By Alex M. Parker
Hey, how's it going. Excuse me, sir?
Sorry, this is awkward. I need to ask you a favor.
Do I know you?
No, it's just--I need your calories.
Your calories. I need them.
I don't---what is this?
Like I said, I just need your calories.
I don't know what to tell you, but I'm sort of using them.
I know that, but I still need them.
Well, I mean, I need them too.
I know that.
I guess I could go back to my house, and--
No, I need the ones on you.
What? What is this? I'm using them, like, right now.
I wouldn't ask you if this wasn't important.
I can't just give them to you, they're mixed up with everything else. I mean, important stuff.
Oh, I'll take all that, too. I mean, I can sort it out later, but I need to take all of it.
Sorry, I don't think you understand. This is, like, a mugging. If you don't give me your calories, I'm going to have to take them.
What? Why would you do that?
Because I'd use them better than you.
I'm using them pretty well.
I know, but look--I'm bigger than you. That's why I can just take them if I want. That's how I know I use calories better than you.
That's circular logic, it doesn't make any sense.
The reason you need to take my calories is so you can become bigger so you can take my calories?
What makes you think you're so entitled to these calories anyways?
They're mine! I found them. I didn't have to take them from someone else.
You found them where?
I don't know, on the ground.
Did it occur to you that someone might have been using them on the ground?
No one was using them, they were in a tube!
But did you go around and ask? Did you find out whose tube that was? Or did you just take them?
No, but what's your point?
No calories are just found, they all belong to someone until someone else takes them. I mean, for either of us.
So we're all just taking each other's calories then? That makes no sense. Where do the calories come from?
I think they fall out of the sky.
They fall out of the sky? What are you talking about?
That's what I've heard.
So why don't you just take the ones that are falling out of the sky, if you need calories so much?
I don't know how to use those ones. Just yours.
But what if I did, why do I deserve those calories? Just because they landed on me? That seems like a totally arbitrary reason.
At least it's fair.
Not really. I mean, if you were on a spot where you knew they'd fall, I'd probably try to take that, too. And how'd you get that spot? You probably had to push someone out. Seems like the same difference to me.
I see your point. But still, there's got to be some system, right? To decide who gets the calories?
Especially since they're always falling out of the sky.
Yes! That's what I've been saying! Whoever uses the calories best should get them. And whoever can take them is, by definition, using them best. It's the perfect system because it self-enforces.
But what's the point of that? You're just taking calories, then using them to take more!
Well, sooner or later I--
You'll what, give some to your kid? Sure, you will, but I bet you're going to keep more for yourself. Then he'll have to go out and start getting his own calories.
I don't know.
It just seems pointless! These calories fall from the sky, and we just keep trading them around, taking them, one from another, until once of us dies and then someone else takes whatever calories are left?
I don't know. I'm not a philosopher. I think the taking is the point. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted calories. I've needed calories. I guess maybe if the calories were all around sooner or later I'd get enough of them, but that's unimaginable, there just aren't that many.
I know what you mean. I've been looking for calories as long as I can remember too. I must spend 75% of my time on it. I barely have time to think about anything else.
Can you imagine if it were different? If there were calories all around, enough for everyone, no matter how many anyone wanted to use?
I don't know what I'd do then. It might be awful.
So can I have your calories?