The blizzard was my fault. It could have been prevented with a personal check for $55.25.
That's right: Every drift, every stuck car, every stranded traveler is my responsibility. Just two weeks earlier, while checking out the winter L. L. Bean catalogue for the final time, I decided that our warm weather and lack of snow warranted negating a previous decision to purchase a pair of Bean's Woodsman Chukka Boots ("sole design provides good traction but prevents mud and snow build-up"). Two weeks later, 20 inches of snow was falling into my Nikes.
I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, we'd been having such a mild winter simply because in December, right after that first large unexpected snowfall, I went out and bought a down jacket. I was ready for frigid temperatures and Washington joined the sun belt. You can thank me for the last two months of balminess at the same time you're cursing me for the blizzard.
Speaking of balmy, you can also thank me for the mild summer we just experienced. After years of sweltering in a living room with an inefficient air conditioner, I finally purchased a room fan to cool things down after suffering through the first heat wave of the summer.
It was also the last heat wave of the summer -- 90-degree days immediately became as rare as baseball at RFK.
Weather isn't the only area affected by my consumer decisions. The recent collapse of OPEC's pricing strategy and the resulting decline in gasoline prices can be traced directly to my purchase last July of a gas-efficient subcompact.
The domestic marketplace isn't exempt from my influence, either. A year ago, I purchased a small personal computer. The price was quite low and the machine offered many features. Today that same machine costs less than half what I paid for it; for the same money, I could now buy a computer with 400 percent greater memory, color capabilities, superbits, hyperbytes and lots more.
It's not that I make wrong decisions, you understand. It's just that whatever decision I make, an equal but opposite result occurs. Rather than worry over this predicament, however, I ask myself the question any red-blooded American asks in a similar situation: How can I make some money off this?
Starting next week, I'll be hanging up my shingle on K Street amidst the megalawyers and superlobbyists. With my power, I'll make things happen faster than Edward Bennett Williams can say "Your Honor, I object." Do you have a candidate in a close election? I'll contribute to his opponent's campaign fund. Does your association want wide ties to come back into style? I'll stock my wardrobe with thin ones. Are you a defense contractor who wants a bigger budget for the Army? I'll enlist in the Navy.
Just don't ask me to bet on the Redskins.