A parrot had been voted the best person in the country.
The next day, the workers were discussing it.
“Does a parrot really count as a person?” asked Tone. His tone was not antagonistic, more philosophical.
Mash thought about it. “Yeah, I guess so. I don’t think a person has to be human do they?”
“No… no… I mean, I would assume you were talking about a human if you said person, that would be my first thought. But no, I reckon you’re right. A person can be anything really can’t it?”
“Especially a parrot. Parrots can talk, right.”
“So a person is something that can talk?”
“I didn’t say that.”
They concentrated on their work for a few minutes.
“Still,” said Tone, breaking the silence, “says a lot doesn’t it? For a parrot to be the best person…”
“Says a lot about the people who voted or a lot about the rest of the people they could have voted for?”
Tone clicked his fingers, pointed at Mash. “Good question, very good question.”
Alan came out of the bog with a cup of tea in his hand. It was always good to get Alan’s take on things. He was known for being succinct. Tone and Mash had a running joke that Alan would always offer his opinion using only three words. The number of times they observed this to be true was uncanny.
“Hey, Alan,” said Tone. “What do you think about this… a parrot has been voted as the best person in the country.”
Mash held up three fingers in Tone’s direction. Alan stared off into the distance, composing.
Out there, the tide of human civilisation continued across the city, all sandwiches and spreadsheets, going round in circles, failing and getting back up again and exacting minor cruelties without noticing.
“Sounds about right.”
Ric Carter (he/him) is originally from Northern England and now lives in Guernsey. He has written hundreds of short stories, some of which he has published at www.digestivepress.wordpress.com, been shortlisted for a few prizes and has a couple of short novels more or less ready to go, should anyone wish to publish them.