Survival of the Fattest

As many of you know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  And a large part of it involves eating.  Admittedly, the United States has abundant food, although some of our citizens run a bit low on the stuff.  So, for Thanksgiving, I will provide you with the longest poem I have ever written:

Survival of the Fattest

I took a survey just for fun

I asked each and every one

If they thought that they were greedier than I

 

I assumed they understood

And they weren’t up to no good

And that half should have been low and half been high

 

For I’m a median sort of man

In the middle of the span

Surely it would turn out as I said

 

So, I wrote down their conclusions

And hoped had no illusions

But as I figured all the numbers in my head

 

It seemed it wasn’t so at all

Not even close, as I recall

For I fell far below the greed I thought I had

 

It seemed there was a large delight

In being at the height

And the implications of this fact are rather sad

 

But think! It makes good sense

In the logic of events

That the guy who has the most is bound to last

 

Evolution (Darwin’s guess)

Was surely bound to bless

The greediest of the greedies in the past

 

You think it’s just a spoof?

You want objective proof?

Well take a moment friend and simply look around

 

Little cars are getting big

And we each eat like a pig

So you see my theory really is quite sound

 

Once resigned to such a case

You’re quick to say you have no trace

Of remorse for what you want or how you act

 

It’s the natural scheme of things

Certainly of the truth it rings

Greed is really good, and that’s a fact

 

You see it as a drive

To keep you and yours alive

Why then is greed a bad thing for too seek?

 

I suppose it’s the institution

Of the word called distribution

For the average guy is well below the peak

 

But surely competition

Prevents the repetition

Of a strategy of life that always looses

 

A lack of greed will weed you out

Your offspring will be few no doubt

While the greedy guy has all the kids he chooses

 

But the wrench within the gears

Is that things do change with years

Nothing stays the same — no status quo

 

Since the greedier we get

As though Darwin drove us yet

We must ask ourselves how far this thing will go?

 

Is it not greed that starts all wars

Annihilates millions by the scores

Creates the hatred in our hearts for wrongs past done?

 

If we follow at this pace

Will we delete the human race

To the point that left standing is just one?

 

But how to rid us of this plague

Is an issue that is vague

It’s as if a gear inside a clock

 

Said, “I’m just a cog, I would opine

But even so, I’ll redesign

These works to stop the Tick, but save the Tock

 

For all our wisdom, we’re but small

So even though we know it all

We cannot change one tiny part of all this greed

 

We have instituted laws

But greed is still a mighty cause

And our plan is lacking something that we need

 

Take ethics for example

For although money is quite ample

Among the rich who seem to need more all the time

 

Their view is “take what’s showing

Especially if it’s glowing

For as long as you’re not caught, it is no crime!”

 

So much for jurisprudence

It’s wasted on the students

Of the greedy gots who run the railroad on this earth

 

For although you think giving

Is the better part of living

The greedies will just grab for all you’re worth

 

We also tried religion

Which we thought might help a smidgen

Maybe moral codes will do the trick?

 

Oh, but wait, remember war

And how many were fought for

Religious codes that generally make one sick

 

Even in written words

When we talk of worms and birds

It’s the guy who gets there first who gets it all

 

So if you want to be not needy

Then you’d better turn quite greedy

Or you’re the one who’ll have to take the fall

 

I guess I’m back where from I came

I still see things the same

But, I haven’t solved the problem that I found

 

Like world hunger, wars, and illness

Or the noise that shatters stillness

I’m convinced that greed will always be around

 

Art Davenport

February 2000

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