December 25th, 2005
By Charles Wyndham.
The Town Crier of TiddlyPom, Mr Bellows, had to interrupt his Christmas preparations to pass on some important news.
Walking down CharterMine Street he rang his hand bell to draw the attention of all those gentlefolk of TiddlyPom who had not sloped off early for the Xmas break.
The important news came from the Guardians InAll of TiddlyPom, shortened to the ‘GIA’ by the town crier, for ease of use.
“Hear Ye, Hear Ye.” He roared to the gathering crowd.
“By Order of the great and powerful Director…… Designate. I, Town Crier of TiddlyPom hereby wish to inform you by order of our most worshipful company Guardians InAll, the GIA, that as of January 1st , to send your most precious non commodity diamonds, cut to the perfection of all your known skills, to receive the approbation of the said worshipful company shall only have to pay One Dollar for each and every stone to get the said stone to the GIA for this great and wonderful service.”
The gentlefolk of TiddlyPom were dumfounded, not that they were usually dumb. One dollar?! What a Christmas present.
Naturally, before every citizen had been grateful to be able to give their precious stones to L’Empereur of TiddlyPom. The absence of choice as to who to be able to give it to was compensated for in the sure knowledge that their interests would be vigorously defended before the all important judgement from the GIA, there to ensure only the highest standards of professionalism and probity.
“My Lords, Ladies and gentlefolk of TiddlyPom, not only has the worshipful company of the Guardians InAll, GIA, fixed its posting box fees at the miserly sum of One Dollar per stone; in its never ending quest to ensure that its services reflect its commitment to treat all you most valued gentle folk in a fair and consistent manner will hereby change its pricing structure.’’
The crowd in CharterMine street were in awe, even more so when Mr Bellows continued, “I have been asked by the most worshipful company of the Guardians InAll to remind you gentlefolk that due to your unswerving and unselfish generosity to all our most charitable works that we, in this the most worshipful of companies, have sufficient funds to obviate the need to make any further requests upon your most munificent and unselfish generosity.”
Some of the weaker brethren in CharterMine Street fainted at the last piece of overpoweringly good news.
A brave few others under their breathe were heard to say, “How will Grab It All get at me next?”
But then a gasp rose from some within the crowd, and what started as a gentle murmur spread in an air of anxiety, “What about our dear Empereur?”
Some even began to sing, “For he’s a jolly good fellow”. But when it got to “and so say all of us” there were one or two hisses. These were quickly drowned as some started to shout at Mr Bellows, “We cannot abandon our Empereur! Shame on the GIA. Who wants to save money. We survived before. We do not want change. Who lost out? Not us! Go tell your cronies at the Worshipful company…...”
Mr Bellows scurried away down Fetid Lane, muttering, who needs this good news!
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