Tripped by tricks

Tripped by tricks

WE begin the year with a folktale. Once upon a time Rabbit and Baboon were good friends. They ate, farmed, played and even fornicated together.

But, as we all know, familiarity breeds contempt.
So one day Baboon invites Rabbit to what he touted the “mother of all parties”. Being courteous Rabbit took the liberty to ask Baboon if there is anything he should bring to the party. “No my good fellow, just bring your clan and their empty bellies. This feast will be on me,” Baboon replied.

And so on the agreed date Rabbit rounded up his tribe and walked to Baboon’s village, where they found the shindig in full swing.  The apes were enjoying the merry waters and good food.
“Welcome my friend,” Baboon said as soon as he saw Rabbit. “I am glad you have come but as you know we baboons are happiest when we are in trees. So we have decided that this party will be held in tress,” he said as he climbed the tallest tree with a huge pot of meat in hand.

Confused, Rabbit asked whether his friend had forgotten that he cannot climb a tree.
“So what my friend, it’s not my problem. This party is being held in trees so just make a plan or you will starve.”

Rabbit and his clan spent the day looking for a way to climb the trees to join the party but they failed. By sunset they had realised what nasty game Baboon had played on them.
They trooped out of Baboon’s village while farting the gases of their empty bellies. Meanwhile baboons were laughing as they pelted the rabbits with their meatless bones. That incident however did not damage their relations.

If Rabbit was hurt he hid it well. They still ate, farmed and fornicated together. Baboon too seemed to have forgotten that he had offended his friend.
Then after a year Rabbit suddenly invited Baboon and his tribe to his party.  And so on an agreed date Baboon and his clan sprinted to Rabbit’s village.

They did not see something sinister in that Rabbit had set a fire on the perimetre around his village the previous day. Out of curiosity Baboon asked why he had to burn the grass around the village. “It’s just for cleanliness my friend. That is just how I am,” Rabbit said.
But just as food was about to be served Rabbit made a startling announcement to the baboons.

“We ran out of water just as you came in. So you should go to the river just outside the village to clean your hands before we eat. Only those with clean hands can eat my food.” Baboon and his clan dashed to the river. On coming back they passed though the burnt perimetre. Rabbit was waiting to inspect them at the gate.

“Ah your hands are black.  Go back and clean them again,” he told the baboons one by one. Baboon and his clan spent the whole day washing their hands and sprinting back to Rabbit who would then tell them that their hands were still not clean.
Eventually Baboon realised there was no way he was going to get to the village with his hands clean. “But why did you burn the perimetre my friend? Now we cannot get to the party with our hands clean,” Baboon complained.

“My friend I really want you to enjoy my food but the rules say only those with clean hands eat. As for me burning of the parameter, I can assure you it’s none of your business because this is my village,” Rabbit replied. Hungry and frustrated, Baboon and his clan decided to go back home. You might be wondering how that folktale relates to your life.

It’s the politics of our time!  Time and again our politicians have played that Baboon-Rabbit game. Remember the shenanigans of DJ Waters and Uncle Tom. They were friends until one thought the other one was dispensable. The result was an election we did not need. A money-wasting escapade.

Now we are facing another election because Size Two and Mokola have played the same game. The jury is still out on who will have the last laugh and laugh the loudest.
What we know for now is that Mokola thought he was spitting on Size Two when he eloped to Uncle Tom. He tried to kick Size Two out of the Damaged Congress.
Like Baboon, he insisted on having his jamboree in the tree. And for a moment it looked like he was having the upper hand.  You can forgive him for getting carried away because he had his acolytes in the executive committee, his propaganda machine was working like it had fresh oil and Size Two was hiding under rocks.

His only mistake was to think that the DC constitution was the same as the LCD one.
Now he is in no man’s land. A political Siberia of sorts. Without the benevolence of Uncle Tom he is finished.

Going back to the DC is out of question given the acrimonious nature of the divorce. He has since formed his own party but you can see that his hand was forced.
Ambitious without clout. On the road but not moving. Eager but out of options. Smart but unsalable.

Yet Size Two himself should not ululate for this is by no means a victory. His is a party on a slippery slope to self-destruction. Those around him should know that their days of reckoning will come too.
There will come a time when they too will be considered to have grown too big for their shoes.  The DC, like other political parties of the congress stripe, will continue to shrink.

Let’s deal with the nauseating nicety that pervades our greetings at the beginning of every year.
“Compliments of the New Year,” says everyone Muckraker has met since she gate-crashed into 2017 a few days ago.

No smile and no firm handshake accompany those hollow words. Words uttered to fulfil a meaningless ritual whose import they don’t understand.
They behave as if someone is holding a screwdriver against their behinds, ready to poke them hard if they don’t say “Compliments of the New Year”.

Muckraker swears by her late grandmother, whose remains are interred on an anthill in Mafube, that she has seen some people follow those words with a frown.
Sometimes those words are followed with a ‘plastic smile’ and an ice cold hug. Enough about this business of compliments. Just zip it and get on with this misery month called January.
The sooner this month ends the faster your perforated pockets are mended. Next time you run into your enemy just look aside and curse the gods for allowing such a person to waste the precious oxygen in 2017.

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