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  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Christmas Shopping
With The Sliding U.S. Dollar

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand

This Christmas will really test a person's ability to stretch a dollar, especially a U.S. dollar, since we've been watching it shrink for quite awhile now.

It certainly isn't necessary for big-mouth media blabbing to everybody that the U.S. dollar is sliding. We can see that for ourselves on each bill. Take a look for yourself, and you'll see all the presidents sliding to the left. I'm not kidding about that.

And to make sure U.S. citizens are aware of how Democracy is slowly and insidiously turning into Socialism, the government has made the center of each bill a fetching shade of pink. Of course, if U.S. currency is now being manufactured in China along with everything else that used to be made in the U.S.A., Mexico or France, that would account for the color.

As of this writing (9 November), the dollar doesn't come out too badly next to the Mexican peso at $1.00USD = $10.88MXN. It's still fairly respectable in Canada at 0.94 Canadian, but thunders to a loud crash in Europe compared with 0.68 EUR. The U.S. dollar appears to do better in Croatia where a dollar comes in at 4.99 Croatian Kuna, and it does embarrassingly well aganst the Kazakhstan Tenge at 128.35. We noted that Tenge currency also has pink in it.

It stands to reason that, if we wish to stretch the dollar back into shape for Christmas, we will have to go shopping in Kazakhstan. It would help to have Borat with us ("Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan") to translate "Is that your best price?" into Kazakh. It's helpful to know that Kazakh is also spoken in parts of Afghanistan so while we're there, we can look for bin Laden and send him to Rudy Giuliani as a Christmas present. Too bad the current U.S. President can't speak the language; that must be why he simply cannot find the guy. Then again, he can't speak English either. Sorry, to have digressed but I'll soon get back to the topic at hand.

We shouldn't worry too much about difficulties with the Kazakh language. The Wikepedia Encyclopedia describes it thusly: "[It] is a Turkic language closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak. Kazakh is an agglutinative language, and it employs vowel harmony." Even Borat fails to understand what that means.

If only we could afford a trip to China where the dollar is worth 7.415 Yuan, it's likely we could find some American-made products to buy for Christmas. We certainly can't find any in the U.S.

However, there are things we can still find in America. This Christmas, we can find and give love, kindness, and acceptance. They're all free, no matter where they're made and no matter what colors they come in.


Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"

November 10, 2007 column

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