Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Professor of Death

[First published on 10th June 1999, this piece reports another episode in Professor Nkandu’s relentless campaign to destroy the national health system]


Last Thursday Sam and I were at the Utopian Termination Hospital, watching another amazing performance by Professor Nkandu Cholera, Minister for Death and Destruction. She was standing in the middle of the Mortuary, addressing a group of visiting dignitaries...

‘I thought we’d begin our tour of at the end of the production line, here in the Mortuary,’ said Professor Cholera. ‘Since my government came into office we have increased production here by four hundred percent.’

‘Is there any wastage?’ asked a voice.

‘None at all,’ said the Minister, with great satisfaction. ‘We have a hundred percent success rate. Everyone who comes in through the front door will certainly end up coming out here, though the Mortuary. It is therefore an extremely efficient system. We have been certified as cost-effective by the World Bank.’

‘What is the unit cost?’ asked one of the dignitaries.

‘Only 60 cents per corpse. This is the lowest unit cost achieved since the end of the Second World War.’

Polite applause echoed around the Mortuary.

‘Is this a result of your policies of structural adjustment?’ asked a dignitary from the IMF.

‘Oh yes,’ beamed the Professor of Death. ‘As soon as we came into office we expanded the Mortuary to four times its former size, in anticipation of the success of our economic policies. As you can see, the corpses are piled three high. We have even exceeded World Bank targets. That is why the Bank has brought you here today, to see this great example of economic reconstruction.’

‘Where are the mortuary attendants?’

‘Retrenched,’ replied the Professor. ‘We found that the relatives of the deceased are more efficient at finding the right corpse.’

Now we moved to the wards, to examine the patients being prepared for the Mortuary. All of the patients lay like skeletons, their sunken eyes staring motionless at the ceiling. Around each bed, a group of relatives mourned and wept.

‘All this waiting for them to die seems very inefficient,’ said one of the World Bank dignitaries. ‘Why do you admit them while they are still alive?’

‘In the Second Republic,’ replied the Professor with a sneer, ‘people developed the habit of bringing sick people into the hospital. You know our people are very simple and ignorant, and changing their out-of-date attitudes is one of the big problems of structural adjustment.’

‘Bit you could have people lying here for weeks! Shouldn’t they stay at home, until they’re ready to die?’

‘We’re already doing that,’ replied the Pompous Professor with some irritation. ‘Nursing is now provided in the home, by the Haworth Home Helpers. These women were previously unemployed housewives, who lolled around at home with nothing to do. After a lifetime of research, Professor Haworth discovered this pool of untapped labour, and has given them something useful to do.’

As we were looking at this dismal scene a fat rat scurried along the skirting board. Then it stopped suddenly, and began to nibble some invisible crumbs of food. ‘We used to employ cleaners and chased the rats,’ explained the Professor of Death. ‘But now we’ve employed the rats and chased the cleaners. They’re much more efficient at cleaning up any mess. And there’s no wages to pay, no union leaders to talk nonsense about wages, they find their own food and are willing to work all hours without complaint. An example to all other workers in Zambia.’

‘Doesn’t the state have any obligation to provide health care?’ asked one of the group.

‘What!’ screamed the Professor of Death. ‘These people become sick because they don’t even wash themselves! They’ve got filthy toilets, and they dig their wells in disgusting places! They must pay the penalty for their own disgusting behaviour! They’re just useless parasites who consume food and medicines, and produce nothing. Government policy is to support production, not consumption! They must learn to help themselves or make way for those who will!’

‘But still the government has to bear the cost when they are finally brought to the hospital.’

‘Certainly not! The Haworth Home Helpers have to come with the patient, to provide the food, buy the medicines, and provide the nursing care. That’s why you see these women sitting on the floor around every bed.’

‘What suppose patients are brought too soon? They could be here for weeks!’

‘We send them to the Operating Theatre,’ said the Professor of Death. ‘After that, they can go straight to the Mortuary.’

As we came out of the hospital, we found a crowd of five hundred nurses all sitting on the grass. The Pompous Professor quickly led us in the opposite direction. ‘I can’t waste time talking to them,’ she said, ‘they just can’t get the message. I’ve removed their jobs and their salaries, but they just won’t go away! If those scroungers dare to go back in there, I’ll make sure they only come out through the Mortuary!’

As we set off back to newsroom, I turned to Sam and said ‘I don’t know why she needs all this hard work and constant publicity, just to destroy a hospital.’

‘General Godless Meander is much cleverer,’ laughed Sam. ‘He managed to reduce the university to nothing while just sitting at home doing nothing!’

Thursday, May 19, 2011


[This Golden Oldie, first published on 4th March 1999, looks at one of Kafupi’s particularly ridiculous ministers, the luscious and lascivious Kandu Kanga, who loved showing us her ample thighs]


Just imagine, interviewing the fabulous Kandu Kanga, Minister of Subtraction. The Page One Pin-Up Girl. I found her sprawled across a velvet sofa, wearing a bright yellow butterfly kanga ...

‘Ah Ha,’ she cried, ‘the delicious Spectator Kalaki! I’m looking for a new man!’

‘Its nice to meet you in the flesh,’ I said. ‘I’ve seen so much of you in the newspaper, but I know there’s more to you than that.’

‘Much more,’ she laughed. ‘Sit down next to me, and I shall reveal all!’

‘I just wanted your thoughts on your new job as Minister of Subtraction.’

‘My thoughts or my thighs,’ she laughed, ‘which are you after?’

‘I’m the Correspondent for Thoughts,’ I said. ‘Thighs are handled by another department.’

‘Then don’t let your thoughts wander, you naughty man, or I might eat you for breakfast.’

‘I see you’ve just brought in this new policy of withdrawing food from hospital patients. Is it a success?’

‘Absolutely. The number of patients has dropped by more than half. We’ve got rid of all the lazy chancers who thought it was a free hotel.’

‘So what is the underlying philosophy?’

‘Subtraction. First we subtracted the subsidies, and now we are subtracting other benefits.’

The knot on her kanga was coming loose. ‘Isn’t it hot,’ she said, moving closer. ‘Clothes are such a bother in this heat.’

‘So are you going to remove everything?’

‘Good gracious no, you naughty man,’ she laughed. ‘Not yet.’

‘I mean from the hospital.’

‘Oh, I see what you mean,’ she laughed. ‘No, we’re just transferring some responsibility to the patients. Its the new policy of Cost Sharing. They have to provide their own food, medicine, and nursing care. We’re encouraging self-reliance.

‘Are you self-reliant, Kalaki? she said, moving closer. ‘Can you stand up for yourself? Or do you need some help?’

It was getting difficult to concentrate. The kanga seemed to be shrinking, but I stuck grimly to my questions...

‘So does the government still give any assistance to hospitals?’

‘Oh Yes. We provide the lobster lunches and Pajeros for the Hospital Boards.’

‘And are you extending this policy of subtraction to other ministries?’

‘I’m already making good progress. We subtracted all the books from schools some years ago. Now we’re subtracting the teachers. Under the policy of privatisation, we feel it is better for tuition to be done privately, in the home.’

She ran her finger down the back of my neck. ‘What about you, Kalaki, don’t you think tuition should be done privately?’

‘Will that be fair to the pupils?’

‘In the past some schools had an unfair advantage of good teachers, whereas others had hopeless teachers. Some schools were affected by strikes, and others had no teachers at all.’

‘So if all schools are without teachers,’ I suggested, ‘At least that would be equality. Then, at last, pupils will have equality of opportunity!’

‘Ooh Kalaki! I do like a man who can stand up for his principles.’

‘Its important to have principles,’ I said.

‘Yes,’ she said, passing her tongue slowly across her top lip. ‘I’d love to see your principles.’

‘So which Ministry is your next target?’ I said, trying to change the subject.

‘I’ve already started on Defence. All those lovely men in their uniforms. When I walk into the room, they all stand up for me! So hard and straight!’

‘So what are you going to subtract from them?’

‘Ooh Kalaki,’ she said, putting her arm round me and whispering in my ear, ‘that sounds like a naughty question! But first I have to disarm them. We women don’t like our men to be aggressive.’

‘Remove their guns?’

‘The Angolans have agreed to buy them. We don’t need them. We are a peaceful country. Our soldiers are just for airport ceremonials.’

‘And the Air Farce?’

‘Five thousand handsome men, with only two aeroplanes, which I’ve now given to the Livingstone Museum, since the Angolans didn’t want them.’

‘Can you do that?’

‘Can do? I can do anything. That’s why I’m called Kandu. If you Kandu, I Kandu! We both Kandu!’

She nuzzled against my ear, and bit it.

‘Aargh! Kandu! Stop it!’ I woke up with a start.

‘You’ve been talking in your sleep again,’ said Sara. ‘Whose this Kandu? ‘One of your old girlfriends?’

‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘Anything she Kandu, you Kandu better.’

‘In that case,’ said Sara, ‘you Kandu my breakfast!’

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nobel Prize

[This piece, first published in 1998, explains how the brilliant Candle Cluo used her reign as Minister of Health to successfully destroy the health system in Zambia]

Nobel Prize

The year is 2008. Sara and I are glued to our TV sets. The whole nation is watching. It is the first time that a Zambian has been honoured with a Nobel Prize…

‘We are gathered here today in the Gothenburg Hall,’ announced the King Gustav, ‘to pay tribute to a great scientific brain. The woman who wiped out disease from Zambia, and then from all the world.’

‘What’s her theory called?’ I asked Sara.

‘Cluster Theory.’ said Sara. ‘Be quiet, and pour the tea.’

‘It is my privilege today,’ continued the King, ‘to award The Nobel Prize for Theoretical Illumination to Professor Candle Cluo. But first I request the learned Professor to address this august assembly.’

Onto the stage sailed the Great Professor herself. The huge audience of dignitaries, fresh from their huge champagne lunch, fell quiet. The silence was broken only by the breaking of wind.

‘There was a time,’ I said to Sara, ‘when the upper classes were educated to control their sphincter muscles.’

‘Today I shall explain,’ began Professor Cluo, ‘the origins of my famous Cluster Theory.

‘It all began in Zambia only ten years ago, when I was just a humble Minister of Health. In those days we used to try to cure disease by putting patients all together in big hospitals in order to provide specialist treatment to cure their diseases.

‘But in Zambia, a strange thing began to happen. We found that the more we built hospitals, and the more we filled them with patients, the worse the diseases became, and the more people died. All the doctors and nurses insisted that the solution to this problem was to provide more and better medical treatment, and more modern methods. And of course we all had to work harder!’

‘But it took a genius like myself to recognise the true nature of the problem. With a brilliant stroke of intuition, never before seen in all medical history, I recognised the strange reality that others could not see or comprehend – all our intervention strategies was counterproductive!

‘Turning my huge brainpower to this complex problem, and after much complex analysis I finally came to suspect that the hospital itself was part of the problem. By bringing everybody together into one big hospital, we had created one big centre for spreading disease.

‘From my immense learning as Professor of Medical Micro-Biology, I was ably to detect that the nurses and doctors were picking up the germs and microbes from the diseased patients, and spreading them into the crowded cities. Even more disastrous were the friends and relatives who brought food for the patients. They went home more diseased, and distributed diseased cockroaches from the hospital into the general population.

‘In a candle flash of inspiration I saw the cluo, and my Cluster Theory was born. I saw that the underlying problem was not disease - but the mass of people clustered together! So then I began my great experiment to test my Cluster Theory, the great epoch of scientific history which has now revolutionised global medicine, and made Candle Cluo a household name.

‘As the first part of my experiment, I reduced the doctors salaries, until they all resigned and went to Botswana. Immediately disease decreased in Zambia, and increased in Botswana.

‘Then I managed to shift the nurses. They had never done anything, except sitting in the wards reading Mills and Boon novels. So I built a separate library for them in the hospital grounds, where they could read in peace, undisturbed by the groans of dying patients. Again disease and mortality rates in Zambia dropped drastically.

‘My last big move was to get rid of the relatives that had clustered around the patients’ beds. I banned them, and put barbed wire all round the hospital. Within a month, there was no more disease in Zambia. I had buried the problem. Soon I was able to close down all the hospitals, which had become unnecessary. And now, as a result of our massive economic transformation, all these former hospitals have been given a new and positive purpose - they have been re-opened as branches of Shoprite.

‘After this initial success, I now turned my theoretical imagination to broadening Cluster Theory. I saw that all of our twentieth century Environmental Science was based on a false premise. We had always seen the environment as the problem, to be dealt with and attacked. But the problem was ourselves. We were too clustered.

‘This was when the intellectual ferment of my brilliant mind began to formulate the new scientific paradigm which was to reinterpret human history, and to put myself on the pedestal of scientific achievement which was previously occupied by Charles Darwin. I began reinterpreting human disasters in terms of Cluster Theory. I saw that the volcanic eruption of Pompeii was caused by the city of people living around the volcano. This cluster of people had caused the pressure which pushed out the lava, and so they all perished.

‘In the same sweep of brilliant theoretical interpretation, I saw that El Nino is caused by the body heat of millions of people clustered in cities. The heat spirals upwards was causing cyclones, tornadoes and global warming. Collective urbanised flatulence, caused by rich food, was causing hydrogen sulphide and methane to damage the ozone layer and cause global warming. The new light of Cluster Theory has transformed our understanding of the world!’

The King now held up a large candle, saying ‘I now ask Professor Candle Cluo to light this candle, to symbolise the new light of Cluster Theory.’

As she lit the candle, there was a great orange flash and explosion. Then the TV picture went blank.

‘My God!’ I exclaimed, ‘a hydrogen sulphide explosion! She forgot her own Cluster Theory! Those over-fed dignitaries with their disgusting flatulence, all packed together, must have filled the hall with their poisonous wind! They’ve all been blown away!’

‘Poor Cluo,’ said Sara, with tears in her eyes. ‘She was our Candle in the Wind.’

Sunday, May 8, 2011


[In this Golden Oldie from 12th October 2000, Kafupi accidentally makes the mistake of giving his confession to Father Spectator Kalaki]

Forgive me, Father ...

Last week I found myself passing St Ignominious, and was tempted to go in, and have a look around. Automatically, I walked through to the back, into the little room where Sara and I once signed the marriage register, many years ago. I opened the door, and went in.

But now it seemed to be the confessional. A little wooden pew stood next to a metal grill in the wall. Curious, I opened the little side door, and stepped into the priest’s secret little cubicle.

Very nice too! Comfortable red velvet armchair, bottle of whisky, and a Playboy magazine. I sat down, and poured myself a large glass of Jameson’s Irish Whisky, and opened the magazine.

Just then I heard footsteps approaching on the other side of the grill. Then the steps came to a halt, and I could hear the visitor sitting down in the pew. My whisky hand began to shake. Next I heard a voice on the other side. ‘Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.’

I took another gulp at the whisky. ‘Tell me, my son, what have you done which troubles your conscience?’

‘Oh Father, I have chased my wife of many years, and now my house is empty.’

‘A house without a wife is always empty. You must turn your thoughts to God.’

‘No, I mean the house is empty because she took all the furniture. She loaded everything into three containers, and took it all to Ndola. Not even a chair is left. That’s why I have come here to sit down.’

‘But my son, what did your wife do which caused you had to chase her, thereby accidentally chasing your furniture?’

‘Father, she had become very moody and bad tempered, always trying to pick a quarrel with my other wives, and even criticising my choice of girlfriends.’

‘Is that all, my son? You must explain to her that according to the Old Testament, a man may have many wives.’

‘Its not as simple as that, Father. She has been seen with another man!’

‘My son, that is an entirely different matter! Your wife has sinned. You must explain to her that the Bible allows a man to have many wives, but does not allow a woman to have many husbands. She has been unfaithful. When a woman does that, it is adultery. A deadly sin.’

‘So I did right to chase her?’

I lolled back in the armchair and took another gulp of whisky. ‘My son, I said, ‘this is a Christian nation. You have to uphold the Old Testament rule that the man is the head of household. What troubles your conscience, apart from your dreadful loss of furniture?’

‘Oh Father,’ he wept, ‘everybody is laughing at me. For I am the one who has talked about gender equality, but now people are saying I have one standard for myself, and another for my wife.’

I sat there admiring the centrefold of Playboy. ‘My son,’ I replied, ‘women are biologically different from men. It is our duty to stay on top. Even in the Vatican, the Pope is always on top of the Mother Superior.’

‘But Father,’ he persisted, ‘I have always tried to be a democrat. I have even written a book about democracy, which I intend to read one day. But now people are saying that I am a tyrant in my own home. Saying that I take decisions without consulting others. That I talk democratic and behave autocratic.’

‘My son,’ I said. ‘You don’t seem to know the meaning of sin, but you’re only mistake is saying one thing but doing another. You must drop all this hypocritical talk of gender equality and democracy, and make clear that you are following the Old Testament, the Dictatorship of God and the Tyranny of Man.’

‘Thank you Father. What can I do to make amends?’

‘Was that your first marriage?’

‘No, second. Although I always called her my first lady.’

‘Then you need to find a second lady, and go for a third term. On the way out, drop in at the Erectory and ask for Sister Magdelene. She’s very experienced at uplifting the downcast. She could give you a marvellous erection for your third term.’

‘What shall I tell her?’

‘Tell her,’ I said, ‘to show you the true meaning of sin.’


I was still sitting there in a drunken stupor when the door of the cubicle opened, and there stood Father Fatty O’Flatulence, looking down on me with a severe expression. I drew myself unsteadily to my feet, and gave him the sign of the cross. ‘Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.’


[This is the article, published on 1st January 2004 in The Post, which caused Muwelewele to try to deport Kalaki. Subsequently, however, it was Muwelewele who got deported]


HE lumbered out of the state lodge, staggered towards the massive wooden chair that had been made ready for him, and fell backwards into it. His dishevelled safari suit was unbuttoned, and his huge belly hung over his trousers. In front of him sat all the assembled animals of Mfuwe, waiting for the Great Elephant Muwelewele to begin his Christmas Message.

‘Distinguished elephants, honourable hippos, mischievous monkeys, parasitic politicians, bureaucratic buffaloes, and other anonymous animals,’ he began, ‘I have just returned from one of my very brief visits to Lusaka, in order to be with you at this time of celebration. My message to you is that the last year has been a resounding economic success, and Mfuwe has never been more prosperous!’

‘Ee ee eeyee,’ squealed the monkeys, dancing around in circles, and waggling their bottoms, each painted with a picture of the Great Elephant.

‘When I was elected,’ continued Muwelewele, ‘I promised that only those constituencies that voted for me would see development. That is why Mfuwe is the only constituency that has seen development.’

‘Iwe wakhonza!’ shouted the crowd.

‘All the humans in the rest of this country refused to vote for me, so they have had no share in our marvellous development!’’Chabwino!’ shouted the crowd.

‘It was only you, my friends from the game park, who went out there and brought in twenty-nine percent of the vote. The snakes of the Shushushu slithered into the ballot boxes and stuffed them with votes. The horrible hyenas were our trusted party cadres who chased away the opposition voters. Our reliable rhinos moved the polling stations to unknown places in the forest. And our merry monkeys played hide and seek with the voters cards!’

‘Hurray!’ laughed the crowd. ‘The law of the jungle!’

‘So now the MMD is the Movement for Mfuwe Development. All my development programmes are located in Mfuwe, and all my appointments have been from amongst you. The previous government would not put you in government, saying you were just monkeys and crocodiles, who shouldn’t be given the vote.’


‘But I have changed all that. I have nominated hippos to parliament, and made them my ministers! I have appointed jackals as my district administrators, and put the long-fingered baboons in charge of the treasury. I have put the knock-kneed giraffe in charge of agriculture, the hungry crocodile in charge of child welfare, and the red-lipped snake in charge of legal reform. And best of all, the pythons are now fully employed, squeezing the taxpayers!’

‘One family one government!’ cheered the crowd. ‘One hippo one minister!’

‘Our beloved Mfuwe,’ said Muwelewele solemnly, ‘is now a state within the state. We control everything in the rest of the country. Everything is now run for our benefit. I am pleased to report that the past year has been the best ever. Just as the others are becoming thinner, so we in the game park are becoming fatter. As hospitals fall down in the rest of the country, so we are building veterinary clinics all over Mfuwe.’

‘Wehwehweh!’ squeeled the baboons, running up to the Great Elephant and showing him their big red bottoms.

'I am truly overwhelmed by this show of affection,’ said the Great Muwelewele, holding his handkerchief to his nose. ‘Education is another of our great success stories,’ continued Muwelewele.’The heartless humans built schools and universities for themselves, but provided absolutely nothing for the animals in Mfuwe. We are now reversing this situation. By closing these schools we now have the funds to send our monkeys abroad to Harvard. They are studying for MBAs, degrees in Manipulating Budget Allocations.

‘Just as employment is falling rapidly amongst the humans, so it is increasing rapidly here in Mfuwe. Just as factories are closing in the remainder of the country, so they are increasing here. I have declared Mfuwe a tax-free zone, and our new manufacturing industry will soon be exporting directly to South Africa. A new bridge across the Luangwa is already under construction for this purpose.’


‘Our Saviour,’ shouted the crowd. ‘A new Saviour is born! A New Deal! A New Direction! Let’s roast a few street kids, and have a real feast!’The jumbo glided to a halt at Lusaka International Airport. Out came the Great Leader Muwelewele, lumbering down the steps like an elephant. A reporter managed to thrust a microphone in front of him.

‘Your Divine Majesty, how did you enjoy your holiday in Mfuwe?’

‘What!’ exploded the Great Leader, his face turning purple with rage. ‘I was not on holiday! This was a very busy working trip, to look at current economic developments in Mfuwe, which has been privatised. Shoprite has already bought the place, and they are busy putting in an abattoir and meat processing factory. We are already building the bridge across the Luangwa, for direct export of game meat to South Africa!’

Thursday, May 5, 2011


[First published on 22 September 2005, this Golden Oldie pokes fun at the absurdities of our ridiculous but dangerous police force]

Up the Pole

The drums beat as the dancers twirled and the dust swirled around the pole planted in the hard dry ground of Maramba Village. Sara and I were seated in the crowded arena, goggling at all this like German tourists.

‘What are we doing here?’ I spluttered amongst the flying dust.

‘We’re on holiday,’ said Sara grimly. ‘This is the sort of thing people have to do when they’re on holiday. Thirty years we’ve been married and this is the first time we’ve ever been on holiday.’

‘We never won a raffle before,’ I said. ‘And I’m supposed to be writing my column today. Instead of that, I’m here looking at these maniacs pounding the dust.’

‘Just write what you see,’ suggested Sara.

‘That won’t make a story! I can’t even understand what’s going on! What’s it all about? What’s it mean?’

‘That’s not your business,’ Sara laughed, ‘You’re only the writer. It’s the job of your readers to find the meaning.’

Just then a Makishi dancer suddenly leaped at the pole and began to climb it with a rhythmic gyrating dance, as his friends sang and danced below. Salary two fiffity! they sang, as he hopped a metre up the pole. Rentee one-fiffity! they squealed, as he took another frenzied leap up the pole.

‘What’s it all mean?’ I demanded.

‘He’s trying to escape from his financial worries,’ Sara explained. ‘He’s trying to get away from the cares and worries of this Earth, and escape in the direction of Heaven!’

Foodu one-fiffity! laughed the singers, clapping their hands, as the Makishi jumped another metre up the pole. Zesco one-fiffity, sang the dancers in delight, Now Zesco cut-offee! The drums reached as a crescendo as the Makishi dancer leaped another two metres in absolute fright.

No more worree! sang the dancers, dancing round the pole and waggling their bottoms seductively, Sister on streetee!

Now the Makishi dancer leapt to the top of the pole, which bent over, leaving him dangling by one hand. ‘Oh my God!’ I exclaimed, ‘He wants to end it all! Go straight to Heaven by the short cut!’

We are the MMD chanted the singers, celebrating the Makishi’s precarious predicament, The Merry Makishi Dancers! We do the dance of deathee for the touristee!

Now the drumming increased its tempo as a skinny little policeman with a huge baton came running into the arena shouting Bring him downee, he’s under arrestee!

As the Makishi continued to dangle dangerously, the other dancers now circled the policeman singing Arrestee Makishi! Zesco offencee! Illegalee Connectee!

Quiet! shouted the policeman, as the whole stadium fell deadly quiet. This man is under arrest for demonstrating without a permit, contrary to the Public Order Act of 1927!

‘Is this part of the theatrical performance?’ I whispered to Sara, ‘Or is it for real?’

‘Nowadays,’ said Sara, ‘its hard to tell the difference.’

This man, screamed the policeman, is supposed to be a waiter at the Royal Livingstone Hotelee, but has instead organised a strike to complain against conditions of servicee, contrary to the provisions of the Slavery Act of 1654.

In addition, this man is trying to leave Zambia and enter Heaven without having applied for an exit permit, contrary to the regulations under the Immigration Act of 1904.

It is therefore my solemn duty to put this man before a court of law, so that he can receive his due punishment. After which, if he is still alive, he may return to his patriotic duty of having his remaining blood sucked by investors.

So saying, the policeman tied a rope around the pole and pulled it violently, causing the Makishi dancer to fall to the ground. As he fell, the policeman ran forward with his handcuffs, shouting You are under arrestee!

And the singers sang But he is already deadee and gonee

But the policeman replied Then I shall arrest him for escaping from lawful custodee!

Then the Makishi dancer jumped up and bowed to the crowd, as the drummers, dancers and singers all chased the policeman out of the stadium. Then all the audience stood up and clapped and cheered!

‘Wow!’ I said. ‘That was really convincing! I was really worried that it was a real policeman! But what did it all mean?’

‘What do you think?’ laughed Sara.

‘I think it means that when a policeman tries to invent his own laws, he becomes a joke, and people will laugh in his face! What did you think it meant?’

‘I think,’ said Sara, ‘that’s it’s a warning to the Chief of Police, that he might have spent a long time climbing to the top of the pole, but he can fall off in a second!’

‘He has been warned,’ I said, ‘that he may depart faster than he came!’