Valuable Role

I am pleased to welcome you all, dear visitors, to the National Sports Centre, and I would like to direct your attention to sweet young Mary, who is just now practicing at the eight-hundred meter laden steeplechase.  That fifty-kilo rucksack hardly slows her down, does it?

Mary is a strapping example of the sort of superior person our programs can produce.  I know that elitism isn’t popular in some quarters, but that is an attitude that frankly baffles us here.  How, after all, is your nation to achieve greatness unless you recognize the great?  It’s all well and good to say “all men are created equal,” but sexism aside, we know that’s not quite true.  Some are weak.  Some are strong.  Why anyone would try to pretend differently is beyond me.

Getting back to Mary, now: ever since she was first spotted by the National Abilities Testing programme at age five, she has been given all she needs to achieve the dazzling prowess she now displays.  To someone from your country, this sounds like coddling, of course, but you must bear in mind that our approach views formative challenges as also necessary.  Mary was not only given the best clothes, housing, foods and education, she has been given the most demanding exercise regimes and competitive standardized tests to turn her superiority from potential to reality.

I have heard people from other countries complain about the unfairness inherent in our system, about how our concentration of resources on the winners necessarily oppresses the losers… yes, yes, I freely use those terms, as they are imposed upon us all by Fate and not viewed as derogatory.  Now, let me answer the complaint by pointing out that we do not abandon our losers in the way so-called “fair” nations do in their eagerness to foster the tyranny of the average.  We have no homeless here, no indigent!  Precisely because there is so much effort put into elevating our superior citizens, we have full and gainful employment for even the most inferior among us.

There, in that wheelchair across the field, a perfect example.  Bob was a miserable failure in the NAT screenings when he was a child; dim of intellect, slow of reflex.  His only saving grace was muscularity, and that by itself is simply insufficient.  I’m sure where you come from he might have found employment as a common labourer, underpaid, unregarded and miserable.  Here, he is satisfied in the knowledge that he has made, and will continue to make, a valuable contribution to the ascendancy of Mary and people like her!

Pardon?  The exact nature of his contribution?  I should have thought… but I forget how squeamish your people can be.  Mary was fed up with Bob and others like him.  His strength becomes hers, and her strength upholds the nation!

“Valuable Role” ©2016 Dirck de Lint.  The story was suggested by a writing exercise mentioned by Stu Glennie, which was hard to resist once I saw it.