Once quicksand demanded a bonus. And a big one. What rivals did it have anywhere on earth in outperforming expectations for swallowing things without a trace, the quicksand wanted to know? Or for growing broader and deeper with each swallow, as it claimed everything in sight: land, houses, factories, corporations, financial systems, all the while boasting it had room for still more? Need it even mention the number of unsuspecting men, women, and children it had claimed? Whole families, whole neighborhoods pulled under. Whole towns and cities too. That endless capacity for sucking things down into oblivion ought to count for something. And the quicksand had just gotten started, it never tired of declaring. So how about a bonus, a deserved recognition of achievement, something for the record books? There may have been feats of quicksand power in the past, but few with such scope and, well, flair, if the quicksand said so itself. No need to ask about masters of the universe when the true master was already present. And the quicksand wasn’t about to settle for anything that might be compared to bonuses others had ever received. No buckets of billions thrown its way with no questions asked. Nor golden shower curtains, antique commodes, a corporate jet or spa or golf clubs or any such paltry sop. No, this quicksand wasn’t your passing swamp or quagmire. It planned to be around for quite some time. And as its outsized appetites grew, obviously, so must the size of any bonus meant to match its bottomless sense of worth. Now something on the order of an entire country might do for starters, thank you very much.
Copyright © 2009 by Geoffrey Grosshans