Bateman: No worries, the Moustache Column saves the world

By Oliver Bateman

Since this is our last column of the summer, we’ve decided to devote it to the most important… Since this is our last column of the summer, we’ve decided to devote it to the most important task of all: Solving the world’s problems. Although many of you might think otherwise, it’s every bit as easy to resolve seemingly intractable difficulties like Hurricane Katrina and conflict in Darfur as it is to write a killer online dating profile or draft an awesome fantasy basketball lineup. Given that space is at a premium here in The Pitt News, let’s quit fussing around and start fixing what ails the cosmos.

Big Problem No. 1: Oil. Those of you who have cars know how expensive this stuff can be, and even those of you who don’t probably have parents who are upset about the whole oil situation. No matter how you slice it, gas sure costs a lot more than it once did. What can be done? Are we destined to default on our student loans and adopt a life of crime to afford enough fuel for a day trip to Kennywood? Friends, this issue is so simple that even a dull-witted infant could figure it out: Sell a car to every person on the planet. The reasoning behind this solution is that more cars will lead to more drilling, since drilling is how we get precious oil. Once every patch of empty, unused land has been drilled down to the earth’s core, we will have access to so much black gold that gas stations will have to pay customers to take it off their hands. Not only that, but we’ll have to develop thousands of great new roads and parking garages to accommodate the influx of vehicles. Remember how great it was when Schenley Plaza was just a parking lot? Pretty soon we’ll be paving that big green waste of space and erecting a 30-story garage there.

Big Problem No. 2: Student loan debt. Later this year, the amount of outstanding student loan debt will crack $1 trillion. Although that doesn’t sound like much in the grand scheme of things — portly pitcher C.C. Sabathia alone is worth $150 million, after all — it’s a high price to pay to make Intro to Psychology available to the masses. Instead of college — which, let’s face it, is super nerdy — people should start taking advantage of the exciting free lives that are already at their fingertips. Why aspire to become an astronaut or a civil engineer when — for less than the salary they’re willing to pay you to push a broom at Walmart — you could crash on the pull-out sofa at your parents’ house and devote your life to becoming a level-96 Dark Elf Mage Ranger or the greatest Super Smash Bros. player the world has ever seen? Not only that, but if you get yourself hired to work a mindless part-time job in the service sector, you’ll have plenty of time to focus on the binge drinking and recreational toking that will imbue your miserable existence with no small amount of temporary significance. Other than beating the occasional hangover and bumming money to keep your MMOG subscription alive, this loan-less lifestyle is about as untroubled as it gets.

Big Problem No. 3: The crime wave. As evidenced by the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony Trial of the Century, in this land there is no justice to be had anywhere. Criminals run wild on our streets, slaughtering at will, and the police are powerless to stop them. For how much longer will we tolerate mass murder, you ask? Well, we’ll tolerate it until someone produces an awesome reality show in which contestants — preferably ones with lots of training on violent first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty 15: Shattering Civilian Skulls with a Big Hammer — will hunt these ne’er-do-wells down using tanks, jeeps and whatever other state-of-the-art equipment we’re not using to assist with the “surge” in Afghanistan. In addition to making the world safe for Walmart shoppers, this show will break the stranglehold on lowbrow entertainment currently held by MMA pay-per-views, pro wrestling and stock-car racing.

Big Problem No. 4: Darfur and so forth. Regardless of how fun it is to rock a comfy American Apparel tri-blend T-shirt emblazoned with “Save [Insert Hip Regional Hotspot Here]” on it, the time has come for us to address the plight of people trapped in various out-of-the-way locations. Fortunately, the top-ranked political scientist Thomas Friedman has already developed an iron-clad law of nature that provides our solution: No two countries with McDonald’s restaurants, Starbucks cafés and combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/Long John Silver’s franchises have ever gone to war with one another. In order to resolve these dangerous conflicts without bloodshed but instead plenty of delicious $1 burritos, we must subsidize the construction of as many institutes of higher eating as possible. Then jobs will become more plentiful than ever before — can you imagine how many cashiers a nation with more than 1 million Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/Long John Silver’s mega-restaurants would employ? And for countries in the grip of brutal famines, we could simply borrow a page from the Oakland model and build $5 pizzerias (scaled to whatever the local equivalent of $5 is, of course) until the entire population reaches epic proportions. Since we once used a diet of three $5 pizzas a day to hardgain 75 pounds, we can personally attest to its efficacy.

There you have it, folks. In one terse-yet-compelling column, we have crafted a blueprint for success that might even surpass the glorious Constitution produced by our nation’s godlike Founding Fathers. Meanwhile, over in Washington, those legislative lazybones are busy trying to squeeze more pork into various pork-laden bills that are already filled to bursting with pork. And that’s just not kosher.

Oliver Lee Bateman is the creative genius behind the award-winning Moustache Think Tank of America. You can read our Money-Back Guarantee With America at and keep up with our latest advice on how to make stuff better by making it less bad at!/MoustacheClubUS.