Editorial: A Modern-Day Allegory

27 August 2013  
Gone But Not Forgotten

Who would have thought that quitting could be so hard?

Let me illustrate:

Once upon a time there was a lowly serf that took a job working for the all powerful king, let's call him William Nicholas of Ignoramus.

Well, at least this king thought he was all powerful because he was the biggest king around, but it turns out he was just a big bully.

When the serf decided to quit working for the king, he thought "What's the big deal? I quit, I get paid, we all move on."

But alas, that was not to be.

Princes of King WNI went throughout the kingdom, spreading lies and trying to keep the poor serf from ever working again.

Some subjects were told the serf was a valued member of the court, that the king actually wanted him to stay.

But the princes told some merchants and neighboring dukes that the serf was a criminal and was soon to be banished from the kingdom.

So here this poor serf sat, on his couch, reading the want ads out of one eye, watching Netflix out of one eye, and looking at the bills pile up with another eye.

He first wondered why his leaving was such a big deal. Why it caused so much drama.

Second, he wondered how he never noticed that third eye before.

"When did that pop up?"

"Maybe I should see a doctor about that?"

"When's Obamacare supposed to kick in anyway?"

"What will my new glasses look like? A lens in the middle?"

"What's that bump on my arm?"

"Should I get that looked at, too?"

"Oooo…new arrivals just got loaded, what should I watch next?"

Out of work serfs are easily distracted.

All this deep meditation came to a screeching halt the other day when this poor serf was served with a document from the king's lawyer.

Evidently, when a prince of the kingdom loses something, say lists or documents, the best answer is to blame the guy that just left.

Even if said guy never had access to any of those missing items.

Even if said guy wouldn't know where these items were stored, what they looked like, or what they did.

"Trade secrets" are what they were called and very bad things will happen if they are not returned.

The poor serf was warned "To contact me immediately to facilitate its prompt return" to the king.

Then the serf was warned that all his activities "will be monitored" to make sure these deep, dark secrets are not given to the enemy.

Monitoring web post, social media, and blogs.

What's next? Tapping into email and bugging phones?

Now, the king and his princes had developed a long tradition of blaming serfs for the mistakes they had made. For valuables lost, for assignments botched.

Never blame royalty, always the fault of the poor, lowly serfs who had no control over the inner workings of the kingdom.

Sounds pretty scary.

Downright evil.

Who would believe such a fairy tale?

But folks, the evil king and his kingdom are real. The king wants all the merchants to bow down and tithe to the kingdom.

Who would have thought some poor slob could cause so much trouble just sitting on his couch, watching TV?

Oh well, let's see what's on next.

Maybe a good horror film to settle the nerves.

Matt Santos