When it comes to domestic issues, Americans should trust the private sector.
That's a Republican Party mantra, and two stories in The Times this week have me convinced as well.
Now, I know you think one concerns gasoline prices. Really, though, who cares about that? Snore.
That's right: I'm talking about snoring. As The Times' Lauren Beale reported:
A so-called snore room is the latest offering from Del Webb, which builds communities for people 55 and older.
Buyers whose marriages are plagued by a spouse who snorts, grunts and wheezes while he or she sleeps can opt for an adaptable bedroom plan marketed as the "owners retreat" at Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio. Designed for couples who start out in the same bed but end up apart because of ear-piercing snoring, insomnia or late-night TV viewing habits, this secondary bedroom is connected to the bathroom of the master bedroom.
See? Big problem; private-sector solution. You leave that to government, and pretty soon you've got government-run snore insurance instead.
Still, even the private sector can stumble. For example, I'm a bit puzzled by Del Webb's logic:
"A nice enclave that shares the master bathroom provides a civilized alternative to the family room sofa," said Jacque Petroulakis, corporate communications spokeswoman for PulteGroup Inc., the parent company of Del Webb.
About a quarter of couples in the 55-and-older age group sleep apart to get a good night's rest, according to PulteGroup, which got the data from a third party but also conducted focus groups and interviews as it developed the bedroom plan.
Now first of all, the sofa isn't for snoring husbands; it's for misbehaving husbands, or came-home-late-drunk husbands -- which, come to think of it, is redundant. (It's never for wives, of course, who are too savvy to choose the sofa, regardless of their transgressions.)
Second, if you're 55 or older and still married to someone who snores, isn't it a bit late to be dealing with the problem? Seems to me the snore room should be marketed at 30-year-olds, who need all the help they can get keeping their marriages together.
But, staying true to the private sector's can-do spirit, in addition to the snore room, Del Webb is offering other conveniences:
Among other new life-easing features the builder is offering are pass-throughs from the closet to the laundry room. A door large enough to push a hamper through connects the two spaces.
Which brings me to my second domestic issue story of the week: widespread thievery of Tide detergent.
The Times Dalina Castellanos reported:
Thieves seem to be embarking on an anti-grime spree, some media outlets are reporting, saying thousands of dollars in Tide detergent is being swiped from shelves across the country.
One Minnesota man stole about $25,000 worth of the liquid laundry detergent from a West St. Paul Wal-Mart over 15 months, authorities there say.
And who's to blame for this crime wave? Sadly, dear liberals, it appears that Rush and Sean and Glenn are right: It's the government -- or, in this case, at least one peson who apparently has fallen prey to the liberal-nanny-state mentality.
Lt. Matt Swenke of the West St. Paul Police Department said in an interview with The Times that Patrick Costanzo, 53, was the suspect in the Minnesota thefts.
"He told [police] he didn't have a job and the state didn't help him in any way so he did what he had to do to get by," Swenke said.
Yes, it's true, liberals: You do a man's laundry, he's clean for a day. You teach him to do his own laundry, and he won't steal Tide.
Which doesn't make a lot of sense, I'll admit. But then again, my wife keeps me awake a night -- either snoring or doing the laundry.
Speaking of which: Why do we have so much Tide?
Red meat will kill you? Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
Sherwood Rowland, the scientist who saved the world
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Photo: A so-called snore room is the latest offering from Del Webb, which builds communities for people 55 and older. Credit: Handout