Because composing idiotic, overly drawn-out metaphors at 0100 is a way better idea than going to sleep, I want to share a story with you today. (Seriously, fight through it, and at least fake a chuckle.) Once upon a time, there was a family with two sons. The older one -- let's just call him "Army" -- has gotten a lot of good gifts in the last few years, as his folks have been making good money and wanted to spoil him. The younger one -- I know it's weird, but his name is "Air Force" -- gets plenty of good loot, too. But he's the younger kid, and we all know what happens with younger kids: sometimes you have to settle for hand-me-downs.
Seriously, though: Army and Air Force have pretty generous parents. The kids get all kinds of toys and clothes and balls and bats and whatnot, but on top of that, they even get an allowance! "Do whatever you want with it," their folks say, with the usual warnings about spending it all in one place. But what happens when you spoil your kids? Well, you know how this goes: the kids spend their money like damn fools. They buy crap that's too expensive. They buy crap that doesn't work. They buy crap that never shows up in the mail. Basically, they buy a whole bunch of crap, but Mr. and Mrs. Congress -- that's the parents, weirdly enough -- they just keep on bumping up that allowance.
Then one day, completely out of the blue, disaster strikes: Mr. Congress loses his job. Worse yet, summer's coming, and Army and Air Force are wee little ballplayers. Army's been at it for a couple years, so he's got all the gear, but you know kids -- he's looking for the flashy new model. And Air Force is growing up quick, so he can't even get his little tyke's paw into last year's glove, and he definitely needs a new one. Rough timing, though, with dad getting sacked and all. But those crazy kids managed to stash some cash away in their piggybanks, so they're off to the sporting goods store.
Momma didn't raise no fools, and you just wouldn't even believe the price tag on a Mike Young Hot Corner Synthetic Leather Web Gem Special these days. But Army's got an awesome idea: "hey little bro, I've got this perfectly awesome glove that I don't even really want anymore, and I'm getting a new mitt anyway. And look, this glove is WAY TOO BADASS for some little joke t-ball league, and it's probably a little bit too big for you, and man, Air Force, you little t-ball kids don't even catch the ball with your gloves anyway! But I've got a deal for you: gimme your allowance, and I'll give you my big boy glove. It's a hell of a deal."
This sounds pretty good to Air Force. Sure, Army's right: the glove is way too big, and it's way too fancy for a t-baller. But he'll grow into it, and it saves him spending all day in the mall trying to find a glove he can afford with his meager savings. (No, obviously, he didn't use the word "meager." He's a kid, FFS.) Plus, mom and dad are gonna love this, right? Two allowances, two gloves, no old, unwanted gloves get thrown in the trash.
But then you're never going to guess what happened: DAVID AXE CAME ALONG AND CALLED THIS INNOCENT LITTLE T-BALL KID A "CHEATER" FOR BUYING HIS BROTHER'S OLD GLOVE AND SAVING IT FROM THE TRASH HEAP WHEN ARMY WAS GONNA GET A NEW ONE ANYWAY. And he puts pressure on Mr. and Mrs. Congress to continue needlessly enriching the sporting goods store, because after all, they haven't bought and replaced enough expensive crap from that joint already, and good god, can you even imagine how much more cash they're going to drop in there when these kids get old enough for football? But the parents relent in the face of media criticism, Air Force gets spanked for "cheating," he learns the lesson that it's a bad idea to try to keep your cash in the family instead of pouring it into the sporting goods racket, and the natural order of things is restored when Mr. Congress gets a new job and spends a silly sum on 83 sets of Callaway X-24s for Air Force to play China Golf and Country Club when let's be serious, the damn kid doesn't even like golf in the first place.
Semi-serious, reasonably legitimate content below this point.