Commentary

SPOILIN’ THE BROTH

Just so you can better understand Congress

Neighbor Grover sez if con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

A nd Neighbor Grover’s question fits the theme of this column, compiled from a couple of astute emails.

First, from a musician friend of mine, jazz pianist Tommy Griffith of Austin. Enjoy the logic:

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.

A s soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result—all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the others will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees t he banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the tar out of him.

A f ter another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment.

Replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs.

Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water.

Nevertheless, none of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana.

Why, you ask? Because in their minds, that is the way it has always been.

This, my friends, is how Congress operates. And is why, from time to time, all of the monkeys need to be replaced at the same time.

—bc—

And the following from Harold L. Parsley of our town:

A young cowboy from Texas goes off to college. Half way through the semester, he has squandered all his money. He calls home.

“Dad,” he says, “ You won’t believe what modern education is developing. They actually have a program here in Austin that will teach our dog, Ol’ Blue, how to talk.”

“That’s amazing,” his Dad says. “How do I get Ol’ Blue in that program?”

“Just send him down here with $1,000,” the son says. “I’ll get him in the course.”

So, his father sends the dog and $1,000. About two-thirds of the way through the semester, the money again runs out. The boy calls home.

“So how’s Ol’ Blue doing son?” his father asks.

“Awesome, Dad, he’s talking up a storm,” the son says, “but you just won’t believe this—they’ve started to teach the animals how to read.”

“Read!” says his father, “No kidding! How do we get Ol’ Blue in that program?”

“Just send $2,500, I’ll get him in the class.”

The money arrives. But the son has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog can neither talk or read.

So he shoots the dog.

When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father is excited. “Where’s Ol’ Blue? I just can’t wait to see him read something and talk!”

“Dad,” the boy says, “I have some gr im news. Yesterday, before we left to drive home, Ol’ Blue was in the living room, reading the Wall Street Journal. Then he asked, “So, is your daddy still messing around with that little redhead down the street?”

The father exclaimed, “I hope you shot that lying mutt before he talks to your Mother!”

“I sure did, Dad!”

“That’s my boy!”

The kid went on to law school and is now a Congressman in Washington, D.C.


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2011-06-23 digital edition



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