Monday, May 01, 2006

A Leason Learned

Mr. Horatio Bartholomew Smith (Bart to his friends) was dumbfounded. He put the paper down where he had found it on the bench next to him.

He was waiting for the train home for his weekly trek to see his family. Trains were back in vogue now that mandatory flight insurance was so high. Trains were relatively cheap. Oh, He had seen how it was heavily subsidized but that was out of his taxes and he didn’t see that anyway. Just one swipe of the debit card and if he forgot to record it, his budget wasn’t in that much trouble. Besides, they didn’t handcuff you “for your own safety” on the trains. He still didn’t see how putting handcuffs on every seat was cheaper then arming the pilot but that’s what they said.

He remembered when this all began, or at least for him. He had just purchased stock in “SixShooter,” one of the gun companies, when they started banning guns. He had even owned a gun once, though he had never really used it. He had inherited it. He didn’t even remember what kind it was. Grandpa had told him that one of their ancestors had used it at Lexington during the “War for Independence.” Grandpa always called it that. Grandpa would fire it off every Fourth of July with great care and ceremony. Bart’s dad was afraid of it so he discontinued that practice when he inherited it. Bart had dutifully turned it in when the government asked him to. He did get fifteen dollars for it. He thought of Grandpa as he watched them roll over it with that bulldozer.

Bart then sold his gun company stock but it was too late. He had waited until after all the lawsuits started. Unable to hold the perpetrators responsible (they had no money) the lawyers went after the manufacturers of the weapons. After all, individuals might make mistakes but corporations made “plans.” For the sake of a buck, the corporations would sell their wares to the victims of society, who would in turn, victimize others. This corporate greed was the root of the problem and had to be dealt with. Besides, lawyers had to make a living too.

Selling at a loss, he transferred everything to Sluggo Inc., the sports equipment company. A prosperous venture, until baseball bats became the next weapon of choice by the “victims of society” desiring to influence others to do things they might not otherwise want to do. When deaths by bats or hockey sticks exceeded gun deaths is when he should have sold that stock. But he didn’t.

Bart thought it odd, he remembered hearing stories of people defending themselves with guns but he could not recollect any account of a granny defending herself with a Sluggo.

Registration wasn’t so bad. Oh the professional players whined when they were limited to how many bats they could buy at a time but what’s “good for the goose is good for the gander” Bart always said. The mandatory turn in was harder. His son, Jimmy, cried the whole time watching the bulldozer roll over all of those bats with his in the middle. He did get fifteen bucks for it. Bart decided not to tell him how much Santa had paid for it.

The lawsuits were killing Sluggo Inc. Then Congress banned baseball and declared that Kickball was the new national sport. Sluggo Inc. did not make kickball’s. Selling at a loss, he transferred everything to Bristle Broom and Bathroom Inc.

Bart had decided to look for a safe industry to invest the last of his dwindling fortune in. Cleaning supplies made sense and Bristle Broom and Bathroom Inc. was the best. But now this; Bart reread the title, “Death by broomsticks and plungers on the rise. Lawyers target Bristle B & B.” Bart cried.

Is there a moral to this story? Of course; Diversify your funds. Don’t put all of your stock in one company.

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