Secretary-General of the United Rice Tribunal: Okay, so we’re all agreed. Malawi gets full rice, Mali gets bubkis. Gavel is pounded [he pounds the gavel at this point but announces it for the record and the deaf], and we can move on. What else have we here?

Mikhiel: Uh, gentle sir, I’d like to petition for Finland to get half rice, right on the dot.

Finnish chorus: Booo!

Mikhiel: Hold on. What are you booing for? My compatriots, is it that you want full rice or no rice at all?

Finnish crowd representative: Why, full rice, of course.

Opposing Finnish crowd representative: He does not represent me. No rice! We will be fine as we are, piggybacking off no one but ourselves.

Mikhiel (smiling as if he just won): The fact that we do not know, and never will, brings us back to my original request. Half rice for Finland.

Finnish chorus: Wooo!!!

Mikhiel (smiling because he just won): Another day, another half rice for my äitiland.

Mikhiel strides out to continued cheers as all Fins exit behind him.

SGURT (reviewing his notes): After even the simplest of appraisals, Finland’s plea for half rice is refused.

IRRI ambassador nods in approval.

SGURT: Fantastic. Now moving on to more serious matters –

Malawian representative: Are you alluding that everything before this was trivial?

SGURT: Ah, my apologies. I meant to say we are moving on to additional serious matters, to go along with all of the previous serious matters.

Malawian representative: Of course, thank you. May we have more rice?

SGURT: Woah-oh-oh. I’m sorry again, but this time for entirely different reasons. Are you really going to make me pull out Article VI, Section XI, paragraph 3? “Any state already given full rice that attempts to squirrel away extra rice on top of that will have half of their full rice revoked.” It’s my favourite sentence of the whole paragraph. How would you even consider I wouldn’t break that one out here?

Malawian: Sir, sir, no. Please. We are hungry.

SGURT: Oh well in that case, you are re-granted full rice, plus a bonus quarter rice.

Malawian: Thank you, thank you, sir. You will not regret this.

SGURT: Stenographer, please include a sarc mark at the end of my previous statement. Malawi, you may keep your half rice, but with a caveat to be determined after our morning coffee.

Morning coffee provider: I have arrived.

Malian: May we have the purgatorial half rice?

SGURT: After the coffee, with… Coffee and an…

Malian (expectantly): Egg?

Ecuadorian (desperately and disparately): Orange?

Kofi: Don’t drag me into this. I only came because of the obvious mishearing that probably led to the creation of this flimsy tribunal to begin with.

SGURT (smirking): Speaking of purgatory…

Kofi: What, is that a crack about what happened to me in August? That is so like you. Ugh. Talk to the hand.

Vietnam representative: FULL RICE FOR EVERYONE!!!!

Vietnam proceeds to pick up and toss handful upon handful of what appears to be an unlimited supply of jasmine rice in all directions.

The rice-rich do not always understand ongoing distribution logistics. We let him have this one, just once, until we all meet again. Full rice for everyone, indeed.

November 14 – Condoleezza Rice gets a human rice tribunal
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