Artwork: “The Road to Happiness” by The PPC Spectrophonic Studio ©
“Don’t listen to inanimate objects. They’re all liars.” – Lord Timensely Witt
The rabbit knew it. I returned its expression of utter astonishment with a shake of my head, then watched it hop back into the hedgerow.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.” read the sign. I had trouble believing it. I suspected that all other signs were just as insincere.
Further on, the signs stopped apologising and simply became officious. “Expect Delays.” read one, “When the red light shows, wait HERE!” demanded another.
One sign even showed total contempt towards me by stating the obvious. “Road under Construction.” It brazenly declared.
I began to slightly panic by the threatening language used by the next sign “Three Months to Complete.” Surely, they didn’t plan on keeping me here for all that time?
I had just left one assortment of rectangular, cuboid and circular concrete blocks, known locally as London, as was eager to get back to the next.
I looked from my square window at the faces in the square windows of the adjacent geometric vehicles. Their glum, fed-up and frazzled faces stared despondently at the glum, fed-up and frazzled faces of the road workers.
It was strange that the prior knowledge of widening the slip roads, remodelling the junctions, installing traffic signals on approaches to the roundabout and upgrading existing traffic signals, which was essential to relieve rush-hour congestion and help them return to their concrete blocks a fraction earlier each day, was of no comfort.
As I waited for the temporary traffic lights to grant me permission to proceed, I reflected on an old cosmic parable.
There was once a species from the Triangulum Galaxy who had a particular skill for reshaping things.
They could take a tree and reshape it into a picnic table. They could take little bits out of the rocks and reshape them into a 24 piece cutlery set. They even learnt to reshape their reshaping tools into different shaped reshaping tools.
Eventually, this race learnt how to reshape themselves. They reshaped the size of their heads, the length of their legs and the width of their antennae.
They could even reshape their ideas into other ideas, particularly if theirs didn’t fit in with others.
However, try as they might, they just couldn’t find a shape that pleased them.
One day, as the story goes, a member of this race was having trouble sleeping in his reshaped bed and was gazing out of his reshaped window when he was struck by the reflection of his reshaped image.
The reshaped animals he was wearing no longer seemed to be as aesthetically pleasing to him as the unshaped ones. His reshaped plants didn’t appear to do what the unshaped ones did with the same enthusiasm and rigour, and the reshaped house he was living in suddenly appeared to be facing in the wrong direction. This, he concluded, was what was making everybody so unhappy.
Being a member of this particular species, a thought came to him at once. His race had been getting it wrong for all of these years. Everything was misshapen!
He immediately pointed this out to others, who all reshaped their opinions to agree with his, and so the race went on to reshape their entire planet all over again.
They reshaped the circles into squares and the squares into circles. They reshaped their picnic tables into cutlery sets and their cutlery sets into picnic tables. They even reshaped their roads to relieve rush-hour congestion and help them return to their reshaped houses a fraction earlier each day.
The problem with this race was, no matter how many times they reshaped their world, they just could never get anything to fit. Consequently, they became very agitated with each other, and so as a result, they all died out relatively quickly after that.
I was abruptly shaken from my thoughts by a furore of angry toots and honks. I had missed the temporary traffic light’s signal.
The rabbit knew it. It was back, shaking its little head at me.
Until next time, keep evolving!