Friend or Foe

 

Power is easily detectable; it never says please. For instance it is doubtful if a blackmailer would say: ‘Please give me the money.’ Or a Sergeant to his squad: ‘Please stand to attention.’

Power has little or no real concern how it is regarded by its victims, although it prefers to be liked and will invest heavily in a façade of benevolence to achieve this effect.

However, those who issue commands are deprived of the common feelings of empathy enjoyed by those in free relationships and this is why they seek an ersatz substitute by a benevolent false front and a cheesy smile.

Neither can they have friends among their subjects, since they cannot be trusted not to use their power when it suits them.

 

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Friend or Foe

 

Eric and George are great friends and their families have been going on their summer holidays together for the last three or four years. George is a local building contractor and Eric is a parking-enforcement officer. Eric has just called on George to take a drink or two at a local pub and they now saunter up the road together.

Eric: ‘How’s Maureen then?’

George: ‘She’s fine and the kids are doing well at school too.’

Eric: ‘I was just asking because our eldest is having his birthday party next week and we wondered if you’d bring the family.’

George: ‘Love to come; I’ll get Maureen to bake some fancy cakes.’

Eric: ‘Fantastic, I’ll look forward to it.’ However, just at this moment Eric becomes distracted by something.

‘Isn’t that your, car George?’ he asks, pointing to the vehicle in question. George looks. ‘That’s right,’ he says.

‘Well your back wheels are on a double yellow, I’m surprised you didn’t notice.’

‘Yeah, I saw it,’ says George, ‘but they’re only a few inches over so it won’t be noticed.’

Eric considers this then… ‘I think you ought to move it George.’ George looks surprised. ‘Oh come on Eric, I won’t find anywhere else to park this time of night.’

Eric: ‘George, it’s on a double yellow, so you’d better move it.’

George: ‘I don’t believe this, Eric, you can’t be serious.’

Eric: ‘George, if you don’t move it I’m going to give you a ticket and that’s all there is to it.’

George falls into a fearful rage and taking out his keys unlocks the car door; gets in and lowers his window. ‘Sod you, Eric!’ he screams as he drives off. ‘And sod your party too!’   –    And that too is the end of their shared holidays.


Dave Tomlin
Pics: Roger Wright

 


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