I had a crazy dream last night.
In my dream, a friendly briefcase-toting guy named Bob came to my door and announced, “I have an irresistible offer for you. We’re going to bury an object in your back yard and pay you handsomely for the privilege.”
“Just what is this object?” I asked, a little skeptical.
“It’s a high-tech steel container of compressed ethane. The latest technology,” Bob replied.
“Sounds a bit like a pipe bomb to me.”
Bob’s eyes narrowed a bit. “I wish you wouldn’t use that term. We prefer to call it a ‘liquefied energy container’.”
“Why would I want a pipe bomb in my yard?”
“Well, it’s free money for you. And on top of that, it’s patriotic. Most of the steel is domestic, and all of the ethane comes from right here in Pennsylvania! It’s very likely that the backhoe operator will be a fellow Pennsylvanian. The Public Utility Commission is 100% behind it, and the Governor supports it too. Most of your neighbors have already signed up.”
“No thanks,” I said, and started to close the door, but his foot was firmly planted in the way.
“I’m afraid you have no choice,” he said. “If you turn me down, you’ll end up in court. The law is on my side. Your payment will be much smaller, and we’ll bury our container anyway.”
“Well, what if the thing blows up?”
“That’s very unlikely. We’ve put in thousands of these and only a handful have ever had a problem. And if it does happen, it could be decades from now. Chances are, by then you’ll be dead from something else. Just sign right here,” he said, handing me a piece of paper.
That’s when I woke up, grateful to live in a state where such a thing could never happen in real life.