The king was bored. He sat upon his throne and looked down from the high
dias at the heads of the governing board as they shuffled through their
endless piles of paperwork.
"Next," one of the board members finally said. The king sighed.
A filthy specimen was brought in to stand in front of the seven member
governing board. The man stood trembling, eyes downcast, endlessly
wringing some sort of soiled cap in his hands. His age was
indeterminate, but he was well along the downhill side of life.
"Pose the question," the king said, waving a limp hand in the air.
One of the governing board stood and asked the pathetic creature, "And,
what is it that you do to make the realm a better place?"
The man began to visibly shake as he looked up to the board and the king.
"Well, if yer lordships would give me but another month, I be sure I
could find some gainful work and thus be a citizen worth yer notice."
"Peter Townsend, is that correct?" asked one of the board. The man
nodded rapidly, his cap nearly shredded by his constant twisting of the
material. "It is stated here that within the past two years, you have
not held gainful employment for more than a fortnight at any one time.
Is that correct?"
The man swallowed, hard. "Aye, yer lordship, that be true enough, but--"
"And, you have not been gainfully employed for over six months, is that
not correct?" another member asked, looking down at his notes.
Townsend turned toward the direction the question had come from. "Well,
aye, that's a fact yer lordship, but--"
"And, you have no skills by which to obtain long-term, gainful
employment, is that not correct?" asked yet another board member.
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