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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flaming Bags of Poo

There are two urban legends I heard about when I was a kid. One was about the boy who got his eye put out by a BB gun. Nobody knew who that kid was. That did not stop mothers everywhere from repeating that story. In fact, before you left the hospital with your newborn son- the nurses were required to issue the BB gun warning to new mothers. So it was that about ten years ago, in a bar in Jerome, Idaho, I met the guy. He swore to me that a BB put out his left eye. Lacking a polygraph or any other means of corroboration like a branding iron, I was forced to accept his account. Thus in my mind, that legend was proven true.

The second urban legend is the one where the kids place a pile of dogshit in a bag, put the bag on some rube's porch, and light it on fire. The homeowner comes out, sees the fire, and puts it out by stomping on the bag and getting dogshit everywhere. That is the story, the legend.  I must have heard that fable at least 20 times. Nobody has ever met the man who stomped the flaming bag.

What I have never heard, is a writer use the flaming bag of poo myth to make a perfect metaphor which aptly describes how the US banking system "works."

Here then is rendition 21.

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