A Modern African Fairy Tale

 There once was a king in a faraway land who had six wives and twenty-seven legitimate children. His wives were ladies of stature who loved to dress well, have their hair styled in the newest fashion or their heads adorned with the most natural of wigs, go to spas for massages, decorate their palaces in the best décor, throw the most lavish of parties or when the stress of every day life became unbearable, spend some all-important hours with their therapists.


One day, the king came home from his many travels to visit and speak to his chiefs and male subjects and decided that he needed the loving care of his first - and main wife. He went to her palace and requested that she sees to it that her household prepares the best meal for him and serves him the best sorghum beer. The first wife barely spoke to him and retired to give the orders. After waiting for longer than he was accustomed to, the king went to find his first wife. The servants were no where to be seen. No meal was prepared and the beer was not chilled. Angry, he stormed into her room and demanded an explanation. She was dressed in a very strange yellow polka dot dress with an enormous pink bowtie on her head. “See!” she said, “See what you did! My best designer says this is the newest fashion. And he has never been wrong. And I trusted him! And then all the ladies at the tea party laughed and laughed at me. And the waiters fell over their tables. And the busboy broke ten plates because he could not see through his tears! And it is all your fault! You fix this!”


Astounded the king left the palace to seek solace with his second wife. She opened the door herself because she could hear his cavalcade of cars approaching from ten miles away. The king did not get as far as the door when she shouted: “You! You look at my hair!” The king could not hide his surprise when he saw her new hairstyle. It looked like a nest of steel pot cleaners was pressed into her scalp. With no anaesthetic by the looks of it. “It’s all your fault! You fix this!” she screamed.


The king went from wife to wife with even more disastrous results. The one wife was at the hospital trying to get her limbs untangled from a humanly impossible yoga position. One was crying in her lounge on a sofa which resembled a giant white Maltese poodle. Another was passed out drunk on cheap wine slumped half way out of her tanning bed with second degree burns to forty percent of her body. And the last one, the youngest of them all, was at the police station being charged with attempted murder because she tried to strangle a well-known – and expensive – psychologist with six strings of pearls.


The king hastily called his prime minister and told him that his households were in shambles and that he can not afford the shame – and the expense -  of six divorces. He did nothing wrong to any of his wives – he was a good provider, he saw to it that the government taxes were equally divided between all, with allowance for seniority and the number of children of each. He visited regularly and attended to his manly duties. What on earth could have gone so wrong in just one day?


His prime minister said to him: “My king, did you forget 2006? Did you forget how I was humiliated? You have wronged the wrong people sire. You insulted the moffies – the stabane. Your problems will only increase. Your nuptial troubles will pale in comparison. We have prepared a statement for you. It says you were translated wrongly. We will call the press now and you have your secretary read this to them. You fix this.”



- CK 23.01.2012

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