'They don't really believe it'

My house is on fire.

Oh my God! Are you OK?

I’m good, you know. How are you doing?

No, I mean, your house! Where are you?

Just watching the game, taking a little break.

Where? Are you …

Where else? Here on the sofa. Duh.

But the fire

Yeah, it’s horrible. The worst thing you can imagine.

Wait. I don’t understand. You said your house is on fire.

Yeah. It’s a shame. A national tragedy.

But, but you’re just sitting there on your couch, watching TV.

What’s your point? I’m not allowed to relax and enjoy myself once in a while?

Shouldn’t you be, you know … doing something? Like running outside to escape the flames? Or calling the fire department?

We don’t have a fire department, which you would know if you paid any attention at all to politics. All we have is a too-small volunteer company, because our so-called leaders don’t appreciate that fire is the Most Important Moral Issue of Our Time.

But …

Of any time, really. They just don’t share my righteous concern for …

Your house isn’t really on fire, is it?

How could you say such a thing? Of course it’s on fire. My house is on fire!

OK, maybe you just don’t understand what that means …

I know what it means. Engulfed in flames. Geez, don’t act like I’m stupid.

It’s just … Look, I just have a hard time believing you when you say your house is on fire but you’re not doing anything about it.

What do you mean “not doing anything”? I’m circulating petitions, registering voters. I’ve got a “Fire Kills” bumper sticker on my car. I just sent a check to the campaign of the new candidate for mayor …

But …

She appreciates the significance of fire as the Most Important Moral Issue of All Time. Not like our current mayor. That immoral man …

I’m hanging up now.

What? Did I say something “politically incorrect”?

No, it’s just all this nonsense about your house being on fire.

Yeah, well, I guess you just don’t have the moral fortitude to understand what’s really important.

No, you’re just a very silly person who says things he doesn’t mean and I’m going to hang up on you now.

You can’t hang up on me — my house is on fire! It’s a raging holocaust!

No. No it isn’t. And this fantasy or delusion or …

Can’t you smell the smoke?

Goodbye. [click]

Goodbye yourself, sinner. We’ll see who’s hanging up on who after the next election.

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