Once you lose your integrity, the rest is easy.
Welcome to the Season of Want.
Now, it's true that most people want something most every day of the year. But at no time do we want so much in so short a time as we do right now.
Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. No wonder Sunday is the day of rest.
The need for Want reached such a fever pitch this past week that some folks became enraged over not having access to a sports channel on their TV sets — the single purpose of which, apparently, is to watch a single football game. No doubt while munching on a Twinkie ... which people this week wanted for the first time in decades after discovering they actually did have an expiration date.
This is what separates us from the apes. Scientists might have discovered that our simian brethren go through their own version of a midlife crisis, but it's doubtful that Twinkies, pigskin and Apples were the causes.
It's a month before Christmas, of course, and unless there's a Mayan reboot, we'll culminate the Season of Want by lavishing gifts upon ourselves ... just in time to go barreling over the Fiscal Cliff like poor Max on the back end of the Grinch's sleigh after the unsuccessful attempt to take Christmas away from all the Whos in Whoville.
And while each year we promise we won't be fooled again by the crush of sales promotions, it's off to the stores and malls we go, earlier and earlier, so that now Black Friday starts midday on Thursday — with shoppers lined up and camped out to not only sate the Want, but to be the first to do so.
Odd, really, that no one blinks an eye at the notion of camping out in the wee hours in front of a closed store (or even parking trailers overnight in its lot). Yet, we've all seen the rockets' red glare in the eyes of naysayers when advocates for the homeless suggest they have a place to camp.
After all, the homeless don't really have much use for large-screen, high-definition, three-dimension television sets ... with or without the Pac-12 Network.
Homeless camps fall into that other category ... the yin to the yang, the carrot cake to the Twinkie, the Bobby to the J.R. ... those things we don't want, at least in our backyard.
When the Solomon-like deal was struck nimbly this week to split the Cherry Creek housing proposal in half, it meant the Mail Tribune's own backyard would be the recipient of something the good folks of east Medford were trying to kibosh.
We here at the Muted Trumpet don't have a park to protect, but we do have a relatively quiet neighborhood and a handy sushi restaurant. Still, it certainly wouldn't be kosher to tell our east Medfordian readers that, for the sake of sukiyaki, we don't want what they wanted to reject.
So we welcome our eventual Cherry Creek neighbors ... even though the only creek at our place comes from Paul Fattig's puns.
Individuals want, but it takes a village to not want. Shady Cove doesn't want a municipal water district. Honest. You can try, try and try, try and try but not even Jimmy Cliff (no relation to Fiscal) will help you succeed at last.
White City, we found out, doesn't want to be a city. Perhaps the unincorporated district should just change its name to Blank. The reason behind the undesire is — what else? — taxes.
No one wants taxes, unless they're in someone else's financial neighborhood. Or, apparently, in our cars.
Unsatisfied with the side effects of its demand that we get better fuel mileage, the government is now considering taxing us for the miles we drive. The money would take care of the roads, which we will drive upon with our more-efficient vehicles. They'll monitor us through GPS systems, meaning those leisurely Sunday drives and our American right to get lost will cost us more.
I'd say it's unAmerican to make money off our obsessive incompetence ... but look at the $325 million up for grabs in Saturday's Powerball.
The mileage tax will have to make a special dispensation for — where else? — Ashland, which, with its road diet and bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly mandate, will have to put GPS tracking devices on residents' ankles and bicycles in order to pay for the new traffic pattern at the redesigned Plaza.
I'm not sure that anyone in Ashland would want that; then again, they'll just add it to the list. Ashlanders, who couldn't live with Dignity over Death with Dignity, already don't want so much.
Smart meters ... cell towers ... Californians ... plastic grocery bags ... half-nekkid ladies ... expanded ski trails ... dogs in Lithia Park ... nuclear anything ... political action committees ... genetically modified fruits, meats, vegetables — or Californians ... drive-thru windows ... adults marching in the Halloween parade ... vaccinations ... unions in the food co-op ... Californians ... stuffed bears sitting on benches outside of chocolate shops ...
Well, you've got to stand for something — or you'll fall for anything, said the Three Wise Men (Aaron Tippin, Malcolm X, and Peter Marshall ... the former U.S. Senate chaplain, not the "Hollywood Squares" host). These days, more than likely, we're standing in line.
What we're in line for is unclear ... but we've made our own handbaskets and ol' J.R. likely will be there to greet us.
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ... whether he wants to be or not.