Sunday, December 22, 2013

181. Illusions

“Okay, put your card back in the deck.”

I did. He made a big show of shuffling several times, then cutting the deck twice before spreading it on the table in front of us. He waved a hand over the cards in a mysterious fashion and then suddenly plucked one from the deck. He held it up to me.

“Is this your card?”

“Uh, no,” I said.



“I’ll be a Kodamflabbugast,” he said, employing a word for the Falloonian units with slow intellects.

“C.W.,” I said. “Why the sudden interest in magic?” I had to admit, he was dressed for the part, tuxedo, top hat, and all.

“Money to be made in illusions,” he said. “Trouble is—I need an assistant.” He slumped and looked toward the kitchen. “Think Mrs. Big Dope might change her mind?”

I said, “I doubt it.”

“Even if I drop the part about the sexy outfit?”

“You’ll have to ask her.”

He thought for a moment and apparently abandoned the idea. I thought it was a good decision.

“So what makes you think there is money to be made in magic?”

He leaned back in his chair and took off his top hat. A pigeon flew from within it and flew to the back of chair. “Your species seems to thrive on illusions,” he said. “I simply thought I would take advantage of it.” He unbuttoned his tuxedo jacket. A small rabbit peeked from inside. “Everyone else does it.” The rabbit nodded in agreement.

“Does what?”

“Takes advantage of your trait of being easily fooled or cheated.”

“Are you trying to say our gullibility?”

“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”

I said, “Forget it. Tell me why you think my species is gullible.”

He thought. “For one thing,” he said, “you think reality TV is real.”

I had to agree somewhat. “I don’t,” I said. “But there are some who do.”

“They are the ones who spend money,” he said.

“Maybe so,” I said. “Any other examples?”

“Professional wrestling?”

“That appeal is limited,” I said. “Most folks view it as entertainment. Only a few take it seriously.”

“But they are allowed to mingle, drive, and vote.”

He had me there. My confidence was waning. “Anything else?”

“You used to think you had to sacrifice folks to make the crops grow.”

“Ah,” I said, sensing an opportunity. “But we don’t believe that anymore.”

“But now you believe you have to sacrifice some folks to make the economy grow.”

“But we have our share of educated units,” I said, using his terminology. “They see through things.”

Any species that truly believes making
rich people richer will make poor people
rich someday needs to re-examine
its cognitive capabilities. - C.W.
“Like your supreme public officials appointed to decide cases in a court of law? The ones who believe a corporation is a human being?”


“And I’m not even going to get into the areas of talking snakes and boats full of lions and tigers.” The rabbit shuddered.

“Look,” I said. “Let’s change the subject.” I decided to confess. “That really was my card you picked. I was just fooling with you because I was tired of the magic show.”

“You deceived me for your own ends?”

I sighed and slumped in my chair. “Yes,” I said. “Yes I did. Yes.”

“Well I’ll be a Kodamflabbugast,” he said.
The rabbit shook his head in disapproval, then ducked back inside the coat.

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