Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I visited a nation called 'Nation'. Needless to say, the citizens of this nation were called 'Nationalists'. Initially, I thought Nation was the most unimaginative country I'd ever been too. The streets were all named 'Street Street' and the cities were all called 'City'. The postal addresses were a disaster. Every house was unnumbered and had the address House, Street Street, City, Nation. Mail rarely arrived at the right place. When I pointed this out to a Nationalist he laughed and said 'au contraire my friend, in Nation the mail cannot help but arrive at the correct destination.' This Nationalist then took a sip of the national drink, which was a drink named 'drink' that was usually enjoyed with the national meal that was a meal named 'meal'. Also, this man was called 'Person' as were all people in Nation.

Rather than lack of imagination, Nation's reason for naming things after what they were, even if there was lots of the same thing, was to prevent difference. It was reasoned by the founder of Nation (and the very first person to take the name 'Person') that difference was the cause of all conflict and therefore everything must be the same.

However, the problem of difference is difficult to overcome and it eventually reared its ugly head. What happened was this, one day two people called Person had a disagreement about which was better, drink or meal. Person and Person's disagreement grew to a row that caused a fist fight and then their relatives got involved and it was person against person, or Person against Person as the case may be and indeed was, in this case. This brawl grew and grew and resulted in a short lived civil war. It seemed that everyone in Nation secretly longed for the excitement and stimulation that only conflict can provide, and this desire was overwhelming. Where it comes to conflict, people just can't help themselves. Even if the people are all called Person.

Eventually everything was wrecked and ruined and shite and everyone got sick of it and wanted things back the way they were, so everything went back to the way it was – but with one big difference. Steps were taken to ensure that war would never reoccur in the great nation of Nation. It was decided that everything - the people, the houses, the streets, the cities, the drinks and the meals - all of it, would be renamed 'Thing'. Even the nation itself was renamed 'Thing' and, so far, this seems to be working. It's even harder to get the mail to the right address now, addresses invariably being Thing, Thing Thing, Thing, Thing, Thing, but no one seems to mind. Despite the inefficiencies, the things of Thing are content enough to just get on with doing their thing.

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