According to P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But according to many historians, P.T. Barnum wasn’t actually the one that said it, though events he was involved in led to its genesis.
The most likely person to have uttered this phrase was David Hannum in response to something called the Cardiff Giant Hoax, something both he and Barnum were party to. A circus rival named Adam Forepaugh attributed the quote to Barnum in order to discredit him with the circus going public.
Now while historians may differ as to the actual origins of this quote, I believe them all to be wrong. Dogs should be credited with its invention.
Imagine that you had the power to, with a single look, deter weak and weary humans form sleeping in their own beds for fear of disturbing you. Or perhaps, using your sad face, you get those last few bites of the $20 dollar steak.
The number of ploys that dogs can come up with for suckers rivals Avogadro’s Number (6.02214X×1023). It you think about it for a minute you’ll know that I’m right.
For instance, have you ever:
Profusely apologized to a dog that almost caused you to fall and break your neck because they snuck up behind you?
Apologized to your dog for being out of dog biscuits even though they just shared your eggs and bacon?
Forgone a nap on the couch because it was occupied?
Rationalized that you didn’t like those shoes anyway?
Apologized to the dogs for vacuuming?
Made a second bowl of popcorn even though your teeth are full of hulls?
Repeatedly treated your dog because it walks out of the room, returns, and sits expectantly in front of you?
Cancelled a vacation because your dog sneezed?
Purchased a vehicle with the sole criteria being the comfort and safety of your dogs?
Got your finger stuck in a Kong because your dog can’t be bothered to get the stuffing out themselves?
Chased your Australian Shepherd around the house with a paper towel because he was too lazy to “pinch” correctly?
Crawled around your house on your hands and knees because your dog doesn’t want any of the hundreds of other toys, he wants that toy?
Cancelled you health insurance plan because you can’t afford plans for both you and your dogs?
Had strays show up at your doorstep every month or two?
Apologized to a dog for calling it another dogs name?
Claimed your dog’s gas as your own so he won’t be embarrassed?
Had a monthly water bill in excess of $100 because your dog needs fresh pool water every time?
Made guests sit at the folding table so the dogs could have their accustomed seats?
Apologized to your dog for reclaiming your only pair of non ventilated socks?
Apologized to your dog because the stuffed toy he just eviscerated no longer squeaks?
I could go on but you get the picture. So the next time you hear the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” maybe you’ll forget about P.T. Barnum and visualize your dog instead. After all, he or she is probably watching your right now, figuring out how next to exploit you.