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How to Lose a Girl in One Page

Sitting on my desk is the new book by Time reporter Michael Grunwald called “The New New Deal” all about the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, better known as the "stimulus.” I’m as interested in the Obama administration’s economic programs as the next guy, but I’ve not yet gotten to the first page. Why? Because I couldn’t make it past the inscription. It was so disturbing, so Washington, that I had to put the book down. Addressed to a woman that I can only assume is Grunwald’s wife, it reads as follows:

  To Cristina, My stimulus  

What exactly was Grunwald tying to communicate with this note? If Cristina really is his stimulus, does that mean she prevented him from collapsing into an unprecedented depression? I suppose that could be romantic. But if we accept the Merriam-Webster definition of stimulus as “something that rouses or incites to activity,” Grunwald’s note comes across as a strangely explicit display of wonky ribaldry. Either way, I suspect Grunwald’s had bullet trains on the mind for a bit too long.