Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Circles

The Democratic People's Republic of Flatland has a new prince. (Readers who believe the co-existence of a royal family and a republic to be an impossibility are referred to the penultimate posting from our beloved nation.) Naturally the child is perfectly circular, and is likely to be named Eggfrith Louis Crosscheck-Doors James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree or some such nonsensical confection. The Chief Circle will be mightily pleased to have this distraction, which might head off any hot-weather rioting by members of the Triangular classes. Flatland's idiot heir to the throne - grandfather to the newborn - will probably sing Ying Tong Iddle I Po. A 41-gun salute tomorrow will involve the firing of lead circles into empty space, indicating to the world what a vibrant up-to-date nation The Democratic People's Republic of Flatland truly is.

As usual, Flatland's political parties are flat broke, willing to solicit donations from all kinds of undesirables in exchange for promises of future titles, largesse from the Publick Purse, and similar favours. The Blue, Yellow and Red factions are equally guilty of these practices. FlatKIP - a party that advocates breaking off relations with the League of Medland Nations would probably not be any better in this regard, but has yet to wield sufficient political power for this premise to be scientifically tested.

Run Rabbit, Run

It's hard being an Oryctolagus cuniculus. You are liable at any moment to be picked up by a top-hatted magician and produced in a surprising location for the amusement of the offspring of homo sapiens. The wise leaders of Eagleland have, however, legislated for the well-being of rabbits, such that a licence needs to be produced whenever demanded by the local jobsworth. This imposition is not as onerous as might be expected, since any half-competent conjurer is capable of producing ten such documents from his or her sleeve, and twenty from a Horn of Plenty that has been laboriously emptied immediately beforehand. Not content with requiring a Rabbit Licence, the Eagleland powers-that-be are now insisting that the hapless magician also have a fully-formed Rabbit Disaster Plan, to cover such contingencies as Hail, Frogs, Pestilence, Lice, Darkness and Death of the Firstborn. This further imposition has engendered much merriment amongst the blogospheres of Eagleland and Flatland. A kind lady has furnished such a document, running to great length. Even more practical is the advice of a fellow magician: TAKE RABBIT AND RUN.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Perimeter and other Problems

Our beloved realm, Flatland, is a treasured destination for travellers, though on occasions the natural hospitality of its citizens is strained by wild applications for political asylum from countries possessing more than two dimensions. The Chief Circle recently received a request from one Edward Snowden, currently located at the hitherto-unknown Sheremetyevo. Naturally he had to decline the request, since it would be impossible to squeeze the non-flat Mr Snowden through our entry portals. Furthermore, even his limited hand baggage would not be accepted aboard flatJet, which has just reduced the maximum carry-on dimensions to a pitifully-small rectangle. Any excess now requires an additional payment of frighteningly-large quantum. (Coins and notes issued by the League of Medland Nations are not accepted, for obvious reasons.) To our immediate south, the President of Vineland is skilfully steering the Ship of State unerringly towards the rocks. Expenditure is totally out of control, and before long either Vineland's creditors will be circling, or the local peasantry out in the boulevards setting fire to Flatland sheep or possibly stringing up a selection of local parliamentarians. Flatland's Finance Minister - a Heptagon of noted breeding - is seeking to unburden the state of its majority holding in the Royal Bank of Flatland. This was acquired during the darkest days of the finance crisis five years ago. Sadly, the RBF's Chief Executive was ousted a few weeks ago, since when its share price has tanked. No sane fund manager will touch RBF shares with a bargepole. News from Upside Down Land, where politics is exceptionally brutal, the Prime Minister has been knifed in the back by her predecessor. And in Pyramid Land there is much unrest; the army has issued an ultimatum to the various politicos to sort their differences, otherwise the generals will take control. All in all, Flatland is escaping lightly amid so much Circular discontent. The imminent birth of a royal babe should distract the Triangular classes from whatever grievances they are harbouring, and enable the Chief Circle to govern for a few more months. [Students of politics might be puzzled as to how the People's Democratic Republic of Flatland can maintain a Royal Family. It is, in reality, an intrinsic feature of all republics. Eagleland is burdened with at least three questionable dynasties: the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton clans.]