Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Chicken Mob

The idea of you lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a man! Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a man? Why, a man's safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind -- as long as it's daytime and you're not behind him. 

So we have been having issues with food, some of which I won't get into at the present, but as such we have had to really been pinching dinar dinners.  As such, food has basically been the same uninspiring fare.  Chicken and rice for lunch; kabobs for dinner.  The students had been complaining, because obviously they are used to filet mignon, foire gras, oysters in the half shell and pheasant under glass.

Do I know you? I know you clear through. I was born and raised in the South, and I've lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man's a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man, all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people -- whereas you're just as brave, and no braver. Why don't your juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends will shooth them in the back, in the dark -- and it's just what they would do.

But things boiled over today, and I had to face down a mob of angry students.  Towards the end of lunch, I was in the office.  I had just brought a reporter team from al-Arabiya into the office who had been covering the YES Academy.  They were having tea in the office, and had their cameras around.  I walked out for a second to do something, when the angry mob cam clomping up the stairs.  They were furious, because one of the student's chicken wings still had a few feathers on it.  Duh, its a chicken.  But a chicken revolt, it was.  They showed me the evidence and demanded to speak with John.

So they always acquit; and then a man goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back, and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn't bring a man with you; that's one mistake, and the other is that you didn't come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought part of a man - Buck Harkness, there - and if you hadn't had him to start you, you'd 'a" taken it out in blowing.

Knowing that I had a tv crew in the office, I went into Colonel Sherburn mode.  I barricaded the door, and told them not a chance.  They would have to deal with me.  Then I turned the tables on them.  I told them there was no way I was dealing with a mob.  I shooed them all into another room and told them to pick one person to address me and I would handle their complaint.  They hemmed and hawed, but I replied that there was one of me, and I would deal with one of them.  Dumbfounded, they chose a leader to come speak their grievance, and filed into the room.  I just earned my flak stripes, not a chance I was letting them through that door and anywhere near a tv crew.

You didn't want to come. The average man don't like trouble and danger. You don't like trouble and danger. But if only half a man - like Buck Harkness, there - shouts "Lynch him! lynch him!" you're afraid to back down - afraid you'll be found out to be what you are - cowards - and so y ou raise a yell, and hang yourselves onto that half a man's coat tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you're going to do. The pitifullest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is - a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and fr om their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifullness. Now the thing for you to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching's going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they'll bring their masks, and fetch a man along. Now leave - and take your half a man with you"

Then I went into gastrodiplomacy overload.  I listened to the complaint (same food over and over; it wasn't very good), and I agreed.  I explained lightly about the problem we were having with the food.  I placated the group leader by agreeing to let him show the offending balot to John and we would discuss how would get something else on the menu.  That did the trick.  He returned to the mob and they slowly dissipated on.

3 comments:

Abba said...

Applause, well done

John Brown said...

Foire gras? What a wonderful pun! Must be a very fun-filled foi gras in Kurdistan! Quelle foire!

Paul Rockower said...

Quelle foire...vraiment...quelle foire. But I wouldn't have it any other way.