“Banned?!”, gasped Marshall Topper in total incredulity.
“Banned. Completely. Across the board. Without exception. Pointless bloody things; disrupt traffic, cause congestion, rile everyone up, result in noise pollution… Hideous.”
There was a tense, aghast silence, as those present took in the Chair’s matter-of-fact words. Topper, stumbling over his own disbelief, was the first to break it.
“But…but…the Commission…Pride…the glorious Twelfth…”
“Oh there can still be events, dear boy. All sorts of exciting events! A variety of commemorative celebratory entertainments; fairground, fun house, film centre, other things in all likelihood beginning with ‘F’…”
Topper, for a second, thought the Chair was joking or had lost his mind, and so burst out laughing. The Chair stopped speaking and glared at him until Topper regained his composure.
“Are you quite alright?, the Chair briskly asked and, without waiting for a response, continued. “The tedious marching, the to-and-fro that does absolutely nobody in the Northern Irish community any good whatsoever, must go. It is finished. Done. A thing of the past.” He tittered. “A thing of the past… Excuse me – just my little joke.”
Almost all of the men and women gathered around the table looked pale and wan, some seemed unsure whether to pass out or throw up. However, Major-General Sir Weston-Crestfallen-D’Lancey struck a courageous note:
“Fear not, my bureaucratic brothers and sisters, my officious friends. It is time these besashed and becrossed barbarians were brought to heel. Those fellows need to be dragged into the Twenty-First Century – kicking and screaming, if needs be! All that trudging about has no political purpose anymore. No zip!”
The Chair nodded, but the rest of the room did not appear reassured. This decision was going to go down like a lead balloon covered in semtex. Marching season was going to be interesting this year.
Parades Decommissioning; putting all marches beyond use.
Safely, Practically, Hilariously.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…★