#47 – Parsing the body politic in Babel.

It is almost 200 years ago and Westminster is seething in the aftermath of the Mackenzie Rebellion in Upper Canada. Lieutenant-Governor Sir Francis Bond Head has been recalled from the colony in disgrace. Lord Durham has been shipped off to the wilderness to provide direction for those Frenchmen in Lower Canada but nobody will brook delay in resolving the problems in Upper Canada. They can hang a few of the rebels if they wish but, after all, these people are British Subjects, loyal to Her Majesty. The Family Compact days are done.

It is in light of these serious events that there is a gathering of the heads of the families bequeathed land by the Mother Country around Kempenfelt Bay (named by Lord Simcoe for the Royal Navy Rear Admiral of that name who was famous for steadfastly going down with his ship—when it sank off Spithead whilst undergoing repairs). As is their custom, the landed gentry, heads of the five families, meet at a convenient tavern, order tankards of the best ale, light up their clay pipes and discuss the serious considerations of the future governance of Babel.

Squire Harrison always chairs these meetings, as he is the smartest. He explains to the others that the body politic is passing from them to the franchised voters. “Luckily, these are only men,” he explains. “But we all know that Babel men will always vote the way their wives tell them.

“That means we must carefully choose who will lead the Babel rabble. We should each choose the part of the body politic that we best represent and explain why that part should lead. I, to start off, represent the brain. It is the natural leader and nothing happens unless the brain tells others what to do,” he says.

“I am afraid I must disagree,” exclaims Squire Byrd, as he puffs on his pipe. “I choose the heart. Voters always make their decisions from the heart and that makes me the better leader.”

“No, no, gentlemen,” says roly-poly Squire Harper, “It is the stomach that is the natural ruler. It is the stomach that nourishes the rest of the body and gives it the strength to carry out its tasks. Voters always vote from their stomachs.”

“Yer all full of it,” chimes in Squire Aspergun, as he waves his tankard for the publican to refill. “I choose the mouth because someone has to tell them voters what to do. It’s the mouth that leads.”

“No gentlemen,” quietly says Squire Brown, with a knowing smirk. “The only vital part of the body politic you have left for me is the rectum. What you all seem to forget is that if the rectum shuts down, the brain will be far too woozy to lead anywhere. The heart will be racing and in danger of going into arrest. The stomach will have no outlet for digested food and will be extremely busy sending it back to the mouth where it will have to be projected with disgusting results, leaving the mouth unable to speak. The only part of the body politic still able to function and remain in control is the rectum. You have no choice but to let me run things in Babel.”

And that is why, dear reader, since the City of Babel was founded those many years ago, it has been run by assholes.

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