Bill and Al’s Egregious Adventure

Once upon a time, as it usually is, there were two early-middle-aged politicians (we’ll call them Bill and Al), who — like many career politicians — had yearned for the presidency since they were in diapers. Bill and Al, like all career politicians, had never held real jobs and had no inkling of what they were doing to real people when they proposed policies, pushed legislation, and published regulations. But, boy, were they “getting things done.”

Bill and Al were of an age when you could get high and later rise to high office. And so they did. (Well, Bill tried to inhale but couldn’t, or “didn’t” as he slickly put it.) Bill was elected dog-catcher and Al was elected deputy dog-catcher.

The small town where they caught dogs — a town called DeeCee — didn’t need dog catchers because all the dogs were well behaved and healthy. But there had been dog catchers in the town since the days when dogs ran wild, and so the townspeople kept electing dog catchers.

Because Bill thought it was important to make a good impression on the citizenry of DeeCee, he began by proposing regulations about how dogs should be fed, how often they should be given their shots, how long they should be walked, and how they should be trained. The voters of DeeCee told Bill where to put his regulations and kept on keeping on with their well-behaved and healthy dogs.

Al had great ideas about how to make the town’s businesses more efficient, and he spent a lot of time pestering business owners with his loony ideas. They nodded politely when he launched into his boring speeches and laughed politely at his lame jokes, then went right back to running their businesses profitably.

Bill and Al grew bored and restless as their jobs proved unnecessary and their meddling in other matters fell flat. Bill began to make up stories about wild dogs so that he could get out of the office to chase young women. Al began dipping into his expense account for trips to luxurious resorts.

One day, Bill’s wife caught him in a compromising situation and shot him dead. Al returned to DeeCee to assume the post of chief dog-catcher, but was convicted of embezzlement as soon as set foot in town.

The moral of the story is this: The best career politician is one who doesn’t do anything, doesn’t say anything, and keeps his hands in his own pockets. If you can’t heed this moral, you shouldn’t run for dog-catcher.