Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 13 - The Flat Earth Society
page 76

Story 13 - The Flat Earth Society

       Heathrow was a sea of grounded airplanes. There didn't seem to be any point in landing there. No movement was discernable. The baggage carts and service vehicles were all parked in neat rows. Not a human soul was in sight. Air traffic seemed to have come to a halt in the two weeks we had been away in Russia. Only a single wing of the main terminal looked like it was still in operation, and this wing had mostly Air Force planes at its gates. What a shocking return to the real world this was! Of course, we all knew that Russia was in a worse mess, though in a different way. Its physical economy had been more deeply collapsing. They too, had refused to take the required actions to save themselves, but had stopped that, luckily, and reversed course at virtually the last moment.
      As it was, we didn't bother to land in London. The plane was diverted to Frankfurt, Germany. I didn't mind the diversion.
      "Did I tell you that I nearly got robbed twice in a single day, at Heathrow airport?" I said to Ushi as the plane climbed again.
      "No!" Ushi answered in a serious tone.
      I told Ushi that I had gone into one of the washrooms on the way to the baggage office. These out of the way washrooms are rarely used by travelers, unless their luggage is lost. I told her that I was barely through the door when I felt a man standing behind me. He pushed me hard against a wall.
       "Welcome to the home office" the man had joked, "and please give me everything you've got. Be smart!"
      I told Ushi that I heard some groaning in the background. I told her that I twisted myself out of his lock and rammed the chap into the opposite wall. "What a surprise he got, and me too, especially me," I said to her. "The man was in uniform. He was one of the airport security people. I nearly was robbed by the people who were hired to protect me. I just stood there in disbelief and stared at the man. 'You're disgusting,' I said to him. 'And it's even more disgusting that you're stealing from a fellow officer. I am an officer of the diplomatic service. We are struggling like hell to keep the world from blowing up, and there, you're turning against your own family, as it were. With creeps like you providing security, what chance does humanity have?' With this said, I left him standing where he was and did what I came for."
      I told Ushi that it really got interesting after that, that he apologized profusely as I left the washroom, and came running after me, pleading that I shouldn't report the incidence. I told Ushi that he started to explain the "ways of the world" to me, as he had put it. "Stealing has become a way of life in London," he insisted, "especially the stealing from your own kind." He couldn't see why I was so annoyed with him.
      Ushi laughed when I told her that.
      "Don't laugh yet," I replied. "It gets better, still."
      "It can't get better," she said.
      As a reply, I continued telling my story, saying that he had been employed earlier in one of the big investment houses before he became a security officer at the airport. "He told me what he had encountered there," I said to Ushi.
      "Everybody was stealing from everyone else, there," he had said to me, "they even dared to collect a commission for arranging the theft. And all of this was totally legal. So, why shouldn't it be legal for me to rob you in the washroom where you least expect it? It's the same game, the same method, only a slightly different process was involved."
      "You found this interesting?" Ushi interrupted. "Let me guess, you invited the man for coffee, right?" she grinned.
      "No, no, it was lunch time," I corrected her. "I invited the man for lunch." I told Ushi that his point was, that the whole market had become an organized arena for stealing. Huge profits were taken out of a market where nothing was being produced that generates the wealth that was distributed by the brokers as profit.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada