The Bear and the Bull

Photo by Steven Cordes on Unsplash

The weary warrior shuffled into the establishment with drunken stupor. The patrons turned blind eyes to his presence; parents held children close by as they hurried to leave around him. He did not mind, he knew his appearance was unsightly. He had not shaved in days, his hair a mess, his formal garments were in tatters and he smelled still of the wallowing drink that dimmed nasty memories and allowed illusions of grandeur to persist – even for just a moment.

He managed to make the counter, the worker behind stiffened but smiled.

“How may I help you?” She said.

She was young – the warrior thought – she had not been turned cynical by the world. He would warn her, spare her the experience he had suffered. Hopefully she could learn and make a better life before it was too late.

“Have you heard of the Bear and the Bull?” He said, leaning on the counter.

Her sudden exhale let him know she was probably rolling her eyes, but she needed to hear this.

“It is an eternal struggle. The two mythical beasts vie for power over our world, our way of life. And it is the one that we feed that begins to win. The Bull is greed and hope and ecstasy, and for a while it struck up at the flailing Bear, driving it up a mountain in an eternal, titanic struggle. Our world grew much into excess, into greed and it fed the Bull’s tenacity. It over reached, stumbled, and the Bear struck down. The Bear is fear, despair and the way of scheming opportunists who swoop in to capitalise on the woe of former Bulls…

So the Bull stumbled, the Bear struck true, the Bull had grown weak with its efforts, it had been infected and the Bear grew stronger. And now the Bear is striking down at the Bull’s head again and again.

Soon the Bear will tire, and the Bull will gain ground and the whole struggle will repeat itself endlessly. But not before the world knows fear, knows despair.” He glanced at the worker. “Do you understand what I am telling you?”

“Sir…” The worker looked down, “This is a McDonald’s.”

The warrior slumped against the counter again. The illusion of the drink crumbled from around him. There was no romanticising that he was a weary warrior of the financial market. He was just a fool who over extended himself and now was paying the price. No amount of drink could change that.

Now there was only one more low to stoop to.

“I’ll have a Big Mac, please.”

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