A Fable…Or Is It?

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Once upon a time, in the not too distant future, or maybe even today, a small country called Teenieland was severely excoriated for violating the civil rights of a neighboring territory named Malicea. The civil rights that Teenieland supposedly violated included the right of the Maliceans to shoot rockets into Teenieland cities, the right to set fires in other cities where the rockets could not reach, and the right to attack civilians as well as military personnel.  Indeed, Malicea had within its written charter a section outlining the objective of total elimination of Teenieland and the “annihilation” of all its citizens regardless of which One and Only God those citizens worshiped, including the same One and Only that the people in Malicea worshiped.   (It’s there, folks.  You can “Google” it.)

No one seemed to notice that the largest country in the world in size, Zarland, and the largest country in the world in population, Ceramicia violated more and, even more violently, the rights of their own citizens and the rights of some neighbors. Not even the strongest country in terms of Power and Money, Lucreland, challenged the other big guys. (I understand their reluctance to pick a fight with the big guys. Although I personally shun violence, I would rather fight  a ten-year old than a two hundred seventy-five pound football lineman in top condition.  I believe it is called “cowardice,” or is it just  “GOOD JUDGMENT?”)

Eventually, however, a few of the citizens of Lucreland decided it should boycott Teenieland’s goods and services as a testament to their own superior morality.  At first the movement consisted mainly of college students who needed some semblance of morality after what happened at the frat party last weekend.  Slowly, however, the movement gained in numbers, strength, intensity, and hypocrisy.

The movement welcomed the “professional” protestors who knew of a hidden passage of the Constitution of the Lucreland that insisted that everyone has the right to smash windows, set cars on fire, and throw bottles and rocks at the police when protesting, even if the protest damaged innocent people who had nothing to do with the protest against a tiny country thousands of miles away. 

Then it came to pass that the worst criminals of all, the elected members of the Forum of the Lucreland, decided that to protest “that thing about whatever” in the land of “whatchamacallit” could be a great re-election issue.  Despite differing philosophies, the intelligent politicians (all seven of them) as well as the vast majority, whose only philosophy is to get elected and then re-elected then become a consultant, jumped on the band wagon. 

Members of every party, even the independents, all joined in placing before both houses of the Forum a bill to boycott all goods and services from Teenieland because that nation had the temerity to attempt protecting its citizens from people who would harm them. At first, however, they could not get the bill passed. Then one group, that was either the meanest or the smartest of them all, added a sentence that extended the boycott to, “Any item or device produced or invented in that country.”       

Passage was almost overwhelming, but unintended consequences shook Lucreland to its core. The brilliant denizens of the Forum forgot, or did not know, that one invention of Teenieland was, THE CELL PHONE.  Chaos ensued throughout the land.

After the police, along with the military, confiscated and incinerated millions of cell phones, criminals gave up robbing banks and 7-11s, selling narcotics, and extortion. The real money for a while lay in black market cell phones. That too also ended quickly because the providers had been forced out of business and no one could place or receive calls.  Land lines became important again, telephone booths reappeared, but the cell phone was not forgotten and its absence changed lives drastically.

For the first three months psychiatric and suicide hot lines were overwhelmed by calls from people who were lost without their closest, and sometimes only friend, their youknowwhat.

In virtually every large city, people were seen walking the streets holding their right hands to their right ears, but with nothing in the hand. Sometimes they would just stop walking, fall to their knees, and weep.

Homes burned to the ground while on-lookers questioned one another as to what they could do, forgetting the land lines in neighboring buildings.

In one southern city a friend asked another friend, “Who was the Third Avatar of Vishnu?”  Neither knew the answer and both suffered horribly from their frustration and abject ignorance.  (You don’t know? Really?)

Now only people in the islands knew when it was high tide there, while people in the desert suffered anxiety attacks from lack of this totally useless information.

In frozen wastelands no one knew what the score was in the fourth inning of the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati baseball game.  Indeed, only a few had ever heard of either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.    

Couples going out to dinner for the first time stared at one another not knowing what to do or say. Some learned to carry two decks of cards, one His, one Hers, so they could each play various forms of solitaire.

In one college town a couple who had met in the Freshman English class on a joint assignment discovered that they were first cousins, sharing one set of grandparents. Their only child was born with severe congenital problems.

Automobile accidents from distraction grew exponentially because no one remembered how to concentrate on driving without conducting a business deal, arranging a tryst, or screaming at his/her spouse.

Grown men had to choose between white or rye when the store was out of wheat bread. Some were badly shaken by this monumental decision-making.

After almost two years of this chaos, coincidentally, also the time of an election cycle, the first unanimous vote in the Forum in over a hundred years repealed the boycott on cell phones. Teenieland in a display of chutzpah, however, said, “You want cell phones? You also get hummus  Repeal the whole idiotic, stupid, immoral thing.”  Because most of the members of the Forum thought hummus was an unmentionable part of the body, they agreed to end the whole boycott.  Cell phones reappeared almost overnight.  And everyone lived happily ever after.


Well, not quite everyone.  Soon it was a re-election year again, and the Forumers needed a new issue. They decided to outlaw sex for everyone except elected public officials. Not one person was re-elected and soon the Forum dissolved.


 THEN, EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.  Well, again not everyone.  The citizens of Malicea still just wanted to kill . . . somebody.

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