Dark Matter and its Relationship to Bureaucracy – a monologue

The search for dark matter has occupied the minds of many of the brightest scientists in the world. They can’t see it and are continually searching for signs of its existence. It must be there, there is so much mass that is unaccounted for, that without it there is a great big hole in many theories. This is important for our understanding of the universe…it really is.

I believe that I have discovered where at least some of this dark matter lies. To explain this, I need to show how dark matter relates to gravity, and also, as I will explain, to bureaucracy. I have spent many years trying to track down dark matter and how it might relate to gravitational anomalies. I believe that I have proven that, not only can dark matter be the cause of such anomalies, but that it also drawn to situations where there is already significant gravity.

Through a combination of empirical analysis and experimentation, I have found that the gravity of situations is exponentially increased by the presence of a type of dark matter, which I have called dim matter. When there is too much dim matter present, the gravity of some situations can get to the point of implosion, or explosion, depending on the nature of the matter at hand. When I examined dim matter in detail, I found it to be an isotope of the recently discovered element, yet to be formally named, currently called Futilium. This element has a half-life of approximately 280 milliseconds, almost equal to the life of a good idea in government. However, further has demonstrated that the structure can be changed to make it more stable – in the short term. This isotope has one extra electron, with no apparent function, and has been named bureaucrium.

The normal structure of Futilium is 195 neutrons and 122 each of protons and electrons, giving it an atomic mass of 317. Usually in and out of existence in the blink of an eye, this element’s negatively charged electrons can, in some instances, start attracting a new type of particle – the positively energized moron. These morons, while never being part of bureaucrium, hang around and cause the element to become increasingly reactive until saturation point is reached. Once so overwhelmed, it begins to suck any energy it can out of the surrounding environment. Once this occurs morons are repelled; however, this does not appear to stop increasing numbers of morons wanting to attach themselves. These excess morons then hang in a cloud around any situation of gravity that they can find, awaiting the opportunity to latch on. They then travel around in ever decreasing circles until they crash into the nucleus, at which point they can cause an explosion.

Positively energized morons have been shown to add no weight to any situation and, in fact, consist mainly of a vacuum with very little surrounding substance. The sheer number of morons that are attracted to situations of significant gravity eventually leads to increased mass and instability. However, this was only half of the story. I then needed to find out where the dim matter (and all the additional morons) came from. By studying situations of significant gravity, I soon realised that there were carriers of dim matter which would quietly attach themselves to unstable situations dangerously increasing the gravity. Drama Queens have been identified as the major carriers, but politicians, bureaucrats and fanatics of all sorts are also carriers. I then had to track where this dim matter was picked up by the carriers.

One theory that I am following up is that there is a huge black hole composed of dim matter within each of the parliaments around the world, and that these are major attractors of drama queens, and other carriers, to those institutions. These carriers then go and spread gravity to situations throughout their country, often taking positively energized morons with them. Dim matter also appears to replace grey matter in carriers. Once bureaucrium had been characterized, the search for more of the morons was on. It has since been proven that there are indeed large numbers of positively energized morons in governments and all major bureaucracies throughout the world. They add extended life to bureaucrium through their leaching of energy from the environment, and have been attracting increasing numbers of similar morons to affected institutions. So, the dark matter that resides in bureaucracies is really dim matter that symbiotically reacts with many, many morons that travel around in ever-decreasing circles before reaching critical mass and exploding. Fallout from bureaucratic explosions (and implosions) has a half-life in excess of 20 years.

More gems of unlikely wisdom can be found in the book Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens – the ultimate guide for navigating government. If you feel so inclined it is available at Amazon and Createspace.

Exciting information on Dim Matter

Dim matter is believed to make up 85 percent of the bureaucracy. However, because it doesn’t emit or absorb any daylight, it can’t be seen or even proven to exist.

It expresses itself as Dim Flow, which can clearly be measured in the difference between the time a straightforward process should take, and the time it actually takes when implemented within a bureaucracy.

This Dim flow emits Dim energy, which has the effect of dragging into line any person who enters a bureaucracy with the result that they implement the bureaucratic systems with vigour and intent. These people eventually have their grey matter turned into dim matter by all the dim energy pervading the system.

If you are interested in the discovery of Dim matter and bureaucracy you could, if you feel inclined, read this article

https://anothergrumpycommuter.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/dark-matter-and-its-relationship-to-bureaucracy-a-monologue/

Teapartium

After their success in discovering Dim Matter and its relationship with a new particle, the Positively Energized Moron, in their search for a relationship between dark matter and bureaucracy (http://www.thepoliticus.com/content/link-between-dark-matter-and-government), Professor Honor Bender and her student Grant Spender have now made another startling discovery. They have discovered a new element – Teapartium. They have summarized it in the following points:

  • Teapartium often appears out of nothing when too much Dim Matter accumulates in one area, and some of the Positively Energised Morons can become attracted to each other. The presence of further amounts of dim matter excites these morons, and they often go spinning off at random directions. When this happens, the morons will disperse, then attach themselves to other random molecules.
  • However, if this small group of positively energized morons manages to hold itself together, it then floats around and steals more morons from other collections of dim matter that it comes across until there are enough morons to form Teapartium.
  • Unlike conventional atoms that require a nucleus of neutrons and protons to hold it together and form stability, Teapartium is a lightweight element made up entirely of morons flying around a central vacuum. The faster these morons travel, the greater the vacuum becomes. This central vacuum is known as a farcicum.
  • When enough positively energized morons manage to coalesce,  the vacuum increases in power to the point where it becomes unstable and has the potential to collapse in on itself resulting in the formation of a super-dense entity known as a peculiarity (rather like a singularity, but without the gravity, mass, or substance).
  • This peculiarity is so dense that none of the positively energized morons can escape and they are forever trapped. This then becomes a new form of Teapartium, known as dementium. A peculiar property of dementium is that it repels all common sense.

Further work needs to be carried out on Teapartium, but for now Professor Bender and Grant Spender are convinced that it is a fairly random element that acts as a sanctuary for stray morons.

The Science of Political Success

I posted this at the WARP website…but I thought I’d put here as well.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that politics is all about people and that science plays no part in it. These people are clearly wrong. I will tell you why – and I’m not talking about getting a degree in political science either.

I already discussed how dark matter influences parliament in my article Dark Matter and Bureaucracy (http://www.thepoliticus.com/content/link-between-dark-matter-and-government), so I will not repeat myself here. There are, however, a number of other identified scientific principles that rule the life and potential career of a politician. These theories have been tested and proven to be correct over many years; the evidence of their validity is compelling. Perhaps the following are most important theories that all aspiring politicians should learn about:

The Thermodynamic Theory of Political Promotion

We all know that the balloons full of hot air rise – the same is true of politicians. The more hot air they have the more successful they become. Once the hot air runs out they begin a long, and hopefully gentle, slide back down the ladder before they finally they get their head out of the clouds and can once again feel solid ground beneath their feet.

While they are up in the clouds, floating in the realm of the recently irrelevant, their grasp on reality lessens until they are free to speak without any reference to what members of the public would think of as ‘real life’. This realm is known as the crapposphere and it only has a limited capacity to absorb new politicians. It regularly ejects the less active ones to maintain its equilibrium. It has been shown that up in the crapposphere there is a clear negative correlation between amount of hot air released and the practicality of ideas suggested.

One of the more worrying aspects of this theory is that the increasing release of hot air by politicians in the last 10 years may be contributing significantly to global warming. Some brave politicians have suggested that such releases of hot air into the crapposphere are counterproductive, citing recent studies that suggest that despite its small size, the impact of the crapposphere on the climate is extremely significant, but these people have been shot down very quickly. If you want to remain a politician you should probably ignore this issue and hope that it will go away; you may even want to spout some ill-informed hot air yourself to ensure that your place in parliament is not endangered.

Viral Ignorance

This is a little known theory that describes how ideas are systematically spread throughout the political system. While it sounds like a medical illness, it is, in fact, a scientific theory. Many observers have likened it to a super virus with no known cure.

Where a politician makes a clear and definite statement on a matter that is at odds with all known information and relies on nothing other the equivalent of, ‘a bloke down the pub told that his mate told him that his third cousin’s workmate said that…etc,’ the theory of viral ignorance shows that this opinion will soon start to spread throughout the parliament. It will become a statement of fact if sufficiently senior politicians ‘catch’ the virus and believe it is a vote winner.

You should ensure that you make such statements on occasion to see how easy it is. Signs that viral ignorance is occurring include the politician making wild accusations of bias and hidden agendas when their view of the world is challenged, as well as a willingness to listen to anybody who supports their viewpoint no matter what such a person’s expertise is, if indeed they have any expertise at all. At this stage the politician will be able to convince themselves that their 13 year-old daughter is an expert on particle physics.

It has recently been found that, while not a real virus, most politicians are bound to be affected by this theory at some point in their career. You should also know that the psychological fraternity has yet to find a method by which to combat this phenomenon. This is, however, not a cause for concern as funding has been deliberately kept from such research as once this virus takes hold, it will assist you in losing any grip on reality that remains in your psyche, and so sets you up for fast-tracked promotion within your party.

Tule’s Law

Professor Charles Tule has spent his long and distinguished career studying the political system and how the collegiate party system impacts the ability of the government to make decisions. The pinnacle of his career was the aptly named Tule’s Law. This law goes some way to explaining how viral ignorance manages to prevail in many circumstances.

It states that:

The total common sense of a group of politicians is equal to slightly less than half the sum of the common sense of each individual.

This law provides an explanation as to why a group of seemingly intelligent people can get together in parliament and come to conclusions that the rest of the population can see as unwise and stupid in the extreme.

Exhaustive testing of current debates, and research into debates and policy decisions of the last 100 years, has conclusively proven that this law stands the test of time. While further testing is underway, it is generally believed that this law will not be able to be challenged. Professor Tule is now carrying out further research to see if he can refine his theory to find out whether there is a critical mass where very large groups of politicians have the capacity to lose all common sense whatsoever.

In addition to the proven theories there are also a number of way out and clearly insane ideas that deserve some attention if only to refute them. There was a theory that politician’s offices are a portal to parallel universes, and that this was the reason why so many of them, and their advisors, were so lacking in a grip on reality. Since then it has been proven that the lack of a grip on reality is merely a quirk in the political personality – it is a naturally occurring phenomenon. There was also a theory that politician’s minds were, much like those of birds, aligned with the earth’s magnetic field and that any small changes in this field led to them wandering around in a state of confused and directionless chaos. This has also been disproven as most politicians find direction difficult to find at the best of times and often go careering off at random angles if pushed for decisions, irrespective any outside influences.

 

This is a chapter from More Gravy Please! the Politician’s Handbook…

Excerpt from the Novel – Barmia

As a favour to the author, whom I know very well – this is an extra from Barmia – enjoy

 

Gof decided to regain control of the conversation. ‘So we have The Drunk and The Tart. What does that make you?’ he asked Kylie. ‘You’d have to be The Scout, I think.’

Kylie thought about this. Wayne certainly wasn’t any sort of scout and she certainly wasn’t a genius. And being The Scout sounded pretty good to her. She was in the Girl Guides. But that meant… ‘Are you telling me that Wayne’s a Genius?’ She sounded incredulous. She was incredulous.

‘What? Did somebody mention my name?’ Wayne looked up from his latest daydream.

‘You can’t be serious. You’re not are you?’ asked Kylie.

Gof again looked worried. ‘Well, I think we can say who everybody else is. You’re not a tart or a drunk, and you seem to agree that you are The Scout. That only leaves Genius for your brother, although I must admit that it does stretch my imagination a bit. Perhaps he’s got hidden depths.’

‘Very well hidden if you ask me.’ Jemima began laughing.

‘What do you think Kylie,’ Tarquin asked, ‘You know him best. Could he be a genius?’

‘I don’t know about hidden depths,’ she said, racking her brains for something that might indicate latent genius-ness, ‘but he can certainly sink to new depths. He does this everyday in my opinion.’

She burst out laughing. Tarquin smiled.

‘I’m not that dumb,’ Wayne insisted. ‘I even passed an exam last year. Maybe I’m just too smart for school. Maybe they just don’t understand me.’

Jemima started laughing harder. ‘What exam was that?’ she managed to say. ‘Getting your name right?’

Cedric started to laugh as well.

Wayne looked aggrieved. ‘No. I got an A grade in Home Economics. I made the best chocolate cake. Mrs McCusker was so impressed with the taste that she said it was the best cake she’d ever tasted and insisted all the others in the class had a taste. It wasn’t until later that we found out that some bastard had put a packet of laxatives in the mixture when I wasn’t looking. Gave the whole class the shits for the rest of the day. ’

Tarquin started laughing along with Jemima and Cedric. Even Kylie and the two badgers began giggling. Jemima started laughing so hard she had tears coming out of her eyes.

Wayne tried to explain further. ‘I don’t see what’s so funny. Poor old Simon Stevens got hit so suddenly that his pants just exploded in the middle of a French class that afternoon. Paul and Asif were sitting next to him and got splattered by the debris. They had to go for medical tests, just in case. And I don’t think Mrs Carter has got over it yet. She just sat in her chair rocking back and forth saying ‘shitshitshitshitshitshit’ over and over. She had to be carried out of the room. I heard she was in therapy for hours. She might even have post traumatic stress disorder. It’s not really that funny.’

Tarquin laughed so hard that he fell off his chair.

‘Really, this was serious. It’s no laughing matter.’ Wayne insisted. ‘Simon hasn’t had a girl come near him since then. They all call him Sewage Stevens and run away laughing. I reckon he’s got some serious psychological problems as a result of that cake. Apparently, every time his mum makes a chocolate cake he starts crying and runs to the loo to hide. That’s no way for a fifteen year-old boy to be.’

‘Oh stop…please stop,’ Jemima was pleading between her laughs. She slowly collapsed onto the floor and curled up in a ball, holding her sides. ‘I think I’m going to …burst something…or perhaps… wet myself…hahahahahahaha.’

Wayne decided to keep quiet. Nobody seemed to get how serious it had been, or, more importantly, that he’d got A in an exam. The bastards.

They all gradually settled down.

‘I haven’t laughed this much for years.’ said Tarquin.

‘Me neither,’ Kylie agreed, wiping tears from her eyes.

‘Whoa,’ said Gof. ‘I think we all needed that.’

‘I certainly did.’ said Cedric. He had brightened up a bit, although he looked pale. He was thinking about Ruby. If she was with the Vice Queen she could be in real trouble by all accounts. The stories that he’d heard did not sound good; she was probably in a dungeon by now. A hole was beginning to form in his stomach and tears pricked at his eyes once more. He blinked them back. ‘We still need to go and find Ruby. What are we going to do? What does the prophecy say? And what was in that drink?’

They all turned back to Gof. He squirmed in his seat. ‘The drink was a medicinal shot of nurdle. I don’t know any more than what I’ve told you about the prophecy, but I do know someone who might. And she lives on the way to the Vice Queen’s castle. It’s getting late, so I suggest we have some food, get a good night’s sleep, and tomorrow morning we’ll head further into the forest.’

After a simple meal of berries and nuts they all found a dry spot and Elvira provided warm blankets and mattresses. Kylie lay in the dark running over the events of the day in her mind. If time was running at the same rate in both worlds, then their parents would be coming home soon, or maybe they had already had, depending on the time differential between the two worlds – it wasn’t clear. In any case, she doubted that they’d notice that the kids were missing. It wouldn’t surprise her if they decided to stay in London overnight – they were bound to be pissed after going out for dinner. Her mum just loved being in the company of wealth and would do anything to keep it up for as long as possible. Her dad saw Tarquin and Jemima’s dad as an opportunity to get work for wealthy clients, so he’d be like a pig in shit, drinking with them and going along with everything. It might be days before they got back if the stories Kylie had heard about Tarquin and Jemima’s parents were true.

And what about Mrs Dawson? She would probably come back and panic when she couldn’t find them. If they stayed in here too long, perhaps she’d even be charged with their murder, and then there would be another spooky story to add to files of Stalinworth. Kylie giggled and then immediately felt bad. Mrs Dawson didn’t deserve that. Perhaps they should go back and leave a note…but what would it say? Gone to Barmia, back soon.

She drifted off to sleep as the sound of the badgers’ snoring echoed around the room. The complete darkness acted like an anaesthetic. Tomorrow she’d make a decision about what to do.

Classic Singers 8 – Mark Knopfler

So, people of my vintage will know Mark Knopfler, he is best known as lead singer of Dire Straits, for a time the biggest band in the world. In 1978 Sultans of Swing sent them into the Top 10 in the UK charts and the album Dire Straits followed suit. The next album Communique didn’t produce any hit singles but made No 5 in the charts. I think this is a great album. What followed after this were more hit albums Making Movies, Love Over Gold (reached No. 1), the live album Alchemy, and then the monster, Brothers in Arms. These albums brought in more sophisticated production and contained some of the more well-known tracks like Romeo and Juliet, Tunnel of Love, Private Investigations, Brothers in Arms and Walk of Life. A little known EP was also released in 1983 called ExtendedancEPlay which contained Twisting by the Pool. This contains one of my favourite tracks, more of that later.

Mark Knopfler then went on to the Notting Hillbillies, a country/folk band and released an album Missing, Presumed Having a Good Time. I like this album, it’s gentle on the ears and very laid back. I even did a rendition of the track Working on the Railroad when called upon to sing by the locals on a trip through Mongolia. It was easy to remember! He also composed soundtracks for the films Local Hero and Cal. He also wrote Private Dancer¸ a hit for Tina Turner.

After a brief resurrection of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler went solo with his first album Golden Heart  in 1996, and has been going ever since, working with numerous artists including EmmyLou Harris, with whom he collaborated on the album All the Roadrunning. I am a real fan of some of his solo work, as he tell stories in the songs – and Mark Knopfler’s song writing has always been thoughtful and of good quality. Sometimes I don’t think he gets enough recognition for that.

Anyhow, onto the songs. I struggled to choose only five, as usual, and they’r probably not the ones you’d expect, but here goes:

1.  Follow Me Home, from Communique is one of my favourites. It has a lovely beach feel to it. It ebbs and flows like waves washing along the shore. The sultry feel of a Caribbean island infuses the sound. I can feel the humidity, the sensuality. And why wouldn’t it, it was recorded in the Caribbean at Nassau in the Bahamas which probably influenced the ‘vibe’. It’s a little bit dark too and strangely hypnotic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhOPK3KVP0g

2. Badges, Posters, Stickers & T-shirts. What? I hear you ask. Well this was off the ExtendedanceEPlay EP. I love it. It’s a jazzy song and was the b-side of Private Investigations in the UK. I don’t think Mark Knopfler has done anything else like this, and that is a shame. The foot-tapping insistence of this track just takes you along with some great piano and drums to complete the jazz feel.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SwfTlQAVhs

3.  Private Investigations – If you ever want a soundtrack for reading Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane novels, this is it. It was a big hit in the UK (No. 2) in 1982; the downtrodden, underpaid, private eye comes through in spades. The guitar work is sublime. It’s dark, brooding, and there’s a feeling of futility in the lyrics heading towards a lose-lose result for the investigator and all involved, but that doesn’t matter; there are always expenses to claim and some whisky to drink. It makes me think of Phillip Marlowe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxS-ICzjO6I

4. 5:15am  – this is from 2004 off Shangri-la, one of Mark Knopfler’s solo albums. It’s a great story, set in the 1960s about a chancer who is found dead in his car one morning. It is not, perhaps, as complex  musically as some of MKs work, but I love the story-telling, something that he has done more of in his solo career. I also think that this song brings out his voice better than voice than many other songs. For me, this is a song that flows along smoothly and is a pleasure to listen to.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnrPq6ejZmg

5. Monteleone –  This is a gentle song off the album Get Lucky (2009) that had me with the use of strings in the intro. It’s all about making a mandolin, a story of woodworking that brings out the love the instrument-maker has for his craft. Not a lot more to say, but it’s a smooth, and soothing ride; the sort of song that makes you stop what you are doing to listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFKGtCfc6cQ

Prologue to my new novel – The Dunnyfunter

This is the intro to a short novel (about 50 000 words), which I am in the process of finishing off. Enjoy. I might some more up later on.

Prologue

Crowley flinched as the pile of files on the desk above exploded, showering him with glowing slivers of paper. They’d found a bazooka! The open-plan office provided very little cover from such weapons.  He glanced at one of the glowing embers as it drifted past. At least it had only been a business management file. Nothing important. The smell of smouldering documents filled his nostrils. It was a welcome relief from the smell of burning flesh.

He looked across to where his second-in-command, Leah, was sheltering in the photocopier room, just in time to see her duck back as bullets took chunks out of the wooden-framed wall. Jagged splinters rattled against his desk and showered the legs of whoever was lying under the wreckage of the filing compactus oozing blood. That wouldn’t have been a nice way to go.

‘Where’s Dan?’ he yelled above the rat-a-tat of gunfire.

‘No idea,’ she screamed. ‘Haven’t seen him for half-an-hour.’

He nodded. Dan, the Commander, had disappeared very quickly once it became apparent that things were going badly. Bastard!

They’d been locked in a struggle with Human Resources for the last two days as they both tried to gain control of the floor. And they’d been holding their own too, until Finance had decided to take sides and joined with HR. That had made things tough, but when Business Development and Policy jumped in as well the writing was on the wall – Mining Branch was in deep trouble. That was probably when Dan had done his disappearing act. The man had no stomach for a fight. Soon, the only way out would be the fire escape.

Just then, Martin came crashing through from the filing room, landing in a heap beside Crowley. Martin was a survivor. It didn’t matter what had been thrown at him, Martin had always come through it relatively unscathed. He was approaching retirement age and was still very healthy and active, but seemingly incapable of contributing anymore. Crowley wondered why he even carried a gun. He hadn’t fired it for ages, choosing instead to cower behind the piles of paperwork. In fact, he couldn’t remember the last time Martin had done anything useful at all. Martin looked up at Crowley.

‘A bit tricky in here at the moment. A bit inspiration wouldn’t go amiss. They haven’t trained me for this sort of stuff.’

Crowley resisted the urge to punch him. He needed all the help he could get – even from Martin.

‘Didn’t I send you off to get reinforcements? How did that go? And where have you been?’

Martin looked back at him and just said:

‘I…er…I…er…must have got lost.’

Crowley sighed before closing his eyes and counting to ten. Then, with what he knew sounded like forced optimism, said:

‘Come on Martin. Let’s see if we can give them a bloody nose.’

He tried to smile and sound courageous, but the moment was ruined when he flinched as another nearby explosion left him half-deaf, all sound now coming through muffled, like there was cotton wool in his ears. Then a bazooka took out the filing cabinet behind them, showering him with stinging drops of molten aluminium and razor sharp shrapnel, some of which buried itself in his thigh.  A couple of new fires sprang up in the tinder dry piles of files. Crowley felt his trousers and then looked at his hand. There was blood.

‘Bollocks!’

Martin gave him a look of terror. ‘I’m out of here,’ he screamed, before bolting to the fire exit.

Leah yelled after him. ‘You little shit. Show some backbone!’

There was a momentary lapse in the barrage; perhaps they were bringing up a howitzer or something equality devastating, to finish them off once and for all. As he lay there enjoying the silence Crowley surveyed the wreckage strewn all around them. ‘Where’s everybody else?’

‘We’re it. They’ve either taken the rest prisoner or got rid of them.’

‘Even Vijay?’

Crowley and Leah ducked as another explosion rocked the room and the fire exit door dissolved in a fiery demise. The barrage started once more.

‘Yeah, took him prisoner, she said, and then added, ‘I think they’ve got a second bazooka.’

Crowley nodded.

Just then, Graham crawled out from beneath the ruins of his desk, shrugging off cables and cords.

‘Shit! That sounded bad.’

‘Where have you been?’ asked Leah.

‘I dunno,’ he said as he rubbed at the back of his head, ‘I must have beenI must have been knocked out. The last thing I remember is taking aim at one of the HR Officers and then nothing. But I do have this huge lump on the back of my head.’

Crowley grinned. ‘You’ll get another chance soon, son. I think we’re all that’s left now.’

‘What do you think we should do?’ Leah asked as she huddled out of sight as best she could.

Crowley sighed. ‘Well, it looks like we’re well and truly fucked. I reckon I can hear Policy coming up the fire escape, so there’s no way out there. It’s just like them to wait until the outcome is pretty much certain before actually getting involved. Wankers!’

He sat down for a minute occasionally twitching in response to bullets zipping past and nearby bazooka blasts before he came to a decision.

‘I think we’ve got to either surrender or take them all on in one final stand,’ he said.

‘I’m not giving in to HR and Finance,’ Leah told him. ‘Fuck that.’

‘What about you, Graham?’

‘No way, especially if those policy bastards are in on it as well. I’d rather die.’

‘Fair enough. It’s one last death-or-glory charge then. Are you ready?’

They both nodded.

‘Okay then, let’s go!’

Crowley leapt to his feet and charged down the central corridor closely followed by the other two, all of them firing their machine-guns indiscriminately. They ran into the combined firepower of all of the other departments meeting a hail of bullets and bazooka shells.

Crowley screamed in defiance and then everything went dark.

‘Paul! Paul! Wake up Paul!’

Crowley opened his eyes and tried to focus. Eventually he saw Narelle, his wife, sitting over him. She was shaking him.

‘What were you dreaming about? And why were you yelling, die you motherfuckers?’

He tried to focus for a few moments while his brain reset itself.

‘Dream? You mean nightmare. I was leading a futile final charge against the combined forces of HR, Finance, Policy, and Business Development.’

She looked at him steadily for a moment and then shook her head.

‘Oh, go back to sleep, will you. And try not to have any more nightmares. You scared the shit out of me. You need a new job.’

Then she turned over and ignored him.

Crowley lay there in the dark for a while remembering his dream. Perhaps taking a gun to work wasn’t such a bad idea – well, perhaps not. Anyway, tomorrow was the first Monday back after the Christmas break, and just maybe this year wouldn’t be so bad.

Crappogus (347 – 381)

Crappogus has often been touted as the first geek. From an unnaturally early age he shunned physical activity and spent his time doing unhealthy things like learning and exercising his mind. His parents despaired, but were powerless to change his ways. They were often heard lamenting that their son seemed destined for sad career of invention, innovation, and service to his fellow man. Why couldn’t he be normal and go out hunting animals, throwing spears at barbarians, or raping and pillaging. This was the near the start of the Dark Ages and the respect for science was starting to dwindle.

His crowning moment was the invention of the craptogon, although the details of this invention are hard to find. Little is known about the craptogon other than it was said to have had between 13 & 22 sides, and be three-dimensional. After much thought Crappogus suggested that his new shape would be a strong design for forts and castles. Unfortunately, the three-dimensional nature of the shape left it open to being undermined. A measure of its success, or rather, lack of success, is that there are no surviving, or even ruined, examples of castles built in the shape of a craptogon. It is said he was responsible for the ruin of at least 13 kingdoms – all of which would have put a price on his head, if only they had had enough able-bodied men with enough wits left about them (and heads) to think logically.

Crappogus kept on looking for the great invention. Without exception all of his inventions were for uses of the craptogon, and all were said to be useless. This cannot be proven because it is said they were so useless that there is no record left of any of them. This sadly under-recognised man only managed to reinforce the growing distrust of science with his constant failed attempts to improve life.

Crappogus died when he decided that, even though the craptogon was seemingly unsuited to being a defensive structure, or anything else that he’d tried for that matter, there still might be other uses. He became fixated on the building of boats. He was last seen launching an experimental craft off the coast of Fishbourne on the south coast. It was made up exclusively of interlocking craptogons.

There is strong evidence that the word ‘crap’ is a reference to the inventions of Crappogus although opinion is divided on the matter (I believe it is, and all other historians think that it relates to a combination of the Dutch krappen (to cut off) and the old French crappe (waste)). Some people mistakenly believe it is a reference to Thomas Crapper’s company that built flush toilets in the 1880s. It seems clear to me, however, that Crappogus must take credit for this word.

Brighten up your day at work

5 Ways to Brighten a Dull Day at Work

Life in the public service, or any other job for that matter, can have its boring moments when nothing appears to be happening. In times like these you will need to have some ways to brighten up your day, or at least give your work life some meaning.

Cultivate a Grudge

All good bureaucrats need to have cultivated at least one grudge during their time in the civil service. A grudge will give you a hobby that you can enjoy whenever you like. It will usually make someone’s life difficult, though preferably without them being aware that it is you that is causing them problems. If you find yourself the subject of what seems to be a lot of bad luck, few opportunities, or even just more boring and soulless work than usual, you are probably the subject of a grudge.

A good grudge can be cultivated where you feel someone of less merit was awarded a promotion, or perhaps where someone has made a decision that has given you more work to do, or even where someone just seems ripe to be the subject of a grudge.

It really does not matter who you choose, so long as you work to make their life difficult and have fun in the process.

The more senior you are in government, the more grudges you will be able to accumulate, and the more entertainment you can devise to make your days go by more rapidly. In fact, by the time you are a Director, you should have at least five well-cultivated grudges that colour your every decision.

Invent Some Jargon

The nature of jargon means that at any one time there is new jargon being invented by some boffin or career bureaucrat somewhere in the world. It would be a shame if you missed out on this. So, a way to pass some time is to invent your own phrases. The minimum you should aim for is a three-phase high-impact neologism. Once you have become comfortable with this you can progress on to four and five-phase jargon. Anything more than a five-phase fustian phraseology will lose its impact on the reader. The ultimate accolade for inventors of jargon is to see their own phrase included in a government document. This shows that your invention is gaining ground and that some poor soul has convinced themselves that they know what it means. This is extraordinary, as you know it was just meaningless crap. Some examples of meaningless drivel are included below.

• Collaborative database nodes
• Enhanced empirical capability
• Interactive operational paradigm
• Relevant talent dimension
• Functional competency matrix
• Replicable human capital synergies
• High-resolution talent protocols
• Emergent executive mission statement
• Corporate risk management feedback-loops
• Multi-phase expanded organisational continuum

Invent Jargon with Acronyms

To take your jargon to the next level, you need to disguise it in an acronym. This adds an extra layer of confusion to the term and sends people scurrying for a dictionary or searching the Internet for an explanation of the term. The more amusing your acronym, the better. Five examples are included below.
• Joint Australian Regional Government Organisational Network (JARGON)

• Notional Organisational Benchmark (NOB)
• Transitory Work Allocation Timetable (TWAT)
• Comprehensive Risk Assessment Protocol (CRAP)
• Global Undirected Feedback Framework (GUFF)

Write a letter to the Minister that you know will come to you to answer

Here’s one for those in government. No matter what area you work in, there will be times when you will have your own views on a particular matter that you are dealing with on behalf of the government. At these times, you can write a letter to the Minister (under a pseudonym of course) and wait for it to work its way through the system and onto your desk (members of the public are often unaware that letters to the Minister go to a civil servant to draft the response that the Minister then signs). You can then spend your time composing a well thought out institutional response to your question. If you write enough of these letters you will also be able to keep track of how well the bureaucracy is working by comparing the time it takes to get a response back to you through the system.

Start a Rumour

Many an enjoyable day has been spent watching the result of a well-prepared rumour. The government rumour mill will spread the word as quick as greased lightning. For example, a well-placed whisper that a major restructure is in the wind after a visit by an unknown ‘suit’ will take off like wildfire. To start the rumour you should make the suggestion to a colleague that you have heard the man is a Human Resources consultant with a reputation for ‘streamlining’ departments. Never directly suggest that you think a review is in the wind; just give enough information to set off the minds of the impressionable into a stream of consciousness that will head in the direction of a dark and scary tunnel. The impressionable person, probably a drama queen or a very bitter and cynical employee, will hit the ground running. Before you know it someone will be saying to you – ‘Did you know that a departmental review is happening?’ and you can truthfully say – ‘Really? I hadn’t heard that before. Who told you?’

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