ALL ABOARD | Coping with the recession without depression

Lately, life seems to be series of forced adjustments.

Several of us have portfolios that have burst starboard.

Many of us have savings accounts that have turned to credit cards.

A few of us have kept smiles on our faces.

Maybe it’s the language barrier.

As a retired political science major, I know that a recession has to do with a hairline fracture in the economic version of the San Andreas Fault.

I also know that a depression can be lingering, unaffected by pharmaceutical modifications.

With the premise that our eyes have wandered from the straight road to the crooked road, I offer these benefits of today’s recession:

First and foremost, our property tax assessment is up only 10 percent this year, not 45 percent like the last several years.

Secondly, our tithing expenditures have been reduced.

Not that we mind giving money to others, but it is unusually comforting to know that Dad is still correct — 10 percent of nothing is still nothing.

Thirdly, our recent profit/loss setbacks have assured me that it will be darn difficult for my girlfriend to leave me for a guy with more money.

How much is in your wallet right now?

For me, the most shocking realization in this new economy is the speed by which our much maligned USPS postal people are speeding up the mail.

Last Monday I received a postcard mailed the previous Friday afternoon from Naples, Fla.

In the olden days, as my sister might say, a postcard from Florida to Washington would arrive about a week after our baggage.

When I traveled a lot, I used to spend a lot of time and money mailing myself postcards to see how I was doing before I was mailed back.

Of course, I was on an expense account at the time and postage was included.

Many of us beer drinkers are exceptionally enthused during this brief recession that a six pack of beer still costs more than a gallon of gasoline. As Anthony Newley wrote and sang in song, “What kind of fuel am I?”

Speaking of Anthony, I saw an ad on the TV about 2:30 in the morning hawking Tony Robbins’ latest cure-all, for-all, almost free-for-all.

For only $14.95 plus shipping and handling, I can get more than $600 worth of motivational tapes, DVDs, phone counseling and, if I act now, a nude photo of Tony Robbins’ dog.

Startled and overwhelmed by the pending opportunity, I called the Tony Robbins 800 line immediately.

“Is this on the level? Can I get all this stuff for $14.95?”

“Sir, if you act now, your one-time cost is only $14.95, plus shipping and handling of $14.95, plus a $99 monthly fee charged just three times on the credit card information I can take from you right now.

“Can you please tell me the last three digits on the back side of your card?”

Another nice thing about the recession — I don’t need Tony Robbins now, either.

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