I wrote the following political satire piece for my “Adventures in Living in the World as It Is” series in December, 2009.
THE POLICE STATE BOARD GAME
GoverCorp vs. You
In this game, players vie with THE POLICE STATE to get around the board with a minimum of hassle. They win by overcoming barricades, set-backs, barbed wire, traps, concrete mazes, and other obstacles, to arrive at the point where they began. Each player meets different challenges.
Tourists, travelers—and anyone who visits an airport—must negotiate airport security. Cop an attitude and miss your plane. (Go back five spaces.)
Travelers, you can win this round. If security drones mess with you, demand their names and write them down. (Skip three spaces.) Do this loudly. (Skip ten spaces.) If you can get them to write their own names, skip ten spaces and win an extra turn. If you miss your plane, call the media and yell into the phone at the airport until they find you another flight. (Take an extra turn.)
Federal security personnel only have jobs because they failed reading, writing, and arithmetic in elementary school. They’d probably be in jail if they weren’t paid by the police state to fleece you.
The doctor and all health care providers with licensed signatures must file Medicare, Medicaid, and third-party payer claims; document everything done and not done; be there for everyone’s crises; listen to everyone’s complaints; manage their illnesses; and, when time allows, save their lives.
Doctors win by avoiding insurance hassles. “Oh, you’re having a heart attack? Call Dr. Obama. He’ll call me if your policy covers heart attacks. Oh, he doesn’t answer the phone at night? You should have bought a better government.” Then hang up and go back to sleep.
If you really have killed a patient, lose five turns and reapply for your license, if you decide it’s worth it. If you decide to retire, get five extra turns. If it’s a nuisance malpractice suit, go back five spaces. You can go to jail instead of settling and skip ten spaces in THE POLICE STATE.
Teachers have to maintain control in the classroom without using discipline. Even a yell is emotional abuse in THE POLICE STATE.
Teachers win by doing what they must. Do not attract attention from THE POLICE STATE. Ignore it as much as possible, unless it is in your face making unreasonable demands, or if you’ve hit a child. (Go back ten spaces.) How hard? (If s/he is bruised, go back five more spaces.) If there are major injuries, go back to the beginning and choose a different profession.
If you can teach the school board something about education, skip five spaces and get three extra turns. If kids enjoy school, the probability of your wanting to hit them, principals, school board members, parents, congressmen, or presidents plummets.
Developers, contractors, and builders must negotiate forests of permits, licenses, fees, city and county parents, planning boards, and the bureaucratic jungle before you can build. Bribes and favors are the easiest way to do business in THE POLICE STATE.
Builders win by doing the job right. (Lose five turns for each collapsed building. If anyone was hurt or killed, start over and apply for a government job.) Go back five spaces for every problem from shoddy construction. Win by remembering pipes break on holidays. You’ll sleep easier and won’t have to schmooze as many politicians in THE POLICE STATE.
Joe Blow, angry women, hot chicks, impotent men, red-necks, teenagers, bruthas—and everyone with with an attitude and a steering wheel—must negotiate traffic, congestion, stop lights, road safety hazards, other bad drivers, suicidal pedestrians, errant pets, parking problems, car trouble, passenger distractions, and other demands that have nothing to do with driving. Impatience attracts everything from fender-benders to fatal accidents, and of course, traffic tickets. Go back five spaces for slugging a policeman, even if he deserved it.
Tips for success: About that traffic violation: Did anybody die? Better show up in court. (Lose five turns.) Anybody hurt? Be there. (Go back ten spaces.) Anybody’s car damaged? Ditto. (Go back five spaces.) No damage to anyone or anything? OK. Just pay the fine, but you have a record now. Watch your step, because every forward move counts against you in:
THE POLICE STATE