Author: DJ Lunan
President Nugrubyev looked deep into the lens of the RTV and BBC cameras and smiled broadly.
He caught his image in a control monitor. All those hours with his hot voice coach, body language course and hours aping De Niro in front of his wife’s mirror, were worth it. He looked great!
“We are going to build an Ocean” he declared “Right here in Uzbekistan, the only sizeable double-landlocked country in the world”
Milton Abse visibly shook. Anger and anxiety blended to a scowl. He hated surprises. He was used to being the one to press, wheedle and inveigle information from his interviewees. But this put him squarely on the backfoot.
And worse, after an hour side-stepping inquiry on alleged human rights abuses of pastoral communities in the steppe, and his restless junkie son’s Lamborghini habit, Nimrod had hijacked the live transmission, and was now beaming like a chuffed cartoon cat.
This ocean vision was unequivocally odd, candidly bold, and almost certainly technically infeasible.
Milton frantically sought a follow-up question that didn’t offend.
“That….” stumbled Milton, “…that is undoubtedly a bold vision, President Nugrubyev. Bold and unprecedented, and ….doubtlessly expensive…”.
“Call me Nimrod, all my friends do!” he quipped while maintaining a semi-smirk as he sipped water from the vodka tumbler.
“But I haven’t told you our Vision yet, Milton! We are going to save the world from climate change by building our Ocean!”
Milton nodded shrewdly, suppressing the urge to smack Nimrod and scream ‘Nutter!’ so loud it would wipe his smirk clean.
“Central Asia will manage the Earth’s sea level. We will invest up to one-third of our land which is in a natural basin across five countries. We will relocate three million of our citizens. Then we will gradually bring the rising seawater, ensuring global sea levels remain stable”.
Milton’s eyebrows reached for the stars.
“We will link Indian and Arctic Oceans, by canal. Our initial Lakes will form at Daman in Afghanistan, and in Russia’s Kunvat State Nature Reserve. As the sea level rises, we will inundate the steppe in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.“
Milton remained dumbfounded. “Nimrod! An epic and bold vision! Wherever did it come from?”
Nimrod paused thoughtfully, and he hoped Presidentially.
He caressed the small amulet in his palm. One of over one hundred found across Central Asia over the past two years. Each one over 10,000 years old cut using precision micro-tools. When viewed under strong microscopes each amulet exposed the new ocean concept in relief.
“According to the Stern Review, rising sea levels will erode 5% of global GDP by 2050. Barely a generation away! In light of the savings from keeping London, New York and Tokyo dry, we feel this fifteen trillion dollar scheme is best funded through a global tax on GDP, at a mere 2% per annum, per country.”
Milton audibly gasped for the first time. It wasn’t pretty. It was replayed on BBC News each time the Asian Peace Ocean was mentioned. It was a gasp replicated in 250 Governments each year as the bill was presented.
Nimrodded became a byword for being outwitted publically by someone more devious and clever than you.
Even the amulet-makers on their voyage on the SPRFed6 adopted Nimrodded, for it matched the impending loser’s feelings during gameplay of their favourite board games.
Their planned stopover on Earth in 32.4 years for fuel, protein, and water promised to be easier and more fun. Two years later when seawater inundated the dunes on Daman basin, they partied. No more landing on tidal seawater on rough oceans!