The Clumpany got into a great big row with its ethereal neighbours yesterday.
I was in a slightly bolshy mood and put a banner on the front of Clumpany Towers which simply said “down with this sort of thing”.
I then thought nothing of it until there was a loud knock on the door. The knock surprised me as the Clumpany Drawbridge was up at the time and it usually takes someone with arms like Mr Tickle to knock in those circumstances.
But where there’s a will there’s a way, and it turned out the neighbour had erected a platform with very shaky foundations, and used it as an impromptu bridge to cross the Clumpany Moat.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, my neighbour was in a bit of a state over the banner and demanded to know why I was creating a disturbance when apparently there are “bigger battles to fight”.
I explained that I was peacefully expressing my annoyance over an issue in a non-threatening way. When challenged about what I was “stupidly kicking up a fuss over” I said “oh you know, little things like equal treatment by the law for everyone”.
The neighbour stormed off in a high state of dudgeon, suggesting that I was deluded.
Two minutes later, another neighbour knocked on the door. It was clear that they had been speaking to the first neighbour. It seems that word soon gets round in these days of social media! The second neighbour demanded to know why I couldn’t just accept that I didn’t know best, and that my opinion was both unhelpful and unwelcome.
I replied that it was a free country, and that I simply fancied making a very general point that others were perfectly entitled to ignore. I also said that I was happy to discuss the issues further if helpful.
Neighbour number two said that there was absolutely nothing to discuss, and explained that I should reflect on how I was “undermining things” and thereby “helping others”. Sadly they did not specify quite what these ‘things’, and who these ‘others’ were as they stomped off into the distance.
This continued for hours on end, with neighbours coming to the door in ever-increasing numbers and demanding that I stop embarrassing myself and talking things down.
Each time someone complained I asked what their actual substantive point was, and whether they shared my concern over equality of treatment by the law. And each time I was met with incredulity at not accepting the status quo, interspersed with vague hostile accusations that I might be ‘doing their work’.
Some even laughed at me when I asked “isn’t it a sign of a healthy society that I can put up a banner which makes a pretty modest protest in a non-offensive way?”.
Overall, The Clumpany found the experience utterly bizarre, not least because it continued into a second day!
To be honest, I think the objections of my neighbours may turn out to be counterproductive because I am now tempted to take my banner off the wall and on the road.
In fact, I may take it to a football match in Scotland.
What’s the worst that could happen? 😉
NB Remember folks, it’s a bit of satire about the way social media works….
NB2 I said remember folks, it’s a bit of satire about the way social media works….