A very good May 23rd to you all. On this day in 1618 two regents (and their secretary*) were thrown out of the third floor window of the Bohemian Chancellery; though falling some 21 meters/70 feet, they all survived, due (depending on whether the commentator was Catholic or Protestant) to the intersession of angels or because they landed in an enormous pile of manure. The incident sparked Prague’s Thirty Year War.
There are two elements here that captured my attention – the first is that this was the Second Defenestration of Prague. I am both fascinated and horrified by the idea of defenestration (throwing or pushing someone out of a window), and even more so by discovering that it has happened often enough that this incident was the second historically-significant occurrence – the first was over 200 years early, and involved the deaths of seven city council members; another occurred in 1483, but the eight people defenestrated were already dead; and in 1948 Czech diplomat and politician Jan Masaryk may have committed suicide or may have been killed by a Russian intelligence officer.
The second is that, the longer this government’s in power, the more satisfying the idea of throwing certain people into large piles of horse manure is. Nothing lethal – I’m envisioning the landing (and extrication) rather than falling or dying.
The pile of manure can be figurative rather than literal – I’m not a stickler. But in 920 days there will be an unpleasant change for the Premier; for if it takes me personally door knocking every home in every marginal seat in Victoria, the public will be reminded of the Baillieu government’s entrenched, unyielding, ludicrously protracted, hugely expensive, and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to hobble the Victorian public health system, along with all the other wonderful short-term cost-cutting/long-term crippling measures between now and then. And we’ve had commitments on multiple occasions from the leader of the Opposition that ratios will not have to be fought for if we negotiate our next EBA under a Labor government.
* The secretary, Philip Fabricius, was later made Baron von Hohenfall, or the Baron of Highfall, which is a little amusing, albeit not enough to make up for plunging to what you’d be sure was certain death.
PS Once, during a night shift with a particularly tedious colleague, I passed the time and redirected my irritation by writing about all the ways she could die, including defenestration. It was very therapeutic. I know – sometimes I even scare myself a little.