Monday, November 27, 2006

It Is A Rat Race Time

Scientists have long understood the value of rats in conducting their experiments. Rats:

1. Don't have a union.
2. Don't complain about hours of work.
3. Swallow whatever they're given without complaint.
4. Work for cheese! That's right. Chesse!

Anyway, the list could go on and on, but today isn't about the value of rats to the scientific community, however misleading the opening paragraph might have been. In a way, though, it is about the value of a certain kind of rat to a certain kind of scientist. (For the purpose of this thesis, we shall hereinafter refer to the rats as Maradona, Turaki, or Fine-Boy etc., and the scientist will simply be called "Baba".)

Now, anyone who has ever spent time watching the Discovery Channel will see how rats are put in a maze with cheese at the centre, and then have to find their way to the cheese in the shortest possible time. And, while it may be fun to watch, it also serves a valuable educational purpose in that it shows that the rats can actually learn the maze, and the one that proves the smartest is usually upgraded to the testing of potentially dangerous medicines for the betterment of mankind. We can't have an army of smart rats running loose you know.

Anyway, Maradona collected a "form" a couple of weeks back, and in keeping with his time-honored tradition of keeping everyone guessing, has refused to state exactly what office he would be contesting. This has led to numerous column inches in the papers speculating that he'll be going for the Presidency, we might all be surprised, and he'll declare for dog-catcher.

Turaki has continued his valiant fight to clear his name/triumph over his enemies/humiliate Baba (take your pick) and duly declared for the Presidency. The logo of the party he would be contesting under was, however, conspicuous by its absence. Some people had suggested he would be declaring for the Aksion Congress *koff* *koff* *wheeze* Sorry, dust from all the broom waving. I duly pointed out to them that Turaki, while not a very subtle fellow, was hardly a foolhardy one. Declaring for a party other than People Deceive People would see him impeached and a guest of Uncle Nuhu in record time. He didn't disappoint me. The first Independent Candidate, anyone? Anyone? Bah, you guys are no fun.

Fine-Boy-No-Pimples, or Fine Boy for short, also threw his hat into the ring after much Julius Caesaring around the issue. Despite his "overwhelming" support, however, all his pretty boy looks can earn him is a spot as some other guy's mate. Not that kind of mate. Sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter.

The Doctor of Thuganomics has been flexing his muscles, but after claiming from every rooftop he could forcibly commandeer that Baba was the only one for us, his campaign seems rather hollow to me. Even though he has gone to the trouble of putting up billboards on virtually every junction in Abuja.

Obong has...Obong is... Obong will.... No need.

Anyway, which brings us to the Ringmaster of this particular circus, the General-who-never-fires-blank, Commander of all Garrisons, and all round tough guy, Baba. What more could I say about this guy? Every time you think he's pulled the ultimate stunt, he tops himself. The way he's handled this particular sequence of events must have even Maradona (no slouch himself) fairly swooning in admiration. The Voters' Registration machines aren't nearly enough to go round, we have soldiers in every state capital waiting for the other shoe to drop, every Governor walks around terrified of his own shadow, and we are all waiting to see whose head rolls off the block next. In the midst of all this, Baba continues clearing his throat (could someone please suggest he see an ENT Specialist?) and assuring us everything dey kamkpe.

Anyway, the rats have been released into the maze, some more handicapped than others, and we're all watching to see which one gets to the cheese first, if he'll get to enjoy it, and more importantly, whether Baba will even let the race begin.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On The Verge Of History?

With ol Jorge's boys being kicked out of the Capitol by a fed-up American Electorate (far too late in my humble opinion), it was understandable and indeed expected that a huge sense of reilief and euphoria swept the globe. A major part of the revolution in Washington is that Congress is set to get its first-ever female Speaker. Naturally, this development has provoked joyful choruses from oppressed womenfolk the world over, who see it as a stepping stone for a first female President of the United States.

Even with this in mind though, I was sorely underprepared for the the back page of This Day on Saturday, November 11, 2006 which contained an article titled "On The Verge of History". Not only did the piece claim that women were better at delivering results, setting goals, etc. than men, it went further to claim women were better leaders than men, period.

I'm no chauvinist (which would normally mean I am) and I'm truly all for womens' rights, but before the bra-burning brigade dismisses all men have done with a wave of the hand, let me chip in my two cents for my maligned species. Yes, men have been responsible for many major disasters, and have led humanity to the brink of extinction on more than one occassion. However, many of the worst have had women vociferously cheering them on.

Sani Abacha had Maryam on standing ovation duty, Eva Perron (forget Madonna's version) gleefully bragged about her collection of thousands of pairs of shoes while the poor in her country starved, Eva Braun was there to massage Adolf Hitler's temples whenever the pressures of trying to enslave the world threatened to overwhelm him, and Marie Antoinette was immortalised, then beheaded (or was it the other way round?) for her statement that if the poor couldn't afford bread, then they should eat cake! The list could go on forever.

Conversely, I suppose Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ must have been women in drag, such were their leadership skills.

The funny thing is this - whenever women begin spouting their demands for equality and so on, they tend to draw the line when it comes to paying for dinner and the movie. They'll insist to the death that those are "men's jobs".

Women already wield far too much power in the world as it is. For, while we learned to run fast, climb trees, ride bikes and so on all in a bid to use our physical prowess to impress girls, they were being taught to use subliminal imagery and psychology to control us. Which is why all the muscle in the world won't stop her from wathcing that sappy romantic movie while your football match is on. And when she demands you sit beside her and forget about the Champions League/World Cup Final, you'll mumble and mutter then plonk your ass down on the couch and beg for popcorn with an idiot grin on your face. Yet they're asking for more direct power.

And they call us "power hungry"?

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Day In The Life

7.00am: Eyes wide open. Tony and the boys sing "You're simply the best." Feel like Prince Akeem.

7.30am: Bound out of bed, and immediately regret rash decision. Back screaming blue murder. Tony and the boys immediately by my side singing "The world's greatest." Must put brave face on.

7.45am: Start shaving. Tony and the boys sing "You are so beautiful."

8.30am: Shave done, time for shower. Tony and the boys sing "You and I."

9.30am: Bloody cold water. Anyway time to see what I approved for airing on NTA last night. Will enjoy with cup of cocoa from farm. Tony and the boys sing "You're the inspiration."

9.35am: *splutter* What! Another crash? Kemaaaaaa! Kemaaaaaa! K.... (Looks down) Oh, there you are. Take that out of your mouth for a second. Why aren't you at your ministry? I removed you? When? So Borishade is in charge now? Ok. Get him for me. Tony and the boys strike up tune of "You're a heartbreaker." Silenced by royal glare.

10.00am: Prominent Nigerians dead in crash. Must remember to smear alligator pepper under eyelids. Oh for the days when onions did the trick. Tony and the boys sing "You light up my life." So difficult to stay mad at them...

10.00am: Ah, the kpomo has arrived. Time for breakfast. Tony and the boys sing "You take my breath away."

10.30: Stroll around Villa, practising speech. The words all sound rather familiar though... Tony and the boys hum "Without you."

12noon: Done with speech practice. Throat hurts. Tony and the boys sing "You are my heaven."

1.00pm: Time to read back page of This Day. Tony and the boys sing "You are the sunshine of my life."

2.30pm: Done reading. Head hurts, eyes blurry. Time for power nap. Tony and the boys sing "You give me love."

4.00pm: My, how time flies. Must rise from couch. *sniff sniff* Lunch is ready. Tony and the boys sing "You are my destiny."

4.50pm: Deliver speech. Strange stony silence from crowd. Why is the hall empty, and what the hell is that box staring at m.... Oh, I'm in the studio.

4.50pm: Tony and the boys share congratulations on brilliant speech, sing "You are my number one."

5.00pm: Time to sign some State of Emergency Declarations. I told them to arrange these things in alphabetical order. Don't they know Ebonyi comes before Anambra?! Tony and the boys sing "We can last forever."

6.55pm: Done signing declarations. Had long debate with self over Declaration for Abuja. Nasiru has done such a fine job so far... Tony and the boys sing "You can do it."

7.00pm: Time for light snack before dinner. Hear the cook is making pounded yam with egusi and plenty kpomo. Must remember to leave space. Tony and the boys sing "You are wonderful."

8.30pm: *belch* Snack was great. Time for dinner. Tony and the boys try to sing through full mouths. Cut them short with scowl.

10.00pm: Dinner was just fab. Time for bed. Oga Tony Blair is having his hair cut tomorrow morning. Can't afford to be late for the party. Tony and the boys sing "Unchained Melody." It's good to be King.

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...