I've been thinking about a career change lately. I like to get into something that's much easier, more glamorous and involves drinking in an official capacity. Hence, an ambassadorship. Being a Los Angeles liberal, I must know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody on the Obama campaign, so I would like to make official my desire to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium.
I know ambassadorships usually go to campaign donors and workers and volunteers and old friends and such, but Obama has already promised a different kind of presidency. What better way to prove those aren't idle words than sending me to Brussels?
Now, you're probably thinking the best ambassadorship would be in London, Paris or Rome. But you are thinking incorrectly and from the wrong angle. Those positions would require lots of work. Take Italy. Right now, 26 CIA officials are on trial in absentia in Italy because they kidnapped a suspected terrorist (he wasn't) in Italy and sent him to Egypt to be tortured. You think I want to get in the middle of that just so I can get fresh bufala mozzarella? England and France still simmer with tension about Iraq and just think about the number of treaties we've signed with those two nations over the past two and half centuries. They probably have to be renewed and reviewed every year, even though we stopped trading molasses in 1860. Hell, England just zagged when we wanted them to zig and joined a coalition banning the use of cluster bombs. We had no idea they were going to do that. We thought they would stand with us on the continued use of cluster bombs. Can you imagine the cables and faxes and emails and teleconferences I'd be a part of this week? And I have to defend the United States' position on unexploded bomblets that kill children who confuse the birightly colored devices with rubber balls? Thanks, but no thanks. The mildest problem I would face would be in France, where angry Boeing execs would be getting on my case because the Defense Department just awarded a huge contract to Airbus. A desire to put out giant weekly infernos was not the inspiration for my career change.
No, Belgium is the place for me. Do you know how many treaties and agreements we have with Belgium? Basically one. An agreement that companies who do business in both countries won't be subjected to double taxation. And I guess probably also an implicit agreement to not bomb each other. I could spend every weekend in the countryside getting blitzed on Orval (one of the world's great beers) and keep those agreements in place with hardly a modicum of effort.
Belgium knows how to make the best fries, and I would have no problem dipping them in mayonnaise as I absolutely love mayonnaise. There are little friterie stands everywhere and when I'm sick of that (which would be approximately never), I can get crispy little sweet waffles every ten feet or so. Man, I even like brussels sprouts. Seriously. Saute them up with some bacon and chicken broth like Contessa and you will rock your mouth with flavor. Plus, going back to the beer (as I would in real life), from what I understand, basically the entire country checks out of work around 5pm and sits outside quaffing giant steins of ale. Holy Christ, sign me up for that twice!
Basically, this would be my day. Wake up, have amazing coffee and a pastry. Go to the office, make sure the United States doesn't invade Belgium. (NOTE: Task will become much easier starting January 2008) Have a meeting with some company that wants to start exporting chocolates to America. Punch out at 4:45pm and unwind with a draft Westmalle tripel. Work on my Flemish with the ale maiden. Attend a cocktail gala with the Brussels establishment, shake hands, nod a lot, accept congratulations that the U.S. finally joined the Kyoto pact.
So look out, U.S. Ambassador To Belgium Sam Fox! I'm gunning for your job starting next year! It sounds like President Obama won't be renewing your post anyway!