Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Splendour In The Grass

Let us speak today of the Pharaoh Gayadonn, who ruled the great metropolis of Madrid for so many years. One day, as Gayadonn sat with his council of wise advisors, he made a surprising announcement. “That ring road, you know, the one down by the river – I want it buried.” The advisors looked at each other in amazement, for no-one had ever heard of such a thing. Pyramids, yes, not much use but they were easy to build; but burying ring roads? “It’s going to be a green oasis” said Gayadonn, “the people will play once more by the river Manzanares, and they shall thank their ruler.” The Pharaoh had spoken, and his servants had no choice. So work began, earth was moved, what trees and shrubbery there were by the ring road were uprooted and tossed aside.

However, Gayadonn became impatient. “Listen you lot, I’ve got bleeding elections coming up in two months time and if that road isn’t buried by then people are going to think I’m a useless plonker.” So it was, the sound of hammering became louder, more earth was moved, great machines that had never been seen before were brought in to burrow under the ground, workers were brought from across the seas to work weekends and public holidays. The day of the election dawned and the machines fell silent. The people emerged from their dust shrouded hovels and beheld an amazing sight. “The road has gone!” they cried, and then they flocked to the voting stations and the Pharaoh was returned with a mighty majority he could use to smite his many enemies.

Time passed, the seasons changed, and there came the festive time of much shopping and eating and drinking. As the old year passed the people saw that they were fat and in need of exercise. “Let us go down to the river” they said, “for do we not have a fine park where we can run and cycle and make ourselves fit again?” So they went to the river, but they found no park. The land was dry, dusty and barren. The river an unhappy stream caught between great concrete embankments. The people began to wail, “Oh Gayadonn, when shall we cycle by the river, or rest under a shady tree, or bathe in the cool fresh waters?” But Gayadonn did not hear them. “Look, I’m too busy to discuss this now, can’t you see I’ve got a lot of reflecting to do about my political future?



StarHound said...

It is a nice idea though, Madrid is ruined by one too many massive roads with roaring traffic, fumes and all that goes with it.

I wonder if while he's surpervising the road works, the Pharaoh would like to arrange for a gift of a pair of concrete shoes for a special lady who has touched his life recently?

Graeme said...

I think the gift is a good idea, he could probably even call for some public collaboration on that one.

Katie said...

brilliant commentary!