Green: The ultimate political gang

By Molly Green

Last week, six senators — three Republicans and three Democrats — formed a coalition that… Last week, six senators — three Republicans and three Democrats — formed a coalition that will work to solve the evil budget crisis with the powers of bi-partisanship and compromise.

Meanwhile, Planet Earth rolls its eyes.

This coalition — known only as the Gang of Six — is just one in a long line of political “gangs” that have banded together to solve pressing national issues, which range from debt or corruption to Sen. Tom Udall’s hair loss.

You might have heard of the Gang of Eight, which is the collective term for the eight leaders in Congress. This group includes the leaders from each party of both the Senate and the House, as well as the chairs and ranking minority members of the Senate Committee and the House Committee for Intelligence.

The lesser-known Gang of Seven is the term given to a group of freshmen Republican U.S. Representatives elected to the Congress in 1990. According to Google, the Gang of Five is “the most active ‘Land Before Time’ forum online.”

And who could forget “The Apple Dumpling Gang” — featuring two bumbling criminals and a posse of adorable, precocious children destined to inhabit the depths of the Disney Vault, where they are forced to sustain themselves on Disney Princess lollipops and “Lizzie McGuire” reruns.

These gangs are often highly specialized to meet the challenge of a specific problem or task. A lot of times, it’s the fastest, most efficient way to get something done.

So I’ve been thinking about putting together my own fantasy gang — a gang comprised of politicians whom I personally favor — which will rally to tackle an issue very dear to me, by instigating a nationwide assault on grammatically incorrect street signs.

We’ve all seen them: the misused apostrophes (or should I say, “apostrophe’s”?), the incorrect spellings, the missing hyphens, the inconsistent capitalization. For decades, these monstrosities have plagued this country, but now it’s time we say, “No more!”

Given the severity of this issue, carefully choosing the members of my gang is of utmost importance. Not only do I need the most-qualified, grammatically upstanding individuals, but I need to look for group cohesion. I need people who will balance each other out — people who have different perspectives but will ultimately get along. And I need people who know how to party.

After much deliberation, I’m quite sure I’ve managed to draft the greatest gang on Earth.

The members include Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, his eminence Kevin Bacon and Pikachu (on a part-time basis only).

Each member of the gang has a very specific role to play.

I’ve mostly given Boehner a spot in the gang simply because I owe it to him. I’ve made more Boehner jokes than the number of times Boehner has cried shamelessly in public — which is a lot. Boehner is also a conservative; a strict dictionary constructionist. He’s no fan of some of the newer, more “progressive” grammatical rules — such as fragments used merely for effect (he deplores E. E. Cummings).

Clinton and Collins are the brains. They’re the only ones I would trust to make actual grammatical decisions, and they’re also my personal heroes. So mostly, this is just an excuse for me to hang out with them as much as I want.

Bacon, of course, will take care of the manual labor. He’ll be the one physcially removing the erroneous signs and constructing the correct ones in their place. While doing this, he will perform select numbers from “Footloose” to much applause. The addition of Bacon to the gang is crucial, because it will catapult all members’ Bacon Numbers — including my own — to a 1, making each of us key links in Bacon chains and frequent participants on The Oracle of Bacon.

Putin will be our muscle. He’ll take care of any dissenters using special techniques that took years for him to master in the Siberian tundra. To conceal his identity, Putin will wear a Richard Nixon mask and speak through a vocoder.

As for Pikachu, his role in the gang is purely for image. He’ll be the star — the face of the movement! All across the country his sweet Pokemon face will adorn billboards, commercials, McDonald’s Happy Meal bags — and all other sorts of propaganda — that read “Pikachu, I choose correctly punctuated street signs!”

We’ll probably have him do an R&B cover of Redbone’s classic “Come and Get Your Love,” but instead we’ll call it “Comma Get Your Love.” The music video will feature Chris Brown.

Our ultimate goal is the complete and utter annihilation of every single grammatically incorrect sign, ever. First Pennsylvania, then — the world.

I call this tactic the “Sarah Reagle” — named for a friend who had an unfortunately persistent pantry moth problem. The Sarah Reagle involves the systematic eradication of pests using every means of termination at one’s disposal — including poison, brute force and hatred. Ruthless in its execution, the Sarah Reagle offers no mercy. Every misworded sign must be destroyed.

Of course, some people might think that the Gang of Five and One-Half is frivolous or unnecessary. But then again, so is “Mulligrubs” — a 1980s Australian children’s show featuring a giant blue face with hooker-inspired makeup. There is no reason why this show should have been brought into existence, let alone shown to children who will no doubt have nightmares for the rest of their lives.

But it was. And I know that this is entirely specious logic, but if there is a place for “Mulligrubs” and the creepy way that face giggles in its absurdly high-pitched voice, then there is a place for the Gang of Five and One-Half.

Seriously, type “Mulligrubs” into the YouTube search bar. Then e-mail Molly at [email protected] to discuss.