Thursday, May 15, 2008

Here Comes Norman


Most of my relatives are slightly mental, but they have the good sense to realise that their time is best spent working, playing golf, or drinking beer. Activities of a more adventurous or esoteric nature are liable to send them completely hatstand doolally, a fact testified to by my Aunt Lorna's spell under medical sedation following an ill advised infatuation with spirit mediums.

Unfortunately Uncle Norman has completely lost it this time. As a retired police detective with a fat pension and a megaquids house anyone would think he should be as happy as a sand boy. Not our Norman; oh no. He has decided that it is his duty to divest himself of the proceeds from the sale of his humungous camper van in order to improve the lot of dirt poor Africans. Most people would give the money to charities, who would then spend it on sensible things like white Landrovers, conferences in swish African hotels (where the Africans call them bwana), and prostitutes. Not Norman. He has decided to build a village a primary school himself, employing only the villagers themselves.

This is a noble thing to do and, sour faced cynic that I am, I can't bring myself to deride what is undoubtedly a fine and selfless altruistic act. Unfortunately I can't help thinking that in ten years time the school will have holes in the roof and there will be chickens roosting on the dirt floors.

That's the African way. Sixty years of giving haven't achieved much.

7 comments:

Herge Smith said...

Sounds like a decent fella, but i know what you mean about trying not to be cynical.

I spent a month in South Africa at the start of the year and although they do not represent the rest of Africa the same issues of nothing really improving only getting worse seems to be as relevant.

The majority of the Africans I spoke to about the problems they and their neighbours have, shrugged and said with a resigned sigh, 'it's Africa...'.

FirstNations said...

*steadfastly refusing to quote kipling*

*refusing to even think the word 'Kipling'*

*lalalalala woooowoooo, no no, no kipling, lalala wooooo...*

Herge Smith said...

I just thought Kipling, as i finished of an exceedingly good bakewell tart.

garfer said...

All this international gallivanting must be wearing you out Mr Smith. Nothing beats releasing house equity before a crash eh?

Kipling was a bit of an imperialist berk FN, but he did have some insight.

MJ said...

Have YOU been in Africa all this time?

KAZ said...

Is he called Norman Wisdom?
Sounds sensible but he'll probably slip on a banana.

Anyway - good luck to him.

garfer said...

There have been many Ugandan discussions in the undergrowth MJ

Nah Kaz, more like Stormin' Norman.