It’ll never get better if you picket.


“Sorry, Madam. You can’t cross yet. Not here, anyway.”

“Why ever not?”

“Because a demonstration is going on and it will be coming past you at any minute. It wouldn’t be safe.”

“A demonstration? What are they demonstrating?”

“They’re not demonstrating anything; they’re demonstrating against something.”

“Now you’re making no sense at all. I used to be a demonstrator in one of the department stores. Remember them?”

“Not sure I do.”

“They were big shops, over multiple floors, that sold just about everything you could want: clothing, furnishings, costume jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics, everything – even food, some of them.”

“I see. A bit like Amazon.”

“A lot like Amazon, only with real people doing real shopping: touching, smelling, tasting, and talking to each other. It was the likes of Amazon that killed them off.”

“So, they were dinosaurs that couldn’t keep up with the times.”

“No; they were dinosaurs that had no answer to a massive meteorite!”

“I’m sorry, Madam, but I’m not sure I understand what you’re driving at.”

“Sixty-five million years ago; you won’t remember this, of course; a giant meteorite suddenly hit the Earth and destroyed the environment that the dinosaurs needed to survive – so they died.”

“And you’re saying that Amazon destroyed the environment that these department stores needed to survive?”

“I am.”

“What has that to do with demonstrating?”

“When I was younger, I worked in department stores, demonstrating various products – mostly electricals. The point of demonstrating them was so folk could see how they work and want to buy one. What are these people demonstrating? You say they’re demonstrating against something but don’t tell me what.”

“They are demonstrating against longer working hours and more taxes.”

“And I am supposed to infer that from them walking along and chanting goodness only knows what?”

“It’s on the banners, Madam.”

“I can’t read them; not with my eyes.”

“With respect, I don’t think you are their target audience.”

“Not their target audience? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means they aren’t doing it for your benefit.”

“Then for whose benefit are they demonstrating? What are they trying to sell, and to whom?”

“They’re sending a message to the government.”

“I don’t buy that. The government isn’t here. It’s in the capital, more than three hundred kilometres away. Perhaps someone should tell them that. The government won’t see their little banners or hear their chanting.”

“I think they know that already.”

“So, it makes no more sense to be doing this here than when I raise my fist and tell the government what they can do with their tax bill.”

“But I’ll bet it makes you feel better when you’ve done that.”

“Is that what this is all about? To make them feel better?”

“Well, not exactly, but—”

“And to make themselves feel better about whatever it is they don’t like; they inconvenience an entire city? That is insane.”

“But that’s the whole point, you see. If they annoy everyone in the city, their message will get through to the government.”

“Poppycock! There was a thing my old mother used to say to me when I had a scab. It’ll never get better if you pick it, she’d say. And she was right.”

“Your point, Madam?”

“Now that I’m old, I’ll say the same thing to these people here: it’ll never get better if you picket. Now stop them and let me cross the road. I have an appointment to get to!”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 332 published on this site.


11 thoughts on “It’ll never get better if you picket.

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