In which satire elects to take on reality – and loses by a landslide!
Our Eternal President Decides to Mend his Ways
As this episode in the Cairnland saga is being written, the territory that surrounds our 70 acre enclave of sanity is preparing for what they quaintly call a “General Election”. However, real generals seem to be in short supply over there, and instead it’s looking all too likely that they’re going to end up with still being run by…. But please, let’s just not go there right now, or indeed let’s not go to the UK in the future if it does come to pass. Unfortunately though, being run by crazies seems to be way things are going in the world nowadays, although at least the French (yes, the French!) have just avoided it, so here in Cairnland we’re having a bit of a rethink.
The reason for the rethink is that we had our own election here a few weeks ago. The votes were cast, and the votes were counted, but it’s just that it didn’t happen in quite that order. Admittedly the result took some people by surprise, but as our President (now re-elected as President for Eternity) pointed out, it’s not uncommon for sportspeople to “give 110%”, so why should they be so surprised that he “got 110%”? Just where is the contradiction here? However, protests were muted after those people who stopped applauding his New Year Address too early were never seen again, but now it seems that just about all national leaders are behaving in this sort of way. Well, neither Cairn nor Cairnland got where they are today by behaving in the same way as everybody else, so now that they’ve followed us down the despotism route, we’re going to catch them out by becoming nice guys again!
Ultimately it all comes down to hairstyles. In order to be a successful despot, your hairstyle has to be silly, whereas our President’s hair is well, just messy. That bloke who’s currently trashing the US has the mother of all combovers, the one who’s diverting North Korea’s entire GDP into making missiles that occasionally manage to leave the launchpad has a short back-and-sides that extends to about two feet above his ears, and the appearance of the one who seems to be grabbing more power for himself in Turkey has been compared to Gollum from Lord of the Rings, who had just three or four wavering strands up there . And to Cairn’s President, the British Prime Minister’s hair doesn’t look quite “right” either, although he can’t work out exactly why. Also, and whisper it who dares, at least some of those other people are just a little on the “pudgy” side from all their decadence, whereas he can still touch his toes while standing up (he’s just checked) as well as still being able to see them. So there. He’s just not cut out for it.
But wait! Is it sensible to poke fun at people who have such destructive weaponry at their disposal? They could blast Cairnland off the map! Actually no, not with the defensive umbrella that we can now so easily erect. The prototype was tested on the smallholding that Neil our Production Manager has here, which he pretty much entirely covered with netting earlier in the year in order to protect his chickens from incoming birds that may have carried avian flu. Since it worked for him then, we’re pretty sure that a scaled-up version should work against missiles. As further protection, we could always insult all these people at once, so that their weaponry all arrives at the same time and just harmlessly smashes into each other well above us. What could possibly go wrong?
Brokering a Brexit Compromise
In future, friendship, tact and diplomacy have to define the way forward, but we realise it’s not going to be easy. This brings us to the all-important issue of Brexit, which is likely to hurt our neighbours in the UK even more than they deserve, so we’d really like to help them get out of this mess. And here we have the beginnings of an idea. What is it that the British REALLY don’t like about mainland Europe? Can it be because of the easy travel, which means that they tend to bump into loads of other Brits whenever they visit? Or because the major European cities all tend to be so clean and stylish, which makes so many British ones look crap by comparison? Or because their phones work just as well there as in the UK when they visit, so that they can’t cut themselves off from people back home by going over there? Or because it keeps reminding them how much more expensive and worse British food and drink still tends to be? Or because the locals insist on embarrassing them by speaking perfect English (amongst several other languages) when the Brits can’t speak a word of theirs and quite often struggle with their own? These things may all contribute, but surely the real reason for the Brexit vote was… the Eurovision Song Contest!
In the past, the UK used to score very highly, and even won on several occasions, by entering atrocious songs with titles like “Boom Bonga Thump”, and it was just the likes of Norway who regularly scored “null points” for wailing their way through some mournful ballad in their own tongue. But now it is the UK who struggles to get the votes (although they did get a few more than usual this time), and this year’s contest was won by a rather odd-looking Portuguese bloke who wailed his way through some mournful ballad in his own tongue. You just can’t make it up. But to be fair, all the other songs this time were even worse than his. In fact, this is the heart of the problem. They’re not letting the UK win any more, whereas the British entries were always rubbish, and that’s just not on! That nation’s fundamental superiority in this area – as in all others – is no longer being recognised, and the fact that there isn’t now and probably never was any such superiority has absolutely nothing to do with it of course. It’s long been the case that if the UK can’t have its own way on anything, it just wants to “take its bat home” – see, they even have an expression for it!
So, here is Cairnland’s proposal. Since this particular issue and the consequent annual humiliation is actually quite a serious one for the British public, then could there perhaps be a compromise solution where the UK stays in the EU, but leaves the Eurovision Song Contest instead? Surely it’s worth a try! In any case we would strongly support such a withdrawal, as Cairnland’s entry this year was banned on the grounds of “poor taste”, even though nothing was actually eaten and most of the blood was just of the theatrical variety. We’d just like to show solidarity with our British neighbours here. Our act was also going to feature a troop of trans gorillas (at least in an earlier draft of this confection), but it turned out that the Italian entry actually had someone prancing around on stage in a gorilla suit, so we had to drop that idea in case we were to be accused of copying! Reality trumps satire yet again….
But before we leave Eurovision, we have a little competition to run! Many years ago, when Norway was regularly getting “null points”, we remember a leader article in the Guardian newspaper saying that the probability of some event or other was “as unlikely as Norway ever winning the Eurovision Song Contest”. Well, some years later, Norway did win, but by then we’d forgotten what that other possible event was, so we’d rather like to know. Did it also come to pass? Does anyone out there by any chance remember this, or would like to try to do a bit of researching to find out? A bottle of cider from the Kent Cider Company, to whom we supply apples from the Cairnland orchards, is there for the first person to solve this one for us (and no, the second person doesn’t get two bottles, because this is really good stuff!).
Food for Thought!
That mention of our orchards reminds us of the farming activities here in Cairnland, which as previously noted means that we can easily be self-sufficient in food. People in the UK don’t seem to know or care that they need to import 40% of their food, with much of it coming from the EU, so if as seems likely, there is going to be a “Hard Brexit”, those supplies are going to be jeopardised. That could be a serious problem for them. During the referendum campaign, many of their so-called leaders advised people “not to listen to the experts”. To some extent they may have had a point, but there is of course only one thing worse than listening to the experts, which is to listen to a load of ignorant fools, but unfortunately that is what happened.
So food in the UK could well be in short supply in future, just when the borders have been closed to stop immigration, so by the same token other countries won’t accept any British emigrants. Since the food could soon run out, the now entrapped population may have to resort to cannibalism in order to avoid starvation. By the way, this potential fate gives us an excellent opportunity to quell the vicious rumours of cannibalism being rife here in Cairnland. We consider them to be particularly malicious, especially as we now have the problem relatively well under control. The rumours appear to have started on account of one or two people disappearing shortly before each of our annual barbecues, where the pig roasts have always been especially popular. There was then some very scurrilous gossip about exactly what was in the mince pies we provided to visitors last Christmas, although they too were consumed with particular gusto.
While we do not wish to make any further comment on this particular issue, the likelihood of future food shortages in the UK does provide us with an exciting commercial opportunity. In this respect, Cairnland’s President is returning to his roots! Although he deliberately projects the image of just being an esoteric backroom boy, his business acumen has long been on show to all who cared to look. Indeed he was reminded of this in a recent get-together with some old schoolfriends, where his first proposed business venture was recalled. It would have provided not one but two sources of income, and hence could have been doubly profitable. Only lingering ethical doubts deterred him from going ahead with the establishment of the “Holiday Home For Pets Pie Company”, so clearly it was only a matter of time before he came up with some alternative way of succeeding in commerce. And indeed before he became less ethical, of course.
Now we have a rather similar idea! In spite of potential food shortages, there can nevertheless be significant quantities of organic material available, that can be put to good use if need be in times of famine. An exciting new food product is therefore now under development in Cairnland. While for reasons of commercial confidentiality the exact ingredients must remain secret, we can assure customers on one particular score. We are all dog lovers here, so whatever we do include, we can guarantee that it will never contain any material of canine origin. To emphasise the point, we propose to give it the informative and also catchy name of “Not Poodle”. This handy snack can be consumed at any time. Just add boiling water, wait a few minutes for the fumes to disperse, and then eat it if you dare. We think there could be a major market here. While we realise that a similar-sounding product is already available, and hence a source of potential competition, the commercial success of that one does suggest that with the right marketing you can get people to eat just about anything. Even if the customers do have something better to eat…. Over to you, James!