Once upon a time, there was a Wild West rancher. He owned the biggest spread this side of the biggest body of water around.
He was a tyrant. He groused at neighbors, refused all entries of cooperation with the community, closed his farm to visitors, blared his horn at anyone who went by and hired only those who had to accept his meager offerings in order to eat.
The one exception in his hirings was his maulers; muscle-bound egomaniacs who would conduct his bidding for the sake of their egos and the power to push other people around.
One thing the rest of the community realized was this farm produced a lot of products cheaply. That meant a lot of business and income since the locals could buy from him and sell elsewhere for profits.
One day the community decided to hold a special fair. They would provide the rancher with every manner of their best food, drink and products to sample if he would host the get-together.
The hope was that in return the rancher would open his ways a bit, interact more with the community and thus increase the already hoped for growth in business transactions.
The rancher readily agreed. Here was a chance to take the best the rest had to offer while making improvements on his ranch to host the fair; improvements that would make him money later and could be built for nothing by his minions.
He could also sell even more products to the visitors who would come with shopping bags open.
The rancher’s arrangements for the fair proved to be less than those expected by the community. He made promises to improve roadways on the ranch so vehicles would not become bogged down. He did not.
He promised to let his workers be part of the fair so neighbors could meet them. Little of that happened.
He knew that once the process began, there would be no backing out; the community would never admit a mistake.
He also knew those who came planned to make money off his products, so he could structure the improvements the way he wanted, doing just enough to keep the pack mollified.
He sent his people out to work even longer hours. The booths went up, the food was prepared, he told his people what to say and, more importantly, what not to say.
Those who might say too much were simply shuttled off to the far reaches of the ranch and told to stay there. Those who still tried to protest were not seen again.
The fair day came, everyone smiled at everyone, both sides adding up the benefits they foresaw from this event.
The mayor rode in on his big horse and said how great this all was and went to a couple of booths with the rancher. The rancher made sure he had pictures of this so the world could see just how accepted and powerful he really was.
A couple of people in the community wondered aloud just what this was all about, but they were banished from both the fair and the community.
The local press found all of this was fascinating the town and selling ads, so they followed the daily events and even found a couple of town favorites who were preparing special treats.
Their stories helped sell even more ads and made the event smell ever so sweet.
The day after the fair, the rancher closed the gates, counted his money and told all his workers just how lucky they were to be working for someone as respected as he was, just look at how the community came to his fair.
The Olympics have begun.