"The arts are not something that can survive another cut in funding!" cried Gant, the local mononymous artist, to the village meeting. "You're already cut them more than old Genghis over there cuts the cheese!"
Old Genghis had been asleep, but started mid-snore when he heard his name. With bleary eyes, he picked up his enormous cheese-cleaver and gave the village assembly his famous cheese-cutting scowl. He was one of the most famous attractions in the village. His cheese cutting drew travelers from all over the region, and he was regularly called upon to cater these village meetings. Platters of his cheeses sat around the room.
"Please, can we stop with the hyperbole? It's killing me!" replied Robert Henrysmith. "It's tiresome and based in the fantasy land that you paint."
"I'm a sculptor," Gant said, to the general agreement of his small entourage, which featured several top-heavy women.
"It's all the same. Useless junk, just real junk. So much spilled paint or shards of stone. It doesn't profit anybody. The only valuable thing that you produce is gravel, and you throw that away!" Robert Henrysmith said. He clicked a small button on the podium to turn on the projector.
The slide that lit up one of the walls of the meeting room was a picture of one of Gant's sculptures, an exquisitely detailed likeness of a member of his entourage.
Robert Henrysmith pointed at the image and locked eyes with each member of the village board.
"As a society we have to focus on our needs, not our wants. Even though we may want to support and gently cup the arts," Robert Henrysmith said, trailing off as his eyes drifted from the crowd to the image. "Actually, I guess this one isn't so bad."
"Point taken," said the president of the village board. "Mr. Gant. Gant. Er. However you prefer to be addressed, Robert Henrysmith is a respected member of this community while you are a beret-wearing hooligan whose presence is overtly condemned while being implicitly tolerated as an expression of our subconscious envy of your way of life. Your opponent has also has paid the village board quite a large sum in order to secure our vote. Enough money that I don't mind saying that I am very anxious for this meeting to adjourn so that I can go start spending it. So the funding will be cut."
The president of the village board glanced to the other members of the board.
"Did I just say that out loud?" the president asked. The others nodded.
Gant smiled at Old Genghis.
"What's going on here?" Robert Henrysmith asked. "I demand that you tell me because I didn't diversify my social capital and all of my interactions are founded upon bluster!"
"I set the platters with cubes of the rare Troofem cheese, the only cheese known to cause unavoidable honesty," Old Genghis said. "One of my worst-selling cheeses."
The Moral: check all holiday cheese platters for Troofem cheese befre you take them to family dinner