It has come to my attention that you are in need of a grand spectacle that will, in effect, “out-Eiffel-Eiffel”—that French-ey upstart whose tower made such a commotion at the recent Paris World’s Fair, with its none-too-subtle, enormous steel “gentleman’s approval.” Might I be so bold as to make a suggestion for your much-anticipated American World’s Fair, set in the godless murder-topia that is Chicago, Illinois?
Imagine if you will, sirs, a platform in the likeness of the great statesman and leader, Abraham Lincoln, reaching some four thousand feet into the air, from whence, fair attendees can stand on a platform, on the very brim of his stovepipe hat, tie a rope about their ankle, and leap for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of flight. I call it Four Score and Seven Thrills Ago: Honest Abe’s Adventures in American Aviation.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Q. C. Dollins, visionary
We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we are not taking submissions at this time. We have, in fact, many engineers and architects on payroll who are overseeing the design and construction of the fair.
The Chicago World’s Fair Commission
If you are concerned with the safety of fair attendees, might I suggest a vat of molasses? A substance, whose sheer viscosity, while not only providing a safe receptacle for a falling attendee, also makes a delicious repast, as there is not much that satisfies the sweet tooth so, as a handful of molasses.
Q. C. Dollins, molass-o-holic
It was not the safety issue at hand, as much as it was the fact that we are truly not taking submissions, and the one you provided does not seem to be as fully thought-out as one might hope. We wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits.
You want me to work for it, I understand. Look, how about a cart on a long, uphill track. Using a system of pulleys, levers, and counterweights, we pull riders up to heights reaching some seven thousand feet, then rocket them downhill into, you guessed it, a vat of molasses. I call it: The Devil’s Drop: A Plummet Into Life’s Sweetest Surprise.
Q. C. Dollins, pioneer
At this point, we are going to request that you not attend the fair, as there are a great many here who, if they were to be in your presence, might be induced to cause you bodily harm. For safety, might we suggest you coat yourself in molasses?
I am beginning to suspect that I may have caused some offense. Please know, it was not my intention to do so.
Incidentally, I had one last idea. Perhaps a large wheel, spinning on an axle, in which attendees can ride, offering both a thrill, and sweeping vistas of the majestic Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan?
Just a thought,
Q. C. Dollins, one sorry puppy dog
You know what, that’s… actually a marvelous idea. Please submit the complete schematics of the design, as well as the calculated cost for construction.
Oh, I thought you all handled that part. I am, merely, a visionary. A dreamer with his head in the clouds. I couldn’t find my spectacles, were they hanging about my neck. I will, however, gladly receive the fee for the use of my idea.
Q. C. Dollins, real architect
We would be happy to provide you with your fee. Please print your address so that we may send it forthwith.
Not at all furious,
Why of course. My address is as follows:
555 Sweet Meadow Ln
If you get to that address, make a bee-line for the woods near at hand. I live at the bottom of a well abutting that property.
All of a dither,
Q. C. Dollins, well-dweller
Please expect shortly payment for your proposal. Please do not be alarmed at the number of those who are coming to make sure that you receive payment, nor think it unusual that they are carrying weapons, as they merely wish to protect the money from any highway robbers.
A fellow can take a hint. I am not without self-awareness. I think I know when the getting, as they say, “is good.” I will soon be catching a train to I-don’t-know-where. Not the first time.
Best of luck to you gentlemen!
Q. C. Dollins, fugitive