Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Guests Are Gone!

For the past three days, a good friend of mine (along with his wife and baby, who I might add has a terribly irritating and grating whine, and has suspiciously fat lips for a Caucasian child) has been visiting us here at my home. Our home is pretty small, little more of an apartment at less than 1000 feet of living space, and so having two families with toddlers becomes very cramped, very quickly. To make matters worse, our neck of the woods was been experiencing flooding (again), and so we were pretty much stranded inside since many of the main roads were closed. Somewhere between the game of Parcheesi and watching 50 First Dates (I admit it – I would consider leaving my wife for Drew Barrymore) it stuck me how very real and significant dead weight it. Let me elaborate.

Hospitality, like charity, is wholly consumptive. Your guests, unless they are exceedingly gracious, do not tip you for services rendered. You do not provide them with a check at the end of the meal. Now, I wouldn’t not have my friends over, nor am I a grudging host. But I can see where the coffers would become quite empty in short order if they were to stay on for any length of time without chipping into the proverbial pot. The next time we libertarians want to convince others of the significant drain on an economy that welfare, social security, and the rest of it represents; and the enormous burden it puts upon our individual billfolds, perhaps we should just remind them of the last time their in-laws visited, and say, “Yeh, it’s just like that.” I quite think there could be spawned form such a realization an overnight libertarian revolution. Then again, with Uncle Sam is related to the in-laws, this could make for a nasty Christmas Day dinner.

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