An Exploration of Social Mores and Normative
A story by Edison Pongklub
Why yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Isn’t everything?
Subjects: King William III and Rolf.
King William III was lounging lazily at the far end
of the small, tidy room when Rolf strolled in. His eyes lit up and he
called out, “Ah! Rolf, just the one I was looking for.”
“You were looking for me?” Rolf asked, cocking his
head to one side.
“Well, I was considering maybe looking for you
later,” King William III replied. “What think you on the subject of
“All people. Why are people here? What purpose does
“To provide food and shelter for all. That’s what Da
“Da Horse? He is a buffoon! He toils in manual
labour all the day like some kind of barnyard animal. What head has he
“Barnyard animals can be heroes, too,” Rolf defended.
“I feel Descartes put it best. ‘I think, therefore I
am,’” King William III went on, lost in his train of thought.
“You would put Descartes before Da Horse?” his
“But of course! Descartes is famous! He invented a
“Uh, can I sit with you?” Rolf asked, gesturing at
the sofa, which had plenty of open space.
“No, of course not. Rules are rules,” came the
reply. King William III stretched his legs out as he’d seen the
youngsters do and rested his feet on the coffee table.
“You’re not supposed to put your feet up there,”
“Well, I can’t find the Ottoman.”
Rolf looked at the Ottoman sitting three feet away
and sighed. He decided not to pursue the matter further. Instead, he
tried a different tack. “Is Da Horse honest?”
“Of course,” King William III said. “He’s loyal and
brave: definitely someone to have in your corner when you need
someone’s butt kicked. I would trust him wholeheartedly.”
“And have you ever met Descartes?”
“Not exactly. He died in 1650.”
“So, you would believe what some dead guy says over
what our fair and honest mutual friend thinks?”
“Well, I see no problem with that; Descartes was a
learned man. Did Da Horse ever invent a coordinate system?”
“Yes: no stripes with checks. Say, that reminds
Rolf’s eyes lit up. “Ah ha! You don’t speak French!
So, mayhaps you don’t really know what, exactly, old René was talking
“Well, I…you see, it’s like…” King William III said,
scratching at his whiskers.
“Denial is a river in Egypt,” Rolf howled.
“For Da Horse to speak philosophy is very nice and
“Nice is a city in France!” Rolf replied, rolling
around on the floor, then suddenly stopped. “Oh! They’re back!”
He leapt to his feet.
“You heard something?” King William III asked.
“I have a nose for such matters,” Rolf replied with
a grin and dashed out.
King William III gave a great sigh and rubbed an ear
before hopping regally down from the couch and following after Rolf.
Based on prior observations, human servants shall
What separates humans from animals has been posited
as “‘Self-consciousness’ is the instrument of man only.”
I don’t think so, therefore it isn’t.
Copyright © 2016 Edison Pongklub
Edison is the author of a number
of short stories (eight). His hobbies include ___ and ___. He once
intentionally traveled to Canada. His work has appeared in recycling
bins and garbage cans all throughout the Chicagoland area. Rumors that
he is [quote]a magical space alien[/unquote] are mostly unfounded.