C.W. continues not to understand us. He calls us overprotective. He says that upsets the balance of nature, calls it “idiocy-spread.”
“Quite so.” He gets this way on occasion, usually when he shows up looking a lot like photos of an early H.L. Mencken. “If you allow it to spread too far, it can get into the very life-stream of your polity and destroy it from within, like cancer in a human organism.”
That was a little deep for me, but the weather was unmercifully hot outdoors, so I was sipping a beer and soaking my feet in a pan of cool water.
“Perpetuating idiocy poses an evolutionary danger to society,” he said.
He rose, walked over to where I had been patching a spot on the far wall of the room. He tipped the top of a stepladder toward me. “What does it say there?”
I looked. “It says, ‘don’t stand on top of this ladder.’ I think that is on all of them now.”
“And what might happen if someone did?”
“They might fall and kill themselves or be damaged for life.”
“And what would be the, albeit miniscule, effect on the gene pool if such a person never bore children?”
I thought. “A miniscule benefit, I suppose.”
“And there you have edauledzupt.”
“It’s a Falloonian term for ‘numbers count,’ not to be confused with your military apologists’ term, ‘numbers sanctify,’ hoocvesascheet in Fallonian. Quite a difference.”
“I’m not sure I’m following you.”
“Here, read this.” He handed me a section of newspaper, and pointed to a headline reading, “Eclipse viewers warned not to stare into the sun.”
“Good advice,” I said.
“And if millions did?”
“They might go blind.”
“And if society took millions of idiocy-tinged drivers off the road?”
“I think I’m beginning to understand, but I'm still not sure.”
“Ever see films of herds of antelope in Africa feeding near a pride of lions?”
“I think so.”
“Ever notice how one over-exuberant antelope will prance around too close to the lions as if life is a game to be played?”
“Do the other antelopes gather round to protect it?”
“Not as a rule.”
“Gene pool preservation.” He smiled. “Hey, let’s take a vacation to North Korea.”
I can’t repeat what I said but it included the word "you" and a hand gesture.
“Because they are crazy over there.”
“They kill tourists.”
“And how would you describe a tourist who would go to North Korea? Would you want one to be elected president, worse still—marry and procreate?”
I shook my head.
“So,” he said, “you don’t need a law preventing you from going there?”
I shook my head again.
“Strike one up for the gene pool.” He said. “It’s okay to let others go if they wish?”
“Yes,” I said, “but you won’t catch me going there.”
Okay then,” he said. “Let’s go on a hiking trip along the Iranian border. I hear it is quite beautiful this time of year and we can mark that off our "receptacle for holding water or other liquid" list.”
“Why don’t you take your ‘bucket list’ and shove it?" I said, adding "Here, hold my beer and watch this." I reached for my electric guitar. "I've learned a new song."
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