Saturday, 5 March 2016

Down the Winding Corridor

Behind the reference desk, in the antechamber of library of enlightenment, is an unobtrusive doorway, leading to long, narrow, dimly lit and winding corridor.

At the other end of the corridor is another doorway.  That doorway leads into a cramped and well-filled storeroom, next to the grand hallway.

Along the winding corridor are several other doors.  One of those doors leads into the reception area of the confidential registry.

The registry itself is never open to ordinary visitors.  Its purpose, or at least the purpose of its two hundred and sixty staff, is to record, in great detail, the prevalence, or lack of it, of enlightened leadership in the world. 

There are hundreds of large, stain-covered ledgers in which poor leadership is remarked upon by the staff as part of their highly accurate observations of the world.  These ledgers are not directly available for viewing by unqualified persons but the evidence within them is often consistent with the free and fair expression of political journalism around the world.

Also within the registry are thousands of badly battered box files in which various attempts at cultural leadership in the world have already been noted by the staff.  The newer box files are not yet as shabby, though only a few are in a pristine, shiny condition.

Most of the staff in the registry are known to be devoid of facial expressions for much of the time, except when laughing at folly.  They have also been known to cry, especially when looking at the ledgers containing names such as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Dick Taytor and Meg La Mainiaque.

Only a few of the staff have serene faces and relaxed, upright postures.  Their job is to fill the shiny box files with information about enlightened cultural leaders. If any of those leaders behave in less enlightened ways, their details are removed from the associated shiny box and placed in a shabbier one.

Most of the staff sit on round, wooden stools at a very long, narrow wooden desk, lit by spotlights.  They work away in silence, except for the occasional sound of laughing or weeping.

Only one staff member sits at a separate desk in a brightly lit corner.  That staff member is dressed in golden robes and wears a golden crown.  The person sits on a high, golden throne-like armchair with a golden footstool.

The enormous golden desk, in front of the person in the golden robe, is itself much higher than the other furnishings in the registry.  The desk is in the shape of a golden rectangle, with rounded corners and ornate carvings.

On the desk is usually to be found little more than a small, golden folder.  Inside the small, golden folder is to be found little more than a small, unsealed golden envelope.

Inside the small, unsealed golden envelope inside the small, golden folder is to be found nothing more than a single sheet of very beautiful notepaper.

The person in the golden robe is poised attentively with a golden pencil in one hand and a golden bell in the other.  The eyes of the person are gently closed, as if in meditation.

The title of the person in the golden robe is The Wondrously Enlightened Being.  All the other persons in the registry are titled as grade two examiners of leadership.  They are not permitted to have their titles written in capital letters.

It is only after all seemingly enlightened political leaders permanently reach the ethereal realm that their efforts in life are re-examined dutifully by the staff of the registry.  The shiny boxes with their cultural attributes are checked against the relevant ledgers, to ensure their names are not recorded in more than one location.  Then the most serious work begins.

The staff with the serene faces then gather around the notes of one candidate at a time.  They check and re-check all the facts against all the available evidence.  After doing so, to the satisfaction of themselves, they then rush out of the registry in search of additional evidence both for and against the candidate in question.

Whenever that occurs, all the other grade two examiners of leadership file out of the registry quietly in single file.  They then all go on a two-week package holiday to Nilkawt, after which they return, looking serene and with relaxed, upright postures.

Meanwhile, the other staff have already returned.  Their efficiency usually means they can come to a definitive conclusion within a matter of minutes in the negative and towards a tentative affirmative in a matter of hours.

Unfortunately, they are then required to do the work of all the staff away on holiday, meaning they are, after two weeks, very miserable indeed.

The Wondrous Enlightened Being usually remains silent and still, poised with the golden pencil and the golden bell in each hand, unless there are no grade two examiners of leadership present.

Fortunately, all the grade two examiners of leadership work in the registry itself only from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For the rest of the time they are expected to investigate leadership as thoroughly as possible in the world at large.

The Wondrous Enlightened Being works from 8am to 1pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

The golden bell can be heard through the door of the registry and through the door opposite, where The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims has an office.  The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims supervises a staff of two thousand, two hundred and two grade one examiners of leadership.

When The Wondrous Enlightened Being rings the golden bell, which usually only occurs when none of the grade two examiners of leadership are present, The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims then delegates one of the grade one examiners of leadership to run energetically across the corridor, knock on the door, and enter once the bell is rung again.

The grade one examiner of leadership carries a soft, golden duster in one hand, which which to polish the bell.  In the other hand, the grade one examiner of leadership carries a golden pencil sharpener.  Grade one examiners of leadership are always prepared for anything.

All grade one examiners of leadership wear silver robes with matching tricorne hats.  The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims is known to dress in a similar fashion to Professor Erasmus of the International Training Centre for the Harmonious Interplay of Beauty, Understanding and Magnificence.  All grade two examiners of leadership wear a similar uniform to that of an Edwardian bank clerk.

In the right pocket of the robes worn by each grade one examiner of leadership is a digital camera.  It is used to photograph all the confidential documents pertaining to tentatively affirmed enlightened political leaders.

If The Wondrous Enlightened Being rings the bell during the presence of a grade one examiner of leadership, the bell is subsequently polished.  It remains in the hand of The Wondrous Enlightened Being at all times.

Immediately afterwards, the golden pencil is removed from the hand of the still meditating person in the golden robes and tested, by the grade one examiner of leadership, against the device in the left pocket of the silver robe worn.

The golden pencil contains a battery and a digital receiver.  The battery recharging device from the left pocket in the silver robe can recharge the battery in the golden pencil in exactly two minutes in normal circumstances but in one minute and twenty-five seconds if the golden pencil is sharpened during the recharging process.

The shavings from the pencil are then placed in the golden duster, to keep things clean and tidy.  The desk itself is cleaned by one of the volunteer tea ladies from the Lost Proper Tea Office at 3pm on Mondays and Fridays, Mrs Noazi Parker.   Fortunately, Mrs Parker is only permitted to enter the registry whilst attended by The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims.

Mrs Parker is a notorious gossip.  Even so, she is also up-to-date on all the political scandals of the world, from the local government level all the way up to the United Nations.

The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims works every day of the week from 7am to 11am and from 2pm to 4pm.  During Mrs Parker's cleaning duties, The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims records her opinions on political scandals on a hidden audio device.

The information is subsequently converted, by one of the grade one examiners of leadership claims, into a format suitable for an earphone.  This means that Mrs Parker's voice is converted to a printed format and edited into educated English.  The edited text is then read allowed and recorded by one of the grade one examiners of leadership, with a more euphonious tone and pleasing accent than Mrs Parker could ever supply.  In addition, various political speeches made by untainted, recently deceased political leaders are matched with all the relevant documentation at hand.

The documentation is then transcribed, narrated and recorded in a delightfully soothing manner by another of the grade one examiners of leadership.  The entire recording is then sent from the office of The Resplendent Verifier of Leadership Claims to a hidden earpiece worn by The Wondrous Enlightened Being, via the golden pencil in the registry.

Only information about the most worthy leadership candidates ever reaches the ear of The Wondrous Enlightened Being.  If the candidate then meets with the approval of The Wondrous Enlightened Being, the golden pencil is used to place that enlightened political leader's name on the beautiful piece of notepaper from the small, unsealed golden envelope from the golden folder.

The notepaper is then returned to the golden envelope and golden envelope is returned to the golden folder.  The golden folder is then placed as it was on the golden desk.  The golden bell and the golden pencil are then held by The Wondrous Enlightened Being as before.

No-one except The Wondrous Enlightened Being knows how many names are currently written on the notepaper.  It is only when there are twenty-seven names on the notepaper that the golden envelope will be sealed.

The last golden envelope was sealed over fifty years ago.

The tour of Villa Twaklinilkawt continues this way