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Friday, June 22, 2012

Splat-ter of the Week: First Edition!

Welcome to the debut of our “Splat-ter of the Week” segment.  We (and here I use “we” royally, in the same way my clients refer to me as “The Legal Department”) will scour the week’s news, or at least the recesses of our brain, in search of the worthiest splat and feature it here.  Nominations are welcome!

Because every splat follows its own arc, sometimes we’ll spotlight an honoree at the moment of impact and other times at the advanced cleanup/redemption stage.  We’ll stick to the facts whenever possible but we refuse to be handcuffed to them, so if you want actual journalism you’re still going to be dependent on tweets from Perez Hilton. Okay, now that the ado is done, let’s get on with the show.

This week, our award goes to…Greece!

Multiple websites inform us that Greece joined the EU in January 2001 and not a one of them is Wikipedia, so it must be true.  These sources also assert that, in the early years of Greece’s membership in the EU, its economy grew faster than that of any other European country. 

This growth evidently attracted foreign investors and, along with low bond rates, spurred the Greek government to borrow heavily in order to embark on new public works projects (which also expanded its workforce and payroll). 

As piles of cash got up and started to walk out the door, the Greek government basically behaved like your average adolescent: It sat on the couch and watched the money parade on by while it continued to eat Cap’n Crunch and watch “Gilmore Girls” reruns.  

The recession began to take hold in 2007, curtailing investment and causing interest rates on Greece’s loans to rise without any increase in government revenues to offset them. A couple years later, the country’s debt levels had reached the point where it struggled to meet its various loan obligations.
Greece tried to rebound by seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund and other European partners, but those aid sources wanted to impose austerity measures in exchange for providing bailout funds. This put a massive cramp in the teenager’s style, equivalent to saying no allowance would be paid until it started taking out the trash. 

“Okay,” the teenager said while covertly flashing the three-finger universal sign for “Whatever!”  (Meanwhile, the cash kept leaving the house but took to sneaking out via a bedroom window.)  Instead of ferrying the trash out to the curb, the kid just hid it in other parts of the house and then lied to the parents about its whereabouts.  This scheme revealed itself when the father opened a closet door and was engulfed by a garbage tsunami.  #Epicsplat, in Twitter-ese.

The father was angry but torn, wanting to help his son on one hand but feeling the need to teach him a lesson on the other.  Reluctantly he agreed to give the teenager some additional cash and let him keep living in the house.  The teenager renewed his promise to take out the trash, except for those annoying little wastebaskets in the office and guest bath.  He didn't love the rules in this particular house, but he decided he wasn't quite ready to move out, either.  

And, less than a week after a round of important elections, that's where we find this troubled, beautiful, and historically resilient country that's seen its fair share of ups and downs over the last couple thousand years.  This splat is still sliding down the wall so we'll be watching it  closely in the months to come.
In the meantime, Greece, step right up and claim the first Golden Pancake in recognition of your recent excellence in splatting. 

And please accept our wishes for a speedy recovery.  


  1. Hey, where's the "Like" button on this thing?

  2. Hey, great question, and thank you for raising it! I just added it. Excellent feedback!!