At the moment, my friends from Spain, who are in the United States for the first time as of last night, are still asleep in their hotel room with jet lag. I, on the other hand, am torturing myself, for whatever reason, by watching a show on television about the United States' current political situation: Dems vs. Neocons, the upcoming primary elections, Huck vs. Rudy, Hill vs. Barack, polls showing Iowans don't like to move forward, etc., etc., etc. Everyone is so smart! I am watching it with the same fascination as I did when I was not physically or mentally able to tear myself away from watching Bindy Erwin on the Today show the other morning. You know, that little daughter of Steve Erwin, the man who used to wrestle crocodiles for a living before he was killed by a stingray dart to the heart? Yes, there she was in pigtails with four grown gay men dancing in step with each other and offering background vocals to her new rap song. It was stunning. But back to the show about politics, which, I guess, is Meet the Press. I am so excited by the idea that my friends, who are just in from Barcelona, might be accidentally seeing this accidentally in their hotel room and somehow connecting me with what's going on in the United States. I changed that channel and, while looking for a show that promoted the imprisonment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, ran across a show called, at least according the abbreviated description on the channel guide, Mid South Home O. I was momentarily elated, until I pressed the little button on the remote to find that "Home O" actually translated to "Home Options" in the show's title. It featured a woman with a very Southern accent talking about how tasteful and exquisite the new homes in "Bartlett Valley" are. It's pretty interesting, but not nearly as fascinating as a show I ran across a few Saturdays ago while trying to wake up, which I immediately did upon seeing it. It was a show about one house in the Mid-South; I suspect it was in or near Collierville. It was roughly 80,000 square feet and contained within its walls a car museum, full gymnasium, movie theater, library (with books purchased to match the color scheme, no less), a three-story entrance with three-story columns painted to look like marble, several kitchens, furniture-store paintings on each wall, and God only knows what else. And you thought money couldn't buy taste! And speaking of buying things, I cannot tell you how relieved I am that the numbers turned out to be good for retailers on "Black Friday" last week. Whew. I was so afraid that people wouldn't get themselves into more debt by going out and buying their children more toys, more iPods, more video games, more PlayStations (whatever those are), more designer clothes, and other essentials that they need to develop into intelligent adults, like their parents. It's wonderful that these people had the good sense to camp out in front of stores at 3 a.m. so they could be first in line to buy the same things every other parent in the country was in line to buy. They do, after all, have to fill the 4,000-square-foot playrooms with something. It's important for children to have a lot of expensive gadgets, because retail sales help the economy and without a healthy economy it would be hard for us to continue funding the occupation of several other countries so we can bring the good ol' U.S of A.-style democracy to their centuries-old societies. Those countries need to get with our program! They don't buy enough stuff in those countries. Heck, they probably don't even celebrate Christmas by walking around the mall with fake antlers on their heads. Terrorists! They all live in those tasteless little plaster huts and care nothing about decorating or having the latest Nintendo games. Can you imagine such an existence? I can't. I wish I could buy all of those who have become refugees because of the U.S. occupation a new plasma television screen so they could enjoy watching Ann Coulter on television, like I do. Maybe if the "surge" keeps working as brilliantly as it is they will someday be able to hear her wisdom for themselves firsthand. I think that if we just go ahead and declare war on Iran we might get a little bit closer to helping out all those poor people in that country who don't get to sleep in the parking lot at Best Buy to find all those great bargains. Well, I have to call my friends now and see if they are awake. I don't want them to miss Fox News with Chris Wallace because I think Fred Thompson might be on there talking about illegal "aliens." I would hate for them to miss out on that on their first visit to the "United" States. It is, after all, science fiction.