Is it just me, or are more and more Americans behaving badly?
Stars going into rehab. Politicians caught in scandals. Cell phones blaring offensive ringtones during funerals. Let’s not forget that time our vice president shot his friend while quail hunting.
What can be done to restore civility in our beloved nation? I propose we call in one of the most powerful natural forces on earth: Minnesota Moms.
I wasn’t raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but I married a man who was, and I soon learned how unfailingly polite, unpretentious, and gosh darn helpful Minnesotans are. They’d give you the shirts off their backs. The chains off their snow tires. I believe their mothers (including my mother-in-law Donna... hey, Mom!) deserve a lot of credit for raising such upstanding citizens.
Imagine if misbehavers were assigned a personal Minnesota Mom (MM) for a week. They’d re-learn right from wrong. They’d be less rude. Not to mention, they’d discover how to prepare that Lutheran church supper staple, the “hotdish.” (note to non-Minnesotans: “hotdish” involves a starch, a can of soup, and protein/meat products).
Just think. If Britney Spears had been with her MM, she never would have shaved her head. The MM would have said something sensible like, “Oh, for heaven’s sake. That’s the silliest idea I’ve ever heard. Let’s go home and crochet a tea cozy instead!”
Or let a MM negotiate with that crazy Iranian president. She’d cut to the chase: “Now see here, Mr. Ahmadinejad. Making nuclear threats is just not nice, so there’ll be no dessert for you until you stop processing uranium. Do I make myself clear?”
MMs could work wonders with trash-talking NBA players (“Land sakes, there’s no reason to call your opponent that. You apologize right this instant”). They’d shame mobsters into going straight (“Gracious, Mr. Soprano. Put that Uzi down. You know crime doesn’t pay”). Construction workers would stop whistling at women (“Get back to your riveting, or I’m calling all of your mothers!”)
The possibilities are endless. Pencil-thin supermodels would start eating three square meals (“My goodness, young lady! Have some kielbasa”). Doctors would see patients promptly and for more than five minutes (“This isn’t a drive-by shooting! Let Mr. Stanley tell you all about his gallstones!”).
Wild behavior would be out. Manners and integrity would be in. Heck, at this rate, the MMs could make used car salesmen, lawyers, and televangelists get real. What a glorious day that would be!
See you at the celebratory dinner. (You bring champagne. I’ll bring my Tator Tot hotdish.)