I'm just back from East Africa after a 12 day trip which I managed to spend mostly in hotels and restaurants. I had intended to spend time in the bush but I couldn't find it. It might have been that the hostile natives were determined to keep its location a secret. Then again, The Rouge Bar in Kampala might not have been the right place to start looking. Either way, Africa kept that little secret with her. In its place, I made another discovery, no less momentous, that sequentially consuming 4 shots of a liqueur named Zappa will disconnect the motor nerves responsible for controlling one's legs. I realize I am speaking in riddles and that you, dear reader, are itching to clout me one on the cerebellum (but you don't know my address, ha ha ha) so without further ado, I shall pitch into my great epic.
Four score and seven years ago... oops, wrong speech .... a couple of weeks ago, some of us were having a working lunch and purely out of scientific motives, one of us ordered beer. My mates (I'll call them Tom and George) declared that Africa would be the next engine of growth for the world economy. One thing led to another and before I knew what was happening, I had signed up for a trip to Uganda and Ethiopia.
I had a personal problem. I had not cleared this with my immediate superior at home and I spent most of my time on the ride back thinking of plausible explanations. The I.S. (immediate superior) conceals, behind a petite appearance, a keen nose for funny business and is extremely un-Gandhian when I try to pull a fast one. So I decided to tell her the truth. "Sweetheart" I said "Africa is the engine for world growth". "You've been drinking beer", she diagnosed. "True, my angel" I replied, "but not germane to the issue"
She gave me the look and I suddenly found that truth had vanished from my lips. "Er, Tom and George have this really important assignment in Africa and are begging me to accompany them so that I may contribute my valuable insights."
You, dear reader, are a person of breeding and you do not want to know the contents of the speech that the I.S. delivered on this occasion. Suffice it to say that it lasted 15 minutes and melted a considerable amount of earwax. But the conclusion was "Do as you please" and I wasted no time in shinning up the attic for the old Samsonite.......