Saturday, February 28, 2009

Older, no wiser...and having a ball !!

There comes a time in everyone's lives when they have a single moment of clarity in which they see very clearly and in great detail every single moment of their life passing in front of their eyes. And then the next moment they are dead. There are also, in addition to these kinds of moments, others too that occur in everyman's lives, only they are not quite so dramatic and final in their manifestation. These are a little less spectacular and definitely a lot less life-threatening. These are those moments that drop by occasionally. This is when the individual upon whom they decide to descend will put aside whatever he may be doing, pull up his favourite rocking chair, fix his favourite drink and light up a cigarette. He will then sit back and with a vacant and forlorn gaze in his eyes stare off into the distance at nothing in particular. In his mind he would call it an extended moment of nostalgia. Others would call it an extended instant of temporary insanity. Whatever.

When we get older, we try and convince ourselves that we also get wiser. We tell ourselves that we need to mellow down, take things easy, be more tolerant and understanding. And then when we have these other "moments" descend on us we permit ourselves a short commercial break from our daily older wiser lives to indulge in nostalgic journeys into the past and bask in the warm feeling that it brings on. And having reveled in it we snap out of it and get back to our dumb dreary older wiser life existence. For that is what older wiser people are supposed to do. Right? BULL.

There is this huge hovering conspiracy occupying the environs surrounding me that is trying very hard to drive me down that lane. They have been trying now for the last decade or so ever since I crossed over into the accepted older-wiser-mellower mad-man phase of life. When they realized that this person (meaning me) was showing no signs of having realized that such a passage had taken place, they tried nudging with little hints at first, and then with less subtler means such as holding up placards, writing on walls, making announcements on TV and finally screaming at the tops of their voices - first individually then in large collective groups. And when they saw that this person (meaning me) was continuing to ignore them despite all their efforts, they went into conspiracy mode. Much strategy happened, much planning happened, much tandoori chicken happened, but to no avail. This person (meaning me) would not give in.

And so it goes on. The conspiracy hangs heavy in the air. This person (meaning me) hangs loose in and around various places on this planet. Its a standoff. And it will continue for sometime. Who will blink first? Who will back off first?

The conspirators, hanging heavy in the air, cannot afford to. For if they do, they fall flat on the ground and end up with egg (or mud if there are no hens around in the neighbourhood) on their face. Not too good for them. And if this person (yeah - meaning me) backs off, he becomes an old, wise, staring-off-into-the-distance-with-stupid-smile-on-face, nostalgia-afflicted nut.

So - standoff. And it will continue. Till the tandoori chicken lays an egg. Till then let floating conspirators stew in their collective strategic sauces while this person meaning me continues his research into investigating the basic interconnectedness of all things.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Camels That Vanish Into The Night

Abu Ben Adam (may his tribe increase), awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, looked outside his tent, and saw that all his camels had disappeared.

He looked to the right. He looked to the left. He looked out in front. He looked out in back. No. They were gone. Quite gone. To assure himself that this was not a dream, he jumped back into bed, snored a few times, jumped out of bed and looked out his tent once again. The camels were most definitely completely gone.

Strange things happen in the desert. Abu Ben Adam knew that. He had been around long enough to know that. But this was not one of them. The odd camel may suddenly get bored with life and wander off into the desert night; a couple more may follow him out of sheer curiosity. But a whole herd of them! That was beyond strange. There could be only one explanation. The entire herd had been abducted by aliens. A spaceship had probably zoomed in, hovered over the camp-site, and while Abu Ben and his kin snored into the desert night, the aliens beamed down on the resting camels and transported/transmutated/levitated/whatever them into their waiting spaceship and whooshed off into the outer reaches of space.

Halfway across the world, away from all the sand and the heat, in another time and age, a University student of Quantum Physics turned in a term paper for evaluation. After submission his paper disappeared. The puzzled student wandered over to his professor’s office to discuss the disappearance of his paper and found that the professor had disappeared too. He went across to the Department Head's office to complain about this strange occurrence and found him gone too. He walked out of his office, turned back and found the office gone as well. He whirled around and the department was gone. Before he knew it the whole building had become invisible. He ran out screaming into the University campus which suddenly was not there. The entire University had suddenly, very simply, vanished.

He closed his eyes, took a few deep breaths to calm his jangled nerves, when suddenly a vision of a horde of camels leapt out of nowhere and materialized in front of his eyes. He pinched himself a few times to make sure he wasn’t dreaming but the University campus stayed out of sight and three hundred invisible camels kept thundering around him. This was too much for him to handle and in a fit of pure panic he ran out into the invisible streets babbling about out of control camels and disappearing university professors.

Somewhere a long ways away from all the camels and vanishing universities, a fat round bald museum curator stood in the main hall and smiled to himself. If there was anything you noticed about him it had to be his smile. It is unlikely you would come across anyone who smiled so wide and smiled so long. Measured end to end his smile would have bridged a normal sized river bank to bank. It took a full four minutes for the smile to begin at one corner of his mouth and crawl its way across the geography of his face traversing several pounds of flesh amply laid on by his creator. And once it had attained full beaming status he kept it on for a good amount of time before letting it start its slow crawl back to its normal resting state. He went through large parts of his life with a near permanent grin plastered on his face. He did so because it was simply too much effort putting it on and then taking it off again. He was simply too fat. And too round. And too bald. But at this particular moment, even though his round face was shining like a full moon on a cloudless night, he had nothing to smile about.

The fat man stood in a state of complete shock. Every nerve in his body and each cell in his brain reverberated to the sound of alarm bells that had started jangling in his head the moment he realized that all the paintings in his museum had, yes you guessed it, disappeared. His brain had flashed the message to his facial muscles to get that grin off but it would be a good three minutes before the smile completed its reverse journey across his face. He couldn’t understand it. Security at his museum was very tight. There was no way anyone could have walked out with all the paintings without someone noticing. Harder still would have been walking in with the truckloads of flowers that suddenly somehow had replaced each painting that had previously hung on those walls. For, in exactly the very spot where each painting had stood, was a bunch of flowers. The fat round man, face minus smile now and very perplexed, stared at the wall and scratched his bald head. And suddenly without warning, there flashed through his mind an image of a horde of galloping camels thundering across a vast expanse of desert chasing a fat round bald man in long flowing robes.

Three different people. Three separate parts of the world. Three separate time periods. All face the ‘sudden disappearance’ phenomenon. What are the odds? What is the probability that this can happen? What are the chances that all three can have a common experience? Maybe very high. But what about the experience itself? There one minute. Gone the next. Wham. Just like that. Three hundred camels resting in the desert sand. Wham. Gone. An entire University complete with buildings, students, faculty and one submitted paper. Wham. Gone. A museum full of paintings. Wham. Gone. Wham. Wham. Wham. Now that doesn’t happen every day. Not even once a year. Not even once a century. When was the last time you heard of such a thing happening? Or read about such a thing happening? If you didn’t then it’s not surprising. Because it doesn’t happen. Camels simply do not vanish into the night.

But strange as it may sound, it did happen. And here is where the strange starts moving into the weird. For the three separate people we talked about in the story above are all the same person. And now we move from the weird into the bizarre. The same person above is me.

Yes. Abu Ben Adam, the University student and the fat round bald man are all me. Those camels that faded into the night were mine. The paper that disappeared was mine. The University that vanished was mine. The paintings that were replaced with flowers were mine. All mine. All there one minute. Gone the next. Ever since then I have been searching high and low for them, for an answer, an explanation, if nothing else. But none has been forthcoming.

Someday, somewhere I will find the answer. And when I do I will stride forth into whatever place it is where that evil force is holed up and reclaim my paintings and my writing and my camels. And then I shall take hold of this evil person/thing/whatever, tie him to one of the camels, and set the whole bunch free to roam the deserts of the world for all eternity. And how is all this going to happen? Well that’s for me to know and that camel grabber to see.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Do the Voodoo

Take a crude little doll fashioned out of some cloth, coir, hemp and thread, transform it into a likeness of your enemy, take a fat pin and stick it violently into the doll. And if you have done your math and got your equations right then horrible things should happen to your enemy when you do so. That is Voodoo.

If you are out on a leisurely walk and step into some soft squelchy smelly thing that is doggie-doo. But that’s another story.

Back to sticking pins into a representational likeness of your enemy. In addition to sticking pins into that doll, you could also do other things to it like dipping it into boiling oil, pulling out its ears, stomping all over it, squeezing its throat between thumb and forefinger or plain simply twist its head off. It would have the same effect. Horrible things will happen to your enemy.

Talk about the long arm of vengeance. This one could stretch to be a really long one. Your enemy could be on the other side of the planet and you could bite his nose off from the comfort of your living room. There are no geographical boundaries or limitations of any kind involved here. No line-of-sight or co-ordinate correction or global positioning systems involved here. What is involved is plain simple old-fashioned voodoo magic. Stick a pin into a doll in Bilaspur, India and your enemy would rise in Gaborone, Botswana.

There was an official conference on the Impact of Modern Advances on the Art of the Voodoo that I happened to attend recently. Only it wasn’t official. It wasn’t even a conference. And it most certainly had nothing to do with the impact of anything on anything. It was a cookery class teaching how to cook low-cal diet food. In the centre of the room were two huge cauldrons being stirred by the cookery instructor. At least that’s what a casual observer would have seen if he had happened to walk into the room. But the same casual observer, if he had happened to look a little more closely, would have seen that what appeared to be a cookery class was only a clever front for a far more exciting gathering. Namely the official conference mentioned earlier. Very clever deception. The cookery instructor was actually a gatekeeper minding the entrance to the secret conference and the cauldrons were actually a secret entrance to the same. And to gain entrance to the secret conference one had to walk into the hall as an eager student of low-cal high-health recipes, sidle up to the gatekeeper disguised as the instructor and mutter the secret password to him. If you had the right password, the gatekeeper would allow you to climb into the first cauldron which had a false bottom leading to a large conference room. If you had the wrong password, the gatekeeper would kick you into the second cauldron which actually was a real cauldron in which a stew was being cooked. Double bubble toil and trouble.

There were many learnings from those sessions. New techniques learnt, old techniques improved upon. Armed with all that knowledge I walked out of there brimming with confidence and on a high not experienced in a long time. I was very happy. I had enough arsenal now to take on an army. And I only needed enough for four.

Enemy mine amounted to a group of four. Four fearsome fiends forcing their way in from beyond those far-away frontiers, flying in on fearsome falcons making their way into our midst with a ferocity many would find fearful in the extreme. Actually nothing like that happened. It was me, fool that I was, who actually went out and approached them with a proposition. I commissioned work and we agreed upon a price. They proposed the price, I agreed. They proposed the terms of payment, I agreed. And that was the first of many mistakes I made. And by the time I realized that it was a mistake I was in too deep to be able to do much about it. Then began the long and painful road back to recovery. It took its toll, and I had to pay. I didn’t like it, I didn’t want it, but I had no choice. Maybe I could have handled it differently, maybe I could have ensured that things turned out different, maybe I could have worked some magic that would have made things ok for everybody. That was wishful thinking. None of that happened. And that was reality. And before I realized it I was well and truly on the road to perdition. And dangerously close to losing my soul; facing eternal damnation.

That was then. And this is now. Now is when I sit back in my chair, with a glass of my favorite beer, and think back to that time. And when I do I cannot help but allow a smile to spread itself all over my face – and then some more, and humor it further by adding another one of my own. I know how close I had come to getting even then. I was armed. And dangerous. And soon enemy mine would have known what my name was when I had laid my vengeance upon them. But then again, that was then, and this is now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This Ghost Must Go

I am a great believer in the basic interconnectedness of all things. I wasn’t always that way. But that was before I entered an inspirational phase – said phase being brought on by a gent named Douglas Adams, the one who wrote at length on the pleasures of hitch-hiking across vast stretches of the universe. It isn’t easy, believe me. Because the universe, as Doug Adams says, is big, very big. And those who attempt it must be quite simply, quite mad. I haven’t attempted it, and have no intention of doing so. But I still do believe in the basic interconnectedness of all things. One of the positives of adopting this line of thinking is the firm belief that to get what you want you may pick at random any method you want and this by the basic nature of the interconnectedness of all things will make sure that you get what you want. To illustrate, if you were planning on being in Spain Tuesday next, you could begin by answering your phone the next time it rings and explaining your interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution to the caller. Its unlikely that this act will basically interconnect its way into your landing up in Spain Tuesday next, but it will definitely positive you enough to keep you going the rest of the week.

Armed as I was with such positive-ness, it still didn't stop me from reacting with a twitch of unease to the words of my guest who now sat in the chair opposite me. He had an assignment for me. There was this dwelling he said. In this dwelling there had dwelled this rather strange gent. He had been alone, quirky and quite removed from reality. The dwelling now had become vacant as the rather strange, quirky and removed from reality gent had also managed to become quite removed from this planet altogether. And as the dwelling belonged to the guest plonked down in the chair opposite, he now wanted me to investigate a rather strange phenomenon that seemed to have made itself felt inside this place.

It appears the removal had not been a clean one. The subject in the process of departing had managed to leave behind a few residual beings. Much like an atom splitting or a cell dividing itself, this old gent had in his final moments, managed to shake loose a few parts of his soul which now remained behind, well not exactly like life-forms, but more like some strange other-worldly after-life like beings. Well, there were four of them. They looked like us. They spoke like us. They ate like us. Only they were not us. They were, well, whatever they were, they were not us. And he, wanted me, to get them the hell out of that place, so he could rent it out again. I must have looked at him with a dumb look on my face because he stared back with a dumb look on his. My look said excuse me I am a private investigator not a ghost-buster and his look said So?

So that was it. Here I was, a private investigator, about to accept an assignment that I had no business accepting. Investigations, private or otherwise are challenging and exciting and can occasionally give you a sense of achievement also. That was something that I was used to. But walking into a house and ridding it of unwanted life-forms that may or may not actually be life-forms, now that was something else. Its not as if you could walk up, ring the doorbell and say to the first spook who answered the door – ‘hey my client would like to rent out this house and he would like to do it minus the bunch of you enlightened spirits hovering around the place, so could you please pack your bags or whatever else it is you use to pack your things and move on?’ It would be a little more challenging than that. It would probably be dangerous too. I might not be able to convince the little buggers to move on. I would probably get recruited into their ranks in the process and end up turning into a free-floating ghostly thing myself. The thought was eerie enough to make my hair do a little jig and my skin turn cold. I made up my mind. I accepted the assignment.

The most difficult part about chasing otherworldly creatures out of their chosen dwelling place is not the not knowing how to do it. There’s tons of material on it in libraries, on the internet and in your friendly neighbourhood know-it-all’s head. You can have thousands of advice coming your way in different shapes, forms and sizes if you wanted. So it’s not like you would sit down scratching your head mumbling to yourself – how do I do this? The hard part starts afterwards - should you happen to survive the ordeal and succeed in your endeavor. Once that happens you are a branded man. Labeled. The ghost-buster. The demon-chaser. The soul-cleaner. And there are enough of these evil spirity things lurking around in various human bodies to keep anyone choosing to make this a profession busy for quite some time. Have you ever heard of an out-of-work exorcist?

Once word gets around you are going to be hounded by hordes of unfortunates seeking to be rid of various entities possessing either them or their homes. They will call you at home; they will call you at work. They will get to you when you are having breakfast, they will get to you when you are at lunch. They will get to you when you are about to go to bed, they will get to you when you are about to wake up. In short, they will get to you. Period.

And you can’t really blame them either. If you have had the unfortunate experience of having been possessed at any time you would know the feeling. These creatures are evil. They lurk around waiting for the careless passerby to let his guard down and when he is not looking swoop down and jump into his body. Wham. Just like that. And so you have a whole bunch of these zombies walking around; the unfortunate ones who have happened to have let their guard down, now making frantic phone calls to all the spook chasers in the area.

They meet up once in a way, these possessed ones, to exchange notes on how they are doing. In the process they may end up exchanging spooks too. Would make for a good change one would think – for the one possessed as well as the one doing the possessing. Imagine having to go through life or whatever it is that is applicable to these things cooped up in the same body day after day after day, looking in at the same set of innards over and over again. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t really make a difference even if they changed homes now and then. Innards are innards and look the same no matter which part of the planet the owner of the innards happens to inhabit at the time. But then again is it the innards that these guys see when they look around? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. All I know is at that time I had a job of chasing away a houseful of these creatures so that they stayed chased away.

And I had no clue why I was doing it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dangerous Drops

God gave names to all the animals. He also gave them some basic amount of thinking power to help them make their way through this world. He wasn’t in a hurry and he took his time thinking things through and deciding what and how much needed to be given to whom. A very methodical approach was his. When he was all done with this distribution he turned his attention to his most wonderful invention to date. Man. He gave him big amounts of thinking power. But somewhere his hand or mind must have wavered, for what resulted was a slight fault in the propagation mechanism that he built into his creation. What this resulted in was a tendency for the odd generation cropping up with all faculties not being handed over as per design. What this meant was that ever so often a generation would throw up a progeny that would make an appearance completely devoid of any thought processing facilities built into the basic design.

This actually is very common. It has been happening since the beginning of time. It is not a dangerous phenomenon and does not constitute any great chemical or biological hazard to the rain-forest or mankind in general. In fact it is so commonplace as to be almost unnoticeable. And largely unnoticeable it is, unless it decides to happen in your immediate working environs. Then it is not unnoticeable anymore. It is then on forth a source of immense irritation which leads to immenser frustration which finally results in a searing need for great vengeance and furious anger and making sure that all know what your name is when you decide to lay your vengeance on them. Thank god for pulp fiction.

How can you simply drop something off? I can understand dropping off a friend or relative (this sometimes could be done with great vengeance but that’s another story for another time), dropping off your wife’s birthday (in which case the great vengeance will happen to you), or even dropping off your sense of decency and respect (in a greatly inebriated state mostly), but, why, oh why, would anyone drop something off that they were officially, contractually, and under all kinds of sworn oaths obliged , morally or otherwise, not to?

I cannot for the life of me understand it. I cannot for the life of me all over again understand it. It confounds me. It baffles me. It very simply boggles my mind.

I would have understood it if it had happened one time. That would have been Human error (also read as stupid careless).

Also OK if it had happened two times. That would have been really stupid careless bordering on moron error.

But three times? Three f#@&*** times? All I can say is No way Jose !!

Which brings us to the tale on hand.

There is a respectable gentleman who walks into a tailoring firm to have a pair of trousers and a jacket hand tailored for him to specification; a specification put down after long hours of thought and deliberation. With a song on his lips and a grin stretching from ear to ear the sprightly gent traipses into the premises of the one offering services of a tailoring kind. He is made most welcome with offerings of tea and biscuit and asked what service can they be to him. To which the gent in all his humble excitement does reply of the tailoring kind. To which they most readily do agree and upon hearing which the gent’s heart with happiness warms and with gladness does fill for long has been his dream to have tailored by the finest pair of hands a pair of smart trousers and a jacket to boot. Of course the boot will come from those offering services of the boot outfitting kind. So far so good. Things are fine and all is well with the world. So why worry? Ah! But worry is soon to descend on the unsuspecting gent and engulf his every waking hour. It will haunt him every step he takes. It will be there lurking in the shadows, hiding in the depths, plotting in the corners – in short being what you may term a nasty, scheming, evil little creature – an import straight from the depths of the devil’s own hell. And turn our pristine, cultured gent into a rambling, seething cauldron of self-consuming neurosis.

The above was for dramatic effect. But the picture it paints is very real. That’s exactly what happened. And why I was prompted to say “But three times? Three f#@&*** times? All I can say is No way Jose!!”

So what did happen? The tailor, in all his infinite wisdom, decided that the measurements that he took of the gent for trousers and jacket were an impediment to his naturally gifted way of tailoring. So he decided to do away with them and improvise with what he thought were the right measurements. Of course, when the gent did come in for a trial fitting, he kind of got lost in the garments produced by the tailor. So he vented his frustration by stomping around a bit, waving his arms around for effect, and generally voicing his concern at the nature of the goods that were presented to him. Upon which the tailor made some apologetic noises and promised to set right the slightly outsized set of garments that he had presented to the good gent.

So he went away for a year and a day, and toiled hard and long, and came up with a suit of quite different proportions fully confident that they would fit the kind gent this time around. When the gent tried the suit on, it fit perfectly – only the jacket had just one sleeve, the trouser leg was many inches of the ground, and the pockets had strangely disappeared altogether. The gent yelled, made violent gestures and called the tailor some very uncomplimentary names. The tailor apologized profusely, blamed his deficient hearing and hoped the gent wouldn’t mumble the instructions to him this time around and refrain from using some strange foreign language while writing down the specifications for the suit. The gent having caught his wind, agreed to give the tailor one more chance.

This time around the tailor put together the suit exactly the way the gent had specified. He then took a good hard long look at it and decided that it had a few surplus accessories and decided to do away with them.

The gent walked in on the designated date and tried on the suit. It fit perfectly. Most pleased, the gent profusely thanked the tailor and made his way back to his quarters. There he dressed and walked away into the night. He made his way from one party to the next, his suit being the centerpiece of conversation wherever he went. Finally the incessant intake of liquid took its toll and he made his bleary way into the restroom to relieve himself. With a dreamy look in his eyes he measured up and reached down to undo his trousers almost feeling the relief coursing through his veins. Imagine his horror when he reached down and found that the enlightened tailor, in all his infinite wisdom, had decided that a pair of trousers does not really need a fly and had decided to do away with it altogether!

It is at this stage we bring to a close our strange tale of the kindly gent and the profusely challenged tailor from one of the leading tailoring firms of these parts. But we would be leaving the tale unfinished without adding a final bit about the headlines in the papers the next day reporting a bizarre scene of a wild gent in a pair of pee-stained trousers bashing in the brains of the local tailor who kept screaming – “But it was not specified, it was not in the specification, you actually don’t really need them… etc. etc. etc. etc.

Fade to black…..

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A to B

There is a story. And it must be told. You may call it an outpouring triggered by an extreme level of frustration brought on by a bunch of highly dedicated morons intent on destroying the balance of a human mind. Or you may call it a garbled representation of the inter-connectedness of all things incomphrehensible. Whatever it is, it is my story, and my story needs to be told.

Going into detail would ruin the experience for both you and me. For I would have to relive the horror of having had to deal with a dangerous species lurking around disguised as earthlings, and you would have to wade through pages of absolutely spine-chilling horror the likes of which has not been experienced for a long long time. It all began when the Great Wise One With A Foot-long Beard, then a gawky juvenile, decided to let loose his wisdom on this unsuspecting world. Who was/is he you ask? I dont know, if you find out let me know for there are a few things I would need to settle with him. So I will refrain from the detail. Suffice to say that this is potentially a saga of epic proportions, a magnum opus that has spanned centuries and endured entire galactic passages of time and braved cultural shifts across civilizations. Mainly, its been a long time happening.

Whats also been a long time happening is the migration of the wildebeest, the grand show played out on the plains of the Serengeti, the world's greatest wildlife spectacle. Over a million wildebeest, accompanied by another million or so of zebras, gazelles, and random NatGeo photographers, make their way across the Serengeti chomping off the grass they find there and make their way to the Masai-Mara in search of food and water. And then turn around and make their way back again. Somewhere in this grand cyclic journey between Tanzania and Kenya and back lies the answer to many of life's mysteries, for if you can figure out why they do this (apart from the obvious because they got to eat part) you may find answers to a whole lot of questions you may have regarding your place in the universe and general scheme of things.

And a grand journey it must be. What fun. What joy. What an overwhelming sense of well being. Curious onlookers probably lining the streets and blessing the majestic beasts as they make their collective way across the vast plains. Lions and other dangerous predators also lining the streets and eating the random majestic beast as they move past them. Then there are the occasional lumbering hippos heaving their masses around in gay abandon oblivious to the fact that they are completely out of their depth as well as their natural habitat. The wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and the accompanying NatGeo photographers wind their way along this trail until they come to the Mara river. This horde, once it reaches the river, continues its onward movement and simply plunges into the river fully intending to get across to the other side.

That’s where the party really livens up. That’s when things really start to kick in. For the river is where the crocs are. Lurking around, these prehistoric creatures, smacking their huge lips wait for the beasts to come tumbling into the river. For the crocs its simply party time. Thousands of food literally being dumped in on your plate. It’s like having a months supply of breakfast, lunch and dinner dumped onto your table from a dump-truck.

Now would you mind? Yes you would. Well, maybe not the inconvenience of having a mountain of food sticking out of your roof for the better part of the month, but the godawful smell that is going to assault your nostrils once all that food decides to chemically decompose. Its going to take a LOT of days to eat your way through a houseful of food, so its going to be very soon that all that food starts emitting a foul odour of various hues and shapes. But crocs – they have no such problem. They probably are born without a sense of smell. It doesn’t matter. They don’t need it. With a snout and jaws like that it wouldn’t matter if they weren’t born with any of the other senses either. The point is that they are crocs. You are not. You have your sense of smell. And you will react strongly with a range of emotions when that sense, or any of the others, is outraged in any way. Now crocs, they have only one reaction to any kind of anything – and that is to chomp up whatever gets in the way. This probably explains why they have managed to survive since before the time of man. And probably will far outlive him too. Far out into the future when man is done destroying everything around him that he loves or hates, or maybe both, it will be the crocs that will wander the streets of this planet and dine at the finest restaurants in the cities.

OK. So thats about as far as I will go into the detail of this tale of horror. Then, as promised, I shall skip the rest of the detail, and cut straight to the point. Migration – basically you need to be able to move stuff from point A to point B so that it continues to contribute usefully at point B much along the lines of point A. There is a purpose to why point B exists. If there wasn’t, then it wouldn’t have needed to exist, and there would be no need to migrate anything from point A to point B. But The Wise Man, in all his infinite wisdom, says why would you want to move anything from point A to point B at all? Just forget all about point A when you have created point B and get on with life. What Wise Man with Foot-long Beard forgets is that it would all have been ok if we would have had a crocodile farm at point A and a space research centre at point B. Then we would not need to move all those crocs to the space centre to get on with life. It wouldn’t have been possible anyway. It takes great courage and a complete lack of your mental faculties coupled with an absolute disinterest in life to undertake such an act. If point A and point B were as described above, then The Wise Man with the Foot-long beard’s words would have been justified. Don’t bother moving things around, let sleeping crocs lie.

But what we have here is a different situation. What we have is a monkey farm overrun with monkeys of various shapes and sizes at point A. And we want to move same monkeys from point A to point B. It is required that they be moved from point A to point B. It is absolutely essential that they be moved from point A to point B. And if Wise Man with Foot Long Beard in all his infinite wisdom did not see this at the time he was building the monkey farm, then he should go in for a change of beard.

This was one chapter in this glorious saga. The other chapters would be dedicated to the building of the monkey farm, the space research centre, the transportation of monkeys from monkey farm to the space research centre, and so on and so forth. Those are all stories in their own right. Someday, when we have all monkeys successfully moved from the monkey farm to the space research center, when the resulting research is successfully furthering the cause of man, when Wise Old Man with Foot Long Beard is thinking straight again, when all is well with this world, then is when those stories can be told.