Politics and plumbing



Imagine one day someone knocks on your apartment door. When you open, a guy bursts in, dressed in coveralls and carrying a toolbox. He immediately sets out to inspect your plumbing. "All the pipes are bust!" he declares. "We have to replace the whole installation." Then gets to work turning your home into a construction site, while all you can do is sit timidly in a corner going "er, ah... excuse me! what...?" In the evening he leaves at last. You tidy up a bit, but there's too much and you're too tired.

The next morning he shows up again. Then again. You refuse to open anymore, but he has the keys to your apartment. Somehow. After a while, you give up trying to tidy, at which point he starts missing for days at a time. But not before taking money out of your drawer.

When you finally confront him about it, he threatens to call the police on you for breach of contract.

"What contract?" you ask. "Why, you didn't know? I've been elected Chief Plumber for the building." There were no elections that you know of. "Oh, they didn't hold a vote anymore because nobody ran against me. But I have the support signatures from ten percent of the building's residents."

"But I didn't ask for any repairs!" you say. "I've been empowered by the people to make such decisions myself, for the common good" is the answer.

At this point, your spouse (who in all this time was increasingly vocal about the situation, but you weren't listening) grabs this guy by the collar and moves to throw him out. But instead of helping, you stand in the door. "Now, now, dear, we can't behave like savages. Let's take it up with the homeowner's association."

"They did this to us in the first place," your spouse points out. "Still!" you insist. "Violence is never the answer... is it?"


Tags: politics