a CYNICAL essay I had to write for course at university.
|Dr. Zinman was sitting in his small, crowded office, bored with the paperwork he had ignored for several weeks. The flickering light of the lamp on his desk annoyed him even more than the pile of maps and documents he had to work through that night. Over the last weeks, his brilliant experiments had occupied him so long that it was impossible to wait any longer. He had to do everything after his assistant Stan had quit because of a sudden touch of morality, and he didn’t have the time yet to find a new assistant. He sighed and went through the accounting and billing, not without feeling riled because of the high prices. In fact, the enormous inflation induced incredible high prices – the costs for imported monkeys had gone up by 150 percent in just four months! Dr. Zinman closed the map with the records furiously and kicked it to the floor.
He lighted a cigarette and tried to calm down before he took the pile of unopened mail from his desk and began to sort out the letters – he kept the official looking ones, while he threw the other ones away without even thinking of opening them. He was not in the mood for complaints from enraged citizens and murder threats from troubling PETA activists. Normally, he didn’t just get rid of the letters but read a few of them – they were often highly amusing. Dr. Zinman constantly wondered how stupid and naïve these people were. They didn’t think about the fact that they were buying things everyday that couldn’t be on the market without getting tested on animals in advance. They even proved to be more stupid when they believed that writing a simple letter could stop Dr. Zinman from performing experiments on animals. A few years ago, he had been annoyed by the jam-packed mailbox that had awaited him everyday, but he learned to deal with the fact that some people were just too illiberal to value his brilliant work. Now, they were an amusing part of his daily routine. It was not unusual that he would read some of the letters, laugh about them and order a box of rats in China just a few minutes later.
However, the times he found joy in reading stupid letters had become rare. Nowadays, it was difficult to go on with his kind of occupation as the pressure from animal rights activists and plain moralists became bigger every day. Some years ago, it was sufficient to know the right persons and occasionally deliver suitcases full of slush money. Today, people in high positions were not just corrupt – they were addicted to money. It could very well happen that a town council would take money from you one day and throw you into prison the next day because another person pays him more. Maybe Stan was right to quit before the police would break in the door and arrest everyone with a connection to the laboratory.
Dr. Zinman stubbed out his cigarette and lounged back in his seat. He knew the right thing to do – it was over. He had to close his laboratory and cover up his tracks carefully before it was too late. He didn’t want to end lonely in a dirty prison cell, waiting for death to come round the corner. He would release all the animals that were locked up in the laboratory – all the dogs, rats, monkeys, cats and even the pigs, not because of morality, but to maintain his freedom.
However, the police had other plans. Dr. Zinman was just about to leave his office and head to the laboratory to release the animals when he heard sirens coming nearer. Anxiously he looked out of the small window and saw four police cars stopping in front of the laboratory. Dr. Zinman sighed – the animals had to wait. Unflinchingly he went to the desk and took his gun out of the compartment.