This week, Donny Marchand is my guest writer. He’s featured several times before in my Friday slot but if you haven’t come across his work before, here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:
‘I have only started writing for publication a short time ago, and been fortunate to have had some modest success, in the placement of my work.
‘I have had four short stories published in a magazine entitled ‘Dimdima’ whose main office is in Mumbai, India. Two articles published in a newspaper, ‘UK Column’ who are based in Plymouth,UK, and one short story in a magazine ‘Stories for Children’ out of the U.S.A.’
Here’s part two of his tribute to political correctness.
The news that the Council was chopping down the apple trees had spread like wildfire in all the constituencies. First they had destroyed the chestnuts and now the apples, what next?
This time though the population was not going to succumb so easy. The council would learn that knocking off chestnuts and apples was one thing, but chopping down trees was another.
As the crowd gathered in Bramley Park preparing for battle, the Council’s leader was lining up his civil servants and accountants in the front of the town hall. And while the Council’s army waited anxiously for the order to march ahead to the war zone, they continued to complain apprehensively about the task that lay ahead. They were quite happy to make peoples lives miserable, by enforcing ridiculous rules under the instructions of their superiors, but they did not believe that they were hired to engage in combat.
Meanwhile the citizens were spending their time constructively collecting their ammunition, apples. The police had arrived at the park and were starting to cordon off the area just outside the barricades that had been erected by the people, partly from trees that had already been felled by the Council. Exposing the Council’s ignorance and downright bullishness, was the fact that some of the flattened trees weren’t even apple, but ash and oak timbers.
Axes and chainsaws in hand the Councils troops advanced down the avenue towards Bramley Park. They were the picture of a forbidding force, but the truth be known their hearts weren’t in it. In fact fisticuffs was an exercise they usually avoided like the plague. And the police, they just stood back watching on the sidelines and made no attempt to get involved.
Warning shouts to stay away came bellowing out from behind the barricades. When that had no effect on the approaching marauders the missiles started flying. After a number of the apples hit their targets, the people’s opponents turned tail and fled back to the council. They never really had the stomach for a fight, and that was obvious by their nil resistance.
Then suddenly out of the blue, the Ministry of Defence intervened. They had come up with what they thought was the perfect political solution. As the three new aircraft carries just built had no planes available for them they were useless. So the MOD came up with the bright idea to use the apples as missiles aboard them, for attack as well as defence. The plan was that the sailors would stand on the flight deck and chuck the apples at enemy ships passing by. They could also use them to knock down aircraft, and bombard coastlines. Besides the ships getting installed into a new category called apple carriers, they would also be renamed. Henceforth, they would be called HMS Granny Smith, HMS Cox Pippin, and HMS Battle of Bramley respectively.
Now everyone will be satisfied boasted the MOD. It concluded, that the army could collect the fallen apples, and give them to the navy, who would use them as weapons. As the apples would be continuously needed, their trees could not be chopped down by order of the MOD. This would appease the people, and the Council’s staff would be relieved that they would no longer be subjected to extra work cutting down the trees. Also, their cowardice in battle would not be mentioned and hopefully forgotten. Everyone will be happy, bragged the MOD who saw themselves as winning some political kudos over the whole affair.
But they hadn’t counted on the Council’s pettiness and insatiable appetite to always be in the right. The Council leaders felt that the Government, especially the MOD, had betrayed them. And they would fix the police for taking such a neutral position, at the next budget review. They would bide their time till the next opportunity that gave them an excuse to chop down the trees arose. It might be awhile but the moment would come, and they would jump at the first chance, to get their own way.
* * *
The knock on the door sounded ominous, and as usual Oscar’s instincts didn’t let him down. He could hardly believe his ears as he stood there in the portal. The Thought Police, were they joking! And why on earth did they want to speak to him?
“Were looking for a mister Schmidt, “ said one of the three sternly faced men standing on the porch.
“Your speaking to him,” replied Oscar, “what can I do for you?”
“We understand that a couple of days ago you referred to a Mister Luckhard as being dead, Is that true?”
“If you’re talking about good old Charlie, yes that’s correct.”
“No, that is not correct.”
“What do you mean? If the guy’s dead then he’s dead. What else am I supposed to call it?”
“The correct legal phraseology to use is, living impaired. Anything else said to describe the demise is unlawful, and subject to punishment.”
“That’s ridiculous!” rebounded Oscar.
“No, it’s the law.”
“Since when?” questioned Oscar abruptly?
“Since now,” replied the gruff policeman.
Oscar tried to close the door but the officer pushed him back and forced his way inside. Then in a sinister voice enquired, “Tell me, Mister Schmidt, do you happen to know a person named Elijah Champion?”
“Why do you want to know?” a suspicious Oscar asked.
“Just answer the question,” growled the bossy officer.
“Yeah I know him, he’s my computer wizard. Fixes things in it when it’s broken, and shows me how to do things on it. Anyway, why do you want to know if I know him?”
“Does he use terminology like master and slave when you talk to him?”
“I think so, but I don’t really understand what he says most of the time. It’s all just computer mumbo jumbo to me. All I care is that he knows how to make it work. He does the fixing and I do the paying. So what’s the problem?”
“With all that master and slave talk we believe he’s a racist, and if you’re mixed up with him you’ll be in for a lot of trouble pretty soon now.”
“You guys are paranoid madmen,” retorted Oscar.
“Madmen eh, well that’ll be two more weeks tagged on to the diversity training.”
“You know what you can do with your stupid diversity thing, what ever that is?” snarled Oscar.
“Also,” replied the officer, “it has been reported to us that two weeks ago in an argument with your butcher, you accused him of being a thief, and then referred to him as a swine.”
“So what!” responded Oscar forcefully.
“I’ll tell you what! Pigs are living creatures, with feelings just like you and me. And when you categorized them with your butcher as thieves, you hurt their feelings, upsetting them for no reason whatsoever. We have received an official complaint from the Animal Rights Society, accusing you of unprovoked and unmitigated slander, and they are demanding an official apology to the pigs from you forthwith.”
“Be a cold day in hell before I do that. This is all the most absurd idiocy I’ve ever heard!” barked Oscar.
“In that case,” snapped the Thought Policeman, “I have an order from the Ministry of Mind Over Matter, to detain you for a months course of diversity training, plus two extra weeks for the madmen remark, or if you prefer three months in jail followed by a month of community service. It’s up to you.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Oscar growled, as he was dragged away by the three Thought Police Officers.
* * *
“Hello, Betsy here.”
“Hi, I’d like to speak to Ms.Tillison please.”
“Yes that’s me, who’s calling?”
“This is Mister Killjoy from the Job Centre.”
“What can I do for you Mister Killjoy?
“I’m calling you about the help wanted add you wanted us to display on our jobs available notice board.”
“What about it?”
“ I’m afraid it’s not suitable for our needs, so we won’t be putting it up on view.”
“Why, what’s wrong with it?”
“Quite a number of things, to start with there’s the wording that you use in the section about the delivery of Easter eggs. We don’t use the phrase Easter eggs anymore, the new acceptable idiom is spring spheres.”
“Because the term Easter eggs might insult people who don’t practice Easter in their religious beliefs. Also, it’s upsetting to those that don’t believe in the Easter Bunny.”
”That’s ridiculous!” exclaimed Ms.Tillison.
“And then there’s the part in your add that says your seeking to employ truck drivers who don’t drink spirits. That is impertinent and hurtful to alcoholics’ feelings. Just think what it does to their self-esteem. Also, it is prejudiced and totally against our equal opportunities policy. We believe that everyone is entitled to apply for a job, no matter what their habits or addictions, even if non-conducive to the job.”
“That’s just about the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard,” injected Ms.Tillison.
Then Killjoy continued, “you also state in your add that you are looking for reliable and hard-working people. That is totally unfair and prejudice to unreliable and lazy folks. They are entitled to the same opportunities as anyone else, even if they don’t really want to work, and would be of no use to their employer.”
“Your reasoning is completely insane,” replied Betsy.
“And to add insult to injury, your slanderous talk about people who are not very smart is definitely unacceptable,” added Killjoy.
“What on earth are you talking about?” asked Betsy.
“In your add it says that you would be happy to employ those that express themselves, through putting forward creative ideas. Well first of all we don’t allow the expression creative ideas anymore. The new acceptable terminology is ‘thought showers’, and people who don’t have ‘thought showers’ should not be excluded from work opportunities just because they are dumb. To hold that against them would be considered a criminal offence.”
“You and all your nonsensical protocols belong in the loony bin,” retorted Betsy .
“Lastly,” said Killjoy,” is your remark that you would be pleased to have someone who enjoyed feeding the animals in your back garden with you. Well I must inform you that feeding animals in your garden is against the Council’s rules, punishable by a fine, jail, or both. By the way which creatures are you feeding?”
“Why, does that matter?” questioned Betsy.
“It certainly does!” exclaimed Killjoy and then continued, because some are excluded from the Councils ban.”
“Which ones?” she asked.
“Rats and snakes,” Killjoy replied.
“Protecting their relatives are they?” remarked Betsy.
“And furthermore,” growled Killjoy, we will be reporting your offence to the Council shortly.”
“My God,” declared Betsy, “all I wanted to do was offer people a job, and you want to turn me into a criminal. I’m sorry I approached the Job Centre in the first place.”
“Oh I wouldn’t take the rejection personal if I were you,” said Killjoy.
“And why not? queried Betsy.
“Because we turn down about ninety-five percent of all job ads submitted to us for display each week. Since it is our responsibility to assist people in procuring work, we must scrutinize everything to ensure that we do not employ any ideological dogma to our methods of achieving our goals and targets.”
“Sure, and I’m the next Pope,” Betsy concluded.
* * *
Pocus Hocus the world is out of focus
It’s tilted on its axis the wrong way round
Pocus Hocus everything is bogus
We’re turning every practice upside down
We’re all living in the land of make believe
Madly driven by the gospel of greed
Delusion fraud and malice are the order
of the day
Drinking from the devil’s chalice
Everybody’s lining up to dine at his buffet
Pocus Hocus where can this folly take us
It doesn’t serve a purpose it isn’t safe or sound
Pocus Hocus this madness is contagious
It’s all just one big circus that’s closing down
We’re all riding on a cloud of make believe
Gladly spurning all reality
Deception and injustice are the games we
like to play
Evil beckons from its palace
And we all blindly follow come what may
Where we gonna go when it falls apart
Who we gonna blame for our own blackheart
Where we gonna run gonna hide come
Pocus Hocus this world’s become atrocious
All full of hate and lawless it’s Hades bound
Pocus Hocus it’s false and superficial
Like Sodom and Gomorrah it will burn down
We’re all heading for catastrophe
Craving power wealth and luxury
Callously inflicting pain upon our prey
Treading on our every victim
Satan’s vicious code we ply to their dismay
How will we excuse our mortal traits
Standing there before those pearly gates
Do we really think they’ll open up and let us in
Pocus Hocus the world is out of focus.