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
enclosed shower. I realize it's a terrible cycle that will probably
lead to an overwhelming Oedipus complex, but like I said, it's
I do my best thinking.
So last Tuesday, between my lather, rinse and repeat I was
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
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
of inspiration that only comes when you repeat after lather and
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
square the amount of rice was doubled, to two. On the next doubled
again, four. This pattern was repeated until the man owned Sony.
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
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
I mentioned my idea to a few colleagues and they shared the same
of revulsion that everyone else had. Little thinkers, all of them.
Nobody had the clarity or foresight to see the genius of my plan.
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
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,
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
"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
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
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
"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
finger wavered menacingly over a large red button that I hadn't
"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
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
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
spectacular shade of white and thinly veined with blue, like a nice
Another man entered, similarly garbed but for the rocket ships
featured on his skivvies and we all took seats around a small
table. The new man offered his hand and introduced himself. "Hello.
I am Vice President." His movements seemed wooden and
The President Leaned forward, "Now son, my staff tells me you're a
"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
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
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
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
"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,
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."
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
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
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?"
"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.
"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
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
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
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.