02 August 2012

#fridayflash: recreational endeavour #30

We live and work in a beige environment. Beige is best for interiors because it reflects the ambient light, is a warm tone, and is easy to keep clean. We have beige walls and carpets, beige furniture and countertops, beige work equipment and dishware.

We wear beige clothing. Beige is flattering to every skin tone, yet practical and suitable for any season and weather.

We don't wear uniforms. We have choices in cut and fabric composition, with the proviso that the clothing must be suitable to whatever task of work or leisure is at hand.

We have choices in meals as well. There are three choices for breakfast: toast, hot cereal, or cold cereal. There are many choices for midday and evening meals. We can choose rice or potatos. We can choose chicken, seafood, or red meat. We can have red or pale sauce, mild or spicy.

We work six days a week, ten hours per day. Most of us work during the day. The evenings are for socialising, education, and hobbies.

The Governing Corporation encourages us to pursue hobbies which will ameliorate our work skills. We practise music to improve our mathematics, we read to increase vocabulary, we knit to make us more dextrous. We are expected to maintain our physical selves with regular exercise. After all, we wouldn't want to steal from the company by being ill and unproductive.

We also participate in artistic endeavours, so long as they do not infringe on our work time with the Governing Corporation. We may paint on Sunday afternoons, or sculpt.

We may also post a maximum of one piece of fiction per week — so long  it does not exceed 1,000 words.

We are fortunate in our freedom, and enjoy a healthy work-life balance.

We couldn't imagine it any other way.

19 comments:

  1. Can I please be issued a case of dynamite to blow the living **** out of the System?

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    1. Sure! I'll request one too and we can co-ordinate.

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  2. I don't know about Larry's point. I liked the system through this lens, overwhelmingly opt-in and well-lit. The opening about beige cracked me up, perhaps because I'm so tired, but perhaps simply because it was an unexpectedly unique line.

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  3. Mmm... Beige... ;)

    I think the idea of writing fiction in such a homogeneous environment is an interesting one and I'd love to see what kind of stories come out. Did one of them get away with writing a thousand words of non-fiction this week? ;)

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    1. Not at all -- that would be like stealing from the company.

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  4. my breakfast cereal is definitely beige, but I have to say I own no brown or grey clothes whatsoever, they are such amorphous, effacing colours so you hit it right on the nail here.

    marc nash

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    1. "Amorphous and effacing" are exactly the right words. Glad you liked it.

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  5. I can't imagine a world so prescriptive that would actually allow a pursuit of the arts, but to prescribe when and how the muse might be allowed to visit...it's actually rather chilling.

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    1. A regime without an escape valve is doomed to fail. So long as people are allowed to "be themselves" some of the time, they won't notice how much time they spend not being themselves.

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  6. I like the idea of pseudo freedom. It's nastily close to the truth. Like when parents say, "you can wear whatever you like (providing it conforms to what we think you should wear)."

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    1. That reminds me of a sort of sculpture I've been meaning to make for years. Shall have to do that some Sunday afternoon.

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  7. I like beige, I also like writing fiction of less than 1,000 words from my home (which has much beige in it)

    Katherine... Are you spying on me... ? :)

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    1. Of course I'm not spying on you -- that would take time away from work.

      Must say though, that's an interesting collection of socks you have.

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    2. Hahahahahahaha!!!

      Oh Katherine, your reply did make me laugh. :)

      Thanks for the giggles. :D


      I can't tell the socks from one another, them all bein' beige an'all. :D

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  8. Chilling, especially the ending about writing very, very short fiction, that really surprised me. Confining as their world is, at least they get to write flash??? Can they include colors in their writing other than beige, or would that work against the establishment? Unique, fun piece.

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    1. We can write whatever we choose. For the sake of courtesy, we have to keep the reader's sensibilities in mind.

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  9. The style and description of this existance, close to ours but slightly tilted on its axis, reminded me strongly of Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go'. A lovely piece. Thank you.

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    1. I've always wanted to read that. Thank you for the reminder!

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