Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Economy in shambles, tigers sold to Mexico

While the recent rise in gas and food prices have had an adverse effect on most Americans, they have been nothing but great for newspapers and local television news because it gives them a brand new topic -- how local residents are dealing with the rise in gas and food prices -- to explore ad nauseum.

So now we read and hear a lot of heavily anecdotal tales about folks buying vespas because they get great gas millage, or other folks growing chickens in the back yard of their suddenly worthless McMansion.

For a while Matt Drudge, with his mind clearly on the post-apocalyptic leather outfits, was obsessed with running local news stories about Mad Max-like gas thieves.

Which is why yesterday's eye-catching story of a woman caught selling tiger cubs in the parking lot of a Brownsville, Texas Wal-Mart begged so many questions that I was sure were going to be answered in the realm of our sputtering new economic reality.

Like was this the case of a poor struggling mother so overwhelmed by the exploding costs of milk and eggs that she was forced to sell her tiger cubs for cash so she could buy enough food at her favorite discount superstore to feed her human children?

And were the desperate parking lot dwellers who purchased the tiger cubs under the mistaken impression they could save fuel by riding Tigger back home? Or were they planning on using the wild beasts to rob gas stations and supermarkets?

Actually, none of the above. Police and federal authorities now believe the tigers were headed for Mexico, where brokers would then re-sell the rare cats to the Mexico City Zoo.

So there you have: As Americans are forced to sell their tigers to acquire basic food stuffs, Mexicans, fat off the fruits of NAFTA, can enjoy their tigers -- which used to be our tigers -- in fancy zoos.

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