Recently we tried to get home after a hard day’s work and ran into thousands of sit-in strikers who – as is their habit from time to time – had some grievance-bone to pick with the incumbent government, whilst we were going through the hassle and frustration of battling around the sit-in, missed our train and got home late on a cold and wet Friday night.
Not the way to slide into a weekend…
Amongst this bunch were scientists, social services workers, teachers, and others – obviously thinking their conduct not only laudable but also a model for the younger generation to follow.
Well it is not.
And here is a message to them: If you have a problem with the government or your management then do not take it out and inconvenience your fellow taxpayers, especially on a cold, wet, wintery night at going home time.
You are foolishly selfish.
I have seen this happen in other countries and eventually those who go home late, cold and wet will lose their sympathy with your cause. You will eventually heap upon yourselves a resistance from your victims – which, in my mind, would be more than acceptable.
Then on Sunday after church – the pastors were not on strike, thank God – our friends took us for lunch to a great restaurant. We placed our order – drinks and food – and were served with empty glasses and plates. As we quizzically looked at the restaurant manager, he explained that the plants and animals went on strike.
They had a string of demands mainly driven by the Greens. One main point was that they insisted on respect, which they say is in short supply all round. Taking their cue from humans, they said.
The manager took time to sit down with us and explain what had happened at the meeting with the plants, animals and insects which was apparently recorded for worldwide release.
Their final fling was to go on strike even for medicinal purposes and yield nothing to be used as ingredients. Including by some trendy sports people.
We sat there like stunned mullets. I listened with my empty mouth wide open.
Then I offered to do the washing up…
Apparently it went like this:
A calm bravado settled over the place as the plants, animals and insects made themselves comfortable on the Big Field where they gathered.
Ms. Hannah Sweet Potato looked a bit uneasy as she took the microphone.
“Order. Order. Can you all please find your patch and settle down, but don’t grow roots. We are here to discuss going on strike for a number of reasons as laid out in our agenda which I will announce shortly” she said.
“Our first order of business is to elect a committee. I propose that Mr. Bull be elected Chair and President. He has a no BS attitude and the muscle to push back when and where required. I also propose that Miss Tomato be elected Secretary”, who on hearing her name, blushed a lovely deep red.
“I propose Mr. Pig to be our negotiator – someone whom we can always rely on to bring the bacon home” to which the pig squealed with delight.
Spring Pea swelled with pride at being amongst such elite. Mister Bean strung along with proceedings, and Mrs. Cow thought she could milk this for all it is worth. The cock was just waking up to proceedings and crowed with delight. Mrs. Hen clucked her support.
“Our agenda include discussions on:
- Sociable working hours – max 7.5 hours per day with a lunch break. No Tea times.
- A shorter 5-day work week, equal to humans.
- Leave and an equal number of holidays, including Thanksgiving in the USA.
- Crèches for our young whilst the parents are out working.
- Safety concerns, specifically safety gear to protect all of us who face dangerous and uncomfortable working conditions such as knives, frying pans, and cold working environments. Our consumers would not stand for it, so why should we die for it!”
“To get proceedings underway, we ask some of you to relate personal experiences before going on to a vote.”
“We are given no warning to prepare themselves for the afterlife before we and our kids are normally lead like lambs to the slaughter” bleated Mr. and Mrs. Sheep.
A teary-eyed union leader for the patch of Onions related how they were not spared the chop and were often diced with sharp and dangerous instruments which humans themselves consider to be weapons.
“Caned for no misdemeanor at all” quipped Miss. Sugar.
“We are sick and tired of hearing the joke about the hen being only engaged in breakfast whilst the pig is committed to it. I mean, after all, our eggs are unborn babies. What humans would make a comparable joke about being engaged or committed when referring to THEIR unborn babies!
“The only engagement and commitment we know humans to make is for a few months during courtship and marriage – which often results in divorce” cluck, cluck, cluck, CLUCKAAAWWWKK-ed Mother Hen.
“And what about leave! We do not have any leave” bristled the leaves, adding that they would fall for an offer of 4 weeks leave per year. And a single season, preferably summer.
The Lawn felt that they were trampled upon and in fact sometimes run over. The grapes got rid of their bottled-up frustration saying humans just abuse them and then blame their own drunken behavior, silly acts, mistakes, accidents, headaches, even pregnancies on fermented or smoked plants. In fact, the grapes said, they would rather age gracefully, never mind the wrinkles – their preferred raison d’etre.
Verna Sunkist and Lisbon Meyer-Lemon did not appreciate being squeezed pip-less and made sure things turned out sour for their users.
“Can someone stop them from pressing our life’s oil out of us and then use it for frying our fellow plants and animal friends?” lamented Mr. and Mrs. Olive, a sympathy which was echoed by all fry-by-nights.
“We are roasted for nothing and our neighbors the Tea Leaves are hung out to dry for something they did not do” quipped a piping hot Mr. Coffee Bean.
Bull snorted that he normally gives humans a cold shoulder and then also ends up getting a roasting.
There were cries for crèches for their growing young whilst the parents were busy eking out a living under harsh and sometimes dry conditions.
As the discussions wrapped up there seemed to be quite a few dissenting voices. Risotto Rice stuck together. The Bees did not think the deal was sweet enough. The Bovines criticized global trade deals that shipped animals all over the world for human gain, and could basically not be moo-ved unless they were given assurances that their off-springs would not be fatted up to be sent – without consent – in cramped conditions on long overseas journeys to locations where they were sometimes beaten to death with hammers.
It was not all business: Basil and Cori-Ander brought a lovely flavor and fragrance to proceedings and munchkin Lumina Pumpkin showed off her curves.
Discussions draw to a close with a “Wilt and rot, if agreement not!” catch cry.
The Greens won the day by convincing the others to vote for a boycott against humanity until discussions resulted in a fair and equitable outcome for all.
PS: I recall a situation where garbage truck workers went on strike in London in the 1980’s. Followed by their wives – who decided not to cook, make up beds, wash or iron, since the hubbies sat around all day, scratching themselves, drinking beer and playing cards. The wives said “what is good for the gander is good for the goose”.
And I agree.