By Gordon Robinson
Like the notorious boy who cried wolf, it's a dangerous trend to always call a crowd to witness your every movement. Before long, you'll expose a little too much.
In Apocrypha, that magical fantasy land beyond the clouds, the entire Cabinet was up in arms. Their own Big Bad Wolf, Generalissimo Contralto, appointed by Parliament to monitor government contracts to fix potholes and report suspected corruption, had, in a desperate attempt to turn a colourless job apparently colourful, cornered the market on huffing and puffing at all sorts of imaginary enemies of the State.
Threatening all and sundry with prosecution for every slight real or imagined had become an ingrained habit. Generalissimo had become every journalist's favourite public servant as neither newspaper space nor broadcast time was left unfilled while he was around. His penchant for self-aggrandisement meant he was constantly issuing voluminous press releases on his every movement, never using 10 words where a thousand would do. Soon these releases became known, among snickering journalists, as Generalissimo's vowel movements.
INVESTIGATING THE CABINET
One day, drunk with his own hype and seeking new worlds to conquer, Generalissimo decided to investigate the Cabinet. But when Cabinet ignored his strident demands for information, in a pique, he referred the entire Cabinet to Apocrypha's chief prosecutor and recommended all be prosecuted for disobedience.
Apocrypha was astounded. Prime Minister PoorShe Simple-Muller was so shocked she stopped hugging people and asked Oma for advice. Regular readers remember Apocryphan Finance Minister and PhD in logic, Oma D'unn. Sci-fi fans will recognise Oma, who was, like a moon, bright only in the dark. Oma told PoorShe his Scottish girl lodger story:
Once upon a time on Earth, a Scottish couple took in an 18-year-old girl lodger. When she asked if she could have a bath, the woman of the house told her, "We don't have a bath, although there's a tin bath in front of the fire you can use if you wish."
She continued: "Monday's the best night, when my husband goes out to football." The girl agreed to wait until Monday.
After her husband had gone to the club for his football match, the woman filled the bath and watched the girl get undressed. She was surprised to see that the lass didn't have any pubic hair.
She told her husband this when he came home. He didn't believe her, so she said: "Next Monday, leave a little early for football, and wait in the back garden. I'll leave a gap in the curtains so you can see for yourself."
The following Monday, when the girl again undressed, the wife asked: "Do you shave?"
"No," replied the girl. "I've never grown hair down there. Do you have hair?"
"Oh, yes," said the woman. She pulled up her nightdress and showed the girl she was generously endowed in the hair department - very generously.
The girl finished bathing and went to bed.
Later that night, when hubby came in, the wife asked, "Did you see it?"
"Yes," he said, "but why the hell did you have to show her yours?"
"Why ever are you worried about that?" she asked, puzzled. "You've seen it often before."
"Aye, I know," he said, "but the football team hadn't!"
The moral of the story is that when you repeatedly expose yourself by crying "foul" without discretion, one day the "wrong" people (i.e., non-sycophants) will see you for who you really are. When hysterical blindness prevents you from appreciating that an entire Cabinet (as opposed to specifically identified individual members) can't be proven guilty of a criminal offence except maybe treason; when you repeatedly so overreach your jurisdiction as to make your office a mockery; when you refuse to accept boundaries; when runaway megalomania drives you to unjustly bite the hand that feeds you, it's time to try retrieving your marbles if they can be found.
It was bound to happen. Years of barking up empty trees; looking under stones covering nothing; yapping at innocent heels; and brazen self-promotion despite zero progress in reducing or even ferreting out real corruption can end up as desperation to leave a mark. Regrettably, blots are also marks.
Every day carry bucket to the well ... .
The absence of prosecutorial experience and an apparent reluctance to take advice from criminal law experts might have driven Generalissimo to the edge of lunatic fringe behaviour. What Apocrypha needs is somebody who knows what a sound prosecution looks like. Or how to keep his vowel movements private.
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.