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Okay, let's see... gas is up this quarter, but electricity is down. Good, that'll be the new water heater. No add ons on the cable bill. Guess everyone took to heart my lecture on using pay-per-view without permission, for once. Phone bill up again. Meh, teenagers, what are you going to do? Internet looks okay, that just leaves insurance and... what the gosh darned heck? $168,000 for molten steel?
Alright, family meeting, right now!
Part One: The Moral
Have people not been watching the news or something? Or did everybody conveniently forget there was a financial crisis on before turning the molten steel-o-stat up to a kajillion? Maybe you may think that I'm just made of white hot liquid steel? Go on, have some on me!
Don't worry that the market for my home business is going down the crapper. Modeling cardigans and testing smoking pipes isn't all fun and games, you know. I'm allergic to wool for a start. I work damn hard for my money, damnit, and I'm not smoking myself into an early, cancerous grave just so you can squander it!
We discussed this when I had the liquid steel pipe installed! "Here you go, kids," I said, "No way my family is going to have to walk ten miles to the blast furnace through all weathers, like I had to do when I was a boy! All I ask is that you kids are responsible with high carbon steel with a temperature exceeding 2500°F!" Is that really so much to ask?
Huh! I should have seen this coming! No wonder I haven't seen my I-beam mold in a month! Has someone been building a suspension bridge? It better not have been a tunnel! I don't want a hundred thousand dollar concrete bill tomorrow!
Part Two: The Search for the Guilty Party
Oh, that's right, Mike, you did own up. Yes, yes, and you begged me never to tell anyone as long as you're captain of the inter-church football team... Lot of tears... Look, can we stay on the subject? This may surprise you to learn, young... man, but not everything is about you! What I want to know is who did this? Who could have been so thoughtless, so selfish as to think that their needs are worth $168,000? Does he - or she, Betsy, you're not getting off the hook that easy - not even realize how many sacrifices everyone is going to have to make to pay for s? Oooh, look, everyone's listening all of a sudden. Until I can pay this back, we're going to have to cut back on a few things.
Let's start with pancakes. Yes, I know they may be one of the cheapest forms of food imaginable. I know that cutting them out will make no discernible difference at all. But we have to make cuts somewhere, and it damn well isn't going to be in my Brylcream budget.
Zircon. No more zircon of any kind. Assuming of course that there are different forms of zircon. Otherwise, ignore the second sentence of this paragraph.
Love. I guess we can still love each other, but no forming attachments outside the family unit, we just can't afford it.
Oh, stop crying Mike, you pansy.
Part Three: Responsible uses for Steel
We've been over this so many times, but since someone obviously wasn't listening, we'll go over it again.
Searing, liquid steel is not a toy. It is a very serious thing, and not to be played with. When you open the steel-faucet, you take only what you need, and you make it into beams, sheets, pigs and such. You use steel only for practical purposes, like those stove-pipes Betsy made, or those lovely hubcaps that Grandma forged last Christmas. Uh-oh, did I remember to send a thank-you note for those? Eh, I'll just stick one in her coffin at her funeral on Thursday. Oh, and you ask my permission before using my galvanizing tank.
Anyway, the important thing is, under my roof steel is not for model submarines, Billy. Nor for trying to build the world's longest Slinky, Pete. Not even for weirdly androgynous sculptures with distorted genitals, Mike. And certainly not for someone's $168, 000 project, whoever that someone may be!
Part Four: The Moral: Redux
My point is, who could possibly need so much steel? Since we got that faucet installed, we've all used it. We've all made ourselves mattress springs, spectacle frames and axles. Your mother's been so happy since she found she could get rid of all that Tupperware and just put leftovers in homemade steel cans, the way the Pilgrims used to.
The way I see it, we've pretty much covered our basic steel needs. I can't see what we could possibly need to be spending that much money on, here at 47 Acacia St. It's not like we're building a replica Eiffel Tower like our neighbors 47a are, is it? You know, that family with the last name that's very similar to ours, and whose mailbox is right along side...
Hey, where's everyone going? Gang? This is a family meeting, you can't just leave!
Could you at least turn the light back on?
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