Writing Switch: Living in a stimulation

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith

Even though the ongoing talks in Congress haven’t been finalized yet, we’re somewhere between optimistic and absolutely certain that another $1,200 will soon be deposited in the banks of hardworking Americans like us. We’ve been teased with it for weeks, and it’s not like the U.S. government would ever backtrack on its citizens and screw us all over. While essentially receiving three tax refunds this year to spend on new laptops, rooftop tents, vacations and bongs is pretty awesome, this time around we have a few suggestions and tweaks for, um, whomever is running all this stuff to improve America’s Bigly and Very Incredible TrumpBux Giveaway 2.0.

SB: I like how we’re getting a second wave of stimulus checks before the first wave of the virus has even abated.

As for my stimulus package — not to be confused with a stimulated package, my adult novel career comes later — we’re going to be focusing on how you’re spending that stimulus money, if you qualify for it and offering some help for businesses and people affected by the CORONAVIRUS.

For example, if you plan to go on an Amazon shopping spree from your couch, your $1,200 worth of TrumpBux gets reduced to $300.

Paying down your substantial credit card debt gets you double; $1,200 turns into $2,400. If you had to use your first round of Trumpito Pesos to pay your taxes, you get an extra $1,200 because the government wouldn’t allow you to blow your first check on a new paddleboard or camping gear that you won’t use let alone look at once the bars reopen and your main outdoor activity reverts back to people watching/day drinking on patios.

If you’re wondering where all this extra cash will come from, we’ll just syphon it from the billionaires who have somehow seen their net worth go up despite a global pandemic. Not sure why we’re cool with borderline war profiteering.

Oh, Americans don’t need another stimulus package, Elon? Go drink some battery acid, I’m sure you have plenty to spare.

Also, there will be no cash stimulus for people in states that have not implemented a mask mandate. Instead, they’ll just get a bunch of hand sanitizer and masks airlifted in.

As for the extra $600 in hush money, er, unemployment, that’s no longer. Now, you’ll be getting an additional $1,000 to not work/tour with Antifa.

Mom and pop restaurants have the option to become mom and pop-up restaurants, a new concept that will pair chefs from recently closed eateries with restaurants lucky enough to still be operating. It’s like a joint Taco Bell-Pizza Hut.

This round also features a new wrinkle for the undocumented immigrant community in the form of a new game show: “Deposit or deport.” How much is the livelihood of your family worth? Let’s find out by seeing if contestants can answer America-related questions while trying to grab flying money in an enclosed phone booth.

We’ll test your patriotism with questions like, Are Donald Trump’s hands a normal size? Is hydroxychloroquine the real vaccine for coronavirus? Anthony Fauci: Health expert or Chinese communist?

Answer correctly and you can walk out of that booth with all the money your dignity-free body can carry. Push back or even hesitate for a second in your blind loyalty to the White House and we’ll suck out all the cash and drop you across the border.

The key to solving any problem is by throwing money — and an NDA — at it. And if that doesn’t work, try shifting the blame or drumming up some sympathy by complaining that “Nobody likes me.”

BW: Many financially savvy people, like Dave Ramsey, Janet Yellen and Marshawn Lynch, advise — foolishly — that you shouldn’t spend money you haven’t made yet. I would argue, though, that because of the way the world works, etc. etc., we live in a debt economy and if you haven’t acquired at least almost $30K in purchasing power thanks to credit card limits, you’re in actuality being taken advantage of by the system. The same system that came to destroy Enron, God bless ’em. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

A true judge of people’s character is when they say “If I won the lottery, I’d keep my job and still work. I would need something to do! Lol!” Either you’re a liar or a f—ing idiot. If I so much as hit the jackpot on a scratch-off, I would Criss Angel Mindfreak myself within seconds.

“Where’d Ben go? He was just at his desk and I have a lot of commas for him to move.”

“I dunno, is he in the bathroom?”

“Maybe, I’ll check again in 45 minutes.”

But poof, I actually turn up in the Seychelles or St. Kitts and Nevis, paying homage to the patron saints of money laundering and tax exemptions, respectively. I would get so fat lounging on the beach, wearing no clothing except for loincloths made of the biggest coconuts I can find, eating a bunch of food that someone else prepared and drinking cute little rum cocktails until the pineapples’ acidity finally erodes whatever stomach lining was left after years of mixing Diet Dr. Pepper with Kessler.

But hell, that’s basically how I’m existing now anyway, and WHO CARES? We’re on Day 143 of quarantine, and so far I’ve learned that I no longer give a shit about: going to bars (expensive, violent), professional sports (other people’s glory, not mine) and chicks (I want to watch “90 Day Fiance,” not your stupid “Ozark” show).

I’ve more or less managed to maintain my weight during CORONAVIRUS thanks to calorie counts now being included on the front of frozen dinner packaging, but with my pants size now just “elastic waistband” in perpetuity, does it really matter what I look like? My prime dating years were already in the rear view to begin with, and I don’t have anything to show for it other than a life sentence of one overactive tear duct and depressing realizations that everyone is exactly the same. So I’m good with allowing the COVID curse to wrest away the last vestiges of romanticism. These are the thoughts you have while exiting your late-20s existential crisis and realize it’s a false summit; the early-30s existential crisis still looms large.

Like when your hair and beard get so long that people stop calling you “Blonde Jesus” and you drift into Charlie Manson territory (post-murderer but still pre-forehead carving) and you don’t recognize yourself anymore and you’re crying on your floor all fat, naked and hirsute like Joaquin Phoenix in “I’m Still Here.” BTW this is the proverbial “you,” and not the real you-you, dear reader. But you’re smart, you know that.

I think I’m starting to go off script here, which brings us back to round two of the stimulus package. Is $2,400 enough to inspire you into giving everyone you know the middle finger and disappearing overnight? No, but receiving the equivalent of 10 percent my annual salary is an unexpected gift not to be squandered. Is $2,400 enough to purchase my promise to fill in all the GOP bubbles in the election? Hmm, maybe, but I could still probably use another round sometime in October since I’ve already blown this one by running off to Vegas and playing in the World Series of Poker and being eliminated on the bubble with cracked pocket aces … and the fates keep laughing.

Aspen Times Weekly

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