Elon Musk scowls as he glares at the padlocked
door to Twitter HQ and the OUT OF BUSINESS sign now posted across
He reflects on the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy that deliberately engineered his failure. He thinks about all the companies that cowardly refused to spend ad dollars on his new vision -- even after he threatened them! He ponders the ungrateful, cheap users who all left after he instituted his new policy of just five free tweets per month.
But he realized the most significant part of the blame lied with the seven people he employed that couldn't keep the ship from sinking on their 120-hour-a-week schedules. All he offered was a genius IQ and a revolutionary, golden guiding hand. It wasn't his fault that everyone else was too stupid and lazy to see it through. Whatever happened to the work ethic in this country? "Bah humbug," he scoffs.
That evening, Elon dines on his favorite meal, roast tiger, prepared by his army of chefs who lived in the kitchen on his estate. He had to admit tiger meat was getting harder and harder to find, and this was driving up the price. But he could afford it. Only the most elite and deserving could consume an animal so endangered, and Elon was certainly both. He thought he heard the sound of chains rustling, but he brushes it off and dabs his misshapen mouth daintily with his monogrammed napkin.
Then he hears the sound again. What could be causing it?
Elon is briefly startled to see an apparition float into his dining hall...a ghost that somehow looks familiar. "Where have I seen him?" Elon thinks. "I guess it doesn't matter where I saw him, he's dead now."
"ELLLOOOOOONNNN," the man moans.
When he recognizes the man's voice, he realizes it is the ghost of an old business partner from his PayPal days. He looks mostly the same, just a bit older and, for some reason, draped in heavy iron chains across his body.
"Elon, these chains represent the greed
and cruelty I exhibited in my lifetime," the man tells him.
"I am now forced to carry this weight for all
etermity....and I came to warn you. If you do not change your
ways, the same fate awaits you as well."
To this, Elon says "Oh, don't tell me the Afterlife has gone WOKE now."
The man says, "I'm afraid the Afterlife has always been....woke, as you say it."
"Well, I'll fix THAT," Elon says. "When I go down there I'll just BUY the Afterlife and free it from those lefty extremists."
The man tells Elon he can't take his money with him.
Elon's response is "Nuh-UH, I can too."
"NO," the man replies. "You cannot."
"YUH-HUH," Elon snaps back.
They go back and forth and the man simply cannot convince Elon that he won't be rich in the Afterlife, so he gives up and floats away, but not before warning Elon three more ghosts will be visiting him later that evening.
When the clock strikes ten, a brisk wind blows through Elon's bedroom. An angelic-looking woman draped in white flowing robes appears, and introduces herself. "Hello, Elon. I am the Ghost of Christmas Past."
"Can you go away? I'm watching Jimmy Fallon," Elon tells her.
The ghost speaks not a word, but grabs Elon's hand. Instantly, his view of Jimmy at his desk changes to an overhead view of his old neighborhood in South Africa.
Elon is instantly smitten with nostalgia. "Oh, I remember this place," he tells the Ghost. "Hey, there I am!"
He points to a small boy running down the street wearing an "APARTHEID RULES" T-shirt.
The boy spots another boy, somewhat poorer in appearance than he is, and starts chasing him. The boy tries to escape, but young Elon is faster and pounces. He starts beating on the boy without mercy, yelling epithets.
When Elon sees this, he chuckles and says
"Man, I miss being a kid, I had some fun. When you're a
grown-up you can't get away with anything."
Past is appalled that Elon is implying he wishes he could get away with assault. She vanishes immediately and cuts the vision short, leaving the man for the other two ghosts to deal with.
When the clock strikes eleven, Elon is lying in bed. He's shaken awake by thunderous footsteps. A rather large man in medieval-looking clothes has appeared in his bedroom. "Hey, Elon. I'm the Ghost of Christmas Present."
"Well, this is the present, so I guess your job is done," Elon says sharply. "Now leave me alone."
"THIS isn't the place you need to see," Present tells him. "This mansion shields you from the real world. Let me show you what it's really like out there." He grabs Elon, sets him on his back and soars through the landscape until he reaches a suburban community.
He has taken Elon to the house of a family
whose father he just fired. His son is on crutches, and rather
sick. The man has to tell his son he may not be able to afford
any further medical treatment.
When Elon sees this, he turns to Present and says, "How is this my problem?"
Present exasperatedly tells him, "Because you fired him, and on a complete whim."
"It wasn't a whim. He was part of the useless old guard at Twitter that wasn't good for anything and pushing a leftist agenda. What I did was genius. He should be thanking me."
"You don't feel any sorrow for his son?"
"I don't even KNOW his son. Am I supposed to just weep all the time for every limp boy on the planet? Their lives are their own problem, not mine. If they just worked a little harder, maybe they wouldn't be in this mess."
Present says nothing, but Elon continues to snark as he watches the boy. "Big deal, one person is unhappy, is that supposed to change anything? I don't have time for this Bleeding Heart nonsense."
"You think I'm showing you just ONE person tonight?" Present says to him.
Over the next hour or so Present takes Elon to dozens upon dozens of homes whose families he has affected for the worse. From an artist living on commissions who lost all her followers when Twitter went out of business, to a SpaceX employee who was so overworked he's been rendered disabled, to a crippled man whose Tesla exploded.
"In your position, your every decision
affects millions upon millions, but you only think of
yourself...and so your selfish actions have made countless lives
"This whole presentation is slanted and biased," Elon ultimately says. "You just won't show me any of the people I've affected for the better. What about Jerry, that guy I play golf with? Gee, I wonder why you won't show me HIS life. Could it be it doesn't fit your AGENDA?"
Present sighs and gives up. "He's all yours, Future."
When the clock strikes twelve, a thick fog begins billowing into Elon's bedroom. The temperature lowers by fifty degrees. Elon shivers in his bed and makes a mental note to buy the heating company so he can fire everyone in it.
Then, he turns his head...and standing there, silently, is a skeletal figure in a black robe, holding a scythe. "Don't bother, you must be the Ghost of Christmas Future, right?"
Elon, suddenly, leaps out of bed and greets the reaper with enthusiasm. This was the moment he was waiting for!
"Well? Don't waste my time, show me my future!" he says proudly. "It's gonna be GREAT."
The scene materializes to a graveyard. Future points his bony hand at a headstone with Elon's full name on it.
"Yeah yeah, I expected that part," Elon tells him. "Show me everything ELSE! Show me the GOOD STUFF."
Elon rubs his hands in anticipation. He fully expects to be hailed in history books as a hero and for there to be at least five statues of his chiseled body in separate locations. He asks the reaper to show him some of these things. Instead, Future just continues to stare at him.
Then, breaking the rules, Future speaks for the first time, since the man simply isn't going to get it any other way.
"ELON....NO ONE REMEMBERS YOU."
"Wha...what?" Elon stammers. That was impossible. The figure had to be lying!
"YOU HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN. IT IS AS IF YOU WERE NEVER BORN."
"What about Tesla? What about SpaceX? I DID THOSE THINGS! I revolutionized the world!" Elon protests.
Future stares at him some more.
"....Okay, so that was mainly other people and I just served as a figurehead. But I was a very LOUD figurehead and that should count for something! I WAS THE WORLD'S RICHEST MAN! I should be in the history books just for that!"
Future speaks again. "IF YOU DON'T THINK OF OTHERS...WHY SHOULD THEY THINK OF YOU?"
He takes Elon on a tour of the world. Elon is
horrified to find barely anyone remembers him, and for the few
who DO bring him up in conversation, he's treated as a joke. His
cruelty is brought up most often, and his failures are spoken of
far more than his successes. "Boy, that Musk fella,"
reminisces an old man. "That was living proof you don't have
to be smart to be rich."
This massive kick to the ego is what finally breaks Elon down. He is reduced to tears. "PLEASE, SPIRIT," he sobs. "PLEASE TELL ME THIS FUTURE CAN BE CHANGED."
"In the future, no one will care how rich you were," Future informs him. "What they'll remember is what you chose to do with all that power. Putting others before yourself will change this future for the better. But that is up to you."
When Elon gets out of bed, he asks Alexa what day it is.
"Today is December 25, celebrated in most countries as Christmas Day," Alexa tells him.
"Then I haven't missed it," Elon says with a renewed sense of cause.
That afternoon, the fired man with the crippled boy receives a manila envelope at his doorstep, brought by Express Delivery. When he opens the envelope, he is startled to find what's inside.
It is a coupon, good for $100 off his next purchase of a Tesla vehicle. But only if he buys one within the next ten days.
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