Storytime: Sample Simon.

April 17th, 2013

His name was Sam, but everyone always called him Simon, always Simon. He asked them why, sometimes.
Oh Simon, Simon, Simple Simon, they’d say. You lovable goof. It’s who you are, Sam or no Sam, and that’s what we’ll call you.
I don’t get it, he’d said.
Exactly, they’d said. And then they’d laughed, but they did that a lot at a lot of things Sam didn’t understand, so he just shrugged and went on going on.
Oh Simple Simon, you chuckleworthy silly-billy, his math teacher had said in grade school, as he divided a subtraction problem and multiplied when he should’ve equalled.
Oh Simple Simon, you cheeky goofus, his father murmured when he came back from the pet store with a wild raccoon.
Oh Simple Simon, you hilarious dunderhead, his grade ten crush said when he gave her a single chocolate bar in a glass of water and a bar of crushed and congealed daffodils.
Sam persevered, and sometimes he wondered what all the fuss was about, but on the whole he thought life was okay. He did his things and other people did theirs and so long as that was the way it was it all made sense, was all fine.

Simple Simon, said his father one day, take the trash out.
Sam was thunderstuck. Trash? Trash wasn’t his job. That wasn’t the thing he did.
Oh Simple Simon, you ignorant ignoramus, it is now, said his father. My back hurts. Take the trash out.
Sam relaxed. Taking the trash out was now his thing. All was well. He’d just do it one step at a time.
Easily done. The garbage goes in the garbage bin, the compost goes in the home compost bin, and the recycling goes in the home compost bin.
Oh Simple Simon, you loopy idiot, said his father when he reported back. Now what’s going to happen to that recycling? Sometimes I wonder if the doctor dropped you on your head when you born over and over again.
Okay, said Sam.

Three days later, all the recycling had been composted down to a fine grey paste.
What do I do with this? asked Sam of his friends and family.
Oh Simple Simon, you dribbling dolt, just throw it away, said his father and all his friends.
Sam threw it away, but because it was compost he threw it away on top of other things, to help them grow. He threw it on the house and he threw it on his father’s car and he spread the leftover bits on his computer.
Overnight, Sam woke up and heard hissing noises. His computer was puffing up like a balloon, and steam was wheezing from its sides. He pondered this, shrugged, went back to sleep, and woke up to find that its RAM had doubled, it had a quintuple-linked processor that ran on small lasers rather than electricity, and was cooled with liquid nitrogen.
Sam walked outside and examined the house. It was 20% larger, 43.8% more attractive, and the windows smelled like peppermint.
Sam walked around to the garage and examined his father’s car. It was half the size it had been in the past, with the same amount of storage space and eight times the gas mileage, with a simple and highly effective electric motor sharing space under the hood.
Oh Simple Simon, you magnificent clod, said his father, shaking his head at what had become of their stuff. Wait’ll the neighbours see this. What did you do again? What exactly did you compost? What did you do to that garbage?
Dunno, said Sam.
Well, just keep doing what you’re doing, then, said his father.
And so that was why everyone watched Sam carefully around garbage day, to make sure they could get it done right.
Sam confronted the three bins, the three bags, and he searched his memory, and he searched deep inside himself, and he made his move.
The garbage goes in the recycling bin, the compost goes in the home compost bin, and the recycling goes in the recycling bin.

One week later, Sam opened up his garbage bin and found that it was already full of garbage.
Uh-oh, said Sam. He measured it: approximately 45% of last week’s garbage had been carefully recycled and returned to him. Uh-oh.
Got any more of that ‘compost’ there, Simple Simon? asked his father at that particularly inopportune moment.
I think there was some sort of mistake, said Sam.
Oh Simple Simon, you outright moron, said his father. This is not good.
And it wasn’t. Every single neighbour had been watching Sam, and every neighbour had told their neighbour, who’d told their neighbour, who’d told their neighbour, until everyone had run out of neighbours. 45% of the entire city’s garbage from last week had been recycled and reused.
Oh Simple Simon, you endless chump, everyone said to him. Why did you lead us so grossly astray?
Lead who what? asked Sam.
Never mind, they said. One more chance. And do it right this time!

So next week there Sam was in the garage. At least four million people were watching him from the stream his dad was running off his laptop. But he didn’t know about that so it was all okay.
He stood before the three bins, and he contemplated them.
The garbage goes in…the garbage bin. The recycling goes in… the garbage bin. And the compost goes in… the garbage bin.

That was the week the city’s dump was an overflowing cesspit. Disease filled the air, rats ran in the streets in broad daylight, shoulder-to-shoulder. The skies were grey with the fog and mist of decaying stench, and plastic water bottles bobbed in the bay. The mayor was trapped in his office, the dead were piled in the graveyard hurly-burly and willy-nilly, the police were battling the firefighters and the media was blacked, browned, and blued out.
Oh Simple Simon, you endless chump, his father chastised him. Now we are trapped in our home with hordes of angry folks beating down our door. You have truly gone and done it this time.
Done WHAT, asked Sam, who was getting a little annoyed with all of this.
Oh Simple Simon, complained the mob of neighbours beating on their door and bearing garbage-torches that had come to take them away and toss them upon the tire fires that had consumed the south end of the city, you pitiful chucklefuck. We put our trust in you, all our hopes in you, and all for naught. You have let us all down.
Fine, whatever, said Sam. Do you want me to take the garbage out or what?
I don’t particularly care anymore, said his father. Go away and leave me here with my alcohol to dull my miserable last minutes.
Okay, said Sam. And he went to the garage and he did that, as the doors rattled and shook under angry suburban fists.
I’d best get set to go away then, said Sam. So he took his father’s car keys and he examined his father’s car. He’d never driven before, but he knew the principles of the thing.
Easily done.

Oh Simple Simon, you bevelled shit-for-brains, pestered the mob of neighbours just outside the door. What on earth is that noise?
They never did find out where Sam went off to, though they found bits of peeled rubber for a few hundred miles. Most of the witnesses weren’t in much shape to say.
Still, I’m sure he’s out there, somewhere. He won’t cause much trouble, as long as he does his things and other people do theirs and it all makes sense. It’ll all be fine.

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