08 June 2015

Advisory parable

Dear diary, I will confide to you an advisory parable after I share the following image, which was saved inside my computer under the descriptive title: both sides of the same paper scrap.

Advisory parable

Let us place a number of figurines in a shoebox. This will be our world and its inhabitants. The population of our world is large, and the figurines are hungry.

A large population needs an abundant amount of food. If we rain from heaven a truckload of plastic hamburgers, the figurines will be satisfied; and they should stop whimpering.

So we cause a supply truck to hover over our shoebox. We fly the truck ourselves; then, after applying the emergency brake, we exit the cab and open the door of the trailer: it is brimming with hamburgers. We shovel this truckload of hamburgers onto the populace, because we love our figurines.

Now the populace is satisfied, for it has eaten. Let us observe the behavior of a satisfied populace. The populace copulates. Now we possess a pregnant populace. After a moment of gestation, the newborns break forth in droves, thus increasing the number of figurines in the shoebox.

It was hard work shoveling that truckload of hamburgers this morning. Even if the size of our population had not tripled, we would rather avoid having to feed them again manually. So we invent a remote control, which can autopilot our supply truck. We press the device’s red button, and turn the device’s knob – this dumps down a truckload of hamburgers onto the populace.

But, due to the unforeseen effect of copulation, our shoebox contains three times more figurines than before. The population increased, but the number of burgers that we dumped on them remained constant. What does this mean? I will tell you.

Either the figurines must divvy the burgers and ration them at the rate of one third per person (which is to say, each individual receives a third of a bun, a third of a pickle, and a third of a kangaroo patty); or those figurines who copulated after consuming the original shipment (which is to say, those who gave birth to the supplementary populace) could let their children starve.

Now allow me to tell you the most ingenious trick that mice have discovered. Let us say that a thousand parental figurines bear two thousand children on an afternoon in March, but their webmaster’s supply truck delivers only nine hundred hamburgers. Obviously, the children starve. A few artists starve also. But do not conclude that all hope is lost: for the corpses of those figurines who died of starvation can be eaten as well.

The bodies of deceased offspring and downtrodden prophets are as nourishing to the gut as a heaven-sent hamburger. The stomach asks no questions. The stomach possesses zero moral hang-ups. Thus, the problem is solved: Declare today a feast day.

The point

Here’s the point. Happiness comes to us as a gift from above; but it’s a limited gift, which must be sought after with the ferocity of gods competing for the top slot in monotheism. So, if you need to make a sale, then make it NOW! . . . Or wait a spell, if that’ll seal the deal.

4 comments:

kinky won said...

I am assumin it is a very large shoebox

Bryan Ray said...

I thought that too, at first, because of how it was filmed; but it's actually a standard-size box. The only element of the parable that is unnaturally large is the authorial superego.

kinky won said...

Bryan authorial super egos are part of the yin and yang of authors/ Either super ego or miserable/ I happen to enjoy reading both

Bryan Ray said...

Aw, you're just sayin’ that ’cause I’m your firstborn mother… but I do appreciate it—thanks!!

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