Below, you will find a fictional dialogue between two fictional similarly-named and unusual friends – Justin and Justina. In this conversation, they ponder why the TV weatherman would forecast a 5% chance of rain. Is there a hidden meaning?

Justin and Justina have been providing The New Leaf Journal with dialogues since October 2020. You can see the whole list in their dialogue collection archive.

Dialogue Introduction

Justina happened upon New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while she was out on Thanksgiving in Manhattan. She noted protest activity. Against her better instincts, she shared the news via text message with Justin.

Dialogue: The Fate of Ronald McDonald

Justina: I just walked past this parade in Manhattan.
Justin: The Thanksgiving one?
Justina: Yeah.
Justin: It's slightly less offensive than the New Years Eve Ball Drop.
Justina:  Why is that offensive?
Justin:  It's too upsetting to talk about. Remind me on New Years Eve since it can't be avoided at that point.
Justina: Ok I'll remember to forget.
Justin: Thanks.
Justina: There was something happening at the Thanksgiving thing. I think it was some protest. Here:
Justin: Interesting. The terrorism sympathizers are culturally appropriating the gluing thing from the tree-huggers. I'm just a bit "hashtag" triggered.
Justina: I think they were saying they wanted a ceasefire or something.
Justin: Right right. The "experts" always try to contextualize why the friends of terror do what they do. It's strange how these people were not activated for the massacre that caused Israel's response other than to try to prevent Israel from responding.
Justina: I see.
Justin: Wait, I see something big here.
Justina: About the protesters?
Justin: They taught me us elementary school not to make fun of Tommy when he accidentally glued himself to the table. That lesson stayed with me. 
Justina: Then what?
Justin: Look at this picture:
Justina: What is there to look at besides the protesters? The purple guy?
Justin: Oh right, the purple guy. Look at him. He looks like he's having an epiphany as he witnesses the decline and fall of the West. What was his name again?
Justina: I think I knew before...
Justin: But anyway, while I understand how he feels, that's not what I'm talking about.
Justina: Right.
Justin: See the people behind the purple guy?
Justina: I do.
Justin: What are they all dressed up as?
Justina: Waldo? From Where's Waldo?
Justin: ...
Justina: What, that wasn't right?
Justin: It wasn't but now I can't unsee it.
Justina: I guess Waldo wouldn't have much to do with McDonald's.
Justin: They're dressed as a certain Ronald McDonald.
Justina: Oh right, that guy.
Justin: You made my point for me though.
Justina: I did?
Justin: Thanks.
Justina: What was the point?
Justin: Do you really want to know?
Justina: On second thought.
Justin: Are you sure you're ready for this truth?
Justina: I already changed my mind.
Justin: What ever happened to that Ronald McDonald guy?
Justina: I didn't ask but I guess that could have been worse.
Justin: He used to be everywhere. Couldn't go outside without seeing Ronald McDonald somewhere.
Justina: Are you sure you're also from Brooklyn?
Justin: Turn on the TV? Ronald. Walk past McDonald's? Ronald. Close your eyes to go to sleep? 'Ole McDonald.
Justina: Wait what was that last one?
Justin: But now the guy has gone quiet. Incognito. Is he under cover? Maybe what's going on there is a Ronald McDonald solidarity march, everyone dressed as him. "I am Spartacus" became "I am Ronald McDonald." Whoa.
Justina: I knew I shouldn't have asked.
Justin: Do you think they have reason to believe that Ronald McDonald is uniquely threatened by the Hamas-curious types?

Setting the Stage I

Justin and Justina are both at their respective homes, communicating via text messages through Element messenger (this post is sadly not sponsored by Element messenger).

Act I: What is a 5% Chance of Rain?

Justina: So, I’m going out tomorrow.
Justin: Be careful of rotting pumpkins. Just saw one today. Pumpkin Taker is slacking.
Justina: I’m serious!
Justin: I wish Pumpkin Taker was.
Justina: So my weather app says there’s a 5% chance of rain.
Justin: I see.
Justina: Should I bring an umbrella? Just in case? I mean 1 out of 20…
Justin: Yes.
Justina: Really? But only a 5% chance.
Justin: 5% chance of rain means 50-50.
Justina: I don’t think so…
Justin: You need to think about this from the weatherman’s perspective. Basic game theory.
Justina: Huh?
Justin: 5% chance of rain is a no-lose situation for the weatherman, right? If it doesn’t rain, he’ll just say “well there was only a 5% chance.” But if it does rain, no one can be angry at him. He’ll say “well I said the chance was more than 0.” You see? He has us all where he wants us.
Justina: Hmm…
Justin: If it really wasn’t going to rain, he’d say 0. But he’s hedging. Probably 50%. He wants to teach a lesson to all the people who foolishly mistake 5% for 0 chance of rain.
Justina: I don’t think what you said makes sense, but 5% isn’t 0, so I guess I’ll bring a small umbrella just in case.
Justin: You’re very welcome.

Setting the Stage II

For the next evening, we find Justin and Justina again at their respective phones, communicating via Element messenger.

Act II: Respecting the 5% Chance of Rain

Justina: You!
Justin: What? Did you have a good time?
Justina: Yeah, I did. I was the only one who brought my umbrella. We got caught out in the rain and my friends got soaked until we found this cool place called The Emu Café. Your nonsense about weatherman conspiracies actually turned out to be useful.

Photo taken near the corner of Court and Baltic Streets in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on a very rainy July afternoon.
Picture taken by N.A. Ferrell using BlackBerry Classic camera at the corner of Baltic and Court Streets on a rainy day in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on July 1, 2020. Edited for publication by Victor V. Gurbo.

Justin: No problem, it’s what I do. I got soaked while I was out for a walk. 5% chance of rain man, what are the chances? Life is a coin flip.
Justina: …Then what was your whole spiel yesterday?
Justin: Oh that? It’s all true, but what’s the worst that can happen to me? I didn’t melt. Not like the decomposing pumpkins, to be sure.
Justina: This serves you right.
Justin: I can handle that from you. But I’m not reading any weather reports tomorrow. I won’t give the weather-industrial complex the satisfaction.