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Next week’s news: Inflatable slide edition

Workplace stress.  It’s all around us.  You know the symptoms: impatience, short temper, a little voice telling you to grab two beers and cuss out everyone on the plane.

MORE: Next week’s news

For years, experts have tried to solve the problem of stress on the job, and now, at last, that solution is at hand.  Starting next week, every workplace in the U.S. will be required by law to be fitted with an inflatable slide. According to the Department of Labor, the inflatable slide will improve workers’ outlook by enabling them to quit as quickly and dramatically as possible.

The inflatable slide could be the greatest innovation in quitting since the phrase, “spending more time with my family.”  It’s just too bad that nobody thought of it sooner.  Then we wouldn’t have been subjected to so many excruciating resignation speeches this summer. Take the president’s economic advisers, Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, or Lebron James, or BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Now, at the beginning of this segment, I said that workplace stress was all around us. That’s true even here at PBS.

You probably think Alison, Jon and I spend all day holding hands, eating flax seed and watching old Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. Nothing could be further from the truth. This place is a freaking pressure cooker. Anyone who works at PBS could go off at any moment — the guy on “Antiques Roadshow” who appraises the clocks, Ken Burns’ banjo player, cookie monster — they’re all ticking time-bombs.

And yes, even me. Even Andy Borowitz. You don’t know the toll it’s taken on me to try to squeeze a week’s worth of predictions into a two-minute segment. Week in, week out. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, folks: it’s been hell.

There’s only one way to respond to that kind of stress.

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