The Curmudgeon


Monday, November 30, 2009

The Certain Distance

A Highly Principled Functionary in a Government which was about to engage in some Sanguinary Hanky-Panky registered a certain moral disquiet at the possibility that the eventual results might not cast him in an altogether favourable light. A few nights later, as the Highly Principled Functionary was travelling home from the flat where he maintained his mistress and other expenses claims, the Prime Minister himself rose from the back seat of the car, vaulted into the front and seized the steering wheel. Soon they had left the city far behind and were rattling and bumping along a narrow, overgrown track.

"May I humbly request enlightenment concerning the direction this Government is taking?" inquired the Highly Principled Functionary, once his jowls had settled more or less back into their accustomed station.

"I am driving you within a Certain Distance of your resignation," replied the Prime Minister; "but not all the way. If you wish to go beyond a Certain Distance, you will have to exercise certain prerogatives."

"What prerogatives?"

"You will have to get out and walk there yourself," said the Prime Minister.

The Highly Principled Functionary, because of concerns about his personal security, had not walked anywhere under his own power during the present Parliament. Once the Certain Distance had been reached, therefore, he suffered himself to be driven back to town.

Later, after a few hundred thousand persons had been killed, mutilated and made destitute, the Highly Principled Functionary informed the Court of Iniquity that he had suffered the gravest misgivings over the Sanguinary Hanky-Panky from the very beginning, but had felt it incumbent upon himself to protect the good name of the Government by refusing to add his career to the casualty figures.


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