It was nearing midday when our hero Herbert set off to disprove the Flat Earthers once and for all. Their ridonkulous theory was gaining traction among the youth in the absence of rigorous scientific training in the classrooms. He spotted a mask on the ground and angrily swiped it up, putting it in his back pocket.
“Covid may not wipe us out, but the resultant stupidity will,” he said to the mailman that just happened to be driving up.
She was properly double-masked and helmeted for space junk protection. “Hello, Herbert, I have a package for you. It’s a heavy one.” He brought out a dolly and wheeled a box out of the back of the mail truck.
“Yes, yes. There’s lots of science in that box,” Herbert said, nodding. “Glad to see you’re being scientific and wearing the helmet, in addition to the double mask.”
The mail-carrier didn’t appear to notice the lack of masks or helmets on the scientist who droned on with facts such as, “Every day thousands of fish, birds, ducks, and the occasional whale washed up on the shores of the world’s beaches, tangled in man’s improperly disposed of biomedical waste.”
A gentle breeze stirred the leaves carrying down tree pollen into the path of Herbert’s naked face. He suddenly sneezed hard, sending spittle onto the masked face of the mail-carrier, who stood aghast.
“Bless you,” She mumbled.
Herbert the inconsiderate super spreader set to do his scientific work. He didn’t bother to look back as the Covid-X, a yet unidentified strain, crawled up into the mail carrier’s nostrils, instantly triggering an immune response followed by anaphylactic shock. The mail carrier died, alone. Herbert was long gone.
Strapped across his back was a box which contained a telescope, a white smock, zip ties, a stun-gun, several types of drugs. He attached a can of mace and a pistol to his tool belt, put on the smock, strapped the telescope over his shoulder, and set out for the nearest tree.
The neighborhood he lived in was not exactly conducive to this sort of experiment. The first tree he attempted, a cherry tree, wasn’t high enough to see the Earth’s curvature. The second one, a maple, gave him the altitude he needed to see the horizon above the surrounding homes and landscape. The problem here was visibility; too many leaves in the way. The third option was the especially tall evergreen behind the 7-11.
He passed the mail truck on the way to the convenience store and noticed the mail-carrier slumped over the wheel.
“Lazy,” he said, shaking his head. He sneezed again, reached into his back pocket for the used mask, and blew his nose noisily into it, saturating it with that advanced and deadly strain—Covid-X—unlike anything to the world has ever seen.
But why didn’t it affect him, you may ask?
Simple. Unbeknownst to anyone but his black market vax dealer, Herbert was a vaccine addict. It wasn’t a “high” from the vaccine he sought, but rather the rush of safety and imperviousness. After multiple and dangerous vaccines, he started feeling mutations. Little things at first. Seizures, panic attacks, hallucinations, and at times, a sense of impending doom. But he was never more than an injection away from restoring that preternatural feeling of invincibility. For Herbert, the highs outweighed the lows.
So this ignorant and dangerous super spreader arrived at the 7/11. He stared up at the tall, slender evergreen.
It was well maintained: every branch was of uniform thickness and length. A ladder had been bolted into the side of it he could see. It was surrounded by a chain-link fence with barbed wire on top.
He would need a means of scaling the fence if he was to climb the tree, scope the horizon, and spot the curve. “I’m getting too old for this,” he said. He entered the convenience store and went straight for the coffee. “Excuse me, manager?”
The masked clerk shook her head. She was overweight and wore a flat earth t-shirt. “What do you want? Why would you come in here without a mask?”
“Science, woman. I have to access the fenced-off area behind the building,” he said authority, pointing to a badge on his smock. “Gravity debunks flat earth by the way.”
“Dopeland Dinosaur Science Society? What kind of authority does that give you?” she sighed. “You’re not an astronaut.”
“You flat earthers are effing up society!” Spittle flew out of the scientists mouth. The clerk rubbed her eye.
Give me a ladder and I’ll be on my way.” He presumptively walked out the back door. She followed, stopped at the janitor’s closet, and met him outside with the ladder.
“You really need to mask up,” she said. “And you need to pay for your coffee.” She was unsteady on her feet.
“What’s wrong with you? You look like you could use a vaccine,” he said, not even pretending to sound like he cared that the clerk was probably sick with Covid-X.
He placed the ladder against the fence and climbed up. “Lady, you have no idea what the world is facing. Leave me to do my work.” She went back in through the back door, leaving him with the ladder. He climbed until his waist was level with the top of the fence but the razor-wire was still in the way.
From here he could see that the tree was in fact a cleverly disguised 5-G tower. Fooled me, he laughed to himself.
He stood atop the fence, one leg on either side of the bladed coils. From there, he pulled the ladder the rest of the way up and leaned it against the “trunk” of the 5-G tower. He struggled up the ladder and then took hold of the rungs on the fake tree. His path up was clear. He would annihilator the flat earth theory before sunset, Science willing.
From atop the tower, he could see the distant peaks, maybe one hundred miles away. Wrapping his spindly old legs around a metal branch, he unslung the telescope. “Now, time to put the flat earth theory to rest.” He pointed it at the most distant peak. Then beyond. He could faintly see the outline of some windmills.
“Hmm. Those are surprisingly vertical, considering their distance.”
He did the calculation in his head. Eight inches per mile squared times a hundred miles put these towers over the curve. Accounting for the height of the 5G tower, it’s not all that surprising to see them. Probably refraction, he mused.
Confused, but not deterred, he continued to make observations.
Perhaps the setting sun would give him the opportunity to debunk the seeming flatness of the globe as seen from the human perspective. The arrogant old jerk remained perched atop the tower waiting for a chance to document the terminator line of the setting sun or perhaps to witness an International Space Station flyover.
Consumed with hate and bereft of common sense, the jackass found himself stranded, more or less.
“Hey, sir? You need to mask up. People are dropping dead like flies around here!” It was a police officer a hundred feet below.
“Really officer. I’m immune. Trust me.” Herbert said, dismissively as always.
“Haven’t you heard? The mail-man was killed by the mystery super-spreader!” the officer replied.
“You’re not suggesting?” Hebert said, suddenly aware of the implications. “Are you saying that I killed the mail-carrier and all those other deaths attributed to the mystery super-spreader? Do you even believe this media-driven drivel?”
He grew uncomfortable. Could his vaccines be making him infectious? Who could he discuss this with? His dealer was working behind a proxy and his vaccines were always drone dropped in the dead of night. “Wow,” he thought back to the mail carrier slumped over the wheel. “Did I do that?” He shook his head. “It was always going to come to this,” he said to himself, removing a pistol from his smock. “In the name of science, my work has to continue.” He pointed the weapon at the officer.
Super-spreader of Covid-X or not, Herbert was going to slay the flat earth if it killed him…
TO BE CONTINUED…
FLAT LUNACY BY TIM OZMAN, A FLAT EARTH COMEDY ABOUT A SCIENTIST GONE OVER THE EDGE