Although we won’t be blowing our own trumpets any time soon from the top of BLAG Towers, spiritual home of the Bafflesby Lifestyle Advisory Group, please allow us a brief moment of smug self-satisfaction. Like fond parents we watched from the wings as the very first graduate of our brand-spanking-new leadership course – Special Panic Attack Social Management (SPASM) – took to the stage before a big Bafflesby audience.
The room rippled with rage and resentment but young Mickey Finn managed to stun everyone into silence with a sustained barrage of banality incorporating the very latest techniques of seated crowd control. People found themselves nodding for no reason and many fell asleep long before our protégé had finished speaking.
Here is a transcript of his speech to aid politicians of the future in their quest to suppress despair whilst stifling specific hopes of anything better:
“To hear some people talk, my friends, you’d think we were all caught in the eye of a terrible hurricane. Now I’ll admit the water has grown a little choppy of late but it’s only a storm in a teacup. We just need to wait till the clouds roll by and ignore folk who pour cold water on everything and want to sit around in wet blankets. At the end of the day we’re all in the same boat and we sink or swim together.
Oh, the gloom and doom merchants will tell you we’re up shit-creek without a paddle but that’s only mud-slinging. And when we make landfall and begin to blaze a trail with best foot forward, you can bet your bottom dollar that your common-or-garden naysayer will be up there on his high horse like a cat on hot bricks with his tail between his legs, his heart in his boots, bees in his bonnet and bats in his belfry.
Whatever else we do, let’s keep the pot boiling. This is no time to throw in the towel when our backs are to the wall and our future is in the soup. It may only be cabbage and potato soup but there are several excellent recipes to choose from. And there is always alcohol. Let our glass be half full rather than half empty. There may be trouble ahead but while there’s music and moonlight and love and romance, let’s face the music and dance.
Yes, my friends, spend any loose change on dancing shoes. Our more patriotic celebrities are hoofing for everything they’re worth, showing all of us the way. Dance marathons could be the leg-up that the man in the street is begging for. And remember, it could always be worse. In some countries they shoot beggars, don’t they?
So come on, Bafflesby, play up and play the game! The lion’s share goes to the lion-hearted. Seize the time and take the bull by the horns. Strike while the iron is hot and devil take the hindmost. But let us not throw caution to the winds. We must play our cards close to our chest, keep our powder dry and never let the cat out of the bag.
May your upper lip be stiff, your feet up to the mark, your shoulders to the wheel and your ducks forever in a row. By hook or by crook we will come out on top … don’t forget the glory days when good Queen Bess knighted Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh for their services to international piracy … while never, of course, condoning anything below the belt. Nip that in the bud tout suite, I’d say – if it wasn’t French! After all is said and done, that just wouldn’t be cricket, would it?”