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Godzilla Vs. Rodin: a Fable
by Nathan Cromwell

His roof’s being lifted off and casually tossed away startled the man. Setting aside his tools he regarded the towering monstrosity outside—an upright lizard with an attenuating dorsal fin. “Yes?”

“Are you that famous French sculptor?” it roared over the sound of helicopters, jets, sirens, and excitable folks.


“I was wondering if you could do a statue of me, preferably in bronze. Let’s say 1/10 scale?”

“Mm, I see you emerging from stone, partially, unfinished. That would better convey both your primal origin and hideous majesty.”

“You think so?” Godzilla yelled over the barrage of mortar shells exploding on the side of his head. “What kind of stone?”

“For lovers, I often choose white marble, but for you some dark boulder, perhaps with iron oxide seams to represent your zippers.”

“That sounds the ticket. Obtain a suitable rock and I can come back for a sitting.”

“We haven’t talked price.”

“What?” Godzilla yelled over the din of a cannon repeatedly firing at his now jouncing left testicle. “Hold on.” He kicked the offending ordnance over the Notre Dame. “What did you say?”

“I said: I haven’t set how much it’s going to cost you.”

“I don’t have money. What I can offer is not killing you.”

Killing me will only make me stronger; my fame will be assured and my artwork prices will go through the roof.”


“Yes, but as an artist, posterity’s what I care about.”

“You’re talking blather. Faced the actuality of impending death, you may reconsider.” Swatting aside the increasingly desperate army’s volley of catapulted cows and wooden rabbits, Godzilla breathed a plume of caustic, flaming vitriol into the chimney next door. Pierre, engulfed in flames, ran out screaming.

“What goes on?” he yelled, throwing a paint roller to the ground. “I just finished renovating and listing on the market. Now all my hard work is down the drain. I can’t flip a burning building or smoldering ruins. Look, that couple with the brochure is getting back into their car.”

“Would you like me to help you extinguish your flames?” the sculptor offered.

“Who wants to live in a world where real estate profits and property values are eviscerated by man’s atomic folly? Goodbye, world,” he yelled, raising both middle fingers at the universe as he strolled towards the canal across the street to drown himself.

“Anyhow,” Godzilla continued. “Now that you’ve seen what I can do, have you changed your mind?”

“Kill me and you’ll have to settle for some second-rate chiseler. I’m not worried.”

“Arrgh!” Godzilla roared.

“Excuse me,” called a general through a megaphone, “I’d just like to say: we quit. If you’d be so kind as to be careful where you step and to stop spraying doom from your dread mouth, we’d be awfully grateful.”

“Say, if you guys would stake me for the cost of this here artwork I’ve been dickering over, I’ll be sweet as pie.”


Moral: When negotiating, don’t forget to include the victims.