Jack and Jill

OK, so Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water. But, listen, even water is expensive nowadays. So Jack just innocently asked, “Do you really have to wash your hair every night?” Then, of course, they started getting into it, and Jill became pretty damn passive-aggressive, and unnecessarily, I might add. So then Jack fell down—maybe on accident, maybe on purpose—and he broke his crown. And, with no health insurance, they were both shit outta luck.

Humpty Dumpty

Sure, in a perfect world, we’d all help put Humpty Dumpty back together, whether we were on the king’s payroll or not. There’s no question about that. But the world isn’t lilacs and lollipops anymore, kid. I can barely afford all your mother’s pill … pillows, all the pillows she insists on sleeping with at night. So, if there’s some sort of freak accident with a wall? Forget about it. But everyone needs to take a certain level of responsibility for themselves in a time like this, and let’s face it: Humpty was carrying—what, 20, 30 extra el-bees on him? That’s just reckless. I don’t care if you are the king, you can’t cover that premium and sleep easy at night.

Old Mother Hubbard

If you want to talk about being irresponsible, this Mother Hubbard is the Cadillac of not thinking about anyone but herself. What is this old woman doing owning a pet in this economy in the first place? You know she’s tearing through her retirement funds like nobody’s business, so of course her cupboards are bare, cupboards that are probably made of mahogany with gold-plated handles, since people believed in unicorns before they believed that this bubble would ever pop. But, OK, it doesn’t all fall on her. Where are her kids? You work hard to raise children, set them up nice in the world, and once times get a little tougher than usual they abandon you. Well, I feel sorry for that damn dog. He’s the only innocent one in this whole stinkin’ mess.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky …” Ha! A diamond. Give me a break. The only place anyone’s going to see a diamond nowadays is in a geometry book. And, if some guy proposes to you and shows you some ring with a shiny rock, you run the other way. And fast. Like a gazelle. Because he’s mixed up in some kind of silly racket, let me tell you.

Jack Be Nimble

Jack is clearly on drugs. And, sure, the temptation to do some uppers and escape from all this lousy stuff is there. I’m not immune to that; I’m a human being. But, honey, look where it gets you. You spend your days jumping over some candlestick like some sort of circus monkey, but who’s taking care of your family? Jack’s probably got three kids wearing Ziploc bags for mittens and banging pots and pans on the subway to make a dime. It just ain’t right.

Rock-a-Bye Baby

It’s sick, it’s freakin’ sick, honey. I couldn’t hold down a tuna melt for days after hearing this one. But it’s the sad truth in times like these. People get desperate, they don’t know what to do or where to turn, and they do twisted things, like putting some poor, defenseless baby up on a rickety tree branch. Priorities, that’s the real problem here. People get their priorities all out of whack, and we end up in a situation like this. Why did they need some fancy rocking cradle in the first place? People get so caught up with image they never stop to think that maybe that poor little kid would have rather just been held in his or her own parents’ arms, instead of some high-tech Sears and Roebuck baby palace.

Little Bo Peep

Now, I didn’t do none of that collegiate stuff that everyone does nowadays, which I think was the start of this whole mess in the first place, but I’m pretty sure the lost sheep are meant to symbolize hope, promise, and, more specifically, the American dream. I like that part, I do. You can relate to it. But then this Bo Peep chick falls asleep, and at first I said, “Whoa there. Are you trying to say that Americans collectively took a nap at the wheel of the vehicle of their own success and prosperity?” Harsh stuff. But then I thought more about it, and you know what? That’s exactly what we did. And, sure, we were following the crooked street signs put up by the banks and investment firms, but that’s no excuse to go on autopilot. So, you know, I like this Bo Peep one very much.

There Was an Old Woman
Who Lived in a Shoe

Yep, sounds about right to me. But, for the love of God, use a rubber.