The Depression didn't get its name ironically, in the way you call a big guy "Tiny" or Nancy Grace "lady." It really was a kick in the ass, and so is the current recession/meltdown or whatever we're calling it now.
But then you hear a story about how the economy may force everyone to stop wearing Crocs and you realize that as many kicks in the ass as the recession dishes out, there seem to be a few upsides. Such as...
Ever since Al Gore became the boogeyman who springs up from the back seat every time we gas up the Hummer, environmentalism has been big on everyone's mind. We try to recycle, carpool and eat less bald eagle. But is any of that enough? Well, probably not, no. But don't worry, where your personal efforts fail, global economic crisis excels.
When the economy is booming we all want to buy lead-lined, CFC-spewing volleyballs and grilling accessories, all mass produced in China or India or some other part of the world where industrial runoff tends to also be bathwater for the average citizen. When the world suffers a huge economic downturn, pollutant-belching factories that cheaply make shit no one needs are the first to shut down.
You win this round, environment.
This has resulted in acid rain-producing sulfur dioxide levels in Delhi falling 85 percent in a year and it's been estimated the the US's and Europe's total greenhouse gas emission will be reduced by 100 million tons each in 2009.
Deforestation in the Amazonian rain forest has dropped 70 percent in a year because of the falling price of cattle and possibly because all of those "Save the Rainforest" buttons from the mid-80s finally found their way south of the equator.
Presumably if we hit Depression-era squalor all around the world, we'll at least get to enjoy fighting for scraps of food and blankets in a verdant paradise.
It says something about the power of the current economical crisis when even the oldest profession in the world feels the cold, uncircumcised sting of the recession in its rear end. Sadly, times being what they are, many conservative politicians and hard working fathers had to cut down on teenage-runaways; instead spending their meager extra dollars on things like grandma's medication and HBO.
With so many street walking girls and whore houses seeing a rapid drop in customers, many have fallen back on tactics that keep dollar stores and late night TV infomercials in business: bargain basement prices!
Reports say that promotions, specials, cut prices, flat rates, shuttle buses (holy hell!) and even discounts for seniors in brothels all around the world mean way more action for you and your wheelchair bound grandpa. How much action are we talking about here?
Well, some professional massage parlors, also known by their Christian name "rub-n-tugs," had to cut prices by 30-50 percent; meaning every ESL lady massaging your ballsack may only be pulling in $80 or so (and that includes a tip).
The situation has apparently gotten so desperate that Berlin's Pussy Club (the Mecca for lovers of both womanly charms and subtlety) started offering a 70 Euro Flat Rate service for unlimited food, drink and sex at their establishment, catering to the coveted "fat, drunken pervert" crowd who tend to drive the economy.
The situation isn't much different on our own continent. Canada's hookers recently had to drop prices to about $20 for oral sex or $60-$80 for the full on Canuck Fuck. Based on exchange rates, if you paid in American dollars she'd actually owe you money.
If you tend to watch lowest common denominator shows, such as America's Got Talent, Cops or anything on the FOX network, and the commercials that cater to the audiences of said shows, you probably already heard about KFC's new grilled chicken despite the fact their very name makes this new idea look completely ridiculous. It'd be like Gary's Fisting Emporium suddenly offering non-fisting services, like firm handshakes and hugs.
Strangely enough, the recession has forced other chains to follow the Colonel's example to drum up sales. So now Pizza Hut is raking in 500 million a year selling pasta, and McDonald's is getting into gourmet brand coffee (each Venti Meal comes with a twitchy, manic poet toy of your choice). Rumor has it that Arby's has even switched from scrotum meat to actual beef, all in an effort to seduce those minimum wage yuppies into believing they're now able to live the high life at bottled toilet water prices.
Naturally if you're eating like obese, trailer-park royalty you'll need something to wash all that down. Maybe some fine French wine, like a 2008 Bordeaux. But, you might say, isn't Bordeaux one of them fancy wine brands meant for people with gold plated toilets who change their underwear daily? Not anymore.
The recent economical drought has caused vineyards all over the world to drastically drop their prices--sometimes even by 50 percent! So while still pretty much a luxury item, as long as your kids aren't too committed to stuff like dinner and clothes, you can get a bottle of Bordeaux for about $180 compared to last year's $360, and finally enjoy a touch of class while you snack on reheated chicken parts eaten with a spork.