Scalzi has done it again.
Congratulations! You've been given one million dollars. What would you do with it? But wait! There's more -- seems you've been given two million dollars. Would you do anything different with the second million than you would with the first?
Let's skip the responsible stuff -- sharing with the family and careful investments, that's a given -- and go straight for pouring that money down the drain like any good American.
The First Mil --
Mrs. Linklater has one heck of a tall evergreen in her front yard -- the quintessential giant Christmas Tree.
She has always wanted to light it up with a million tiny bulbs and decorate it with those handpainted, wooden nutcrackers and Swedish horse ornaments for the holidays. It would take hundreds of them.
But to do all that would first require a cherry picker to reach the top of the tree. [Not to mention all the Swedes she'd have to hire to carve the ornaments.]
So with her first million she would rent -- NO! She could BUY -- a cherry picker with a person to operate it and another person to festoon the tree with the lights and hang the ornaments -- according to Mrs. Linklater's exact specifications.
In fact -- wait a minute -- all that money is giving her BIGGER ideas -- she could do Hannukah, too. Put up blue and silver twinkling lights first, then do the extravagant Christmas decorations. She's getting into this now -- because New Year's would be her next holiday.
With a genuine imitation New York Size New Year's Crystal Ball at the top with the voice of Dick Clark announcing the countdown to midnight.
Followed by a wearing o' millions of tiny green lights on St. Paddy's Day. With corn beef and cabbage on rye sandwiches hanging from the branches.
This would lead to a record number of red lights and five pound boxes of Godiva chocolates in heart shaped boxes hanging up to the top for Valentine's Day.
Mother's Day [fingerpaintings], Father's Day [loud ties], Graduation Day [empty beer bottles], Somebody's Wedding Day [envelopes full of money], Fourth of July [Weber kettles], Labor Day [hot dogs and buns].
For Halloween, how about a real witch on a broom who flies back and forth on a wire between the chimney and the top of the tree. And a boatload of pumpkins and trick or treat candy hanging all over it.
And think of how many stuffed turkeys would decorate it for Thanksgiving. Is there a way to do potatoes and gravy?
Not to mention all the fun Mrs. Linklater could have with Gay Pride Day, Election Day, Cinco de Mayo, Flag Day -- the list never ends.
Next thing, the Queer Eye guys would be begging for a chance to do a makeover. Jimmy Kimmel would make fun of it. Jon Stewart would just stare at it. Letterman would do a top ten list. Jay Leno would send his intern. Dateline would try to uncover a conspiracy. Ted Koppel? It could happen. Everybody would be hanging at the tree.
You'd come. Betcha.
The Second Mil:
Mrs. Linklater would use that to build a warehouse to store the cherry picker and all the lights and decorations.
The Serious Two Million:
Mrs. Linklater would start a foundation that builds safe houses around the country for victims of domestic violence. With a goal of having at least one house for every community in every state. With emergency services to include an unmarked bulletproof van for special rescues and trips to court, free medical and dental, tutoring for kids, an allowance to buy clothes for job interviews, and one year's rent money for a new place to live.