By Gongalay Gotabanda –
Once upon a time, when Jollyass Seesaw was Caretaker of Sri RogerPakistan, he led his Peacekeeping forces against the Tranquil Tourists in the north of the island. After a long drawn out humanitarian crusade, he was finally able to subdue them, and returned to the capital city CalumBoo in triumph. There were many celebrations throughout the country with drinking, dancing, eating of milk rice and lighting of fire crackers. The Sri RogerPakistanians thronged the streets in their best clothes, screaming “Seesaw, Seesaw, Jayawaywaa!” While putting up banners and hoardings of him and garlanding his statues.
As Seesaws bulletproof limousine passed through the crowd, there was seated beside him, his unsmiling wife Mrs. Seesaw and his most trusted companion and chief advisor, Antony Wansahero. Also included in his entourage was dynamic and eloquent opposition Parleymutt Ronnywicks, General Brootoast Funnyshaker (aka Sir Roth Funnyshaker), Tilvanius and Wansasumo. As they passed along, the Sri RogerPakistanians cheered and pressed upon them, and yet above the tumult one voice sounded shriller than the rest as it cried out, “Seesaw! Seesaw!” Seesaw too, heard the voice and signalled the driver to stop while he listened. The man was a soothsayer who did a weekly astrology program on a private TV station.
When he saw that Seesaw had halted, he said: “Beware the Ides of January!” So Seesaw ordered that the man should come out of the crowd so that he might see him. Once more the soothsayer said, “Beware the Ides of January!” Seesaw with a shrug replied, “He is an international conspirator. Have him taken to the fourth floor of the Butterland Pleasure Chambers, and tickle him with chicken feathers, and question him for 48 hours and then permanently rehabilitate him!”
As the procession continued towards the Pompeydasa International Amphitheatre, General Brootoast paused as if reluctant to continue on. Tilvanius who had been watching him closely, asked Brootoast whether he did not want to watch the Sri RogerPakistan vs Hindiyaar crooked match; to which Brootoast answered that he had better things to do than to watch 11 grown men chasing after a white ball after it was hit with great fury by another grown man from the opposing side using a piece of heavy wood. The streets by this time were deserted, as everyone had gone to witness the match. After a while, Tilvanius and Brootoast heard the sounds of shouting and the sounds of trumpet bands. “What does that shouting mean?” asked Brootoast. “I fear the Sri RogerPakistanians will choose Seesaw for their king!” replied Tilvanius. “Though I love the man, I would not want him as my king!” said Brootoast. This gave Tilvanius the opening he desired, to try and stir Brootoast against Seesaw. So he went on, “A few years ago, during the Caretaker elections, Seesaw cried out to me and Wansasumo. ‘Help me Tilvanius…help me Wansasumo…to become Caretaker of Sri RogerPakistan!’ And so we helped him. This is the man who has now become a God, and Tilvanius must bow low before him if he merely looks my way. When he was afflicted by swine flu, the colour fled from his lips and he murmured like a sick girl, ‘Give me some kola kenda, Tilvanius.’ And yet a man so feeble has become supreme in the whole country!”
By this time Seesaw and his entourage were coming back from the match. Hindiyaar had won in the final over, with 3 balls to spare. Seesaw had noticed that Brootoast and Tilvanius were no longer with him, and when he saw them whispering together and looking at him, he pointed them out to Wanshero. “Let me have men that are fat and sleep well at night. That Tilvanius looks lean and hungry; he thinks too much, and such men are dangerous; if there were a man I could fear, Tilvanius is the first man I should avoid!” Anthony Wansahero did not agree with Seesaw. He was an easy-going man who loved wine, women, song and playing around with his two state-of-the-art cellular phones and travelling to Disneyland. When Seesaw and the rest had left, Brootoast asked Wansasumo what had happened at the Pompeydasa International Amphitheatre, and Wansasumo replied, “The Sri RogerPakistanians offered him a crown 3 times, and each time Seesaw refused it and said, I’m not your king…I’m only your Caretaker!”
After that the 3 men parted. When they had gone, Tilvanius knew that his plan was succeeding. Brootoast was an honourable humanitarian, yet he could be persuaded. A few days later, a terrible storm broke over Sri RogerPakistan, and strange incidents started to happen throughout the country. The stock market crashed; many foreign investors wound up their businesses and left the island; most countries in their travel advisories warned their citizens against visiting the island; rich countries stopped lending money to Seesaw’s government except for the Utopian People’s Republic of Shyna, and United Bankers Secretary General Banking Boom urged Seesaw to resettle the Tranquil Welfare Holiday Campers as soon as possible or face the music in JennyWa. All these strange events seemed to portend some great calamity. Most Sri RogerPakistanians were terrified by what was happening. Tilvanius who met Wansasumo on the street, told him that the heavens were sending these warnings because the Sri RogerPakistanians were trying to turn mortal men into immortal Gods! “You mean Seesaw?” asked Wansasumo. “Yes indeed,” replied Tilvanius, “they say that tomorrow the Parleymutts mean to make Seesaw a king, and he will wear his crown wherever he goes!”
Meanwhile Brootoast was pacing up and down in his house. The more he thought, the more he realised that only through the permanent rehabilitation of Seesaw could Sri RogerPakistan really be free. So far Seesaw had only used his power to form a dynasty and install his close relatives in key government positions; but once he was crowned king, he would have unlimited power. In the evening, Tilvanius and his international conspirators entered the house of Brootoast. They were – Wansasumo, Kehelmala, Milimoro, Rajsenna, Amusara, Tenderman, Seefour and Esbidi. Brootoast welcomed them all and wished them HiyoubowOne. Then they all sat down and began to discuss how their conspiracy might be carried out. In time Tilvanius said, “It is doubtful whether Seesaw will appear tomorrow, for he has become superstitious lately and these strange omens and the persuasion of his advisors will keep him away from the Parleymutts building!” “Never fear that,” said Milimoro, “I can persuade Seesaw and bring him to the Parleymutts building.” As everything was decided, each conspirator left for their respective homes, leaving Brootoast home alone to watch the entire ‘Home Alone’ series on his flat screen TV.
All that night the thunder and lightning continued and no one on Sri RogerPakistan slept…that is except for the deaf, dumb and blind. In the morning, Mrs. Seesaw begged Seesaw not to leave for the Parleymutts building. She pleaded with him to send Antony Wansahero to inform the Parleymutts that Seesaw was not well. But just then, Milimoro arrived and bade Seesaw a good morning, and said that he had come to accompany him to the Parleymutts building. Seesaw replied to Milimoro, “Tell the Parleymutts that I will not attend today as Mrs. Seesaw saw a bad dream about me!” “But Seesaw!” interjected Milimoro, “The Parleymutts have agreed this day to bestow a crown upon Seesaw. If you do not attend today, it will become a joke; and people will say, ‘Dismiss the Parleymutts until Mrs. Seesaw has better dreams.’ If Seesaw hides himself, they will say that the mighty Seesaw is afraid!” Seesaw was so convinced by Milimoro’s words that he set off with him to the Parleymutts building.
As they passed through the streets Seesaw saw the soothsayer, who had by this time been released after paying a hefty bribe from the fourth floor of the Butterland Pleasure Chambers, and said to him smiling, “The Ides of January are come!” “Yes Seesaw,” he replied, “but not gone!” So Seesaw entered the Parleymutts building and took his seat.
The international conspirators drew near to him, and crowded around him. First Brootoast knelt before him, took his hand and kissed it. Then on the other side, Tilvanius knelt before him, and so did the rest of the conspirators. By this time, Wansasumo had crept around behind Seesaw’s chair. Suddenly with his 9 millimetre pistol drawn, he cried out, “Speak, 9 millimetre for me!” Then all of them fell upon Seesaw with their 9 millimetres drawn, and shot him again and again. For a while Seesaw resisted, but when he saw that General Brootoast his friend was also one of the conspirators, he cried out, “Et tu Brootoast! You son of a beach ball! Mangthowalasanthamaruwawagaymaranawa!” Then he hid his face with the red towel he wore around his neck, and fell permanently rehabilitated at the foot of Pompeydaasa’s statue. When the conspirators saw that Seesaw was permanently rehabilitated, they cried out aloud, “Liberty! Freedom! Jayawaywaa! Tyranny is permanently rehabilitated!” When Antony Wansahero appeared, Brootoast turned towards him and told him to take Seesaw’s body to the Barney Roman Funeral Parlour and prepare it for the funeral. After which he was instructed to bring the casket to the IndepenDunce Circle where Wansahero could speak on behalf of Seesaw.
On the day of Seesaw’s funeral, first spoke Brootoast. Brootoast said, “Seesaw once said that there are only two kinds of people on Sri RogerPakistan! Those who love the country, and those who do not love the country! I Brootoast loved Sri RogerPakistan, which is why I permanently rehabilitated Seesaw. If I have offended anybody by my deed, speak up!” And the crowd shouted back, “Brootoast has offended no one! The wannabe king is dead! Long live Brootoast the new Caretaker of Sri RogerPakistan!”
And then it was the turn of Antony Wansahero. Wansahero went up to the podium and checked the microphone, and began to speak. “Friends, Sri RogerPakistanians, Country Bumpkins…lend me your ears, and I promise to return them after I have finished with them! The evil that men do lie buried up north in thousands of unmarked graves. The good is also interred with the bones. I come to speak at Seesaws funeral because he was my friend, faithful and just to me; and not because Seesaw made me his chief advisor or gave me a large mansion to live in or lavished me with many backup vehicles and hundreds of bodyguards! But Brootoast says he was ambitious! And I say that’s because Seesaw did not give Brootoast a large mansion to live in or lavish him with many backup vehicles and hundreds of bodyguards! I say this is sour grapes Brootoast! But Brootoast is an honourable humanitarian.”
Then Antony Wanshero produced a folded paper which he held up for the crowd to see. “Here is a paper sealed with Seesaws seal! It is his last will and testament.” The people wondered what might be in the will, and they cried out to Antony Wansahero to read it. So Wansahero unfolded the paper and began to read the will.
“To every Sri RogerPakistanian I leave a buth packet and a soft drink bottle. My Shysterland bank accounts I leave to my family members. The jungles, the rivers, lakes, valleys, mountains, waterfalls, the fish in the sea and animals on the land and the Shyneese loans at 6% interest I bequeath to the citizens of Sri RogerPakistan. I also leave them a harbour with no ships, an airport with no planes and my bankrupt ‘HeminAir’ airlines!” The crowd roared with satisfaction, and there was much clapping and cheering after the will was read. After that the crowd took Seesaws body, made a pyre with anything that would burn. They then set Seesaws body on it, and set fire to it. Then taking burning fagots from the pyre, they ran around to the houses of the conspirators and set fire to them.
Brootoast and Tilvanius and their friends managed to escape to Hindeeyar where they raised a peacekeeping force with which they prepared to meet Antony Wansahero. As time went on Brootoast and Tilvanius started to fight amongst themselves as to who would be Caretaker after Wansahero was defeated. Wansahero in the mean time had landed in Hindeeyar with a large peacekeeping force of his own, and surrounded Brootoast and Tilvanius. Brootoast and Tilvanius committed seaside by jumping in the sea, rather than surrender to Wansahero. And thus those responsible for the permanent rehabilitation of Seesaw were permanently rehabilitated themselves. Nevertheless, Antony Wansahero honoured Brootoast, for of all the conspirators he alone was moved not by envy of Seesaw, but by a desire for the good of his country.