Replaced by goblins
A delicious new crime has been created. As evidence I cite last week’s court news which announces that a 23-year-old from the distant town of Waldoboro had a charge of “operating under the munificence” dismissed in Sixth District Court. Whatever this crime might be, it sounds marvelous and I am all in favor of it.
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On Sunday afternoon I threw a self-centered party on top of the eighth concrete tower at the foot of Mechanic Street, and invited the usual selection of temporary rogues and part-time misfits to join in. A gentleman from Jefferson arrived two hours late bearing a two-thirds empty bottle of what the Great Poe once referred to as “humming stuff,” told me it was my present, and said he hoped I didn’t mind it was almost all gone. I suppose one-third of a present is one-third better than none at all. All in all, I was lucky even to get a single slice of my own cake. Last year I didn’t get a taste of it. Yet still I keep asking them back.
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As of this writing on Monday afternoon, the score in the combat stands at approximately seven mosquitoes brought down for the cost of one bite suffered. Of course these are very early days in the campaign, and I expect the numbers to rise significantly as summer arrives later this month. My main advantage seems to be that the enemy is seriously unorganized. His raids so far have been taking place haphazardly, and he never exploits his numerical superiority. Under these circumstances I am often able to mount a successful defense, either discouraging him from pressing home his attacks or even sending him down in flames. At some point, of course, he is bound to change his tactics.
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Sunday’s edition of the New York paper carried a front-page photograph of soldiers including the chap who has recently been released from foreign captivity. Of all the things that people are saying about this soldier, the one thing nobody seems to have noticed that really singles him out as an unusual case is the fact that he smokes a pipe. This is clear from the newspaper photograph, and if you look carefully you will be able to see the small detail that gave away his secret – he has a pipe in his mouth. Yes, dear reader! It was that easy for me to figure out!
Now when was the last time you saw somebody smoking a pipe? It is a very rare thing these days, and surely the fact that this solider smokes (or smoked) a pipe should have given rise to some questions. But no, the media continue to pursue the commonplace idea that this soldier might be a deserter. Nobody has yet focused on his pipe-smoking, which is surely a more serious problem.
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Apparently the hardest thing for city council to figure out is how to get people to pay for disposing of their trash. It seems almost impossible for them to work it out. Currently you can pay the city $65 a year and are allowed to dump as much trash as you care to. This is rather like paying $65 at the supermarket, then being allowed to take away as many groceries as you want all year long. The thing that absolutely fascinates me about this kind of story is how everyone behaves as though the problem has just arisen for the first time in human history, and that there is absolutely no precedent known to mankind that might help them resolve the problem.
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The Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse have come up with an interesting idea in connection with trash disposal, and I was alerted to it in one of those clairvoyant dreams that are the gulls’ primary means of explaining complex ideas to me. Apparently they are perfectly willing to eat as much of our trash as they can get their little rubbery feet on. How about that?
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The answer to calculating a fair share of trash disposal is staring the council in the face. But I suppose I will have to explain it patiently. I propose to adopt the model by which our wastewater (most of us call it sewage) costs are billed to us. The bill for wastewater is based on how much water we use, a quantity that is scientifically monitored by the little water goblins who live up at Mirror Lake. For reasons I cannot fathom, this system was invented to avoid having to actually measure the amount of wastewater each building produces. What goes in must come out, is the operating maxim here, I suppose. So let’s do the same for our trash.
The city simply needs to devise a method for measuring the volume of all goods bought in Rockland. This should be incredibly simple in this modern day and age. Patrols of trained goblins will be on permanent duty in store parking lots, where they will weigh all packages and grocery bags, attach the weight to the relevant domestic solid waste bill on a master list divided up by ZIP code, convert the weight of groceries to dollars and cents, put the little bills in the little envelopes, and send them out by goblin mail. All bills will be payable at the town office indicated by the ZIP code. This will be a very efficient method, as everyone knows goblins do not need to be paid. They work for the love of mankind and our Great Green Earth.
Come on city council, get with it. Or mark my words, you will be replaced by goblins.
David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.