A Modest Proposal

After reading Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal", I decided to write my own.


For the resolvement of issues that may arise during the luncheon hour, particularly the complaints of those who presume to insult the chefs when backs are turned, and think themselves greater due to it.

            It is regrettable to note that some do possess the audacity to question the exquisite mastery of the luncheon chefs, and do equally design to complain of food prepared by their own mothers, as if it were a crime to, on occasion, eat a morsel not prepared by the gods themselves. Therefore I do submit a modest (and most agreeable) proposal for both silencing the mindless fountains of foul criticism and at once entertaining those of a higher class while they dine upon the luncheon delicacy with which the chefs have graced their palates.

            To begin, I must provide an illuminating morsel of knowledge so that the reader may better understand my motives and come to appreciate my sensible and humane solution to this regrettable disease of the conscience.

            Among the tribes that populate the barbarous shores of the West Indies, there exists a common ritual that is quite relevant and as equally successful in its purpose. My good friend and colleague, a naval commodore, can attest truthfully to the events that I now describe. Whenever there may exist a scarcity of foods or some other such commodity (which I am assured occurs with regularity), the natives stage a tournament called arunga-taanga in which their group is divided in twain, and dual champions are selected among them by way of a lottery, so that the competition may be unbiased in its entirety. Next, the natives construct an arena of high fences (built of reed and cord) exactly twenty feet and thirty-two half-inches from a shoreline of black sands, as they are considered to be holy in their culture. The arena is made to be precisely fourteen and one-half feet in diameter, as their high chieftains have determined this width to be optimum, so one competitor is never out of the reach of the other.

            I will pause here, to encourage any female readers to avert their attentions, as my description may become graphic and offensive to delicate sensibilities.

            The selected champions are then put into the arena and given stave-like weapons called taanga (approximately seven feet in length), which are carved to resemble beasts of war. In cases of extreme shortage when the conflict is repeated, the champion chosen from the previously unvictorious group is given a taanga carved as a thunderbird to ensure fairness, as the beast’s hooked beak gives advantage. The champions must then engage in a battle no longer than the crashes of seventy waves upon the shore, and whichever champion inflicts the most damage upon the other is presented with food (in bounty) so that his respective group may be fed until the shortage is resolved, or until the next arunga-taanga must occur.

            In light of this prevalent wisdom, I propose a similar competition among the ingrates that do unfortunately populate our institution, in an effort to rid them of their ungracious spirit and to instill a hearty character within them. I have estimated (with the assistance of a local carpenter) that an arunga-taanga arena may be constructed with expedience within the confines of the luncheon hall, with minimal cost to our great institution. As only half of the students will eat at any given time, a sizeable space of the floor may be cleared, and its tables may be quickly repurposed as an arena wall. Champions will then be selected by the same lottery and given taanga of carved chairs, which would be provided by resident student artisans.

            At the completion of the arunga-taanga, food will be distributed to the victors, and the defeated will be instructed to dismantle the arena and vacate the hall. Therefore, the students will no longer take issue with the taste of the food, and will instead be concerned only with the substance of it, as going without food is a capital punishment to both the nerves and one’s energy, and has been proven to be an excellent motivator by several premiers of the sciences.

            Heretofore I do humbly submit my modest and most reasonable proposal for the resolvement of issues during the luncheon hour, and do attest to the great honesty and truthfulness of my tellings, as they are of the utmost importance to the affect of my message. I do hope that my proposal is well-considered, as it is certainly well-poised to solve this grievous issue, and possesses both great sensibility and economy.

The End

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