Until Zipcar users get kickbacks, urbanites can pretend they're in the market for new whips, and even do some drag-racing down Route 1 (on the North or South shore — take your pick). Test-driving exotic autos beats owning a hooptie. Plus, loaners are faster, insured, and — best of all — come with fuel. Don't worry if you appear unfit to lease the new Lotus Exige or Bentley Continental (not to be confused with the inferior namesake Lincoln model); just pretend you're an MIT prodigy turned bio-tech hustler. All you need is a driver's license — and if you're suave enough, they'll let you keep it overnight.
7) FREE SPEECH
As was reported in a recent Phoenix cover story, there's an itch across America to legalize da weed. The politics line up; voters throughout the country, including many in Massachusetts, have expressed tolerance; top-notch Olympic athletes have endorsed recreational use; and local governments can generate millions of dollars in much-needed annual revenue through taxation, plus save even more than that in nonviolent-incarceration costs.
Until Obama's rhetoric (often referred to as "testing the waters") becomes legislative reality and cannabis crops — including hemp, which American companies can legally import, yet struggling domestic farmers are forbidden to harvest — are liberated, the best way to answer this calling is to catch a contact high at the September 19 MassCann Freedom Rally on Boston Common. Good karma and music from Termanology and many others are all on the house. Also on the menu? Free hugs.
8) FREE TREATS
As conservative-talk-radio hosts continue to remind us, Obama's first draft of the economic-stimulus package set aside funding for condom distribution. Of course, this is anathema to Republicans, who insist that the best way to minimize the spread of STDs is for single teenage mothers to publicly advocate abstinence.
But even though Obama abandoned his contraceptive measure, there are still free rubbers to be had. Planned Parenthood is trying desperately to change its reputation from liberal baby executioner to just about anything else, and this is your chance to help them and keep your privates intact. Simply stroll into the headquarters on Comm Ave and stock up on prophylactics. It's also a good place to meet potential mates.
9) FREE FREAKS
Although significant stimulus funds are going to such worthwhile programs as Head Start and school repairs, about $26 billion is earmarked for advancing the disastrous Bush-era remnant No Child Left Behind, which measures testing skills rather than aptitude and understanding. The result, we believe, is that Americans will continue getting dumber.
So, if our country's going to be brimming with ignoramuses, we might as well observe them at Revere Beach. Here, you can find the area's choicest collection of empty-headed, blond-streaked hardbodies decked out in white lipstick and hula-hoop earrings, plus their melanomically tanned, barbed-wire-tatted yah-dood boyfriends. If you want to safely capture primo pics of Gina, Donna, Guy, and Tony to post on myspacedouchebags.com, we suggest you use a telephoto lens and roll safari-style with the windows up.
10) FREE RETREAT
There are numerous publicly and privately subsidized programs to keep homes heated through the winter (like Citgo's oil-assistance initiative, for which, ironically, the Venezuelan company helps veterans of the United States armed forces). But when it comes to staying cool in August and September, broke folks are on their own. We suggest long visits to department stores and supermarkets.