Glastonbury Fairy Community in Shock over New Legislation
Fairies were known to the Victorians as elusive creatures, rapidly retreating to their home under Glastonbury Tor when spied by the curious. Apart from abducting the occasional sleeping swain or newborn babe, they shunned human company altogether. In recent years, the fey folk have abandoned their reclusive existence and are now ‘out and proud’. No longer is it necessary to peer through the undergrowth at dusk to catch a glimpse of them, they can be seen in their finery strolling through Glastonbury High Street in Spring and Autumn, on their way to their popular Faery Balls at the Town Hall. Fairies in even greater numbers gather at Faery Festivals throughout the land.
Unfortunately, these public appearances have bought the Fairy community to the attention of the European Union, who have announced a raft of measures designed to regulate their activities. In particular, following several high profile accidents and ensuing court cases (notably Eleanor Tumblethistle vs Ryan Air) the EU have announced rigorous licensing requirements for all fairy flights 5m above sea level and over 4 minutes in duration.
The new regulations aim to bring fairies in line with light aircraft and drone pilots, as such all fairies will be required to log in online to apply for advance permission to fly and carry out extensive risk assessments before each take-off. Fairies will also be subject to strict on-the-spot drug and drink testing, flying on fairy dust will not be permitted under any circumstances. The Guild of Fairy Ring Makers is particularly aggrieved as it is believed that preflight consumption of magic mushrooms will also be prohibited. In preparation, a local fairy drinks manufacturer has stopped making mead and is planning a range of non-alcoholic unicorn tears instead. Preliminary tastings of the product reveal that is has a flavour reminiscent of urine with an overwhelming saccharin aftertaste. One tester was heard to ask in disgusted tones “Is this Strongbow?”.
Fairy groups have also reacted with horror to new regulations concerning flight dress. Hi-vis, impact resistant and streamlined clothing will be required, particularly prohibiting the wearing of the voluminous crushed velvet frocks favoured by middle-aged fairies. Protective headgear of an approved design will be mandatory and aftermarket additions of horns and flower garlands will not be permitted.
Spokesfairy Puck Springborn commented “At this rate, they’ll have us looking like a load of elderly bloody cyclists, and there’s enough of those clogging up Glastonbury already. Besides that, Lycra is well known to affect the reception of Earth energies, how on Earth will we be expected to navigate by the ley lines?”
There will also be new regulations on the construction of fairy wings. Gossamer is most definitely out. Wings will need to be rigorously tested and built from Kevlar and carbon fibre. The recent popularity of electrically assisted wings, particularly amongst the elderly and less able-bodied in the fairy community, has led to specific legislation limiting the size, speed and flap rate of these ‘eWings’.
There will be a local impact too. Glastonbury Council has formed a 12 strong subcommittee to discuss the siting of the newly required fairy landing pad in the town. However, despite 348 meetings, they have not yet been able to come to a decision. Local MP Jamie Beefy suggested an area could be found alongside the planned Glastonbury Northern Relief Road. Despite the close proximity of the site to their under the Tor home, fairy groups were up in arms at the prospect of landing waist-deep in floodwater between the months of September and June each year.
To add insult to injury fairies may have to eschew their usual diet of rainbow cupcakes in favour of low-fat alternatives, as legislators are rumoured to be imposing strict rules governing the maximum unladen weight of fairies wishing to retain their right to fly. It doesn’t help that fairy weight gain has been blamed for several unfortunate incidents, including one where a local fairy lost power during her flight and landed arse-up and face down in the centre of Millfield Schools Sports Field during a game of Polo, narrowly missing a crowned head of state.
The newly formed FFA (the Fat Fairies Alliance) are planning to protest these new regulations as they believe that they are discriminatory. Spokesfairy Mavis Cruet said “Our members should not be grounded on the basis of outdated Victorian ideas about what fairies should look like. We’re not all sylphlike you know.”
Not everyone is upset, the local elf community has come out in favour of the new rules, with prominent local Sylvan Glade-Dweller remarking “It’s a well-known fact that all those rainbow cupcakes have unfortunate effects on the fairy digestive system. The resulting vapour from fairies in flight is almost certainly responsible for the chemtrails phenomena. We’re heartily fed up with the fairies ruining our blue skies and making it rain, it’s about time they took responsibility.”
Several protest groups have been set up locally, they are planning a march on Brussels with placards proclaiming ‘It’s Not Fairy’ and ‘Be Fair to Fairies’. Some unemployed fairies have welcomed the new laws, as licensed ‘Fairy-Flyers’ will be permitted to take on work delivering parcels for internet-based companies. Dragon riders are particularly looking forward to these new opportunities, as they are able to carry loads equivalent to those more commonly transported in 3.5-ton vans, although they will be required to carry both powder and C02 fire extinguishers.
There were rumours that Witches were the EU’s next target, although they may be less affected as broomsticks have mostly been abandoned as their primary means of transport, in favour of the convertible Dyson-Audi Hybrid Sport, or rusty Transit vans with greenery and deer skulls all over the parcel shelf. Mysteriously the French EU bureaucrat responsible for the planned legislation was recently transformed into an amphibian. Although previously based in the UK he is now believed to have moved over the pond.
Other legislation soon to come into place will almost certainly affect the livelihoods of Glastonbury’s High Street shops, as all magical goods will need to be ‘fit for purpose’. Consequently, even ‘strap-on’ Fairy wings must enable flight and all armour (no matter how ornate) must withstand repeated blows from a 7lb battle axe. Magic potions will be rigorously tested and must demonstrate measurable results according to their alleged properties. In addition, under the GDPR rules, channelers and mediums must provide written consent and proof of address from all entities with which they communicate.
On hearing about these new EU laws Local shopkeeper Rainbow Moonglow was heard to remark “It was bad enough when they banned glitter!”
Please don’t assume that this satire arose from a deep-seated personal dislike of the EU, I’m definitely not a Brexiteer, but I do hate rules that endanger self-expression and creativity. For example, I’ve recently become alarmed at legislation that makes it impossible to self-build your own campervan if you live in France, and I started to think about what it would be like if the somewhat mythical world we inhabit in Glastonbury came under the kind of rules that bureaucrats seem to love.
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The picture illustrating this post is An illustration of the Fairy King and Queen from 1910. Artist unknown, public domain.