Just Agree
I tried Mrs. Reagan's Just Say No catchall when it entered public domain awhile ago; such deceptively bold initiative seemed a miracle cure for my lack of decisiveness. I wanted to bear witness.

Not wishing to wait for the overtures of a dealer, I decided instead to seek one out. Finding Bryant Park was easy enough, and upon sidling up to the first shady character who presented himself it happened: "Sensimilla, coke," he offered shadily.

With visions of a proud First Lady backing me up, and heady with conviction, I decided to go Nancy one better: "Fuck YOU," I said, not too nastily it was hoped. I was making a point, not trying to hurt his feelings.

To my surprise he bared his teeth and threatened to "Cut you bad" as he put it. Not forgetting my manners, I thoughtfully edged backwards, navigating the block with a smile and a wave. He didn't wave back.

I blame my failure on a certain lack of communication, but don't wish to abandon the JSN concept entirely. Nor does that powerful word belong solely on the lips and in the hearts of the herds of impressionable youth roaming our country. Everybody can benefit, or past-tense, could've if they had listened.

Some of the following examples tend to emphasize the importance of getting a receipt with your advice, especially when dealing with family.

Mr. Reagan, Iran, Nicaragua,
and other places TWA doesn't fly

Bantam publishing gulped up half the Pacific Northwest putting out the Tower Commission Report. This sacrifice needn't have been. One assumes that the president could've JSN'd his advisors and spared the public the anguish of having to swallow what they've already eaten and digested: that Ron's a little foggy on particulars in general. And Lt. Colonels in particular.

Reykjavik, which is cold, hard to pronounce,
and gone but not forgotten

The president, give him his due, did utter the magic word here.

Regan: there but for the absence of an 'a' go I
An unfair fight, as it wouldn've been impolite to throw the First Lady's words back at her when they quarrelled, quarrel covered by Time magazine or not.

Just desserts and the political shelf-life of Tutti Fruitti
If a majority of voters had said Nyet at the polls 6 years ago...

The 65mph speed limit, which may
once again be coming to a state near you

A kind of 21st amendment in its own right, and a recent example of enough people saying Nope to a law to make it not so anymore.

The pope's views on science and contraception,
and other items which don't come as a surprise

The mothering instinct is stronger than the technicality of infertility. Every No to the church's doctrine will need diapers.

Prophylactics in commercials,
or, the medium is the message

In a line-up of plots urging "Yes, yes," at every turn of the channel, it was refreshing for TV executives to hold out as long as they did against condom ads. I move that they abolish those self-serving Alcoholics Anonymous and "Careful with the drinking" spots as well: they undermine those great beer commercials.

Urinalysis, or, what not to do at a party
when the hostess is looking

It follows that if everybody Just Said No about what they're supposed to be saying no about in the first place, there wouldn't be a call for delving into such matters. We could all go on to other mottos, such as Just Be Good and Just Agree.

The Bowling Green News, April 1987