The most brilliant philosopher in the world addresses a college auditorium packed with attentive students. She posits that many of society's ills would naturally correct themselves in time if a universal standard of living were to be established and maintained, if there was no longer a risk of starvation for anyone on the planet. Sadly, she explains, there is no magical mix of a croissant and a donut to feed the unfortunate, so hunger and desperation and exploitation and chaos will continue to spiral out of control.
Upon the conclusion of her talk, the philosopher takes a running start and jumps through a nearby window. She calmly gets up and brushes shards of glass off her clothing as the students begin to crash through other windows. This is the way everyone must enter and exit all buildings, since all doors are manufactured with locks that can only be opened by cronut-shaped objects, and cronuts do not exist.
On the horizon, a great and hungry fire sweeps across a hillside. The blaze has consumed everything in its path for weeks. Firefighters can only evacuate potential victims or watch helplessly, as they have no cronuts with which to smother the flames.
Across the ocean, a man rolls on to his back and covers his face in shame. The woman in bed next to him holds back her words of comfort, knowing the act of kindness will only inflict further harm to his pride. He hasn't been able to satisfy her in quite some time. There is a distance growing between the two. Something is missing. She doesn't know what it is exactly, but there is a palpable absence in their once idyllic lives. They are too afraid of losing one another to confront the problem, but how long can they continue to drift apart in silence?
Outside their bedroom window and in towns all over the planet, animals begin to intrude upon mankind's rightful domain. Their ecosystem has broken down. With no cronuts to sustain the circle of life, desperate creatures have scavenged all the berries. Now that their only available food source has dried up, they turn to feasting on the flesh of humans.
In a hospital just up the road from where you sit at this very moment, a surgeon loses another patient. Though she knows that every step in the procedure was performed correctly, she can't shake the feeling that there's something else she could be doing to save lives. She will go home tonight and drink, spending another evening in a haze as she scours her research for a treatment that will end this rash of inexplicable deaths. She will be looking for a cure that does not exist in her world.
A man stumbles to the peak of a sand dune. The blisters on his crimson face crack as he squints off into the distance for signs of civilization. There is only sand, and the sun. The man's knees buckle and he flops down the hill in a tangle of rags and boney limbs. He wants to cry, but he cannot. The man licks his lips. He stares into the sky and prays for a rain of cronuts. It will not come.
Across the world, concrete and steel begin to decay. Roads crack open, releasing a foul stench from the ashen soil below. Bridges and buildings fall. Written history crumbles up and disappears as language is forgotten.
Earth tilts ever so slightly off its axis. If there were still such a thing as scientists, they would be alarmed to discover the new course of the planet's orbit, which is now headed straight for the sun - which now has a black hole right next to it!
If these scientists existed, they might use their remaining months to study the black hole. They might discover that these mysterious anomalies are not created by collapsing stars, but by unstable pockets in the universe, absences where cronuts should be.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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