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“Don’t ever mess with the hippo.” One of my best friends of all time from sub-Saharan Africa told me that human river waders who underestimate the aggression and speed of the hippo may end up being slammed and jammed in a very uncomfortable way by a fast moving gigantic watermelon on legs.
And so it is with the federal government’s Hippo Crisy, hired by the President, Congress and the Car Czar to assist in the gobbling up of America’s once vibrant car biz. Big government’s Hippo Crisy, a native of the Zambezi River delta and a veteran of combat with killer crocs, was brought on board as a contractor (three year term) with a salary of $5 million per year and with full health care insurance coverage, including comprehensive dental. Sweet package!
For the first few months on the job, the feds’ Hippo Crisy was tasked merely to bask in the sun on finely manicured lawns outside the enormous, energy-sucking “cribs” (hometown mansions) of John Edwards, Al Gore and President Obama. About once a week, Hippo Crisy was tossed a capitalist bone in the form of a bank or an insurance company, but her increasing appetite for privately held companies became excessive and spun quickly out of control. She liked the taste of sugary sweet "Capitalist Crunch" cereal and wanted only more, more, more. Sheesh!
At the same time, Hippo Crisy’s finely honed Zambezi River delta “survival of the fittest” values were being corrupted by her new employer, the federal government. Once a hunter and seeker of sustenance, Hippo Crisy no longer wanted to work for a living. She no longer wanted to take action. She no longer wanted to move. She no longer wanted to produce. She had been turned into a government-fed, government-sustained system beater, par excellence. Hey, she considered such a dramatic lifestyle change to be 100% fair. In fact, it represented change that Hippo Crisy could believe in.
In the form of a well conditioned system beater, the feds’ Hippo Crisy soon began to complain more as she did less. Her nanny state employers, instead of documenting her sub-standard performance and reprimanding her, reframed her required duties to include more paid SOYA (Sit on Your - - -) time and scheduled more back massages and pedicures to be carried out during her work hours. Not another month had passed before Hippo Crisy had her own Secret Service detail composed of highly trained female lions recruited from the plains of the Serengeti. And when Hippo Crisy moved, she moved in a stretch limo, not in a soap box derby go cart. And her Secret Service simbas wheeled around in super spiffy black full size SUVs. Government Hippo Crisy, in action. All the way. Shouting loudly, “Yes, we can!” in the taxpayers’ faces.
Ahhhhh! Getting paid to sit back and do nothing was certainly “the life” for the federal government’s Hippo Crisy. Why, indeed, would any sane hippo contemplate working for a living? However, the best was yet to come. During late Spring of 2009, at the invitation of her hypocritical federal government employers, Hippo Crisy opened her jaws, stretched them to the max, and swallowed Chrysler and General Motors in quick succession. Having been seasoned with government-approved butter-free-butter and salt-free-salt prior to grilling, Chrysler and GM formed a tasty two course gourmet dinner meal for the federal government’s favorite capital-consuming beast.
Banks? Insurance companies? Car manufacturers? Car dealers? Who’s next? What’s next? Only big government’s Hippo Crisy and her hypocritical, capitalism-hating employers know for sure. One thing’s for certain. If you work hard for your money and if you work for someone who does the same, keep your heads up and your eyes peeled. There’s an always hungry Hippo Crisy hiding just beneath the surface of the water, waiting patiently to devour the capitalist dream that you both hold close to your hearts. And know that Hippo Crisy’s leash is both thin and weak. Just ask the big government-loving hypocrites on Capitol Hill who hold that leash loosely as they go shopping for Hippo Crisy's next free meal. Could that next meal be you?
Christopher Ferris c 603.233.8759 firstname.lastname@example.org