Sat | Jan 19, 2019

The essence of communication

Published:Monday | November 17, 2014 | 11:31 PM

Beyond the clouds, in that faraway fantasyland named Apocrypha, an urgent meeting of political party elder statesmen was convened.

Bedward 'Beddy' Spyaga, former leader of Apocrypha's Just Lazy Party (JLP), hosted Pitta J. 'PJ' Patta, leader emeritus of Apocrypha's Penniless Nationals Party (PNP), at his Paddedcell Terrace Residence. They'd long retired and their proteges, Andrue Pollmess and PoorShe Simple-Muller, had taken over. Beddy was lying on his chaise lounge looking pained, as always, while PJ sat bolt upright in a straight-backed chair with both hands resting on his very fashionable walking stick. Beddy led off the conversation:

"PJ, look how much gun ya. Wha' fi do 'bout it?"

"Why ask me, Beddy? Ask PoorShe. Nuh she a prime minister?"

"In name only. She can't manage. Look at de latest polls."

"Cho, man, no look pon dat. Dat same man did sey Andrue would win di las' election an' him mek a mess of dat poll, too. Him can dweet again."

Beddy sighed, "Whatever. Elections soon come. We have nuff gun ya fi gi wey. If we was still in charge, who woulda get? You haffe start with a Cabinet rescuffle. Only who need it get it."

"Beddy, me can't rescuffle abinet. It already have nuff scuffler. Plus me is not PM."

Beddy kissed his teeth: "PJ, we both know who really rule. Yu decide who to give your gun ya to. We'll mek sure di right people get di gun ya before di nex election."

"All right, mebbe me can try. Who me fi recommend?"

Beddy began: "By nex' election, we nah go have much lef', so we mus' choose carefully who fi get. Fenky Fenky a eeediat. Thanks to him, di whole country sick like dawg. Him need helping 'out'. Dis ya gun ya fi him."

"Which JLP candidate fi get your gun ya?"

Beddy: "Dis ya gun ya mus' go to Boobsy. She coulda get a national honour."

"Wha' yu mean?" PJ asked. "Like OD?

"Yes. She Old and Done! Give har dis ya gun ya."

"Okay," said PJ, "who nex' fi get?"

"You can give Runnynose Twit dis ya gun ya. Fi him nose so high inna di air, di ongle t'ing run faster is him mout'. Me will give dis ya gun ya to Koll Sham-Moody. Him so canfuse him live at Carlton's."

The go-to guy

"What I mus' do wid Oma D'unn? Him is every politician's go-to guy."

"Time him retire now. Boobsy jus' Old and Done. Him is Commander D'unn! None fi him."

Just as they were about to discuss Mr High Energy, P. Yap Pall, who promised low energy cost but was about to grant the power company a rate increase, who should come visiting but Oma himself. Regular readers remember Oma D'unn, the PhD in logic who, like a moon, was bright only in the dark and who solved political problems with parables.

"Beddy and PJ," Oma exclaimed, "oonu gone mad? Nobaddy no give out gun fi run election anymore"

"Gun?" PJ looked puzzled "What gun?"

"I jus' overhear oono sey oono giving out dis and dat gun to candidates."

Both elder statesmen chuckled because it hurt to laugh out loud. "No, not dat kinda gun," Beddy retorted.

PJ picked up the explanation: "We suffering and we want to give di suffering away. We not talking 'bout 'pie-pie' gun."

In unison, they chimed, "Is chicken gun yaa we talking 'bout!"

The sheikh's son

So Oma told them the story of the rich Arab Sheikh's son who was sent to a German university.

In his first letter home, the son wrote:

"Dear Dad

Berlin is nice; people are wonderful and I really like it here, but Dad, I'm a bit ashamed to arrive at my college in my pure gold Ferrari 599 GTB when all my teachers and many fellow students travel by train.

Your son, Nasser"

The father's reply was delivered by courier the next day:

"My Dear Loving Son

Twenty million euros has just been transferred to your account. Please stop embarrassing us. Go get yourself a train, too.

Love, your Dad"

Oma summed up: "Be careful what yu sey mek people hear yu. Don't boast to party faithful you've 'done less with more money'; don't use the word 'yet' when giving Cabinet member Fenky Fenky the dreaded public vote of confidence; and don't say you support a bill but gwine act to undermine it."

Beddy and PJ lamented they'd tried their best but it'd become very hard to employ good help these days.

Peace and love.

n Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@