Billy the Broken Ferry
Voice: Why so glum, Billy?
Billy: Because I’m on drydock again. It’s so frustrating. Why do I keep breaking down?
Voice: Well, Billy, it’s because you’re old and decrepit.
Billy: Hey, watch it, big mouth!
Voice: But it’s true, Billy. You’re a reject from some other country, just like all the other ferries this government buys. Some of them have nagging problems that won’t go away. And sometimes it’s hard to fix them because the owner’s manual is in a foreign language.
Billy: Well, that’s pretty stupid.
Voice: That’s right, Billy. The Dunderdale government won’t invest in newer, well-maintained vessels, so it keeps having to take ferries off their runs to fix them. Then it has to borrow ferries from other runs to replace them. Do you see how pointless that is?
Billy: That’s crazy. It really makes my bilge water boil!
Voice: You said it, Billy.
Preston the Pro Hockey Team
Voice: Hey, guys. Ready to play?
Preston: We’re laced up and ready to rumble! There’s only one problem.
Voice: What’s that, Preston?
Preston: Well, it’s really expensive for us to be flying everywhere to play. We need the public to help pay our airfare.
Voice: No can do, Preston.
Preston: What? Why not?
Voice: Because you’re a professional hockey team, Preston. You should be able to make it on your own.
Preston: But we’re a really good investment. We bring in all sorts of business and tax revenues, and the public really loves us!
Voice: Well, if you’re that great, why doesn’t the business community pony up and invest the extra money?
Preston: Hmm, you’ve got me there. Time out!
Leonard the Lonely Codfish
Voice: Why so sad, Leonard?
Leonard: ’Cause most of my friends are gone. They’ve all been snatched up by greedy fishermen.
Voice: Fishermen aren’t greedy, Leonard. There’s just too many of them. That’s because the Dunderdale government won’t take the fish by the gills and rationalize the industry.
Leonard: Well, yeah. That’s why there’s so few of us here. But how do we rationalize the fishery?
Voice: Well, the government wants to let market forces determine that, Leonard. That’s a polite way of saying they’ll just ignore it and let the chips fall where they may.
Leonard: But there might not be any of us codfish left by then.
Voice: That’s right, Leonard. Watch out for that jigger!
Louis the Leaky Oil Rig
Louis: Oh, no! I’m leaking again. How embarrassing. Shh! Don’t let anyone know.
Voice: Why’s that, Louis?
Louis: Shh! Not so loud.
Voice: But everyone should know when you’re leaking, Louis.
Louis: Why? I don’t want everyone to know I have bad plumbing. They might make fun of me.
Voice: No, Louis. They don’t want to make fun of you. They just want to make sure that the company is not hiding anything. Because leaky oil rigs can kill wildlife and pollute shorelines. The Dunderdale government doesn’t seem to care about that. They don’t want to make oil companies accountable.
Louis: But isn’t the government also part of the company?
Voice: Bingo! Now, clean up that mess.
Peter Jackson is The Telegram’s
commentary editor. He can be
contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.