Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stub 7.7: The Kavanaugh Effect

The propane refrigerant was deemed a total failure.

Rathcliffe dispatched several of his grad students to document the evacuation of the system. One concern involved the flammability of propane and the potential for a leak encountering a source of ignition. The students were charged with documenting not only the procedures used but to record PPB of propane and to capture all potential sources of ignition within thirty meters of the evacuation.

The workers in the island were very insistent that “their” system be charged with butane and cooled down, but Raymond had other plans.

“Open all the curtains. Run the showers. I want it hotter than a popcorn fart in there.” Raymond directed the crews. Then get out of the building.

Then he invited Ideka Nuffin, his arch nemesis from the Legislature to tour the “Island” project. It would be an understatement to say she was suspicious. Raymond relented and agreed to allow her to bring a couple of “aides”.

The first Island they toured was the one that had run the aborted propane experiment. It was a sauna. Ideka, pushing 300 pounds wilted. Even Raymond was shuffling by the time they had toured the group of buildings. They left a trail of perspiration that had dripped from their elbows and chins onto the floor.

Then Raymond took them to the Island running butane as the refrigerant.

Compared to nearly every other building in Sedelia over the last few weeks, the air had a crispness that was positively alpine. Ideka’s nostrils swelled as she breathed deeply. “I want some of that.” was all Ideka said.

“And you can have it. But first I need something from you.” Raymond said.

“What?” Nuffin said, instantly suspicious.

“I will vacate the complex for the next three days. You take key members from  your side of the aisle and tour them through the two islands, just like we did. You tell them that a ‘friend’ told you about this. Then you introduce legislation that removes the legal impediments to using the refrigerant we loaded into this system so everybody in Sedelia can have air conditioning.” Raymond said.

“What is in it for you?” Nuffin challenged.

Raymond smiled. “I get air conditioning. My constituents get air conditioning. I will vote ‘Yes’ like every sane member of the Legislature and we can all claim credit. Except for voting ‘Yes.’ I let you own it.”

“Would you really do that?” Nuffin asked. “Would you really let me take the credit for bringing A/C back to Sedelia?”

“Sure.” Raymond said. “I already have enough support that I will get elected the next election. I don’t see that it costs me a thing to let you do the heavy lifting of moving this through the system.”

“I still don’t get it. Where I come from, you kick the other guy when he is down.” Nuffin said.

Raymond looked sheepish. “My wife has me reading books. The last book she gave me was a biography about a judge named Kavanaugh. He was the piƱata in the most bruising Supreme Court confirmation hearings ever. When it was over, most people would have done exactly what you said, ‘Kick them, extract your pound of flesh’. But Kavanaugh didn’t. He accommodated his enemies to the fullest extent that his integrity and principals allowed. Asked about it later he simply said ‘...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive other. Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from all that is evil.’ ”

“He hired clerks that, by rights, would have been picked up by the other faction of the courts. Then he treated them like family.” Raymond said.

“Kavanaugh’s actions defused, in large part, the tension that was on the verge of ripping apart the United States.” Raymond said. “I don’t see how I can do less.”

Next Installment

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