It’s the result of certain Johnnies’ theme: ‘to hell with everyone else, but us’
After one failure after another, one dream lost e is of selfish individuals and elite groups in social, business and political clubs in positions of advantage misusing power; the other group comprises all kinds of workers’ unions and associations. There is a difference between them though; while the elite group operates unpretentiously, trade unions are vociferous and openly aggressive–even hostile. However, both groups share a common approach ‘we must have it’ and ‘to hell with everybody else’. The result of this real-life scenario is that citizen Pereras, Nagarajahs, Mohideens and Van Houtens from every nook and corner of this country fall victim to the common Fed-up virus.
Bernard is fed-up
Although the Wallside bar was clearly a thirst-aid station it provided another comforting option–a chance to voice opinions freely, share views and indulge in arguments that at times lead to instances when friends forget their friends. Awkward; but that’s how it goes.
Judging by the crowd of tipplers congregated at the Wallside bar that evening the common Fed-up germ had hit many below the belt.
“Let’s have a warm up shot,” suggested Bernard, a glum-looking man to his companion, Rajah who also seemed down in the dumps. They were certainly not of the so-called elite; just ordinary guys in their thirties who most probably went to work on bikes, went shopping on bikes and transported their wives and kids also on bikes. Both men as members of a huge Fed-up population were in need of an artificial mood lift to face their Fed-up families at home. “Sure, sure,” agreed Rajah joining Bernard heading for the crowded bar.
Recognised by the barmen as regulars, it did not take long for them to be seated at a corner table with two straight ‘Arros’ in front of them. After a long gulp of fire water, Bernard announced: “I have to take amma to see a specialist doc machan. Her clinic day didn’t happen because of this damn doc strike.”
“That’s going to be expensive, no? Channelled docs are gold diggers. If your mother is a new patient, a specialist Shylock will want this test and that test done. He is plucking a new hen–your mother. How are you for dough?”
“Broke; but she has finished all her pills. I have no choice but channel a doc. Holding the sick hostage these GMOA docs are supposed to be caring angels. What bloody rubbish! Striking over anything everybody knows they are just mudalalis fleecing the sick. And the way the buggers are fingering in the country’s affairs they may as well sit in Parliament and do some doctoring in the House,” laughed Bernard.
“Machan the GMOA is an example of a ‘to hell with everyone else but us’, approach. There are others too with the same stance increasing the numbers of a nationally catchy Fed-up syndrome. So we are not the only Fed-up guys around,” commented Rajah after a carter-sized gulp of Arro.
Fed-up has wide borders
Tommo a pussycat lying nearby stretched luxuriously and yawned. His working partner, Ooty an owl was perched on the arm of a vacant chair nearby. As old employees of the Wallside Restaurant and Bar they had developed a habit of listening to governors’ bar conversations when speech was uninhibited. “Those two governors have a point,” pussy purred knowingly.
“Yeah, yeah”, responded the wise-looking bird, “I hate to be in their shoes ...” the bird paused when it heard Bernard declare, “I tell you machan, these days everybody has to fend for themselves because no-one helps with their problems. Governments have been no-gos; no heart in any of their bailout attempts.”
“Whoom, whooom,” hooted Ooty blinking rapidly. “Who hasn’t problems?”
Purshshtt,” hissed pussy turning on its back paws up. “All the Fed-ups can do is keep rocking their boats.”
“Some do solo acts as well. Recently a maddo climbed a tree threatening to do a hara-kiri jump if his kid was not admitted to Grade One, ”hooted the bird.
“Meeooww! Our governors have hit the zenith of Mount Fed-up and their reactions are justifiable. Governments and their servants are using sticking plasters to dress the wounds of the mahajanathawa as temporary fixes. But this governor’s grouse is with docs’ strikes that have become commoner than common flu. Their latest pain is a million-dollar baby of a private medical school and government sticking plastering has not worked.”
“Ha-ha-haaaa,” laughed Ooty the way owls do. “There is a thick-skinned side to doc strikes. With the strike going hot-hot, the president of the GMOA its vice president, treasurer, committee, peons and others carrying GMOA genes are busy in private practice. Yah, yah, it’s true; shameless beggars with crosses on their windshields advertising themselves as docs. Don’t you think skull and cross-bone stickers are closer to the truth. ”
“Ones with Satan sporting horns are better,” meowd pussy. “Docs as Fed-up creators are playing pandu these days. There are other Fed-up producers as well. Take two common examples: Electrick-city types shocking governors and making babies yell their heads off in the dark. But do these Electrick-city types care a hoot? The watermen are no better with unannounced water cuts. If they announce water cuts from Bamba to Fort from 5 pm to 6 am the following day, they happily cut water from Mount to Moratuwa from 9 am to 5 pm the day after that. The Electrick-city and watermen don’t care a damn if our governors have no lights, no baths and use newspaper in toilets. They are leaders of to ‘hell with everyone else but us club… ”
“…making our governors’ Fed-up ranks swell like hell,” hooted the bird interrupting pussy.
The biggest Fed-up creator
“The biggest Fed-up creators are politiccas, governments and their satellites all over the country. After being voted to power they forget their pre-election plans and assurances and turn to a theme; ‘this is the way we want it and do it; we come first and to hell with the rest’ and bat the way they want.” meowed pussy.
“Hoooot! Hoooot! I agree; be it in education, chronically ill government departments, pradeshiya sabhas, councils and their rusty and crusty custodians , telephones, TV, hospitals and medicines, shopping, bussing, taking train, taxis and taxes and a cost of living heading towards another galaxy, our governors are just Fed-up.”
“Meeooooow,”interrupted pussy. “Governments have been habitually spitting on burning fires through palanayas of their own making; Ape Palanaya; Avul Palanaya; Mage Dakma. Gothra Palanaya, Yama Palanaya right up to the present Yaha Palanaya. Sadly, our governors have kept voting hoping a new gang of talkers would perform better than the previous one. No bloody way; they all turn out to be ‘to hell with everybody else but us’ Johnnies.”
Pussy was interrupted by Bernard. As if he had been following the exchange between the pussy and the bird, he fog-horned, “So machan my question is why vote at all? Local elections are in the air and that means we are going to be landed with new loads of bugger-alls. The very thought made me so sick I did not register as a voter this time.”
“Neither did I, nor any in our crowd machan,” pussy heard Rajah say; “Hundreds and thousands in the country are fed up with their leaders who keep pretending they are performing Full Monty acts for our benefit. Damn nonsense of course; no government has loosened their belts even to begin a Full Monty act. Frankly I don’t think they can do one at all. So what’s the point in voting?”
“Aha” hooted the bird at Rajah’s remark. “He doesn’t know that’s the only right he has? And he should use it. There’s always that chance of getting a fair, just, incorruptible and understanding leader appearing…
“Purshshttttt! ” hissed the angry pussy. “For your info I have read of just one such leader in history; Emperor Asoka of India; and that pal was some 2500 years ago.”