For some time now, many of us here in Shalampax have had the feeling that our building is leaning to one side. Most of us ignored this feeling as we assumed that it was merely a result of our near-constant intoxication. However, it turns out that our drunkenness, perception-skewing though it may be, was not the explanation. The building is indeed listing.
This was confirmed when Tornunderwear unexpectedly found herself briefly sober. She wandered down to the basement, hoping beyond hope to find some hooch that someone had inadvertently discarded. Stumbling around in the mess down there, Tornunderwear tripped on a spirit level that someone had left lying on the floor.
Before trying to extract and consume the spirits out of the spirit level, Tornunderwear noticed that the bubble indicated that the floor was definitely not level; not even close. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to inform the government of her discovery and her measurement was confirmed. The building is tilting about nine degrees to the west.
Parliament then engaged in a lengthy debate on what to do about this frightening situation.
Someone suggested hiring an engineer to determine if the building is in danger of leaning yet further and, perhaps, toppling over and/or collapsing. This suggestion was quickly voted down.
We have no engineers in Shalampax. It was noted that an outside engineer would, no doubt, want to be paid for his or her services. And he or she might even have the temerity to demand a deposit in advance. This would make it difficult for us to maintain our longstanding, venerable custom of completely stiffing all contractors.
Furthermore, it might have been tough to convince an engineer to come here if he or she learned of our other time-honored custom, namely cannibalizing outsiders who visit Shalampax.
Rather than go to the expense and bother of finding and contracting a gullible engineer, the Parliament devised its own solution to this problem. Effective immediately, the government has expropriated all apartments in the building. But don’t worry; no one will be made homeless by this action.
Apartments will be reallocated by weight. The heaviest people will be assigned apartments on the east side of the building and the lightest will get the apartments on the west side. There will also be a vertical weight distribution because raising the center of balance will intensify the counterbalancing effect.
Obviously, this will disrupt any marriages where there is a significant weight discrepancy between the two parties to the marriage. Again effective immediately, all marriages will be annulled. New marriage licenses will be issued to recognize the apartment reassignments.
Considering how most Shalampaxians feel about their spouses, the government expects that there will be few, if any, complaints about the shuffling of marriages.
In addition, because children are usually lighter than their parents, many children will have to be assigned to new families. Considering how most Shalampaxians feel about their children, the government expects that it will have to deal with several exceptionally strident complaints about this policy, but only from previously childless adults who are forced to adopt children.