“That’s strange,” said Allen.
“You bet it is,” said Marsha, adjusting her parka. “I don’t remember seeing that, ever.”
“Yeah. I mean, how often do you see seagulls around snow?”
“Oh, right. I hardly even remember snow. Anyway, I was looking at the gas prices. Look at that! $2.42 for mid-grade.”
“Whoa! That is weird.”
“What’s so strange about it?” said Sean.
Sean’s parents looked at him suddenly. The twelve-year old had remained silent for most of the family sight-seeing trip to Manhattan. Like many children his age, he already knew everything and was easily bored. Now, at the strangest moment, he showed interest.
“Well, it’s a strange price,” said Allen. “I haven’t seen that in…Marsha?”
Marsha shook her head. “I’ve never seen that price!”
“Well it’s waaaay high. That’s a price from the Global Warming scare. Gasoline is only 75 cents a gallon now.”
“Global Warming?” winced Sean.
“It’s Climate Change, Allen,” corrected Marsha.
“At first, it was called Global Warming.”
Marsha rolled her eyes. “Whatever.”
“Anyway,” said Allen, looking back at Sean. “At first, they called it Global Warming. Scientists said the planet was heating up and would increase temperature by three to six degrees. ‘That’s really bad,’ they said. So people read this, stuck their heads out the window into seventy degree weather and thought, that’s not so bad. They figured that meant a few degrees increase, evenly, across the world. How bad could a few degrees change things?”
“Nobody was that naive,” scowled Marsha. “Everybody knows climate behavior isn’t that simple. You’re exaggerating.”
“Seriously! They did. In the end, nobody believed the scientists who said the changes would be terrible, so no one tried to fix the problem. Later scientists renamed it to Climate Change to eliminate confusion, but by then no one was listening.”
“That’s strange. Why would people ignore scientists? ” grimaced Sean. “You said we should always listen to them.”
“Honey, people listened to scientists then too.” said Marsha. She shot a warning look at Allen. Stop scaring him! “It was the Politicians who ignored them.”
“Ah! You told me about Politicians. Why didn’t people put them in jail with the other criminals?”
“It was a strange time,” sighed Marsha.
“Okay, but why is gas so much cheaper now?” asked Sean.
Allen shrugged. “Nobody uses it anymore.”
Allen turned the boat wheel. Marsha threw the family boat’s bow line to a man on the pier. The wooden structure extended into the water from the old building. “Here it is!” said Allen, gesturing at the towering edifice above them. “At last, something that isn’t strange. Something familiar.”
“What is it?” said Sean, looking bored again.
“The Empire State Building,” grinned Allen. “There’s a great museum inside. They even have pictures of Manhattan from before it was under water!”
This is my answer to another Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. The photo above is the prompt for the week. Look here for more stories answering the challenge: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/sunday-photo-fiction-march-1-2015/