Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Gordon Robinson | Holding the bag!

Published:Tuesday | September 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Back-to-school blues enveloped Apocrypha. In that fantasyland far beyond the clouds, Apocryphan parents were finding it hard to pay school fees and buy books and uniforms while keeping something back for bus fare and lunch money. Many resorted to unorthodox methods of raising funds.

Because the Apocryphan government recently banned sugary drinks in schools, People Into Sweet Sugar Inc, a company 'manufacturing' and distributing popular drinks loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, decided to strike back by donating hundreds of school bags to students nationwide, all embossed with the company's initials, 'PISSI'.

"It's win-win for us," PISSI CEO I.P. Freeley explained to Naughty News Network's intrepid reporter, Fritz Kebab. "Our brand is advertised, we get praise for good work, and we get a dig at government to boot. In truth, it's win-win-win!"

In a rural district, governing party MP Justine A. Holdmess, inspired by PISSI's example, decided to provide back-to-school bags for children in her constituency. Following PISSI's template to ensure that everybody knew she was the donor, Justine stamped her initials (JAH) on every bag. She soon found out that puss and dawg nuh have di same luck. The opposition ranted and raved, accused her of politicising education, and encouraged parents to return the free bags.

In a daze, Justine consulted Oma D'unn. By now you all know Oma, a retired politician and PhD in logic who, like a moon, was bright only in the dark, but solved political problems with parables. Oma advised her to buy a urinal. She looked puzzled, so he told her the parable of the bartender's bet:

 

Wild bet

 

"A customer, obviously several sheets to the wind, bets a bartender a million dollars that he can pee so far and so accurately that he can fill a shot glass at the other end of the bar. The bartender thinks for a moment, sees no catch, and takes the bet. The customer stands on the bar, unzips his fly, and then sprays urine wildly, drenching the bartender, who whoops, hollers, and cheers, pumping his fist in the air.

"Suddenly, a loud, 'Nooooooo!' is heard from the back of the bar. 'Wha' wuz that?' the bartender asks. The customer replies, 'That was the guy I bet $5 million that I could pee all over you and you would enjoy it'."

Justine still didn't get it so Oma explained that in this world, nothing is as it appears, so she should never allow anybody, especially from the opposition, to piss on her, no matter how attractive the pissing contest was made to seem. "Tell them stop pissing around like scattershot hoping to hit something. Better to use your urinal." The fact that the opposition was squealing so loudly meant that Justine must be doing something right that voters appreciated. Oma told her not to be tricked into a fake contest.

So Justine, with her resolve bolstered, decided that she wouldn't cease efforts to assist students with back-to-school expenses while earning sponsorship credit from advertisement. She continued to distribute the 'branded' bags. The parents of three students, however, didn't see things her way and not-so-politely scorned the gifts. Those parents immediately borrowed money to purchase high-priced brand-name school bags with the manufacturer's name 'Yikes' prominently imprinted thereon.

But, by a quirk of fate, when those students attended their traditional secondary school's fifth-form orientation, they were greeted at the door with letters expelling them from the school for failing to achieve the required grades at the end of the previous school year.

The same people who vilified Justine's efforts to help with back-to-school costs lauded the school's principal for keeping the students out of school. They endorsed his blaming of the students for his school's failure to educate them, thus avoiding his responsibilities under the pretext of "maintaining standards". The students were left holding the bag!

What a good thing this is all just a fantasy!

Peace and love.

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