Slipping from the limelight Wednesday Rambling
Stabroek News
February 12, 2003

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A significant event happened last week. No it was not the PNCR's visit to Annandale. Nor the PPP/C's desperate response on Saturday where diplomats and businessmen were forced to don suit and tie just to hear Jagdeo say there needed to be more trust between the two parties. A public relations non-event.

They would have been better launching Janet Jagan's new Gang of Eight children's book. Let them try a stunt like that this weekend and see how many diplomats show up.

But it was Dr Luncheon's statement that reporters had misunderstood what he had said about the Good Hope cell phone tracking equipment that caused shock waves across the country. Well ripples perhaps. One ripple ..a very small one...

This is the first inkling of hope, the first flickering of light at the end of the tunnel, a ray of mixed metaphors dawning, that the Cabinet secretary has surmised albeit momentarily the limitations of his communication skills.

There was a time when Luncheon's press conferences were special events with high viewer ratings. The nation hung on his every multi-syllabic word.

Senior reporters were dispatched to ask crafty questions aimed at catching the good doctor in a trap.

But he would wriggle free with a flurry of slippery syntax. Sadly the act has become rather stale.

Nowadays you often find he is actually out of the loop and his blathering is less about not revealing the truth but not revealing that he does not know the truth.

He has become as irrelevant as US Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan- whose audience is mostly empty chairs and yawning cameramen. Where once his utterances were dissected like dead frogs in a school laboratory and covered the important items related to the "body politic" now he reports on such B listed topics as ministers visiting outlying regions. Even now listen to how someone can make such a meal of the most straightforward message.

" Action plans, he further said, would be agreed upon to allow ministers to make visible and obvious their presence in the areas while addressing issues and bringing them to a conclusion." Will they be given loudspeakers and made to wear Easter bunny suits?

That is why this week we are creating a new dish in recognition of Dr Luncheon's singular efforts to be the Master Chef of (Con)Fusion cuisine.

The Recipe for Confusion
Take one Luncheon
Finely dice the complete works of Karl Marx
Put in a blender for one hour (or the length of a post
cabinet press briefing- whichever is less).
Sprinkle over a bed of recently approved tenders Serve.

An ominous start
The newly elected leader of the PNCR Robert Orlando Corbin made a significant gesture last week with his visit to Annandale giving hope to the nation that a political solution could be found to the country's problems.

We at WR hope that this good start will soon falter and Mr Corbin will start showing some of the tetchiness of his predecessor. At the moment there is nothing one can think of that is remotely amusing about him and this is a very worrying situation.

We do not feel that Dr Luncheon as a subject can be spun out much further. There are just so many times the phrase 'body politic' can be twisted before it becomes 'not of sufficient amusement to the wider civil society'. The country and this column rely on public figures who have foibles which can be remarked upon in not necessarily a serious way. We therefore hope that Mr Corbin takes note of this humble suggestion for the sake of humour and the bad name of politicians everywhere.

The Chronicle breaks wind

Now something from the Chronicle, a paper with as much credibility as the Soviet-era Pravda and in such decline that it has resorted to lavatory humour to win customers. Read this from Sunday's highly original Beauty and Health page: " In fact, a healthy person passes wind 15 times a day on average.

You may fall anywhere between three and forty times depending on your diet. So for one day try counting every time you break wind. If it's less than 40 you are normal.." Everyone get out their notebooks!

This article was obviously lifted from a web site probably translated from Polish or some other Eastern European country where the staple diet is cabbage.

And while we are in the cricket season it was an amusing if not original remark by the commentator in the Sunday's West Indies/South Africa game concerning match referee Peter Willey and the Caribbean commentator Michael Holding: " The commentator's Holding the match referee's Willey."

And just to cap off, an advertisement on TV is advising men "to wear a condom at all times." At ALL times! this practical?

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