“Order, Order”. Like an impatient headmaster, the Speaker of the parliament rapped his gavel onto the lectern. His audience quietened deferentially. When he had complete silence, he continued:
“The next item on todays agenda is the CC Bill. As you all know, this bill is of such a sensitive nature, that I move that we sit this item behind closed doors. I move that all members of the public be removed from the chamber.”
“Second”, cried a supportive voice.
The votes counted, the house voted unanimously to sit in closed session. There were murmurings as those in the Public Gallery were commanded to leave the chamber. When the last one had left, the Speaker used his gavel once again, to command silence.
Amid a packed house which was breathless in anticipation, the Speaker turned to the Prime Minister and urged, “Come on then, Harry, let’s have those cupcakes”.
Erica had just moved into her new apartment and had decided to redecorate the entire place.
It was a Saturday, and she had enlisted the help of her identical twin brother, Eric. At twelve o’clock, there was a knock on the door and… bonus! He had brought his roommate, Billy, along with him. Great – three people instead of one. She had met Billy a few times before but never really talked to him. Despite this, she found his company pleasing. The conversation was so easy with him, he seemed to be flirting with her and, playing along, she flirted back.
At five o’clock. Eric had to leave to prepare for his evening shift as a waiter, and as Billy needed the ride, Erica was left on her own. Assessing the situation, there was several days more decoration required and Billy asked whether she’d like some more help Monday.
“Would I?” was her simple response, and Billy arranged to stop by after work.
She had assumed that the pair would be coming around, but on Monday evening, Billy turned up alone. Still, he was eager, and she would take all the help she could. The flirting continued, and Erica had decided that she quite liked Billy. When he suggested coming back Tuesday to finish the job, she eagerly accepted.
Tuesday, he arrived at 7:30 on the dot. There was a lot to get through, although the company made it a pleasant experience. The pair were joking with each other but, later, they were starting to wane. As he finished painting the doorframe, Billy’s hand slipped and dashed the wall. As a punishment, Erica flicked her brush at him.
“Hey!”, cried Billy, “what’s the game?”
“Be careful, Klutzy. We’re gonna have to do that bit again, now.”
A second later, she felt a splash of paint hit her cheek.
“What was that for?”
“Well, hey, missy, you can’t go round throwing paint at people.”
A second later, Billy felt a brush hit his beard. He looked up at a very smug-looking Erica, who seconds later received some facial decoration of her own. The next time, she found his hair, and was similarly decorated for her trouble. Then the poking started. For each poke, she had one back in reaction. Her mistake was to start tickling. Billy used his strength to return the favour, until Erica begged surrender.
Climbing off her, Billy came to his senses and offered, soberly, “Now, don’t be putting me off. Half a minute here, and we’ll be finished.” And, regaining her breath, Erica watched as Billy finished the last of the room.
The job was, indeed, very shortly finished, They both sat to admire their handiwork, tired but proud. It was gone 11 PM. “We’re both a bit messed up here, don’t you think?” She leaned in toward him as they relaxed. “What say we take a shower and get all this paint off?”
Mrs Bump’s Influence
Mrs Bump is here today. I showed her the photo, and shared my idea that she was saying “no chance, mate”, but she assured me that this was very much not the case. But I couldn’t resist Eric and Erica!
In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.
I mentioned in passing that I was having trouble finding these stories at the moment, and then, lo and behold, I came across a story early on in the week that straight away, I knew I wanted to talk about. This one is mega-close to my heart, I shall explain why at the end.
Two women went to the police. One of them claimed to have been raped, the other sexually assaulted, in the same incident with the same guy. I haven’t a clue of the details beyond that, but they’re not relevant to my post.
The police, however, did investigate the allegations, so I’m happy that they know what happened. Well, as much as any third-party can know.
And, at this point, I’m thinking, try the guy, if he’s found guilty, hang, draw and quarter him for all I care.
But the police drop the case. They’ll do that, here. They play the odds, and if they think that there’s a reasonable chance that they’ll lose, they won’t even attempt the case. I guess that is reasonable because trials are expensive to stage. but at the same time… convictions for rape in the UK are at an all-time low, a statistic which is, at best, very suspicious.
Anyway, back to my story. The guy has all charges against him dropped. As far as the law is concerned, he is a model citizen.
These women then take to social media, repeating their allegations and naming and shaming the man in question.
Bear in mind, at this point, the guy has not been found guilty of any crime. Fully aware of the damage caused by being labelled a rapist, he sues.
And he wins.
In what I think was a very reasonable outcome, the women can repeat their allegations as much as they want, but they are not allowed to asociate the man with them.
My link today contains a video in which the two women are interviewed by a journalist. They are clearly emotional and sound very plausible, but… until the case goes to a trial, when everything relevant is teased out, who is to say? If we take their story at face value, this guy loses his liberty. I’d like to think we performed some due-diligence first.
I must admit, I have a vested interest here. I was once accused of child abuse by my daughter, who was aged fifteen. The allegation was unfounded, I was never even interviewed by police, let alone charged or convicted. But this is the reason my daughter and I are estranged now. She dismisses it as “I didn’t want to live there any more”, I went on to have a stroke six months later. That’s quite a high price to pay, don’t you think? She might argue that her actions didn’t cause anything, but would they have helped?
So, my winner this week is this chap, who shall quite rightly remain anonymous. I would have done the same.