Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Gordon Robinson | Cavemen: inspiration liberates you!

Published:Tuesday | August 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

In Apocrypha, that beloved fantasy land beyond the clouds, citizens were abuzz about the inspirational stories of a schoolboy football team rescued after weeks trapped in a subterranean cave.

Apocryphan Tourism Minister, Mr Ed, was inspired to offer the boys a free vacation in Apocrypha, and, in true political style, did so publicly. His announcement was broadcast across Apocrypha and Mr Ed was pleased at the resulting enhancement to his political approval ratings. But the boys didn't respond. Nobody did.

Embarrassed, Mr Ed consulted Oma D'unn for advice. Regular readers remember Oma, a PhD in logic who, like a moon, was bright only in the dark. But he had the knack of solving political problems with parables. Mr Ed asked Oma how to at least leverage a reply out of the boys so he could make another public political announcement. Oma told him the story of the bartender who inspired Charles Dickens:

"Dickens and a friend were in a bar ordering martinis. Dickens told his friend he had just finished one of his best works but couldn't think of an appropriate title. He was suddenly blocked. While he was moaning to his friend about his quandary, the bartender enquired, 'Mr Dickens, sir, what do you want in your martinis? Olive? Or twist?"

Mr Ed's long face suggested he didn't get the point, so Oma told him to buy an inspiration or at least an inspirational invitation crafted by a PR consultant. This time, Oma suggested, the invitation should be sent privately. So, Mr Ed asked tourism guru Dimango Sowrong, who produced the following inspirational invitation:

"TO: Rescued Thai Football Team:

Because you've inspired us with your brave entry into a Thai subterranean cave and your endless patience while the world planned your liberation, the Apocryphan Government wishes to enhance your experiences by inviting you to enjoy a free vacation in Apocrypha.

We can assure you we'll give you a 'home-away-from-home' experience in Apocrypha. For example, Apocrypha boasts a variety of subterranean caves in which, if you're lucky, you can be trapped for weeks or more. Then you'll have the unique experience of a ringside seat to the Apocryphan Government planning your rescue.

Be the first to see Apocryphan Prime Minister, Hand Holdmess, appoint a Liberation Crisis Committee to develop and produce a rescue plan. Pay keen attention to the number of meetings held (each attracting a 'meeting fee') in the pursuit of a thoroughly researched and carefully developed plan. Then observe the tabling in Parliament of the LCC's Rescue Report which, for transparency and accountability in Government, will be referred to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) to be scrutinised and vetted while LCC members are questioned intently on their political connections, subterranean rescue qualifications and emoluments.

Finally, after about 10 exciting months in one of our beautiful caves, you'll have a front-row seat for the entertaining procurement process used by the relevant government agency (probably NSWMA) to select a scuba-diving contractor for your rescue operation. You'll be transfixed as bidders are added to the process even after the official time for bids expires. This can be done through a special government protocol called the Enchanted Forrest.

But, your time won't be wasted because, throughout, you'll be treated to the exhilarating company of the largest variety of species of bats in the world who'll present you with unprecedented opportunities to collect and analyse an assortment of bat guango previously unknown to humankind. A word of caution: Be careful, when reaching to collect precious guango (or should any accidentally startle you by falling in your hair), to ensure you don't fall or otherwise become impaled on one of many stalagmites (themselves sources of naturally preserved guango) also readily available for selfies or research.

We hope you'll respond favourably to this generous offer"

As Oma explained, inspiration can liberate cavemen from primitive premises and politicians from stupidity.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.