#21 Bad Idea: Your Dream Stalk of Broccoli

Ladies and gentlemen. We are pleased to announce that from the strontium mists and cobalt lakes of the Central Silica Plain, we have recovered another piece of text from the pre-Error era. It is becoming increasingly clear that these dialogues, while they may not be explicitly religious in nature, are perhaps liturgical and definitely homiletic. It is likely that these texts served as guides to ideal behaviour. They were likely taught to ‘children,’ as prepubescent humans of the time were generally called.

In other news, Drs. Horvath and Kinchy have been spotted wandering the wastes and creeping through the sedge, their minds irreparably scrambled by radiation. We will be leaving food for them just outside the northwest entrance to the Dome. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated.

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[Is it evening already? Like the remains of chopped vegetables, the day slowly wilts. Schmutzie at the couch, Palinode (alert for earthquakes) standing in the doorway.]

Palinode: I’ve brought you your choice of stalks.

Schmutzie: What?

Palinode: [holds up five broccoli stalks] I have five stalks of broccoli in my hand. Which is your dream stalk?

Schmutzie: The middle one, of course.

Palinode: [shuffles stalks, holds one up] Then this one will be your dream stalk of broccoli. This one and no other.

Schmutzie: What are you planning to do with it?

Palinode: I’m throwing them out. But I thought I’d make the process special. [goes into kitchen]

Schmutzie: The stalks are high in calcium, you know.

Palinode: And now the garbage is high in calcium.