Sick addition

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JULY 17, 2012 6:30 AM

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"It is now known that addition is an illness."

Which is a sentence I ran into recently. (You're right; I wasn't looking where I was going.

(And my parents tried so hard to teach me — but I became a writer anyway, full of semicolons and digressions. But; I digress.)

(That was one of those e.e. cummings semicolons, which lurk around and, seeing no one approaching, pop up when you least expect them. From what I've read, Edward Estlin was a good lurker. At least the French thought so — they jailed him for lurking, and when are the French ever wrong? OK, OK, the Maginot Line turned out not to be the best idea since sliced brioche.)

Addition as an illness is good news for all you math-haters out there (you know who you are, unlike Oedipus — who hadn't the faintest idea you'd ever be alive).

But for those stouthearted, brave few whose early "experimentation" with addition led to cruel, grinding lives of Ph.D.s and professorships involving equations and hypotheses that only four people on the planet could discuss with them and not break down into hysterical laughter (And one of those four could barely conceal his mirth — yes, I know, "his mirth"; girls don't go into mathematics; women do. Not enough, though.)

Meanwhile, back at the narrative (which I realize was not properly punctuated, but then, so little is these days; 300 years from now, this will be known as the no-punctuation era; but then, 300 years from now, txt messgng will be considered Shakespeare, and people will say, Whaddaya mean, pnctutn?).

So anyway, there really should be a 12-step program for those stouthearted, etc., etc., people who wind up with Xs and Ys and As, Bs, and Cs taking over their lives.

I mean, there's a 12-step program for practically everything else in the world. Well, except for the world itself. (As we know it. Like Oedipus.)

I just wish there was a 12-step program for being Mitt Romney.

Well, we would have fewer "air-tight dog kennels" on car roofs, for one. Which is a good thing. Who needs suffocated dogs all over our interstates? Our interstates, especially in Illinois, are in rotten shape already without the addition (there's that word again) of suffocated dogs all over the damn place.

And then there's health-care reform.

Ah, health-care reform. Wasn't it a lot more fun when we were talking about mathematics and Xs and Ys and addition? Remember that edition of this program? Yeah, me, too.

Of course, I also remember spring and temperatures in the 70s, and that seems like some sort of past life. Like back when Romney was governor of Massachusetts and got a health-care plan passed that served as the model for President Obama's health-care plan.

These days — yeah, these days; pretty incredible, aren't they? — (how's that for pnctutn?), the Mitt runs away from his own health-care plan with a speed that would amaze Usain Bolt.

Who knew that a 60-some-year-old guy could move so quickly, not to mention so flip-floppedly?

Especially with that hair and all — talk about the Prell-Girl effect — which I do not hear Karl Rove mentioning much this time around. I wonder why. Lord knows, his super PAC has enough money.

But then, super PACS are people. So are corporations, according to the Mitt: My friend, remember, corporations are people.

On the other hand, so is Soylent Green.

(Ever wonder why conservatives strongly insist that corporations are people, due all the rights we accord to human beings, then turn around and just as strongly insist that lesbians and gays are not due all those rights? So, corporations are more human than lesbians and gays? Just wondering.)

Oh, well.

Addition is an illness. We all know it.

You adders out there — especially you puff adders — are on notice.

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