Minority of One


'Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one,' George Orwell


Pearls of acrid sweat slithered down the cheek of the member for Oilstan. The Assembly of Nations were at loggerheads. The member for the Dominant Superpower clutched his microphone with confidence and asserted: 'Oilstan is a rogue state. We know they have developed weapons of mass der-struction. We have no time to waste in declaring war. We propose a precision strike, targeting the regions of Oilrich and Blackgold.'

The member for No-way made a loud grinding noise as she stood from her chair. 'Oilrich is an interesting choice. We know there are mass oil reserves in that area. You have not provided any evidence of such weapons. Doesn't anyone remember what happened with Gasland? No-way does not support this motion!'

The room fell silent but for the ticking clock on the wall. The member for Oilstan tapped his foot on the floor in synchrony with the clock.

The member for the Dominant Superpower replied under his breath: 'That's okay, we don't need your support anyway, No-way.' A scatter of muffled laughter came from surrounding members. The member for No-way overheard the remark, and left the room in red-faced disgust. There were no more women left in the Assembly. The member for the Dominant Superpower smiled.

The member for Oilneighbourstan leaned forward and gripped the microphone with shaking hands. 'Oilstan are harbouring known terrorists. We support the actions of the Dominant Superpower, including the proposal for the use of nuclear weapons.' He looked to the member for the Dominant Superpower, and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw a smile.

The members for Brownnoseria, Lapdogia and Unoriginalia concurred. The member for the Piker Republic stood up, wielding an indignant expression, clasped the microphone aggressively, and said: 'We dis...' then looked at the member for the Dominant Superpower, who was snarling in his general direction, before changing his position to: 'We agree wholeheartedly.'

The member for Paciland walked in, sat down, and sang: 'You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant,' before promptly leaving the room.

A wave of semi-audible hubbub oscillated through the Assembly. Nothing like this had ever happened before, so it took an extended period of time before anybody knew how to react. The member for Oilstan sank back in his chair.

The member for Obscurenation shouted: 'Remove that madman!'

The member for the Dominant Superpower whispered under his breath: 'Phew, what a lunatic.'

The member for Slumberland was jolted awake and shouted: 'How dare you!' before slipping into a slumber once more.

The Chair of the Assembly rose and opened his arms to offer reassurance to the members. 'Please, I implore you all to show respect towards your fellow members. I can assure you that we will take firm action against all rogue states and madmen.'

The member for Paciland returned, walked in, sat down, and once again sang out proudly: 'You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant,' before leaving again.

Silence shrouded the room. The member for Oilstan gave a half-smile.

Five minutes later, he returned, sat down, and mumbled: 'You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant,' before hitting his head on the table in defeat.

He began to leave the room before stopping in the doorway. He raised a fist in the air and said: 'No wait! This isn't how it was supposed to be. You know how the song went, one person does it, and they think you are sick, two and they think you are both faggots, three and they think it's an organisation, and 50 people every day, and its a movement. But where is everybody else? Piker Republic, what was that about? And Taciturnistan, I didn't hear a word out of you, you know you are next don't you? And what about the Gutless Republic of Weakia? Oilneighbourstan, you don't think you would be affected by nuclear weapons let off in Oilstan? I am stuck in here, on my own, walking in, singing a song, leaving again, and I just look plain mad. Well I'm not mad, the real madness is this war! Seriously, what are we doing here? Who is the real madman, me or the Dominant Superpower?'

And with that, he left the room once more, a mad minority of one.


Author note:

Written for the February 2012 Writing Challenge Contest (WCC) for the Review Game. Vote for your two favourites from 8-14 February. To vote, go to forums, the review game, writing challenge contest, and there will be a poll there during the voting period.

The prompt for this month was "Listen to the madman." -Queen, 'The Prophet's Song'.

The song 'Alice's restaurant' is written by Arlo Guthrie, and can be found on YouTube, look it up, if you have a spare half-hour, it's awesome!