Life after Climatic Change
Three former humans—reincarnated as cockroaches and wearing smog-masks—meet on the vast Atlantic Seaboard Desert. Humans are extinct…as are most mammals, birds, and much of Earth’s vegetation; droughts prevail around the globe; summers bake forever and winters visa-versa; air quality sucks; the ozone is gone, but on the plus side, fossil fuel usage has dwindled to zip.
In the usual manner of humans reborn as bugs, the roaches—Sarah, George, and Dick—recognize they’re kindred spirits and recall their former lives. Note: the threesome recently came across a fourth kindred spirit, named Ayn, who was busily scratching a novel in the dirt.
Upon Reflection (Apr. 2011 episode #1)
Dick: Hey! Aren’t you…oh my God! It’s Ayn R! I read ALL your books! You’re my goddess—you and Dagny and Dominique. Whacha doin’ in the dirt?
Ayn: Where else should I be? We’re roaches. I’m writing.
Dick (blanches as much as a roach can blanch): Damn! I was afraid of that. I mean, I’m glad you’re writing—the world needs you to tell us what to think—but George keeps insisting we’re not roaches. We’re at the gates of heaven being tested for faith.
Dick: George! Sarah! Look who I found! Good ole Ayn!
Ayn (annoyed): That reminds me. Whose dumb idea was it to trash the planet?
Sarah: Of course! We only did what you told us to do—plunder the earth to make a buck according to the unfettered dictates of supply and demand. They demanded; we supplied; things ran out, and the weather took a nasty turn. It was fun while it lasted.
Ayn: You blockheads! I never told you to turn off your brains and think with your egos.
George: But…but…you said the ego was good.
Ayn: So is survival.
Dick: You said Nature only had worth when humans dug her up to make factories, skyscrapers, shopping malls and parking lots…you know, progress.
Ayn: What’s wrong with you people? Can’t you take a joke? Any fool could see Hank and Roark were three fries shy of a Happy Meal. We’ve got to live here, right? God help us all if that’s the best you can do!
Sarah (aghast): God?!! You don’t believe in God! You told us to worship the mind.
Ayn: So sue me. I changed my….by the way, did I tell you about my current work in progress? I can’t decide what to call it. I’ve narrowed it down to Upon Reflection, On Second Thought, Now that I Think About It, and Oops.
La cuisine de dénial (Nov. 2010 episode #5)
Sarah: Listen Dick. I want your honest opinion before George gets back from his power lunch at the cesspool. Do you think he’s tokin’ schwag about us still gettin’ into heaven—that we’re not really cockroaches, that the planet isn’t trashed, and it’s all just an illusion to test our faith?
Dick: How can you say that? It’s not a cesspool; it’s a five star a-la-carte cafe. I’ll have you know I dined there last night and found it delightful.
Sarah: Umm…forget it.
Divine Inspiration (Nov. 2010 episode #4)
Sarah: Hey Guys, bad news! I ran across a zillion roaches hanging out at the landfill, and they gave me the cold shoulder. It seems they’re native to the species and consider reborn humans as second class bugs.
Dick: So what?
George: So what? How will we ever get nominated let alone elected?
Dick: You worry too much. We’ll do what we always did—spin our agendas to match what they want to hear and take them to the cleaners. It worked for stem cells; it worked for global warming; now it’ll work on roaches. We just need a wedge issue.
Sarah: I’ve got it! We could say we uncovered a tree-huggin’ plot by saltwater eels to ruin the economy and rob natural-born roaches of moral fiber. In keeping with our dominion…umm…fiscal responsibilities as sketched by Genesis 1:26, we’re here to save them!
George: That’s the spirit!
Dick: Strictly speaking, roaches don’t have an economy; they don’t read the Bible, and there aren’t any trees for tree-huggers to hug.
George: You’re slippin,’ Dick. In the old days, you’d call a press conference without hesitation and expose such minor details as symptoms of liberal worldview subversion. Do what I do in times of spiritual need.
Sarah: Pray for guidance?
George: Look for Karl.
It’s All in Your Mind. (Nov. 2010 episode #3)
George: What’s wrong, Dick? Your look a bit droopy today.
Sarah: Where have you been, George? He’s been droopin’ ever since you asked that tactless question about the masks.
Dick: Don’t hassle me. I’m thinking. In fact, I’m having second thoughts.
George: Me too. I could have sold another dozen pardons before my second term expired, but like a dunce I waited too long.
Dick: Leave me alone. I’m having a spiritual crisis. I mean…maybe it’s my karma to be a roach for exempting BP from using the sonic shut down switch.
George: You ARE having a spiritual crisis—ye of little faith! In the first place, karma doesn’t exist. It’s left-wing propaganda meant to scare idiots like yourse…err…unhappy spirits who’ve strayed from the true path to the Lord’s salvation.
Sarah (gasps): Do you mean…?
George: Exactly! Democrats! In the second place, we’re not really roaches. In fact, you only think you have six legs—and quit twitching your damned antenna! I know a skeptical twitch when I see one. We’re on the threshold of heaven being tested for faith.
Dick: I sure hope you’re right. When do you think we’ll get our eternal reward?
Unmasked at Last! (Nov. 2010 episode #2)
George: I’ve sure got to hand it to you, Dick. It was clever of you to build a roach-mask plant in secret before the competition caught on…to hogtie the EPA to create a market…and to subvert the Mineral Management Service to protect it. I knew when I met you, we’d go places.
Dick (chuckles): Damned straight! For all their prattle about foresight, those tree-huggers didn’t know the meaning of the word.
Sarah (grudgingly): Yeah, it was a good trick. I just wish you would have built the plant in Alaska. I could have traded the jobs for votes.
George: Speaking of numbers, Dick, how many did you make?
Dick (smugly): Well…after the third tropical plague wiped out Orleans, I got a screamin’ deal on the Superdome and filled it with thirty-eight quintillion, seven-hundred and fourteen quadrillion and ninety-three point six milliard masks.
George: That’s my boy—always looking ahead! By the way, factored for our new reproductive rate and Sarah’s staggering ability to spit out eggs, how long will the inventory last?
Dick: Err…until next Friday if we’re lucky.
Imagine That! (Nov. 2010 episode #1)
Dick: Excuse me, do you, by chance, know the way to the VIP entrance at the National Press Club?
Sarah: What a coincidence! I meant to ask you the same thing. They had such wonderful air-conditioning. A person of worth could stay nice and cool while subservient classes fried in the streets. It’s funny how one misses the little things.
Dick: My thoughts exactly. It’s a damn shame the planet decided to go haywire just when my oil stocks split two-for-one. Even so, I prefer to look at the sunny side of life since ‘sunny’ is all we’ve got. At least those pesky tree-huggers can’t bug us anymore. I hear they reincarnated as saltwater eels. Yuk, yuk!
Sarah: Remind me to laugh at the Press Club.
George: Excuse me, have either of you heard harp music or seen golden gates?
Twice a surrogate ‘stem cells’ spokesperson for the GW Bush White House, J. Perry Kelly ended his biotech activism over the hypocrisy of worldview politics. Instead he wrote “Quantum Fires,” a thriller that unearths the psychological roots of climatic change.
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