Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Life Imitates Art
One year ago I took a look at the classic Britcom Yes, Minister. And just today I was reminded of how great that show really was.
It turns out that the state of Virginia has built a brand-new prison...but has no prisoners to put in it. Administering an empty prison can be quite complicated, as well as quite expensive: it cost $715,000 this year alone just to maintain the facility in its current condition.
Just in case you never could have imagined a bureaucracy so bumbling as to do something like construct a prison without being able to fill it, the writers of Yes, Minister did. One of the best episodes tells the story of a hospital that is brand-new, and fully staffed, but without patients.
The minister decides he needs to investigate the hospital, and is taken there to meet with the directress and the labor union's representative:
For those of you who haven't watched the show before, a linguistic note: very often the crazier characters are given regional accents, such as the maniacal Scots trade unionist in this episode.