I Think I'll Drink On It

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
The clouds are obscuring my view of the mountain, which is just…irritating, really. I was looking forward to that. Bastard clouds. The airhostess pulls back and looks disapprovingly into my empty glass and sighs as she grabs another two dinkies. I know she doesn’t like the idea but she’ll just have to get used to it. I pays my way and I gets what I pays for.

I get talking to Gwen; she’s a real estate agent, going to visit her grandchildren. Gwen’s about sixty, and she’s got a healthy mole sprouting out her chin, lightly sprinkled with some long, dark hairs. We sip whisky together as the planet slips by below. I get to talking. On the Topic.

‘Now Gwen, don’t get me wrong, but far as I’m concerned, there’s two kindsa people in this world – Thinners and Sinners. Thinners believe we’ve become too numerous and have a plan to take care of that. Sinners? Well, if you breed, you’re a Sinner. Because in this day and age when all the woes of a crippled planet are caused by our rabbit-like breeding, the greatest sin is to breed.’
‘Hmmm.’ says Gwen. She doesn’t say much, does Gwen. Just sits there and looks calmly at me over her glass. Sip, sip. Like a bird, she is.
‘So, when faced by an ecstatic mother-to-be, what are you supposed to feel? Happy, that this person has found such joy, being a breeder? It certainly seems to answer a lot of peoples’ need for direction in life, being pregnant. It’s a fundamental urge, and they are fulfilling a predetermined role, happy as shit to be joining the race. As if by not multiplying they were somehow not part of the race, this human race which has no finish line.‘
‘Which does not say much for their opinion of those who choose not to fuck up the planet by abstaining from leaving a legacy of hungry mouths, hungry appliances, hungry cars, hungry bank accounts, hungry bills. Those who choose not to breed are considered heretics, good for burning at the stake, where’s the fucking Inquisition when you need it?’
‘Heh.’ Gwen titters. She perks up, now that she’s had a couple.
‘You like, do you, Gwen?’ I ask. She nods for me to go on.
‘There are, of course, those happy parents who put forth the theory that their kids will be ‘different.’ That they will raise ‘aware’ children who will make that famous ‘difference’ in the world. So that little fucker on the floor there, chewing on a dog turd, he’s gonna be one of these enlightened kids who will make a difference? Forgive me for saying so, but it’s a bit late for making a difference – what we now need are kids who will save the world from itself! These lovely little bundles of joy - until they’re eighteen or older they won’t actually give enough of a fuck to make anything other than a mess, and even then it’s doubtful they’ll be distracted enough from the all-important consumerist goings-on at the mall the to give a fuck. Forgive my cynical attitude, but a wise old motherfucker once told me that you can’t dig your way out of a hole – the thinking that got you in the hole in the first place will not get you out of it. You look like you’ve been around the block a few times, Gwen – whatd’ya say to that?’
‘Seems a reasonable approach’ That’s all she puts out, but ah – sage words, I tellya.
‘Thus, as I see it, we need a change in consciousness – and not some cursory lip service but in fact a fundamental alteration in the way we see and deal with the issues we are faced with – we’ve destroyed our environment, and continue to do so in an unprecedented and ultimately selfish manner, always approaching disasters after the fact with a ‘what are we gonna do now?’ attitude as we drive around in our SUV’s. Again, this thinking will not haul the planet’s ass out of the hole we have dug. We have to pre-empt the future by planning our actions carefully in advance.’ I nod to the approaching hostess, and once more we go through the motions. New drink in hand, I return to the discussion. Gwen has matched me drink for drink but seems calmer, if anything, with each. I get to thinking she must’ve popped a couple pills.

‘So Gwen, here’s how I see it - those who choose, because of their own objections and conscience, to not breed, are doing those who do a favour. For every person that does not multiply, those children who are born have a better quality of life. That is the truth of the matter. Yet the instinct to breed is overpowering – even in the most intelligent people who are very familiar with the cause and effect of global warming, overpopulation and an increasingly unhealthy environment. Yet they do nothing. Of the many factors that influence couples to breed there is one that is more insidious than all the rest put together. Peer pressure, that old harbinger of teenage delinquency, rears its hideous head again when the Terrible Thirties strike, and the otherwise levelheaded couple see their friends and colleagues pairing off and multiplying. Agreed?’
Gwen looks thoughtful, her eyes get a little misty, then she turns to me and says:
‘You’re telling me? Shit, son, I raised these monsters thirty years ago. Don’t need tell me.’
‘Damn, I knew we were on the same page here. So it’s “Can’t be left on the shelf”. The later you leave it, the more complications. Down’s Syndrome. Miscarriage. Gotta get in there while you can - the clock‘s ticking. All of your friends have had babies. You don’t wanna end up an old maid, smiling ruefully over that glass of Chardonnay as your nieces and nephews play on your knee, forever barren.’
‘Aw, come one – you can’t see it that way – you make us sound like biological time bombs. Not every woman sees it that way. I don’t.’ She says, looking a little uncomfortable.
‘Bleak? Bleak? The state of the world is bleak, Gwen – step out of the mall and smell the pollution! Everyone is under pressure – shit, unless you’ve been in solitary confinement for the last thirty years you can’t fail to be aware of the situation.’
‘Look, I agree, but all of that adds up to scaring people, and I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it…’ Now I know she’s uncomfortable, she’s starting doing that flicking thing with her nails again.
‘Listen, all that subtle peer pressure – shit, who am I kidding, it’s not subtle, it’s about as subtle as an axe in the eye – is a lot of peer pressure. And way more than any kid ever got behind the bicycle shed. The system requires consumers. Consumers create growth. Growth creates profit. That is The System. Fit in or fuck off – that’s the message. As a breeder, you’re tied in from the moment you start your family. So what are you gonna do?’
‘I’m gonna drink on it.’
‘Shit, I think I may too. Make mine a double.’

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