“For the first time since Donald Trump entered the political fray, I find myself grateful that he’s in it. I’m reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it, especially since the president mocked Christine Blasey Ford in his ugly and gratuitous way at a rally on Tuesday. Perhaps it’s worth unpacking this admission for those who might be equally astonished to read it.”
Bret Stephens, New York Times, 10/4/18

- - -

For the first time since my next door neighbor started building his own nuclear reactor, I find myself grateful to be living next door. I’m reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it, especially since his activities over the last two years have tripled the cancer rates surrounding our lavish Manhattan neighborhood, including mutating many local children into incandescent street crawlers. Perhaps, it’s worth unpacking this admission for those who might be equally astonished to read it. Please note how using the vernacular “unpacking,” as in “there’s a lot to unpack here,” conveys I’m like one of you — the cancer-ridden, glowing types.

I’m grateful because Dr. Dementicus (my neighbor) has not backed down to threats, OSHA citations, deceitfulness, hypocrisy, or the slippery slope standards set by those who seek to live in a world without dangerously unstable nuclear reactors. I’m grateful because his stubbornness, born of a fiery spirit, (and possibly intense mercury poisoning from experiments earlier in his career) has made him impervious to more deceptive bullying. In short, he’s a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger. Is that a bad metaphor? Perhaps. In truth, despite having enough money to fortify my townhouse with ten layers of concrete (unlike those children) I may also be feeling the effects of radiation.

A few things crystalized my thoughts recently. And again, when I say that I’m speaking metaphorically, unlike Dr. Dementicus’ former lab assistant whose brain literally turned to ice, resulting from a stalwart dedication to experimental gene-splicing.

First, to falsely accuse someone of being a mad scientist is nearly as bad as being a mad scientist. This is nothing to sneer at. Now I know what you’re saying. Those glowing children aren’t “sneering.” Their faces just look like that now because their lips and noses have contorted around their massive canines, but I detect sneering nonetheless. And there is no place for it in a civilized society. Nor can society hope to survive when its most ingenious men can be accused of something awful.

If mad scientists have to constantly answer allegations from victims, how can they continue building their eugenic scramblers, their doomsday machines, or their leaky, but highly powerful, nuclear reactors?

Yes, I’ve spoken out loudly against Dr. Dementicus in the past. He lacked the regal ingenuity of a Professor Bizarko who single-handedly designed a pulse emitter that kept people making less than $200K away from my favorite Starbucks. And no, he didn’t have the breeding of Replicaxion, the cyborg sent from the future (with whom I attended prep school) whose nanotech war machines euthanized entire populations of fuel-rich, home world regions. Yes, it’s true. I even went so far as to call myself a “Never-Dementicus-er.”

But now that my neighborhood has become riddled with disease, mutants, and anger, I am truly frightened. The shrieks of pain and calls for justice sometimes affect my sleep. I don’t recognize or relate to these furious suffering masses who, just like Dr. Dementicus, lack decent standards and civility. But unlike the doctor, they don’t have a powerful robot army and million dollar lasers to keep me safe.