Sunday, June 9, 2013

153. Worries

“Your species sure has a lot of things to worry about. I’m compiling a list for the Falloonian Elders. What a mess.”

I couldn’t disagree, although this was coming from the mouth of a comely young lady who appeared to be on the verge of childbirth. That is to say, it was the Alien himself, or herself, in this case, it having joined me on my walk through the park.

“You are right,” I said. It is disturbing if you think about it.”

“Oh, I do,” she said. “I think about it even more now.” She patted her belly.

“One would think so,” I said, playing along with the scenario.

“I’m having a baby, you know.”

“I had guessed as much.”

“I want to have several.”

“Good luck with that.”

“But the news worries me.”

“That seems natural. There are certainly things in our future that should concern us.”

“Oh? What’s bugging you in particular?”

I looked at her. “Well, the planet will start to run out of drinking water during that one’s lifetime.”

She stopped and turned to me with a look of total shock. “Who says so?”

“The world’s scientists,” I said.

She relaxed, “Oh them.”

“Yes them, the ones who also say our planet is in the process of frying.”

“Don’t you worry about them. That’s all just stuff they say to scare us.”

“Who told you that?”

“It’s on the news every night. You just have to watch the right channel.”

I was confused. “I thought you were worried about things.”

“Oh I am,” she said. “But real things, not that sort of stuff.”

“Like what, then?”

“You silly. No wonder everyone calls you ‘Big Dope,’ the way you act.”

“You’re the only one who calls me that,” I said. “Other than my wife. But anyway, what things are bothering you?”

“Well, for one thing, we still don’t know who killed President Kennedy.”

This time it was I who stopped. “Uh, yes we do. It was Lee Harvey Oswald.”

“Well that’s what they want you to think.”

I sighed.

“So what real things do you worry about?” She said. She looked at me with a blank look on her face.

“Well,” I said. “In addition to the ever-increasing likelihood of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists, there is the matter of the Amazon rainforest.”

Her look changed to one of suspicion. “What about it?”

“Other than it cools the entire planet by one or two degrees, Celsius, or that one-fifth of the world’s fresh water flows through it, or that it absorbs 300 million tons of carbon dioxide per year?”

“And? What’s your point?”

“It could disappear by the year 2080, according to some estimates,” I said. I gestured toward her protruding stomach.”

“Oh, fol de rah,” she said. “Here’s what’s really got me worried.” She pointed to a newsstand where the daily posted a headline announcing that another state (not ours) had approved same-sex marriages.

“This worries you?”

“Do you think I want my little boy to marry another little boy?”

“Wouldn’t you, if it made him happy?”

“He’ll be happy about things I tell him to be happy about,” she said, snipping her words.

“Well he couldn’t be happy about the possibility that there won’t be any middle class in his America.”

“There you go again, worrying about silly things while there are real concerns.”

Don't you worry about the Amazon Rainforest.
By the time it is gone, I'll be basking in the
tropical sun at my cabin in northern Manitoba. - C.W.
“Such as?”

“Buy me this newspaper and I’ll show you.”

“Show me what?”

“Wanda Sue may have been kicked off American Idol last night.”

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