Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fables From The Future

(An engineer wrote that the rocks in the area of Prague should be excavated to construct underground shelters for the city's inhabitants.)

In the Age of Underground Shelters
     To think that the people back then constructed their buildings above ground! What primitive times those were!

Structural Commission
     Your cave is unsanitary. It is connected to the outside air.

     ...It was still taught back then that the Earth's atmosphere was composed of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and other lesser gases.
     Horrible! Such ignorance!

     Mom, what is the "purple mountains' majesty?"

     Showing the face is indecent. No proper girl should see anyone without her gas mask on.

     What has your son done?
     The little rascal almost climbed up to the earth's surface!

     What are you laughing at?
     This old book has all these fantasies about nature.

     If you don't pay the rent in a week, I'll throw you out of this subbasement into the sun.

     Man, this is luxury! These people have artificial stalactites in their cave!

     My doctor ordered me to get a change of air. So I'm looking for a cave somewhere in the Permian Period.

     Oh, him? He got an apartment out of nepotism in the Vinohrady tunnels.

     What is that shaft for?
     They're going to fill it in to create an underground column for our Leader.

The Ideal Apartment
     And you don't have rats here?
     Of course not! No rats could survive here.

     Limestone makes the best houses. Granite is too cold and dark.

Young Woman
     And we have set up a little garden underground, where I will raise mold and mushrooms in little pots.

     It's awful. The wind is rising again.

     It's been exactly a year since we laid our poor father to rest on the surface.

     Look, I have uncovered an ancient firepit.
     Get out! You think people back then had such a high culture that they lived in caves?

In the Sewers
     These stupid people before us made such narrow hallways!

     Wife, please hand me my diving helmet: I'm going to surface.

     Dad, what's peace?
     I don't know. Don't ask me such stupid questions.

     People once lived aboveground? Those are fairy tales. Scientifically speaking, it's nonsense.

In the Year 2200
     Greatest invention of recent times! The rustproof flint!

In the Year 2500
     ...he returned and states that he could breathe entirely well on the surface of the earth.
     Let us grant that he can, but so what?

LN, 20 May 1934

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