"Stockton's Trust In Technology" by Boris G., March 2012
Disclaimer: All the characters are the product of fiction. Any resemblance to the real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one is should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: Tourism officials nationwide soon learned that what was considered good enough for the average citizen of the state ... would not do for foreign tourists.
Stockton's Trust In Technology
Gathered students and their families were watching Bert Predeaux, Deputy Dean School of Postgraduate Studies, and M. J. M. Scooter, Vice President of the World Phantastic University delivering a speech about their new organization.
- You may start to ask yourself: "Why the United World of New Tourism"? Why such a new organization when there are thousand upon thousand of such alraedy existing? Bert waited for a while, scarce wind tossing his hair. All those seated, and even those standing aside could see determination in this man's eyes, his will power emanating as of some preacher. Let me remind you that UWNT's Barometer is periodically updated. And do you know why? He paused, looking around aimlessly. Because all police would be required to attend training ..., some police officers and security guards moved in their places, stirring as if on some "invisible command", ... and pass stringent tests before permission to carry.
- Carry ... what? Someone asked from the public. Bert grinned, ignoring the question. Some seagulls were flying over the horizon.
- To all those ..., someone quieted the one who posed the question, ... to all those who inevitably come out with stupidity like "You will always have enough idiots in the Police who would not be safe with a water pistol"! he paused, noticing some police officers speaking into their radios, staring at him. And ... its infinite variations ..., pick a country at random in fact! Anywhere in the world! Yes. He sensed some commotion with the security personnel. The Police WILL be armed. They don't seem to run round shooting each other or members of the public. No! They do what they are TOLD to do.
He paused, letting murmur cease on its own. Security resumed their original positions.
- Ladies and gentlemen ... travel is the best and most comprehensive way to understand other people and the ways that they think.
Someone started to applaude but was soon prevented from making further noise. Raised flag on a pole made some cling-clang noise as the wind played with it.
- For years ..., toilets were a major tourist complaint. There were smirks and sneers, even open laughter coming from the gathered audience. In fact ... one-third of all complaints received by the Earth's Tourism Administration were about ... toilets. And those complaints were not minor, ... oh, no ... He pressed firmly with his hands a baseball bat, parading on the podium since he had a wireless microphone attached to his head instead of a fixed one.
- Rivers constitute a major tourism resource ..., he stopped in the middle of the sentence, leaving baseball bat leaning againt the improvised wall, ... providing spectacular settings, recreation facilities ..., a means of transport, a sense of heritage and adventure, and ..., he squinted as the sun got into his eyes, ... links with the environment and natural world. River tourism accounts for a significant proportion of the world's tourism consumption, with activities such as Nile cruises and ..., there were some commotion coming from some Arabic students and their families, ... rafting holidays making it an economically important area of tourism demanding some further in-depth analysis ... His ring glistened on sun.
- In these "hard economic times" ... hunting for jobs, ... people from neighboring provinces flock to the capital city, only to find accommodation near rivers and estuaries. They make use of the river especially for free daily toilet services. Some laughed, some giggled and the elderly ladies tried to quiet them down. Bert continued.
- Let us not blame them for it - they are only trying to survive in an undesirable part of the city. Indeed ..., he watched the gathered crowd, ... they need our full attention in terms of education, economic improvement and ... employment.
Some assistant students were setting up large tables with refreshments and some snack food.
- The city would benefit by accommodating and training this unfortunate part of our city's population. He took a baseball bat again, swinging with it once in a while. By investing time and resources in these parts of society ..., he made a baseball bat movement as if hitting some invisible ball, someone uttering a giggle, ... we would gain trained laborers for local as well as employment abroad. He let the baseball bat fall to the ground, bouncing off couple of times.
- Besides ..., he was rubbing hands as if trying to make them clean, ... educating these people is important to helping them understand why rivers are no place to defecate, nor a convenient place to dump our daily trash. He stared at those that looked "rich" to him, smiling. Let us teach them ... that all these behaviors create not only a bad image for tourists ..., there was a motor boat skimming over the flat water surface in the vicinity, ... but improper use of the rivers causes flooding in the city ..., someone giggled again, ... which in turn creates traffic jams as well as skin and stomach diseases ..., more giggles, ... and forces numerous elementary schools to remain closed due to inundated classrooms. Someone dared to laugh, pleased to see "free food" on the tables behind them.
- What about the unemployed? Someone yelled and was silenced almost immediately. Bert grinned, ignoring the question.
- These potential laborers are indeed a key point of our economic development. Without them ..., he spotted the dare devil, his eyes flashing for a moment, ... we could easily be gravely dependent on other nations.
An airplane, flying low, made some noise. He waited for a while as if apprehended, others murmuring, exchanging their opinions.
- The United World of New Tourism organization ... this "labor force" ..., when educated and properly trained ..., could very well become nationally needed industrial hands, or fulfill similar needs in our neighboring countries. Some geese were flying low over the water.
Tables were almost already set, styrofoam cups and plastic plates ready to be used.
- When a number of above-mentioned labor force obtain their goals in life ..., he paused, realizing M. J. M. Scooter was giving him some secret signs, ... more and more members of the "riverside brigade" will voluntarily join this properly educated and trained force ..., slowly ... yet surely ... encouraging them to leave the banks of the river behind. More giggles and simpering followed.
- But! ... Let me not be the only one with such an idea on my mind. He glanced around, satisfied. Ladies and gentlemen ..., he grinned as M. J. M. Scooter approached theatrically towards him, ... M. J. M. Scooter ... Vice President of the World Phantastic University! A loud applause escorted Bert Predeaux off the stage. Scooter patted his fair hair, smiling at the audience. After they all got quiet again, he tested his microphone in secret, checked if it was attached to his ear and then winked at the "backstage guys" that it war "all right".
- Yes! This idea is not a sole contemplation of some Tibetan monk. It should be ... OUR idea! He paused, letting the audience adjust to his tone of the voice. Transforming the city's rivers into tourist attractions will surely require workers to make it livable and attractive to local as well as foreign tourists. He took a baseball glove and played with a ball, tossing it into the air and catching it every time. Restaurants and tourist boats will attract businesses in the food and beverage industry.
Someone waved to him that everything was ready and waiting. He acknowledged the message in secret, then continued.
- All kinds of human and kitchen waste should be gathered daily by special institutions ... to turn them into useful and needed organic fertilizer. Some children were playing joyfully in the vicinity. The river should never be contaminated by the "river tourism". He paused, letting some questions to be raised. Some oblong guy lifted his hand into the air.
- Yes, please?
- What of those that travel with some kind of a vehicle?
- Excuse me ...? Scooter smiled politely. What exactly are you "addressing" ... sir?
- What if those "river tourists" have some problems with their car?
- Like? ... Scooter made a grimace, trying to hide his irritation with a gleaming, fake smile, rehearsed so many times in front of his bathroom mirror.
- Like ... a radiator leak perhaps?
- A ... radiator leak? Scooter could not believe the stupidity of a question raised since most new cars did not have such problems. Ah! Radiator leak! Realizing he had to give some answers, he waited for his secret "helpers" to read to his hearing device some lines from the Internet.
He left theatrically baseball glove and a ball aside, tilting himself on heels like some "emperor", grinning politely at the expectant men and women.
- The most obvious sign of a radiator leak is ... of course ... a low coolant level. He looked around. It's a good idea to inspect this visually from time to time to avoid a major radiator repair scenario. Some grinned. Since low coolant levels can cause additional damage in a pressurized system ..., he glanced around, wondering how long will this "citation" last, ... you should make sure this is topped up as needed. He paced some more on the stage, feeling suddenly cornered. Another sign of a radiator leak is a puddle under your car. Someone giggled. This "puddle" will appear as a bright, neon-green liquid with a vaguely radioactive look to it ..., some laughed and giggled again, ... as well as a slimy feel. Some girls laughed openly. This is ethylene glycol, or "anti-freeze" that comes out during a radiator leak. And let me tell you! Yes! He realized his opportunity. It is EXTREMELY toxic, ... so make sure this gets cleaned up and disposed of properly.
- What is our next step then? A woman in her fifties asked, some almost openly showing disgruntled faces for not being able to approach tables immediately.
- Well ..., Scooter grinned, pacing on the stage like a caged lion, ... once you've determined that you have a radiator leak ..., he stared at the woman who posed the question for a moment, ... the next step in your radiator repair is to identify the location of the leak. He grinned in secret. The best way to do this ... is to wash the radiator and hoses with water ..., some children complained they were getting bored, ... and then start the engine and examine the system for signs of a radiator leak. He received anotehr hesitant sign that the tables were ready. He acknowledged it in secret. Happy that his speech was ending soon, he stood firm like some statue for a moment. There's a good chance that your radiator leak may actually be in one of your hoses, which is a relatively easy radiator repair to fix. He paused, smiling at the gathered crowd, indicating it was all for today.
People started to rise up gradually, giving him a loud applause, Bert Predeaux stepping onto the stage, bending over curtly along with M. J. M. Scooter to the audience.
Tree branches were swaying on the wind, some sails visibly gliding on the horizon behind them. A dog barked and some birds chirped.