I recently went back and watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 & 2, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for the Shredder. Not because he is misunderstood, but because it has got to be a logistical nightmare to run an underground ninja crime ring. So let’s break this down shall we?
Ground Level Troops:
At this level you have a mostly teenage group, consisting of run-aways, and your run of the mill kids that just don’t listen to their parents. They spend their time stealing electronics, and hanging out over at East Lairdman Island. It’s the hangout that first made me think of the logistics of the Foot Clan. It’s an abandoned warehouse, yet it has electricity and most likely running water. Surely, a permit had to be obtained to get the utilities turned on. I can’t imagine a group of miscreants, or even Tatsu, climbing a pole and rigging up the power without getting killed. However, I will concede on this one, maybe there was an adolescent electrician in their ranks. Now you have a warehouse full of kids stealing stuff for you, that’s great! What is their incentive for doing so? At the very least you have to house and feed them. But they probably get that at home, I would want to get paid if I was out there stealing old lady’s televisions. So at the very least you are paying for their food, housing, and maybe utilities on the warehouse. How much stolen goods do you need to sell to sustain that? I am assuming a lot more than this riff raff is capable of acquiring.
Here is where your costs really skyrocket. The Foot has try-outs to become a Foot Soldier. Very selective try-outs I might add. The applicants who pass the tests obviously have years of martial arts experience. That is worth something. A guy who passes the tests will not be happy with some pizza, a cot, and a VCR. He is going to want to be paid! With that skill set he could easily be a stunt double, or even open his own martial arts school. I did my research and a stunt double’s average salary is $70,000 dollars! Now this took place in the 1991, so I will adjust for inflation, which would amount to $40,296.03. Shredder would have to beat that number by quite a bit to make a person turn to a life of crime, maybe even double. Multiply that by a couple hundred Foot Soldiers and you have got quite the payroll going. That’s somewhere in the realm of $16,000,000 a year.
With all of these expenses what left for ol’ Oroku Saki? I have a mental image of him sitting over an accounting book saying, “These damn kids eat everything!” Maybe that’s why the Shredder is so upset, he had his dream of world domination and the overhead is keeping him from his dream.
In closing kids, don’t become a villain hell-bent on world domination. It will leave you penniless and struggling to feed a bunch of teenagers. Come to think of it this is exactly how most people end up anyway, so just take the easy route. *Bonus points to the first commenter who notices the nod to the creators of the Turtles.*
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