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â€śWhatâ€™s a debate?â€ť
â€śA debate can be a lot of things, Fido, but basically it is when two people with different ideas engage in argument under a certain set of agreed-upon rules.â€ť
Fido thought about this for a moment or two.
â€śWhy donâ€™t they just bark at each other?â€ť he wanted to know. â€śThat works for me, and lots of other dogs around here.â€ť
â€śThey do, in that human kind of way. Sometimes they have a little coyote yip in their voices; sometimes they let loose with a basso profondo. But youâ€™re right. Itâ€™s basically just barking at each other.â€ť
â€śDoes the winner get anything, like a biscuit?â€ť
â€śYes, Fido, the winner gets votes, and months from now, both sides will be chewing on the result, over and over and over again.â€ť
â€śSo the debate never ends?â€ť
â€śNo, Fido. The debate never ends.â€ť
â€śI want to have a debate and win the everlasting biscuit.â€ť
â€śOK, Fido, on election day, which side of the road do you want to walkâ€”the right or the left?â€ť
â€śAlways the left,â€ť Fido said. I was amazed at the swiftness of his reply.
â€śIn the spring, when the snow melts,â€ť Fido reasoned, â€śthe left side gets more sun than the right side, and there are better sniffs!â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s not always true,â€ť I said. â€śThere are many exceptions to that.â€ť
â€śNot for me!â€ť Fido cried. â€śHey hey hey hey!â€ť He paused. â€śOK, another question, please.â€ť
â€śAll right you big red lug, if we were walking together and I had a hat, which color would you prefer? Red or blue?â€ť
â€śNeither!â€ť said Fido. â€śI would ad- vise you to try something in a puce. Itâ€™s neutral.â€ť
â€śIf we were debating, Fido, Iâ€™d argue against all your answers and come up with alternative answers. To be fair, those werenâ€™t really debate questions. Debate questions usually are philosophical. Here in the U.S. of A., the questions tend toward the political, especially this time of year.â€ť
â€śLike why we have to pay a fee for dog tags?â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s a good one, Fido. You would argue we shouldnâ€™t have them because that might cut into your biscuit stash. I would argue yes, we should, because sometimes dogs require special attention from the town, sometimes medical, and the town needs to pay for it somehow. Itâ€™s the same with leash fees and so on. Dogs have to be on a leash in Mammoth.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m against that,â€ť Fido said. â€śLeashes can be expensive, and that means fewer biscuits for me.â€ť
â€śI will concede the point,â€ť said I, â€śand it might get even more expensive. We have some new people in town who say theyâ€™re going to come in here and steal all the leashes they can find, then sell them on the side to line their own pockets.â€ť
â€śWhatâ€™s it called?â€ť Fido wanted to know.
â€śItâ€™s called the Mammoth Lakes Leash Acquisition, Inc., and they donâ€™t give a hoot about your biscuits.â€ť
â€śWell, Iâ€™m against the MLLA,â€ť Fido said.
â€śEverybody is, Old Boy. You win.â€ť