The Individuals

“Hey Tom!” said Joe excitedly, “Did you hear the President’s latest decree? He said we’re to be a member of a group by March first or else we could be fined one hundred dollars a day. I’m glad I don’t have to worry; I’m a member of six different groups already. And he said that for every group we’re a member of after five we get a tax deduction. I know you don’t like groups, but you better get with it or all the money you get fined will be coming to me and my groups.”

“Don’t get too happy yet, Joe. I am a member of a group.”

“What?! You are? Well, er…that’s great, Tom. What’s the name of your group?”

“The Individuals.”

“Well, gee, that’s a funny name for a group. What does your group do?”

“We think.”

“Think? Well, what do you think about? What’s the social purpose?”

“Each member thinks about whatever he wants. We don’t have a social purpose.”

“No? But what do you do at your meetings?”

“We don’t have meetings.”

“What’s that? No meetings?! Then when are you a group?”

“We’re a group right now, and twenty-four hours a day, three hundered and sixty-five days a year.”

“But that’s ridiculous!”

“Are _you_ in a group right now?”

“No, but I’m a member of groups.”

“I’m a member of a group, too. I guess that makes us even.”

“But _we’re_ going to get together, in the same room, under the same roof.”

“Me and my group are together right now, on the same earth, under the same sky. There’s thousands of us around the world. Joe, what do you do in your group meetings?”

“Oh, I don’t know, tell stories, gossip, bullshit, chant slogans, make plans for marches, play games, have parties. You know, we actually do a Hell of a lot. We don’t just sit around and think.”

“That’s what I thought.”

“I’ll tell you this, Tom, I don’t think I’ll try to join your group. It sounds nuts to me.”

“Don’t worry, Joe. You couldn’t get in.”

“Get in where?”

“Wherever you are.”

“Oh look at the time! I gotta run, or I’ll be late for the meeting of the Sense Exploration Society. Tonight it’s all about the thumb and the index finger!”

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