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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Dear Mayor Bloomberg

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

I know I donít live in New York City, but I am planning on moving up there just as soon as I can afford it. I was reading about your new program and I think itís just great. I would like to apply now for my benefits since Iím certain you would also want to extend these to anyone even thinking about moving to your great city. I understand that Seattle is thinking about starting the same program, so Iíll have to be honest and tell you that the first one who starts sending me the money each month is going to get me and my extended family. I just need to ask a few questions to make certain I understand how your new program is going to work.

As I understand it, my kids get $300 each for doing well on any school test. That is really helpful since I am bringing my four sons as well as three others that I am in the process of adopting who belong to my dearly departed sister. I donít think that will pose any problem do you? By the way, can you define the term Ďwellí? Are the papers going to be graded on the old outdated and unfair A-F system or are you going to grade on the curveÖ taking into consideration our boys previous school experiences and abilities? I mean several of those kids of my sisters can hardly read or write and theyíre in their teens. The last schools they attended just promoted them because they were too big to still be in the fifth grade. Rufus couldnít fit in one of those tiny desks any longer. He was depressed over it and had to take pills for the next several years. It bothers me to see a boy his size crying.

I notice that your program gives me $150 a month for holding down a job; I suppose this applies to my wife as well, but does that also hold true for any of my boys who work part time after school? It sure would help if it did. By the way, what kind of a job does this have to be? I mean, can we just tell you we have a job, or will we be forced to actually prove it? Will we have to do some verifiable work in order to keep those checks rolling in on time? Your plan to give us $200 every time we go to the doctor or dentist certainly will take the strain off of us having to pay those nasty old co-payments. I have asthma and my wife needs adjustments to her back several times a week, so we go to the doctor at least 10 times a month, thatís another $2,000 a month, right there. The boys are pretty healthy, so weíll save you some money there. I would like to add that I donít know how long that will last; they may not be able to adjust to your climate. One of the boys, Homer has bad teeth so you better be on notice, he might have to make a bunch of trips once we arrive. You do have plenty of money for these programs donít you? Iíd hate to move Momma and the kids up there and have you just pull the rug out from under usÖ.how would we get ever get back to Texas?

I notice that you are also paying $25 each time we go to a parent teacher conference, well, to be honest, we havenít made too many of those yet, but with seven kids in school in your program you can count on us attending each and every one. By the way, is that $25 for each of us or just one parent and do we have to stay for any certain amount of time? Those things can get really boring, if you know what I mean.

I also notice that you are agreeable to paying for any bus or subway fares that any of us might need. Might I suggest that you look into just biting the bullet and swing for us a car instead? I donít mean to complain but the bus stops and the subway station might just be too inconvenient for us and we might have to walk to get to them. Nothing fancy, maybe some late model American car, Iíd hate for you to be sending any money overseas to those foreigners.

Oh, yes before I forget itÖ..just be thinking about how they work the housing in Seattle. You might want to think about this while youíre at it. In Seattle they are offering people a free place to live as long as you stay drunk. They figure it only costs about $11,000 a year to pay for housing for the homeless (me, the wife and our kids) and it costs over $100,000 a year to put us in jail or any other facility to dry out. The only requirement is that you have to drink a lot. I donít now, but might have too, if I want the housing allowance. I donít know how the little woman feels about this, but Iíll ask.

Thanks for developing your new plan. I salute you and the city leaders of Seattle as well. Your forward thinking just shows you that the government can indeed take care of us from the cradle to the grave. Makes me proud to be an American.

Iíll be in touch and let you know when I arrive.

Thanks.

Dear readerÖ.the above is no jokeÖboth cities are sincerely looking at these programsÖsad isnít it? Who pays for this kind of nonsense? We do, thatís who.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America

June 20, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers


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