A 21st century re-enactment of Chaucer’s seminal magnum opus has been abandoned after it transpired that modern travellers are unable to talk to one another, preferring instead to text and email via mobile phones and palm top computers.
The re-enactment had begun promisingly when The Working Mother’s Tale about making an Easter bonnet whilst filing the company tax return was interrupted by Emasculated Man, who insisted that his contribution was still valid no matter what anyone said. He in turn was ‘quited’ by Social Norm Denying Career Woman, who bored the group with a series of risqué sexual escapades which all ended in either career promotion or premature ejaculation.
‘We had high hopes that Corrupt Politician and Greedy Banker would tell ill-disguised tales about each other, which would both poke fun at a contemporary stereotype whilst hinting at the general moral malaise that has come to characterise our age,’ said Second Generation Jamaican, who enjoys neither rice nor peas. ‘But actually they got on quite well.’ Elsewhere in the group, ill-feeling reached breaking point when Self-Parodying Chav stole Trust Fund Layabout’s MacBook Air, only to be entirely exonerated by Middle-Class Apologist. But instead of the group tension providing a breeding ground for witty and scathing counter tales, the modern pilgrims increasingly retreated to watching The Wire on their iPhones and conversation soon ceased altogether.
‘We hoped a contemporary walk from Southwark to Canterbury would be an excellent opportunity to compare our modern concerns with those of 14th Century England,’ said the TV producers behind the idea. ‘Upon reflection perhaps the A2 was not the most inspiring route we could have chosen, but when we reached Medway services and not one person had contributed anything insightful or profound, we packed it in. Besides, if we had left Child-Abusing Cleric and Sexually Precocious Pre-Teen together much longer, the whole thing could have gone horribly wrong.’