On a dare, Gian Carlo Spallanzini set out to discover the deepest darkest secret of a person picked at random. He had no idea what he was getting into. Even a fat, bearded know-it-all ought to know better than to leap before you look. Add a crystal ball, a foul-mouthed parrot, and an cranky atheist talk show host and you'll never guess the outrageous mystery behind the orange car with stripes.
I actually knew this Spallanzini guy, but that's not too surprising. Everyone who lives or works in Pink City pretty much knows everybody else who lives or works there too. It's not even a city; it's more like a prefabricated community that practically popped out of a kit. I'm sure there's a Green City too, and a Yellow one and a Blue one; probably all of them are around here somewhere. I don't know for sure because I don't get out much. Everything I need is right here. I've got my individualized habitat, my cubicle, my coffee shop, golf carts and scooters that take us everywhere we need to go. I met my wife right here. Our son was delivered here too. I work for the General Corporation, doing whatever it needs me to do. We're all unspecialized workers, jacks of all trades, masters of none. This way nobody bends the pay scale too far. It's easier that way all around.
I was doing some corporate management when I first came across the case of Gian Carlo Spallanzini. I was supposed to be handling his involuntary resignation, so I had to conduct some interviews. Exile is not an habitual fate among our kind. We're usually quite inclusionary. It takes an especially disruptive force to engage our exterminary tactics. Like most of us, I prefer the ordinary and routine, so I was not particularly thrilled to get assignment to this matter.
Spallanzini was always an outbird. This is what we call those few who work inside but live outside the confines.
Inbirds of course are just the reverse. My wife was one of those for awhile, but she didn't like the imbalance. Outside Pink City, things are different - values, priorities, concerns. Shall we leave it at that? No need to get political.
As an outbird, Spallanzini had commuted several years without becoming entrenched. He filled a slot of sorts, I suppose. Every institution needs its mascots. He was Professor of Defunct Sciences at our esteemed New Harbinger College. Some questioned the utility of instructing students in outdated and discarded scientific theories and techniques, but overall the College decreed that learning how to fail, how to improve, how to overcome, was a valid and even instructive exercise. Spallanzini was a perfect fit for the job. He was somewhat overweight. He wore a thick beard. He was exceedingly impressed with his own intelligence. In short, he met the job requirement for a fat, bearded, know-it-all.
The cause of his dismissal was confusion. We don't like confusion here. We like appearances to be not deceptive. What you see is what you get. Others might call it 'integrity' or 'consistency' but here it's just plain old simplicity. Be what you are supposed to be. If you are not that, or cannot be that, or cease to be that, you must be deleted, removed, expelled. It's not too much to ask.