And Then Came The Burlap and BCGs

Avatar Author: Kevin Lawver This time, it's mostly Jason's fault. He's the one who convinced me that we couldn't just leave well enough alone. He got the designers to donate their time, and wrote all the HTML, CSS and 95% of the javascript. I did... Read Bio

No one paid attention as HR246803 made its way slowly through Congress. No one noticed as it passed and was signed by President Beige. It wasn’t until she nominated the new Secretary for the Department of Conformity that we started paying attention. We were all a little puzzled when she talked about the outlandish fashions the kids were wearing today – showing too much of this, this part was cut too high and that was cut too low.

When the beige burlap jumpsuits and BCG’s showed up, you can bet we all paid attention. Everyone was issued ten jumpsuits and two pairs of BCG’s that had to be worn at all times when out in public. We thought it was stupid, but it definitely saved money on clothes.

It started slowly, with FRANKIE SAYS WEAR COTTON buttons hidden under pocket flaps. The kids, forced to wear only burlap, resorted to creative new hairstyles and fantastic face paint.

The revolution started, not with guns and bombs, but with lipstick and face paint.

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Comments (14 so far!)

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  1. Avatar ALRO613 (LoA)

    So – Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were President and Vice President – Peter Criss was Secretary of Defense, and Ace Frehley was Head of the Joint Chiefs?

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    oh yes, if this were true, I’d dye my hair too! burlap is way too itchy.. yuck.

  3. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    Not only is there supression and conformity, but there’s a taste of rebellion! Not what I was exactly expecting, but it definitely works!

    Thanks for entering, ¬°Don Jefe!

  4. Avatar Stovohobo

    I like the interesting setup for an alternate future. “Face paint” is the last two words of the last two sentences, which throws the reader (well, me at least) a little bit off. I don’t know what else can be done to it (maybe change the first “face paint” to something like makeup. I dunno). But anyway, I liked the story overall.

  5. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    I figure if you’re wearing burlap on the outside, the only real option is silk underthings. Mmm, silky underthings. Nice job on a quick telling of a large story.

  6. Avatar Kevin Lawver

    I imagined kids starting with Cindi Lauper-style blue eye shadow and then going full-on clown… I read Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and there’s a section about protests – that if oppressive regimes don’t crack down right away, they build very quickly because people start to feel impervious. I don’t know where this story came from for me, it just did.

  7. Avatar Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

    lol at THX silky underthings.

  8. Avatar Melia

    So THAT’S why in the future, everyone wears the same thing.

    I like this. It has a sort of “when they ___, I said nothing.” vibe to it, and I adored the subtle forms of rebellion, child of the 80s that I am :)

  9. Avatar Treebeard's Ghost

    Yeah, this story does have a very 80’s vibe to it. I don’t know why.

    I almost laughed out loud at President Beige.

    I agree with THX, this is a big story in a few words, and very creative.

  10. Avatar Kevin Lawver

    I’m glad you guys picked up on the 80’s vibe! I was thinking of it filmed like Brazil or Max Headroom while I was writing it.. total 80’s dystopian future. I think there’s potential for exploring Beigeworld in other stories… maybe.

  11. Amj Lone Writer

    I thought Frankie Said Relax…

  12. Avatar David_J_Rust

    I love it; you and I both looked at this challenge and immediately went to “beige”!

    Rock on!

  13. Avatar lisaG

    The idea of the laws and restraints worming their way into society is all to real and scary.

  14. Avatar Specktor Speaker

    Interesting concept. Reminds me of Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron

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