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The Sandbox Parable

I don't like to get into politics in this blog, especially since I respect all points of views. But as of late the political characters playing roles in our nation's shutdown are about as dysfunctional as it gets. The main players seen to be Pelosi and Trump.

Imagine if they were kids playing in a sandbox. I know this takes a huge effort, since if you're me, you can't imagine Trump doing anything but goosing women and drinking lots of booze. As for Pelosi, I'd say she was a born nurturer---dull, dull, dull. But it may be worthwhile imagining them as kids to understand how people with tunnel vision can squabble over territory and often mature into big adults who quarrel and make bad decisions.

So Pelosi and Trump are in this smallish sandbox. They each have their pail and shovel --Trump's shovel is bigger and redder, but we won't hold it against him--and are having a wonderful time making sand castles and knocking them over. As little children are wont to do, they indulge in parallel play, which means they don't interact with each other.

But one day their grey matter has an unusual growth spurt and their pattern is broken when Donald decides to build a wall of sand around the perimeter of the sandbox. He needs to involve Nancy since the wall will invade her territory. Nancy is pissed off--she doesn't know if she can continue making sand castles if Donald is busy positioning this wall. Donald seems to have taken over the sandbox, leaving Nancy no room to play. It's at this point that the two decide to talk to one another.

Nancy: Why do you need to build such a big wall?

Donald: Because I'm protecting all the good people from the barbarians.

Nancy: What is a barbarian anyway?

Donald: That's someone who would come intro the sandbox and kick sand in everyone's face.

Nancy: Well, isn't there another way we could stop the barbarians?

Donald: I don't think so. I've talked this over with the kids on the swings and they tell me that the barbarians don't even speak English. So how could we talk to them?

Nancy: We could pantomine a solution. Act it out. You're good at that--I've watched you. Show them that a giant wall around the sandbox would be boring. It wouldn't allow them to come in and do other things besides kick sand-- like play with toy tractors and cars and maybe bury a kid. I really enjoy seeing people introduce new play ideas into the sandbox. Don't you?

Donald: No, because I worry that after the barbarians kick sand in everyone's faces, they will fill their buckets with more sand and then run around the playground throwing sand at everyone in the entire playground--kids and parents alike. Even the dogs could get a mouthful.

Nancy: Are you going to make the wall yourself or are you going to ask me and other kids to help?

Donald: I'm not sure. I've got one size bucket and you have another size, so that means if you help out, the wall will be uneven and that won't keep out the barbarians.

Nancy: Well, what if we all get the same size buckets? Then can we help?

Donald: I don't think that'll work out because now that I look at the sandbox, I'm not sure there's enough sand to make a wall. Maybe I need to contact the playground management and have them deliver a few more tons of sand.

Nancy: That sounds like a pain in the ass. Why don't you just chuck that idea and come up with a better plan?

Donald: And what would that be, Nancy?

Nancy: Maybe we could recruit a few parents to stand by the sandbox and keep the barbarians away. Wouldn't that work?

Donald: It might, but we'd probably have to ask the parents nicely and make sure none of their kids were barbarians. Sometimes it's hard to tell the barbarians from the kids who are dressed nicely in Izod designer togs and Nikes.

Nancy: This is getting too complicated, and I have yet to see a barbarian come close to the sandbox.

Donald: That's because they know if I say there will be a wall, I mean it.

Nancy: So as long as you're here, the barbarians won't come? I think we just solved the problem. Why don't you stay here and yell at the barbarians so I can protect my sand castles. How does that sound?

Donald: I'll take it under advisement and get back to you. Meanwhile I think we need to vacate the sandbox. Yes, a playground shutdown is the way to go. Then when kids can't use the swings, the slide, or the balance beam, they'll take the barbarians more seriously. Plus I'll get respect.

Nancy: You may get respect, Donald, but you'll get some other four-letter feedback you won't like.

Donald: You think so? In that case, I'll just sic the barbarians on them! Won't that be fun!

Nancy: I'm beginning to feel sorry for the barbarians.

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