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The Endings
(Fun Removers)
by Michael S. Collins

Last month the government decided to pass through the Fun Act, forever more illegalising non-profitable activities against the public interest by the public. No more drinking, gaming, pulling, playing, watching, drowning: anything that could be considered a fun activity by anyone. The country was in recession, in war and in crisis, and the only way to prevent national catastrophe was for everyone to work, work and work until the bankers in charge were satisfied with the growth of the economy. Moreover, that could hardly be achieved while you had workers going home and playing with their children, their girlfriends or their video games.

“They’ve gone and banned fun,” said one anecdotal worker to a friend. “What the hell are we meant to do now?”

A suitable answer might well have been: “Let’s go down the pub for a pint” but drinking in misery is someone’s fun, and so banned by the act.

The Fun Act was a slippery slope. There is no statutory definition of fun. It's an activity someone enjoys. Therefore, in banning all fun to speed up the recovery, the question came to be asked: What are fun activities and what are we banning. TV, alcohol, sex were obvious bannees. Too many people, enjoying them. Books too, except in terms of education, because no one clearly enjoys being forced to read a book (so the legislators promptly decided). This led to the unforeseen upshot of several million more applications for English Literature courses at the Open University than usual, and so, realising the system was being abused, all books had to go on the list, for reasons of public safety.

Public parks were closed, after reports came in of people walking through them, and sitting on benches in the middle of them, as if having fun. The government sorted this out by turning the lot into Parking Lots reserved for expensive cars only.

OAP groups complained about the closure of all libraries and public parks, but the government got around this, by realising that grans and grandfathers (and other elderly relatives) were a source of fun and mischief for the younger workforce, and the only suitable recourse to action was to euthanize the lot.

So old people, parks, public arenas, books, fornication, theatre, pubs, TV, video games: all gone.

Yet there was still fun had. The government realised that people, even now, were enjoying themselves, out with work hours, through the joy of having pets and families. The government repossessed all pets and threw them into the North Sea, and passed the Family Disunification Act, whereby all families members were placed in separate towns and cities, so that all workers were surrounded by total strangers.

Even now, the recovery was still slow. Three quarters of the work force had died, or were being medicated for depression. At least they weren’t having fun, but they were slow and rather useless.

The other quarter were still having fun, meeting strangers in their new towns and cities and forming new friendships and relationships.

The government decided the only way to completely remove fun, in accordance with the Fun Act, was to launch a nuclear attack on their own country, and then conscript whoever was left into the army.

This was achieved. The generals got carried away, enjoying themselves, and accidentally obliterated all life in the country.

Then there was silence. Deathly.

Finally, the Fun Act had been carried through to its conclusion. There was no one to have fun anymore. And, no debt either, since debt is only carried as long as a person is alive, a country is the sum of its people, and since all of the people were dead, the debt was thus cancelled, and the recovery completed.

The Fun Act was considered a tremendous success.