House of Pain

As you folks know, this is a serious site. Found this on a piece of paper blowing down the street. Enjoy. (write for comments)

Jon: John Hodgman joins us. Much of our sanity pleas concern congress. How would you reform congress?

Hodgman: How did the Detroit auto industry reform itself?

Jon: I don't think they intentionally did it - I think the Japanese ate their lunch and they changed to save themselves.

Hodgman: Exactly Jon, COMPETITION. First we have to quit calling it "congress" which used to mean carnal mingling. It’s impolite to call it F*** House, so let's call it Corporate House, since it represents corporations.

Jon: But people vote for their representatives.

Hodgman: Corporations want you to think that. It's like those red lipstick Progressive ads. You’re not buying auto insurance, you're meeting a new friend; you may get laid. We all know that Max Baucus represents Aetna and Amgen or that Mitch McConnell sells tobacco and whiskey. If Meg Whitman wins, she wears Goldman Sachs' colors which, for Corporate House, is like an Iowan representing corn.

Jon: So if the answer is competition. What competes with Congress or Corporate House?

Hodgman: House of Pain.

Jon: I see, named after Thomas Paine the great friend of popular government.

Hodgman: No Jon, PAIN like when I stick a pin in your eye.

Jon: Who would want that?

Hodgman: You Jon and everyone else. Why do we have a national legislature?

Jon: To cause pain?

Hodgman: Exactly. It declares war. It sets taxes. It forces high school kids to buy their pot from alley scum.

Jon: How would this House of Pain work?

Hodgman: We're all pissed that our football games are interrupted by pictures of Christine O'Donnell or Rents Too Damn High. Don't worry, no more political ads.

Jon: Why?

Hodgman: Representatives in the House of Pain will be selected at random from those who demonstrate they know the difference between Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Sam Adams, patriot. The new representatives won't require a large building, even though the House of Pain will host ten thousand representatives.

Jon: Why not?

Hodgman: They'll work out of their house, or in your viewers' case, their mother's house. It's a part-time job, which fits the future when all of us will have part-time jobs.

Jon: But John, figuring out something like healthcare or pondering whether to go to war in Iraq is serious business.

Hodgman: That's why we can't leave it to corporations, who have to worry if their Caribbean money drop is still functioning. The House of Pain will take its time figuring out how we'll be screwed for healthcare.

Jon: How might the House of Pain pass on a Supreme Court nominee?

Hodgman: It would form a panel of esteemed scholars to nominate 25 candidates. Next a game show would select the final candidates.

Jon: Game show?

Hodgman: Of course Jon, something like "Dancing with the Stars." Call it "Dancing Around a Straight Answer." The panel will be Judge Wapner, Judge Judy and Clarence Thomas.

Jon: Clarence Thomas? Why?

Hodgman: He gets to ask women their breast size and men their favorite porn scene. Ratings are important Jon - you know that.

Jon: And how is the winner chosen?

Hodgman: The president selects the winner out of a hat.

Jon: Sounds like the president is a bit player in this new system.

Hodgman: Yes, he's banned from television except for these ceremonial duties. Believe me Jon, no one will complain.

Jon: Most members of Corporate House are lawyers - they know how to write a complex bill that covers contingencies.

Hodgman: Jon, the House of Pain likes things simple. A visit to your cardiologist will cost you 300 bucks. (Clutches his chest) "Oh, maybe this is just angina. I'll wait to see the doctor." This solves the rationing problem and also the curse of having too many old people hanging around collecting pensions.

Jon: If the House of Pain had existed in 2002, would they have declared war on Iraq?

Hodgman: No Jon. It would have simply given Saddam Hussein his own television series. He wrote Romance novels - did you know?

Jon: And that would have prevented war?

Hodgman: Politics is always about jobs. Everybody knows that. If each Facebooker, Twitteree or redditor was given a job, America would be back to prosperity in no time.

Jon: So the House of Pain would not only get America back to fiscal health but also give people more jobs? That's a win/win.Thank you.

Hodgman: You're welcome, Jon.

Jon: John Hodgman everyone.