over sushi

C: Can you tell me the story of the three little pigs?

R: Oh, sure! Once there were three pigs called Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo. They were cool pigs. They liked John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus, and the Nick and Nora movies, and heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil and bocconcini.

J: Don’t they sound like prats?

R: Oh no, they were lovely. They were PLU – Pigs Like Us. Anyway, they managed to get an offer accepted on a three-lot parcel, and after years in planning department hell, they broke ground on a green residential development. Harpo’s place was straw bale, Groucho’s was reclaimed lumber and Zeppo’s was reinforced concrete.

Well, in the meantime, a wolf had been elected president. And he mishandled the economy so badly – keeping interest rates artificially low, exacerbating an unhealthy balance of trade, encouraging exotic mortgages and consumer spending funded by home equity loans – that our heroes found themselves with negative equity! It was absolutely terrible. Harpo had to sell his place first, then Groucho was foreclosed. Luckily Zeppo had been living frugally, paying off the principal on his loan, so they all consolidated their debts and moved into his basement.

J: I find your story heavy-handed.

R: Just wait.

C: You forgot the part where the wolf came down the chimney and the pigs burned him on the bottom!

R: That’s exactly right, sweetheart. And the name of the fire was: term limits.

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