April 30, 2008

The men of the Universal House of Justice returned and resumed their positions at the spectacular nine pointed star table.

Today, with all nine members present, they could not take advantage of the comfortable embrace of the star ‘wings’. They had to sit back to the tips. No great matter, it wasn’t dangerous, the tips were rounded and smooth to the touch.

Mr Thompson, acting as chairman cum facilitator, readied to restart the Stream feed.

[Mr Thompson]:
“Right, we’re off again. Behrouz, are you okay?”

Mr Erfanian replied with a wavy go on.

[Mr Thompson]:
“Good. I realize many think we need to do something. First though, I think we are going to have to get through this scene by scene. It’s a lengthy but necessary process if we want a proper understanding to inform our response.

I can pause if anyone needs a further break. Let’s take notes and we’ll talk about it as a whole afterwards. Nibbles are being delivered as I speak.”

Scene 2 – Snap Out Of It

2015 – Early climate change negotiations in Mumbai. Layla mingled with Chinese and Indian diplomats at a break-out session.

“If you are so great why don’t you just click your fingers and feed my people?” one Indian man said.

“Look, I’ll give it a go, but I can’t promise it’ll work.” Layla jokily retorted. Taking a playful stance she whipped out an alarming and thunderous crack from the fingers of both hands.

“What? That’s the best you can do?” the incredulous diplomat exclaimed “How can you say that?”, immediately followed by “Yeah well, exactly. We are just doing our best too. We’re all in this together. We each need respect and space for our own paths.”

Layla laughed, “Cheeky man. This. See this? This is beshkan”. And she snapped a couple of sharp ones in his face.

The man, and most of the break-out room, was drawn towards this ‘best I can’ performance. He started to fumble and fiddle.

“I can get nothing. Nothing. How do you do it?”

“Here, let me teach you. Put your hands out like this.”


Under the respectful and earnest observation of Steven Selwood, Behrouz Erfanian stealthily initiated a demonstration of his own expert beshkan technique. With much gravitas, he sucked in Selwood’s full attention and cracked a crisp snap which echoed in the chamber.

With a minimum of facial muscle flex, Erfanian prompted Selwood to repeat after him. Selwood muffled it.

Erf’s eyes said “no, wait” then he completed another clear snap.

Selwood put more strain into it. To no avail but a pained wincing and wringing. Erfanian closed his face in a “no, no” then, reeling Selwood in under his spell again, cracked a mighty, and seemingly effortless, snap.

Selwood shuffled to relax his position. He tried once more. This time from within the dullness was heard a faint click. Erfanian’s see-saw expression conveyed encouragement but early days.

[Mr Thompson, mildly astonished]:
“Right. Next one’s starting. Behrouz? Steven? Next one’s starting.”


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