A fictional dialogue for you.
“Daddy,” asked a little girl, “What’s a boondoggle?” Normally I would give a long-winded and verbose definition to impress my kids. This time I had an answer right from the papers and Sacramento.
“A boondoggle is a fast train that goes nowhere. People do not want it because it costs too much, delivers too little, depends on the pipe dream of high ridership, and spends money that the state does not have. If you live in Los Angeles and want to go to San Francisco, you have to drive several hours to get to the train, pay to park your car, speed through farm land, and then reach a yet undetermined destination where you rent a car and drive a couple of hours to get to San Francisco”. (If you thought the sentence was long wait until you take the ride.)
“Daddy,” the child continued, “Who would ever want to do that?”
“No one that I know and no one who has any sense. From what I understand, most of the taxpayers don’t want it, either,” I answered.
“Are you a taxpayer, daddy?” she asked.
“Regretfully I am, since I will be stuck with the bill even though I will never ride the boondoggle,” I sighed.
“Daddy, who does want the boondoggle train?” (Talk about picking the low-hanging fruit.)
“Well, the main person is a man named Jerry Brown,” I responded.
“What does he do for a living?” she wanted to know.
“He is our Democratic governor,” I muttered.
“Doesn’t he know what a boondoggle is?” she queried.
“Well, I would certainly think so but from his actions I doubt his mental and business acumen,” I responded.
“What is an ‘ack-oh-man’?” she wanted to know.
“Acumen is just a big word that means being smart,” I responded.
“Shouldn’t the governor be smart enough not to want to make us build a boondoggle train?” she probed. At this point the thoughtful father gave up because he had no answers.
As we all know, one cannot avoid answering a child’s question by saying nothing. So after a few seconds the little girl chimes in again, “Daddy, you still did not answer me. Why would anyone want to build a boondoggle train?” she implored.
I cannot answer the question so I appeal to the readers. Can you answer the little girl? Surely somewhere, somehow, someplace there must be a RATIONAL answer.
Signed, Mark Meuser.
This was first posted on the Patch.