Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Parable for Our Times

Once upon a time, there lived in the land of Free Enterprise, a boy named Geoffrey O. Pretentious. Despite having come into the world without so much as shirt on his back, Geoffrey soon became accustomed to having everything he wanted. He would ask his prosperous parents for something and they would comply, asking only that he remember their generosity when he was powerful and famous. One year, they got him a pit bull, which he named Liberty.

Next door to Geoffrey's house was an orphanage. His parents tried to keep the orphanage out of their neighborhood but, due to governmental regulations, they were unsuccessful. Geoffrey's dad used to complain that, because the orphans were willing to cut the Pretentious' lawn for less than the local landscaper, they were depriving deserving Free Enterprisers of jobs.

"See what happens to the job market when government interferes?", Geoffrey's dad used to bellow.

"See that boy there?", he would sometimes say, pointing his thick finger for the benefit of Geoffrey. "He can barely push the lawnmower through our plush grass. They ought to feed him better. And look at his skin. It looks kinda dark to me. I'm going to have one of my employees check into his immigration status."

Geoffrey, naturally wanting to please his daddy and benefactor, tried to come up with a means to discourage the owners of the orphanage from staying in their location next door. At first, he would leave his toys in the orphanage's driveway, so the adults couldn't drive their cars into the garage without moving them. Later, he would let the air out of their tires or shut off the power to the house when they weren't looking. He would collect all of Liberty's poop and save it 'til it was time to mow the grass, then scatter it all over the lawn, so that the brown-skinned boy would step in it. [Note: Geoffrey didn't have to worry about stepping in the poop because he owned a Playstation 4 and seldom stepped outside.]

As Geoffrey "matured", his pranks became more and more demoralizing to his neighbors. If they attempted to conserve heat by replacing the old, drafty windows with new Thermopanes, he would shoot at them with his BB gun, although always from a direction that would not cast suspicion on him. When the orphanage replaced their blacktopped driveway with a new concrete one, Geoffrey sneaked out in the dead of night and wrote in big letters on the still-soft surface, "No amnesty for illegal alien orphans or those who coddle them. Signed, Compassionate Conservative". To do this, Geoffrey used the Big Stick that his daddy used to carry around while Talking Softly.

After several years of this kind of treatment, the orphanage moved to another neighborhood. Geoffrey's parents threw a block Tea Party, at which time they announced that they had bought the lot where the orphanage had stood and were going to tear it down and let the ground go fallow. Next year, they would allow their wealthy neighbors to mow the hay for the feeding of their thoroughbred horses and use the money saved on taxes to turn their lawn into a miniature golf course and tennis emporium.

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