“Ministry of Public Inconveniences”

“Ministry of Public Inconveniences”

by Cyprus Alive Contributing Writer, Bill Warry

From a very early age, I have found officialdom absurd. I lived in Cyprus between the ages of 6 and 10. It was the time when Cyprus was struggling for the promised Enosis with Greece in line with Britain’s WWII war-time promise. Later, in the UK, I found that the way news about Cyprus was presented just did not match up with my experiences on the island or with the contemporary history recorded in the excellent book, “Island in Revolt” by Charles Foley, once editor of the former “Times of Cyprus”. Sometimes, I would tell my school friends things that the British army had done. I would get a response on the lines of “Don’t be silly the British don’t do things like that.”

These early experiences opened my mind and coloured my outlook on life. Increasingly, I felt that government organisations and big companies acted in a way that was absurd and contrary to the interests of the general public. Humour was my way of coping with the resultant frustrations.

The eventual result has been the writing and publication of “The Ministry of Public Inconveniences and other short stories”. For the benefit of those whose native language is not English I should explain that “Public Conveniences” in English are a polite way of saying “Park Toilets”.  My phrase “Public Inconveniences” is a pun on this expression.

I think it was about twelve years ago – I was having a coffee with a friend in London and I joked about the inconvenience caused by Government red tape. I coined the term the “Ministry of Public Inconveniences”.  I said that I should write a book about this special “Ministry”. The thought kept coming to my mind and now and then I’d write a little passage. I’d joke about it with my friends. And they kept saying to me, “When are you going to write your book? I want to read it.” I’d write a bit and “The Ministry of Public Inconveniences” would come along and disrupt my life a little more with various obstacles put in my path, and the book would be set aside while I dealt with my problems. Well it is now up on Amazon and there is a kindle version. It has ended up as four short fantasy stories: “The Ministry of Public Inconveniences,” “The Indecency Proposal,” “The Baptism Interview and the Seventy-two Virgins”, and “If Socrates were alive Today”.

Everyone who has experienced the frustrations of dealing with the red tape from officialdom will almost certainly empathise with the rendering of “The Ministry of Public Inconveniences” whose theme is that we are not in reality governed by the people whom we elect, but by a special body whose mission in life is to make life as inconvenient as possible for the rest of us.

Traditional presentation of the afterlife also seems to me rather absurd, and the “Baptism Interview and the Seventy-Two Virgins” is a fantasy account of someone moving on to the next world and following the Green Card procedures for getting to Heaven. I hope people don’t find it too irreverent in places such as when the candidate is given an essay topic on “The Story of Abraham – First record of Schizophrenia or role model for devout faith?”

The book is written with humour. It is intended to entertain, but it is also intended to make you think. I hope you like it. If it has a modicum of success, I will write an expanded version.

This is my second book published on Amazon. The first, called “How to Make a Chicken go Further”, was on a completely different subject - on eating well on a low budget. 

“Ministry of Public Inconveniences”

Click to learn more about the book on Amazon