A tale of three cities

(Disclaimer: This post is about a toilet door. Yes. You read correctly. A toilet door that has come to mean a lot of things.)

Once upon a time, there was a group of people who had spent all their lives in a kingdom where women were considered commodities and things of value only if they pleased the eye. Believing that every human being should be regarded as such, they were frustrated with this, and so they decided to go out into the world and find a more accepting place. They came upon a fork in the road that led into three different directions; they decided to split up and promised to send each other word on what they found on the end of each road.

Each group came upon a magnificent city at the end of its respective road, full of technology and science and art and wonder, where strangeness and new perspectives and possibilities of being seemed to be around every corner. However, those three cities were not all the same; and the respective groups soon came to experience very different things in them.

All three of the groups were initially full of wonder, but the group that had stumbled upon the city of Primo soon found monuments in the city that depicted scenes they knew all too well from the place they had fled: scenes where women were depicted as things to be looked at and used, even to their visible discomfort. The group went to the city elders and expressed their discomfort at these monuments, and how it reminded them of the place they had just fled. The elders convened, and ruled that these monuments had been there before the newcomers had arrived, and that they were works of art that were not to be disturbed, that they were a part of the city's tradition, and that the newcomers should just learn to ignore them - even more, that the newcomers had come to this town as strangers, and if they wanted to be citizens, they had better learn to adapt. The group, which was made up of the more polite and shy people from the original trek, submitted to this ruling, and did as they were told - they tried to adapt so they wouldn't risk being expelled from this city of technology and science and art and wonder. But inwardly, they withdrew a little, and even though they still savoured the promises of the city, they never really felt like they were at home anymore; they kept to themselves more, and felt reluctant to contribute to all the exciting things that were going on in the city.

The second group, the one that found the city of Secundo, also found the same kinds of monuments in that city. Like the first group, they went to the elders, and like the first group, they received the same response. Only this group was made up of the more rebellious people, who felt they had taken enough shit in their lives, and that they hadn't set out for a better place, only to find one that made their hearts beat fast with joy, and then discover that it endorsed the same kind of crap as the place they had come from. This group stuck their heads together, and they decided to rebel. In a dark and stormy night, they snuck out, and they remade the monuments into something that wouldn't remind them of the place they had just left. When the monuments' defacement was discovered, there was an almighty shitstorm that left everyone involved covered in hostility and brown, smelly goo. If you, esteemed reader, want to find out what eventually happened to the city's inhabitants new and old, I advise you to check Twitter.

The third group found a city named Tertio at the end of their road. Like the other two cities, it was a marvellous place. But again, like the other two cities, it contained monuments like the ones in Primo and Secundo. And the third group, like the ones in Primo and Secundo, went to the city elders. Only in this city, the elders listened to the concerns of the newcomers. They recognized that newcomers to their city meant an enrichment, and that it was important that they, too, feel at home, so that they would contribute to the city's culture and help it thrive. The elders did not really understand what made the newcomers' group so upset about the monuments, but saw that if it was a big deal for them, then it was worth examining whether these monuments were really important enough to jeopardise the newcomers' company and potential. The elders came to the decision that the monuments were not worth that; they ruled that the citizens and the newcomers should sit down together and come up with new and more inclusive replacements for these old monuments. The ensuing meeting was long and fraught with frustration on both sides, but eventually, the old citizens and the newcomers discovered that there were other, equally beautiful monuments that would represent everyone's dreams. So they got to work and made the city an even more wondrous place. And everyone lived happily ever after, or something.


  1. The report from the lost member who found another village was exactly the same as the one from Tertio.

    It just had the last sentence from team Primo attached.

  2. A wonderful tale you have written there. Simple and kind of a classic folklore.

    But lets also remember, that reality is sadly rarely so simple as the tales people will narrate each other.

    1. No, you're right; reality isn't usually as simple. I'm most definitely not aware of all the things that went on behind the scenes in the case of the infamous Clotuer. I wrote this post as a fairly general comment, and for future reference - the Clotuer was, as they say, the occasion, but not the reason.


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