Rodney Allen Harrington, III
By Warren Turner (USA)
Rodney Allen Harrington, III
(Environmental abstract, from a dream)
Rodney Allen Harrington, III was a cool guy. He would tell anybody, "My name is Rodney Allen Harrington, III, but you can just call me Dink".
Why do they call you "Dink", I once asked him. "Because I mostly just dink around", was his reply. And, sure enough, as I observed him over an extended period of time, he did just dink around.
It was not unusual to see him texting and tweeting about very minor issues, playing a video game or two, cruising the boulevard, or hanging out at the mall. Rarely did I see Rodney Allen Harrington, III, take anything very seriously. "Dink", I told him, "you're just too cool; nothing bothers you."
Then, one day, quite by mistake (because people seldom spoke of it), Dink learned that the polar ice cap was melting, as well as the previously frozen Arctic permafrost; that acidic, ocean waters were destroying the coral reefs, that fishes and other marine life were dying because of ocean warming and acidification, and that CO2 and Methane emissions into the atmosphere from the accession and incineration of the fossil fuels of coal and oil and gas were so extreme that life-forms were daily becoming extinct—and doing so at an alarming rate.
"Don't worry", said Dink; "We pay our President and Senators and Representatives and Governors a lot of money; they'll take care of the problem, both at the Federal and State levels".
But after years of inaction and ineffectiveness, it became evident to Dink that our elected (and well-paid) "leaders" were not taking care of the problem, at all, and in fact they were exacerbating the situation as they colluded with the fossil fuel companies who were destroying the planet.
Dink further learned that our elected officials, from the President on down, were accepting large, cash, campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies to do nothing at all, and that legislators were creating legislation that allowed polluters to bypass our environmental laws.
"No more dinking around, for me", said Dink, as he picked up a "Save Our Planet" sign, and joined environmentalists and activists as they marched through Dink's town, in a display of environmental solidarity.
But the U.S. Government had recently militarized the local police force with gifts of tanks and Stinger missiles and other excess war weaponry, and the police fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at the marchers to disperse them.
Unfortunately, Dink was struck in the temple by one of those bullets, and he fell dead on Main Street in the very center of town (and at the exact location where he learned to ride his bicycle as a child).
"That hardly ever happens", said Hubert Hollister, the Chief of Police in Dink's town, "and no one is really responsible for it. I've seen people killed when struck by the steel canisters which contain tear gas, but rarely do crowd-control bullets kill anybody. They're made of rubber."
"He never should have picked up that 'Save Our Planet' sign, and aggravated the police by exercising his First Amendment Constitutional rights", said Dink's mother, Abigail Constance Harrington. "It was all for naught; for, now, the planet continues to die, and Dink is dead, too".
Nevertheless, Dink's parents had "DINK CARED" carved on his grave marker; and, since Dink was a veteran, the military gave him a 6-gun salute, and sent an Army Lieutenant to read his obituary aloud.
The Police Department in Dink's town contributed by firing mortar rounds and rifle-launched grenades, this time aiming them toward Lake Williston, so they did not inadvertently kill any other of the town's citizens who had gathered on Main Street for the burial ceremony.
It was a proud and patriotic day for the many citizens in attendance in Dink's town, when Dink was laid to rest. There was a conspicuous American flag pin on the lapel of Dink's suit-jacket, and the American flag that originally rested atop Dink's coffin, was ceremoniously folded and presented to Dink's mother, as well.