“Buy A Hot Dog, Mister!”

vendorGovernment shutdown. Sequester. Debt ceiling fights. Gridlock. It’s days like this that remind me of a story I share with clients of my “paying job” when things get rough in the financial markets…

A man lived by the side of the road . . .and sold hot dogs.

He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.

He had trouble with his eyes, so he had no newspaper.

But he sold good hot dogs.

He put up a sign on the highway, telling how good they were.

He stood by the side of the road and cried, “Buy a hot dog, mister!”

And people bought.

He increased his meat and bun order, and he bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

He got his son home from college to help him. But then something happened.

His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio?

There’s a big Depression on. The International Situation is terrible, and the Domestic Situation is even worse.”

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has gone to college.

He listens to the radio and reads the newspapers, so he ought to know.”

So, the father cut down on the bun order, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell hot dogs.

His hot dog sales fell almost overnight.

“You were right, son,” the father said to the boy.

“We are certainly in the middle of a Great Depression.”

It’s time we stop letting the drive by media with their 24 hour news cycle, repeating the same two stories, dictate the direction of this country. Let’s do what we do best and pursue that happiness thing our founders were so fond of. Ignore the noise!


* This fable appeared in American Metal Marketing – January 15, 1958

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