A Chlorinated Proposal

“I just don’t think I coulda manipulated the situation to a happy ending….” Sandy shakes her head as she rubs lotion meditatively into her toned tummy.

They’d been talking about chlorine in the pool. How since all of the Brown Alerts of the previous summer, the Oakland Y had upped the concentration. Sandy had asked PP if she’d noticed the more intense concentration of chlorine. PP had responded with, not really. The Oakland Y’s chlorine level seemed always to be the worst of any pool she’d ever been in.

“Why the hell they just couldn’t require the kids to wear water diapers is beyond me!” Sandy had exclaimed.

“Yeah, it makes no sense,” PP had agreed. “Every other pool I’ve been to requires the babies to wear ‘em. But there’s enough chlorine in the pool to kill anything I’d think,” she'd added, laughing.

Sandy had nodded, “And hopefully it’ll kill the babies too!”
Delighted with Sandy’s Babycide Desire, PP had laughed. “It’s a theme!”
“What do you mean?”
“Earlier today I was working with a student on Swift’s “Modest Proposal” and you know he’s all about killing the babies and making yummy stews out of ‘em!”
Sandy had grinned, “That’s right. Thanks for reminding me of that!”

“Yeah, but this student, she thought that he was really meaning to eat the babies. You know, literally. She was very disgusted.”
“Wait a minute….” Sandy had paused in her lotion application ritual, “you’re kidding me, right?”
“Nope,” PP had shaken her head.

How to explain that the idea of satire is beyond most of the average person’s conception. If this weren’t the case, then reality shows wouldn’t be as popular as they were. PP has no idea what she means by this, only that somehow Beverley Hills Housewives was satire to her, but to other viewers? Maybe not so much. Though come to think of it, she doesn't know anyone else who partakes of such guilty pleasures. She was almost certain that Sandy didn't.

And so, after PP had mentioned the student's literal mindedness round Baby Stew, Sandy had just stood there, in mid-lotion application, astounded, “I just don’t think I woulda been able to manipulate the situation to a happy ending.”

PP had laughed, “Yeah, well, I don’t think I did. I mean, I think I kept it from being an absolute tragedy, like if those babies in the pool were really in danger of being gassed by chlorine the lifeguard would at least have been able to prevent that. But they’d still be damaged. You know?”

“Oh, yeah,” Sandy had nodded. “Their little faces would be all scrunched up in chemical anguish!”
PP had laughed. Did Sandy really say that?
Who cares?
Swift would have liked the image, right?

After all "A Modest Proposal" is just that, all about the image. And the seasoning. And the tenderness. And the screams of agony....

Would A Chlorinated Proposal, if PP were to write it, be seen as satire?

Somehow, she doubts it.

Though if she showed it to Sandy, well, she'd surely at the very least, get A Modest Chuckle.


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