I've been giving some thought to the recent economic problem/crisis/recession/downturn/holy-shit-the-sky-is-falling situation here in the United States, and I believe I've thought of a solution that nobody in Washington, D.C. has yet to consider publicly.
I propose we join the European Union.
What better way to solve the problem of a declining dollar than by switching to the Euro for our currency? Much of the rest of the world now considers the Euro the benchmark currency, and we Americans love benches (and Marks!) so why shouldn't we use it too? Secondly, we need more friends these days and the EU is really like a big happy gang. A big multi-lingual, imported-beer swilling, hooliganing gang. If you think Canada is hesitant to mess with us now, wait till they take a look at our homies across the pond! Nobody messes with you when Romania has your back!
Another good reason to join the EU is the travel. Not only will Italy and the UK be cheap again to visit, but we won't have to stand in long lines at customs anymore either -- Europeans whisk across other member nation's borders with no fuss at all. And since we'll be using their currency we'll no longer have to become walking calculators when shopping for souveniers. Which is a good thing, because we all know how poor Americans are with math. And back home in the US, we might finally get some impetus for high-speed rail travel -- they can call it USrail, like Eurorail, but pronounce it yoos-rail like as if Joe Peschi was saying it. It will be as classic as apple pie, baseball, and croissants.
There are some downsides to all of this, however. Like, for instance, the fact that much of Europe pays nearly double what we do at the gas pump. That would suck. On the bright side, I suspect most Americans would still resist buying smaller cars, so we'll still get to stare upwards and marvel at those Hummers and Escalades... while crossing our fingers and toes in hopes that they don't plow into us. I suspect it would also be tough developing a number of languages and dialects that sound like clearing one's throat of phlegm -- after all, if England can't convince its neighbors to speak English, how can we? And then there are the sports. I admit the current UEFA tournament has been fun to watch, but I don't think I can take daily cricket highlights on ESPN.
But I guess the worst part of potentially joining the European Union would be the influx of American college kids staying home for a semester abroad.
On second thought, forget the EU. I hear gas is only $2.20 a gallon in Mexico. Somebody ask the President of Mexico what he thinks of the number 51. Tell him it's a great number; let him know Ichiro wears that number.
Tell him "51" could be his...