StoryRhyme After Dark: House of Cards
If you enjoy this short story, you really need to visit our Harry Buschman Library for more tales of whimsy and wisdom.
House of Cards
By Harry Buschman
There was a city, a city-state really, called Transmografica. Incidentally, that was one of its problems, it was a name decided upon by a conference committee of the government and not by the people.
Everybody who lived in Transmografica worked for the government––everybody. The government payroll, however, was zero. That was because there was a special agency of the government with a printing press that printed all the money it needed.
In exchange for working for the government, every citizen was granted food, clothing, health care, (up to the retirement age of 45) a place to live and free television. Every citizen was permitted one spouse and two offspring... No more, no less.
In many ways it was idyllic. There were no good times and no bad times; except for the weather, everything was the same, from one day to the next.
The television kept everyone up to date concerning the progress of things in Transmografica. Government information was released daily on agricultural goals, power supply and demand and the maintenance of infrastructure... To which every citizen listened with rapt attention, for every citizen in one way or another was in a branch of government that was responsible for them.
Yet no government is perfect. No safety net is waterproof. Some things slip through. in the case of Transmografica it was the two P’s.
Pickpockets and Poets slipped through the net just as effortlessly as they have in every civilization. The party in power struggled mightily to eliminate them, but the two P’s, like mumps and measles were ever present visitors at the back door.
Poets in particular were thorns in the side of the complete socialization of Transmografica. Poets kept the memory of the past alive. A poem tacked on the town hall bulletin board or taped to a butcher’s show window was enough to gather crowds and spark dissent in Transmografica’s citizenry. Eventually it was the downfall of its seemingly impregnable philosophy.
So, as we stand here today before this elegant ruin in the capitol of what was once Transmografica, let us honor the two P’s of progress. They carried the torch boldly in the defense of mankind.
(c) 2011 Harry Buschman