This post is part of the Overthinkery Reclamation Project, an effort to reclaim some very old posts that I wrote a long time ago. This particular post was first published on January 17th, 2011, and is about a conspiracy that does not exist.
I wonder why I see so many fire engines. They’ve always got their lights on, sirens wailing like an X Factor contestant who doesn’t realise how terrible they are, cutting through traffic in swathes of graceful curves, drifting through the crowded roads with such purpose. And yet I’ve never actually seen a fire.
By that, I mean of course that I’ve never seen something which seems as if it could possibly merit the use of a fire engine to extinguish it; I’m familiar, naturally, with the concept of fire, but I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed, say, a house burning down. I’ve heard tell of the burnt shells of houses, destroyed in a raging inferno which almost invariably seems to have started from something along the lines of a pin-sized flame suddenly re-combusting with enough force to blow up the entire building.
Similarly, I must see at least three police cars a day, all with blaring sirens and flashing lights, and yet have never borne witness to a crime – to my knowledge. I was once (very briefly) questioned because I have a most irritating doppelgänger who looks EXACTLY like me and happens to be something of a minor criminal, but have never actually seen firsthand an actual crime; say, a mugging. Which strikes me as odd, considering that even my local paper must contain a ratio of assaults-to-other-mundane-news of about 4:1. So, statistically, for everything that’s been in the newspaper which I’ve witnessed or in some way been a part of, I ought also to have seen four acts of lawbreaking, and yet I haven’t.