Navigating the crowd

“What’s the occasion?”

“Occasion? Why would there be an occasion?”

“All these people.”

“It’s the market.”

“I can see it’s a market, but that doesn’t explain why so many people.”

“It’s a popular market.”

“Yes, but are the people here because there’s a market on, or is the market here because there are a lot of people?”

“That’s a very deep question.”

“But does it have a deep answer?”

“I think I see what you’re getting at. Kind of analogous to all manner of chicken-and-egg situations, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“Yeah. Like is the human population so large because it’s successful, or is it successful because it’s so large?”

“Eh?”

“Yeah, yeah. You really got me started now. Okay, try this. Fashion. Driven by or driving consumer needs?”

“I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, pal, but can I have a draw?”

“Ah, I see what you’re saying. Do I think like this because I’m on the weed, or am I on the weed because I think like this?”

“Yeah. Are you an idiot because you’re talking garbage, or are you talking garbage because you’re an idiot?”

“You see? You’re beginning to get it.”

“Okay, professor. Now apply your indescribably large brain to this little conundrum. We are here, at this end of the crowd, a crowd which must contain—”

“More people than turned up for Trump’s inauguration?”

“Very probably, a lot anyway. Now. Here’s the thing. At the other end of this crowd—”

“Assuming there is another end and it doesn’t go on forever.”

“Assuming that, at its other end, is what?”

“I get the feeling you’re going to suggest it’s somewhere we need to be.”

“Yes and no. Yes, we need to be there, but no, it isn’t our destination.”

“If it’s not our destination, why do we need to be there?”

“On the face of it, a very good question. Tell me, when you leave for work in the morning, where do you go?”

“To work, of course.”

“First?”

“Well, no. I go to the bus stop to catch a… I see what you’re saying. THere’s a bus stop at the end of this crowd.”

“Not exactly. It’s a subway station. That’s where we catch the train to take us to where we want to be.”

“Isn’t there an easier way?”

“No.”

“So your conundrum is…”

“How in the name of all that’s sacred do we get through this crowd in time to catch our train?”

“What if I yell FIRE?”

“Someone might.”

“Shoot.”

“Exactly.”

“That would scatter the crowd, though, wouldn’t it?”

“A farmer from distant Darjeeling, woke up with a very strange feeling; his feet felt quite sore when he stood on the floor, but his slippers were stuck to the ceiling.”

“And the relevance of that is?”

“Nothing. Don’t you ever get the urge to just make up a limerick?”

“Never have yet, but that bloke in front with the kid seems to think you’re quite weird. Look how he’s moving away…”

“Maybe that’s it. Follow me; I’ll recite limericks as we head to the station, and people will step back in disbelief, just like the guy with the kid did.”

“How will that help anybody?”

“Don’t you see? They’ll clear a path for us to get to where we’re going. And all I have to do is—”

“Talk rubbish. Which, in fairness…”

“STAND BACK EVERYBODY – HERE COMES THE RHYMING SLY MAN.”


I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 157, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.

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