This is a metaphor. I guess? It’s not subtle. I guess?

[lying will not keep your legs visible]

The world had a problem, or at least the people living in it did. Their legs were disappearing, to put it bluntly. Which is not to say their legs were actually going away – that would have been mad – rather, they were simply turning transparent from the foot upwards.

At first this had been something of a curiosity, but as ‘transparent’ eventually edged into ‘completely invisible’ it was recognized as a legitimate problem, and people started to rumble that someone should probably do something about it.

Given that the first group experiencing this effect had little money, lived in a place that was rather remote and also had the poor foresight to possess the incorrect skin tone, no-one really cared enough to study the issue that closely, at least not until someone in a proper country started to suffer, at which point all bets were off.

In short order, it was discovered that the problem was trousers. Mankind’s reliance on trousers as the go-to choice for covering one’s legs was causing this creeping, species-wide invisibility. It did not even matter if you yourself never wore or even saw or head of trousers your whole life; it was enough that someone, somewhere was. And so the problem grew worse.

Alternatives were hardly in short supply. Shorts – long in the shade – stepped up stating that they were like trousers, only shorter, and that they would easily serve in place. Pantaloons attempted to mount a comeback with limited success, and all other contenders were quickly shut down as the Trouser Industry roused to action.

Well-aware of the nature and gravity of the problem, the Trouser Industry was far more keenly aware of the danger posed to their bottom line by the issue. Immediate steps had to be taken to counter, refute and otherwise muddy the waters. Hordes of lobbyists were deployed with the very latest in bribery technology as the Trouser Industry merrily sunk the entirety of its sustainable development budget into its lies and subterfuge division.

Subsequently, many scientists found themselves in the pocket of Big Trouser. Lies and half-truths flowed freely and like water, drowning out the proper truth which was too meek and too mild by half. Facts and figures and carefully considered analysis was no match for punchy-soundbites and stock photos of smiling people wearing trousers.

Of course, as cheerfully brazen as all of this was, people’s legs were still disappearing. The reports and glossy press-releases they were paying for might have said otherwise, but this was doing little to alter what was actually happening in objective, observable reality. More than half of the world’s population was now entirely see-through from the waist down, regardless of what they happened to be wearing.

Shorts, pantaloons and trousers alike faded to nothingness the moment they were put on, and putting them on was a job in itself with legs that couldn’t be seen. Incidences of falling over were up by several thousand percent as even staircases became the number one cause of death practically overnight and birthrates plummeted as invisible genitals proved consistently difficult to line up properly.

Not that this made anyone in the Trouser Industry feel especially put out. They simply threw more money at the problem, figuring that would solve it. After all, reality was mostly a matter of perception anyway, and if you were delivering a speech on how the problem wasn’t real from behind a podium then nobody could see your legs to say otherwise.

Later, as the President of the Trouser Industry fruitlessly attempted to couple with his wife, he told himself over and over again in his head that he could see his legs, that he could see his privates, that the research showed he could, that he knew he could he knew he could he knew he could.

They just had to lie more. If they lied enough everyone would believe it and stop questioning and then they could forget they were lying at all and everything would be alright. Lies affected perception, perception was reality, that was how it worked.

If your house was burning down but you told yourself and everyone else it wasn’t, was it really burning down? If everyone was completely invisible from hip to toe but you told them they weren’t then they weren’t, that was just how it was. That was just how it had to be, how it bad to be, just had to be.

As something went somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be his wife slapped him across the face and he started to cry.



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