Refurbishment of Mankind



The world has closed down for refurbishment of the human condition. Lessons to learn. Places to go to learn those lessons. Join Ricardo and Helenka at their workshop In Scottsdale, Arizona for the trip of a lifetime.

This is just a spoof of the wonderful self-development programmes on offer and in no way is representative of any one of them. The best gift you could give yourself is attendance at one such workshop, be it a day or a week. They are life-changing and should be top of your birthday or Xmas list.



‘Let’s start with You! Yes, You! The lady in the back row wearing a red hoodie. Come up here and join me. I promise I won’t eat you, already had my building blocks of wheat for breakfast.’ Everyone applauds as red-hooded lady walks hesitantly up the aisle. What can be seen of her face is also beetroot red.

The facilitator, Helenka, is bored. She’s been doing these workshops since the spaceship dropped her off near Area 51 in Nevada. Her colleague, Ricardo, who is less of the human variety and more extra-terrestrial, is running the show with her today. The conference is jam packed, with people as opposed to jam, but right now Helenka wished she was selling jam at any local market.


Ricardo shook the lady’s hand. ‘And who do we have here?’ he asked. She looked at him as if he was totally mad, which wasn’t far off the truth as far as Helenka was concerned. Patiently, he asked again. ‘Vot is your bame. Oops, slip of the tonue.’ He glared at Helenka. ‘Switch on the voice synthesizer,’ he hissed. Turning back to his guest, he repeated. ‘What is your name?’‘Jacinta,’ she replied.

‘What brought you here today?’

‘A bus.’

‘No! No! I mean why are you here today?’

A look of comprehension confirmed she finally understood the question. ‘My friend recommended you. She said you were out of this world.’

‘Vot, I mean, what are you hoping to gain from this workshop, Jacinta?’

‘Enlightenment. Motivation. Success. You know, all the usual stuff. Oh, and personal fulfilment.’

Ricardo sighed. Another human who wanted the impossible. He bowed at Jacinta. ‘You may take your seat and thank you for participating.’ She walked back to her chair, picked it up and left the room. Ricardo was fuming.

When he had requested some extras to fill up the conference hall, he hadn’t expected to be sent the “waiting to be programmed cone heads.” Now, he had the added expense of paying for a chair. He just hoped no-one looked out the window because Jacinta was still in sight as she flew back to their Planet Z sitting on the chair.



‘The world is tired. Slowed down by humans. You pollute everything you touch. You destroy your beautiful rainforests. You maim, kill and slaughter. Why?’ The audience looked puzzled and wondered if they were in the right building. After a long pause, Ricardo continued ‘But we are not here to fix that, not yet.

We are here to fix You, because when you are fixed, the world will be fixed. So, it’s time to get refurbished. Are you ready?’ Helenka flapped her arms up and down mouthing at the audience. They rose up as one body and shouted. Yes!’ She flapped her arms even harder to encourage them. Her mouth opened so wide like an exaggerated version of Munch’s painting, The Scream. The hinges in her elbows squeaked loudly and her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline.

The audience yelled, YES! YES! YES!’ Ricardo smiled. ‘That’s perfect. You are now ready for the next step.’ He sneaked at look at Helenka and whispered, ‘Shut your mouth.’ She flapped her arms in distress and then pointed to her face.

She couldn’t speak. The audience rose up again and screamed: ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ Realizing what had happened Ricardo went behind Helenka and loosened the ratchet at the base of her skull. He turned back to the audience and smiled, kind of. He was still practising that and not finding it too easy. ‘Okay, you may sit down. Step two next.’



Ricardo looked around the conference, recognising a few of his fellow men and women. There were 30 of them and they had all brought their own means of transportation. He was surprised that the remaining 205 were of the human variety. Obviously keen for change. Keen  to refurbish their world, but they wouldn’t learn it from him.

He was only the negotiator. Raising his arms above his head his eyes swivelled 360 degrees in his head. He managed to stop them before anyone noticed. It was a glitch he was still working on. ‘Change the way you think,’ he intoned, ‘and that will change your behaviour. Change the way you perceive people and that will make you treat them better. Change the way you live your life and it will improve. That is what the Refurbishment programme is all out. Simple steps for a simpler life.’


‘Your journey begins today. Unfortunately, we only have transport for 180 of you.’ People scrambled from their places pushing chairs over in their rush to get to the front. Helenka shrieked so loudly they all stopped. It was an unearthly wail that burst the rain clouds, caused rock falls from mountains, made volcanoes erupt and closed down all fast food restaurants.

Ricardo ran towards her and pulled the ratchet out of her head. ‘You stupid moron. You know that wail is banned while we’re here.’ Turning to the audience again, he held his hands up. ‘No need to panic. The 25 people we cannot take with us today will be wined and dined at the beautiful Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel.

You may invite your families and all your expenses are covered for you and your families.’ Some of the group who were preparing to leave looked disappointed. A few offered to change places, but there were no takers. Ricardo stood back and let them leave the hall. He had fulfilled his end of the bargain.


The lucky 25 audience members boarded the mesospheric luxury buses, all chattering at once, excited to start the next stage of the programme. Supercharged on adrenalin they didn’t realize that the energy they were generating was fuelling the engines.

Once the batteries were fully charged, all the drivers tapped the modems on their left and the air filled with music, “Mothership Connection by Parliament.” Surprisingly appropriate. The journey didn’t take long and before you could say “Fly me to the Moon” they arrived at a very small town near Area 51.

National security has ensured the town is nameless and is not to be found on any map. By now everyone was tired and stumbled off the buses perking up when they saw the huge brightly lit ship. ‘What an amazing hotel! It looks like a ship,’ someone said. ‘Wow!’ another voice piped up. I’m so glad I signed up for this.’ They all boarded. The hatch closed with an ominous sound.



PF +S+ LCE =JCBTS An equation to rule your life.. Personal Fulfilment plus Success plus Life Changing Experiences equals The Jack Canfield Breakthrough to Success. Ricardo is on a learning curve and currently attending Jack Canfield’s training programme. Helenka is still sunning herself by the pool at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel.

For further information on Jack Canfield Breakthrough Weekend

Click here !


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