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A billboard says that our valley indeed does not conform to best practice. They say the balance of low UV-sunshine, windchill, water sediment, snowy crystallography, drainage nodality, wildlife passage, agricultural offsets, tourist magnetism and heritage values is not optimized. They say that this can all be resolved by amending the physical proportions of the valley. The Extrapolator - invented by the UBC Dept of Vibrational Tectonics - will stress the earth's crust to make the valley 100 meters less wide. This will improve the "Absolute Societal Stratography" leading to a "Geotechnical Utopia of Normal Kinds". Screw that, why don't they fix the power lines over the center of town, or throw some trees around the railway tracks. The main distinction these days is not between truth and lies, but between truth and bullshit. Even lies have a purpose, a certain integrity, a sort of honest hope. But the aim of bullshit is to confuse you. To dim your wits causing a fearful paralysis. Like on Tinker's 60th birthday, but that wasn't my fault.
Over the next month, forests are cut down, farms are flattened, houses commandeered. Those affected are told not to worry; generous rebuilding loans are available from the government on easy terms, at 150% of existing values. Everyone's cashing in. I get a check after they bulldozer the store, but not before I sell out of leathers and Viagra. Double bonus. I chat to Pinky Sweety whenever I can, but the guys from the pub keep shouting out "Hey Napoleon, have you found Josephine?" and "She said yes, you can get off your knees now." I'll show them yet. I don't even like the pub. Same old bores. But where else can I go?
I hate the shops. Kids of sixteen always asking "Anything else?" It used to just be at clip joints, but now it's at the hardware, the grocery, the gas station - everywhere. If I wanted something else I would have put it on the counter, or asked for it, or said "hold on a minute" and run to get it. But I've got a way of dealing with them. When they give my change, I look them in the eye and say "Anything else?" They look at me for mercy - but there's none on its way. Reap what you sow, kiddo. Don't listen to your manager, listen to your mom.
There are daily discussions, weekly workshops, monthly marketing plans, quarterly quantas, annualized analyses. Any protestors are paid off, scared off or carted off. At the end of the month, our valley conforms. "Exactly 100 meters more narrow". They stress the word "more", as if they have given us something extra. Now it will have the right balance of "occupational logistics, psycho-climatography and social shunt".