Greetings (Feghoot III)

This is by Reginald Bretnor writing under the name of Grendel Briarton. I find it most interesting that the comment about television was written in 1957.

In 2884, Ferdinand Feghoot invented and marketed Dr. Feghoot’s Golden Medical Discovery, which raised all vertebrates to the intelligence level of the average TV viewer. This caused an unemployment problem of major proportions. Eventually, though, the new citizens went to work in factories or offices, hired out as domestics, or were blanketed into the civil service. Only the ducks could find no jobs at all.

They appealed to Ferdinand Feghoot himself, who solved the problem at once. It was the custom for people to send themselves greetings on important occasions. After that, when nightingales, thrushes, and other Western Union employees went out to sing greetings like these, a duck went along with the bill.

It was only fitting that Ferdinand Feghoot should get the first of them all on his two hundred and twelfth birthday. The lark messenger sang, “Many happy returns of the day, dear Ferdinand Feghoot,” several times; and then the duck extended his beak with the bill.

“Ah!” Ferdinand Feghoot said with a smile. “A duck-billed platitude!”

(Copyright © 1957 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, October 1957.).

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