Paula Poundstone: “Pitch it to us, Obama!”

Paula Poundstone: n. an American standup comedian known for her self-deprecating wit and political commentary. One of my favorite guests on the NPR quiz show “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”

Pitch: v. to throw, usually with a particular objective or toward a particular point

This morning Paula Poundstone did a sweet little guest mini-essay on NPR’s Morning Edition, telling Obama not to drop the ball, not to let us –  his newly charged up minions – off the hook when the country has so much that needs doing.

I was listening to this as I was walking my dog – leash and plastic bag for poop in one hand, and in the other hand a bigger plastic bag for the recyclable litter that collects on my route every day.  (On one residential block I always find a couple of empty pint Canadian whiskey bottles – and wonder, is this person driving on my road every day?).  Since I’ve seen first hand the horrors of our plastic addiction, I’m rabid about this daily task.

Here’s what Paula said:

My parents are a part of the “Greatest Generation.” They pulled our nation through the Depression and World War II, and when they heard the call, they collected rubber….

It’s our turn now. Just ask us. We’ve adopted freeways and been up all night with night feedings. We’ll bring an unwrapped gift. We’ll bring canned goods. We’ll collect flip-tops. Yes, we will.

What do you need us to do, President-elect Obama? We could form a bucket brigade to bail out the banks. We could collect Band-Aids, not the useless little ones, for the health care system. We could take shifts forming human pyramids to hold up our crumbling bridges….

We can carry road-mending materials in our cars and fill pot holes during traffic jams. We can put a wishing well on Wall Street.

Our leadership has told us that we have a long, hard climb before us, which I would welcome, because I love the outdoors, and I could use the weight loss, but I have a bad feeling it has nothing to do with climbing.

I’m waiting. I’m punching my glove. It’s oiled and ready. Pitch it in here, sir.

Certainly it wouldn’t be a big sacrifice to ask all of us who walk to bring along a bag for recyclables.  We could each plant a tree. We could drop our furnace settings by 1 degree. We could go meat and dairy-free one day a week.  So much to do.

On Obama’s transition website, change.gov, he’s got a page where you can share your vision for his administration. This is the place to pitch your ideas on how he can keep us engaged in this work together.

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One response to “Paula Poundstone: “Pitch it to us, Obama!”

  1. “We could collect Band-Aids, not the useless little ones, for the health care system. We could take shifts forming human pyramids to hold up our crumbling bridges….”
    How much is it possible?