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Flat out

The key figures of the political world and the media relentlessly hammered home the message: ‘There are too many of you.’ To reduce the ecological impact on humanity the programme “Slim Down” was made compulsory for everyone.

Some suffered more than others. The Tongans suffered more than the Peul people, sumo wrestlers more than fencers. The ultimate objective of equality for all was in the process of being fulfilled. It was a case of not leaving the lightening of the human biomass in the hands of fate, of repelling the envisaged exterminations.

The United World Parliament had announced an umpteenth reform. Slogans encouraged people to obey: ‘Be less fat, more green’, ‘Weigh less on the environment’, ‘Lean towards the two-dimensional.’

The pharmaceutical industries, the DNA bioengineers, the owners of sport centres and psychiatrists put a spurt on. Once they were thinned down, it would be possible to save these billions of people, a more or less necessary excessive number.

The first generation were lighter.

The second somewhat trimmed down.

The third would aim for a super skinny figure.

At first the programme was applied to overweight people, then to plump ones and finally to everyone, right down to the anorexics. The result had been spectacular and relatively well accepted. The food budget had melted down: eight people could get on a basic scooter; sixteen in a small family car; up to three thousand in a long-haul aircraft, but only with a tiny handbag each.

The planet began to breathe again.

It was for the general good, but against all expectations, concerns and criticisms turned into clashes, then into demonstrations. Rallying cries could again be heard: ‘Stop the flattening’, ‘They want our flesh’, ‘They’ll keep on shrinking us ’. ‘A breath of wind could blow me away’. The witch hunt against the very slightly fat elites and politicians began. Afraid, they tried to conceal their stoutness or went to ground.

The big rally took place on the first of May, 2168. The forces of law and order were on standby against the bunch of protestors. As they moved forward the people yelled: ‘Enough, we are down to the bone.’

Commanding officer Creasey was stunned by the extent of the demonstration. He shouted to his troops: ‘Open up, form an impassable front.’

The demonstrators, stuck together and bent in half, organised themselves into multiple formations, into triangles ready to tear down the police ranks. ‘Water cannons on maximum.’ Barked Creasey.

I was observing this from the third floor of the Houses of Parliament. Next to me two very well-known MPs were watching the scene. The majority leader complained:

‘Oh we have a solution and they always find it difficult to get used to it.’ The leader of the opposition made a suggestion:

‘Agree to a big debate, promise a minimum height of 1m20, agree to a weight increase of up to nine kilos, to create a multi-ethnic, ethical committee.’

‘How you do go on!’

‘Hang on, I represent the opposition, our role is to attack you. Pretend to resist me, for heaven’s sake! A bit of drama and emotional outbursts — that’s what the masses want.’

Maybe — let’s talk about this in detail over lunch my friend.’

They bent low to go into the panoramic restaurant.

By mutual consent and with one voice they said: ‘Waiter, two rare Tournedos Rossini.’

Take note. Given the subject matter, this witness statement is duty-bound to be simple, concise, pared down and light.

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