How to React to the No Paycheck Threat


Is someone threatening not to pay the military? Must be October. Must be that time of year when experts urge military families to stop buying things and contact our creditors and batten down the hatches.

Around here, we are secretly bored with battening. After years of contemplating this kind of annual doom, I, for one, am thinking that if my first two ideas bomb, I can always unleash my David Spade fantasy.  Here are our top four ideas to battle the No Paycheck Threat.

1. Don't worry. They are bluffing.  This month in O Magazine's anxiety issue, one of their experts says that a surefire way to combat worry is to ask yourself, "If someone was giving you a million dollars to predict what would most likely happen in this situation, what would that be?"

In this situation, I would say that my husband's paycheck is most likely going to pop up in our bank account next to mine just like it always does.  Just like it always has for the past 26 years.  This "no military paycheck" thing is a tired political tool and I am done worrying about it.

2. Worry. Maybe they ARENT bluffing!?!  Then again, I manufacture anxiety the way Frito-Lay comes up with new flavors of chips. I can wake myself up in the middle of a meeting with visions of myself in a Ma Joad outfit wondering, How long the can government go on writing checks they can't cash???

At some point, we really do hafta stop buying things we can't afford. Is today the day??? Geez, maybe that 30 percent off coupon isn't really a reason to place my Land's End order from my iPhone.

3. Wish passionately for destruction. My friend Amy's favorite episode of The West Wing is the one where they really DO shut the government down.


Amy swears that she watches this episode every year with glee. President Bartlet intoning, “Then shut it down." This, followed by **ominous music,** would make her week. Well, kinda. She does have that little rent problem to take care of.

4. Vote the David Spade Buh-Bye ticket. While Amy has her President Bartlet fantasy, this whole No Paycheck thing has me dreaming about  David Spade. Which is a little disturbing, I know.

I picture myself in a flight attendant costume standing next to David on Saturday Night Live while we summarily dismiss every member of Congress who could not get the budget passed in a timely way.  I would get on the intercom and say in my most cheery voice:

This concludes your tour as our elected officials. Thank you for failing to pass a working budget. As we indicated at the start of the flight, we military families are bitter about the way you could not do your job while our servicemembers deployed and we moved across the country and you forgot to pay us.  So we are taking that out on you, our passengers.

We realize when it comes to getting enough votes to be reelected,  you have a choice of many kinds of voters. We'd like to thank you for running for reelection at this time and we'd like you to know we will vote for anyone but you.

David: Okay, here we go - Thanks for being a senator this year, sir. Buh-bye. Buh-bye! Thanks, now. Will be voting you right out of office. Buh-bye.

Me, brightly: Buh-bye. Buh-bye. Buh-bye.

David: Buh-bye. Buh-bye. Hey, you pass that legislation to get the military and government workers paid on time?

Congressman 1: Uh.. no, actually, I -

David: Buh-bye! Buh-bye. Yeah, you are out of office.  Buh-bye.

Congressman 2: Uh, excuse me, could you send me a donation for my campaign fund?

Me: Buh-bye. I'm sorry, what part didn't you understand - the buh or the bye? Buh-bye.

David: Buh-bye.

Congressman 3: Hi, I saved the whales and appeared at your child's school and had dinner with the President 93 times.  Sorry about not paying you for a few weeks but we knew you would understand.

Me: Don't care. Still thinking about that day in October Buh-bye!


There is a lot to love about the end of September. The bright blue sky. The turning leaves. The school buses rumbling down the street.

The annual threat to the military paycheck is not one of the joys of the season. And I'd be happy if it never came back again.

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