Becomes One Hundred Stories #43: Remembers Rule 2B

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Remembers Rule 2B

The over-efficient political party member asked the man what he would want to change.

The man said why did he ask.

The over-efficient political party member said it was his job to ask. He said it was his duty to ask. He said and it was the man’s duty to answer.

The man said it was not his duty and the over-efficient political party member was not the one to tell him what his duty was.

The over-efficient political party member said every citizen had a duty to help improve the political unity of the state.

The man said he did not know what that meant.

The over-efficient political party member said hadn’t the man had his citizenship training yet.

The man said yes and he had not understood it then either.

The over-efficient political party member asked the man how well he had performed on the test. The citizenship test.

The man said one hundred percent.

The over-efficient political party member said how could he have passed his citizenship test with one hundred percent and still not understood the central principle that every citizen had a duty to help improve the political unity of the state.

The man smiled. The man smiled and said he understood well enough what the over-efficient political party wanted the central principle to mean.

The over-efficient political party member said it was a universal truth.

The man laughed and said he understood that was what the members of the over-efficient political party thought. He added that for any truth to be true it would naturally be universal, so no one ever had to say a truth was a universal truth.

The over-efficient political party member said in any case the man understood it was his duty to answer a member of the over-efficient political party when asked his opinion on how to improve the political unity of the state.

The man said it was not his duty and the over-efficient political party member did not have the authority to tell him what his duty was.

The over-efficient political party member said the man was being difficult.

The man smiled at the over-efficient political party member.

The over-efficient political party member asked the man why he was smiling.

The man said he had a right to smile didn’t he. He added or was it a duty to smile.

The over-efficient political party member said the man could smile whenever he wanted. He added that the over-efficient political party was pleased to see so many of its citizens happy.

The man asked the over-efficient political party member how he knew what pleased the over-efficient political party.

The over-efficient political party member did not smile. He did not smile at the man. The over-efficient political party member said wasn’t it clear. He said he was a member of the over-efficient political party.

The man said a member. He said how could one member know what affected the whole.

The over-efficient political party member said he didn’t know what the man was talking about and would the man please just answer the question.

The man said the over-efficient political party member could then go off and bother other happy citizens.

The over-efficient political party member said the man was being rude.

The man said no more rude than accosting a man during his noon meal.

The over-efficient political party member said the man could just answer his question and then he would leave him alone to continue enjoying his noon meal.

The man asked the over-efficient political party member how he knew he was enjoying his noon meal.

The over-efficient political party member said every citizen had a duty to enjoy their noon meals in the middle of the work day.

The man said so he remembered from his citizenship training.

The over-efficient political party member said that was how he knew the man had been enjoying his noon meal.

The man said the over-efficient political party member did not know he had been enjoying his noon meal. He said he only knew he had a duty to enjoy his noon meal.

The over-efficient political party member said didn’t the man do his duty as a citizen.

The man asked the over-efficient political party member if the over-efficient political party member always did his duty.

The over-efficient political party member said there was no question about it.

The man said he would assume the over-efficient political party member’s humanity would come first over duty, and of course there was not question about it.

The over-efficient political party member said that was not what he meant. He said he meant that there was no question that he always put his duty first.

The man said or at least that’s what he told the over-efficient political party and the citizens he accosted during their noon meals.

The over-efficient political party member said he would report the man for his impertinence.

The man said he would report the over-efficient political party member for violating rule 2B.

The over-efficient political party member said he had forgotten rule 2B.

The man said the over-efficient political party member should remember rule 1A first then.

The over-efficient political party member said he knew that rule.

The man said but he didn’t follow it. He said rule 1A stated that every citizen had a duty to know all the rules.

The over-efficient political party member began to cry.

The man told the over-efficient political party member to stop crying. He said he wouldn’t really report him to the over-efficient political party for not knowing the rules.

The over-efficient political party member said but the man had a duty to do so.

The man said according to rule 2B he was absolved of that duty.

The over-efficient political party member confessed again that he had forgotten rule 2B.

The man said rule 2B stated that a reasonable appeal to one’s humanity could override one’s duty—but only if one could defend such an action.

The over-efficient political party member said he always forgot that rule because he never understood it.

The man asked the over-efficient political party member if he wanted the man to enlighten him.

The over-efficient political party member said no. He said he wanted the man to answer his question.

The man smiled and said he wanted one hundred votes.

The over-efficient political party member said that was selfish. He said why did the man think he deserved one hundred votes.

The man said he wasn’t asking for one hundred votes for himself only. He said everyone should have one hundred votes.

The over-efficient political party member said that was too much.

The man said look at the polls and results after elections. He said everything related to elections is based on a percentage. Parts of one hundred.

The over-efficient political party member said yes. Collectively and statistically it made sense to capture the will of the people that way.

The man said but he usually had mixed feelings about candidates or public issues. He said to more accurately express his will, he would like to give perhaps fifty-nine votes to one candidate and forty-one to another or one vote to a hundred different candidates or just one vote to one candidate to register his displeasure with a particular election.

The over-efficient political party member said most people just knew what they wanted and one vote was enough.

The man said he suspected people were more intelligent than the over-efficient political party member gave them credit for. He said besides they could still give one hundred votes to one candidate and it would be the equivalent of casting a single vote in the present system.

The over-efficient political party member said he didn’t understand what would change.

The man said someone like him would be able to vote his conscience when his conscience was conflicted—which it almost always was.

The over-efficient political party member said it made no sense to him.

The man said he didn’t doubt that was so. He said but at least the over-efficient political party member had an answer to his question. He said now he would like to return to his noon meal.

The over-efficient political party member asked the man if he would enjoy his noon meal.

The man said he would enjoy it that day just for the sake of the over-efficient political party member, but he couldn’t begin enjoying his noon meal until the over-efficient political party member left.

The over-efficient political party member left, but not before the man reminded him to study up on rule 2B.

To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.

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