“I’m Okay Who Cares About You,” The LAG GUIDE TO Self-Help.
We were at my Cousin Myron’s house for a barbecue this Sunday. Myron, as you may recall, is the fiery red-haired, math whiz who’d made a fortune betting on the ponies. He gives back every year by doing taxes for anyone who asks and looks forward to his inevitable visits to the IRS for audits, as he has memorized the entire tax code. I’ve seen him in action at the IRS. It’s a thing of wonder.
We were all enjoying the good food and the amazing weather, when Myron’s fourteen year old son, Eric, walked out on the porch to say, Winter is coming.” That got our attention. Of course, the line is from George Martin’s wonderful saga— A Song of Fire and Ice, though perhaps Eric heard it on the HBO adaption of the first book—Game of Thrones. Although we all got a good laugh out of that, I realized as I was driving home that for many Americans, Winter is coming. It seems unlikely that Eric’s generation will live as well as his father’s generation did, and most prominent economists predict that Eric’s children will be functionally illiterate and work as serfs on the Romney plantations. Winter is coming for many of us, and while in the past we might have banded together to sing camp songs and share the little we had, today we must add the fact that Americans no longer like one another. We don’t want to pay for road construction, public education, or health care benefits because other citizens might need and use them—yecch. The latest surveys suggest that eighty-seven percent of us are broke, armed to the teeth, practicing the expression—“You talking to me,” and arguing about who is the true conservative.
Fortunately, when faced with hard times, Americans will resourcefully turn, as they always have, to that last great bastion of strength—“self help” through “pop psychology.” Here at Stevieslaw, we are not above getting in on the action. We are proud to publish, “I’m okay, who cares about you,” the Less-intelligent-than-average-American Guide to helping yourself first. In the guide, we will carefully take you through the extensive world of “self help” help. You will learn that:
1. If your ship is sinking and your cry for help sounds just like the rumbling of your empty stomach, it’s best to adopt the valued teachings of very odd religions; what better anchor for a sinking ship than the esoteric meanderings of prophets and hermits, renowned for their coma-like existence, who live in exotic regions where the average life-span is 12 years.
2. If your every choice seems to be between Scylla and Charybdis, you must learn to trust your Horoscope. In the guide we will teach you techniques to enhance your Horoscopic experience. Did you know for example, that you can legally change your birth date—yearly, monthly or daily— to take better advantage of the wisdom of the ages? And in a LAG exclusive, we will provide you with an extensive appendix to the fascinating world of “cookforty,”—a life improvement strategy based on the advice given in fortune cookies.
3. If you had hoped to escape the “Winter” with a joyous, rewarding relationship, though even your dog is not keen on you, you must open your heart to the words of wisdom offered up by a gaggle of TV geese nearly 24 hours a day. Listen deeply to this group of men and women so astute at bonding that each has been divorced at least 16 times.
4. If you have both a terrible ailment and the kind of health insurance our congressmen would carry in the anti-universe, you must accept the advice of the TV men in white; a group of “almost doctors” arrayed in outfits so white that they must spend all of their non-air time in tubs of bleach. Learn how supplements from a secret formula combining belly button and dryer lint with the most abundant garden herb (grass) can cure all of your health problems instantly (or some of your money back).
5. If you are down to your last eleven cents—fear not, you need only buy into the many life changing, money making, tapes and CDs. All of the best of the 3 AM TV advertising specials will be laid out at your finger tips. Buy and sell things you have no knowledge of for “no money down.” Just “stop, watch and listen” and the money will come rolling in! Promise! LAG will even loan you the money to pay for the courses through our special credit program (only in states where usury laws do not apply).
6. If you are a little lacking in self-esteem you must join the vibrant world of the self-help seminar. We identify the best of the best of the seminars. Become a winner by repeating “I’m a winner” at the top of your lungs, until you pass out from oxygen deprivation!
7. Finally, if your education has left you without the ability to count to five, you can learn from the wisdom of the ages by joining the LAG self-help book club. Choose from the classics like “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” to the hot, new titles like “UFO’s: A user’s manual” and have them delivered to your door, once a month, forever.
Remember to buy your LAG now, for Winter is coming!