The prime minister on the bus, part two

Bassim

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Would you please correct the mistakes in the second part of my text?

The storm over the prime minister’s bus ride hardly subsided, when the videos of him eating a burger in a McDonald’s flooded the internet. They showed the well-dressed man clutching in his manicured fingers a Big Mac. Judging by the way that he was holding it, the bits of vegetables and meat falling out of it, and his sheepish look, he was a novice. This was his baptism of fire with fast food, which he endured with dignity. Again, his critics were enraged with his conduct. Mr Foot called it a slap in the face of the ordinary people, who were eating burgers because they could not afford anything better. “While the elite are gorging themselves on caviar, smoked salmon, and quaffing champagne like water, the working class have to find solace in cheap fast food and fizzy drinks. Instead of creating an equal society, he is laughing in people’s faces. Who needs this sort of stunt? Only those who don’t have any contact with reality. Now everyone can see why our country is in such a mess. It’s been led by the government and the prime minister who are crooked. They don’t understand ordinary people and their struggle to make ends meet in the system which is rigged from the very beginning. We don’t need the prime minister who pretends to love fast food, but someone who doesn’t turn a blind eye to the injustices, and who concerns himself with the well-being of the whole society,” Mr Food said.

The media asked a well-known psychologist, Cordelia Slow to give her opinion, and this is what she said. “As we know from his memoirs, the future prime minister lost his mother at an early age because of an illness. Her death left the void he never managed to fill. His father seemed to have got over it quickly and would find solace in the arms of numerous women. The young boy did not like what he saw and grew distant from him. Father and son never really bonded with each other. The boy was left yearning for that missing part. He would search for it until he became the member of the political party. In the company of the like-minded people, he grew as a man and a statesman. Everything went well as long as his ideas and plans were successful, but now when his ratings are plummeting, when the calls for resignation keep coming continuously, when the economy is in a terrible state and millions are struggling to cope with their daily lives, the fear of loss and abandonment appears again. The prime minister is desperate. He is searching for attachment and love. He returns to the roots and ordinary people like a river returning to its source. He is putting his future on one card. If he wins, he will go down in history probably as one of the greatest leaders of our century, and if he loses, we will never hear of him again.

Wishing to find the truth again and separate facts from rumours, journalists went searching for witnesses. They again managed to find a few, and these are their stories.
Samantha, a 25-year-old single mother said, “ This McDonald’s is my second home. I never cook in my flat. I’m too depressed to stay in my kitchen and prepare food. I take my five children with me as soon as the restaurant opens, and we stay until the evening. We are mostly regulars here; you could say we are like a large family. I was astonished when I saw a well-dressed man coming inside. You seldom see such people in this place. As soon as my children noticed him, they shouted in unison, “Daddy!” The poor kids. They didn’t see their fathers for years, but that’s not my fault. You know how men are. They ran away and you never hear of them. I had to tell them to calm down. He was not their daddy.
The man didn’t know what to order, so some people gave him a tip. He was out of place. He didn’t know how to eat the burger properly and made a mess. The longer I watched him, the more I was convinced I saw him on TV. And then I heard someone whispering, “Is this our prime minister? It can’t be him? Of course it’s him!” My mood changed. “Go away!” I wanted to shout. “You don’t belong here!” If my kids were older, I would have told them, “Look at this man. It is him who cut our welfare; it is him who don’t care if you are hungry.” I couldn’t stand his presence, his smooth face, his expensive clothes and his hand-made shoes. Those few minutes he spent here felt like hours. I couldn’t touch my burger nor could I drink my Cola. He spoilt my whole day, and I wouldn’t like to see him again.”

Bill, a 16-year-old boy said, “I saw a man in a dark suit carrying a black briefcase. He looked like an executive or a travelling salesman. He sat at my table and ate his burger with clumsiness, picking up the bits of vegetables falling from it. I thought pity of him. His gray eyes were sad. I’d have stayed longer, but I needed a fag. I went out on the street, but didn’t know who to ask to buy me a packet. Then I saw the man in a dark suit coming out of McDonald’s and I said, offering him the money, “Excuse me, mate? Could you buy me a packet of Marlborough?”
He was somewhat stunned. “How old are you?” he asked. When I told him I was 16, he said, “You shouldn’t smoke. You are still growing. Don’t destroy your health.”
“I know it’s not healthy,” I said, “but I have problems at home. My parents have just divorced. I don’t know what to do.”
His eyes looked me with compassion. He took the money and, without saying a word, he went into the shop on the other side of the street and came back with the cigarettes. “You have to love yourself,” he said. “You need to get good education because this country needs more educated people. You have a bright future in front of you. Don’t miss the opportunity.”

We shook hands, and I watched him walking down the street, thinking how excited this encounter was, as if I met an alien. Nobody talked in this way to me. He was like a teacher, an executive and a prophet in one person. Later, when I understood I talked to the prime minister, I almost fainted.”

Suzy, a 30-year-old unemployed woman said, “Oh, he was gorgeous, smartly dressed, shaved, and smelled nicely; not like the majority of men you see here: fat, unkempt, covered in tattoos and piercings. I saw him on TV many times, but in life, he looks much better. I sat with my friend Clara as she nudged me, saying, “Look at him.” And there he walks in his polished shoes and his expensive dress, like a prince visiting poor peasants.
I felt he was someone important, but I couldn't guess who he was until someone said, “The prime minister.” My heart skipped a beat. I wished to kiss him and hold his hand. The next time if I ever see him, I’ll take a selfie with him and ask for his autograph.”

The prime minister’s office was silent for some time, before issuing a short statement. It said, “The prime minister has decided to walk the path nobody ever took before. He wants to be the leader of the whole country, of the most vulnerable as well as the prosperous. He does not want to live behind the high fence and thick walls, but surrounded by ordinary citizens. Nothing is going to stop him to travel, eat and sleep with his people.
This is just a beginning. The prime minister is a man without fear. He is preparing himself for more deeds. You are going to see him walking alone in a lion enclosure, climbing Mount Everest in shorts and sandals, lap dancing for pensioners, and playing marbles with children. He will be in the deepest mines digging for ore as well high in the sky, serving passengers food in the planes.
He will play the accordion on your weddings and read the Bible on your family funerals. He will cook you meals you never tasted before and make cakes which melts in your mouths like honey. He will sing lullabies for children and arias for their parents. His energy is inexhaustible, his passion strong, his conviction unshakeable. He does not demand much in return, only if you remember him at the next general election.”
THE END
 

Tarheel

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First paragraph. Say:

The storm over the prime minister's bus ride had hardly subsidized when the videos of of him eating a burger in a McDOnald's flooded the Internet.
 

Tarheel

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First paragraph. Say:

Mr. Food called it a slap in the face of ordinary people who eat burgers because they can't afford anything better.
 

Tarheel

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First paragraph. Try:

It's been led by a government and prime minister who are crooked.
 

Tarheel

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First paragraph. Say:

They don't understand ordinary people and their struggle to make ends meet in a system which is rigged from the very beginning. We don't need a prime minister who pretends to love fast food, but someone who doesn't turn a blind eye to injustice....
 
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Tarheel

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Second paragraph. Delete "future" from the first sentence. For the second sentence, say:

Her death left a void he never managed to fill.
 

Tarheel

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Second paragraph. Say:

His father seemed to have gotten over it quickly and he found solace in the arms of numerous women.

And:

He would search for it until he became a member of the XXX Party.
 

Tarheel

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Second paragraph. Say:

He returns to his roots ... like a river returns to its source.

I don't get that one. A river does not return to its source.
 

Bassim

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Tareheel,
Now I understand that the above sentence does not make sense, and it is probably best to delete it. You are right, a river doesn't return to its source.
 

Tarheel

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Third paragraph. Try:

"...They haven't seen their fathers for years, but that's not my fault. You know how men are. They run away, and you never hear from them again. I had to tell them to calm down. He is not their daddy."
 

Tarheel

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Fourth paragraph. Perhaps:

The more I watched him the more I was convinced I had seen him on TV.

The text is possible but is not good English.


Capitalize "Coke" but not "cola".
 

Tarheel

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Fifth paragraph. Say:

"I pitied him."

Or

"I felt pity for him."

And:

"...could you buy me a packet of Marlboroughs?"

And:

"You need to get A good education...."
 

Tarheel

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Next paragraph. Say:

...thinking about how exciting the encounter was, as if I had met an alien from outer space.

And:

Nobody had talked to me that way before.

And:

...when I understood I had talked to the prime minister....
 

Tarheel

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Next paragraph. Say:

...and smelled GOOD....

As for "I saw him on TV many times" I wouldn't use that unless the person in question is dead (and thus it's legitimately past tense) or I wanted to demonstrate that the speaker uses nonstandard English. Otherwise, I would say: I have seen him on TV many times."
 

Tarheel

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Next paragraph.

You can use "short statement" however I would prefer "brief statement" there. (Both are used.)

Perhaps:

The prime minister has decided to walk a path nobody has ever taken before

And:

He does not want to live behind a high fence and thick walls, but surrounded by ordinary citizens. Nothing is going to stop him from traveling, eating, and sleeping with his people.

In American English they serve food ON planes. And they play the accordion AT weddings.

Also say:

He will cook meals for you that you have never tasted before and bake cakes that melt in your mouths like honey.

Finally:

He does not ask for much in return, only that you remember him at the next general election.
 
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