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When I become king of the USA | GUEST COMMENTARY

When I become king of the USA | GUEST COMMENTARY

When I become king of the USA, I will introduce six changes in my first 100 days.

I will use my royal powers to triple the number of women’s bathrooms all over the country. Women will no longer have to wait in mile-long lines, while men zip by to get to their bathroom. This innovation will be especially evident in theaters during intermission when women now have to choose between two bad options: forego the line and return to watch the show uncomfortably, or wait it out and stay patiently in line but miss part of the show. This will change. Women will wait in long lines no more!

I will issue a royal decree to enlarge the font of all street signs. The signs must be large enough to be seen while there is still sufficient time to make a turn. How often have you missed a turn because you can read the sign only after you pass the street you wanted? To remedy this problem, all road signs must be easily read from a comfortable distance, day or night.

I will order all businesses to eliminate tipping of all kinds. Whom do you tip and how much? In this country, tips are universally expected. Lately, when you use a credit card, there is a prompt asking for the tip amount. What difference does it make if you pay $80 for the service plus $20 tip, or $100 outright? Why not pay the $100 and have the owner pay the worker an appropriate hourly wage?

I will recommend that the person who invented the phone tree be given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. If you want this, select 1; if you want that, select 2; your name; your birthdate … I want to talk to a person, please! What happened to the days when you could dial a number and a voice would say, “Good morning, may I help you?”

I will ask the boards of medicine and nursing to require that before physicians and nurses graduate, they must undergo a colonoscopy. This will let them experience firsthand what patients go through. Drinking gallons of distasteful solution, adhering to a clear liquid diet, making frequent visits to the bathroom with bouts of diarrhea — ugh. Scientists must find a better alternative to cleansing the colon.

I will ask my good friend and colleague King Charles III of England to invite American experts to upgrade the showers across his country, especially in the English B&Bs. The English never had any use for showers but learned that American tourists love them. As an afterthought, they decided to install (or actually graft) mini showers in existing small bedrooms. They are so tiny that you can only shower standing up straight, and you can move only by rotating in place. Tough luck if you drop that mini cake of soap. Americans will do the proper plumbing according to code.

Well, as king of the USA, I have accomplished the six tasks that I promised to do in my first 100 days. Americans can now enjoy the fruits of my hard work, which I was able to do unencumbered by Congress or the Supreme Court.

But wait a minute, you say. I really miss my democracy, even though it’s messy and often frustrating. I love my freedom; that’s what America is all about. We fought and died to get rid of a king in 1776, and now we are willing to do it again if necessary. So please abdicate and let us have our cherished American peaceful transfer of power to a good president. This time we will have our republic back, and we will hold on to it and solemnly swear to keep it forever!

Michel A. Ibrahim ( is a retired professor of public health.  

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