Qasalan Expellibox: An Engineering Disaster
To this day, Qasalan citizens are still plagued with an alarmingly high number of scarabs within the city. Though the scarab had once been revered as a prime subject for art on the products of artisans of the desert, the insect itself is generally unbeneficial in any other respect to the desert dwellers. So that Qasalans may attempt to remedy their scarab dilemma, the Qasalan Expellibox was constructed for the sole purpose of scarab expulsion.
Too bad it doesn’t work.
The Qasalan Expellibox is surely the greatest engineering blunder of our time. It’s rather shocking to find that so few have questioned the functionality of the device – much of the time, it never actually works correctly. What does this mean? Let me explain.
The Qasalan Expellibox is defined as a “series of tubes” that was constructed to carry scarabs away from Qasala. But half of the time, it doesn’t do that... it doesn’t correctly perform its primary function! When you drop a scarab into the Qasalan Expellibox, it enters the “series of tubes” that then are supposed to carry it away. But it usually “travels for miles and miles and finally ends up... back in Qasala?” Now, how can this be? It’s traveling through the series of tubes to a destination away from Qasala... and yet it ends up back in the city? WHAT? WHY?
The Qasalan engineers responsible for constructing the device must have been inept! There’s no other explanation! The scarabs just end up back in Qasala – think about what this means for a moment. In order for the scarab to travel back to Qasala, the tubes must START and then END in Qasala. When the workers were laying the tubing, they started by moving away from Qasala, traveling all over creation, and then eventually turned around somewhere and then trailing right back to the desert, and when they got there, they didn’t see any flaw in their methods and deemed that the Expellibox was fit for public use. HOW DID THEY NOT NOTICE THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS? Maybe they were directionally challenged and didn’t know they ended up in Qasala. Maybe their compass was wrong and they pulled an unnecessary 180 in the middle of their trip... Maybe they forgot that, halfway through the journey, they were supposed to stop laying the tubing and instead kept laying it on their return, oblivious to the fact that they were even doing so. And why did they go out there with enough tubing for the return trip in the first place? Maybe... MAYBE, THEY WERE JUST INEPT.
Maybe we should blame the master engineer! What if the master engineer, the one responsible for drafting the blueprint, actually decided that he wanted to have some of the tube tunnels end in the same location in which they started? That could have been it. The workers may have realized the stupidity of the design and, in fact, may have been very well aware of the fact that it would directly defeat the purpose of the device. But would they dare say anything? No! Because if they DID voice their opinion and speak up against the master engineer, they probably would have been FIRED. And none of them needed that. No, they just worshipped authority and built the stupid thing, exactly as it appeared on the blueprint, with its flaws.
But trying to determine where or on whom to affix the blame is virtually pointless. The fact of the matter is that the only way for the scarabs to end up BACK IN QASALA is to have the series of tubes wind around the entire globe and then end right where they started. What kind of a design is that? It’s horrible! It’s useless! It’s a pretty simple concept. Start the tubing in Qasala, and terminate elongation of the tubing anywhere BUT Qasala. Apparently, Qasalan construction experts can’t grasp this simple concept.
Oh, and another thing! When the scarab finally ends up back in Qasala, the random Qasalan who watches over the box (who is that little dweeb anyway?) has the nerve – no, the sheer temerity to tell the person who placed the scarab in the box, “You’re no help!” That’s ridiculous! When I deposited my first scarab, it ended up (you guessed it) BACK IN QASALA. And the guy at the Expellibox told me that I was of no help. And with every additional scarab I brought there in the following days, I was told the same thing again, and again, and again. Once I had heard that for the two-hundred and twenty-seventh time (YES, I counted), I nearly grabbed the guy by the front of his robe and screamed, “Listen, bub! I did just as I was told. I found a scarab. Then, I put it in the Expellibox. Then, I put my faith in the construction and function of the Expellibox, hoping that it would take the scarab away from the city. But it didn’t! It came all the way back here because the tubes don’t end where they’re supposed to end! But that’s not MY fault! The Expellibox DOESN’T WORK. Want to know who’s at fault? The moron engineers who designed it, that’s who!”
But I didn’t. It wasn’t worth it, because it wouldn’t remedy the situation. The nerve of some people! Telling the person that puts the scarab in the box that they’re basically useless...
And what’s the deal with those fake scarabs? You know – the little dweeb behind the Expellibox will occasionally say “Hey! That wasn’t a real scarab!” And then he labels you a beguiler and calls the guards on you! And that can be really bad, because if he happens to call for the guards on a Tuesday, that means a particularly muscular spearman by the name of Butch is on duty. See, he’s this really burly guy who has this anchor tattoo on his left shoulder and a mouthful of yellow teeth... I knew this one guy who was accused of throwing a fake scarab into the box, and they called Butch on him... I visited him in the hospital a few days later – he had to eat through a tube... But I digress - I haven’t exactly tried to counterfeit a scarab as of late... in fact, I don’t know exactly how one can do that. What, is someone going to draw a really crummy picture of a scarab on paper and dump it into the box? Was something that was actually attempted in the past? Then again, it just might have worked, seeing that the collective IQ of all of the Expellibox supervisors is a whopping 5. I’ve never used any false scarabs... at least, not to my knowledge – based on how many times the Expellibox guy yells at me for not using real scarabs, you’d think that I’m the proprietor of some scarab counterfeiting syndicate.
Then, they have the NERVE to taunt us with rewards that we never end up getting, because the tubing system is virtually a circle! The scarabs aren’t going to leave the city. The Expellibox DOESN’T WORK. I mean, seriously – why advocate a device that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do? That’s like purchasing a vacuum cleaner that’s designed to pull dirt and grime out of a rug and then spit it right back out from an opening on the top, dirtying not only the floor (again) but the walls, ceiling, and anything else in the room! It’s like taking twenty years to paint a gorgeous portrait of a manor house only to, upon completion of the piece, dump white paint all over it to start from scratch again. It’s like jumping out of an airplane after checking your parachute forty or fifty times, but then choosing not to pull the ripcord and slamming into the ground.
I suggest rebuilding the Expellibox. If that isn’t doable, then I suggest removing some of the unneeded tubing. If they can’t do THAT, then I suggest dumping some money into the Qasalan Academy of Construction and Engineering to improve the educational benefits of the institution, because, from what we’ve seen, the architects, engineers, and construction workers that come out of the place haven’t the slightest notion of how to properly construct an Expellibox.
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Miss Elaine Roderick was the daughter of one of Brightvale's most celebrated Dukes; she was charming, intelligent, accomplished and, to crown it all rather delightfully, she was a sorceress.