The Boar, the Penguins, and Patsy


Once upon a time there was a boar, a baby elephant named "Patsy", and a flock of penguins. The boar had formed a club and invited the penguins to join, which they eagerly did. They grumbled about the steep club fees and bar prices, but they went along. Patsy was engaged as an affiliate manager. The penguins loved Patsy because she was cute and sometimes passed out free bar chits. Everyone partied day and night on the rooftop of the Ivory Tower High-rise Prosperity Centre.

One day the boar announced a new Club Policy, a policy that would make all of the penguins safer, happier, and more prosperous. Henceforth, he would take all of the money from the penguins and boot them off the roof. This he did. The flightless penguins plunged to their fates below. A few survivors writhed in mangled pain.

Patsy sighed, but was unconcerned. She was still being paid a cut of what the boar took from the penguins, and there would always be more penguins.

The boar had another surprise. He said to Patsy "I don't need you any more" and shoved the baby elephant off the roof. Patsy madly tried out new strategies. She flapped her ears. She spread her arms and legs like wings. She changed her avatar. But she merely tweaked her ballistic trajectory and landed on a small group of crippled penguins who had huddled for a poster photo. Splat!

The penguins were outraged. "How dare you!" they cried. "You are despicable!" they screamed. And they pried up stones, limped and dragged themselves to Patsy, and bashed her brains in. "That's for splattering their friends," said one. "That's for refusing to give out free bar chits anymore," said another.

After stoning Patsy, satisfied, they crawled back upstairs to try to get back into the party.

Moral: When you give them the boot, let Patsy take the fall.

Historical notes (15-Sep-2010): During the summer of 2009, eBay changed the compensation rules for affiliates such as Auctiva. eBay ceased to compensate Auctiva, and Auctiva suddenly lost the income that had paid for the free photo hosting services they had been providing to eBay merchants. Auctiva, in a mad scramble to remain solvent, imposed a fee for photo hosting. eBay merchants were irate, not at eBay, but at Auctiva. Auctiva was subsequently acquired by Alibaba August 24, 2010.