Food For Thought 9-19-08
Hi friends, this is Harry Blalock; General Manager for radio stations KZMI & KCNM. It’s that time once again to take a look at the issues of the week, and to offer some Food For Thought.
*Disclaimer – Today’s commentary is a fairy tale, and any correlations you may see between characters in today’s story and people you may know are purely a coincidence. This is meant for entertainment purposes entirely, any lessons you may draw from it are the product of your own imagination. So with that said, let’s get into the story…
Once upon a time, on a tiny island far, far away (well it is far away from most places), lived a king whose name was Bite The Hand That Feeds Me, everyone just called him by his nickname, King Bite Me. This king was a great king, well in his own mind at least, and he had a public liar, I mean crier, who was paid to go everywhere telling everyone what a great king Bite Me was. He was known as one of the best story tellers on the island, he had to be in order to do his job well. The crier’s name was Sir Spins Alot, and not a day went by when the common islanders weren’t subjected to Spins Alot’s fanciful tales and being reminded of what a great king Bite Me was.
King Bite Me got his name for his heroic (that is Spins Alot’s word, not mine) actions against a much larger land far to the east, all the way across the big pond. This much larger land had previously come to the tiny islands defense and rescued them from invaders from another much larger island. Ever since then, this much larger land had given the tiny island millions and millions of dollars to help them with their many troubles. They even adopted the people from the tiny island and issued them their very own blue Indigenous Identification Stamp Book, which was the same one the people in the much larger land used whenever they wanted to travel to far off lands. The much larger land had been very generous to the people of the tiny island, but it was never enough, and certain people, like King Bite Me always wanted more, and would throw temper tantrums when he didn’t get what he wanted.
At one point, King Bite Me decided that he wanted to lay claim to 200 miles of sky above his tiny island. Why he wanted 200 miles was a puzzle in the first place, the tiny little island he lived on was less than 15 miles long, so where did he get off thinking he could make such ridiculous demands? All the villages in the much larger land got to own 3 miles of the sky in their own places, and that seemed to be the standard amount of allowable sky. But King Bite Me thought he was much more important than anyone else, and instead of asking the much larger land for 3 miles of sky, like all the other villages had, he demanded they give him 200 miles of sky. The much larger land decided to let their council of white haired elders decide the matter, and it was decided that since King Bite Me wouldn’t ask for a reasonable amount, that they would give him nothing at all, and hopefully teach him a lesson. At the end of the proceedings it is rumored that the king left in a huff and loudly proclaimed his nickname, Bite Me. So now because of the king’s stubbornness and arrogance, the people of his tiny island have to crawl around on their bellies so as to minimize the amount of air space they take up, since they have no legal claim to any air above the ground at all. It is rumored that as a result of having to crawl around on their bellies so much, many of the politicians, or leeches as they are commonly referred to on the tiny island, actually turned into snakes. Sure many of them had been called snakes for years, so maybe it was just some kind of backwardly evolutionary thing that can only happen in fairy tales, or maybe it was them getting their just desserts, it’s very hard to say, and that’s not really the point anyway. The people of the island frequently wound up paying the price for the decisions made by their great king, Bite Me, but they had been taught not to question their great king, and to just accept whatever he told them as truth. Independent, individual thinking was discouraged, people were just supposed to listen to Sir Spins Alot and trust whatever he told them.
The tiny island had also gotten itself into trouble with the much larger land because of their policies and practices involving bringing in other workers to do all the jobs they didn’t want to be bothered doing themselves. There were problems with all kinds of things, and the much larger land finally decided they would take over the Department of Jobs We Don’t Want To Do. This infuriated great King Bite Me as it meant that some of his favorite entertainers might have to go back to where they came from. He decided that he was going to hire a company that specialized in harassing people and have them to harass the leaders of the much larger land. There were a couple problems with this though, harassers don’t come cheap, they want a lot of money to go harass other people, and it didn’t seem like there were very many other people that agreed with great King Bite Me that hiring the harassers was a good idea. The people elected those from among themselves to make laws and represent them; these were called the honorable leeches. But even the honorable leeches didn’t support hiring the harassers, and they refused to give the king any money to hire the harassers. But great King Bite Me decided he was going to do whatever he wanted to do, after all, he was a king, he didn’t have to worry about being re-elected or anything. So he instructed Sir Spins Alot to tell people that he was going to hire the harassers anyway, and it was none of their business where he was getting the money to pay the harassers. Again it was rumored that as he hired the harassers, he turned in the direction of the much larger land and screamed his nickname once again, Bite Me!
There were those who questioned the sanity of King Bite Me because at the same time he was hiring the harassers to bother the much larger land, he was asking the much larger land for $4 million dollars to buy more mouse food, and to replace a bunch of the mice in power wheels 7 and 5. There were those who tried telling the king that the much larger land might be much more likely to help them out if he didn’t hire people to harass them, but he didn’t care, he stuck his fingers in his ears and kept chanting his nickname over and over, Bite Me, Bite Me, Bite Me, Bite Me.
You see while the rest of the world was moving away from mouse powered power generation plants, King Bite Me and his predecessors had buddies who were in the mouse power generation business, and they offered them rewards if they bought their mice and products from them. So even though there were better options out there to produce the kingdoms power, the king and his predecessors ignored what was in the people’s best interests and kept doing business with their cronies. The main problem with this is that the cost of mouse food was going out of sight, and then if you didn’t give the mice regular checkups, they had a tendency to get sick and stop working. All of the mice in the king’s power generating wheels had been worked for years without any checkups at all, their health was completely ignored. Mice were dying on the job and nobody seemed to care. The ones that were left were breaking their little legs trying to run extra hard to make up for their fallen fellow mice. But instead of buying new mice and taking care of the new mice, King Bite Me had his mice handlers just tape toothpicks to their legs as splints and try to make them keep running on the power wheels. Sure they could whip and beat the poor little mice and get a little more life out of them and make them produce a little more power, but they would eventually just collapse, turning off the lights on the tiny island yet again.
The residents of the tiny island were getting sick and tired of the constant power outages and had talked about putting King Bite Me in a boat with no paddles and sending him out to sea in a storm, and there was also talk of cutting out Sir Spins Alot’s tongue. He realized he had to do something, so he instructed one of his most faithful aides, Why Me, (who he had put in charge of the mouse power plant even though he had no experience with mice, power or plants), to bring in some miniature geckos on tiny little power wheels and have them produce some extra power. He finally found a company, called A Gecko Power Company, who trained geckos to run on the wheels instead of mice, geckos are much faster than mice and it was theorized that they would be more efficient, creating more power on less gecko food. The only problem was it was expensive to bring in A Gecko Power Company, so they took some money from the This Land Is Our Land Fund, and used that to pay for 3 of the months, then Why Me figured he would just wave his magic wand and the geckos would start farting out money and their problems would be solved.
In fact Why Me was so convinced that his plan was fool proof that he found the biggest rock he could find on the island, he stood on top of it and started screaming from the top of his lungs, “We’ve gone 48 straight hours with no power outages, I hereby declare an end to power blackouts”. Of course you can almost guess what happens next, there was a power outage just a few short hours later on Mount Olympus. Then a short 2 days later there was yet another early morning power outage on Mount Olympus. So after his grandiose boasting that we had gone over 48 hours with no power outages, they had now gone 48 hours with 2 power outages since the declaration of an end to the power outages. Was Why Me just that delusional that he really thought there wouldn’t be any more power outages, or had Sir Spins Alot given him the party line to spout, even though everyone knew it was a lie? There were those who said the tiny island would continue having outages because the mouse powered power wheels that had been breaking down causing the previous power outages would continue to break down and cause more outages because they were still using crippled mice to run them. More and more of the tiny island residents were seeing that they couldn’t believe anything at all that was said by anyone connected to King Bite Me, and they continued to make plans to move to the much larger land. So much for Why Me’s grand promise and the end of power outages. Maybe he will have better luck with his magic wand getting the geckos to fart money, well we can always hope.
But you need to remember that part of this plan was to get an extra $4 million dollars from the much larger land to buy mouse food and replace a bunch of the ailing mice. One of the prominent citizens from the tiny island went to the much larger land to talk to some of the leaders there about problems that were being experienced on the tiny island, but when she got there she found out that her invitation to meet with the leaders was revoked because of the king’s plan to hire the harassers. The leaders asked why they should meet with anyone from the tiny island when their king was hiring harassers to pester them.
As with all good fairy tales, there is usually a moral to the story. When you have a King named Bite Me, who likes shouting his nickname at those he is asking to get help from, your chances of success are not good. And waving a magic wand and expecting geckos to start farting out money is probably not the most logical way to go about getting reliable 24 hour power.
Don’t you feel so much better now that you live where you do and not on some tiny island far, far away with a king called Bite Me? See, no matter how bad it is where you are, you can always find somewhere that things are worse, even if it is just in a fairytale story that was completely made up.
Again, any similarity between this fairy tale and people you may know is the product of your overactive imagination and is purely a coincidence. Any lessons to be learned from this fairy tale are totally unintended. And since I’m in the radio business, I obviously listen to a lot of music, and decided that I’d like to finish with a line from the chorus to one of my favorite songs by Carly Simon, with one minor substitution. “You’re so vain; you probably think this story’s about you, don’t you, don’t you?”
Food For Thought is now available online at www.fftsaipan.blogspot.com and if you want it by e-mail distribution please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Harry Blalock, thanking you once again for giving me a generous slice of your valuable time, and allowing me to share my Food For Thought.