I began last Tuesday in a manner similar to every other day. I awoke, and after some brief calisthenics to fool myself into believing I exercise, I took my shower. The shower is where I do most of my best thinking. Having just been ejected from the comforting womb of my warm bed I leap into the comforting womb of my enclosed shower. I realize it's a terrible cycle that will probably lead to an overwhelming Oedipus complex, but like I said, it's where I do my best thinking.

So last Tuesday, between my lather, rinse and repeat I was thinking about How I could save the world. I thought about all the problems we face globally. You see, global thinking is the key to saving the world. No nationalists have ever saved the world. We face a lot of problems as a global community. But two struck me as the most common and the most dangerous. Overpopulation and fuel shortages.

For years we have been raping the earth that birthed and nourished us. It's not really uncommon. As I understand it, all children attempt to destroy their parents, their nourishers. As if that isn't enough we are breeding with practically no regard for the problems those infants will face. I recalled that episode of the old Star Trek show were Kirk visits a planet so over crowded, that mobs of people in pastel jumpsuits are constantly pressing against the inexplicably transparent wall of the governors office, which by the way happened to be quite spacious.

Having a strong seed myself, I constantly desire to distribute it to whomever would like to bear my precious package of flesh. That sort of attitude I realized is exactly why we have so many problems with overcrowding. That's right, I said it here first. The reason rent is so high in New York is directly the fault of me and my naughty urges.

And then it struck me. A bolt of inspiration flashed before me and clouded my vision. Rather coincidentally I also got shampoo in my eyes at the very same moment and I'll admit the possibility that it may have been responsible for the clouding. Regardless, I had inspiration. The sort of inspiration that only comes when you repeat after lather and rinsing.

We as humans have one resource that is completely renewable, in fact it's geometrically renewable. We make too many babies. Those babies in turn make their own babies. It's like the old Japanese proverb where a man challenged another to a wager. A single grain of rice would be placed on the first square of a checker board. On the next square the amount of rice was doubled, to two. On the next doubled again, four. This pattern was repeated until the man owned Sony. Our babies could save the world. All we had to do was find a way to use them as fuel.

See, I knew I was going to get those kinds of negative reactions. "Burn Babies! You monster!" Jeez. That's why we have so many global problems, no one is willing to sacrifice something they could easily recreate. I'm betting everybody would have a lot more fun making babies if they knew it was going to be for a good cause. All I get is complaints though.

I mentioned my idea to a few colleagues and they shared the same sort of revulsion that everyone else had. Little thinkers, all of them. Nobody had the clarity or foresight to see the genius of my plan. I decided that the only thing to do was contact the one man who could help me save the world. The President of the United States of America. If you're gonna save the world, you gotta think big.

It was a lot easier to see the President than I thought. The operator connected me through to the White House, and when the nice young man who answered the phone realized that I was a serious researcher who wanted to save the world he made an appointment for me. The government even paid for me my travel.

By Thursday I was standing in the ivory halls of the big house getting patted down by the secret service. They confiscated my pocket change and crammed a wad of chewing tobacco under my lip, but otherwise were very polite. I was given a brief set of instructions on things not to do or say when in the presence of the President. "Make no threatening gestures. Make no threats. Keep your tone polite and please use the spittoon provided." That last seemed a little odd, but rules are rules.

I was ushered into the oval office. The President sat behind the desk and offered his hand without rising. "Forgive me if I don't stand, I'm not wearing any pants."

That seemed like a good policy, so I shook his hand and took the chair offered as the secret service agents stepped out the door, securing it behind them.

The President spoke, "It's a pleasure to meet you young man. My staff have informed me that you have a plan to save the world. Is that true?"

"Oh, yes sir Mr. President. I'm quite bright. Uhm, I was told there was a spittoon here I could use?"

"On the floor by your foot son. Tell me can we use this plan of yours to save just the US?"

I spat and then wiped the brown drool with the back of my hand. "Well, that's the problem with saving the world sir. You really have to do it all at once, you can't save just some bits or the whole plan falls apart."

The President spat into his own spittoon. It came out all in one long stream and I noticed that he didn't get any on his chin. I resolved to emulate his technique. "I see your point son. Tell me about your plan. Will we need tanks? What am I saying, of course we'll need tanks, right?"

"No, sir. My plan requires no war machine. It's really more of a solution than a strategy." I spat, but it wasn't nearly as elegant as the President's. I got a little on the floor.

"Peaceful huh? You're not a dangerous insurrectionist are you?" His finger wavered menacingly over a large red button that I hadn't noticed before.

"No sir, not all. I love my country. I like tanks. It's just not part of the plan I have." I swallowed a little and it burned. It didn't seem like the proper time to spit.

The President lifted his finger and his mouth split in a wide grin showing a small triangle of bright white teeth. "Awh, you're a good kid. Swallowed a little there didn't you? HAWH! I'm just fooling with ya son!" Another graceful rope of brown saliva leapt from the corner of his mouth and struck the side of the spittoon like a bell clapper. "Let's get the Vice in hear to hear your plan too." He struck a blue button I had noticed and yelled out "Come on in, let's hear the whole spiel."

As the President stood and walked towards the couches in the center of the office, I noticed that he indeed was wearing no pants. His upper torso was certainly clad in the wardrobe befitting his office, a tasteful gray suit and burgundy tie. Below the waist was a different story however. His pants were completely absent and he was clad only in Howdy Doody Boxers and cowboy boots. His legs I noticed, were a spectacular shade of white and thinly veined with blue, like a nice Maytag cheese.

Another man entered, similarly garbed but for the rocket ships featured on his skivvies and we all took seats around a small coffee table. The new man offered his hand and introduced himself. "Hello. I am Vice President." His movements seemed wooden and inarticulate.

The President Leaned forward, "Now son, my staff tells me you're a pedophile."

"Oh, no sir, not at all. Although my plan does involve infants. Certainly not in that fashion though. They must have misunderstood my plan as I outlined it to them. It is the product of a unique genius after all."

"Good then. I couldn't approve of that now could I?" This time, his spit was even more impressive as it traveled the distance back to his desk. "Give it to us then."

I leaned forward and attempted to engage their attention, and although the Vice President hadn't moved since introducing himself I included him in the conversation. "Gentlemen, my proposal will solve both the problem of overpopulation and fuel shortages. It's not a complicated plan, but it does require some forward thinking. As you may realize, the human population of this planet continues to grow exponentially." I briefly tried to explain the Japanese proverb, but was met with blank stares from both, although the Vice President did twitch once.

"I don't believe I have to explain the fuel shortage to either of you." At this the Vice President began to list slightly to one side. The President leaned over and gently nudged him back up before letting another sticky stream of spit fly.

I continued as if nothing had happened. "The genius of my plan is that it solves both of these problems by relying upon the other. I propose," At this I stood up and tried to be dramatic, "That we use babies as fuel!" At first the room was silent for a few seconds, then the Vice President twitched violently and fell over, one arm bent at what seemed a very uncomfortable angle.

"Oh don't let that bother you son, it's no reflection on your idea." With that the president leaned over and began beating on the Vice President's chest and screaming, "Settle down in there you damned fool! Be quiet I said!" Curiously the Vice President's chest rang hollowly and did not give as one would expect mortal flesh to do.

"Son, give me a hand here will ya?" begged the president as he leaned over and began unbuttoning the Vice President's shirt.

"It's not his heart again is it?" I queried, fearing that the secret service agent would certainly blame me if anything happened. I was also concerned that the room hadn't been flooded with medics at the first sign that the Vice President was ailing. His poor condition and many heart attacks were well known among the media.

"Well, sorta kid." Before the sentence was done, the president had finished unbuttoning the shirt and made some hidden movement. To my amazement, the Vice President's chest hinged to the side and a brown ball of fur ejected violently and began running around the room. In my fear and surprise, I'm embarrassed to admit that I wet myself a little.

"He hasn't been too well since the last heart attack. Matter of fact he died. So, we hollowed him out, and with some help from Disney, we inserted a Rhesus monkey into his chest cavity. Oh, the monkey doesn’t really run things. He mostly just provides kinetic energy for the Vice's internal generator. He's got a little wheel, see." The President pointed at a wire wheel in the Vice President's recently vacated chest cavity. "It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the last couple of months little Wonko has been getting kinda nuts and every once in a while he springs himself. Christ I hope it doesn't happen on TV. They tell me he just needs more fresh air, that he's getting bored."

I had nothing to say. I stared as the monkey continued to run around the office slinging what appeared to be his own waste and occasionally stopping to dry hump a piece of furniture.

The President stood. "I hope I can count on you to keep this a secret. If the Chinese found out they’d start using pandas and then we have some sort of strange mammal escalation. We don't have any pandas small enough to fit in a man's hollowed out chest cavity."

I remained dumbfounded and forgot to spit again. As I wiped my chin I began to speak, but the President cut me off. "Say, you don't think we could use monkeys instead of babies do ya?"

"Sir?"

"To burn. Could we burn monkeys instead of babies?"

"Uhm, I don't think so sir. The plan hinges on the increased population of babies. We don't have an overabundance of monkeys. Do we?"

"I don't know. Worth checking out though. I tell ya what. I'm gonna give you a research grant. A couple mill ought to do. Find out if we can burn monkeys. Don’t burn any babies mind you. I don't rightly like the idea of burning babies. Sounds bad. That's the sort of thing that keeps you from getting re-elected. Burn a few monkeys and let me know how it works out."

That sounded like a dismissal, so I thanked the president, shook his hand again and left the way I had entered. The secret service agent was waiting for me and accepted my used wad of tobacco and returned my pocket change. "Remember," he said, "you didn't see any monkey in the Vice President's chest." For emphasis he broke a pencil.

I'm not quite sure what to do now. The money showed up in my account on Monday but I don't know if I want to burn any monkeys. The president didn't really seem to understand the co-dependencies of my plan. I suppose I could take a research trip, try to find some primates with a suitable BTU output. Perhaps the best place to start would be the Bahamas. They must have some monkeys there and I hear the pina coladas are good. I'll think about it in the shower tomorrow morning. I do all my best thinking there you know.

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