If You Can Make It Here…(That’s No Guarantee You Can Stay)

In the year 2020, New York City addresses its overcrowding by introducing the following measures:

1. New York City is now entirely public. No private property, private space, or privacy in general will be permitted on Manhattan. Some privacy may be maintained in the boroughs; this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you desire any privacy, you are encouraged to move. 

2. The subways have become all but unusable. To remedy this, passengers will now be required to stack themselves horizontally. The lightest, smallest residents will be the most able to take advantage of public transportation. At stations, those waiting to board a train are encouraged to pull others out of it in order to make room for themselves. Those passengers already in the car must hold on to retain their place. If you are pulled onto the platform, your ride is up. You can only travel as far as you are able to hang on. If you are too heavy, or too weak to travel by subway, you are encouraged to move.

3. To say that there are no longer enough jobs to meet the demand for employment is an understatement. To address this problem, employers will now be permitted to sell jobs to the highest bidder. That, or they can have the pool of applicants club each other until only the best man remains standing. If you are unable to afford/win a job, you are encouraged to move.

4. NYC is the city that never sleeps, so why is it filled with apartments? True New Yorkers do not need housing (see #1 above). Residents are expected to keep moving at all times, and can take brief naps on the subways, provided they can hang on long enough. Stands of lockers are now being built in Central Park for the storage of clothes and toiletries, and a resident can rent one of these on a month-by-month basis for the amount previously spent on apartment rental. Showering and grooming should be done at the gym. If you cannot afford gym membership, you are encouraged to move.

5. Aspiring performers, writers and/or artists who are unable to provide proof of legitimate employment in their chosen artistic field in the past year may be set on fire by any non-aspiring person (or commercially successful artist). If you aspire to any of the arts, but are not committed enough to be set afire for your dream, you are encouraged to move.

6. Cars, taxis and all other vehicles (excepting city buses and delivery trucks) are now banned on the island of Manhattan. All residents must earn and carry a pedestrian license. To earn your license, you will be tested on your ability to walk at a good clip, and in a decisive, unwavering direction. You must demonstrate proficiency in unspoken pedestrian traffic rules, such as looking both ways when exiting a shop, yielding to faster-moving people crossing your path of travel, and keeping at all times to the right. You must be able to jog up several flights of stairs without stopping confusedly or exhaustedly at the top. You must never look at your feet, or at the sky, or at your cell phone or Blackberry while walking. You must never pause in doorways, or otherwise cause a bottleneck situation. Tickets will be issued for all walking violations; fines will be steep, beginning at $2,000 and ending at banishment from the city. If you are unable or unwilling to earn your pedestrian license, and to walk in a not-infuriating manner, you are encouraged to move.

7. Children and senior citizens are no longer permitted to live or work in Manhattan. NYC is not a proper, safe environment in which to grow or decline. If you are young or old, you are encouraged to move.

8. NYC Environmental Management Bureau has begun a breed-and-release program for pigeons. Also, rats. Also, cougars. If any of this sickens or frightens you, you are encouraged to move.

9. The new citywide language is Icelandic. Any communication in another language will result in a stabbing. If you cannot speak Icelandic, you are encouraged to move.

10. Each breath taken on the island of Manhattan now costs $5.00. If you cannot afford to breathe, you are encouraged to move.

In sum, NYC is committed to doing whatever it will take to make all you people not want to freaking live here anymore. What more can we do to make this city unattractive and unlivable? Please. Please, go. There are so many cities in the U.S. Please live in another one. Seriously. You are encouraged to move.

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