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It's a nice day somewhere

Updated on November 1, 2010

One day in a very big country that had somehow become a very small country mainly because nobody could afford to go anywhere or do anything or get anywhere, the sun tactlessly rose.

The head of this great country was looking out the window and remembered a recent report from somebody that someone in the country had actually managed to become healthy enough and well enough and out of legal trouble enough to actually come to work. The head of the country looked at the crowds on the street going to their medical appointments, court hearings and the odd frivolous bankruptcy appeal and felt much better.

Even the epidemics seemed to be taking it easy. There hadn't been a plague for nearly a week, and even necroses were going out of fashion. Fortunately poverty was as popular as ever, and nobody was actually thinking of buying anything in the shops, so there was no real social tension. It was the sort of scenario social sciences dream about.

A brisk winter wind was blowing through the bones of the public, and their expressionless faces made them look like a moving doormat. Doormat–ism and become very popular in this century as an alternative to unrealistic expectations of anything ever happening. Children were now neither seen nor heard mainly because nobody can afford to do either. People tried to be as desperately uninteresting as possible instead of being interestingly desperate.

To everyone's great relief, the financial world had given up on excuses and spent most of its time attempting to justify its existence with increasingly complex apologies for itself. The head of state smiled as his delicately emaciated advisers entered the conference room. This was going to be an economic meeting, and nobody was expected to know what they were talking about, so it was likely to be a great social occasion.

The beauty of mediocrity is that expectations are so low and the social environment so lacking in imagination that absolutely nothing was ever expected to be achieved. The dilapidated banker shuffled into the room like a lost cause. His vacuous face was like an advertisement for his portfolio, a place where something might once have been.

The Education Secretary was reading the policy paper upside down. She said it made her feel better. That was mainly because she didn't want to read it anyway, but she'd always thought she should show some talent for something and tended to fall asleep when not convinced she was doing something. Not that it made a lot of different because nobody had any money of education anyway, but this pretence of consciousness was a nice touch.

The Defence Secretary, whose only known statement on any subject whatsoever was to point out that the country couldn't defend itself against itself, looked as though he belonged in the furniture warehouse which now took up the lower story of the government' s sole remaining building. There was no longer a public sector, mainly because political scientists had forgotten what it was supposed to do.

They tried asking some management scientists about how to have a public sector, and been given a brochure. Since nobody understood what the brochure meant, and political advisers suggested it was probably better that they didn't know what it meant, they had it framed and placed where the Constitution had once sat proudly on the wall till somebody sold it.

The head of state smiled at his loyal Cabinet. He said it was a nice day, and there was an uneasy silence. The Treasury Secretary sort of grimaced and looked around the table. After a slight pause he said, "Yes sir, it's a nice day somewhere."

Life was good enough. Nobody wanted to risk saying any more.


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    • Paul Wallis profile image

      Paul Wallis 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      That's exactly the impression I was hoping to give, that contrast in perspectives. These characters can't even admit to it being a nice day, and the environment for which they're responsible is the main reason.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Too deep for me - I need the cliffnotes on this one. My brain is hurting.

      When is life "good enough"? Life is great right where we are. Perhaps this is too negative for my fragile soul.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Somehow it sounds familiar. I wonder how.