The ant, the grasshopper and eminent domain
October 31, 2006
The following story was e-mailed to me by a friend. I have no idea where it came from. I have embellished it to an even more ridiculous degree so that it would more closely resemble American politics. Even its original fractured fairy tale form had Grasshopper Soup written all over it. Consider it another lame political advertisement.
The diligent ant worked hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house for himself and his family and gathering supplies for the winter. He acquired a lot of property and fought hard to protect it all after quite a few run-ins with ant eaters, larger insects, birds and floods. He avoided, for awhile, the governments policy of eminent domain.
The grasshopper always thought the ant was a fool and laughed and danced the summers away. That winter, the shivering grasshopper called a press conference and demanded to know why the ant should be allowed to be so warm and well fed while grasshoppers were cold and starving.
CBS, NBC and ABC came to the rescue with pictures of shivering, homeless grasshoppers and a video of the ant and his well-dressed family in their comfortable home at a table filled with food.
Americans were stunned by the terrible contrast. How can this be, they wondered, that in a country of such wealth these poor, poor grasshoppers are deprived of basic needs and are subjected to so much suffering?
Kermit the Frog appeared on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cried when they sang “Its Not Easy Being Green” and “Kumbaya”. Jesse Jackson staged a Million Grasshopper March and accused all ants of racism, or rather, insectism. They sang “We shall overcome” for the television cameras and the cratypedus neglectus (Latin for grasshopper) crusade was broadcast all around the world.
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Jesse had the group kneel down to pray to God for the poor grasshoppers. Then the show went on a world tour, inflaming anti-ant sentiment. Television crews blocked the ant’s house. Al Gore proclaimed in an interview with Larry King that the ant became rich on the back of grasshoppers and called for an immediate tax hike on all ants to make them pay their “fair share.” The EEOC drafted the Economic Equity and Anti-Ant Act, retroactive to the beginning of summer.
The ant was fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of illegal immigrant grasshoppers to do his laundry and yard work. The ant’s home was confiscated by the government because he was now too poor to pay his taxes.
Hillary Clinton convinced her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant. The case was tried before a panel of federal judges who were appointed from a list of jobless Hollywood celebrities. The ant lost the case and all ant property was confiscated by outgoing Congressman John T. Doolittle. He imposed eminent domain on the poor ant.
The grasshoppers were given everything the ant owned, including his house, which eventually crumbled down around the head grasshopper because he was too busy smoking Cuban cigars and traveling to exotic resorts with famous people to maintain it.
The ant and his entire family were turned out into the snow. The ant was not yet old enough to collect Social Security, even though he still had millions in his name. All the ant’s money was eventually given to methadone clinics for grasshopper meth addicts by the government at Howard Dean and Jimmy Carter’s insistence.
The head grasshopper ate all of the ant’s food and was later found dead in a drug-related incident involving three Rap artists and an Afghan war lord. The abandoned house was taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorized the once peaceful neighborhood.
The moral of the story is, vote Republican, unless were talking about John Doolittle.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.