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Thursday, 20 November 2014

A Democracy of Fruit

One day Captain West, Leader of the People of the Nation of Many Fruit, judged that the time had come to address the multitudes on a matter of great importance. 'Friends' he said to the assembled masses. 'Here in the Nation of Many Fruit we are a proud and privileged people. We are not like the aggressive, troublemaking people of Russland. Neither are we like the sly and cunning hard-as-nails Ironians. Again, we hold nothing in common with the slave-driven and pathological people of Northern Careers. And we are not at all like the repressive Rubik Cubans. No, friends, we have Freedom. We have Choice. And, above all else, we have Democracy!'

At this, the gathered throng squealed in delight. 'Here in the Nation of Many Fruit, we have democracy and choice' reiterated the Great Captain. 'Yes indeed, we give you a choice of fruit. It's for you to decide. We give you Coxes, Russets, or Golden Delicious!'

Once more, the people exploded into rapturous applause. 'Freedom, freedom, freedom' they chanted as of one voice. 'Coxes, Russets, Golden Delicious.'  One man at the back of the crowd, a surly-looking fellow with lank orange-brown hair and a wispy beard, slowly raised his head and spoke: 'I want a banana' he muttered. The crowd fell silent for a moment before breaking into a disparaging and slightly nervous chuckle. Then a young woman with long blond hair, porcelain pale skin, and painted red lips piped up: 'I'd rather like some strawberries.' At this, the people gathered in the square took to murmuring, then started to boo and hiss loudly.

The Captain stood still and stared for a moment. Then he spoke. 'Such nonsense' he declared. 'We have freedom. We have choice. We have democracy.'  'Bananas? Strawberries?' whinnied his left-hand man. 'Poisonous. toxic. Never heard of them. Probably don't even exist.'  'These people are terrorists' chimed in his right-hand man authoritatively. 'Conspiracy theorists. Out to destroy our Great Nation. Don't worry: we have their details.'

'We have Freedom' restated the Captain to the gathered throng. 'We have Choice. Above all, we have Democracy. I wish you all a good night.'

At this, the crowd applauded as one, before dispersing homewards, to discuss late into the night the Big Question: Coxes, Russets, or Golden Delicious.

Image: Cezanne, innit.