Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Dinner


Twice my wife asked what was wrong.
“You look very pale - are you sick?”
“Oh nothing, I'm just having a routine breakdown.”
“Well, can you do it in the bedroom, please, we're expecting people for dinner.”
Big news, people, have you heard? Well, if you haven’t, you heard it here first at Chassis Albuquerque: Scientists have confirmed the earth’s flat. Obviously people were very upset. Questions abounded, the new inaugurated President addressed the nation about it. He said, “This is something I’ve always believed, the earth is flat. I used to tell people this and they’d look t me like I was crazy. But look at me now, President. And - because people are thinking this - I can tell you earth isn’t the centre of the universe, I know this for a fact, some very reliable, very, very smart people have confirmed I’m the centre of the universe. And with that in mind we’re gonna establish a base on the moon, because the moon’s made of cheese, green cheese, and we can sell it…!”
Reading online there were all these goddamn opinions from plumbers, electricians, mechanics, you name it, all these very professional people making comments and handing out their very unscientific theories - can you trust what they say? All these very unscientific theories sounded as if they held water but yesterday a plumber said our central heating unit needed replacing.
“Usually this would cost at least, man, maybe $20,000?” this guy had said.
"Are you asking me?" I asked him.
“However, with all this business about the earth being flat we can do a one-off special price for you - $1,754, tax included. I have a lot of other business piling up and need to schedule your job so need to know now - and it’s a big F job.”
“A big F job?”
“Yeah, you know, a big fucking job.”
There wasn't a window nearby for me to check and confirm all the facts.
"What kind of payments you take?" I asked him and he’d looked at me.
“What you mean what kind of payments? The only kind, the kind where you pay and get your heating sorted!"
“It’s just that with the earth being flat, it’s all being a bit of a shock, we don’t wanna just hand out that lump sum of cash - you do instalments?”
“I’ve rethought this, you lot look complicated and I’ve had to revise my estimate for the work - you want your unit replaced it’s $20,000. Give me a call if I can be of any further help,” the guy said.
The news had broken suddenly, a leaked document posted online containing the signatures of just about all heads of state after World War II had ended. The implication was a global conspiracy by governments - America, Russia, Britain, China, France, Italy and even the smallest, most insignificant states were colluding in the proliferation of the notion the earth was round. Yes, despite all the very graphic evidence of photos taken from space of the earth new pictures released showed earth as it actually was, a flat sphere of oceans and continents; highly technical schematics demonstrated how Sir Isaac Newton - you know, the guy who invented gravity? - had been right. Gravity was confirmed as being real (all the plumbers agreed it existed) and Newton’s theory clearly demonstrated people could’ve lived in Australia upside down.
So no one was saying God didn’t exist, they were just saying God had no real engineering sense because if the earth had been round that would’ve made far more sense. But it wasn't, it was flat.
What was happening instead was the earth’s magnetic field was “self-correcting” meaning it  skewed all directions equally so travelling north, as you neared what was technically the edge of earth, you were slowly veered away north and no one was the wiser.
However, extracting from this theory, it was postulated at least 70% of the all missing people on earth had ignored this natural self-correcting inclination and proceeded straight-on off the edge or flown on into space never to be seen again; pure obstinacy to ignore compass readings, isn’t it?
At dinner the main topic was of course the news earth was flat.
“It makes no sense, how come we have photographs of the earth taken from space?”
“The earth is a flat sphere, those photos were taken from directly above earth, it’s an illusion. Any side-view would show the earth for what it really is - a thick bit of crust much like the crust of a cheesecake.”
“All the astronauts, would they have lied?”
“Absolutely, astronauts are well known liars - just remember all the UFO sightings they deny ever seeing.”
“And the moon, is the moon flat, too?”
“The moon is a flat sphere hanging vertically in the sky, we are looking up at it.”
“It’s on the internet.”
“Mmm, all makes sense,” everyone agreed thoughtfully.
“They say its going to affect property prices, food and petrol is going to increase, too.”
But I counterclaimed these outrageous claims: “It makes no sense!”
“Please excuse my husband, it’s just so overwhelming,” my wife said, apologising. She was 36. I’d been noticing subtle changes in her and around the house.
I said, “Look, obviously there’s still a lot of loose ends to tie up, so here’s my question: If all the water fell off the edge of the earth how come it’s never run out completely? Think about it, where’s it all coming from…?”
I ate my dinner happily; everyone else stared at their plates while the tension continued to rise…