The House by the Sea

There is a house by the sea. In this house live a husband and wife. One day the wife, seeing her husband come home says to him, “I hear the sea is going to rise and our house is going to fall into the sea.” “Who says that?” “Scientists say that. They all agree. You should move the house.” The husband doesn’t like the sound of moving his whole house and away from the sea. “I’m not moving my house,” he says. “It’s a good house. If the house falls into the sea, I will build a new house. For now, it’s a good house and you can live in it with me or you can leave.” “I’m just saying it’s going to fall into the sea.” “If it does, you’ll say I told you so. Fine. But I’m not building a new house until this house falls into the sea.” They lived in silence until later in the evening the wife says, “All the scientists agree it will happen. Don’t you believe in science?” “When do they say it will happen?” “Soon.” “Tomorrow? Next week?” “The chances are going up.” “If chance happens and the house falls into the sea, I will fix it.” This seems like a good solution to the husband and he thinks the problem has been settled, but the wife says, “You can’t burn oil anymore.” “What? Why can’t I burn oil?” “Burning oil makes it happen faster. We can’t burn much oil or all the neighbors’ houses will fall into the sea.” “Oil keeps us warm. How does burning oil make the house fall into the sea?” “Well it works on a large scale. The science says it works like that.” “Listen, wife. You don’t have to do anything. The scientists don’t have to do anything. You worry. The scientists worry. You all come to me with your worry and tell me to do something about your worries. I look outside. I see nothing that needs doing. When I see something that needs doing, I will do it. Okay? If the house falls into the sea, I will build a new house. There’s always a chance I will have to build a new house. Shit happens. But shit has not happened yet and we have a fine house by the sea.”

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