15 October 2007

FutureDodo: The North Polar Fat Cap 2080-2507

The As A Dodo team is proud to present the first instalment of our new, occasional series of obituaries from the future, kindly provided by our Tralfamadorian correspondent, whose moving eulogy in these pages to the late Kurt Vonnegut our readers will doubtless recall.

The following posting was occasioned by Health Secretary Alan Johnson's comparison of the threat from obesity in the United Kingdom
to that of global warming. While some might consider this to be as alarmist as comparing the threat from overtight underwear to that of MRSA, it appears that Mr Johnson's warning was more foresighted than might have been thought.

It is with great sadness that I must inform the readers of As A Dodo of the passing of the North Polar Fat Cap, that great white mass (not to be confused with the Chris Moyles of your own early 21st century) at the top of the globe that has finally melted away thanks to the effects of global warming.

The North Polar Fat Cap was, as any twenty-sixth century high school student would happily tell you, first conceived in around 2080 after the failure of humanity's many attempts to avert global warming (even including President Bush's brilliant scheme to launch a giant mirror into space(1)) led to the final destruction of its chilly predecessor, the North Polar Ice Cap, and caused great devastation to the lifestyles of many Inuit, Eskimo, Lapps and others, not to mention thoroughly buggering up the prospects for large numbers of wildlife documentary-makers who had finally got the funding for that feature-length piece on polar bears and just crossed the last T on the script for the Morgan Freeman voice-over.

Without the reflective properties of the vast white expanse, global warming began to accelerate rapidly, imperilling the lives of millions and - even more importantly - threatening the lifestyles of the non-domiciled mega-rich businessmen and women who could afford riverside property in London. So it was that the greatest minds that the Earth had to offer were gathered together to come up with a scheme to replace the ice cap with something equally white. Many suggestions for suitable resources to replace the once-vast swathes of ice were made. Some advocated painting an enormous white sheet over the top of the world but this plan was rejected after several of those present insisted they never liked white and would prefer to paint the world magnolia. Others put forward a scheme to coat the arctic circle with the most pale and reflective substance known - naked Scotsmen and women - but this too was rejected on the grounds that the reflective qualities would be so great they would risk blinding anyone who dared venture north of the equator.

In the end there was only one suitable substitute for the formerly icy arctic wastes - humanity's most abundant and ever-increasing resource: fat. With experts having calculated that the average American tourist's excess lipids would be enough to cover several square miles of water and with even a British twelve-year-old capable of providing enough fat to cover an area the size of several football pitches, liposuctors were soon gathering from all over the world to help slim down mankind and fatten up the new North Polar Cap.

For centuries the North Polar Fat Cap floated over the Arctic Ocean, providing both a new - if slightly sticky and extremely malodorous - home for the polar bears, a fabulous incentive for the indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle to go into the plastic surgery business and the best justification yet for the existence of fast food.

Yet the North Polar Fat Cap was just as doomed as its predecessor. Despite the warnings of the environmental lobby, mankind still continued to burn fossil fuels in order to power its vital endeavours (endeavours such as driving the three metres to the local shop to pick up your pre-packaged, pre-grated cheese, keeping 112 set-top boxes, 73 gaming consoles and 98 computers chugging away on standby in every household and providing sufficient energy to keep Madonna, Al Gore, Prince Charles and their huge entourages jetting around the world to vast air-conditioned conference centres to lecture us all on how we should use less energy) and so the world's temperature continued to rise. By 2507 things were so hot that the North Polar Fat Cap itself melted, vanishing almost overnight with a brief sizzling sound.

The North Polar Fat Cap was buried at sea in the Arctic Ocean. It is survived by an overpowering odour of mechanically-recovered meat sandwiches and a lone teenager crying in the watery wilderness, "Do you want fries with that?"

(1) reported by As A Dodo here.

1 Comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A great idea - posts from the future! I'm trying to imagine a magnolia-painted world...