by Mr. Lesser (GHG) 3/16/15
It was a pleasant Saturday morning and Mr. Public was just sitting down to have a cup of coffee before getting started on his honey-do list when the doorbell rang. He opened the door to find two men wanting to speak with him. He had seen one of the men before but couldn’t remember where. Mr. Public invited them in but they declined, preferring to talk on the front porch.
“Let me get right down to the purpose of our visit Mr. Public”, said the first man, “I’m Mr. Sham and this is my associate Mr. Huxtre. We’re from the Fraternity of Unbiased Climate Knowledge Working Against Deluge Denial, and we’re here to talk to you about a very serious situation that could have ruinous effects on your neighbors.”
“on my neighbors?”
“Please, Mr. Public, don’t interrupt me, allow me to explain in a way you’re capable of understanding. You see, we’re scientists and we’ve been studying the Earth’s climate and have come to a startling conclusion. It appears there is a very high probability that there will be a rainstorm of catastrophic proportions, a deluge, if you will, and this storm will hit your neighborhood. Our complex predictive modeling program has determined that your house will be at the epicenter.”
“Excuse me, I’m still talking. Yes … the epicenter. Most of the rain will pour right down on your property here and since you have the richest parcel of land on the high ground, your rain will run off and ruin the neighborhood. Therefore, I’m sure you’ll agree, the only responsible and neighborly thing to do is to implement our plan. I’m afraid we’re going to have to tear down your house to dig a large hole that will hold the rain so your neighbors’ homes won’t get flooded and ruined.”
“Hey, wait a minute. Now I remember you. You’re the guy who stopped by a few years ago claiming my house was going to be hit by lightning. You called your organization something different back then … what was it again … oh yeah, the Association of Social Scientists Handling Acute Thunderstorm Situations. You claimed that my house had to be torn down so that it wouldn’t be struck by lightning and catch on fire. You said my house had to be sacrificed so the fire wouldn’t spread and burn down the neighborhood.”
“Yes, well, we had a couple bugs in our program back then that have since been ironed out. I can assure you the new version of the complex predictive modeling program is now producing the results we expect to see. You see, the data was correct all along, the program just needed a few tweaks, so I can assure you there is a consensus on the accuracy of the results.”
“So you’re saying the data is the same and the first conclusion was lightning would hit my house and the second conclusion is a deluge will hit my house? That doesn’t seem believable.”
“How dare you call my scientific integrity into question? Our conclusions have been peer reviewed by Mr. Huxtre here, and he can vouch for the voracity with which the program was manipulated until we got it right. Isn’t that right Mr. Huxtre?”
“So there you have it. If you don’t believe the scientific consensus now, you’re just a deluge denier.”
“I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough to allow you to tear down my house. I want to know more about the data you used to arrive at this conclusion and I’m not convinced there is a consensus – there’s only two of you here.”
“So now you’re calling Mr. Huxtre’s scientific integrity into question too? You are just a hateful denier. Furthermore, it’s pointless to show you the data because there is no way you would be able to understand what you’re looking at.”
“Because we don’t even understand it and we’re scientists … Look, Mr. Public, this has gotten off on a bad note and I don’t hold you responsible for your ignorance. You can’t be expected to comprehend things of science, so I forgive you for insulting us. Let me tell you more of the plan and I’m sure you’ll feel better about things.”
“This oughta be good.”
“Yes, our plan is not just to tear down your house, dig a big hole and leave you high and dry, so to speak. We also plan on providing you with a new place to live. As you will be able to see on this layout … ah … Mr. Huxtre do you have that layout?”
“Oh yes, there it is in your hand Mr. Huxtre. Please hand it to me … thank you Mr Huxtre. Let me get this opened up here … ah yes, here we are. As you can see on this layout, there is the huge hole taking up most of your lot, but we left a little room over in the corner of the lot to place a nice trailer for you and your family to live in.”
“A trailer? There’s no way we could move all of our stuff into that tiny trailer.”
“Yes Mr. Public, you’re absolutely right and that’s the hidden beauty of our plan. Wait until you hear this – you’ll really get excited. You know how you have the nicest house in the neighborhood with more stuff than any of your neighbors, well this will help fix that problem”
“There’s a problem? I don’t understand.”
“Well, since the trailer isn’t big enough to hold all your stuff anyway, we’re going to take a bunch of your stuff and give it to your neighbors. Isn’t that great? Then you won’t have to feel guilty for having more stuff than your neighbors and your neighbors won’t have that reason to hate you anymore. See – everyone ends up happy.”
“Just how is it that I end up happy with this deal?”
“Mr. Public, really! Don’t you want to do the responsible thing? You can’t possibly be so selfish that you wouldn’t sacrifice your stuff to save the neighborhood? Where’s your sense of equality?”
“That’s it. I’ve heard enough. Get off my property! And take your crackpot plan and your consensus with you.”
“That’s fine Mr. Public, we’ll leave now, but you haven’t heard the last from us. We’ll be back and it’s only a matter of time before we get what we want.”
Mr. Public closes the door and is muttering under his breath when his daughter walks into the room.
“Who were those men you were screaming at daddy?”
“Oh no honey … I wasn’t screaming … I was just … ah … discussing something about a deluge”
“Oh yes daddy, Miss Info, my new 5th grade teacher, was talking about the coming deluge. She showed us a film in class yesterday about it and we all discussed social responsibility. She had us raise our hands if we were for equality and saving the neighborhood. I raised my hand and told Miss Info that I knew my dad would be in favor of saving the neighborhood. You are in favor of saving the neighborhood aren’t you daddy?”
“uhh … yup”
End of Scene One.
Have a poem, short story, or bit of prose you want to share? Click here.