FRIDAY FUNNY: Earth Day Fables

In celebration of Earth Day (April 22, 2013), here is a modern retelling of some popular fables from American folklore. This parody—with a facility management twist—was submitted by TFM FM Frequency Columnist Charles Carpenter.

Johnny Appleseed traveled the land spreading wisdom and seeds wherever he went. He was easily recognizable with his leather satchel full of seeds and was welcomed by all he encountered.

That all changed when Mr. Appleseed was caught sowing his seeds while competing in the Run for the Roses 5K in Grafton, NY. He was arrested and charged with violating laws in multiple counties designed to prevent invasive flora species. After his conviction, Johnny spent 15 days in jail, paid a $2,000 fine, and was ordered to leave the state.

Upon release, he relocated to the apple friendly state of Washington. With the passage of State Initiative 502, Johnny can now be found plying his energies and botanical skills growing Granny Smith cannabis.


john_henry_stampThe Legend of John Henry’s Hammer is known far and wide. At will, the burly Henry could sink a railroad spike with a single swing of his famous hammer.

One day, while laying tracks near the small town of Subiaco, AR, the job site was shut down temporarily in violation of OSHA’s Excavation and Trenching Standard. When work resumed, the section foreman asked, “Hey hammer swinger, I see you brought your own hammer but did you remember your personal respirator?” Since the company wished to avoid sanction by running further afoul of OSHA’S Respiratory Protection Standard (1910.134), John Henry was barred from the site.

Later, the company purchased a hybrid electric hammer drill and summarily laid him off. Today, he seeks full-time employment while training for ESPN’s World’s Strongest Man. You can find John Henry’s profile on LinkedIn.


Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, are known the world over. While Bunyan’s height has been described as anywhere from eight feet to 63 axe handles tall, his ability to fell an entire forest in a single day is hardly in dispute.

The giant’s lumberjacking prowess, however, has come under fire of late for failing to adhere to the Forest Stewardship Council’s criteria for environmentally responsible forestry management. As such, the lumber industry has “blacklisted” Mr. Bunyan after determining his services prevent companies from meeting the USGBC’s revisions to LEED Materials and Resources credits, which reward the use of certified wood products.

After hearing of the violation, Bunyan’s life took another turn for the worse when he was served a citation for bathing with Babe in Province Lake on the New Hampshire-Maine border, in an unsightly incident referred to as “The Moon of Province.”

After court ordered registration as a sex offender, the only work he could find was cutting down invasive, randomly placed apple trees (where he had been heard to say, “Pardon me, Mr. Appleseed!”) that had mysteriously sprouted from New York to Wyoming. Paul Bunyan eventually settled in San Marcos, Texas where, thanks to his twin loves of Mexican food and his mutant blue ox, he has rebounded by becoming one of the fastest growing suppliers of methane gas and organic fertilizer in the Southwest Texas.

Though you might find Charles Carpenter’s frequency off, you can read his FM Frequency column, including his A Soliloquy To Sustainability in the TFM archives. For the help with this piece, Charles would like to acknowledge Steve Susi at, Steve Jansen at, and The Man in Black – Johnny Cash.