As speaker of the house . . .

2008-10-14 00:00

In every household, as with any organisation, a certain degree of politicking, in-house fighting and rivalry is not unusual.

Viewed objectively, this animated interaction often makes gripping entertainment, unless the competition gets a little too heated in which case swift intervention is required.

Although my husband and I are blissfully unencumbered in the traditional sense of the word, we nevertheless share our home and garden with creatures whose desire to be head honcho is no different from that of their human counterparts.

Leading the pack, our dog heads his own little officialdom, otherwise known as the Dogs Alliance or DA. Formerly the leader of the AWB (Animals with Balls), following his castration he defected to the DA.

The DA is generally well behaved but given to outbursts of fury when rival parties attempt to invade his space. Being extremely territorial he has little or no tolerance for the ANC and the ANCYL — Association of Neighbourhood Canines and their smaller breed affiliates, the Yappers League.

At every opportunity the DA will squabble through the front fence with the above-mentioned groups, especially when the leader of the Yappers League, an annoying little upstart of a “toyi-toyi pom”, joins the fray.

If the DA had the benefit of reinforcements and the inclination to scale the fence, I have no doubt that the ANCYL would beat a hasty retreat with its tail between its legs.

But, while the DA may not get along with the ANC and the ANCYL, our dog does enjoy the friendship and certain respect of our three cats — the Independent Feline Party or IFP.

This little faction is very traditional and is not overly keen on adding to its numbers with outsiders. The occasional stray may join the group from time to time but is soon shown the door if the three main members feel that their languid lifestyle is being encroached upon in any way.

Even though the IFP and the DA sometimes disagree on certain issues, the IFP also find the ANC and the ANCYL very irritating and a little frightening. This is not to say, though, that if they were backed into a corner they wouldn’t put up a fierce struggle and an IFP member throwing a hissy fit is not a pretty sight.

Although preferring to take life at a more leisurely pace, the IFP’s main objective is to rid the garden of the Feathered Federation or FF.

At this juncture, we as the government step in to prevent the annihilation of this harmless if not bird-brained group, whose constant cheeky chirping only serves to draw attention to their vulnerability.

Despite our best efforts, however, the FF occasionally falls prey to either the IFP or the UDM — United Delegation of Monkeys.

Due to a great deal of monkey business, this unruly and sometimes destructive organisation is growing at an alarming rate and gives birth to new members almost daily.

Judging by the amount of noise they make, if the ANCYL had their way, they’d eliminate the UDM and the IFP. Fortunately, this is highly unlikely as these parties have the combined benefit of intelligence and agility — qualities that the Yappers League are sadly lacking.

The DA is not particularly fond of the UDM either, but if they’re doing a good job of annoying the ANC and the ANCYL, like a true politician he adopts an impartial stance.

What we would do without the daily shenanigans in our little house of assembly, I do not know. But as speaker of this house, I have to say that life would lack a certain joie de vivre if all parties agreed on everything all of the time.

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