‘Flockbinker’ Sort of Rhymes with ‘Spock Finger.’ I Feel This Must Be Significant.
by David Kennedy Bird
Abstract: *Yawn* Yet another exploration of the ontology of flockbinkers. But! This time we examine the issue through the eyes (or finger) of a Vulcan, which i suppose DOES make things a bit more interesting. What do Vulcans know, or believe, about flockbinkers? A topic well worth considering!
A Random Vulcan: Please note that a Vulcan does not ‘believe’ anything for which he does not have sufficient logical warrant.
Abstract, continued: Uh, well, there ya go! Okay! On with the show!
Mister Spock, of Star Trek fame, enters from stage left, in a contemplative mood. He is joined by his father, Sarek, and his Mom, Amanda, entering from stage right.
Spock: [muttering to himself] The nature of flockbinkers. Hmm. It is, indeed, an interesting question.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I am gratified, Spock, to hear that your mind is engaged in substantial pursuits.
Spock: Indeed. Ontology has always seemed an engaging area for exploration.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: My mind is not entirely clear, my son, regarding the issue we are to discuss.
Spock: It is the question of the existence and nature of flockbinkers. Are they real entities, and if so, what are their attributes?
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I must confess to being no less in the dark now, than i was 15 seconds ago.
Spock’s Mom, Amanda: Sweetie, Spock’s friends are wanting to play an interesting game with him. I’m not sure that you need to take it so very seriously.
Spock: It is perhaps a more important issue than you are assuming, mother. There are those who believe that a correct understanding of flockbinkers is directly connected to the mastery of the self, the eradication of evil, and the fostering of world peace.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I am astonished to hear that so abstruse a discussion is believed to have such concrete implications!
Spock: [whispering] Just play along, Dad. I suspect it’s actually kind of a stupid topic.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: Aaahh. I see. This conversation is at last making a modicum of sense to me.
Spock’s Mom, Amanda: At least it’s an interesting subject to occupy a delightful Spring afternoon!
Sarek and Spock: Indeed.
[enter random girl-dude vulcan and miscellaneous vulcan feller]
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Do you mind if i chime in?
Spock: By all means.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Well, it seems to me that if we had an actual specimen of a flockbinker here with us, we might study it and answer at least some our questions.
Spock: There would seem to be much truth in what you say.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Well, so where do we find one? Is it a swamp-dwelling creature? There’s a nasty marshy area just a little ways from here.
Spock: I am very much afraid that the issue may be more difficult than you have anticipated.
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: Difficult? What do you mean ‘difficult’? We bag a flockbinker and we study it! You people are so dang philosophical.
Spock: It is, i fear, a much more complicated discussion that you have anticipated. For, you see, flockbinkers (according to those experts who view themselves as qualified to address the topic) are not… er, physical… in the same way that you and i are.
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: Flockbinkers are not… physical. Riiiiight. I get it. There’s a hidden camera, isn’t there.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Are you saying that a flockbinker is not a physical being, but is more like an energy field or a point of pure consciousness?
Spock: Um: No.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: A flockbinker, then, is a kind of crystalline structure embodying certain living characteristics?
Spock: Uh: Nah. Nice try.
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: [whispering] You’re just encouraging him. Dude has obviously been smoking the ol’ Andromedan parsley.
Spock’s Mom, Amanda: Oh, Spockie would never touch that stuff. We raised him better than that, i can tell you!
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: So, Mister Spock, the curiosity is killing me! What IS a flockbinker?
Spock: Well, that–um–is where it gets a bit complicated.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Oohh, i love a logical conundrum!
Spock: Erf. Oh boy.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I am as curious as these young people are, my son! Can you not characterize this ‘flockbinker’ in a manner consistent with logic?
Spock: Well, that’s the problem, Dad: the available documents seem to present a profile of the flockbinker that is anything but consistent with logical rigor.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: But… but… how can this be?
Spock: Regrettably, the only materials we have relative to the nature of flockbinkers are to be found on a weblog run by a 20th century human whose grasp of even the basics of logic seems highly suspect.
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: What is it with you guys! Come on, let’s have a look at the evidence. Surely we can come up with SOMETHING.
Spock: Your enthusiasm, though commendable, is perhaps not well founded.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: Well, it can’t hurt to simply examine the evidence.
Spock: [sigh] Alrighty then. Here goes. [he pulls out a manila folder and removes a sheet of paper] First piece of evidence. This one’s from a couple of years ago. It says, “Whoah! Dude! So it appears that flockbinkers are not quite so gnarly as expert opinion has asserted! Them stuffed shirts can stuff it right HERE!!”
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I am afraid i don’t understand. Gnarly?
Spock: Dad, it only gets worse. Here’s another snippet, from a few months later: “So, as nearly as we can tell, an entity can be classed as a ‘flockbinker’ if it… wait! What was that? Was that the opening chorus from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio?”
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: Wait. What did he say a flockbinker is?
Spock: He didn’t. He appears to have gotten distracted by music playing in the next apartment.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I… I don’t even.
Spock: Oh, we haven’t even scratched the bottom yet. Here’s document number three: “Oh my stars and garters, i believe that may be a flockbinker roosting out in my back yard! No. Wait. Sorry. Apparently my neighbor’s laundry has blown over the fence.”
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I fear i must sit down.
Spock: You and me both, Pop.
Spock’s Mom, Amanda: Well, this information may not turn out to be useful, but at least we’re finding out that the experts have been working on the issue for several years now. That’s important, isn’t it?
Spock: You take a refreshingly positive interpretation, mother.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: So, let me be sure i understand. We do know that there is such a thing as a flockbinker, right? Not just from these moronic documents, but from other sources?
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: Man, i haven’t had this much fun since the master at our academy accidentally burned his own hand off with his own phaser!
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: Ugh, you are so vulgar. So here’s the real question: do we have any concrete, credible evidence to the effect that flockbinkers are even real? And not just the figments of some middle-aged blogger’s diseased imagination?
Miscellaneous Vulcan Feller: [mumbling] I am not vulgar. He really did zap his own hand off. It was so cool.
Spock: I am afraid that we do not. Whatever evidence there is, appears to be contained in… [he grimaces in a most un-Vulcan-like manner]… this folder.
Random Girl-dude Vulcan: So what reasons do we have for even crediting their existence? One mentally unstable blogger mentions them in a few of his editorials, that’s not much evidence.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I fear i am in agreement with this young one, Spock. Is there no further evidence?
Spock: There does not appear to be, father. And yet….
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: Yes, my son?
Spock: And yet i feel strangely compelled to believe.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I am tempted to interpret this as the influence of your human side.
Spock’s Mom, Amanda: Well jeepers, dear, you say that as if it was a bad thing.
Spock’s Dad, Sarek: I feel compelled to plead ‘no comment’.
And it turned out to be the case, indeed, that Spock (perhaps lulled into complacency by his human side) devoted much of his time during the next several years to research into the reality and nature of flockbinkers. The summary of his findings may be found in the archives of the Central Library on the planet Vulcan, under the title: “Flockbinkers: A Review of Certain Researches into Their Ontological Status, Physical Characteristics, Habits, and Method of Obtaining Food on Those Occasions When a Handi-Mart Does Not Happen to Be Open in the Vicinity.”