Thursday, June 1, 2017

Open Letter to My Great Grandkids: Sorry You Live in a Barren Hellscape

Dear Great Grandkids,

I never got to meet you, or if I did, I was too senile to remember. If I turned out anything like my own grandma, by the time you came to visit me I probably thought JFK was president and kept asking if you wanted more grapes, no matter how many times you politely declined.

So I’m writing this letter to you while I still can—Handmaid’s Tale-style—in the Before time. (That’s a good book, by the way. You should read it, if books still exist).

I want you to know that we all epic-failed you, which is why you’re probably the last generation of humanity to exist on earth, and are suffering in a bleak, parched, barren hellscape periodically flooded by lifeless, briny seawater.

When a lone, hearty octopus washes up on your front stoop (those invertebrates--they’re fighters!), when a category 25 hurricane comes barreling down out of the smog-choked sky, when clean drinking water is traded on the commodities exchange for $500 a share, when the city of Miami is a lost Atlantis wreck-dive, when Kevin Costner’s Waterworld is required viewing in school, I want you to remember the Before.

Before, there was something called “seasons,” including one called “winter,” which brought with it something called “snow.” 


Snow was like rain, except not warm or made of acid. It was white and fluffy and an excuse to stay home from school and go “skiing,” which was a non-Hunger Games-type sport that existed in the Before. There were also “birds” and “bees”--living creatures that flew around in the air, briefly landing on these other alive-things called “trees” and “flowers.” They also doubled as a standard and useful sex-ed teaching tool.

But again, that was all in the Before time. 

Before America signed Planet Earth’s death warrant with a flourish by electing a bloated, terra-cotta colored human Cheeto with the attention span of an amoeba, the intellectual capacity of a traffic cone, and the compassion of a Frisbee to the highest office in America’s former constitutional democracy. That choade smoking son of a cheddar dick wanted to make “deals,” and boy did he ever. 

He made one hell of a deal, alright.

You’ve probably asked your grandparents how we got here, and why it’s so hot all the time. They won't know. They were small children then, distracted by the latest toy fad, fidget spinners. Along with other cheap depreciable goods like rubber dog shit and Keurig one-cup coffee pods, fidget spinners and the people who bought them (ahem, yours truly) played their own part in the shitstorm in which you now find yourselves. 

Your grandparents won’t have answers, and are unlikely to remember the moment we all hammered the last nail into the coffin of biodiversity and a habitable planet.

With My Deepest Regrets,

Your Great-Grandmother

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