After dinner tonight (the scrapings from a navvy's boots and a three-inch length of garden hose), thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle gathered together all inmates and announced that for the next two minutes, Dundee's Home for the Irretrievably Demented was to be a democracy. Certain inmates became excited at this notion and incautiously allowed their sense of hope to reawaken. I knew better and merely fortified my sense of despair.
Muckle declared that we were to take a vote. He felt that we were at risk of becoming mollycoddled so he had devised new tortures for us that would begin from Monday next week. As an example of, he claimed, unprecedented generosity on his part, we were to be permitted to decide, via due democratic process, which of the tortures we wanted to receive.
The options were as follows:
1) All footwear to be replaced with coils of barbed wire wrapped around the feet.
2) Our eyes to be sewn shut during the afternoon showing of Quincy.
3) Our current toilet arrangements (a bucket) to be replaced with a new system (our beds).
4) A visiting speaker each day this week.
5) Breakfast to consist of razor blades, with vinegar as a beverage.
After a little discussion among those of us capable of speech and abstract thought, we naturally opted for the 'visiting speaker' option. At hearing our decision, Muckle guffawed malevolently. He then told us, between laughs, exactly who that visiting speaker would be.
Readers, you will doubtless realise the horror of the situation when I tell you that I now wish we had gone for any or all of the other options.