Deposition of General Jabberwocky, July 19, ’17.
General J: Yes, he wobbled. Balancing a round shell atop a thin brick wall requires the kind of coordination that Humpty simply couldn’t muster after downing a half-pint of rum.
General J: He had been drinking – but no more than any other aging celebrity present at the event.
Inquisitor: You attribute his demise to inebriation?
General J: Not entirely, He was vigorously waving a flag and yes, his shape was most certainly a factor
Inquisitor: Can you recreate the tragic moment for us?
General J: Please understand, the crowd was facing away from Humpty toward the King and Queen during the review. Only a few witnesses have come forward.
General J: Suddenly Humpty began flailing his arms like counter-rotating propellers – then SPLAT!!
Inquisitor: (shuffling papers) What happened next?
General J: Bedlam and chaos ensued. The Queen trilled. A maid shrieked and the King muttered, ‘Oh, bother!’
Inquisitor: Did either the King or Queen issue orders at that time?
General J: Yes, the Queen issued a verbal command that ‘All the king’s horses and all the king’s men put Humpty-Dumpty together again’
Inquisitor: Did anyone question the utility of employing so many resources?
General J: No. It is not the military’s role to question orders. Besides the queen has quite a nasty temper and I doubt it would have done much good.
Inquisitor: What then?
General J: After cordoning off the scene, my staff convened a conference on how best to carry out the mission.
Inquisitor: Did you or anyone on your staff calculate a cost/benefit analysis at that time?
General J: No
Inquisitor: Did anyone author a risk analysis?
General J: No one.
Inquisitor: Or produce a business plan, project schedule or a time and materials estimate?
General J: No sir.
Inquisitor: (exasperated) Then how did you proceed?
General J: We divided the scene into grids and assigned each grid to a platoon.
Inquisitor: And the horses.
General J: (mumble)
Inquisitor: Speak up, General.
General J: We rode them around in circles, per the Queen’s mandate to involve them.
Inquisitor: Let’s cut to the chase. When did you first question whether success was achievable?
General J: (studies his notes)
Inquisitor: Allow me to fill you in, it was three years later at a cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister. Correct?
General J: Yes, the Prime Minister.
Inquisitor: And you told him what?
General J: I expressed my doubts about continuing to involve ALL the king’s horses and ALL the kings men in the project.
Inquisitor: And at that time, the project still had no plan, no cost analysis, no risk analysis and no accountability whatsoever?
General J: Yes, but I wouldn’t put it like that.
Inquisitor: And how did the Prime Minister respond?
General J: He explained that a busy army is a happy army.
General J: He noted that the guilds were happy building barracks, taverns and stables for the troops and their mounts.
General J: And the burgers were happy supplying porter, porridge and pies to the army.
General J: Even the clerics were happy selling indulgences because everyone was indulging themselves on their good fortune.
Inquisitor: Who were the happiest?
General J: Why, the bankers, of course.
Inquisitor: Did the Prime Minister indicate that anyone was unhappy?
General J: Not at that time.
Inquisitor: When did the Prime Minister realize that the peasants were unhappy with the project?
General J: Six months into the tax rebellion.
Inquisitor: Thank you, General. You have been very helpful. That concludes our inquest…
General J: For the record, allow me to reiterate that all the stakeholders expressed complete delight with our progress…..
Inquisitor: Guards, please escort the general back to his cell… and for heaven sake, do clean him up a bit, he has egg on his face.