Lockouts: Fun For the Whole Family!

Now even the Joffrey Ballet is locking out! Will the madness ever end?

It’s the newest thing. It seems like if you aren’t doing it, you are missing out on all of the excitement. In fact, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you’re most likely a huge loser.

Everyone in America is doing the lockout.

The definition of a lockout is very simple. From Wikipedia:

“A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work. A lockout may happen for several reasons. When only part of a trade union votes to strike, the purpose of a lockout is to put pressure on a union by reducing the number of members who are able to work. For example, if the anticipated strike severely hampers work of non-striking workers, the employer may declare a lockout until the workers end the strike. Another case in which an employer may impose a lockout is to avoid slowdowns or intermittent work-stoppages.

“Other times, particularly in the United States, a lockout occurs when union membership rejects the company’s final offer at negotiations and offers to return to work under the same conditions of employment as existed under the now-expired contract. In such a case, the lockout is designed to pressure the workers into accepting the terms of the company’s last offer.”

Woowee! That sounds like a party and a half right there. I can totally understand why everyone wants a lockout.

You might have heard that the NFL is currently locked out. It seems that the owners who make a whole bunch of money want to keep that money. On the other end of things, the players who make a whole bunch of money would like to make more money. The league tried everything to stop a lockout such as cloning their money so there is enough for everyone, asking nicely that the players and the owners stop wanting money and showing both parties a clip from Sesame Street where Big Bird learns to share, but to no avail. Now fans don’t know if there will be a season at all.

Feeling jealous of the NFL, the NBA decided to join in on the fun. NBA commissioner David Stern was quoted as saying, “Why should the NFL get to hog all of the lockout enjoyment? The NBA is also talented at not playing games!” The players began to demand things like free WNBA tickets, their own personal mascots and the league lowering the goal from 10 feet to 7 feet. The owners countered with a 15% discount on WNBA tickets, one extra mascot per team and a 9 foot goal. Unable to work out an agreement, the league has been locked out.

Now, even the Joffrey Ballet dancers are joining in on the fun. The Chicago ballet company has cancelled their 2011-2012 season because of… you guessed it! A lockout!

Everyone in the world is having a lockout. It is the popular thing to do. It’s the new Cabbage Patch Kids, the new Beanie Babies, the new Macarena. No, scratch that. No one would be interested if it was the new Macarena.

Unfortunately, some of us do not have union agreements in place so we are unable to have a lockout. Much of America has been left out of this fad and it does not seem fair. Not fair at all.

There are several ways those left out of the lockout situation can get a taste of the excitement, though:

-Start your own union and then refuse to agree with your current employers offer.

-Start a company and then refuse to agree with your employees’ union’s offer.

-Join a fantasy lockout league. I drafted the New England Patriots’ defense in my fantasy lockout league and so far they have scored me a league leading zero points. Yippee!

-Lock yourself out of your car or home and imagine it as a symbolic representation of the current labor situation in your favorite sports league.

-Buy the new Lockout Barbie from Mattel. She comes with dozens of accessories, none of which she can use because, until her union settles, she is unemployed.

-Tailgate outside of your favorite locked-out venue like there is an event there that evening. Then, when a security guard tells you to leave, scream “LOCK OUT!!!!” and take off running. (This activity should be limited to sporting venues as theatres that host the ballet normally will not allow you to grill bratwursts in the lobby before the show.)

All of these activities should bring the lockout fun into your own home.

I’m sure there are several people sticking out their lower lip, putting on their best sad eyes and saying, “But I don’t like lockouts. Why can’t they just play/dance?”

To those people I ask, haven’t you ever wanted to be an athlete/ballet dancer? Didn’t you grow up wishing to be Joe Namath/ Vaslav Nijinsky? Now is your chance. With no professionals participating, you can become a star in the new league/ballet company just by becoming a person willing to walk across the union lines.

Yes, you can enjoy a happy career as an NBA center even though you are only 5’11”. There is no competition. You could even make into the hall of fame.

That is assuming that the lockout never ends. If it ever does, you might just want to go hide in the locker room.

The real athletes can probably take you.


4 thoughts on “Lockouts: Fun For the Whole Family!

  1. Canada has followed the lead of our nuke-capable neighbours to the south and is going through a national “Festival of Maillessness”. The Canada Post employees started a series of rotating strikes a while back, which didn’t work out too well because all that rotating made them too dizzy to lob the packages marked fragile into the crunching machine with the accuracy demanded by their employers, the Canadian taxpayers and stamp buyers. So the government decided to lock them out, and then some other incarnation of the government took the whole thing to court and ordered everyone back to work under pain of being forced to wear long pants during the summer if they refused. So now with letters and packages warehoused in a fashion reminiscent of Neuman’s storage locker on the Seinfeld show, I’m only getting one or two envelopes per delivery, and deliveries are down to three per week. Canadians are really not happy about this as Canadian postal workers make more money than do American professional atheletes (and ballet dancers) on a dollar-per-braincell basis. Luckily our ballet dancers were auctioned off to the private sector decades ago and are no longer unionized or we wouldn’t know what to do without our bills and Swan Lake. Do any of your sport teams want a Canadian postal worker as a mascot? They come with both long and short pants.


  2. Lockout Barbie – I love it. Seriously – I have little tolerance for highly paid athletes and team owners who whine about money. Really. In this economy? While real people who do real work for ordinary money would like to work but can’t, because their job has been sent of India or given to someone who already had enough work to do.


    • It is a VERY important fight they’re fighting. If the both parties don’t have more money, they can’t buy ridiculous things. That puts the ridiculous things factories out of work. It also means MTV can’t make anymore episodes of MTV Cribs because no one wants to see a person’s sensible three bedroom house or Ford Taurus. Buy asking them to stop, you are effectively ending the workforce of roughly 800 billion people.

      (Just in case anyone reading this couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic)


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