Saturday, October 4, 2008

Once Upon A Time....

In the kingdom of Gnomeville dogs were the economic engine. Everything was geared around dogs, from places where people worked, to their education system, retirement, and even the kingdom’s security was wrapped up in the dog.

So it came to pass that as the outgoing mayor of Gnomeville was leaving he would sign into law the city council’s proclamation that dogs would no longer be required to be leased. They would, forever more, be free to run, play, and hunt without any bindings that would restrict when and where they went. Without restraint the dogs could visit whomever they wanted making them, and their owners, very, very happy. This, the city council and mayor believed would trickle down to make for a more prosperous society.

And things in Gnomeville did prosper as citizens made all the necessary preparations to have one of the dogs pay them a visit. The dog owners who loved their dogs above and beyond everything else were keenly aware of how important the dogs were to the citizens of Gnomeville and developed various mechanisms whereby the dogs could visit the citizens once they had a proper lawn in place. This became the model for how a successful and satisfying life in Gnomeville would be defined. Work hard and one day you would have the opportunity to be visited by a dog. This setup made the dogs happy which in turn made their owners happy. “Win, win, win” they would all say!

One day a particularly crafty dog owner decided that he could make more citizens happy if he let his dogs run free with little very little oversight. This was, at the beginning, very disconcerting to the other dog owners who had always kept very tight control on where their dogs would visit. And as they watched this crafty dog owner they realized that he was becoming very happy as his dogs paid more and more visits to the people of Gnomville. They also realized that more visits from the crafty owner's dogs meant less visits from theirs. Their dogs needed to make visits too, they would tell each other.

Slowly at first, but then with ever greater speed each of the other dog owners began to let their dogs run freely as well. With so many dogs needing places to visit it soon became necessary to let anyone who wanted a visit by a dog to participate regardless of how poor their lawn was.

Mable Fugwheather sat in her little bungalow on Elm Street and noticed what was taking place. She had spent her time working very hard, like her parents and her parents before her, securing the right balance of lawn necessary for a proper dog visit. “This is an outrage” Mable Fugwheather cried! “These people do not have the proper lawns to take on these dog visits! Something must be done about this or we will all suffer!”

And so it went for the next few years. Citizens of Gnomeville without proper lawns were allowed to have the dogs visit and the dog owners, pleased with how happy their dogs were, looked the other way. But Mable Fugwheather knew what was going on. She knew it would only be a matter of time before the poor lawns would no longer support a dog visit. And, on one sunny day in September, that time came to the good people of Gnomeville.

There was a foul smell that permeated the air. The dogs, without proper lawns, had left messes too big for the ill prepared citizens to handle. There was grumbling now, not just from Mable Fugwhether, but from others who were now looking at the mess and wondering how it would affect their properly maintained lawn.

The dog owners soon became concerned about the quality of lawns they had let their dogs visit and began to keep dogs inside. And the dogs grew unhappy, and their owners grew unhappy, and, without dog visits taking place, the citizens of Gnomville grew unhappy. This chain of events slowed down the dog based economy which caused the mayor and city council to panic. “We must do something” he nervously told his constituents “or things will get really bad!

The people of Gnomeville started to panic. “I have a plan” the major assured them. “The dogs need lawns to visit, let’s give them all of our public parks so that they may have a lawn to visit and be happy.” “What a wonderful idea” the city council exclaimed. “We will vote yes to give the dog owners our public parks!” “What a stupid idea” yelled Mable Fugwheather. “You are giving the culprits who caused this our beautiful parks rewarding their bad behavior!” “Now is not the time to affix blame” chastised the mayor. “We are in crisis and will be doomed if we do not act swiftly!”

With the turning over of the parks, the dogs were free to once again visit and the mayor and city council were hopeful that happiness and prosperity would soon be abundant in Gnomeville. Without the weight of doom and gloom, the people set about trying to affix blame. “It’s those greedy dog owners that let their dogs run free” some people cried. “It’s those careless citizens that had inadequate lawns that caused this! Other bemoaned.

So who really caused this mess to happen in the kingdom of Gnomeville? The outgoing mayor of course! For he could have vetoed the repeal of the leash law when he was in power which would have prevented the dog owners from allowing their dogs to run free and visit the lawns of those citizens that were ill prepared to maintain them properly.

Note: This story was inspired by the following letter to the editor in the October 3rd 1008 edition of The Eagle:

I agree with Jim James (Eagle, Oct. 1) that Democrats and Republicans alike are responsible for the economic health of our nation. When he stated, however, "Democrats point to the Republican-led repeal of Glass-Steagall" he didn't tell the whole story.

While the repeal was authored by Republicans Phil Gramm, James Leach and Thomas J. Bliley Jr., Bill Clinton had the power to veto it. Instead he signed the bill, making it into law.

Can't blame the Republicans for that one.

College Station

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