Recent events had me reaching for Aesop this week for a little comfort. The version I have was originally published by Hemlock Press in the fifth century BC. My Ancient Greek is a little rusty these days but to the best of my knowledge the fable I settled on was called “The Fag Hag and the Cocksucker.”
Princess Brillowig came from a well established family who owned everything in sight including the big Sugar Plant. They also had cornered the stoneware market and were said to make the finest stines in the village.
Little El Gee Wrongside came from the poor side of town. His family’s means were meager and could never afford the Brillowig’s refined sugar. His Mom had to use brown sugar to make the childrens’ all day suckers. She did so happily saying she preferred the darker version because it tasted so good.
Walking by the school yard one day Princess Brillowig noticed the snobbier kids making fun of El Gee. They all had suckers the colors of the rainbow only white sugar can produce. El Gee was slurping away on this butterscotch rod.
The Princess chided the bullies for being mean. She told them it didn’t matter what their suckers were made of, the important thing was everyone had something down their throat.
She did cover her bases before proceeding by asking El Gee, “that brown circle around your mouth is from the sucker isn’t it?” After getting an answer in the affirmative she concluded by asking everyone to rise above the discord and give her a rousing, team-building, “yea..yea…yea…WHEW!”
Their paths did not cross again until two decades later when they worked for the Sugar Factory. El Gee had risen to the highest levels of management and found himself together with the Princess on the powerful Ways to Glean Committee.
El Gee noticed the Princess kept getting wealthier and wealthier on her living wage salary. It didn’t seem right so he asked her about it.
She replied, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s right or not. It matters whether the rules say it’s not right.” The Princess took the little queen under her wing and the two of them spent the next thirty years making the not right right.
They both became very rich by, wink-wink, just doing their jobs. When the Trump Slump hit, however, El Gee was about to be laid off. The two held one last rule fixing session together then the Princess gave her diminutive companion a big hug. It was truly a feel good moment. Especially because they could feel all the coins in their pockets rubbing together.
The moral of the story? One correct decision does not an ungrifter make.