Guest Column
By Micah Russell

I stopped by the corner grocery. It was the end of the month and my budget had bottomed out, but all I was after was conversation, and that was cheap. "Hey, Deuce," said Sam, from behind the counter. "Where's your Pop?"

"Ol' Ace is at home, says he's too mad to come out of the house, " I told him.

"What's got Ace's shorts in a knot? " he asked.

"The Florida Supreme Court nixed their school voucher law. Ace is beside himself, says that court has it in for him."

"I would have thought that, as a public school employee, Ace would have opposed school vouchers," he offered.

"Are you kidding, Sam?" I asked, "Ace said this was the key to the wealthy retirement he's been dreaming of."

"How's he figure?"

"Well, I don't know if you remember, but Ace home-schooled my sister Trey. He calculates that 12 years, at—say $3,000 per, would make a nice addition to his nest egg," I explained.

"So he figures he's got a rebate coming," said Sam.

"That's not the half of it," I said. " Ace got real excited about the concept of an ala carte government, where he only had to pay for services that he actually uses."

"Uh oh."

"You got that right," I said. "Ace figured that as a lifelong proponent of non-violence, his Department of Defense rebate alone would put him on easy street. He also said that, while he wants to retire, he hasn't yet, so throw in a big Medicare rebate. He got so excited that he got a copy of the Federal budget and went through it line by line, figuring up his share of everything that he doesn't personally utilize. You'd be surprised how many roads that man hasn't driven on, not to mention that bridge in Alaska."

"Well, Deuce, I guess that's true," said Sam. "But we all pay for things we don't personally use. It's for the common good; that's how a society works."

"What are you, some kind of Commie? I thought you were a capitalist," I joked. "Ace says it's a dog-eat-dog world, and he just wants his money."

© Micah Russell, 2006

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