Thursday 25 February 2016

A leaky bucket

“Good morning Granny, are you sitting comfortably?” asked Dr. Pikeman bright and early on a Monday morning. 

“Oh, yes, I can’t wait for today’s lesson”, said Granny. “I’m becoming quite fond of my allowance and all the attention I’m getting. I never knew retirement could be so exciting!”

“Lesson for today, Divide and Rule.”

“Fantastic, the old tricks always work best”.

“Doesn’t do any harm to remind ourselves of the basic principles. We are scientists after all”, chuckled Dr. Pikeman. “At the Blessed Authority we’ve always taken particular care to ensure Members can never really unite on a topic and we employ a number of techniques to keep them docile. Alarmingly, the medication we’ve been adding to the hot water system has proven unreliable and there are obvious signs that some Members are attempting to find common ground. Increasing the dose has just pushed some of the more susceptible ones off the scale, so we need to find a new solution. For example, an e-mail sent by a member to everyone last week encouraged THIS for heaven’s sake!

“Perhaps now is the time for all of us to think carefully about openness, accountability, transparency and accuracy within our Authority - all of which we have a duty to promote, as Members.”

“Urgh, I know”, groaned Granny. “Absolutely ridiculous. I had to quickly kick one of my poodles into action to address this serious situation. But as you said, the medication in the hot water may have been a little too much for this particular individual, do you think his reply goes a bit too far … perhaps?”

“I would much rather you had not gone to the bother of haranguing me with this arrant, self- justifying, nonsense. But now that you have, I'm going to exercise my right of reply. 

“I have rarely come across such high-handed, self-regarding, pretentious twaddle beyond the pages of that other disreputable channel for infantile sniping at the Authority, its CEO, and Chair, the Broads National Pike. That you should seek to imbue me with your unique perspective on how we should conduct ourselves demonstrates nothing less than hilarious, breath-taking arrogance.”

“What a beauty” giggled Granny. “Was this the same person who was reported in the press to have said that the increase in tolls would cost less than a round of drinks?”

“No, don’t be ridiculous”, snorted Dr. Pikeman. “You must be really careful not to set up the same people twice in a row like that.”

“Of course. That would be cruel... saying that ... OMG! ... could it have been the same person we set up with that rubbish about hire boats getting a tax rebate on tolls? Now that really was too funny!”

“Seriously Granny, get a grip! We’re manipulative and devious, but we wouldn’t ... or did we? ... I honestly can’t remember ... but I’m not sure anymore … “ Dr. Pikeman’s shoulders were shaking as he tried to suppress a laughing fit.

“Hang on”, Granny was laughing out loud now, holding her sides as if they were about to split, “do you remember the twit who starting talking about a strictly confidential report in the main public meeting? To think we thought we had problems with the riff raff we have to put up with from local authorities!”

“Hahahaha! Hohohoho!”, Dr. Pikeman had tears rolling down his face now. “Now that really was something! Hahahah … ! That reminds me of another one I set up Granny, do you remember this one? I set somebody up to say that landscapes were more important than people …hahaha … do you remember … Granny?”

“That was me and it wasn’t funny”, Granny stamped out of the classroom.

“ Where are you going Granny? It was just a bit of innocent fun, can’t you take a joke? “

“NO! Now leave me alone and find out who is leaking all the email to the press while you’re at it. It’s not fair. I have nobody to trust anymore.”

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