The Parlement of Fowles (Fools) – Parliament in Denmark
The White Queen. Queen Margaret 11 of Denmark, surveyed her white-painted fingernails and the white chalk sprinkled parchment, which was the law that ordered the death of all the politicians in Denmark. When Crown Prince Frederik entered, she entrusted it him and he set off on his steed, Postillion, closely followed by his new, nine-month pregnant bride, Mary of Tasmania, Australia, for Christiansborg, Copenhagen, where Parliament is usually to be found.
The Conservatives were sitting licking jam off their fingers. They were exceedingly fat after their period of office for which they had done nothing. "But we have no policies," they said. "Why behead us. We have never done nothing as long as we have been in office." However, in their heart-of-heats, they had expected that the People would behead them at the next election, so, although it surprised them it was the Queen, the Beheading, itself, was no surprise.
"Left" which stands for "Right" in Danish politics, were exceedingly thin and with backs bowed under the burden of bearing brilliant right-wing policies that had borne fruit said, "Phew. We have reduced taxes. We have increased exports and have a healthy balance of payments. We have not yet reduced unemployment but we are working on it. We are going to pay them all less, so they will want to work." They could not imagine they would be beheaded. They could not imagine they would lose the election. But both were now a distinct possibility.
The Danish People`s Party was a Big Black Crow. It left its perch under a swastika to hop onto a conveniently placed bundle of rods with an axe. "Why should anyone want to behead me," it cawed. "I vote with the government, don`t I? They`re a minority government. They need my votes." And it preened its black feathers. "Otherwise, it will fall." With its head on one side, half-thinking. "Of course, they feed me a whole-roasted foreigner every day – but there`s too many foreigners in Denmark, as I never tire of saying." A sploosh of droppings landed on the sticks. "My voters are the Poor Whites and I promise social goodies to them. I also tell them, ‘You shall have No Other Party before Me` and that does the trick, too. You can`t behead me. I bite."
The next party were the Radicals, who, in spite of their name, were not radical and prepared to compromise on everything. "We`re the Center," they said. "You can`t rule without us. We wanted to rule with right wing Left (or Right) – except they wouldn`t have us – and then we would have given up being liberal. Before that, we ruled with the socialists and then, of course, we were liberal." This was a long and complicated speech even for the liberal Radicals so then they had to pause for breath. "Yes. We are the Thinking People`s Party. Intellectuals vote for us. We have recently said that we wanted our leader to be the new Prime Minister. But, of course, we`ve compromised on that one now because no one else wanted it." They obviously had a lot to say but it didn`t make very much sense so they were a prime candidate for beheading.
The next party were the Socialist Party. "Why doesn`t anybody vote for us any more. It wasn`t our fault that the economy was in a mess and that unemployment rose to record levels, when we were in office. We spent, didn`t we?"
They paused, heads hunched between their shoulders and brows sharply receding, while their knuckles dragged along the ground. "We have a new policy. We propose to give the unemployed more money. That way, they won`t ever have to work. And, as more and more people become unemployed, more and more people will vote for us." There was almost a flicker of intelligence passed through their eyes, but, yes, the emphasis falls on "almost".
"And we also have our traditional policies of "Spend Generously". We will spend on everybody and everyone and, when we don`t have any money left to spend, we will still spend."
Beheading would possibly be too good for these dudes but they had after all been elected, so they should be beheaded like everyone else.
The next socialist party (SF) was small and minor and everyone was out. It seemed they were very busy. This party did not have policies because no one could agree on them. Eventually someone was found. "We believe in the freedom of every MP to be free. He can think what he likes. We`ve even abolished voting. We just discuss things…interminably. Anyway, nobody cares what we discuss and there will always be oddballs, who vote for us. We have ideas for everybody. Not so many good ones…but." The best idea was behead them.
The next party, the Unity List were not at home either. They were on strike in solidarity with the Danish workers, who were also on strike. On a notice board was stuck a small piece of yellow paper with their party program. On top was written Communist Party and you`ve probably guessed the rest.
In all fairness to them, there were not many of them. A note was left next to their party political program to say that they had all been proscribed. It said, "Proscribio, proscription, proscriptus sum – beheading." And, being Communist, they should have understood there had been a coup.
When the Parliamentarians all heard they were to be beheaded, they rushed around like crazy. They held party meetings, made telephone calls and wrote emails. Eventually they decided to actually go to Parliament and hold speeches there. This was new to many of them, who had never gotten further than their fine offices and free secretaries. Also, when they all got in, they found there were more people than Parliamentary seats, but they included the extra members anyhow as having no time to hold a debate on electoral fraud.
"What are we goanna do`" "Maybe we could have a President." "How are we goanna do that?" "Well, we could just guillotine all the political opponents until there was just one dude left over."
This made most of them gulp and feel their necks. So, they decided to consult a whole bunch of constitutional lawyers to get the new law ruled null and nisi. Which they duly did.
And so, the Parlement of Fowles (Fools) in Denmark could go on squawking. (And The White Queen had forgotten about her new law already.)
Geoff Jackson Denmark
Two Scrooges and a Xmas Tree
Gray and Jeff looked at each other and up at the enormously tall Xmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, which was the annual gift of the people of Norway to the people of London in remembrance of the Blitz. The little coloured balls twirled in the late afternoon December, reflecting the fairy lights that festooned the Tree.
The Salvation Army Band started to play a Xmas carol "Away in a manger…No crib for a bed… The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head…The stars in the dark sky looked down where He lay…The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay…"
Jeff could almost feel the tears pricking his eyes. He was broke and unemployed and his brother, Gray, idem ditto. They had travelled up town to London`s West End to see the Tree as this was the closest they would get to Xmas. Their trip down on the Tube had been free for they had vaulted the ticket barriers as is the wont of London`s down-and-outs.
"Crikey, what a great Tree," said Jeff. "Yeah, it`s…" said Gray searching his vocabulary for a word that would fit the occasion, "Wonderful."
Hands thrust in pockets, spellbound in fairyland, the music of the Salvation Army Band ladies in their sex-less uniforms and trombones, drifting over them, the magic of Xmas cast its spell.
After half-an-hour of eternity, they found themselves on the outskirts of the crowd and sadly turned away from the many round-eyed children also captivated by the tree.
"Heck," said Gray, "if only I could afford a Xmas Tree this year."
The Wasteland of a Xmas Tree-less Xmas opened like a void before Jeff, who gave a swallow of self-pity.
"Perhaps…" he said. "Perhaps what?" said Gray. "Well, you know…" said Jeff "Know what?" said Gray. "OK. We could steal one," said Jeff. "Steal a what?" said Gray. "A Xmas Tree." "Isn`t it sort of big?" "Well, we could look kind of…nonchalant." "We could crack on like we`ve bought it," said Gray, warming to the idea. "It wouldn`t have a bar code or a metal strip."
And so the idea of the crime of the century was engendered in the minds of Gray and Jeff, who were without money, had wives – and in Gray`s case a young kid – to support and had nothing much to thank the system for. Jesus had given to the Poor and they, as the poor, would re-enfranchise what was their birthright, namely a piece of Xmas.
No sooner planned – the idea had to be executed. They were already in the West End. The West End is London`s Mecca for shops. Just find a Xmas Tree shop and steal one.
They wandered down Oxford Street. Sure enough, a Marks and Spencer`s. And there were the Xmas Trees stacked neatly half the way across the pavement but not in the way of passers by. They shone and glowed in the passing headlights and the shop`s neon. The bark glistened and the sawn ff stumps were fresh and white.
There was a doorman. So, Gray and Jeff stopped at a neighbouring shop and pressed their noses to the glass to watch electric trains.
"Tea break, Alf," said a loud voice unexpectedly and just as suddenly, the doorman disappeared. The brothers exchanged just one glance and, acting in unison, one took the foot and the other the crown of the nearest Tree and quick-marched it down Oxford Street.
The doorman`s replacement had not yet appeared and no voice arrested them. Shrill police whistles were in abeyance. No squad car twirled its lights nor blared its siren. All in all, easy-peasy. The theft was effectuated and the tree borne away.
But how to get it home? Gray suggested a bus. But they couldn`t get it upstairs on a double-decker because the steps twisted round and the downstairs were packed and the tree would block the aisle. It was too big for a Hansom cab and, anyway, they didn`t have the fare.
So, they decided on the Tube. They couldn`t repeat their acrobatics of coming up town so Jeff took some pound coins from a plastic bag in his pocket to insert into the automatic ticket dispenser. He had collected three little plastic bags of pound coins from the bank on the strength of his one and only credit card. They were to feed the gas meter and to ensure that he would have enough money to supply the TV so he could watch at least some of his favourite programmes over Xmas. Ruefully, he noted how the bag with coins depleted.
But they had the Tree!
Through the automatic barriers, they descended into the depths of the Underground and proprietarily Jeff clucked as people passing by on the escalator disturbed the branches of HIS Tree. The merry music of a busker greeted them as they went past but the brothers never glanced at him nor gave him a second thought and never in their lives had they given money to a busker!
The train was narrow so the Tree had to be negotiated in but the other passengers without stopping were reasonably obliging and co-operative – it was, after all, Xmas.
Eventually, Jeff found himself a seat and Gray sat along the row with a couple of empty seats between them. The Tree lay on their laps and occupied the vacant seats. The brothers avoided the glances of the little old ladies standing, clutching the overhead railings and rocking with the motion of the train.
They got out in the East End near London`s old dockyards, where they lived. Then came the problem of whose the Xmas Tree was. Gray wanted to cut it in two but that would have been the end of a beautiful Tree. So, they agreed to split it so the one would have it over Xmas and the other would take it over New Year. Since they obviously both wanted the Xmas share, they flicked a ten-pence coin and since Jeff called "heads" and the Queen`s head came up, Jeff won it over Xmas.
Gray helped to carry the Tree to Jeff`s house in Pimlico Street and they got it through the front door and installed in the living room. How Elsa`s eyes lit up, a-goo and round, like the kids` in Trafalgar Square. She hurried Gray over his cup of tea and soon had him out of the house.
Jeff and his wife set about decorating THEIR Tree right away. Jeff owned decorations going right back to his childhood days and they decked the Tree with fairy lights and coloured balls and tinsel. Jeff kissed Elsa holding aloft a sprig of plastic mistletoe. And they fed the gas meter with coins and turned on the gas fire in honour of the cheery occasion and in order to keep out the damp and cold of the early London evening.
That night in bed, Jeff had a terrible nightmare. He dreamt he was visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas To Come. He woke, shuddering and shivering under the threadbare blankets, and tried hard to concentrate his thoughts on the Angel they had hung on the top of the Tree. Finally, he sang under his breath, "Away in a manger…No crib for a bed…The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head… And so, he fell asleep again.
And his conscience never more pricked him. After all: Crime pays.
Freedom from Democracy|
from THE BUSH DIARIES
Guess you thought grass-roots democracy was the answer, didn`tya ? Forget it, ya just get them varmints even closer on your back than ever before.
I propose moving all politicians to Washington and then, when we colonize Mars, shooting ‘em all up there. Without a regular postal service (God forbid we should give ‘em emails) they would be well and truly off our backs. The reader is referred to my Ph.D. thesis, ‘Interstellar Phased Out` published by M.I.T. on recyclable paper.
D`ya ever wonder how all this government business started? Well, I guess in America it got started with the Pilgrim Fathers, who came over on the Mayflower. They were fleeing from the religious persecution of the Big Government of their day.
They started up grass-roots democracy. They established meetinghouses and the people got a chance to worship as they chose. So far, so good.
But then those that didn`t choose to worship got no choice. They sure did influence American democracy and the ones that didn`t like it moved west. "These truths we hold to be self-evident…" If ya didn`t see anything self-evident in that and wanted a reason, ya had to leave.
But take today. Freedom is a fine thing. Creationists, for example, want to have the freedom to start their own schools and teach their own beliefs, which, as it happens, are not the same as the rest of us. Gee, why not? But when they get that freedom, they goanna make sure the rest of us believe it, as well. They goanna run their own Creationist schools, and they goanna run the rest of us out of town.
If religious freedom was the discovery of the seventeenth century, sexual freedom has been the discovery of the twentieth century. But now we`re in the twenty-first century and we don`t got it no more.
Guess, the big bugbear is AIDS. (Gee, those green monkeys sure got a lot to answer for – shoot the varmints.) Yeah, if you`re a red-blooded male, AIDS surely cramps your style. Just thinking about it puts you off your stroke.
So, what`ya goanna do? Maybe practice ABSTINENCE. Think about sex and maybe twiddle your thumbs, I guess. Until the day of marriage dawns and ya decide it wasn`t what`ya imagined after all.
Abortion is another freedom the politicians wanna take from us. Unwanted babies will be dumped in plastic bags like in the old days. Abortionists will practice with knitting needles and hot baths.
Holy cow, ya won`t be able to get a divorce. So, there won`t be no alimony. Well, that`s nice. But watching the girl you hate grow older and more horrible, the rows rising ever more Wagnerian to rattle the chimney pot and shake the walls? Oh, if we could shoot them politician varmints!
Economic freedom is probably one of the most important freedoms of our society. Big Government decides what taxes ya gotta pay. Where do the taxes go? Why, they go to pay Big Government. It`s a vicious circle. And, man, do I mean vicious. Those taxes really bite into your income.
Course, you need schools, you need law and order, you need a military, a space program etc. and you need to pay bureaucracy to collect the taxes to pay the bureaucracy. Ya getting` more and more into reading ‘Interstellar Phased Out`, ain`tya? All proceeds go to the author so it`s a good cause.
Thinking of starting your own business? Well, it`s a good thing. Kinda altruistic. You could give jobs to the guys. Many poor suckers don`t have jobs these days. But forget it. Those taxes again. Then ya got the accountants and the lawyers and the loans ya could never pay back.
The government gives tax-breaks to Big Business. It gives contracts to Big Business. It gives your money to Big Business. Big Business pays big executive salaries and those guys live good. But Big Business don`t give jobs to regular guys. They fire ‘em to save money. OK. So ship ‘em off to Mars as well before they ship factories off to poor countries so they can save money on the wage-bill. Call it globalization these days, I guess.
And yet, America is the Land of the Free. Ain`t much free these days, ‘cept emails, ‘cos ya gotta pay for everything. America is free, however, in the sense that ya can say what ya want. But`ya gotta watch out for the Patriot Act. And ya cell-phones are bugged. The media is free but nowadays it`s all censored.
Well, ya free to leave. A lot of military servicemen for instance go to Canada. Rumor says that Bush is going to South America, when he quits as President.
What has gone wrong in this Great Land of America? Well, it`s the politicians, I guess. Most of ‘em are varmints. And it`s Washington, "a whited sepulcher with within the bones of dead men". The Capitol is too big for its boots. And the local politicians are just as bad. They wanna get elected, wanna do nothing and wanna get paid.
But what can I do, I hear you saying. Mars isn`t an option until 2050. Well, ya got ya vote. Vote for the Party that`s against Big Government. Vote for the Party that won`t pander to Big Business. Vote for the Party that lets you spend your own dollars and only takes nickels and dimes. Vote for religious freedom and tolerance. Vote to stay master in your own house. And if ya still don`t know what to vote, put a gun to your head and pull the trigger ‘cos, dude, ya ain`t got nut`in in ya brain no ways.
George W. Bush was sitting behind the great mahogany desk in the sumptuous Oval Office writing another speech on ABSTINENCE.
A blonde lady with an hourglass figure bent down to pour his coffee and he could not but notice the bouncing breasts in the new tighter-fitting-White-House-regulation uniform with "Chief" tattooed across them.
As she left, his hand reached out to caress his…Bible, a great black book bound in letters of gold. And from under the Bible, he took out the latest issue of Playboy, which he flicked through idly to find inspiration to write about ABSTINENCE.
"Oh, the forbidden fruits," he thought. "And, yes. Forbid the fruits. Varmints." He made a note.
Another young lady, also décolleté with breasts firm and full, entered with a sugar bowl. Gently, she squeezed both his sugar lumps with her tang before releasing them.
He wondered when the cream would come.
Blinking old, watery eyes, he returned to the words of his speech. He conjugated…and declined. He thought of Laura…and all she had taught him of grammar.
He checked ABSTINENCE to see he had speled it correct. Briefly, he considered ABSTINAINCE but that don`t look rightly right, he thought.
When he had been a young man, there had been wild parties and willing gals and then there had been marriage with Laura and then Gee, yeah, he guessed, then had come ABSTINENCE. But power has its perks so life had not been so bad on that score.
Of course, he had always lived with Laura in conjugating bliss. How many speeches had she not made. How she had taught him to decline in his declining years.
He sucked his pen, replaced the Good Book (Playboy) under the Bible and took a slurp of his coffee. Yeah! Hot, black and sweet – just as he liked it. Those were the days with the gals down south. Pay ‘em a coupla bucks and they`d do most anything. Sure had a mean hot-rod in those days and that was all they wanted.
He spilt a little coffee onto the word ABSTINENCE. Now it didn`t look so fine. Still, it would be typed up. Hot-diggetty-dog, what a fine girl she was and what a fine pair she had. He would stand over and supervise the…typing.
The speech was not finished but he guessed he`d give it to the speechwriters. The time showed 18.30 on the digital display, so he made a quick mental conversion and decided it was time to eat. And after eating, he and Laura would take an early night. And sleep…again. ABSTINENCE.
Being the Second Conversation of the Gnome, Twinkle-toes with George W. Jnr.
"Hi," said the gnome into the receiver. "It`s me, Twinkle-toes. I`m a gnome. I`m an American citizen. I`m a taxpayer. Gimme the President." "Well, he`s practicing his golf-swing on the carpet of the Oval Office just now. Afterwards, he will be served coffee. "So, gimme him. I ain`t got all day."
There was a sound of voices conferring and then:
"Hi. This is George W. Jnr. We talked before, Twinkle-toes. What ya wan`?" The gnome swelled to most twice his size – about one foot – because the President had remembered his first name.
"Gee, Mr. President, it sure is so swell to talk to ya again." "Yeah, I know," said the President. "What ya wan`?" "We wanna take you home, Mr. President," "Where to?"
"To Dakota, Mr. President. To the Bad Lands that repented and became Good." "To Dakota?" "Yeah." "Is there oil there?" "No." "Then I ain`t goin`" "But we`s good folks, Mr. President. We`s got ya in our hearts in the homey homesteads of Dakota. We`s voted for ya`s. We loves ya." "Dakota? I`s no ways goin` to Dakota. Nobody ain`t rightly goes to Dakota." "But where is ya goin`, Mr. President, when ya`s finished as President?" "I ain`t not goin` nowheres. I`s stays."
"Rumor has it, Mr. President, that you`s goanna goes to South America." "It`s lies. I stays. I ain`t goin` no place."
"So, ya ain`t goin` to South America." "I didn`t say that, Gnome. I jest says it`s lies. I ain`t goin` to South America. But maybe I`ll go. Maybe I`ll jest visit down there." "How long you`s a-goanna visit?" "I ain`t goanna visit long." "How long?"
"Maybe a coupla weeks. Maybe a coupla months. I don`t rightly know. I`s a-comin` back to visit the United States. But maybe not so long. Maybe a coupla months. But then – maybe not so long."
"Why you`s a-goanna stay away from us when you ain`t President, Mr. President?" "Well, cain`t rightly say. There have been allegations and rumors. The word "corruption" is upon some men`s lips. Yeah, I fear many court-cases, when I leave High Office."
"But`ya ain`t done nuthin`, Mr. President." "Sure ain`t. But`ya ain`t gotta say nuthin`, when a case is sub judice. Costs so much more to bribe everybody." "What do you mean by corruption? How have you been corrupt?" "Cain`t rightly say. Everybody says I`s been corrupt. And if you open your mouth about corruption again, I`ll slap you in jail under the Patriot Act." "Oh, Mr. President, we`s believes you`s as white as the driven snow in Dakota." "Thanks. I is."
"We`s all Born Again, where I`s from. If anyone ain`t Born Again, we`s run him out of town. We sure is mighty grateful for all you`s done for us." "Thanks." "You cain`t do wrong with the Lord on your side." "Sure is. I always had the Lord on my side. I never did do no wrong." "Just gotta look into your heart, Mr. President." "Sure did. I always sure did choose to do right. I asked what was right and did it. Without asking anyone else. Mostly I chose what was right for me." "So what`s the problem, Mr. President. We love ya, Mr. President. Ya a Christian."
"Twinkle-toes. You`s only a gnome. You don`t understand how wicked these people can be." "Wicked? Ya mean they ain`t Born Again?" "They`s a-huntin` and a-houndin` me, now my time as President is up. Yeah, a-huntin` and a houndin`, you pint-size gnome." "Gee, sure. I gotta huntin` hound, myself. I appreciate your position, Mr. President." "Well, this is why I is leavin` ya, ya dude. I is under attack by my foes. I is facin` lawsuits front and back. I is makin` no further comments."
"So, it`s true. You is a-leavin`" "I isn`t sayin` nuthin` I ain`t a-commentatin` on no comments."
At that point, a rather pretty young thing came in with the coffee and the President took a slurp.
"Don`t quote me on that, Gnome. Don`t quote me on anything. None of it`s true."
And the surprised and astonished gnome was in three minds as to what to believe of the rumors and allegations that were flying thick and fast concerning the President and All his Acts.
May God Bless Ya`s All.
Being the Second Conversation of the Gnome, Twinkle-toes with George W. Jnr.
The Gnome Puts in a P`one
"Bah," the line was engaged. The gnome bashed the phone down angrily. He had expressly written an email to the President that he would be phoning at this time and now there was no one on the line.
The phone rang again a half-hour later and a friendly Aide asked him his name.
"I`m Twinkle-toes, King of Fairyland," he said. "Well…uh…yeah," the Aide said, "I`ll just tell him, it`s a gnome calling." "How are ya`all. This is George W.," a voice said a couple of minutes later. "Hi! I`m Twinkle-toes," said the gnome. "What the helluva name is that? Y`ain`t…well…you know, I don`t hold with none of that." "I got ten kids," said the gnome. "Sounds normal," said the voice. "Look, I`ll call you Mr. Gnome and you can call me Mr. President."
"Well," said the gnome, "Bush is a name we use for squirrels over here, so I guess Mr. President will do fine." "OK, so what d`ya wan`? Ain`t got much time. Putin puts in a p`one call once in a while, Blair blabs sometimes, and there`s even a Congressman that I don`t want to talk to, who phones." "Mr. President, there have been lies about you." "Sure have. They said there weren`t no weapons of mass destruction in I-raq and there weren`t none. They said I hid under a table at 9/11 and there wasn`t no table."
"Well," the gnome said. "It`s also lies that you lined your pocket with Hurricane Katrina money, that the whole Bush family is corrupt and that you`ve even rigged election results."
"Well, of course, it is," said the President. "I`m glad you agree with me. All men of conscience agree I am a man of honesty. And so I am. The rest is a whole bunch of lies. Anyhow, what`dya want, Gnome? I`m a busy man." "I want to invite you home to live in Dakota, when you quits as President." "Ain`t nobody lives in Dakota,." said George W. "We do. We voted for you, dude. Dakota was rootin` George W." "Oh, yeah. My constituents. I love my constituents. I would do anything for those, who vote for me. But I`m not living in Dakota." "Well, I read a rumor, Mr. President, that you`s goanna` move to South America when ya quits."
"South America. Rubbish. Rumors. I`ll have ‘em all arrested." "So, y`ain`t goin`?" "Never. I swear."
"`Cos the wife and me wouldn`t like it if you was. They`s criminals goes there." "Yeah, well I ain`t." "Where`s you goin` then, Mr. President?" "I don`t know. I ain`t goin` nowhere." "What`s ya goanna do, when ya quits?" "I`s goanna Serve my Country."
"Ain`t ya starting pretty late, Mr. President?" "I has always served My Country. And I has drafted the Patriot Act with My Own Hand to put in jail anyone, who says anything to disagree with me." "Gee, Mr. President, won`t you just come to live with me and the wife in Fairyland?" "I been in Fairyland all the time I been President," said the President and hung up.