The three men looked at each other fearfully, “We are being called murderers!” whispered the chief to the other two, “How ever could a court call us that?”

 “Next, they may hang us!” said the junior of the three, “I have an allergy to ropes, especially when they are round my neck!”

 “Your allergy might last just a few seconds!” opined the third man.

 “I don’t want to die!” said the junior of the three, “Why should I die?”

 “Well for the thousands of deaths we have caused through crowds we turned a blind eye to, masks we did not insist crowds wear, and distances they should have kept between each other, and now the whole country suffers because of us!”

 “Yes, thousands are dying!” whispered the chief, “But shouldn’t the ones who addressed the meetings be blamed? Why only us?”

 “And I don’t like ropes!” whispered the junior most feeling his neck, “I don’t want to be strung on a pole in front of jeering crowds..”

“They don’t do it like that anymore,” said his senior, “It is done quietly in a prison!”

 “Prison!” screamed the other two looking at each other, “Prison?”

 “We have to think up something quickly!” said the chief of the three, “Something that will save our necks!”

 “We could have a ballot!” said the junior, “A nationwide ballot to ask people whether we should be branded murderers or not?”

 “Are you crazy?” asked the chief, “They may change the punishment from hanging to chopping off our heads!”

 “Oh no!” said the junior most, holding his head, “I have an allergy to choppers too!”

 “With all your allergies, how did you get this job?” asked the other two together.


“A minister asked me if…”

 “Minister?” the other two asked in surprise, “Okay never mind, even we got our jobs the same way! But now we need an idea to keep us from the rope or knife! No minister is going to save us!”

 “We need to show something that proves we are terribly sorry for what we have done!” said the chief, “Like gong into mourning, wearing sackcloth and ashes and walking down the streets of our country!”

 “Let’s do that!” said the junior most.

 “Wear sackcloth and mourn? Three of us?”

 “No, the whole country!”

 “You want them to mourn for our misdeeds?” asked the other two, who almost always spoke the same words together, even in official statements, making many in the press wonder whether it was written by someone else, “You want them to mourn for us?”

 “No,” said the junior most man, “Let them mourn for winning! Whoever wins will not be allowed to celebrate! There, in one move we have shown how sorry we murderers are!”

 “Make that official! Immediately!” said the chief as he pulled out his rubber stamp, “We ban victory processions..!”

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