Life Tip #98

Don’t be a grasshopper. Be an ant.

I would love to credit the person who came up with the original version of this some years ago. I’ve updated and genericized it to make it as apolitical as possible. Enjoy!

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER — CLASSIC VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER — MODERN VERSION

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Then a representative of the NAAGB (National Association of American Green Bugs) shows up on Nightline and charges the ant with “green bias,” and makes the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 300 years of greenism.

Politicians appear on the CBS Evening News, Dateline NBC, and Meet the Press to tell hosts that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the prosperous summers.

Notable Hollywood celebrities protest that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission drafts the “Economic Equity” and “Anti-Greenism” Acts retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Opportunistic law firms scramble to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant. The case is tried before a panel of federal judges who were appointed from a list of welfare recipient parents who can only hear cases when their favorite daily talk shows aren’t scheduled. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he’s living in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him since he doesn’t know how to maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant’s food, they are showing politicians standing before wildly applauding activists announcing that a new era of fairness has dawned.

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