Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vs

I just returned from New Zealand, which United must think is a very dangerous country because they tried desperately to prevent me from reaching there, perhaps fearing that once in the country I would be subject to sheep-dipping. Then once I was there, United tried desperately to prevent me from returning on any of their flights, no doubt out of concern about what consumption of Wisconsin's cheese products might be doing to my arteries.

When I finally returned to Wisconsin, which has been rocked with protesters objecting to the governor's proposal to gut public sector unions, my sister pointed out that many of the curses I have been muttering under my breath about United might also apply the Governor. I will grant you that Governor Walker is definitely not my favorite public official. (That would be Michelle Obama, who I am still hoping to marry someday, when same sex marriage is approved. I am also looking forward to marrying at least one of my cats [I would probably choose the less-vomitous one], the Maldive Islands, and a nice cookbook or two, all of which could come to pass if same sex marriage is legalized, at least according to its opponents.)

But is Governor Walker really as bad as United Airlines? I needed some objective yardstick to compare the two, and decided to score them both in the context of the Seven Deadly Sins, with one point awarded per sin to whichever party has displayed the greatest faculty in that area.

My religious education being minimal, I have no idea what the Seven Deadly Sins actually are. David, on the other hand, has years of Catholic indoctrination under his belt, which he mostly uses these days to settle disagreements in bars about where pagan babies go if they die before they are baptized, and he managed to direct me to some resources. Here they are the sins, and the corresponding scores:

1. Lust: Did you know as many as three people can fit inside a bathroom on a United plane, if one of them is very skittish of strange toilets and needs to hold an adult's hand during the loud flush? The combined weight of Stella, Baby W, and me is 215 lbs, and we fit so tightly inside the bathroom we are practically wearing it. There's no just no way two decent-sized adults can fit in one of those bathrooms which leads me to the conclusion that the existence of a mile-high club is apocryphal, so United gets no points for lust.
As a Republican, I am sure Governor Walker disapproves of sex other than on special occasions like Flag Day (on even-numbered years) and Ronald Reagan's birthday, but he does have two kids. Deadly Sin Score: +1 for Walker

2. Gluttony: There's no gluttony on United, since they and other domestic airlines apparently believe that providing passengers with calories during a cross-county flight might cause them to pack on the pounds so precipitously that the jet's engines would be overwhelmed, crashing the craft catastrophically to the earth.

I have no indication that Governor Walker is a glutton. However, I think he gets a certain number of base points just for living in Wisconsin. And you can't tell me the guy didn't crack open a celebratory bag of Doritoes after the Packers won the Super Bowl. Deadly Sin Score: +0.5 for Walker

3. Sloth: United Airlines is so slothful that their planes often don't even leave the ground. It's a little-known fact that only seven United flights have actually reached their destination in 2011. (The rest are permanently grounded at O'Hare.) On the other hand, of the many, many complaints that have been lodged against Governor Walker, I have yet to hear laziness. Deadly Sin Score: +1 for United Airlines

4. Avarice: Nobody really knows what this means, so I am betting it becomes a popular girls' name soon. Deadly Sin Score: +1 for Stupid Parents

5. Wrath: Both United Airlines and Governor Walker incite considerable wrath on my part. Deadly Sin Score: +1 for David Having to Listen to My List of Complaints Against Them Both, and Although He Is Making Sympathetic Mmmm-mmm Sounds, I Notice He is Able to Read the New York Times Sports Page While Doing It

6. Envy: Wikipedia says that Dante defines this as "a desire to deprive other men of theirs." So for anybody following events in Wisconsin, it will not surprise you that I had to ponder on this for nearly 1/10 of a nanosecond before awarding the point to the appropriate party. Deadly Sin Score: + $3.6 billion for Walker

7. Pride: This has nothing to do with pride, but I wanted to make sure I awarded United Airlines a point for ruining Rhapsody in Blue by making it their theme song. Deadly Sin Score, +1 for United Airlines for Making George Gershwin's Music Into Something You Hear While On Hold Waiting to Find Out When Your Bag Will Get Back from Its Detour to Calgary


Using this methodology, it looks like Governor Walker of Wisconsin scores higher than United Airlines on the Sin-o-Meter. That does make a certain amount of sense, since the actions taken by Governor Walker will have a more significant impact on my quality of life than those taken by United Airlines. Governor Walker's actions have an even greater impact on my children -- not only Stella and Baby W, but any children we might have in the future, too. And while it's not that likely that we're having any more, I can tell you right now that if we have another girl, I'm naming her Avarice.

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