Written by matwil
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Saturday, 18 April 2009

image for The President's New Clothes The president's new clothes

Once upon a time, many many years ago, there lived a man far far away, who was a stranger in a strange land. And many terrible wars inflicted this land, and many bad men worked for the evil king, King Shrubulus the Densest, and those evil men took people to the king's castle, and locked them in the dungeons there.

And then the evil men went and waged more terrible wars against all the other kingdoms that they didn't like, and there was much unhappiness across the land. And this king wore the most expensive clothes in the kingdom, ones that took many tailors to make, for it was skillful work to inlay gold and silver and uranium and oil into the clothes.

And one day the man was in the market square, watching the king's men kidnap another prisoner to take to the dungeons, and watching all the dead and injured men arriving in hospital carriages, those that had been forced to fight in King Shrubulus's wars, and he thought to himself:

'This is wrong, why doesn't this land get rid of the king, and stop all the wars, and let the poor people out of the dungeons? And replace the king with a president, and stop giving the king all their money to make new, expensive clothes?' And so he stood up next to a stall full of water melons, and began telling the people in the market about his ideas, and many, many people stopped to listen to him, for he was good at speaking.

But when the king heard of this, he choked on his roast boar and said: 'I ain't scared of nobody, sticks and bones may hurt my stones, but worms will never hurtle me', but a big crowd of people had come to the castle, demanding that the king let his prisoners go, and that wars against other kingdoms should end. And demanded that he stop being king and stop wearing expensive clothes, so the king shrugged and left the castle, and the stranger became president of the land.

And the president had new clothes made, ones that were simple and cheap and trustworthy, ones that reflected his own beliefs in peace and not locking people up as prisoners, ones that were so different from the old king's ones.

And he appeared on his balcony at the castle, and waved to thousands of cheering people and began making another speech, but soon he noticed that he hadn't got their attention, and indeed some were starting to laugh at him and others were simply wandering away, not wanting to hear anything else he had to say. Feeling confused, the president turned to his trusted advisor, the king's niece Princess Ugllary of Dogsbodia, and asked her why the people were laughing at him or leaving, or both.

'Why, take a look at your new clothes in a mirror, Mister President', she told him, bringing out a cracked one from her pocket, and when he looked into it he saw that his clothes were really the expensive ones that the king had worn after all, and that he himself now looked like the king as well.

'Well', he said angrily, 'I'm so angry about being tricked that this means war! Attack Transoilania at once! And make me more clothes, ones laced with opium and the finest European silks', and as the few spectators that were left near the castle began to protest, he shouted 'Throw 'em in the dungeons! And throw the keys away!'

And so the president became just like the king, and the people wished they had never bothered getting the president to replace the king, as it had all turned into a waste of time and money, for it had cost much to get the president into the castle.

Princess Ugllary sat in her room weaving her spells against the president, for she had secretly always worked for the king and still did, and another princess, Princess Michellika, simply vanished in a puff of smoke, and even the president's old friends Sir Conan the Barbowellian and Sir Drinkalot d'Guinessted were nowhere to be seen.

And they all lived unhappily ever after.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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