Friday, 8 April 2011

The trial

Children of the future age
Reading this indignant page
Know that in a former time
Killing strangers was thought fine

Col. Tidmarsh-Basilton-Smythe:- Case no.#32461. Emmanuel Jones. Bring in Emmanuel Jones -

Lt.Sniveller:- Very good sir! -

REJ:- Hmmm. No cheers like for the Fonz. Dim ots -

TBS:- Are you Richard Emmanuel Jones, of Ceiliog-mawr farm, Llanfihangel-yr-Creuddun? -

REJ:- Sort of - I'm his great-grandfather -

TBS:- What's the time number one? -

Lt.S- Approaching quarter past seven, sir -

TBS:- 19:14. Jolly good. Richard Emmanuel Jones' great-grandfather -

REJ:- Yes that was me -

Lt.S.:- Yes that was me sir! -

REJ:- It can't was be both of us -

Lt.S:- Answer 'Sir' when you address your superior!

REJ:- Who is my superior?

Lt.S.:- The one with the colourful shoulders -

REJ:- Yes that it was me indeed, your Sirness -

TBS:- Now then Jones. I've read your case file, and preliminary investigations show you to be of the male persuasion. But there seems to be a problem. What is the problem that there seems to be? -

REJ:- Well I was moving the sheep to the high grazing up Mynydd Iwan, when I was arrested and brought here.

TBS:- Precisely. Now listen up Emmanuel Jones Snr x 2, we're having a bit of a show -

REJ:- Oooh! Like the eisteddfod! I recall when -

TBS:- Yes, yes, like the eisteddfod. And we've cast you, as it were, in a - how shall I put this - in a 'front of stage' role. -

REJ:- Duw, duw, boys bach, there's lovely! -

TBS: - Now if you would be so kind as to put your!...Lieutenant Sniveller will fix you up with your costume and we'll say no more about it. You do like buttons don't you Jones? -

- That's how it's done, Sniveller!, I thought you said he was -

REJ:- Oooh! Yes, buttons! -

TBS:- Buttons, yes. Now if you could just -

REJ:- What exactly does the role involve? -

Lt.S:- I told you Sir!, He's -

TBS:- Pipe down Sniveller! I'll deal with this. Watch and learn man, watch and learn. Now Jones, the role despatching news, yes that's it, a little tour abroad to meet some strangers them the good news. -

REJ:- What is the good news? -

TBS:- That you are going to kill them. It's quite straightforward, nothing to worry about, all above board and whatnot -

REJ:- Iesu mawr! Y Parch won't let me do that! I haven't been to chapel since Mrs Davies Penwaun's rabbit had a poorly cough, poor dab, but I'm sure I remember -

TBS:- eh? What? -

Lt.S.:- * whisper! *

TBS:- Oh don't worry about that Jones, they're on board too. We've all decided -

REJ:- Oooh well I'm sorry indeed after you brought me all this way and the cup of tea and everything, but I don't think it's the role for me. I'd best get back to the sheep – good luck with it anyway -

TBS:- Good God man! We can't do it from behind this desk can we now? Think man! England expects -

Lt.S:- * whisper! *

TBS:- ahem!...Britain expects every man to.....Sniveller! Fetch the Sequentially Advancing Picturator!

Lt.S.:- With drool, Sir! -

TBS:- Very good number one. Now take a look at this Jones:-

* click! whir! *

TBS:- What do you see here? -

REJ:- He....he's tossing babies onto bayonettes! I can't watch! I -

TBS:- There! You see now Jones don't you? What do you think should be done to this man? -

REJ:- He should be killed! Dammo he should be killed. -

TBS:- So! Not a pacifist eh? -

REJ:- I like the sea -

TBS:- Write that down number one! We've got him! -

Lt.S.:- '...likes the sea...'

TBS:- That's the spirit boy! And that is what your role is. Couldn't be simpler. We'll make a soldier of you yet by thunder! -

REJ:- Well bring him in and I'll do it! -

TBS:- eh? what? eh? -

REJ:- Bring him in and I'll do it!

TBS:- No, no, no. You don't understand. We don't want you to kill him. We can't know where he is now can we? Damn you Jones, buck your ideas up -

REJ:- Sorry! But then what exactly do you mean? -

Lt.S.:- May I suggest infantry Sir? -

TBS:- Yes, yes, infantry. Now pay attention Emmanuel Jones. What we have decided you should do, in the light of the Sequentially advancing picturations, which you saw for yourself with your very own eyes, etc, is to kill someone else wearing the same costume.

REJ:- ...someone else.......the same costume...

TBS:- Yes, yes, someone else wearing the same costume. You are to kill them. Doesn't matter who - the more the merrier. Now we've gone to a lot of trouble to cast you in this role, and -

REJ:- Well I don't think that would be right, I mean -

TBS:- WHAAAAAAT?!!! You don't think it would be right?! Right! Right! Left! Left! Right! What could you, a farmer, know about right? I -

REJ:- I was right that time when Dilys Penuwch was lambing and -

TBS:- Even a stopped clock is right twice a day! -

Lt.S.:- Oh, well done, Sir -

REJ:- Pardon you me?!

TBS:- Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. You see, when -

REJ:- Not if it's a 24 hr clock -

TBS:- What?! -

REJ:- Not if it's a 24 hr clock it isn't.

TBS:- Well then it's right once a day -

REJ:- Not if it displays dates too -

TBS:- Then it's right once a year -

REJ:- Not if it stopped on february the 29th -

TBS:- Forget about the stopped clock -

REJ:- I'm afraid I can't! A sundial is stopped and right all day long -

TBS:- Not at night! Not at night, Jones! -

REJ:- A moon-dial -

TBS:- A moon-dial?! I've never heard such -

REJ:- What about a stop-watch? That's only right when it is stopped. An hour-glass on the other hand -

TBS:- What?! What?! This man is insane! insane I say! Can we hang people for being insane?!

Lt.S.:- It depends what the time is -

REJ:- Just coming up to twenty to eight now -

TBS:- 19:39. What can we get him on?

Lt.S.:- Oh, quite a lot still, Sir. * whisper! whisper! *

REJ:- If the Sun was the hour hand, and a year was an hour, and the universe stopped so there was no -

TBS:- Very well. You've asked for this Jones. Sniveller! Fetch......The Persuader!

Lt.S:- Very good Sir!, exquisite timing!, indefatig -

TBS:- Jump to it man! We've got a live one here! -

* scurry! retrieve! *

TBS:- * Thud!* There! What do you say now, Jones?! The Persuader! * beam! * -

REJ:-'s a cloth...


REJ:- It's a tea-towel is it? Am I getting warm? -

TBS:- * Gibber! * -

REJ:- It's got a cross on it, no wait, two, it's -

TBS:- I'll see you hang for this Jones!!! Millioms have given their lives for this cloth! Millions -

REJ:- It's a very nice cloth, but I -

TBS:- a – very – nice – ….Sniveller! my medicine! my medicine! -

Lt.S.:- Say 'When' Sir -

Lt.S.- * whisper whisper *

TBS:- Good idea. Bring in the Arbiter of Cowardice. Miss Tuskervirgin -

TV:- I am Miss Tuskervirgin, self-appointed Conscience of the Nation. I give you this.... -

REJ:- Oooh no tickling please!

TV:- ….feather.

TBS:- What do you say to that Jones? Pretty convincing eh? -

REJ:- It'

TBS:- Confound it Jones! Do you know what would happen if everyone were like you? Do you? -

REJ:- You mean if no-one turned up? -

TBS:- Yes! If no-one turned up! How could we have a show without -

Lt.S:- * whisper whisper *

TBS:- Yes. I think that must be it. I'll delegate this unpleasant duty to your good self. What time is it anyway? This is taking longer than one would have thought to get the correct verdict -

Lt.S.:- Oh, could be almost anytime really -

TBS:- Well! Jump to it Number one! -

Lt.S:- By the powers invested in me by His Primejesty whoever bla bla etc I ask are you, or have you ever been, an 'omosexual?

REJ:- That's a good knot you're tying. Is it a lasso? -

TBS:- Answer him Jones! Answer as if your very life depended on it! -

REJ:- Well I don't see how my very life could depend on -

TBS:- WHAAAAAAT?!!! - M-m-matters of state! Of the highest importance!

Lt.S.:- It's what we're fighting for! Have you no sense of justice at all? -

REJ:- Sioned read me 'In the penal colony' once. There was this machinery....blind machinery....

TBS:- Penal! The man said Penal. Write that down number one! -

Lt.S.:- How do you spell it? -

TBS:- Never mind Lieutenant. Give him your gun. Which in his case, he has not got.

Lt.S:- But Sir, it's -

TBS:- That's an order, Sniveller! Put your weapon in his hands at once. Lets see how he handles it. You can tell a lot about a man from how he handles his weapon. er...I'm told...

REJ:- What do you want me to do with it?

Lt.S:- Caress it! Just the right amount. But I'm not going to tell you how much is the right amount -

TBS:- Quite right Sniveller. It must be a fair trial, or we'd be as bad as the other lot. Listen now Emmanuel Jones. Every man must do his duty. When a man's life, nay his whole country, and it's freedoms and all he holds true, are threatened by criminally insane autocrats, who would stop at nothing to act out their depraved and wanton destruction, when all that he stands for is held hostage at the point of a gun or the dangling of a noose, when he comes face to face with all this, this true evil, then that is his enemy. And the enemy of all good men. And that enemy must be destroyed, regardless of any personal considerations – something much bigger is at stake. Destroyed! Do you understand? The evil must be destroyed! Now, for the last time, will you do your duty? -

REJ:- Yes, I will. But with a heavy heart -

TBS:- God bless airstrip one! By thunder we did it! Eh Sniveller? -

Lt.S.:- S-s-sir...

TBS:- Jones?

REJ:- * click! *.....* bang! *.......* click! *.....* bang! *......*thudd - dud*.

REJ:- Ooooh! Look at the time. Just gone ten past. 9:11.

dim et rit.


  1. This is a third go - cyberspace in operation again. Very funny, laugh out loud and deadly serious in every way. His writing is fantastic, hilarious and horrific all at once. Sheer brilliance has been said before, but that's what it is.

  2. Wonderful! Moving. I remember another trial like this written by a famous person but this is better. And funnier.

  3. Oh, What a Lovely Piece!"

    The psychopathology of our leaders and betters eviscerated and laid out comically twitching. Twas us that had to eat that 'umble pie.

  4. Kafka would approve! Beautifully done.