By Dhyan Abeyagoonasekera
“Meeooww, Ooty, I can’t keep drinking beer like this. I am really missing my milk.” Tommo, a pussycat employed as a vermin controller at the Wallside Restaurant and Bar on his second glass of free beer courtesy the management of Wallside complained to his pal and fellow worker, an owl. “It’s beer and more beer; when in hell will I see milk again? (A milk shortage has been bothering pussy for some time now).
The wise-looking owl slurping his free beer through a straw (it was the design of his beak, you see) nodded sympathetically. “Thuhooot! Have a little patience Tommo; time will sort it out.”
Patience for delivery
“Patience, patience? Purrshsh! I have been patiently waiting for a lick of some milk for a long time. I wonder how our governors with kids are managing without milk.”
“Thuhhoot, I heard Mr Shelton complaining about his coffee without milk. It doesn’t bother Mrs Shelton though; she drinks only green tea; something to do with her weight.” (Shelton Perera, the owner of Wallside was their employer. And his wife, Joy had a weight problem).
“Purr! Still, I bet she needs milk for her puddings. But what’s happening to the imported milk drought, eh?”
“Nothing to make the artificial situ right. It all began when our governors’ government got their curls plaited wrong over some stuff sprayed on grass in New Zealand but less so in Australia. It is supposed to balance some gas that is not good for the environment. Our governors’ government stand was that the stuff is eaten by Kiwi and Aussie moo-moos and passed on to milk making it poisonous and dangerous. And our governors drink imported milk by the barrel.”
What’s wrong with imported milk?
“That’s bloody funny,” meeoowwed pussy. “Don’t the Kiwis and Aussies drink the same dashed milk?”
“Sure, they do, they don’t import milk from Russia,” tooted the owl.
“Then how come milk produced in these moo-moo lands, drunk by moo-moo countrymen is bad our governors?”
“Whoom, whooom. That I don’t know. The Kiwis and Aussies swear their milk is safe. That’s believable because they drink the milk they produce. But our governors’ milk- savvy government says, ‘our tests show otherwise. You people are killing us and our children through a milky way.”
“Meeooowhuhhuh” (huh,huh). Where did the government test the milk? As far as I know, there aren’t labs here to do the needful properly.”
Have taint and no taint
“They say there is one down 7th Lane in Nochchikawata. It’s run by two retired vet surgeons who have confirmed that milk imported into the country is tainted and dangerous to drink. But the milk companies say their tests don’t show any tainting and wanted independent tests done. The government couldn’t avoid that. And independent tests cleared the milk as OK to drink,” the owl explained.
“Who knows what the hell is happening for real? Now, I hear there’s no milk because milk companies have asked for a price increase and the government has said, ‘can’t, we are going to produce our own milk and will import cows right-away...”
“Yah, yah, yah... and to be self sufficient in milk, blah, blah. My grand-grandpa said he remembered a ‘self-sufficiency’ in milk stunt some years ago. It simply went down streams that provided water for government milk collectors to adulterate milk collected from farmers.”
“I am not surprised.”
“Self-sufficiency? Bloody nonsense,” meeowwed pussy pushing away his beer. “ Like all government hi-fi plans, self-sufficiency in milk is another lot of government gas and bubbles.”
“I don’t get it; tooot!”
Dirty and dastardly
“Look, our governors have been drinking imported milk from the time of King George. Do you see any ill-effects among them? Pussies too have grown on imported milk without dying or producing wombats with birth defects. So, it is darned funny our governors’ government is buggering around to put a lid on imported milk, they should open their eyes to a situ on their doorsteps where governors are getting killed gradually by eating and drinking stuff dicey to health.”
“Thuhoot, How’s that?”
“Farmers in some parts of the country are having rotting kidneys. A lot of pandithayas have unproven theories to explain the issue. But the poor guys are till dying. Suspicion is on chemicals used to grow rice and veggies our governors use freely. I saw a TV programme the other day about some spraying a chemical on mangoes, plantains and papaws to ripen them. The stuff is supposed to be bad for governors. Then some governors were caught making tomato sauce with powders, dyes but no tomatoes. They were suppliers of tomato sauce to food joints. It has also been found that chillie powder, spice powders, have been mixed with dyed flour. Date-expired eats in packets have been found to be re-dated and sold. Pettah mudalalis of this food mafia, are the worst culprits, they say. They are maestros at siphoning off rotten onions, potatoes, dry fish, tinned stuff, adulterated coconut oil, gingelly oil and refuse tea to governors. Pharmacy businesses are also selling low-quality drugs, date-expired drugs, unregistered drugs, banned drugs and baggage drugs”.
“Hootohboy! (Oh boy!) That’s some list of dastardly doings...”
Pussy interrupted the bird. “Add to that unwashed veggies, meats, rice, pots, pans , dishes, spoons and plates used in hotels, bath kades, take-away joints and lunch packets. And don’t forget dirty kitchens infested with flies, cockies, geckoes and tribes of rats where sweaty cooks land Aji-no-moto liberally on any stuff to improve ‘taste’...”
“But doesn’t Ajino cause cancer?” The owl tooted in alarm.
“It must be. That’s why MSG FREE claims are stamped on packets of Aunty Jenny’s noodles. But it hasn’t been proven Ajino is dangerous. Governors of the Rising Sun and their relatives must have seen to that,” purred pussy.
“Thuhoot. What about our governors’ rights to food and drink of good quality? Is their government sleeping on the job?”
“Purshsh. The government is trying to pedal a push cycle with flat tyres; you can imagine the progress. Oh yeah, you hear of raids on hotels, shops, stores, pharmacies and so on. But it’s all done ad hoc.”
“Why ‘ad hoc’?
“The number of departments controlling imported and locally produced baby grub, animal grub, medicines, booze, chemicals, insect killers, fertilisers, paints and varnishes, creams and lipstick are crashing into each other most of the time. And no wonder. The Dept of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Customs, Ministry of Health, PSs, MCs, UCs messing around like ruggerites without a game plan. Worse, the national rules on the matter are as old as sin. Everything is laid back like in Binthenna.”
“Whoom, whooom, so?”
“Our governors’ governments are well known for landing rules and regulation–all bloomers–overnight, in slow-time or even never-ever. The drawing up of a national list of permitted chemicals, insect killers and what they call their Maximum Residue Levels has not been sniffed at as yet. It seems to be in the never-ever lot leaving governors free to import what they like laughing like hyenas.
“Toot. That’s unbelievable.”
“Also there’s no body to coordinate the ruggerites selling dummies. It’s time the government gets them under one coach and manager with more brawn and teeth to protect our governors–consumers–who remain like skinned broilers ready for the pot. The government should dump their push bikes, and do what they haven’t done for bloody ages.”
“Thuhoot! But will our governors’ politiccas make it happen? Every Banda and Menike, knows they are fully involved in big time kudu trade, spirits trade and other hora trades of every description. Soe, I think not.”
Clap, clap, the pussy clapped his paws. “Meeoowwaaah (ahh). You are learning you are learning.”