By Ellen Meister
Aside from the big and obvious issues, like ending world hunger, curing cancer and grinding genocidal dictators into dog food, there's a long list of more personal annoyances that would get my attention. Here are a few examples ...
• Companies that sell products encased in bullet-proof plastic you can't get past without a hacksaw would have to donate 100% of the profits to the charity of my choice.
• Everyone would get a free pass on the "no white shoes after Labor Day" rule clear through the end of October.
• All women (men, too, for that matter) would understand that it's more attractive to have wrinkles than to look like a creature from the planet Facelift.
• All street signs would be big enough to actually see.
• Cookies would never have a citrus flavor, a la Johnson's Baby Aspirin. (Are you listening, Italian bakeries?)
• "No turn on red" signs would hang next to the traffic light, where you can actually see them.
• Cilantro would be universally recognized as a vile, inedible substance that ruins everything it touches.
• My Dorothy Parker Facebook page would have a million followers.
• People wouldn't get on my case about self-promotion. (See what I did there?)
• Someone would figure out a way to make calcium pills smaller than a human thumb.
• I know they use less energy and all, but florescent lights? I'm sorry, no. Just no.
• HBO would start filming The Other Life tomorrow. (Hey, it's my list.)
• People on Twitter would recognize that TrueTwit is the Muammar Qaddafi of social media.
• People would agree on one spelling for Qaddafi/Gaddafi/Ghadafi/Qadhafi.
The Comeback would still be on the air.
• Teachers would make as much money as doctors.
• People who claim they don't read because they're too busy would lose access to Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing With the Stars, Jersey Shore and any show with the word Housewives in it.
• Everyone reading this post would send a link to their friends.
What would you do if YOU ruled the world?
Ellen Meister is the author of three novels. Her latest, THE OTHER LIFE (Putnam 2011), has appeared on several best fiction lists, including ABA's prestigious Indie Next List. It is currently under option with HBO for a TV series. She lives on Long Island and is at work on her fourth novel FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER (Putnam 2013). For more information visit ellenmeister.com. You can find her online at Twitter and Facebook.