After the sign in and introductions, I started in:
Last Thursday, right after I had obtained my weekly shipment of unobtainium and resold it for a little bit more than usual, I discovered.… Well, after all, unobtainium is getting to be harder to obtain. They’re charging me more so I pass it along to the hoi poloi. And a little left over for myself. Maybe another 10% profit. Who cares? We’ll just blame some politicians! Not my fault. I’m just trying to make a buck. Or two. Or a trillion. You know what they always say: squeeze ‘em till they hurt. Then, they won’t have the time or energy to figure out who’s really screwing them.
But hey, forget all that because I was about to say that I was walking the three blocks home, when it began to lightly sprinkle. And, there was this odd smell. And it reminded me of something but I couldn’t remember what — not at first. But then, I knew. It was the smell of fresh air. Just like I had when I was a kid. And that reminded me of playing different codes so that parents wouldn’t know what we were saying. Most kids learned pig-latin, for instance. But there were many variants. We played one where we would just say the opposite of whatever we really meant.
And that reminded me about how unobtainium, while hard to obtain, is obviously not actually unobtainable. If it were, no-one would have discovered it and therefore no-one would have ever named it. But someone did name it and why did they name it as they did? Is it just because “hardtoobtainium” is too long? I don’t think so. I think some marketing guy figured out that if it were called “unobtainium” it would sell for a higher price right out of the blocks. I think that’s pretty clear from Marketing 101. But then, I got to thinking. Hey, we get a bump every time the price changes! Yeah. The name “unobtainium” makes our suckers — I mean customers — our suckers always fearful that we’ll run out of unobtainium so we can always kick up the price a bit more whenever the “hard to obtainium” becomes “harder to obtainium” but always remember it’s called “unobtainium.”
But then, I had an even more troubling thought. What if almost all the things we were taught to try to attain because they’re hard to obtain or even unobtainable — what if the things that are obtainable are equally valuable? What if some of the obtainable things are even more valuable than the unobtainable things? What if the whole reason that those things are designated as very difficult to obtain is that they aren’t worth attaining if they mean giving up all the things that are easier to obtain. I mean, I’m rich so what else matters, right? So then I’m thinking why am I even having this conversation with myself. I need people to think unobtainium is unobtainium. That’s part of what makes me rich! So that’s why I called you. So fix me from this crazy thinking. Being rich enough is okay? Give me a break. That’s plain disgusting. You gotta fix me.
How the Nightingale Learned to Sing
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