When solidity was not treasured

Screenplay: Tentative title : “The End”

Opens with the world in disintegration (in other words, the world of today): climate decimation, wildfires, floods, pan-academics, cows farting methane, Brazillians whacking down trees, the US run in dictatorship by Stump, England slavering over Clown Johnson, Bangladeshis three-feet under water, reindeer eating plastic, plastic eating reindeer.

Noble underground scientist outcasts (1/2 women, 1/3 minorities) battle heroically to stem the tide of destruction as eruptions of pus and putrescence foul them.

The chaos is quelled, the traumatized two-year-old snuggles to her mother’s soot-stained breast.

As the John Williams soundtrack swells and quivers, the reformed teenage badass son points to the sky: “What’s that?’

The heroic father: “Not… the asteroid?”

All: “Oh fuck!”

*    *    *    *

A song for those who prefer 18th century chemistry

Phlo gently, sweet giston,

Flow out of this log.

For 2000 years

You lay dead in a bog.

But now I’ve set fire,

To both our delight.

Flow gently sweet gi-i-i-iston,

Burn into the night.

*    *    *    *

Nordic limerick

There was an old man of Gdansk,

Who stumbled around in a dance.

He said with a quaver,

“I ask you this favor,

“Drop no fire ants down my pants.”

*    *    *    *

Two men sat on a log. There was room for a third, but he had gone into town to purchase beer.

“This is a good, solid log,” said the first man.

“Ay-up,” said the second.

“Do you think there are many logs this good and solid?”


“Do you think, if we piled them all high enough, we could reach heaven?”


“What time is it?”

“How the fuck would I know?”

The third man returned with two sick-packs of an unknown IPA. None of them liked it.

*    *    *    *

Socrates’ butt itched.

“What the matter?” asked Plato.

“My butt itches,” said Socrates.

“Ah,” said Plato.

*    *    *    *

Thomas prodded the Lord’s side: 

“Why 12 apostles?”

“What d’ya mean?”

“Why not 15?”

“That’s not an even number.”

“It’s not even a number?”

“No, you dickhead, it’s not divisible by two.”

“Most things aren’t, unless you have a great big sword.”

“Has anyone told you how dumb you are?”


“Manny? Manny who?”

It went on that way for awhile.

*    *    *    *

An ancient man sat under a tree and wondered in what year he had been born. He was old enough that he had forgotten his childhood, then his middle age, then his later years, and now, yesterday. He leaned against the tree trunk and thought, but nothing significant transpired.

A squirrel chittered down the tree and sat on his belt buckle. It looked up at the old man and felt a deep, harrowing sadness. What does a squirrel need of sadness? It wasn’t a need, it was a calling.

The ancient man looked at the squirrel, wondering at first why it was there, then retrieving a memory. “I’ve met you before,” he said.

“No,” said the squirrel, “but possibly one of my ancestors.”

“I’ve never met my ancestors,” said the old man, “except my parents. I suppose they are ancestors, of a sort.”

The squirrel clawed his way up the man’s shirt. “No man, no woman, no human, has ever mated with a squirrel.”

The man laughed. “Can you say this with certainty?”

“I can say nothing with certainty.”

The man gave the squirrel a pistachio from his pocket and set out again on the trail.

“Tomorrow,” he said to the hemlock branches, “tomorrow I will have the answer.”

*    *    *    *

How many piglets will fit in a wormhole?

“It depends,”said Stephen Hawking while being fed a croissant, “where the wormhole exits.”

*    *    *    *

Leonardo da Vinci was cleaning the spaces between his toes with a small twig. On the hillside across from him fed a flock of… what? Sheep? His tired eyes could not focus. Goats?

He put down the twig and stood to investigate. A loud noise came from the direction he had just left. An animal? No, a machine of his own invention. The sound had not existed in all the world until he had made the machine in his mind and then transferred it to paper. “Well!” he said, with enthusiasm, but not pride. His inventions would never be, so it was said, merely extrapolations.

He trod across the road. He had neglected to return his sandals to his feet but was unconcerned. 

“If there was a way,” he considered, “if there was a way…”

But of course there wasn’t.

There were neither sheep nor goats, but a tiny, withered man in a shambled riding coat. Leonardo considered the man, the coat, the hillside, the circumstance.

He went home to paint.

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