Once herds of sycophants roamed the earth. The largest life form on dry land, sycophants had long enjoyed a reputation for intelligence as well. But now, with an unprecedented explosion in their numbers and their increasingly reckless behavior, they threatened to trample everything in their path as they pressed forward in the competition for survival. Reports of alarming sycophant conduct arrived from near and far, and nowhere was safe from the dangers posed by these blundering hulks: governmental departments and agencies, political parties, corporate boardrooms, university administrations, sports leagues, pop culture, social platforms, online fan clubs and so on and so forth. Trumpeting sycophants appeared in all of these with little warning and seemed to withdraw just as quickly when the effects of their presence became impossible to ignore, what with great steaming piles (quickly dubbed “sychopiles” by certain quipsters) forming the most common aftermath of their passage. The main problem in all instances of sycophant outbreaks lay in what to do with these reckless hulks if and when they might be cornered. You couldn’t just declare you’d protect your town or county or state or country from certain disaster and then walk away, for nothing proved more dangerous than a thwarted sycophant. When denied the opportunity to throw their weight around without the slightest care for the widespread damage this might cause, the ferocity of their reaction could be harrowing. As conditions reached the point of causing widespread concern that unchecked sycophant behavior might pose a lasting public hazard, various plans were proposed for tracking down those most clearly out of control and trying to neuter them on the spot. Unfortunately, in the case of a totally out-of-control sycophant, neither knockout darts nor dumdum shells had much effect. And the prospect of having to team-wrestle one to the ground was daunting indeed. A continually unnerved public just wished sycophants would go away, taking the whole of their dangerous world with them like a bad dream. Unfortunately, numerous peer-reviewed studies predicted that an exponential growth in their numbers was far more likely, given the current state of affairs.
Copyright © 2020 by Geoffrey Grosshans