Ben Mcleod

"'ll have all the airtime you need. No time to read it now, just, just, you don't trust us? It's a standard announcement. Just read it like it's written, and for Christ's sake, sound friendly!"

This is the Lieutenant Governor of the province, my words coming to you via the most generous cooperation of your own local broadcast facilities. Please accept my most sincere greetings, and let me begin by saying I truly hope everyone is well.

I would like to take this opportunity to make clear my intentions. As a representative of certain interests, it is my duty to see that these interests are diplomatically, and honestly, represented in your beautiful land. I hope to engender a mutually beneficial cooperation between yourselves and us.

I would also like to offer up our most humble apology for past incidents that may have been construed by some to be more aggressive or unnecessarily mean-spirited than might have been required by the situation. Albeit, when said events took place, there was much question of intention as to your feelings towards our civilization, which subsequently colored our decisions. But now, we feel, everything has been satisfactorily resolved, and we want to make good with those who feel we might have wronged you in some way.

To facilitate this, we've painstakingly recruited the best and brightest of our own cultural representatives, who have received elaborate training and extensive education so as to be beneficial to both you and to us--to you, in illuminating your cities and rural districts as divided by our new Territorial Ministers with our civilized wisdom, science, feats of logic and almost magical displays of advanced learning--and to us, by making our acclimation into your exciting new culture more accessible.

Make no mistake, we are fascinated with the way your culture has managed to survive, and think your spirit and hearty bravery is admirable. And we are devoted to facilitating our two cultures "getting to know each other better" on every level, from family life and child development to economic structure and manufacturing know-how. Our liaisons will attempt to learn as much as they can, and communicate that information back to us, to eliminate the chances of a faux pax on our part. The last thing we want is to upset the delicate structures of your communities, your social structures, mores and traditions, your arts and entertainments. We are proud to have you as a part of our coalition of provinces, regions, territories, directorates, arpeggios, fifes, bodies, countries, governances, nations, co-ops, stewardships, unions, families, units, councils, cells, and states. We are excited about your contributions and we want to be as generous as possible with our own advisors, councilors and cultural adjusters.

As your new Lieutenant Governor, I personally would like to say that I am honored to be here. I am most grateful to my own, you might say, for my exhaustive education and this opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself. I look forward to helping you and struggling along with you through your day to day lives, so we can both reach beyond today's choices, on towards the wide open vista that could be your future. We'll get there together.

In conclusion I hope the years to come will be a new era of peace and fruitful bounty, for you as well as for my own great nation. I hope that you might see me, your new Lieutenant Governor, as the torchbearer into this new dawn of civilization.

"What? Why are you giving me that face? What are you worried about? Look, if anything goes wrong, talk to the General. It's under control."

Ben Mcleod lives in Chicago. As of this posting, he has not cleaned his catbox in around three or four days, though he promises to get to it very soon.

If you would like to help him clean his catbox, please contact him by e-mail: