The Scene: An office occupying 640 acres of space on the 123rd penthouse floor of a downtown tower in a small rural town in western Canada. Far below on the street, too far for the human eye, are what appears to be ants carrying eggs on their backs but with the aid of a space telescope we can see that they are pedestrians aring white cowboy hats.
Seated behind a desk that occupies one of the 640 acres is a man in a suit that reeks of wealth and stale expensive cigar smoke. Standing in front of the desk is a tall and confident woman.
Woman: “We’ve got a deal here that will knock your socks off so you can wiggle your toes in the fur of that endangered polar bear rug under your desk.”
Man: “Well, let’s put it in the chute and see if it bucks.”
Woman: “We’re going to export electricity to the U.S. and people who we let in will not only make an instant fortune but will be able to build their own Heritage Trust Funds.”
Man: “That’s gonna take more money than I’m willing to gamble or can even afford. The infrastructure alone will run into the billions.”
Woman: “It won’t cost us a penny. All we have to do is buy shares in a company at, oh, say a buck, maybe two bucks a share and in a few yars they’ll be selling for a few hundred each and paying a dividend that will cover all 22 of your condo fees, fuels for the yacht, insurance on your car collection and all the operational costs of your jet.”
Man: “Sounds too good to be true and I think even those dummies down on the street are realizing that if it sounds that way, chances are it is that way. Although it wasn’t that long ago they were electing and re-electing us until we got smart and took the severance and pensions and got down to making some real money.”
Woman: “Well, here’s the deal. We’re going to get the dummies down there (she flicks a finger at the window to indicate the scurrying throngs far below) pay all the infrastructure costs and we’ll run lines from as far north as it is profitable all the way down to the border. Then, we’ll sell all the surplus electricity that will be generated when they build those nuclear plants and gas fired generators up north to the Americans.”
Man: “I’m not sure even those dummies down there will stand still for that. And, it will take 100 years with the rates as they are before you’d ever see any dividends.”
Woman: “What do you think of this: An Act to guarantee that the electricity will be there when people get up in the middle of the night to pee or go down to the basement to check for possible hobgoblins and that seniors’ homes will never go dark, farms will be brightly lit and hospitals won’t have to use coal oil lamps in the operating rooms.
Man: “That sounds like something you’d hear in the Legislature.”
Woman: “That’s what we wrote for our friends up there and they’ve agreed to take it forward.”
Man: “But if the people (he flicks a finger at the window) down there get wind of this even they probably wouldn’t stand for it.”
Woman: “How are they going to get wind of it? The media won’t go beyond the wording of the bill because it would take time and space away from their Lindsay Lohan stories. Even if they did, the dummies would only read as far as the preamble and thank their lucky stars their government is going to make sure they won’t stub their toes in the dark when they get up to pee.”
Man: “You still have the problem of building the infrastructure and the billions that will take.”
Woman: “No, somebody on the ledge in the Leg. will just say that it will mean rates will have to rise to cover the minimal costs that will be incurred. Then, over the next 3 or 4 years we’ll triple, maybe even quadruple the rates and bingo, Bob’s your uncle and he just left you a fortune..”
Man: “Who’s in on this? Too big a crowd and it dilutes the windfall.”
Woman: “We’re keeping this tight. It’ll be just our usual friends, you know, our former colleagues and the friends who covered our campaign costs and close family but none your previous wives.”
Man: “I’m in. What’s the minimum? Doesn’t matter, put me down for twice the minimum…no, triple it.
Woman: “Consider it a done deal.”
Man, leaning over his desk and looking into her eyes: “Did I ever tell you how much you resemble Lindsay Lohan? You could pass for her sister with that little scattering of freckles.”
She blushes and squirms obviously delighted by the flattery. “We should celebrate. Let’s go to the Club and gargle some of that two hundred dollar a bottle scotch.”