“Hello, children. Would you like to hear a story?”
THE SCHNAUZERS OF BOOGERVILLE
Once upon a time on Earth 35916782(a) there was a small town called Boogerville. In this town there lived a most contented family of schnauzers. Poppa worked at the paper mill where he supervised the maintenance crew. It was a humble job but it had lots of responsibility. Poppa was proud of the work he did and proud of the men he supervised.
Momma worked in the family home taking care of her two puppies, Jessica and Max. Jessica, being the older of the two, had a fine sense of responsibility. She loved her little brother very much and did all she could to keep him out of trouble, but somehow trouble always found Max. He was always falling into puddles and chasing cars. But overall, Jessica and Max were good dogs. Momma and Poppa were proud of them and loved them very much.
One day while Poppa was reading his newspaper at breakfast before work, he read that people wanted to change the name of Boogerville to something else. The article said that there was going to be a town meeting that night to decide the issue.
“They want to change the name of Boogerville,” Poppa said to Momma as she scrambled eggs for breakfast.
“For heaven’s sake, why?” Momma asked.
“Some folks are embarrassed by our town name,” Poppa read. “They think it hurts business and depresses property values.
“What are property values, Poppa?” Jessica asked, stirring her Cream of Wheat.
“Well, honey, property values are something grownups talk about when they lack conversational skills.”
“Oh,” Jessica said, sounding a little sad.
“I’m an astronaut!” Max yelled as he ran through the kitchen with a bucket on his head. Max bumped into the wall and fell to the ground, moaning.
“Oh, that boy,” Poppa said, smiling and shaking his head.
“He sure is,” Momma agreed.
“Well,” Poppa said, putting down his newspaper. “I think it is terrible that they want to change the name of Boogerville. Our town has been Boogerville since before the War for Independence! It is wrong to change it because some people don’t like it.
“But what can we do?” Momma asked.
“We can go to the meeting tonight and tell them how we feel about it!” Poppa proclaimed.
So that night after work on the day of the big meeting Poppa dressed in his very best and most expensive suit. Momma put on her prettiest dress. Jessica combed her fur and Max chewed on a pair of slippers.
They walked together, with Poppa in the lead, all the way across town to City Hall where the meeting was taking place. The schnauzer family found seats somewhere in the middle of the auditorium and listened quietly as Councilman Hamphister spoke.
“I am tired of being embarrassed by the name of the town I live in!” he proclaimed. “I think I speak for everyone here when I say that Boogerville is a terrible name for a town! We need a new name.”
“Thank you, Dick,” the Mayor said as Hamphister sat down. “Unless there is someone else who wants to say something, I move that we vote –“
“I have something to say,” Poppa said and his voice rang out through the hall. Everyone watched as Poppa walked up to the podium and, standing on a chair in front of the lectern, began to speak.
“I must oppose any motion to change the name of our town,” Poppa began. “For the last two hundred and seventy-five years this place has been called Boogerville. The Battle of Boogeville was the turning point in the Civil War. Two American Vice Presidents were born in Boogerville. Instead of being embarrassed, we should hold our heads up with pride! The sons of Boogerville fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and both World Wars. We fought for freedom in Korea and Vietnam. Now our sons and daughters serve with distinction in the Middle East. Our humble town is a center for business and art. Our schools are the best in the Tri-State area. We say hello to each other on the street and we help each other during times of trouble. We are the children of Boogerville, and I say we hold our heads up high with pride and proclaim to the world “Boogerville is my home!”
Poppa finished, staring defiantly into the crowd. And then, out of the hushed silence, someone shouted “Hey! It’s a talking dog!”
The crowd descended upon Poppa. Momma, Jessica and Max made a run for it, but it was too late. Only Max got away. Poppa, Momma and Jessica were put in a cage and sold to a university where they were subjected to unspeakable medical experiments. Max ended up performing in a traveling carnival as Jojo the Talking Dog Boy. He wasn’t happy, but at least he ate regularly.
MORAL OF THE STORY: If you are different in any significant way, don’t ever let anyone know or you might end up being used for medical experiments.