Monday, March 26, 2012

Multiple Murders

Furious with my carpenter for taking a sizeable advance and then disappearing for a fortnight, I could do nothing but bubble and boil when he said, ‘Sorry, Madam – my aunty died.’
Nevertheless, I tried: “Why didn’t you send your assistant?”
“His uncle died.”
It’s a wonder our population is still growing so heartily when everyone is being killed off with such rapidity!
My cook kills off relatives with cheerful abandon each time she absents herself.
After the last 3 days off, she offered, “My mother’s poor mother died.”
“But she died last year in November,” I protested, checking the calendar.

“That was my mother’s other mother. My mother has 2 mothers,” she persisted in her biological illogic, fervently digging her own grave, along with her 2 dead grandmothers’.
Those of us who ponder over the unpredictability of Death, should take consolation. These deaths have perfect timing. After a dinner party, when the house is covered in crumbs and stains and dishes are piled high – grandparents instantly fall dead. Closer relatives like sisters and brothers reserve their own demise for longer spells of absence. A driver once landed up stinking like a brewery, red-eyes and all – after a week of mourning for his dead brother who the next day was mentioned as his dead brother-in-law, and the day after as his dead brother’s brother-in-law. The dead obviously do not take relationships as seriously as we do.
Sicknesses too strike with utter accuracy. Leave is taken for colds, coughs, ingrown toenails, raging fever, bordering cancer, expected AIDS, confirmed swine flu, galloping gangrene – and other ailments – which fade off after the excuse is accepted. 
I can’t really reject the excuse, can I? How cold-hearted can I be to the cause of dearly departed family members? I need to offer tea and sympathy and a few days’ leave at least. I can hardly say, on Pay Day: “My great-grand-mother’s second cousin died. Rituals do not allow me to go to the bank for a month. So sorry!”

So I really do need help here.
We need to curtail these multiple murders immediately. At the rate everyone’s dying, there soon won’t be anyone left to kill off!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Coincidence: Noun. When 2 unrelated things happen together. (2? Just 2?) Example:
8.28 am:  I was getting 1 kid’s medicine into his screaming face,
When the other one told me he’d got chewing gum in his school shoe
When S had taken off in my car since his own was in the service station
When the intercom rang to say the school bus was leaving
When the phone rang to tell me the new mattress had arrived
When the painters arrived to start doing the doors
When the tea boiled all over the stove, the tabletop and the floor
When the water ran out!!!
When the water tanker got a flat on the way in
When the locksmith landed up to fit a broken lock - right now or never
When the electricity decided to go off!!!
When the plumber admitted he had broken a pipe while trying to fix it
When I burnt 2 fingers trying to lift the bloody boiling tea off the bloody boiling stove
When my cook did not land up
When the dhobi landed up instead, wailing for instant payment
When my laptop slipped off a pile of magazines and landed on its head
When the gas freakin cylinder arrived after 2 weeks of pursuing them right THEN
When the dog decided to help  by chasing the painter off his ladder
When a client called to discuss a floppin’ pending job
And said, ‘But why can’t we discuss this now? You’re at home and free anyways, right?’
Should I read him the riot act, or read him the entire unedited definition of a coincidence (with expletives added for effect)?