The Long Title: How the Government Improves Sex Lives, or The Finance Committee’s Budget Proposal Is Getting Me Hot
Writers are weird and nobody knows what the government is up to.
No, wait. That’s backwards: governments are weird; nobody knows what writers are up to. Especially romance writers: everyone knows we’re a sneaky bunch. Now that I’m giving it some thought, I think they’re interchangeable.
Which brings me to slush funds, taxes, Stephen King, and the hotness that was Martin Sheen in the ’80s. Because where else would it lead to?
Some of my favorite books across genres feature the government as the hero...or the villain. And like all heroes and villains, some of them are terrifying and some of them are hot and some of them are both.
Firestarter, by Stephen King, was the first book with government-as-bad-guys I read. And when the movie came out, it didn’t hurt that Martin Sheen, the head of the government enclave who spent the whole movie being up to no good, was (in a word) rrrowwl! Oooh, and when he rolled up his shirtsleeves and exposed his manly hairy forearms while he demanded his flunky thugs bring him the head of Drew Barrymore...is it hot in here, or is it just Sheen’s forearms?
After that, I was hooked. Fast forward some years, and I’ve come up with my own series about government-as-villains-and-heroes (in this case, the Bureau of False Flag Opps, or BOFFO). It’s chock full of sexy public servants, hot sociopaths, psychiatric meds, lawful authority, budget meetings (swoon!), and firearms.
I understand that not everyone gets sweaty at the thought of medicated psychotics running around with parking vouchers and loaded semi-autos, so I did try to make it as realistic as I could, given the subject matter. So when I was editing my current release, Yours, Mine and Ours, a friend read the manuscript and put her finger on what she felt was a flaw: she was having a hard time suspending her disbelief. Below is an addendum from Yours, Mine, and Ours wherein I addressed her concern.
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A friend of mine had this comment: “When that local cop is all pissed because they brought BOFFO in on the JBJ case? And he couldn’t figure out why crazy people were getting all that money from the government? And Cadence says, ‘well, it’s the government.’ That seemed overly simple to me.”
I thought that was hilarious. “But it’s the government” is overly simple? Unrealistic, even? Does that mean that the federal government would never fund a department full of gun-toting psychotics?
Well, maybe. But below is a list of things the government has funded. So check it out, and see who’s being unrealistic now:
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded a six-figure project to develop “objective evidence concerning marijuana’s effect on sexual arousal by exposing groups of male pot-smokers to pornographic films and measuring their responses by means of sensors attached to their penises”.
- The Office of Education spent six figures on a package designed to teach college students how to watch television.
- The USPS spent millions on a campaign to encourage Americans to write more letters to each other.
- The Justice Department conducted a study on why prisoners want to get out of jail.
- The NIMH studied a brothel.
- The FAA did a study on the measurements of 432 flight attendants, paying extra attention to the ‘length of the buttocks’.
- The Oregon Department of Corrections spent almost a million dollars on free satellite television service for prisoners (two years in a row!).
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism spent millions to find out if drunk fish are more aggressive than sober fish.
- The Health Care Financing Administration cost taxpayers $45 million by letting Medicare ‘foot the bill’, heh-heh, for cutting toenails
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So there you have it. Governments are weird and nobody knows what romance writers are up to. The best part? My husband (and co-author of the Jennifer Scales series) keeps busy when we’re not thinking up weredragon shenanigans: his day job is as a director for the State of Minnesota. His night job? City Councilman. Say it with me: oofta!
Oooh, yeah, just thinking about all those government machinations, all the proposals my exceedingly hot husband votes on and the budgets he approves...oh God...it’s getting me so hot...hiya, hon, long day? Let me roll up those shirtsleeves for you.