Yer Average Grandfather's Bedtime Story
by David Marsden
"Oh Granddad, do please tell me a story - please - please..?"
"OK, let's see...mnnn - yes, here's one - how about 'The
Emperor's New Clothes...?'"
"Ughhh - boring and old-fashioned. Don't you have anything
new and scary, like 'Shrek?'"
"If you'd let me finish.I was about to tell you the true
story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes - hmnnn - Hangers' and
it goes like this.
"Once upon a time there lived a very lucky emperor who not
only made it just in the nick of time to the gilded throne
through a freak accident of birth but also from a secret balloting
accession fiasco of unimaginable slapstick proportions.
"Now, the new emperor hailed from his nation's wildest, most
litigious and lawless region where it is said there are more
paper and people shredding machines per capita than anywhere
else on earth. Yes, even including Somalia.
"Where he comes from hundreds of tons of incriminating documents
are routinely shredded daily by large international auditing
firms that ostensibly exist only to protect small investors
and prevent directors of large companies siphoning-off hard-earned
retirement pension funds - to eager and willing off-shore
money laundering financial institutions - before declaring
"And where thousands of over-proportionally racially-profiled
wretches are summarily shredded too, mainly because their
court-appointed defence attorneys sleep or drink during trials
where judges and jurors alike wear big ten-gallon hats and
pack concealed weapons. Quaint customs stemming from the days
when predominantly European settlers shredded marauding bands
of bow-and-arrows-carrying legally-entitled land-owning native
indigenous peoples riding bareback.
"Now, and pay attention because this has a significant bearing
on what follows, the future emperor was sent by his emperor
father - before he was deposed to greener corporate pastures
- to get his on-the-job-training running, among other things,
a penal system where incarcerated degenerates and deviates
- innocent or guilty it makes not a jot of difference - are
subjected to extreme sensory deprivation as a matter of course.
"The generally-accepted logic behind such treatment says
potential murderers, armed robbers and rapists are forced
to think twice before committing a crime, or not, and generally
don't, thereby avoiding being sentenced to be shredded or
to spending life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
And keeping taxes down by not having to build even more penitentiaries.
"But in reality as everyone knows it's because it gives voters
a squishy and safe vengeance-y sort-of-feeling.
"Then, suddenly one day - on a recent January 24 to be precise
- the emperor was confronted with three conundrums of epic
awesomeness. Literally, and simultaneously, apocalyptic events
occurring within moments of each other:
"In a punishment-friendly court - located in an area where
most residents depend on their livelihood from the emperor
and his closet advisors - one of his very own people was arraigned
before a judge and charged with four most grievous matters.
Each of which could lead to the people-shredding final solution.
But since the defendant's 'civil rights' had been so mangled
in captivity defence lawyers are already shredding each other
for the job.
"Not ten miles away before an august and auspicious government
tribunal - don't these people have real jobs? - a crack certified
public accountant refused to answer questions from a group
of elected officials who like most of their fellows had recently
been caught-out being increasingly showered with gold, frankincense
and myrrh. Especially myrrh. From companies adept in the golden
parachute poison pill tactic of hiring unimpeachable international
audit companies employing high crack auditors trained and
well-versed in the art of refusing to answer questions from
a group of elected officials without real jobs in government
tribunals, etc., etc, ad infinitum and ad nauseum.
"And, ominously, over the deep wide ocean, Jack Sprat, the
Foreign Minister of the most loyal coalition partner ever
made the seemingly-harmless (but not) suggestion that people
of his nation held in cages on an otherwise hostile Caribbean
island be shipped back to their own country to be tried in
their own courts. Where people-shredding is outlawed completely
and life without the possibility of parole is unknown.
"The emperor summarily summoned his ironically betitled Secretary
of Defense - think about it for a minute - and asked for reassurances
that he was above it whatever happened, and that his closet
advisors had everything under control.
"'Oh we do - your majesty - trust us - there's still a remote
chance we'll all serve out our terms and live happily ever
"Tomorrow night I'll tell you how the new emperor authorised
staggering regular infusions of ducats to his Tallitubbie
allies to induce them to allow his father's company to build
a pipeline through their country and then suddenly cuts-off
all payments and bombs them from 30,000 ft causing untold
panic, misery, death and hunger among the civilian population
that we never see and aren't told about because it isn't -
in the true sense of the word - a war."
"And some other time, how the relatively-benign Tallitubbies
were replaced by savage warlords."
"Thank you Granddad - so much better than 'Shrek.' I do hope
they make TV movies out of all of them."
"Oh they will darling - oh, how they will - goodnight and
David Marsden syndicates his columns to newspapers worldwide
from Barbados and answers intelligently - if not diligently
- all non-abusive emails sent to Dee-Marz@cariaccess.com
Copyright © 2002 David Marsden. All rights reserved.