Vol. 8, Issue 4, May 11, 2010
Education for the Otiose
The Voice Of Reason

Grasshopper Bailout Could Cost 5 Billion Seeds and Half a Snickers Bar

The bailout of the grasshopper economy could cost as much as five billion seeds and half a Snickers bar, according to new figures from analysts at the Formidicae Institute, and even more bailout funds are almost certain to be needed in 2011 if drastic austerity measures are not put into place.

"Do you know how hard it was to get that Snickers bar into the goddamn anthill," said Lucy Ouvrier, vice president of acquisitions for the yard next door. "We may be able to drag objects many times our own weight, but we're not miracle workers."

Although intervention to prop up the grasshopper economy is a regular feature of anthill economics - this marks the 185th consecutive annual bailout of the grasshoppers - matters have gotten much more serious since Jenny Caelifera, a locust from Maple Street, got a preapproved credit card offer in the mail a few years ago.

"You can buy so many things with this thing!" gushed Caelifera from the front porch of a large, five-bedroom house nestled in a wealthy Connecticut suburb, where she was chewing excitedly on an expensive floral arrangement. "Sometimes I buy things that are too heavy to carry home, but it's fun to buy them anyway. Hey - you know what? Ants are good at carrying heavy things! Maybe they can bring home that TV for me!"

The grasshopper economy, which is highly seasonal, began to collapse at the onset of winter as it usually does. However the added interest charges this year had multiplied grasshopper debt exponentially. When the ant community balked at covering the extra fees, grasshopper attorneys successfully appealed to the SEC (Securities and Entomological Commission) using their trademark "aw, c'mon, man" defense.

"Aw, c'mon, man," argued attorney Otto Orthoptera, shrugging his shoulders and smiling.

"He makes a good point," conceded SEC chairperson Katie Didd.

The ants are concerned not just with the cost of the bailout, but also with the prospect that other communities may start asking for bailouts as well, such as the crickets.

"Let me tell you, they had better not touch our Nutter Butter reserves," said Ouvrier. "If the SEC tries to redistribute our cookies, all bets are off."


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