The Leopard And The Furrier

The Leopard And The Furrier


Leonard Zwelling

I had a friend. I haven’t seen or spoken with him for a while, but he made an indelible impression upon me earlier in my career. He had a favorite saying about observing their behavior.

“The leopard doesn’t change his spots until he hears the furrier coming.”

What he meant was that people will do what they will, even if harmful to others and themselves, until it becomes a threat to them to continue to do it.

Now this sounds awful childlike. And it is. That doesn’t make the observation wrong.

I am reminded of this by three recent examples.

The first is President Trump.

He will not stop his dissembling as it appears that he can get away with it. No matter what he says about anything and no matter how much the mainstream media tries to call him on it, he will go on lying. I actually believe that he believes his own nonsense most of the time. He thinks he saw crowds of people cheering the hijackers on 9/11 in New Jersey. That he is delusional is not exactly news.

But the furrier may be coming in the form of Robert Mueller. My speculation is that the former FBI Director and current Special Prosecutor is getting close to unearthing the collusion that the Trump campaign had with Russia and that the president probably did obstruct justice by firing James Comey. Not only that, Vice President Pence was in on all of it. So were the Trump kids and probably Paul Manafort and General Flynn. All of the tweets about the NFL and Puerto Rico and the rest of the Trump obfuscation is an attempt to keep Furrier Mueller at arm’s length. It probably won’t work, especially if the Democrats could somehow take the House in 2018.

Dr. DePinho felt the furrier, too, although he never changed his spots until they were shorn from his coat.

He continued to do what he wished and spend as he wished as MD Anderson slipped deeper into the red. He maintained the positions of those around him despite their servicing him and the faculty poorly and now Dr. Hahn is undoing as much of that as he can. One can only hope he’s not finished unwinding the DePinho legacy of poor servant leadership in preparation for the coming of Dr. Pisters.

DePinho’s furrier was the Chancellor and though it took him far too long to shear DePinho of his position, at least he finally did.

Finally, I have recently learned of a host of middle managers at MD Anderson who are treating their employees badly, but are protected by various parts of the infrastructure from the retribution they have earned as bullies. That will probably end, too as additional furriers will be coming forward as representatives of #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein’s legacy. The chickens are coming home to roost and the furrier is having his day.

This, too, is appropriate and let’s give some props to Dr. Hahn for weathering all of this and continuing to pave the way for the new president by eliminating the leopards that needed to be shorn.

Many such leopards never do hear the furrier coming. But he’s on the way. Whether the leopard hears the furrier coming in the forest, he’s just around the bend.

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