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FLEA MARKET OF IDEAS

Crazy ideas for 2018

/ 05:40 AM January 01, 2018

The holiday season sees many of us heading back to the provinces of our roots. Whether we take the trip by land, sea, or air, the stretch of travel time gives us opportunity for much thinking.

For those of us who have to travel far, the long journey not only gives us time to reflect on the past and ponder about the future, but also provides our minds unbounded freedom to indulge in a riot of thoughts.

Every Christmas season, I spend eight hours on the road to Isabela, my home province in northeastern Luzon. As I pass alternating vistas of vast rice fields, rustic towns, meandering rivers, rolling hills, and gentle mountains, my mind intermittently spurts with quirky ideas about anything under the sun.

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It is an enjoyable mental exercise for me. To while away the long travel time, I entertain myself by tossing and turning in my mind crazy and whimsical ideas, a sampling of which is the subject of this piece. I give warning to the reader that what follows is a hodgepodge of serious and hilarious thoughts, mostly written in the spirit of fun.

One time, my mind wandered to commiserate with people who needed to hire lawyers like me to represent them in court. I imagined myself in the shoes of litigants and I saw myself suffering in silence as I tallied the expenses to feed, transport, and provide lodging for my attorney during out-of-town court hearings.

I then envisioned the day when science figures out a way to substitute lawyers with artificial intelligence packaged in ball-shaped gadgets. Testimonies and evidence are inputted into and processed by the gadget, and, when brought to court, it blabbers all the legal arguments in support of one’s case. The chatter ball is energized with electricity, and simply transported and lodged in a suitcase.

On another trip, I observed the electric posts and wires that prevent trees from being planted on both sides of the roads. I wondered on the possibility of requiring electric wires to be relocated underground in order to transform all our highways and streets into beautiful tree-lined thoroughfares.

In the same trip, my mind was also perplexed by the certainty of death for all human beings. I had a eureka moment when I realized that this may be because we nourish our bodies with foods that die, such as plants and animals. I then came to the conclusion that we imbibe the element of death from the food we eat. But if our bodies instead evolved to munch on adobe, granite, or sand, we might have been bestowed with immortality.

On yet another trip, I bemoaned the lack of a sense of community among our people. I contemplated on the possibility of expanding the “Doctors to the Barrios” program by requiring all licensed-profession aspirants to do community work as a precondition to taking the licensure examinations. In lieu of bringing back college military training, this program will promote among our professionals empathy with our underprivileged fellow Filipinos.

During one long trip, I imagined being president of our country with a mission to find a solution to the traffic scourge. I contrived a scheme to ban all cars in the cities and to criminally punish vehicle possession, just like  shabu  possession.

Roads will be converted into two-lane walkalators, with one lane becoming an automatic walkalator which transports people to their destinations, while the other lane becomes a manual treadmill-like walkalator that provides power for its automatic counterpart. One pays for the use of the automatic walkalator, but receives compensation if one chooses to use the manual walkalator instead.

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Health-conscious and unemployed people can hop on the manual walkalator, get paid, lose potbellies, and consequently develop beautiful bodies. My scheme hits five birds with one stone, solving traffic, pollution, unemployment, the budget deficit, and medical problems. And the whole world will drool with envy over the shapely bodies of tens of millions of Filipinos.

Crazy ideas to welcome the new year. Happy New Year!

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TAGS: Christmas celebrations, Flea Market of Ideas, Joel Ruiz Butuyan, New Year 2018
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