So, I may not have thought this out…
I promised my wife that I’d build a wall around our vegetable garden. She didn’t seem as happy as I thought she’d be.
“We don’t need a wall,” she said. “A wall won’t keep the critters out–they’ll just tunnel underneath and still eat my lettuce! And the birds will still swoop down and pluck the seeds out of the dirt. A wall is just a stupid idea–it’s a solution in search of a problem. Let’s just use that motion detector light you installed on the side of the house but aimed in the wrong direction–I’ve been asking you to fix that thing for months…that’ll keep the critters away much better than your silly wall. Plus, it would be so expensive!”
“Our neighbor, Bob, must pay for the wall and, until he does, I will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Bob’s family (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all garden crossing cards — of which we issue about one million to Bob and his friends each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all Nafta worker visas from Bob’s company (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Bob’s lawn (tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options)”, I stammered.
“Now you’re not making any sense at all,” she muttered. “Maybe you forgot, but since you said all those nasty things about Bob at the neighborhood meeting, he’s not exactly your biggest fan. And you’ve never apologized. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to give you a penny for your dumb wall, so you may as well forget that option. So how are you going to pay for it, genius?”
“We can call a family emergency because of the security of our garden. Absolutely. We can do it,” I said. “I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it. But we can call a family emergency and do it very quickly. It’s another way of doing it. But, if we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving that a shot”, I responded, grasping at straws.
“Absolutely not!,” she said. “That’s not what that money is for! We’ve been saving for their college expenses for years, and I’ve never heard you say a word about this idiotic wall until this morning. You have that ‘small amount of money’ you inherited from your father–why don’t you use that money if this wall is so important to you? Besides, how do you even know how to build a wall? You can’t even change a lightbulb!”
Now I was mad.
“Honey, are you OK? You’re slurring your words and sniffling a lot.”
“And, you know, we’re building a wall. And it’s going to be a great wall. O.K.? And, by the way, Bob will pay for it. It’s going to be a great wall, because I do — I know how to build. And it’s not going to cost nearly as much as what they are saying for a crummy wall, but this will be a wall with a very big, very beautiful door, because we want the legals to come back into the country.”
“Honey? Your face is turning orange, and your tie just got longer. I’m getting worried about you…”
And that’s how we left it. Neither of us is very happy, and now we aren’t even talking. I still think I’m right–I’m always right!–and who cares that there’s now a petition started by the neighborhood association and signed by nearly 70% of my neighbors? They are just losers and haters!
Although I am getting pretty tired of sleeping on the couch…I may not have thought this out.