Times had changed and perceptions had undergone a tectonic shift. At the receiving end of this development and unable to find an outlet for his sooty exhausts, the grumpy Tractor would often reminisce the woeful state of affairs in silence.
Tractor‘s mind wandered back in time, a couple of centuries earlier, when he was the farmer’s most beloved companion. The Agriculture Revolution was a blessing, even though he had to contend with recriminations from bullock-folk, whose market he had managed to dent significantly. His longevity, lower maintenance and efficiency had greatly aided his owners’ wallets and soon he gained prime position in man’s agrarian lifestyle.
But the wheels of time trample over many.
As centuries rolled by, Tractor found competition in the metallic subjects of the Industrial Revolution. As machines powered livelihoods, Tractor was relegated as a sidekick, a position he didn’t take to kindly. Farmers, who had earlier preferred brand new Tractors, now scrambled to locate the best deal for used ones.
His biggest grouse, though, by way of competition came from an unlikely front in the 21st century. Mongrels.
Humans had come to adore mongrels so much that a new culture was born. Dogs took centre stage in human affairs. A development, while not entirely unwelcome, unnecessarily exaggerated in Tractor‘s opinion. Dogs became arm candy for some owners, though they never admitted it as much. An attractive pet in one’s arms came to be viewed as a useful appendage to social advancement. Tractor also sensed that as man became less adept at carrying on conversations with fellow humans, mongrels filled the gap, with enthusiastic pants and cuddles.
Tractor‘s owner went to great lengths to cultivate his pet dog; family, as he was quick to remind those with the impudence of referring to his Dog as a dog. Though the Dog was initially purchased for $100, the owner deemed it derogatory to assign a price to his prized possession. Only Tractors and farm bullock were material entities, capable of being valued.
For abundant nutrition, Dog was fed with the choicest pet food procured after duly consulting mongrel nutritionists, which was a budding industry. To aid visual appeal, Dog enjoyed several trips to pet grooming salons, another promising business, for pedicure, massages, ear cleaning, shampooing, skin conditioning, and overall grooming to look dapper and behave appropriately in social outings. For weddings, Dog‘s owner left no stone unturned in adorning his family in the best possible clothing. The mongrel was then trained under a watchful trainer (paid by the hour). Several months later, Dog emerged, ready to take on fellow mongrels at competition.
Armed with such amenities and confidence, Dog proceeded to win a competition, against other dogs. This resulted a 50-fold increase in Dog‘s market value, to $5,000. Demand for breeding shot up significantly post this win, with breeding rentals to produce future winner pups costing $500 – $1,000 per breeding session. Dog‘s owner made a weighty bundle from these activities but was quick to shoot down any references to material ambitions, when reminded gently. Dog was family, without a price tag.
All this left Tractor quite despondent. In what he thought was a case of anomalous pricing, a Tractor cost about the same as a Dog. Dog‘s efficiency was no comparison to his own, Dog‘s utility in a productive sense was no comparison to his own, and yet, Dog was valued at par, sometimes higher. He managed a smile at the irrationality.
With this realisation came a grand idea. Tractor inferred that an indirect way of enhancing his value was by having an ownership interest in a diversified group of high-probability winner mongrels, majority owned by his owner. In return, Tractor would willingly put in higher hours on the farm. Owner would be happy. Tractor would be happy. There would be goodness all around.
In reality, Tractor had no issues whatsoever with Dog, who was a faithful friend. It was the gaudy flamboyance of some dog owners and their odd perception of altruism that amused him greatly.
Meanwhile, the owner’s father – a rather aged chap – made a stunning discovery while browsing the web. A picture spoke a 1,000 words.
Source: Google Trends
There was significantly higher interest in mongrels. Tractor wasn’t too enthused staring at this chart.
Old people were left for the dogs. Quite literally.
1) Own interests in businesses that benefit from man’s obsession with mongrels, and pets in general.
2) Own a pet dog, Pluto. Our relations are lovingly cordial minus the jazzy razzle-dazzle.