Monday, July 05, 2021

The man in the invisible mask

 The Man in the Invisible Mask

King Boris was caught in a quandary - he was afflicted with the very rare 

condition known as the Marrmight syndrome: half of his citizens thought he was marvellous, and 

women would swoon at his feet, and men, some of them married to those women, would make 

him gifts of land and gold on top of that; the other half would stretch there eyes, and grin and grin and try to bear it, but inside were a cauldron of soup made from leather boots and mustard.

The usual way to cope with this, his physicians assured him, was for bearers of this unfortunate affliction to wear a mask. Masks were worn quite often in the land, although they were going out of fashion - the designs to date  did not sit well alongside the ornate hats and collars favoured by the King's most ardent courtiers.

The king challenged the great couturiers across the land to come up with a solution that would please all the people, all the time. The prize would be untold fame and at least a knighthood.

Maskateers from everywhere came forward with a myriad of the  most incredible designs anyone had ever seen. Entire diamond mines were emptied, and it was rumoured, some foreign countries stripped of all of their rarest earths.

The king sat in his newly decorated court for one every day receiving the designs, and 

tried them on, surrounded by his adoring courtiers and wives and flunkies. Each mask would bring forth cries of wonderment and astonishment, but in the end, nothing would satisfy the hat and collar brigade sufficiently to pass muster.

Finally, one day, two curious looking gentlemen from some far away land arrived bearing an intricate box, within which was another box, and inside that, yet another until, eventually, there was the mask holder.

"Let us fit this on you, your majesty" said Pushtin.

As he did so, his brother, Surkov, explained that the many layers 

represented the many facets of the King's personalities, and

that these would allow the people to see the kind of king they preferred amongst 

all the possibilities, which is why the King and his court were charmed and, indeed, full-heartedly fell for this mask as one.

"We must have a Maskdom day" cried King Boris, "where I shall lead a parade across the capital city and artists far and wide will render pictures of us in our finery 

for all in the land to see. There is nothing more to fear!".

And so it was that only a week later, the whole court in all their finery set off on there very best e-scooters, in a huge cavalcade travelling from the Palace of Westminster to the Palace of Buckminster and back several times, with huge crowds gathered along the wide paths of green park.

Near the end of the day, as the King was growing tired, despite the tides of adulation

pouring upon him, when things were starting to get a bit quieter, a small child, perhaps 10 years old, turned to her mother and said, quite loudly as children do when uninhibited by the careworn ways of the world "but Mum, look - he isn't wearing a mask at all - there's nothing on his face whatsoever.".

For a moment you could hear a pin drop, and then the cry spread across the crowds, and across the land. The King was finally unmasked.