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Enlightened Administration

Okay, a couple of minutes ago I implied that I wasn’t going to tell any stories (or something like that). Maybe you were disappointed. Maybe you thought, “Oh. Thank God.” Maybe.

But I do have a story. A story of enlightenment.

I stepped into the conference room. It’s morning report. A time when we go over problems, issues, and generally direct the day’s operations.

The administrator starts off with a little speech. “We’ve all been uptight over the last few weeks. We’ve all noticed it. Half of us are crawling up the other half’s back; we’re talking behind each other’s backs; we’re snippy with each other. I don’t think I’m making any news saying this.”

And he wasn’t making any news. The Department of Health recently did their annual survey and it was a nit-picky and frustrating experience. Many of us still harbored the feelings we had during that week.

“I hope you’ll all bear with me,” he continued. “I’ve got a stress reduction video that I want us all to watch. Again, I know it’s different, but we need it.”

He turned on the television in the corner and pressed play on the VCR. An English gentleman is interviewing a woman. I immediately knew it was a Monty Python skit and sat back with a smile:

Announcer:
The stuff of history is indeed woven in the woof. Pearl Harbour. There are pages in history’s book which are written on the grand scale. Events so momentous that they dwarf man and time alike. And such is the Battle of Pearl Harbour, re-enacted for us now by the women of Barley Townswomen’s Guild.

Cut to a muddy corner of a field. Miss Rita Fairbanks stands talking straight to camera. Behind her lurk five more pepperpots.

Announcer:
Miss Rita Fairbanks - you organized this reconstruction of the Battle of Pearl Harbour - why?

Rita:
Well we’ve always been extremely interested in modern drama … we were of course the first Townswomen’s Guild to perform ‘Camp On Blood Island’, and last year we did our extremely popular re-enactment of ‘Nazi War Atrocities’. So this year we thought we would like to do something in a lighter vein…

Announcer:
So you chose the Battle of Pearl Harbour?

Rita:
Yes, that’s right, we did.

Announcer:
Well I can see you’re all ready to go. So I’ll just wish you good luck in your latest venture.

Rita:
Thank you very much, young man.

She retreats, and joins the other ladies who meanwhile separate into two opposing sides facing each other.

Announcer:
(reverential voice over) Ladies and gentlemen, the World of History is proud to present the premiere of the Batley Townswomen’s Guild’s re-enactment of ‘The Battle of Pearl Harbour’.

A whistle blows and the two sides set about each other with handbags etc., speeded up 50% just to give it a bit of edge. Mud and elbows and fists and feet flying. A pile of cross-dressed men in floral dresses mixing it up on some English field.

Thus ended the stress reduction video.

There was a special 3 o’clock showing of “The Upperclass Twit of the Year.” I attended.

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