In the Land of the Gentle Giant
Once upon a time,
there lived a famous race-car driver in a land that became known as the land of the Gentle Giant. While still in his rosy-fingered youth this great racer, to everyone’s surprise, because he was still a rookie, won the highest prize for road racing by dethroning the longest standing champion in history. And not only did he dethrone him, but he broke all his racing records, and not by a little bit, but by a giant gap, causing everyone in the world to hail this neophyte as the greatest racer of all time by a country mile. In the ensuing year, however, he suffered a serious accident and was side lined for most of the racing season.
Within three years,
however, this great young racer was able to repeat the championship of his rookie year, again surprising the many fans of the sport that thought that a full recovery was never possible. However, in his fifth year he placed second; in his sixth year third; in his seventh year forth and ainsi de suite until he retired from racing before he reached that nuclear-magic number after which there is no return.
In those days,
the tectonic plates were apt to move around much more than today causing shifts in the city’s landscape, which was scaped using a combination of island-circles that harboured trees where the people lived, and paved traffic rings around them where everybody drove their vehicles.
The movements of the tectonic plates often shifted the island-circles and brought some close to each other, while moving others further away. The tears and breaks in the crust of the city always seemed to happen in the paved traffic rings which circled the island-circles in the shape of cyphers and figure eights, forcing the population to suspend driving until they could be sutured, much like a soccerball is sutured, with almost invisible seams.
The Great Racer...
was not too perturbed by these developments, because even though driving was a child’s task for him, he no longer needed to do this for transportation. You see, dear reader, even though the great road-racer tried to avoid the nuclear-magic-winter-number by retiring before he placed in the position of that number in the standings, somehow — and nobody knows exactly how — life’s nuclear magic would not let him off the hook; Hence, he caught that rare illness that inflates the body like a balloon and indeed he did inflate to such a great size that he could easily stride across the island-circle in one or two steps. Further, since some of these circles came closer together due to the tectonic shifts, the great racing giant was able to travel across all the cities of the world simply by walking.
However, after a while, many people came to think (even though tectonic shifts had occurred prior to the Giant’s birth) that the earthquakes were due to the Giant’s weight on the earth during his giant leaps from circle to circle. So, one night while the Giant was sleeping, a hormonal doctor named Hippocrates, extracted a blood sample from him and had it tested in his lab. After a few weeks of experimentation by a team of international hormonal doctors an anti-dote to theGiant’s illness was developed and fed back into his blood stream by the same method by which it was extracted.
Not too long afterwards,
the Gentle Giant, who now had come back to reside on his original island from which everyone had vacated for fear of being squashed on his return, started to shrink in size. He shrank and shrank. However, he did not stop when he reached his original size but continued to shrink further. And some mathematicians have factored in the function of his shrinkage and tallied a number to define it, which — they claim — is the same number that defines the original nuclear-magic of life.
At any rate, the Great Racer shrunk down to the size of a baby mouse, and one day, as luck would have it, a man, the same man who our racer had dethroned to become number one, was walking his dog on the lonely island of our great racer when the dog suddenly noticed the suspicious movements of a mouse racing in the grass and scooped him up and swallowed him down.
Not too long after this,
the great island-circles shrunk down to pavement level making it possible for people to drive across them causing all sorts of confusion as the original plan of cyphers and figure eights that defined the urban landscape of the city scattered and turned into a ‘kind of snow’ causing innumerable accidents which in turn caused traffic jams which in turn — especially when it combined with another post-traumatic-giant shift of the tectonic plates — brought about a permanent gridlock of the world’s arteries.