Aesop’s Foibles


Once upon a time there was a faraway land named Plenty. The kingdom stretched far and wide from sea to sea. The inhabitants were hard working souls with a king named Sam. King Sam lived for many hundreds of years.

He was so old that he let others be king for awhile. Usually for four or eight years. He even hoped some day there would be a queen. He was there for PR only and posed for pictures and posters and walking in parades. Some temp kings were great and some were real bad. Some even forgot they were temporary and thought they really were the king.

The land was of particular beauty and diversity. There were shires and townships but everyone thought their future lay in being part of the kingdom. Even so, many of the local princes tried to strut their stuff in hopes that some day King Sam would pick them as temp king. No matter what, each one thought he could do a better job.

Everyone sent some of their wealth to the king and the king in return made sure the roads were in good shape and the people were defended from foreign powers. Actually it wasn’t that hard because Plenty was bounded on three sides by water. If they stayed home everything would be fine but they were adventurous and proud. Soon they strayed where they didn’t belong. Bravado overtook brains.

The real source of wealth was the golden goose they kept in a secret hiding place inside the palace walls. The goose was tended to by Sir Paul, Sir Alan and Sir Ben from time to time. They tried to make sure it was not starved or overfed. Many times it looked like a goner but was nursed back to health. It’s not doing too well right now.

The walls not only kept people out but the denizens in. It was actually quite wonderful because inside the walls every thing was hunky dory and you had no idea what was going on outside. There were all sorts of strange characters. Sometimes you really wondered how they became knights and ladies.

There was Sir John who always looked tan and never a hair out of place. Yet he didn’t come from a sunny part of the kingdom. There was Sir Mitch who did nothing but tell stories in the Ye Olde Cracker Barrel store. Sir Harry had an amusement park. One of the thrill centers was a roller coaster named Yucca Mountain. He took everyone for a ride on that one.

On occasion, Sir Harry, John and Mitch often did their best impersonation of the Three Stooges to the absolute delight of the courtesans. Lady Michelle of St Paul was locked in the tower several times for bouts of mania and delusion. She was always visited by Sheena Palin who really thought she was Queen of the Jungle.

There of course was an evil witch in the person of Lady Nancy. Her plastic smile was a thing to behold. She could sing the kingdom‘s anthem without ever moving a facial muscle. At one point, if the king and two knights died, she would have been queen. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Oh well, she is still plotting, although very much out of favor.

Sir Chuck of Shumer just babbles and no one listens. Sir Paul of Wisconsin is very smart…maybe too smart. He was always the kid who had all the answers in grammar school. Couldn’t tell him a thing.

One day greed and jealousy infected the kingdom.(Cue the creepy organ music)Enter the Lloyd of Blankfein. He was joined by Jamie of Morgan and Dick of Fuld. They had it in their mind to screw everyone one out of their money while using the golden goose to finance their every desire.

When it was all over only Lord Dick was beheaded. Jamie and Lloyd had pulled their caper. They split their spoils while claiming they had nothing to do with the disaster that struck the kingdom. But it was too late.

You see every one got too fat. They stopped working and relied on the king for everything. They bought many things and Jamie and friends were only too happy to take their money and even lend exorbitant amounts when these people had nothing. Eat. drink and be merry was the cry throughout the hills.

Now we had problems. Everyone forgot how to work. The old folks wanted everything at the expense of the youth. They were frail and moribund. They wanted to be saved at all cost. The golden goose was deathly ill. Worse yet the roads were in shambles. Bridges were out. The gate to the palace was in great disrepair. The moat stunk to high heaven. There was strife everywhere.

The wannabe temp king said “Let me in King Sam. I will change everything”. He was young and dashing. He had visions that turned out to be dark clouds. He let everyone down by just doing the same old things. Money couldn’t solve this mess. He and the palace had promised too much. The people stayed but the factories left. This has all the makings of a very sad ending.

King Sam got up from his bed and listened. He was disheartened to hear everyone fighting. He said, “This was not the way we started out. Where did we all go so wrong? Why do you fight like children?” Like many other fairy tales, people were killing the golden goose. They just thought of themselves. They wanted so much but were not of a mind to give anything back. Not even to give thanks.

Well, I have to stop now. We will have to finish this story another time. We’ll have to see how it ends. I wish I could do something to make it turn out right. It looks scary but maybe, just maybe it will have a happy ending. The kingdom has to get its act together. It’s up to them. We’ll have to wait and see. Tune in soon.

As always

Ted The Great

Factoid:  There are no such things as dragons and Camelot. Life is cruel but good judgment and fraternity(sorority too) will conquer all. Long live the king!

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