“In case its passed anyone by,” Professor of Psychology Daniel Moccasin said, as he tapped the knuckles of his left hand against the wall-mounted presentation screen-still displayed in front of the small class, “things have changed. And by this, I mean things have changed again. We now face a new, new normal. One that no one could have predicted, not even if they’d had a crystal ball could they have done so, no…” He paused and looked around at the clueless expressions tied to the front of each student’s face. A hand went up, emerging confidently from the back row of the classroom. “Yes, Butterley, isn’t it? Stand up, what have you got to say for yourself?”
“What’s going on Doc? I became awoken early in the morning, by what could only be reasonably called an air raid siren!” The young man looked suddenly humbled, confused and worried. He swallowed hard, clasping his hands in front of himself and waited for the brain expert’s reply. Meanwhile, the atmosphere inside the classroom tightened; there seemed way less oxygen now than there had been, when they had first shuffled in, two-by-two, less than two minutes ago.
“What’s your name, son?” The senior gent’s voice had taken on a calm, soothing and reassuring tone.
“Well its Butterley, Doc.”
“No, I-know-that. I meant, what’s your first name?”
“Sir, Butterley is my first name, Butterley Daniels.”
“Butterly Daniels?” Repeated Professor Moccasin, visibly taken aback as a flutter of confusion flip-flapped across his face. Quickly recomposing himself, he pulled up a chair and sat down on it positioned the wrong way around, leaning his arms and resting his chin on top of the back support. “Okay, for you and anybody else who doesn’t yet realise, at zero four hundred hours British Summer Time this morning, the United Kingdom of the British Isles and Northern Ireland declared themselves, a Matriarchy!”
“Oh nein, oh nein, oh nein!” Howled a young man seated in the front row.
“I’m sorry Ginger, but it’s true.” The Professor of Psychology reached out his arm and palmed the distraught young man’s knobbly knee. “It’s okay to feel upset,” he said emphatically, “just let it all out. Go on, let it all out boy!”
On this cue, with Ginger in full whinge mode, the room began filling up with chatter, reaching higher levels of volume by the second as each participant raised their voice to compete with other chatter happening nearby.
“All right then! All right then! Quieten down, please!” The lecturer stepped up onto his chair, paused thoughtfully once more, then lifted his left leg to rest his foot on the back of the chair. With his arms now out-wide governing his balance, he tipped the chair forward and teetered on two legs. The spectacle had the desired effect, as each young man’s voice became at first hushed and then completely extinguished by awe.
“Right, now that I have your attention!” as he wobbled, his body made delicate adjustments to the distribution of his weight, “I am here to explain to you all, exactly what all this means.” As casual as any professional dancer on Broadway, the psychologist lowered the chair onto its back and stepping off, placed his hand on his chest, while nodding his head forward in some kind of gesture of self-appreciation. The silence in the room beckoned for him to speak more.
“Matriarchy: a social system in which women hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.”
“What’s that mean?” Mungo, the tall, handsome, well-built Brazilian with an IQ of 70, asked quizzically.
“What it means, my um, very fine young physical example of a fellow, is that the tables have been turned.” With clenched fists rested on his hips, the man at the front of the class pushed out his chest, defiantly. “What men once enjoyed, now women enjoy and what once women didn’t have, now men don’t have. Do you see what I am trying to tell you?”
“Spiel ist aus?” Ginger’s eyes were welling up with tears, “Spiel vorbei ist, Professor?
Once more, Professor Daniel Moccasin laid his hand on the forlorn young man’s smooth mid-leg joint. “It’s going to be alright,” he winked reassuringly, “stay a while longer, after class. I will help you pull yourself together.”
Straightening-up, he re-addressed the nonplussed young men sat before him. “Everybody goes home now, tunes their online viewers to FBC1 and awaits guidance and further instructions. Life will be different.” The teacher looked wistful for several moments, gazing out through the nearest classroom window, up, up, up into the clouds, “Life will certainly be different. But, see it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance, to really find out about yourself!”