Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I just received this e-mail from Jake, at his school. He was asked to write an expository piece about the cancellation of the local show. ('Show' = 'local fair' for the overseas readers hereabouts.)
Let me hasten to add that the Scottsdale Show is NOT cancelled. This is just a writing exercise. But frankly, I think he's done a great job, and his piece is funny, so I'm reproducing it here. Remember the kid is ten years old, so don't expect Shakespeare. On the other hand... I think Ben Elton might need to look out.
The Show Must Go On!
An exposition starring Thames O’reilly and Dennis ‘deny everything’ Fletcher
TV PRESENTER: Hi everybody and welcome to another episode of The Debaters and I’m everybody’s favourite presenter Thames O’reilly! Today we just got word that the Scottsdale council is going to cancel the Scottsdale Show! What we need here is a good debater and here he is: DENNIS ‘deny everything’ FLETCHER!
DENNIS FLETCHER: Yah, zat is me.
THAMES: How do you feel about the council cancelling the Scottsdale Show?
DENNIS: What?! No ‘otdogs on a steeck? Ze Scottzdale show is... Well, kind of a cultural theeng in Scottzdale. Peeple save op for it, are exzcited about it, and it only comes once a yeer! It's like going to a native tribe of some contry and cancelling an ancient reetual for zere peeple. Ze Scottzdale show is eemportant to a lot of people, and ze blimming council does not have ze right to demolish zis age old tradition! It wouldn't be so bad if zey had cancelled it earlier in ze year so people wouldn't have to take down their preparations for it, but no, zey decide to cancel it right when everyone is preparing for it!
THAMES: Those are some pretty good arguments, but is there any other reason?
DENNIS: Yeh! What about ze peeple who make money out of it? You’d be steeling dere job! All zose peeple who zell zose battered zausages on a steeck rely on ze Scottzdale show for a lot of their money! Cancelling ze show would make all zat tedious preparation (cooking ze food, zetting up a stall, buying a permeet, zat sort of stuff...) go right down ze drain! And who is to say zat they’ll get their money back? Ze preparation requires lot of money, and eef they don’t get their money back and they don’t get a profit because ze show is cancelled, zey could go bankrupt!
THAMES: I hope the council’s watching this right now! I don’t know you, folks, but Dennis here is sure convincing me! Go on, Dennis...
DENNIS: Zank hyu. Now there’s also ze problem of the animal attractions in ze Scottzdale show. If it’s cancelled, what weel happen to all zat work zey put in to clean their animals and train them? It’ll all be for nothing! Hyu know, it’s bad eenuf zat we get a holiday for ze Launzeston show but not for ze Scottzdale show, but now they're stopping it altogther!
THAMES: You’ve explained all the communtiy and economic problems, but what about the simpler problems?
DENNIS: Ah yez, I forgot. Ze children. You can’t deny it: ze children LOVE ze Scottzdale show! It’s cheap, fun, local and all ze money goes to people in ze community. Plus zere is lollies! Imagine all ze children crying zemselves to sleep because ze council has cancelled it! Why should zey suffer?
THAMES: Wow, that was great, Dennis. People are definetly getting their money’s worth today.
DENNIS: It’s my job.
THAMES: Too bad they’re still probably going to cancel the show.
DENNIS: I’m not going to theenk about zat.
THAMES: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! They don’t call him Mr. ‘deny everything’ for nothing! I’m afraid today’s episode is coming to a finish, but next week we’ll be finding out who exactly ‘they’ is! Bye everyone!
...must remember to teach him how to spell 'definitely'.
I have an acquaintance in the packaging and posting industry, and apparently yesterday he had a very, very interesting day.
Turns out that the USA has now banned the sending of any personal effects by air, except where accompanied by a traveller. Basically, that means if you were planning to send any Christmas gifts to friends or relations in the USA -- it's tough shit for everybody.
No doubt this is supposed to prevent exploding printer cartridges or other such fiendish al Qaeda ingenuity. But what it's really going to do is turn Christmas, USA into a living hell for the US Customs department.
At this point, I can't find any confirmation of this particular ban. But I trust my source absolutely, and seeing that he's got a serious vested commercial interest in this issue, I believe he's taken the time to get his information right.
My advice to readers: hold off on sending any packages to the USA until you can find out for sure what's the deal here. And to anybody participating in a cross-border Secret Santa or other such exchange, you may wish to notify USAnian participants that your contribution might be (very) slow in arriving.
I'll stay in touch with my buddy in the industry on this, and pass on any information I can. Hopefully, the US will realise that it's made a colossal blunder, and the order will be reversed in the near future, or even better, not even implemented. But I wouldn't count on it.
Meanwhile... so if we can't even send gifts to celebrate the Nativity and all that good stuff, you wanna tell me again how we're winning this 'war on terror'? Because right now, it's starting to look like a 'War on Christmas', with the US government in full Grinch costume.
Edited to add: confirmation is in, courtesy of redditor shortkid422 - check the following two links.
Apparently it's only a 30-day ban at the moment. We'll see how it develops, eh ?