"The Man on the Mountain and Our Fair Share"
by Doug “Uncola” Lynn
"At the onset of the apocalypse just as a fog settled into the valleys like lingering smoke from distant battlefields, a man struggled up the mountain to see what he could see. There, he found clarity above the clouds and while seeing the shadows below. He could also see other mountain tops in the distance and other climbers sending messages as if by firelight; or, rather, electronic reflections on flashing screens.
In the upper elevations the air was cool and bright. The sun shone unhindered against a blue canopy like a candle held high and the brilliant stars at night blinked and twinkled as friendly eyes in the ether. The man had words he wanted to share with the other climbers as well as those residing in the valleys below, so he built a platform and set upon it a billboard where words were posted for all to see. Others responded to the man’s messages and many even joined him on the mountain as the man would even place the words of other climbers from their own lofts on the distant mountaintops.
But the man also had to tend to his family and his work in the valley below – so every day, the man woke up early, climbed the mountain and gathered together his words as well as the words of others, to place upon his billboard high up on the mountain top. Then, he would climb back down to the valley below and work to support his family before once again climbing up the mountain every afternoon to post more words and messages meant to inform and entertain the people in the apocalypse. Every day the man did this, alone, twice a day for seven days a week for over eleven years and the people on the mountains and in the valleys below were, indeed, informed and entertained.
Eventually, a community formed on the mountaintop around the electronic billboard to the point where daily debates and discussions were held about the words on the screen. There was music and laughter and sh*tfests. It was a blast.
On more than one occasion, however, flaming arrows and firebombs were thrown by denizens of darkness onto the man’s billboard and the platform upon which it rested. The man sought to protect his lighthouse of sorts and was forced to pay a brave and experienced captain to guard against the attacks. This captain, who had no name, was sent by a friend from another mountain top in the distance.
Of course, the man on the mountain could have charged a fee for entrance to the communal areas surrounding his now popular platform, but he chose to, instead, keep it free to the people; even as the man climbed and descended the mountain twice a day for seven days a week and for over eleven years. All he asked in return was for voluntary donations to help recoup his expenses, if not his time and effort, from those finding value in the words.
What is the electronic billboard on the platform, which is constantly assailed by firebombs and flaming arrows, worth to you? On what priority would you assign it to your daily routine? What if it disappeared one day – how much more would you pay, then, to have it back?
It seems we never truly appreciate the value of anything until it’s gone and it’s too late. Would you please consider helping the man out with your contributions through the end of the year and beyond? Let us show the man, Jim Quinn, our gratitude and finish 2019 stronger than any other year before. Thank you in advance."
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