There was an itsy bitsy spider. Or maybe it was incy wincy? What’s the difference? Probably has to do with those Brits across the Big Pond trying to colonialize more of our culture just like with their pop star singers and BBC television series. It’s a Second Revolutionary War, but this time, they cast an English actor as Superman.
So, this itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot spider wore a bikini for the first time today because she was feeling rather confident and sassy. But her poise would become a slippery slope indeed. For as she began to ascend one desirable waterspout, the most magnificent and beautiful of all gutter drains, that is when the floodgates opened up and a torrential, watery vengeance descended upon our fair heroine. Alas, she was swept away by the wave and with it her aspirations to climb the socio-economic ladder—giving new meaning to the term “trickle-down economics.”
But then! Arise the sun did, and the floods were evaporated as if nothing but a shadowy memory. Then the vertically challenged arachnid traversed and climbed up the spout again to stand triumphantly with her dignity intact and her eyes (all eight of them) gleaming in the soft glow of sun beams.
Now, one might be tempted to deconstruct this nursery rhyme as merely a more child-friendly retelling of the tragic Greek myth of Sisyphus who was condemned to an eternity of pushing a boulder up a hill just to watch it roll back down again and again. But I believe there is more optimism warranted of our eight-legged legend.
You see, in life, there will be storms. When it rains, it pours, and when you’re stuck in a drain pipe, you’re probably confused about the purpose of pipes (I’ll give you a hint: they’re not for climbing). But it’s not about avoiding the rains. It’s about what you choose to do in the midst of them, and what you choose to continue to do after them. Falling down gives us the opportunity to learn how to stand back up. And getting caught in the rain gives us the opportunity to eat lemon drops and gum drops that taste like smog and soot.
The sun will come out again.
The morals of the story:
Keeping faith that the sun will rise gives us the strength to endure and the courage to face the rains.
Next time, just take the stairs. Or at least bring an umbrella/galoshes/raincoat. No one likes wet socks.
aka: What the curly tale of the three little pigs can teach us about the 2008 housing market crisis
Once upon a time…
There were three little pigs (not those miniature-pigs, mind you—those don’t actually exist; they’re a scam so don’t buy one online—no these were just prepubescent piggies, runts of the litter if you will). Their names were Ham, Bacon, and Prosciutto because they had cynical, millennial pig parents who had prescribed themselves to a life of pessimism and vanity after a financial crisis struck in which a parade of wolves on wall street huffed and puffed and blew down many houses of swine. But that’s another story.
Well, anyways, let’s just skip a bit here on the whole character development thing. So, yeah, one day, the three brother pigs (or sister pigs, I don’t know, whichever or neither, I’m not a sexist pig after all) decided to build them each a home. Because living in a pit of mud had become dull and they said to their old folks that they were too good to stay in that pigsty any longer. What pretentious little piggies.
Now at this juncture, I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, these animals walk and talk?” Yes, animals in these tales are always anthropomorphized for some reason. Don’t ask me why. I suppose because it would be a rather dull story to hear otherwise.
But anyways, Ham, always the shrewd one, decided to build his home out of straw—you know, the stuff many animals like horses and I’m pretty sure pigs will eat. Not the drinking straws due to a global shortage since coffee shops have decided that those plastic tubes of death suck—literally and figuratively. Obviously, he finished first. As they say, if you want a job done fast, just assign the laziest person in the office to do it because they’ll find the quickest way to get it done.
Bacon, however, opted to build his home out of sticks because there’s hardly anything better smelling than some hickory smoked bacon, and this guy was oinking for the ladies (or vice versa; again, not a chauvinist here).
And then there was Prosciutto, a more refined swine. A sophisticated gourmand with a cane, monocle, and British accent for some reason. He built his home out of bricks—you know, like what many normal houses are made of. Actually, he probably didn’t build anything. He probably outsourced and hired a general contractor.
Well one inevitably plot-convenient day, the Big Bad Wolf (I guess that’s his [or her, wait no, it’s a bad guy so definitely a he] proper first, middle, and last name) was prowling around to find another sucker to commit fraud against. He then came upon the three pigs’ homes.
Mr. Big B. Wolf then proceeded to knock on little Ham’s door and proclaimed, “Little pig, little pig, won’t you let me come in? I promise that these interest rates won’t change for the first three years!” The wee little pig then proceeded in a rather rough, rash, and rudely manner to shout, “Not by one hair follicle upon either of my double chin!” “Well, I never!” responded Mr. Wolf. “Then I suppose I’ll just have to huff and puff and blow your house down!” Because I guess that’s a normal emotional reaction from a door-to-door salesman who’s been turned away? And so, he did just that, and the house of straw came crashing down. This event would become known as the Second Great Housing Market Crash of the 2000s.
Now, if this were a melancholier and purist rendition of the classic fable, then Ham’s story would end in the gullet of the beast. However, since we want to remain family friendly in our tale, we won’t even insinuate that the piglets were devoured alive by the blood-thirsty scoundrel. Won’t mention it at all. Instead, somehow, by deus ex machina, the little pig got away and ran to his sibling Bacon’s house.
Lather, rinse, repeat. You know the story. Sticks are also terrible for building livable structures. So, let’s just skip to the next bit.
The Big Bad Wolf was now quite irate at the lack of hospitality shown by the locals. Where he came from, you invited visitors in for a nice brunch—something simple like eggs and bac… never mind. Ham, Bacon, and Prosciutto all hunkered down in the house made of bricks. The Wolf demanded to be let in. Obviously, “not by the hair on their chinny, chin, chins.” Whatever that means. Like does that mean that strangers are normally allowed in if they acquire a piglet whisker to pay a door toll? Is it a triple chin? Either way, the Wolf began to huff and puff and put on another pathetically desperate show but this time to no avail. Prosciutto announced, “We’ll have no huffing and puffing here my good man. This democratic state has not yet legalized use of such substances, and I’m sure all that dramatic Lamaze of yours isn’t for medicinal purposes either.” Nevertheless, Mr. Wolf blew again and again until he passed out due to lack of oxygen to the brain, at which point the three little pigs called animal control and the Federal Trade Commission.
Then they helped themselves to a nice bowl of slop, and they all lived happily ever after. Except for Prosciutto. Because his nice, new home was now overrun and overcrowded with his frustratingly loud and ignorant brothers.
So, now boys and girls, the moral(s) of the story are:
Avoid taking out a second mortgage, and definitely not any subprime loans on a home that you can’t realistically afford.
Also, invest in homeowners and wolf disaster insurance.
Also, also, don’t let strange, hairy people in your house.
Oh, yeah, and something about the foolish pig builds his/her house out of straws and sticks that can break my bones but words will never hurt me as much as a brick to the face, but the wise pig builds his/her house out of actual building materials. Duh.
Oh, dear scorned and neglected one! Day often approached in despair, As the final, sweet moments of weekend expire. A day bemoaned and begrudged; Oh poor, little Mondays.
None want to wake to you, All want to wait for you. Marker of the week, The work begins with you, As sighs and fruffy grumbles float across the office space.
But may it not be oh Dawn Breaker, oh Bringer of New Life! Accused of fussy scruples and pedantic pontificating. Nay! You saucy little rascal. You plucky tortoise who shall win the race.
With new week, comes new focus, new resolve. It is New Year’s resolutions every New Monday. Tis cause for celebration. May we shout and rejoice. Another opportunity draws nigh to be the gladiator champion of productivity.
So pour the robust beans, That scalding, hot elixir of the heavens. Breathe in full and deep the crisp, morning air. Admire the glittering lights of dew resting and waking with the dawn. Seize the day; grasp hold and leave your fingerprints on time and space.