ZLEIWNKCI, Freedonia. As dreams go, Kukoki Mneziw’s wasn’t a long-standing one, but it was deeply-held nonetheless. “When I heard of Brexit,” he says, wiping a tear from his eye as he stands outside Glbouelski’s Appliance Shop, watching the Union Jack being removed from the European Union’s headquarters in Belgium, “I knew we poor, downtrodden Freedonians, would also breath free someday.”
The tortuous three-year process by which the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union gave hope to citizens of this central European country, who have long suffered from the sort of nonsensical rules that English greengrocers and costermongers complained of under European Union governance. “Why should a faceless bureaucrat in Brussels making a six-figure salary be able to dictate the price of me costers?” asks costermonger Nigel Fairlie. “Let him stick to Brussel sprouts.”
So nationalists here launched “Freexit” (pronounced “FREAKS-it”) six months ago, around the same time that Boris Johnson launched his campaign to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The news caused alarm among the peasantry and small shop-owners, but was received with equanimity by the nation’s bureaucrats. “What would we exit from?” asked Zbigwck “Zibi” dar Flozens, Assistant Minister of Curb-Cuts and Vanity License Plates. “All the liberal ‘talking heads’ on state television forget–no international body ever admitted us because of poor credit and overpowering smell of paprika.”
Freedonia was formed after World War II from fragments of Estonia, Bosnia-Herzogovinia, a shopping mall parking lot, and an abandoned “Six Flags Over Central Europe” amusement park. It is land-locked, and thus does not have ready access to international trade routes that would enable its citizens to acquire the social skills with which they could pass themselves off as “sophisticated” beyond the government-controlled discotheques that dot urban landscapes here.
Supporters of Freexit are undeterred by what they consider a technical bump on the road to international independence, saying they will petition the EU, the United Nations, and the World Wrestling Federation for membership, then promptly quit if accepted. “You do not know what this would mean for the poor huddled masses of Freedonia,” Mneziw says over an audible lump in his throat as he watches Brexit news on the nation’s lone television. “We have never been able to quit anything, finally we can flounce out of something with a contemptuous sneer on our lips.”