O … Once


“Once upon a time,” said the Old Fart, “there was a young man who worked on a farm.”

“Another fairy tale, Gramps?” asked his grandson. “Some magic potions, a fairy princess and a happy ending for everyone?”

“Listen, kid, and show some respect. This is a true story.”

“Come off it, Gramps. A young man working on a farm? Nobody works on farms, except highly-skilled agronomists and machine programmers. Maybe a hundred in the whole country, and each has at least three Doctorates behind his name. And the youngest is in his fifties by the time he’s been educated and waited years for an opening. But I’ll listen to your fairy story.”

“It’s no fantasy. People used to work at all kind of things. You could get a good job, with pay, fresh out of high school.”

“That’s beyond fantasy, Gramps.”

“Stop calling me ‘Gramps’, will you? In my lifetime, employment was normal. Gave people self-respect, producing things. You whippersnappers have never worked a day in your lives, get by on the basic federal dole, have no sense of achievement.”

“Not our choice, so don’t get grumpy, Gramps. You live on federal retirement too.”

“That’s different. Now this young man on the farm…”

“Cut to the princess, she’ll be more fun. Or the robots.”

“There were no robots back then. Leastways, not so many.”

“Dark Ages, huh?”

“Good old days. Let me finish the story.”

“Not so fast. We have all day to get through. Spin it out, keep the ending for after dark.”

“A five-minute story?”

“Gramps, this is 2030, not the twentieth century. I have nothing to do ‘cept listen to your tales. You have nothing to do but tell them. So make it slow and long.”

“I think I’ll turn on the TV and listen to the news instead.”

“Ain’t nothing on, just some talking heads talking gibberish about full unemployment. Matter of fact, even the talking heads are animated robots. I’m bored.”

“So what’re you going to do about that?”

“Maybe I’ll go spray some graffiti, nothing better to do today. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow.”


Also find these older posts…
A … Angst
B … Brag
C … Clowder
D … Down
E … Errors
F … Folly
G … Global
H … Huh?
I … Immigrants
J … Jet
K … King
L … Lunch
M … Moby
N … No!

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