“As he did every morning Pontiff looked out across the playing fields to the perimeter fence. Standing a mere thirty metres high with a subsidiary bulwark beyond, it was peopled with the requisite armed Blackguard and had all the allure of a Cold War-era Berlin Wall. Scanning the horizon, Pontiff’s eyes came to the entrance arch of the mammoth gated complex and the start of that long gravel drive, the approach to the imposing white grandeur of LifeManagement4Life. The flag of the republic billowed delicately in the breeze. A poor mock-up of the Japanese imperial standard, the red sun spouted alternate red, white and blue rays, the colours of the old Union Jack.

Pontiff rubbed his bald head again, gave it a robust itch, and leant across his bed. From a small table he picked up his LifeManagement4Life booklet – A Guide for the Misaligned. He looked over his timetable to see which of the lessons, field activities or role-plays he had in store today, or which of the daily chores he was to complete to ensure he (like every Misaligned) understood that a clean and tidy home made for a clean and tidy mind. There was a relentless obligation to always be somewhere, always doing something. Letter Posting Best Practice awaited him before lunch. Today’s bonus? An assessment­­-cum-presentation, and a key moment in demonstrating his realignment. Then, later in the day, he… He didn’t want to look. He knew what else was coming. Modern medicine beggared belief.”

– from The People’s Republic of Absurdia by Ed Spencer (2016, Sigmund Fraud Books)



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