CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
Over the twenty or so years since, Spamming gradually increased in everyday society and today, due to the prevalence of Spamming, Samuel avoided contact with all people where possible, lest they attempt to sell him a penis enlargement product or provide him with information on a cheap source for pills to enable him to gain an endless erection, should he ever require such a thing, which, of course, he surely would do, because only winners had an endless, on-demand erection.
Samuel Pam walked into his eleven a.m. meeting and sat at the head of the conference table, around which his team were already assembled. They were due to hear a summary of the “Level 5” workgroup’s report into the eradication of the number “seven” from all arithmetic problems presented to children before the age of nine. A previous report had suggested this might remedy the fifty-fourth flaw identified in his own famous “Level 2” Spam report (the number of flaws had by now reached one hundred and twenty-eight, of which only thirty of these had so far been successfully resolved). Flaw fifty-four was of particular interest because it was thought it was this that caused people to use Spam to promote sex-related products. The whole Ministry was excited by the idea of eradicating the number “seven” from arithmetic problems because this approach had never been heard of before, and the workgroup listened in eager anticipation as Jonathan Springer, a bright, fresh-faced graduate, began the presentation.
Jonathan tapped on his laptop and a graph lit up the presentation screen. Geraldine, who was thirty-two next March and whose knees lost the ability to support her whenever she saw Jonathan, Geraldine gasped at the sight of the graph. George, who was forty-five and was taking early retirement next April, sighed impatiently at Geraldine.
Jonathan tapped another key and the following words appeared beneath the graph:
While cock enlargement surgery is expensive and sometimes dangerous, pills have been found to have no such drawbacks.
Samuel stood up and left the room. In the corridor a secretary approached him. She started to say, “You too can induce a heavenly state with your….” but he quickened his pace, stepped into his office and closed the door. His window opened onto a wide ledge which he stepped out onto, then sat on. This was his favourite spot in the building, the only place he could escape the Spammers. He sighed as he listened to the noise of the distant traffic. He looked down to the street, thought he saw someone waving up at him from the opposite pavement, then recognised the mad Spanish-looking woman who was shouting up to him and beckoning him to come down to the street. He edged back on the ledge, out of sight, and watched the windows of the building opposite, which was a call centre. He looked from window to window, watching the phone operators gesticulating at their screens. A few minutes later, he noticed someone tapping at one of the windows, apparently watching him, then recognised the Spanish-looking woman. He heard a voice, looked round and saw a man kneeling on the ledge a few windows along from him.
Forty-two years ago in a town called Perception, a spree of twenty-three murders were allegedly committed by Able Carver. During that summer, of 1944, the town was rampant with speculative tongue-wagging while, day by day, the trial of Carver progressed. At the point when the community’s tongues were at their most athletic, an opinion poll was published in The Perception Daily Chronicle. It reported that twenty percent of the people questioned had a sneaky feeling (and when asked to quantify the degree of their sneaky feeling, they said it was an extremely strong sneaky feeling) that urban stress was the sole cause of mass murder. Five people were questioned and the margin of error in the poll’s results was absolutely gigantic. Nevertheless, as a result of this poll, the Urban Stress Faculty was set up in the town’s university, and Marjory Cogitation was appointed its professor. Her task was to study stress in the community.
Her first breakthrough occurred while conducting experiments on six residents. Stressful states were clinically induced in the group, and vital signs monitored. Nothing unexpected was recorded. But then she accidentally administered an overdose of an hallucinatory drug and the group experienced fatally stressful hallucinations, emitting the most horrendous screams imaginable, followed by a rapid succession of alarmingly violent convulsions, and every member of the group then—mercifully—passed on into death and the immediate onset of rigor mortis. The professor noted that this produced an unusually high level of bowel activity in the laboratory mascot, Percy the goldfish.
After two years of further research, Professor Cogitation published her full findings in a scholarly (and impressively thick) paper. Here’s the concluding section:
 
Two factors are involved in the production of stress—the Comprehension Factor and the Grumble Factor.
A fall in one factor always leads to a rise in the other. Grumbles are therefore created in a person by a sudden lowering of his Comprehension Factor.
Once created, a Grumble cannot usually be destroyed—a person may only lower his own Grumble Factor by passing on the Grumble to somebody else. The recipient then experiences a rapid drop in his level of Comprehension Factor in order to accommodate his increased Grumble Factor.
Because of this, the level of Grumble Factor in the community (the collective Grumbliness of the population) can only usually increase. But there is one known method of reducing it:
When a Grumble is expressed near to a goldfish, it passes from the person to the fish, undergoes a chemical change within the fish’s gut, induces bowel activity, is then passed out of the fish and decomposes, slowly emitting Comprehension Factor back into the atmosphere.
I conclude that the large-scale deployment of goldfish in any community would reduce the level of Grumble Factor, and thus the urban stress. And since urban stress (as shown by The Perception Daily Chronicle’s opinion poll of two years ago) is the sole cause of mass murder, then it is predicted that this scheme would dramatically reduce the instances of murder in that community. QED.
 

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