Nov 28 2005


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“What’s the matter with you, boy?” said Uncle Bob. “When I was your age, I was out there protesting! I was making a difference! I was in a full-fledged riot once!”

“This is something to be proud of?” Greg replied, eyebrows ascrunch.

“Well of course it is! The world’s a mess, boy, an absolute mess, and it’s up to the youth to fix it!”

“What does rioting fix, exactly? I’ve never been able to work that one out.”


“Smashing some poor shop owner’s windows isn’t going to bring about world peace or anything.”

“No, no,” said Bob. “I never said it was. But we’re getting sidetracked on this whole rioting subplot. What I’m talking about is activism!”

“You want me to protest something?” Greg asked. “What am I supposed to protest? I’m pretty well contented with my lot, Uncle Bob.”

“Contented?” spat Bob. “How can you be contented? The Man is keeping us down!”

Greg blinked. “I thought we were The Man.”

“Don’t be stupid, of course we’re not The Man! The Man is those rich fatcats!”

“Oh,” said Greg. “My mistake.”

“Look at Bill Gates! He lives in a huge house! He eats steak every night! Don’t you resent that?”

“Why should I? If he wants steak, he can afford it. I hope he enjoys it!”

“But you can’t, don’t you see!”

“That’s not Bill Gates’ fault,” said Greg.

“Yes it is!” snapped Bob, working himself into something of a lather. “He hoards his wealth!”

“I thought you just said he spent it on a huge house and steak every night.”

“He should be forced to share it with those who have less!”

Greg rolled his eyes. “In case you haven’t heard, Uncle Bob, coercing one man to work for the profit of another is called ‘slavery,’ and after all the trouble they went to in the 1800’s to abolish the practice, I’d hate to see them reinstate it just for my benefit.”

Bob blinked, and Greg continued, “In any case, ‘because he has it and I want it’ sounds an awful lot like the moral foundation you seem to use for your repeated attempts to get me to fork over the trust fund. If I were to demand that Bill Gates start buying me steaks, I’d have no legitimate reason not to give you a blank check and say ‘Go for it, daddy-o.’ Which, as you know, is completely contrary to my foriegn policy. So, no protests for me, I think. I have to shore up the second act of the next book anyway, and that’s going to take all my concentration.”

Bob glared at Greg from under his bushy eyebrows. “You are a heartless, soulless creature,” Bob said. “And I feel sorry for you.”

“Well, that’s comforting at least,” said Greg. “Thanks for your concern, Uncle Bob!”

-The Gneech

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