Monday, June 1, 2020

The Invisible Paw of Supply and Demand

Dear Friends,

Like every Hard Taco song, the June offering, "Very Special Squirrel," is free. That either means I believe it has no value, or I am trying to undermine artists who rely on payment for their services. If I'm honest with myself, it's probably a little of both.

The kids have been begging for a dog for years, but we have held out. Lauren is allergic, we travel a lot, and we convert our house into a massive sheet fortress for 12 weeks each year. But facing months at home and a possible state-mandated moratorium on fortress parties, we decided to jump on the dog bandwagon. That is to say, we are figuratively committed to leaping onto an unpowered vehicle full of dogs playing Dixieland instruments. It also means we are going to get a puppy.

Unfortunately, the supply chain of puppies has slowed to a trickle. Folks all over the world are hoping to spend more time with animals while sheltering in place. After quarantine enthusiasts bought all the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and thermometers, there was a run on pet adoptions. It's a Beagle Boom, and the kennels are empty. A walk through the local Humane Society used to be accompanied by a cacophony of barking and whimpering. Now all you hear is a lone hawk screeching over a distant mountain and the occasional crackle of a tumbleweed bouncing down the corridor.

We also have to contend with Lauren's allergies. The most hypoallergenic dogs are designer breeds such as the Portuguese Frorkadoodle, which is made from 30% Portuguese Water Dog, 15% Bichon Frise, 12% Standard Poodle, 8% Yorkshire Terrier, and 35% polyester. The completely revamped 2020 Frorkadoodle has been engineered from the ground up with exciting color options and all-new features like bigger eyes for sustained cuteness. Frorkadoodle puppies also grow twice as fast as off-brand dogs and are resistant to both drought and boll weevils. 

The breeding agency (a subsidiary of Bayer pharmaceuticals) has a creative solution for the supply chain dilemma. We can install software that will allow us to manufacture the puppy in our own home with a proprietary 3D printer.

Portuguese Frorkadoodle Puppies, Sports (left) and Touring (right) packages shown.
For a busy dog-allergic family with no patience the traditional breeding timeline, this is an easy choice. I suppose we could wait around for a sad old rescue named Broderick or Luther, but to keep Lauren's eyes from itching, we'd have to shampoo it twice a week with Selson Blue and Children's Claritin. Or we could download a Portuguese Frorkadoodle named PXB-0137 and have a product that is just as lovable and actually removes dander from the environment, as long as we change the in-mouth HEPA-filter once every three months. 

With warmest regards,