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Toward Fairness — Some Modest Proposals

The other night, my wife and I were watching a rerun of the classic film Gilda. As Rita Hayworth did her sultry number "Put the Blame on Mame," my wife said, "It should be illegal for any woman to be that beautiful."  (She's also said that about Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie, and most of the women in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.) Now, as a red-blooded American male, I'm not in favor of banning Rita Hayworth movies or the SI Swimsuit Edition, but my wife is right: it is unfair that some women can be that much more beautiful than others. I think most women would agree. Let's face it, unequal beauty has been a serious women's issue since the days of Snow White. So as much as I hate to suggest it, the president can do something about this unfairness: create National Disfigurement Clinics. When a girl turns 17, she'll be given a beauty rating by a government board. If she's too beautiful, she'll be sent to a clinic where she'll have a limb amputated, or have acid thrown in her face, or receive 3rd degree burns, just to equalize things for the girls who aren't as beautiful. What could be more fair?

And finally, what about my parents' poker analogy, that I had to "play the cards I was dealt"? It's true that with an honest, random shuffle, everyone at the poker table has an equal chance of getting a good hand. But if I get dealt four kings, and no one else even gets a pair, is that really fair? Of course not. So the president should propose a law that all decks of cards must contain only the Seven of Diamonds. (Seven is the average value of the cards in a deck, and everyone likes diamonds.) Consider Gin Rummy with a deck like this. Haven't we all wanted to be dealt Gin?  Now we will -- every time! And think of Blackjack: you're dealt a 14, you say "hit me," and...21!  Finally, imagine the joy of sitting down at that poker table and getting dealt 5-of-a-kind! Not only that, you'd know exactly what your opponents had! True, the betting wouldn't be all that interesting, but that's a small price to pay for perfect, total fairness. Everybody wins, nobody loses.  Cheating would become a thing of the past.  Okay, so the Las Vegas casinos would close down, and the World Series of Poker would be canceled, and no one would ever play cards again because it would be completely boring. But it would be fair. And that's what's really important.  Isn't it?