So This Is Why They Call It “The Dismal Science”

DISMAL SCIENCE, phr. A slang term used to describe the discipline of economics, coined in the 19th century by historian Thomas Carlyle.


“I’ve got good news and bad news.”


“You work for the university, right?”


“If the Governor gets her way, you’re going to get 32 more days off next year!”

“That’s good!”

“No, that’s bad.”

“That’s bad?

“You won’t get paid for them.”

“Yep. That’s bad.”

“No, that’s good.”

“I feel a headache coming on already. What’s good about it?”

“Your days off will save the State hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“And bankrupt me. But I suppose it’s good news, if it will balance the budget.”

“Sorry, it’s bad news. Not even close.”

“What? So we bust everybody, then? That’s horrible!

“No, it’s wonderful!

” […] Your car insurance is paid up, right?”

“For now. Why?”

“Because you’re driving me crazy! What the hell is so wonderful about all this!?!”

“It’s got the lawmakers talking for real about raising taxes!

This is good?!?

“Of course it is. The tourists will pay them!”

“That sounds too good to be true.”

“It is. The tourists are already not coming ’cause the place is too expensive. If taxes make it more expensive, there’ll be even fewer tourists than there are now, and they’ll spend less per person.”

“Slops. No, wait, let me …”


Damn you! Why?

“Fewer tourists, people taking off for elsewhere, fewer cars belching fumes, less sewage, less pressure on the power plants – great news for our environment!”

“So our island gets more green if I get less green. I suppose that’s a good trade.”

“Yes, but.”

“But what?

“You know who’s leading the charge against the days off without pay, don’t you?”

“No. Who?”

“The faculty greenies.”

“That sucks!

“For sure.”

“You agree with me?”

“Of course.”

“Right. Now I’m really confused.”

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. Davis, if your son has a clearly-defined, academically realistic, and economically rational plan for college, he’ll do fine. If he doesn’t, you’re wasting your money at the best of times.

    The Chinese, TLP, when they foreclose on America. Welsh rabbit.

  2. You think your confused you’d hate to be me following this conversation LOL. Vicious circle if you ask me. But who really cares how green it is if no one comes to enjoy? And will we enjoy all the green when we are all in the poorhouse?

    Rabbit, rabbit

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