Several weeks ago, we took a trip through a typical childhood fantasy of mine in my parents’ sandpile. It was one of two fantasies that took up the bulk of my time in the yard. This post is about the second, far wetter one. I give you:
TALES FROM THE SANDPILE 2: THE APOCALYPSE AT FIVE RIVERS DAM
Once upon a time on a distant planet, there was a very large country that was mostly agrarian.
It was called Stupidstan. They weren’t very good at farming; the country was often on the brink of starvation. It also couldn’t compete against the industrialized countries, so the President planned an ambitious energy product:
The people, tired of moving pipe, readily agreed. It would provide all of their irrigation and energy needs, and allow them to industrialize their backward, pitiful country.
And so, with mighty machines, the government of Stupidstan went to work building gigantic dams in a meandering course to the sea.
This project, the President assured the citizens, could not possibly fail. Except the contractor was a dim-witted friend of the President, who had gotten his job through nepotism. He wasn’t even an engineer!
After nearly twenty years, the contractor announced the reservoirs were ready to be filled. With a few explosive charges, the Five Rivers were diverted into one massive river that began to fill the first reservoir.
The capital in Stupidstan had a reservoir built around it, placing it on an island smack dab in the middle of the new lake. They were excited to become a resort town, and couldn’t wait for the reservoir to be filled. They had no idea they were SEALING THEIR DOOM. HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAA!
The first and second reservoirs filled and began to empty into the main, thrilling the capital city and doing wonders for tourism. There was only one problem: the reservoirs were filling too fast. Embankment failures in the first two dams became common, sparking fears that the capital could suffer the same fate.
Sure enough, as the main reservoir filled, the island that the capital stood on began to have small pieces fall into the rapidly rising lake.
The main reservoir filled and the river began to empty into the fourth and final dam—
Its gigantic claws smash through mountain ranges and cities! It lands in the water, causing tsunamis to race across the dams to distant shores!
An irritated God waves his hand impatiently, and a temporal anomaly appears on the scene!
Where was I? Oh yes. The fourth reservoir is filling much too fast, and the contractor forgot to have an outlet to the ocean! Unless a solution can be found, millions of people will drown as the water overtops dams and floods cities!
Meanwhile, the capital city’s island begins to slump into the water! Something must be done! In desperation the President orders the fifth, emergency “overflow” reservoir to be opened. It’s too late! Their last ditch effort does nothing to solve their problem, and with the weeping and wailing of the damned the capital and island crumbles into a watery grave!
Stupidstan collapses into anarchy! Other nations, taking advantage of the chaos, invade!
Nothing can be done! Tens of millions of people are wiped out as the wall of water races to the sea, devouring homes, villages, mighty cities and farmland!
In only a few minutes, half the sand in the sandpile has flown with the water into the yard-I mean, in a few hours, all of Stupidstan has been destroyed.
It is at this unfortunate moment that the Chief God, having been woken up from his nap by the sound of screaming, arrives on the scene.
Eventually, life goes on. Plains scoured by floodwaters will be rebuilt. The land will be full and beautiful again.
Meanwhile, God, exiled from the universe, plots his return.
When Dad isn’t looking, of course.