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A Tale of One City

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     Sinbad was a cheerful monk with chubby cheeks from India. Recently, he had saved up enough money to stay for awhile in Tijuana, Mexico. He was planning for a peaceful and pleasant stay, however, his trip wasn't solely a vacation. He had hoped to convert a few of the inhabitants into followers of his religion, Buddhism. Tonight, after arriving from his flight, he was dressed in a simple polyester orange robe.
     Walking towards his hotel he was approached by men from the street. "Sir, come on into our club. We have the finest women."
     "No, thank you."
     "Would you like any drugs?"
     "None, thanks."
     "Want some grenades, man? I can hook you up."
     "I'm fine, thanks."
     Sinbad was solely concerned with getting back to his flat to practice meditating and chanting a mantra. He began to think about where he would start his journey to help people stop their evil ways and convert their lives into doing good deeds.

     Meanwhile, in San Francisco, California inside a two story office building sat a short-tempered yet stunningly attractive woman, who was in charge of a shipping company. Inside her private office was one of her assistants, who tended the majority of her needs during the day. Currently, in front of her was the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. She enjoyed the film a bit, but didn't care for the ending.
     "Turn it off. I don't like this part. That rotten Grinch should have never given those presents back to those spoiled Whos."
     Her assistant turned the television off.
     "Rebecca, what time is my meeting?"
     "15 minutes ma'am."
     Laura stood up. "Well then I'd better head over there."

     Laura always spoke in a venerable fashion and considered herself omnipotent and omniscient. In a room full of senior officers sitting around an oval table, she stood behind a podium with some bullet points. "Have our scientists correctly built a replica of an atomic bomb?"
     "They are very close ma'am. Within the final stages of testing." Mr. Jones was no sycophant, but was a great contributor to the company. He tried to hide his receding hairline by ignominously combing the back of his hair over his balding forehead.
     "That's excellent Johnson," said Laura. "How are the bull sharks proceeding Steinway?" Laura regarded Steinway with a great sense of platitude, but was good friends with his cousin and felt obligated to keep him on the payroll.
     "Ma'am, it is going to be very difficult to transport a dozen or more bull sharks to several large lakes throughout the country undetected. Transportation will be simple, however capturing 20 bull sharks and slipping them into these lakes, which are very distant, some hundreds of miles away, covertly, will be the challenge."
     "Steinway, it is not often I come across brilliantly unscrupulous ideas to scare the general public. There are only a few maxims that this corporation follows. One of them is to embrace my ideas, however mad, with reverence. The other is to simply get things done."
     Steinway twisted his wedding band around his finger. "Ma'am, you don't have to worry. It will be done."
     Laura smiled. "Excellent."

     A few days later in Tijuana, Sinbad had collected a few followers and convinced them to meditate with him in his hotel room. The purchase of a few books, he encouraged, would help them understand the Buddhist philosophy and would help put food in his stomach. Over the course of an hour he gave them simple instructions on meditation techniques and the different breathing techniques and channels of energy that were inside the human body. Meditation, he asserted, would let them relax and forget about the worries of the body. After they departed he made himself a cup of tea and put on gentle music to help himself meditate more.
     In the next room he overheard a phone call. He did not like to pry into other people's business, but could not resist upon hearing all the yelling. He turned down his music and put his ear to the wall.
     "Yes, don't worry I can get you a bull shark! What do you need a bull shark for anyway, viejo? Go buy some from the market! She wants to put sharks inside lakes? Will that even work? Oh okay, I didn't know bull sharks could survive in both salt and fresh water. That still sounds crazy, tipo, I think you should get a new job. No, don't worry I can have a truck with some sharks pull up to your factory in a few weeks."
     Sinbad was a little disturbed about hearing this conversation. Putting sharks in lakes would only scare innocent families from visiting the lakes. He felt he had to do something and began meditating for an answer. Later, the following evening he visited the cemetary. He knew a monk who was buried here about five years ago that he wanted to visit.
     "Si Fou, please give me guidance. Should I try and stop this evil act from taking place? Please give me a sign that I have your approval."
     Sinbad placed some roses near the headstone. As he bent over to kiss the ground he felt the dirt shake and a hand burst out of the earth. Sinbad jumped to his feet. Scared, he leaped backwards.
     "Si Fou, are you alive?" Sinbad started to dig up the earth with his hands. "I will help you, my friend. Those bastards buried you alive." Sinbad helped his old friend out of the coffin.
     "Si Fou your skin is falling off how are you still alive?" His friend grumbled back incomprehensively. "Si Fou?"
     His friend lunged forward grabbing his shoulders and tried to chew into his collar bone. Sinbad kicked him in the chest, avoiding the attack.
     "Brains...," his friend mumbled.
     "Si Fou, my old friend you have become a zombie. Forgive me."
     Sinbad roundhouse-kicked his friend in the head and it separated from its neck and shoulders, with the body tumbling to the ground.
     "There is too much evil in the world. I will stop these sharks," he promised to himself.

     Laura sat in front of her computer in her office. "Facebook wasn't designed for misanthropists. There isn't even a dislike option," she muttered to herself. She closed the facebook page and turned off her computer and then picked up a book.

     Rebecca, Laura's assistant, was at her friend's house with a glass of wine in her hand.
     "How is work?" Her friend asked.
     "Oh, it's fine. I'm a bit tired of her perfectionist, eccentric attitude, but at least it's interesting.
     "What has she been making you do lately?"
     "I'm not really at liberty to say. It's complicated and a little sick, but it's my job. At least this career will look good on my resume."
     Her friend sat down in a chair across the table and poured herself a glass of red wine. She reminded herself that drinking a glass of wine a day was good for her health.
     "And you said the job pays well?"
     "Oh yes and it comes with many benefits." She saw the T.V. sitting on a small table, but knew her friend hardly turned it on other than to watch the news. What a boring and uptight way to live.
     Rebecca sat down the glass on the table. "How are things with your boyfriend?"
     "They are going well, but he is very busy with work." She paused. "I think he is going to propose to me soon."
     "Well congratulations."

     Sinbad passed through the border without much trouble. He spoke English well and owned a passport. Not having a car he figured the best way to get to San Francisco would be to take the Amtrak train. A few places he would have to switch onto a bus, but other than that he would make it there in good time.
     Currently, he was passing through Los Angeles reading a book by Henry David Thoreau. The train was stopped and there was very few empty seats. A man dressed in jeans and a collared shirt approached him.
     "May I sit here?"
     "Yes."
     They started to make small talk throughout the voyage and learned things about each other.
     "It's not my fault I'm gay. Most scientists today agree sexual orientation is genetic."
     "Yes, but I have heard of people switching from gay to straight. If it was genetic how could that be possible?"
     "Many people would just rather be accepted in society than have everyone, including their family, outcast them."
     "Being a monk I am celibate. What is it like being gay?"
     "Not different than being straight. Many men simply enjoy the wild, unattached sex. I've been on a few dates with men where I didn't call them back because I didn't think there was a chance for sex."
     "Well, sir. You are perhaps one of the most ruthless gays I have ever met."

     Sinbad had scribbled down the address of the factory from his neighbors flat while he was passed out drunk. He was certain this factory in from of him was it. Not quite sure of his next step, he simply analyzed the employees walking inside. He would need a proper uniform to blend in.
     The next day he walked in with a uniform and mimmicked the common tasks of the unskilled workers. Laura was preparing a speech to give to her 200 employees. Rebecca browsed through it and suggested it was satisfactory. An hour later she stood in front of her employees at a podium and addressed them.

     "I have good news our production numbers are up and our sales revenue is slowly climbing as well. The value of our stocks is finally increasing. Unfortunately, our board of directors and stockholders still aren't happy. 75% of you will be replaced by robots in the next month to cut overhead and expenses. I'd like to think you are all assets, but most of you are simply liabilities and expenditures. Everything will be explained to you by your supervisors, including your severance package. That concludes this meeting."
     Sinbad rushed to the stage. "Why are you having bull sharks shipped to lakes!?"
     Laura was very startled by this action and took a minute to digest it. "Who are you?" Laura didn't take the time to notice any of her employees anymore since there were so many of them and they often quit or were fired so frequently. One of the supervisors blurt out "he isn't on our payroll. He just suspiciously came in here a week ago. I would have said something, but he was working for free and doing a damn good job."
     Laura smiled. "Oh yes I heard about you. The Buddhist monk who came from Tibet to Tijuana. Did you tell one of my employees marriage is the greatest human invention?" She burst out laughing.
     "What about the windmill, electricity, or the pacemaker? People care more about plumbing than marriage, I assure you." She paused. "I know why you've come here and you are too late. There is no good left in the world. My ex-boyfriend used positive reinforcement to seduce me into performing sodomy with him. Now anytime anyone accidentally brushes my butt I want a cookie."
     She pointed her finger at the monk. "I am no misandrist though. Everyone, male and female, must suffer like I have suffered!"
     The monk wondered. "You don't have to do this ma'am. You are more successful than your ex-boyfriend will ever be. You have already won. Take a vacation or see a therapist and cool off."
     Laura thought hard. "Oh alright I'll call off the bull sharks. But you're still all getting fired and replaced by robots."
     The employees started laughing.










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