crammed the fries into his mouth, defying anyone to repeal the bill and retrieve what he’s stolen.

Certainly, there’s a disadvantage to sticking her finger down his throat and making him cough the fries back up. He’ll be sure to disgorge them directly back onto his sister’s plate, leaving a disgusting, unsightly mess that the Mother will be obliged to clean up.

But there is always a reckoning for every evil. Years later, my brother has found himself epitomized as the model of Big Brother arrogance, selfishness, and glib duplicity. As the current administration calculates that the oblivious public will eventually forget the treachery of Obamacare in the face of free gifts, he didn’t think I’d remember those French fries.

But Little Sisters never forget. As my mother warned my brother about underestimating me, we bide our time and await our moment.

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