The box was locked and the keys jangled from a string that hung around the old one’s neck. The box was marked ‘culture’ and the only one authorised to open it was the Honorable Mr. Vulture. Its contents were ancient, sacred and could not be tampered with. For they contained the rules that the citizens of the land to live by.
No climbing doors. Must jump 32 times every second Tuesday of the month. Every dog must be accompanied by a piano on 2 legs. Never, repeat, never ask a crow where he is headed. Yogurt to be consumed standing up always. Like I said, the culture box had diktats that decided how one must live.
Of course there were groups of people, mostly young, who rebelled, asked questions, got together in secret and broke the rules. Like not wearing a balloon on their heads on Fridays. And talking with their eyes open. But when the authorities came down on them, their clandestine activities were exposed and the guilty shamed. The public were warned to uphold the culture rules otherwise they would suffer a similar fate.
Every now and then, a new rule would be added to the already confounding mass of regulations. No one knew who came up with it. There would be a ban on the word ‘it’ on the 1st of each month. And people had to remember to point but not say the word. But everyone agreed this was their great culture and you must never mess about your legacy.
note: I wink and nod at George Orwell