These are grim times indeed. This nation is beset on all sides by virtually every imaginable scourge: War, the H1N1 virus, economic disaster, Kanye West…However, I question the pall of hopelessness that has descended. You can call me a cockeyed optimist all you wish (although I prefer you address me by my nickname, “Spanky B”), but the truth is I’m merely aware of something that apparently most of us have forgotten: Our government’s most effective problem-solving agency – more heroic than even the Department of Agriculture – is on the job. Why would we despair for America’s destiny when the Office of Scientific Intelligence has never failed us before? They are working, quietly and competently, behind the scenes, and therefore no citizen need be anxious about the future of the USA. With them as our secret weapon, my fellow Americans, our tomorrows are brighter than ever.
Consider their track record. I think you’ll see that the tasks at hand today are relatively routine for an agency of their caliber. Take the economy, for example. How hard could it be for them to restore it? I mean, they took Steve Austin, astronaut – a man barely alive, mind you – and using the technology they had, they built the world’s first bionic man. Sure, it cost six million dollars to do it, and yeah, that sounds like a lot of money, but not when you figure in the fact that the contractor’s top-end estimate was 8.3 million! And not only did they rebuild him, they also made him better than he was before; and not just better – also stronger, AND faster! But most importantly, they brought the whole project in well under budget, and with no overtime.
Some feel our greatest enemy is a Carter-esque state of national malaise; they say President Obama does not exude the kind of personal strength that inspires the people’s confidence. Whether he does or doesn’t is a matter of opinion with a margin of error of plus or minus three percent, but does it really matter? All of those reassuring qualities and more are found in Oscar Goldman, the venerable director of the OSI and the real power behind the throne. I defy you to find a more dignified, capable leader anywhere. Under his unwavering, wise command, every national crisis we have faced in recent memory has been resolved. And each of them was far more catastrophic that any current menace.
There are those who are convinced that climate change will end life as we know it. Have we so soon forgotten the cataclysmic storms of 1977? When the OSI learned the climatic upheaval was actually being provoked by a deranged scientist attempting to alter the moon’s orbit, they didn’t wait for Congressman Barney Frank to convene the House Committee on Financial Services! Oscar Goldman did what decisive leaders do in a crisis: He dispatched his machine-man to the lunar surface, and Mr. Austin promptly dealt out some cyborg justice. That’s just how the OSI rolls. Trust me, if global warming actually is melting the Arctic ice shelf, it’s only a matter of time until the OSI makes sure all our polar bears stop drowning and get back to the three things polar bears do best: Looking cuddly, pitching Coca-Cola, and serving as the upholstery for the couch in Sarah Palin’s office.
For some, the gravest fear is that a terrorist will rise up and be our nation’s undoing. Do I really need to recount for you what happened to the mastermind who tried to extort millions from our government by raising an abandoned Nazi U-boat and threatening to launch atomic weapons at our shores? One bionic beatdown later and the score was USA: 1, crazed submariner: 0.
Look, I know things appear bleak right now, but when you feel afraid, just do what I do: Close your eyes, hum the Star Spangled Banner, and remember that Steve Austin once beat up a robot Sasquatch so badly that its arm came off. We can rest easy, knowing this nation’s security is under Steve’s watchful eye, with its bionic, 20:1 zoom lens and night vision function.
(Note to readers: I accept full responsibility for this column. I was the one who forgot to pick up Jim’s medication, and I was also the one who bought him the “Six Million Dollar Man” DVD box set for his birthday. His physician assures me he’ll be fine after a little rest. – The Mrs.)