Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Degree Decapitator

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "A Matter of Degrees" in Mirror Shards.

"Behold, Bartlett," said Doctor Geisteskrank as he pulled back a dark green silk cloth with mud flecked edges from the back of the pygmy pig. "Truly, this must be my greatest moment of triumph yet!"

"Isn't it a little early to be making judgments? Of course, you might be right. We're not running for our lives, that's somewhat of a triumph for you." Doctor Geisteskrank's eyes bored into Bartlett like a consumer grade red-ion laser without enough power to burn the skin but might blind one's eyes. Bartlett looked away and said, "I'm just saying."

"Those who follow the steps of failure will find true triumph."

"Eventually." It wasn't so much the doctor's red-veined eyeballs -- they were pretty much always red -- but rather the flush that flashed across the doctor's forehead that warned Bartlett that he might be pushing Doctor Geisteskrank too far. "So what is it?"

"Behold the world's first heat pig."

"Heat pig?"

"You've heard about that global warming thing. How the oceans are getting warmer and the climate is going to change. Some former vice president made a documentary on this, what's his name?"

"Al Gore. But, you said it's all a crock of nonsense."

"Ahhhh, you've been listening to me." Oops, big mistake thought Bartlett. This might go to the doctor's head. "It is all a sham to make a select few rich and powerful. But why shouldn't we be that select few."

"Hmmm..." this could only end badly. "So what does the pig do?"

"It sucks the heat out of the air. The environmentalists will go wild over a natural air-conditioner."

"Where does the heat go?"

"I don't know. It shouldn't matter, we'll be rich and powerful by then."

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