The Grumpf’s Wall: An Economic Perspective
By Bob of the Meadow
We’ve got rancid meat. They need rancid meat. Where’s the problem? When the Grumpf built that wall around the valley it might as well have been an act of economic war. These Valley people, I wonder how smart any of them could really be given that they elected that red- and orange-faced monster. Sometimes we can actually hear their ceremonies, or at least the pyrotechnics they involve, and we can sure as hell see them brighten up the night sky. They’re north of the Meadow, where I call home, nestled in the hills like Grumpfers in a billfold. They’re downstream from us, which is likely why we’re still able to use our water, unlike the poor wretches in the Marsh, living in that soup of Grumpf chemicals, forced to drink water bottled by the very man who destroyed theirs.
The wall, though, that’s another level of outrage. I begged him not to do it, in private of course. You can’t look weak to your constituents. Out of the public eye, though, I grabbed his little red hand and just begged him to think this one through, no matter what else he did.
“I’ve got a mandate,” he said. “I am extremely well-liked by almost everyone, a big success. People like my wall. The polls show it. They like it. I’ll give them a wall.”
“They don’t really want a wall,” I tried to explain, in private of course, away from any media. “It’s a symbol. You understand that, don’t you?”
“Bob,” the Grumpf said to me, “it’s not a goddamn symbol. It’s a wall.”
The Grumpf’s a tower of a man-monster, over eight feet tall, and you can’t help but feel tiny when he looks down at you and shakes his big red-orange head. “I have the greatest ideas, all of them really. They’re just terrific,” the Grumpf said, sounding a little hurt at my attempts to dissuade him from his tomfoolery. “You may not like what I say,” he told me, “but you should pay attention to it.”
Now that was during a coffee break at the Three Rivers Summit, one of the last foreign relations events the Grumpf was welcome to attend. (“People like it more when I go to the Exhibition to berate the Losers,” he said on a morning talk-show he crashed, an entourage of ogre body guards in tow. “And the people don’t want to pay for me to sit around and talk to foreigners anyway,” he added. “Besides, they all love me.”).
He was right, after a fashion. People did love the Grumpf, loved the show he put on when he MC’d The Exhibition in the town center, loved the insults he hurled so casually. Once he got involved, it wasn’t long before they started throwing actual pieces of rotten meat at the people strapped into the exhibition booths instead of the tamer slew of insults. As happens so often in a culture, we see a movement from metaphor to something much more pungent, visceral, ritualistic.
I’m not one to judge another man’s culture, and I don’t intend to start now. But look here: we don’t eat meat in the Meadow, not at all. The cows graze still, and they die a natural death—hence our rancid meat as well as an entrepreneurial opportunity. That damn wall drives the market underground and makes what would be a simple exchange of commodities—Grumpfers for dead cow—into something of a pain in the ass. The underground economy of rotten flesh has boomed, and it’s totally unnecessary. And here’s where we get to the real meat of it (forgive the pun)—the real meat of building that wall.
The wall closed off our trade, and thus lucrative ventures involving our two peoples. I’ll never understand the logic behind that kind of isolationism. The thing is: we not only have rotten meat in spades, we actually want to get rid of it. We’d love for the foozle over in the Grumpf’s valley to take it, sling it at whomever they want in their exhibition and humiliation ceremonies. It’s fine by us. Like I said, we’re not judgmental. Live and let live, we say. Valley people have their customs, I concede that some of them do seem a touch messy, but that’s what you might call a typical Meadow perspective. Now we’re left to smuggle our rancid wares over a wall. You can’t make this stuff up.
The Meadow hasn’t had diplomatic relations with the Valley since the Grumpf intentionally vomited on our Secretary of Culture. It would be funny if it weren’t so damn sad. They built that wall wanting to keep us out of the valley—but the rotten meat-slinging and the insult-hurling Grumpf at the helm was already a good enough reason for us to stay away. So I say let the lucrative flow of flesh begin again, unimpeded by isolationist politics. Like I said: We’ve got rancid meat, and they need rancid meat. I call on the Valley to tear down that wall, to let trade prosper between our peoples. We can all make a ton of Grumpfers.