The Curiously Stunted, Incomprehensibly Disjointed, Perfectly Inadequate Adventures of Nicholas Cornelius Holloway – Episode 88

He examined the scene from behind his coffee mug. “What’s that?” he said.

She placed a model Volkswagen down next to a model gas pump. “I have to get gas today,” she said.

There were several dioramas set up around the room.

“Wouldn’t a to-do list be,” he searched for a gentle word, “quicker?”

She selected a female figure and placed it carefully next to the Volkswagen. “It makes going about these mundane tasks more satisfying knowing someone cares about them enough to spend time on them.”

“But it’s you-” he said. “It’s you spending time on them.”

“Precisely,” she said without looking up.

As he left, she selected a figure with a coffee mug and carefully placed it in the diorama of the woman building dioramas.

She smiled.

The Curiously Stunted, Incomprehensibly Disjointed, Perfectly Inadequate Adventures of Nicholas Cornelius Holloway – Episode 87

His parents had taken him to a rally when he was small. He had been struck by the colorful buttons, foam hats, posters on sticks, and a slogan.

“No one can have peas until everyone has peas.”

Nothing adults said made much sense, so in that regard the remark was unremarkable. But people had cheered, and he didn’t much care for peas. This force, he decided, must be countered. Logically, if he disrupted anyone’s peas, he would disrupt everyone’s.

Decades later, the experience had buried itself in his subconscious. He didn’t question why, but he was unusually content as a grocer. His contentedness gave him confidence. His confidence made him cheerful. His cheerfulness made him likable. His store was forever understocked in legumes, but when he ran for mayor he easily won.

The townspeople generally felt his inspiring presence more than made up for their relative lack of peas.