The politicians are returning to Washington this week after the 2012 election to discover a way to avoid the January 1st expiration of a set of policies that will arguably have dire effects on our struggling economy. This situation has been popularly dubbed, the “Fiscal Cliff.” Sometimes when they talk about this fiscal cliff I am reminded of another fiscal Cliff. For your amusement, here are some of the greatest pearls of wisdom from “Fiscal Cliff” Huxtable.
THEO: No, you see, Dad, I cut ‘em off. This is how everybody’s wearing it this year.
CLIFF: Son, when we went to the store, you picked up that shirt and said, “Dad, I gotta have this shirt for the first day of school.” And I looked at the price of it, and I said, “This is very expensive for a sweatshirt.” Then I looked in those brown eyes of yours and I said, “Well, my son wants it, and I’ll buy it for him.” Now, if fashion dictates that you cut those sleeves off, make some alterations, that’s fine with me, But somehow, some way, in this lifetime, you’re going to wear those sleeves.
THEO: You’re a doctor and Mom’s a lawyer, and you’re both successful in everything and that’s great! But maybe I was born to be a regular person and have a regular life. If you weren’t a doctor, I wouldn’t love you less, because you’re my dad. So rather than feeling disappointed because I’m not like you, maybe you should accept who I am and love me anyway, because I’m your son.
CLIFF: Theo … that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life! No wonder you get D’s in everything! You’re afraid to try because you’re afraid your brain is going to explode and it’s going to ooze out of your ears. Now I’m telling you, you are going to try as hard as you can. And you’re going to do it because I said so. I am your father. I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you out!
CLIFF: Let me tell you something. Your mother and I go into the kitchen. You can go out and get in my car. You can drive backwards to Coney Island, run over the hot dog man and two stop signs, and you won’t be in any more trouble than you are in now.
CLIFF: A long, long time ago, three to four generations ago, parents didn’t talk much to their children. At four a.m., the father would come home, look at his son sleeping, wake him up and say, “Boy, go out and plough the field now.” And the boy would rub his eye and say, “Yes, Pa.” And occasionally, the son would ask the father how much he’d get paid. And the father grabbed the plough, and ran over his son. Those days are over, because we have become more civilized, more sophisticated, but it’s still inside of me no matter how sophisticated I get, and it grows over time. Boy, when I say to one of my children to do something and they say, “How much does it pay?,” I think I’m going to buy a plough.
CLIFF: I figured it out now. I got it all figured out. See, for 23 years we’ve had children in this house. And for 23 years you and I have had constant battles with these people. And the question has always been: What were we fighting about? And now I know: It’s about the house. They want the house.
It is believable that this boy deliberately did not mail that envelope, so that when he went down there, there were no rooms and he would have to come back here and live. It is believable that Denise does not want to go to college anymore because she wants to live here. It is believable that this young man and this woman living in a condemned place on purpose have this baby to make us feel sorry for them so they can come back here. Now, the other two haven’t started their game yet because legally they’re supposed to stay here.
Now, you and I have been beaten every time we’ve gone to battle. And I’m telling you now, darling. I’m old — and you’re old, too, Clair — and I think that you and I should just get on up and get outta here. Get in the car and just go. Let ‘em have the house, Honey, and unlike General MacArthur, we shall not return.