Do you have the etiquette skills to be a politician’s wife? Try this test
1. Your politician partner has taken you to iconic hotels, such as the Hotel Le Negresco in Nice or the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens. When you leave, you
a) Take the slippers, postcards on the desk and complimentary shampoos.
b) Ask the staff what they’re being paid and suggest mass action.
c) Take the slippers, postcards on the desk, complimentary shampoos, complimentary body lotions, a half-used soap, the fluffy towelling gown, a pen, a sheet and that nice lamp next to the bed.
2. You are in the north of France and a politician you have just been introduced to kisses you four times on your cheeks. You
a) Kiss back, holding your breath so he can’t smell your garlic-laden coq au vin lunch.
b) Slap his face four times.
c) French-kiss him back.
3. You meet the queen of England. You
a) Remember only Nelson Mandela could get away with calling her Elizabeth and call her Your Majesty and then Ma’am.
b) Tell her the monarchy is costing Britain £33?million a year.
c) Give her a hug and say warmly: ‘Lizzy, yo! Loving the hats, girlfriend!’
4. You are meeting the president of SA, who is a polygamist. Which of his wives is his First Lady?
a) The country has no legally defined First Lady, although all wives get secretaries and office support.
b) Polygamy is an outrage against basic human rights and should not be recognised.
c) I like the sound of a secretary. Where do I sign up?
5. Who said: South Africa would not be like Kenya and send athletes tothe Olympics to “drown in the pool”?
a) Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula.
b) A spokesperson for the NSRI.
c) Chad le Clos.
6. Your out-of-the-country besties want to get married in South Africa and would like to fly into Waterkloof Air Force Base with their family on their private plane. They know you know people who know people and ask youto pull a few strings. You say
a) “Ooh, tricky. The defence force will have to give permission.”
b) Something like “fly off” but use another F-word.
c) “Sure, fabulous, sweetie darling. Mi aeropuerto es su aeropuerto. It’ll be so much cooler than landing at Lanseria.”
Mostly As - You could write the book on etiquette. Go to Home Affairs to make sure your passport is up to date. Pop in and introduce yourself to Malusi Gigaba, but remember he is just married. Even so, you’re travelling up, sister!
Mostly Bs - Your passport is your licence to travel. Your conscience is your visa. The global trade union movement is looking for you. But the diplomatic corp - or a political husband - is not.
Mostly Cs - You have the basic idea. But those pesky commissions of inquiry may trip you up in the long run, if I understand you correctly. Have a plan B to ensure immunity if matters escalate or explode in the future. Ensure your spouse becomes president. Google diseases that could be grounds for medical parole.
PS. Cut the hotel label off your new sheet immediately.