Tennis Racquet:Bat :: Broom:?

For you non-mathemeticians, that’s analogy notation… i.e., tennis racquet is to bats as broom is to what?

Answer: chicken.

If you read my post from yesterday, you’ve already heard about the chickens taking up residence in the middle of our road. Today they were still here, so my neighbor herded them down to our front yard with a broom. Not sure why, but I’m thinking he was either really, really bored or didn’t want his wife to keep feeding them.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Well, truth be told — he didn’t. He started to but then he got distracted by the chicken going the opposite direction and they decided to spend some quality time together.

My neighbor calls a little while ago and asks “Is Tom home yet?”.
Me: “No, but he’s on his way. What’s up?”.
Neighbor: “You should call him and tell him if he’s not careful, the chicken police will come after him?”
Me: “The what?”.
Neighbor: “The chicken police. There are two chickens nesting in the middle of the road and with all the snow, you can barely see them.”
Me: “Uh, ok. They’re just sitting there?”.
Neighbor: “Yup.”
Me: “For how long?”
Neighbor: “All day.”
Me: “But it’s freezing out.”.
Neighbor: “Which reminds me… what are you guys doing for dinner tomorrow? By morning, we might have some frozen poultry that needs pluckin’.”

Health Care Reform: The Predatory Public Option

Don’t believe me? I’ll explain…

In the late 1870’s, Hawaii had more than it’s fair share of rats. So in 1872, a farmer — without thinking through the consequences — decided to import a few mongoose (4 males and 5 females, to be exact). Not only did the mongoose take care of a few rats, they also eliminated the snakes, lizards, crabs, toads and grubs. Despite warnings from experts, they imported more in 1883 and spread them to the other islands — without thinking through the consequences. The end result: the mongoose will eat just about anything and is more active during the day. So instead of preying on the nocturnal rat, they rid Hawaii of many of its native species and devastated the ecosystem.

Between 1979 and 1982, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced the multicolored Asian ladybug to selected areas of the midwest — without thinking through the consequences — to combat a pest problem. The end result: ladybugs won’t stay where you put them. They quickly multiply and migrate across long distances. In the spring and fall, my house is infested with them — it’s not uncommon to vacuum a thousand of these pesky creatures off a bay window on a sunny day.

Here in New Hampshire, we relied on the fisher-cat — without thinking through the consequences — to control the porcupine population. The end result: we still have porcupines, but the fishers have taken quite a liking to birds, small mammals, chickens, small pets, bobcats, coyotes and moose or deer from time to time.

Predators are by their very nature, opportunistic. Why should a fisher spend 30 minutes killing a porcupine when it can easily feast on poultry?

I think we’re going to learn all too late that the same will be true of the public option. Why would employers continue to provide health care benefits for its employees when it will be more cost effective to just pay the fines, forcing people into a so-called option they don’t want and making it much harder for private insurance companies to compete, resulting is higher costs for customers who are lucky enough to keep the insurance they’re happy with?

Our elected representatives have been given warning after warning, yet they’re determined to drive this thing home without thinking of the consequences. If they’re allowed to succeed, I believe this will be the single event that does the most damage to our economic ecosystem in this decade.