Saturday, December 02, 2006

Story: Dramatic Irony

An airplane on its way to another nation to attack it with a new biochemical weapon instead crashed a mile from the airport into its own country's reservoir. The weapon mixed with the water and turned it into beer. It was good beer, too.

Naturally, everyone wanted a drink.

Soon pretty much everyone was having a roaring good time. A national holiday to honor beer was declared by the King, in what many called his wisest decision. The King himself came to the reservoir, got drunk and hit a cop. Fortunately he was the King, so he was let off with a caution.

But then something unusual happened.

Everyone who drank the beer started to die.

The beer was good but it was also infected with the biochemical weapon. Their own country’s biochemical weapon. The mock beer recognized no national boundary, no ideological conflict. Within a week, ten million were corpses. The non-beer drinkers did not escape, as they all drank coffee or herbal teas made with water from the reservoir.

That left the computers.

The bigger computers got together and proceeded to construct a new society based on mathematical principles in which intelligent machines could live in peace with each other, no matter what their operating system.

That broke down too, although at least it took a little longer.

Victor Schwartzman
Victor Schwartzman

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