All day today, the financial world has been on Pinterest pins and pine needles about the outcome of the so-called “fiscal cliff” stipulated by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (automatic spending cuts and tax increases that go into effect at midnight). This poses a dilemma for the author of Snark on the Side.
Let me explain.
You see, in order to preserve an optimal level of snark, I have a limited quantity of panic/anxiety to disperse to the world. As a concerned citizen, I feel that some small measure of that anxiety is due to be spent on the outlook for the U.S. economy in 2013.
On the other hand, the national media and interest groups on both left and right have done a pretty impressive job of panicking on my behalf, and as the last day of 2012 ticks away, I find myself approaching my own [fiscal] cliff, which is of immense personal import.
Again, permit me to explain.
Knowing myself to be a particularly adept procrastinator, and yet having the goal of taking more deliberate risks as a writer this year, I entered into a friendly bargain with my cousin, a fellow writer. We agreed in early November that each of us would submit five pieces of writing (poems, short stories, or the like) to publications by the end of the year. To add teeth to our ultimatum, we decided that an appropriate penalty for failure would be the voluntary relinquishment of chocolate for the entire month of January.
Now that, my friends, is an outcome worthy of panic. (Perhaps that would have spurred Congress to reach a compromise before the last minute!)
Alas, the chocolate cliff is approaching, and my submission count stands at exactly 0. I have until midnight, but the probability of success is waning. Looking at it another way, I have until midnight to consume a month’s worth of chocolate. Oh, darling chocolate. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Alas, poor Chocolate. I knew thee once. Parting is such sweet, sweet sorrow.
Thank goodness for gummi bears.