Politics & Living
Reviews & stories
The International Writers
Parable of the Square Egg
tired of writing about politics, warfare, imbecile terrorists,
do-gooders, pacifists and all other kinds of idiots spread across
the world. Ive given up reading the press, watching television
and even searching through the web for an answer to todays
woes. I used to discuss my thoughts with the one an only sane
person around, my wife, but even she has grown tired of the worlds
stupidities. If anything, Ive gone back to my childhood
days and starting reading Bambi again, written in
1929 by Felix Salten. I wont tell you where I got if from
as that would give away my date of birth! Waiting on the bookshelf
is Enid Blytons Famous Five. I cant wait
to start it. So; what next?
I began rummaging amongst old photograph albums and 35mm slides. God;
that takes one back a few years! I found one that showed me drinking from
a beer bottle on the Bolivian Altiplano during the installation
of a radio tower, another with King Juan Carlos of Spain when he visited
Tehran in 1977 and yet another photo of President Ronald Reagan signed
To Jim Skinner. I remember attending some Republican Convention
during his second term campaign back in the 80s. Why? I have no
idea, except we all got a photo of the Gipper. I pulled out
another dusty box in our attic and uncovered dozens of clips of newspaper
cuttings of all kinds of adventures I had witnessed in the past. I even
came across a copy of a thesis I wrote way back in 1978 that
would revolutionise the telephone system in the 3rd World. Would you believe
it; I designed a system that would offer a telephone to every small community
within 1 hours walking distance from the nearest booth. Two decades
later, this is actually happening with the advent of mobile phones. I
continued pulling out skeletons from the closet.
Then I found it.
About a decade and a half ago, I felt just as disgusted about the world
as I do today. The reasons, however, were quite different. It was the
days of privatisation of all that smelt of Public Enterprise.
The war had started on laying hands to everything the taxpayer had contributed
to build over the years such as railways, power stations, telephone systems
and the like. Successive governments throughout Europe, boosted by the
USA jumped on the bandwagon. I was naturally caught in the turmoil as
I was still, as they say, gainfully employed and in one of
the service industries. It was also the first time I ventured into the
world of writing stories. I thought at the time, that it was the best
way to get things off my chest. So here goes. My voice of anger 15 years
ago that still holds true today! Its all about a fictitious egg
"Once upon a time notice the novice in me! there was
a country called Kurulandia where the Kurulu race inhabitants, a mixture
of Shangri-Las and Lilliputians lived peacefully and their only
purpose in life was to foment the policies of simple intellectual incomprehension
and generalised ignorance. (Author: pardon the amateurism so far and from
Among the many activities of the community was the provider of eggs that
were supplied in a somewhat inefficient way by six semi-clucky hens in
boring regularity but without any major problem other than the negative
guaranteed income collected at the end of each month based on totally
uncontrolled payments by the clients.
One fine day, a stranger arrived in town with the brilliant idea of constructing
another chicken run to compete with our monopolistic farmer but offering
eggs at a lower price and for cash on delivery. After a few months, our
first provider had no other alternative but to reduce the price of his
product and return to the business school to carry out an MBA program
in order to understand the latest economic techniques in egg sales in
order to survive in this new competitive world.
Life reverted back to normal and the people of Kurulandia were benefited
by both suppliers in sufficient numbers so that the housewives could cook
the product fried, boiled or poached, seven times a week.
Several years went by and one good autumn morning saw the appearance of
a strange amount of scrap iron that would later turn into one enormous
shed that for several weeks kept the country folk in suspense of a new
invasion of foreigners.
It was on a Saturday, rather colder than normal that the mystery was resolved
when an enormous truck rolled up before the entrance to the shed gates
and on opening the back doors, out stepped an army of white chickens in
perfect regimented file. Each had their identification number as if they
were prisoners of war or of sorts. Our fine feather friends presented
themselves each one in front of a specially designed recipient with two
compartments. One had water and the other corn, whilst their back end
was facing into another recipient, this one being common to all the birds.
It did not take long for the concert to commence with this new chicken
orchestra that in no time began to produce an infinite number of eggs
en masse that would later be presented on offer to the population at a
much reduced price to the previous ones.
Our two earlier poultry and competing friends were suddenly faced with
the unexpected progress in the form of advanced technology and therefore
had no other choice but to offer early retirement to their fluffy staff
and shut up shop.
And there we have it. For several more years the mass producing factory
was able to supply our eager housewives with products that could vary
their daily menu, either sauté style, Spanish omelette or other
exotic type egg dishes.
The story continues with the opening of a second egg-laying factory, but
this time with little chicklets brought in from the third world and paid
with lower wages. They only required an extra ration of corn on Sundays
as a bonus scheme. Hence the factory began producing eggs at even a lower
price than the original one. Competition once again surfaced in Kurulandia
on an even larger scale of mass production. Our new businessmen embarked
on aggressive campaigns to conquer the existing market. The eggs were
presented in different wrappings, painted different colours, offers of
three for one appeared every second week on the market. Although competition
was fierce and the chickens were under a great deal of stress causing
mental illness and other problems, the Kurulandians continued to benefit
from this new world of consumerism embarking on even greater exotic dishes.
The whole country was content. Unfortunately technology had surpassed
reality and one good day the ultimate in egg production arrived on the
Professor McCluck, President and CEO of the company Luxurious Eggs Inc.,
offered a full blown press conference to present the people of Kurulandia
with the ultimate product on the market:
The Square Egg
The factory was built and production began.
The original factories began to lose market share. Nobody wanted the oval
egg anymore. They all wanted the new square egg. Soon, the first of the
old factories shut down. The second tried with all kinds of methods and
special offers to maintain the business but to no avail. The square egg
had won over the hearts of Kurulandia.
This story unfortunately does not end here. It did not take long for a
Chinese corporation to turn up with the construction of a new manufacturing
plant of square eggs but this time controlled by computers and with specifications
that could vary the size of the egg according to consumer wishes. The
scene reverted back to the vicious circle of competitiveness ready to
supply even more ridiculously exotic Kurulandian recipes of egg dishes.
The curious element of this anecdote that occurred many years ago is that
neither producer nor the consumer ever realised that the extract from
the product, i.e. the egg, in all cases was the same.
In other words, it always consisted of one part yoke, one part white;
the whole concoction sealed in a conveniently breakable shell!"
© James Skinner. February 2007.
James G Skinner
In March 2003, María Teresa, a perfectly healthy Spanish sixty
year old, was diagnosed by a leading orthopaedist, Doctor Domingo Rueda
of Povisa Hospital in Vigo, with Spinal Stenosis, a disorder of the spinal
duct caused by Primary Osteoarthritis.
Goa File Author: James G. Skinner
395) ISBN: 978-81-8253-079-9
Availability: In Stock (Ships within 1 to 2 days)
Publisher: Cyberwit.net, Allahabad, India
Pub. Date: Jan 2007
James G. Skinner, as he is know to his friends in Vigo, Spain
was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a retired telecommunications
expert who has travelled the world over having worked for some
of the greatest of todayıs conglomerates such as Cable & Wireless,
US Sprint and British Telecom. Having lived in many different
and disparate countries spread across several continents, his
knowledge of and experience with people from different ethnic
groups and social backgrounds is second to none. He is a regular
writer in Spanish in the local papers of Galicia and is currently
the Honorary British Consul in the region.
a Chapter extract of The Goa File here on Hackwriters
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