Once upon a time, there was a criminal organization that terrorized the good people of Kingdom County. Each Monday morning, Barry, the head of the Kingdom County mob met with his underlings, Coppertone, Mitchell, and Dallas. They decided how they would spend the money they stole and extorted from the people of Kingdom County.
One particular morning, Coppertone, Mitchell, and Dallas were especially excited to appear before Barry with their ideas. Coppertone said, “Let’s have a big booze party, grill steaks, invite our friends, and hire some hookers.” Barry, along with the others, loved the idea.
Mitchell stepped forward. “I think we could all use a vacation. I say we take a cruise.” Barry smiled approvingly.
Finally, Dallas suggested, “With what we have left, I propose we buy more influence and recognition in Kingdom County. We should build monuments and name them after ourselves.”
All three underlings had offered excellent ideas. Barry, however, the most ruthless and heartless of the mobsters, became visibly upset. An omission occurred to him. “You underlings know that we use a portion of our funds each week to hire mercenaries. Some of the money we confiscate from the people must be set aside to continue this funding.”
The underlings looked at each other. Coppertone, trying to appear confident, timidly replied, “You know, Barry, we aren’t so keen on that anymore. Apparently the mercenaries have been killing children, chopping them up, and selling their body parts. Even mobsters have to draw the line somewhere. We are more than happy to fund all of our normal activities. In fact, we are eager to do so. But we cannot and will not go along with continuing to fund your mercenaries.”
First, Barry pouted. Then, he threw a temper tantrum. Slamming his sand wedge onto the table, he glared at them and exclaimed, “I’ve been around the world and to all 57 states except one and I have never heard of such treachery. If we can’t keep funding the mercenaries, then we won’t fund anything. I’ll see to it. I will shut down this criminal organization altogether.”
Coppertone, Mitchell, and Dallas were stunned and flummoxed. Smiling diabolically and knowing he had the upper hand, Barry continued, “Furthermore, I will blame all of you for the shutdown.”
Coppertone objected, “Now wait a minute. Blame us? You are the one shutting it down. We are entirely committed to the continued work of this criminal organization. Furthermore, you know very well that we have done everything necessary to allow for its continued operation.”
Barry laughed contemptuously, “You fools. Of course it will be my fault. But you will get the blame. You always do. And the people of Kingdom County will all hate you.” At this, their gelatin spines melted and turned to pure liquid. Coppertone started to weep. Mitchell’s jowls trembled with fright. Dallas knew he was outwitted. “Okay,” they all agreed. “You get your way. . . again.”
And all the mobsters in Kingdom County lived happily ever after.