Sunday, August 02, 2009

Migration: Dead Pets & Suitcases

In New York City, there are eight million cats and eleven million dogs. New York City is basically just concrete and steel, so when you have a pet in New York City and it dies, you can't just go out in the back yard and bury it. The city authorities decided that for $50 they would dispose of your deceased pet for you.

One lady was enterprising. She thought, I can render a service to people in the city and save them money. She placed an ad in the newspaper that said, "When your pet dies, I will come and take care of the carcass for you for $25." This lady would go to the local Salvation Army and buy an old suitcase for two dollars. Then when someone would call about his or her pet, she would go to the home and put the deceased pet in the suitcase.

She would then take a ride on the subway, where there are thieves. She would set the suitcase down, and she would act like she wasn't watching. A thief would come by and steal her suitcase. She'd look up and say, "Wait. Stop. Thief." The people who stole those suitcases got a real surprise when they got home.

(urban legend told by Scott Wenig)

Here's the deal: too darn many of us are subway thieves. We are willing to do just about anything to grab happiness for ourselves - sleep around, drink or snort or pop something, lie, cheat, steal, gossip, hedge, fake it, shade the truth, fold, cave in, forget on purpose to do what's right - and not lose much sleep about it. Unfortunately, we're spending a chunk of time and moral energy on $2 suitcases filled with dead cats.

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