Justin and Justina, a pair of (fictional) similarly-named and unusual friends, make up The New Leaf Journal’s resident fictional dialogue duo. Most of their dialogues feature the pair taking a walk through Brooklyn (occasionally Manhattan) or having a conversation over text. You can find the full collection here. In today’s dialogue, Justin explains to Justina why a new Consumer Product Safety Commission warning proves that you cannot trust anyone in today’s society. Suffice it to say, while Justin and Justina alternate between playing the straight man in the dialogues, it sounds like Justina is going to have a rough go of it in this one.
Today’s dialogue, reported below, takes place over text messages.
If you can’t trust GLBSUNION and CUZMAK
Justin: Take a look at this story: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/mar/16/consumer-product-safety-commission-issues-warning-/?
Justina: Some carbon monoxide detectors were recalled?
Justin: No recall, but Consumer Product Safety Commission says they don’t work.
Justina: Do you have one? I don’t know what mine is but I don’t think it’s one of these brands. Wait what are these names?
Justin: I don’t, but it’s the names that upset me.
Justina: Because they’re just strings of capital letters?
Justin: Are you telling me that you don’t know GLBSUNION and CUZMAK!?
Justina: I don’t.
Justin: Wow. Talk about out of the loop.
Justina: You didn’t even know the Oscars had happened when I mentioned it two days later.
Justin: For darn good reason. But let’s get back to the main point.
Justina: I don’t know what the point of this is.
Justin: We live in a society where trust in institutions is declining. You’ve seen those surveys where they say “people just don’t trust institutions” anymore, right? They keep screaming on the TV that DEMOCRACY is DEAD. More people need to trust the BEDROCKS of our society. Silicon Valley Bank and FTX only failed because WE THE PEOPLE lacked TRUST in the INSTITUTIONS.
Justina: I know for a fact that you make fun of the people on TV.
Justin: Anyway, if we can’t trust leading ALL AMERICAN names like GLBSUNION and CUZMAK, who can we trust? Can we even trust one another? WHO CAN WE TRUST JUSTINA!?
Justina: All American? Even I can tell they’re just weird companies from China.
Justin: That was the real SHOCK Justina! Here I thought these carbon monoxide monitors were being made by former factory workers in Ohio who lost their jobs due to outsourcing. But then the article says that their other products were made in CHINA. I’m glad the Consumer Product Safety Commission left that part out. They probably knew it would be too much of a shock to the public. I was going to name my FIRST BORN DAUGHTER GLBSUNION (CUZMAK for a son, of course).
Justina: I can’t tell anymore. Are GLBSUNION and CUZMAK actually a big deal?
Justin: Oh, I have no idea. Never heard of them. They’re probably selling the exact same carbon monoxide monitors from China under different strings of all capital letters. I doubt the Consumer Product Safety Commission will notice for another year or two. Amazon certainly does not care.
Justina: So what was all of this about trust in institutions?
Justin: Well, I read the article and thought it would be funny to create a whole rant about how the deceit of GLBSUNION and CUZMAK proves that we cannot trust anyone. Then I thought to myself: “Who do I know who would actually play along with this and not just say I made a funny joke.” I could only think of one person.
Justin: Thank you for always being you, Justina.