Friday, January 21, 2011

Curmudgeo and Progresso (A Dialogue)

Once upon a time two men, Progresso and Curmudgeo, discussed a fascinating new invention:

Progresso: [thumbs in waistcoat pockets] Behold!

Curmudgeo: What is it?

Progresso: A "water closet".

Curmudgeo: [prods it with his toe] What's it for?

Progresso: For . . . relief.

Curmudgeo: Of what?

Progresso: Of, uh, Nature's demands.

Curmudgeo: Which ones?

Progresso: [behind hand] Defecation and urination.

Curmudgeo: [lifts lid] In there?

Progresso: Yes.

Curmudgeo: Why?

Progresso: So one doesn't have to go outside.

Curmudgeo: So, you do this in your house now?

Progresso: Yes. But it flushes away. Thus.

Curmudgeo: [jumps back; regains composure] Hm.

Progresso: What do you think?

Curmudgeo: So, now, we don't have to even leave the house for Nature's call?

Progresso: Correct.

Curmudgeo: Frightening.

Progresso: Why?

Curmudgeo: Just another reason for Man to stay inside. Now we can't even take responsibility for our own . . . leavings? If we keep making life so easy, what will be left for us to do? We can't even dig our own hole anymore? We can't empty the chamber pot? Wash the outhouse rag?

Progresso: Why should we? This new technology allows us to put our time into better things.

Curmudgeo: Such as?

Progresso: [thinks . . . ]