The Art of Diplomacy and the Teachings of Pooh
Our diplomat of course has a revised plan from the recommendations of the CIA. The first move is to lure Martha next door to the floundering LFS for a couple of Fajitas. Being the most debonair of dinner guests, he makes small talk through the course and waits until coffee is served to make the first move.
"Have you heard of the Artsy Fartsy departments concerns with the current aquarium project?" Purchasing missed some scratches low on the tank and they feel this will be unacceptable. Don't think too harshly of the purchasing agent, there are assurances that the capital can be regained. I noticed on the way in here that the LFS next door is going out of business, would you like to have a look? Maybe we can help these folks out of this dilemma.
Martha hesitates for a moment, then replies, "Well, while I do understand and sympathize, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, every departments budget is locked as of this moment. No tires for the motorcycles in maintenance, no hunting stuff for mechanical, not even a colored pencil for artsy fartsy until we get this straight. Oh, and buy the way, that goes for the Perrier they promised you too."
Now the next move from our diplomat can only be described as the "E8" approach.
Have you ever walked into an exploding fish store, just after a Especial Dinner? It smells like 8 different kinds of excrement in a can. Never ever ever walk into an exploding fish store just after an Especial Dinner. Our diplomat braves the stench and inquires as to the whereabouts of any large tanks suitable for adoption. Martha follows walking on her toes. Never ever ever wear white tennis shoes into an exploding fish store. Assessment of the candidates is reported to be deplorable. One has a tattoo "Live to Swim" and the other "Mice, the other white meat".
Non too soon, the obvious agent "MTS Chris" touts that he has a 150g and a 180g that are available to a good home. They are just down the street. This is the first meeting of the minds in this difficult negotiation, let's just get out of here.
A short trip reveals why the CIA is the CIA. They sure know how to give code names. Our team enters through the basement, and in the first room, freshwater...freshwater...marine...freshwater...marine...marine. The second room, the candidates, both encrusted in a film that only saltwater can sustain. Assessment is futile, our diplomat asks what the cost of adoption for each might be. An answer in the realm of 60-70% of new is uttered. And at that point, our diplomat felt what is assuredly the pinnacle of any diplomatic career. Martha gestures that this just will not do, a gesture, only a gesture.
To understand the feelings of our diplomat, you must understand some of the teachings of Pooh, Winnie-the-Pooh. A very special philosophical parallel can be drawn in this case. Pooh, when asked what the very best thing about honey was, responded something to the effect, it's that very moment when you know that you have it. Not the hunt, not the consumption, but the moment just before your tongue feels the amazing taste and texture of the elixir.
With that gesture, our diplomat knew his job was complete. He cordially thanked MTS Chris, and insincerely commented to give the offer some consideration.