My fellow Americans,

This evening, I'd like to take some time, (before the good TV really starts) to announce my intentions to run for President of the United States in 2012.  I know this may come out of the blue for some of you but I started a grass-roots campaign a few months ago and I've been stumping and caucusing and other words you only hear ever four years.  That being said, I'm really excited to present my platform to both of the readers of my blog.

Before I lay out my plan, I need to tuck in my five-year-old, because that's the kind of father I am.  I know my times-tables and I always keep a tire-gauge in my shirt pocket.  You can take that to the bank.


I'm back.  I'm a disciplinarian and asked my eldest to please turn down the Black Keys before bed.  And before you think he's some hipster kid, let me assure you it's not all just listening to indie-rock, smoking Parliment cigarettes and sporting a lumberjack beard.  He's balanced.  As a matter of fact, and I swear this is true, the next track on his bedtime CD is 'We Built This City' by Starship.  He loves that song too, and not even ironically.  This is the same song that Blender Magazine ranked as the worst song EVER.  It beat out Achy Breaky Heart, Don't Worry Be Happy and Party All the Time.  But I'd still choose it as the best of that bunch for a couples skate.

But I digress.  I'd like to start off this campaign with a few promises:

First my lips...No. New. Phonebooks.  That's right everyone, the four different phonebooks that arrive on your doorstep or stuffed in your mailbox every year are gone.  We live in a world where, no kidding, on my coffee table are two laptops, a phone and an iPad.  If I can't find a phone number with one of those devices, then I should be beaten with all of them.  We really don't need to waste billions of pages each year to list numbers that none of us need.  It's 2012, and I'm ready to draw a line in the sand.  Not only that, but this will certainly put an end to companies branding themselves with ridiculous names like AAAA Comic Books and AAAAA Electronics Repair.

Which leads me to number two.  Let's stop with the voicemail.  We all have Caller-ID.  When my iPhone buzzes, I can see who's calling. My father, bless his heart, to this day identifies himself when I answer his call on my cell.

Me, answering phone: "Hey."

My dad: "Hi, Josh.  It's Dad."

Me: "I know."

He's done this for as long as I can recall and I continue to find it adorable, which is not a word I toss around lightly.

(Sidenote: Vibrate is NOT silent.  If I set my phone to vibrate and leave it on one of those stainless steel trays that my dentist keeps all their tools on, and the phone rings: it's not silent is it?  In addition, lets get the Apple people to work on some location-based software that sets everyone's phone is set to vibrate when they enter a meeting, a movie theater, a restaurant or an all-night-tattoo parlor.)

Regardless, if I see that you called my phone, I'll call you back.  We'll have a handshake agreement that when we call each other, no voicemail is necessary.  We can text.  We can call.  But voicemail at this point is superfluous.

Speaking of handshake agreements.  Here's another one.  And my wife will kill me for saying this.  But can we all, as a nation agree that Thank You notes are unnecessary.  When I give you a gift, and you say 'thanks', I can accept the fact your thankful and grateful.  When I receive I gift, I also will acknowledge your thoughtfulness and generosity.  And we can leave it at that.  You don't need to sit down, put pen to paper, lick an envelope and buy a stamp just to thank me again with paper. I know the Post Office is hurting and all, but at some point the carrier pigeon business had to pack things up too.

And while we're phasing things out, let's get rid of the penny.  That's right, I said it.  Lincoln is already on the five dollar bill, he doesn't need a penny too.  Do you know how much money we could save by retiring the penny?  100 million dollars a year.  Put that money into our education system or the Seattle Mariners.  While I'm at it, let's do away with the one-dollar bill too.  Let's convert it to a coin and save the country about 5.5 billion over the next 30 years.  It may seem like I'm just pulling stats out of thin air, but I find this website Google is pretty powerful, people. 

I'm cancelling the ABC sitcom 'Work It,' and I'm deporting all who had anything to do with it to Greenland.

Here's something else for you to chew on, and I've been actively using this, dying for it to catch on.  We need a new piece of punctuation.  When someone sends me a 'Happy Birthday' text, I'm limited two responses:

"Thanks!" and "Thanks."

The former comes off way too enthusiastic.  It's as if I'm nine years old and my Birthday is still the highlight of my year.  It seems like overkill now.  The latter seems dry and disinterested.  The sender had thoughtfulness and took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday; I don't want to belittle their expression with something that translates roughly to: "meh."  So I propose using the little-used ^ symbol to designate mild enthusiasm.

I'd also like to gather some of the smartest minds in sports, and sit them in a room for a week and let them work out the following: elimination of the BCS, elimination of the DH, unified rules for fantasy sports, and the implementation of instant replay and a computerized strike-zone in baseball.  We can do this and I've got ideas.  We've got ridiculous resolution on our TVs that let us see blades of turf.  

Here's another one that just occured to me while watching MTV.  No more white sunglasses.  I'll leave it at that.

Think I'm done?  Not yet.  Here's another one^  We all hate our driver's license photos, right?  What if I told you that while you're at the DMV, you could get your photo taken the way you always have at no additional charge...but...for $25 extra, you could get a professional photo on-site? You'd have your choice of backgrounds (think trees, clouds, lasers), and the photographer would even touch up any stray, whispy hairs or blemishes.  You'd have a license of which you could be proud.  And while you're's another idea: Every year when you buy your tabs, for an extra $5,000 you could get a special license plate that would allow you to break the speed limit on freeways.  I figure if you've got the extra 5K, you're probably gonna have no problem paying the ticket and you've probably got a cool enough car that I'd like to see go faster.  In both this instances we generate a little something extra for the state and the consumer gets a little something too.

Another handshake agreement: We're making 'teh' a word.  It means the same thing as 'the' and is pronounced identically.

I look forward to your vote in November and hosting my next fantasy draft in the Oval Office.

Good night.