how much is that doggie in the costco?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a BIG problem. It didn’t seem big at first, but as time went by, it grew and grew. The problem was this. Many of the people owned puppies. Puppies were everywhere. Cute, bouncy, bubbly puppies. Puppy vendors sprouted up in every neighborhood. And the people who wanted to buy a puppy could go to the corner puppy store and get their puppy without any trouble.

But soon the puppy poop started to accumulate. There were piles and piles. The streets were slimed. The street cleaners couldn’t keep up with it, and it was costing a lot of money. And so legislation was passed, regulating the sale of puppies. All puppies had to be sold via the government. Only the government could determine which types of puppies were to be sold, and special stores were opened – owned and operated by the government – to sell puppies.

Many years passed, and the system seemed to work. The puppy stores still sold lots of puppies – though they couldn’t sell doggie treats or leashes or water dishes. The government felt that would be a conflict of interest, and might lead people to buy more than just one puppy, which could become a problem.

But then a really Big Store, that sold pretty much anything a puppy owner could want – except puppies! – hired some snarky lawyers and sued the government for the right to sell puppies. Why not? they reasoned. We sell dog food, dog toys, super scoopers – pretty much everything else. Let us sell puppies! Free enterprise!

Well, the government didn’t like that, and the people who worked for the government in charge of housing and moving and selling the puppies didn’t like it either. What would happen to their jobs? What if the cost of puppies went up? Why should they give away the right to sell puppies, which turned out to be pretty lucrative? And anyway, if puppy vendors popped up on every corner, well, the old poop problem would be right back where it started!

But the Big Store didn’t give up. They huddled and schemed, and their lawyers worked and worked, and they found a way to get the citizens of the country involved in changing the old laws. The first time they tried to take control of puppy sales back, the government stopped them again, saying, why should we give away such a valuable franchise? And how will you prevent too many puppy stores from opening, or too many puppies being bought by the same person? Or... worse still – children buying puppies, and not being responsible for their care and safety!

So the Big Store came back again, with a new proposal, that promised to pay the government a lot of money for their puppy franchise. It also prohibited too many small puppy stores from opening up, and kept the regulation of puppy sales tightly controlled by the government. All it really did was give people the chance to buy their puppy food, leashes, biscuits, toys, etc. at the same store where they bought their damn puppy.

And guess what? Once the law was changed, a short period of adjustment ensued, while all the businesses that had been designed around the old regulations had a chance to review the new laws and revise their business plans accordingly. And as before, some businesses prospered and some failed, some found new customers and some didn’t. Same as it ever was. And with all the new tax dollars, and the additional money it was saving by not running a puppy factory, the government was able to hire more Scooper Patrolers, and keep the streets clean! And everyone lived happily ever after.


Anonymous said...

Nice fairy tale!

Larry Olson said...

Fan-fricken-tastic analogy, Paul. You had me laughing a number of times at the silliness of it all.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Life will go on, I promise!

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Lovely parable, Mr. Gregutt!

About time we dump this stupid hangover from Prohibition.

Voting YES ON 1183.

Rand Sealey said...

This is hilarious! A modern fable.

Anonymous said...

I'm just worried about what happened to all of the teenagers who suddenly rushed to become puppy owners...the dog catchers in the TV ads said that this would result in the end of our immaculate poop-free society as we know it...pew, stinky.

Emily said...

Well said!

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