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one day you could
find yourself suddenly
underneath the guillotine
you’ll have to answer up for
what you want and what that means
that’s the difference between
breaking the bank and
just breaking even
making a living and
making a killing
why don’t you buy yourself a gift?
for the work you’ve been putting in
maybe a little something
you could toss into that pit
of emptiness you’re pregnant with
or maybe you could go and
lose yourself all together
nothing’s getting any better!
oh no!

“Making a Killing”, Phantom Planet

Robert Mugabe, the [insert unflattering adjective here] President of Zimbabwe celebrated his 85th birthday in opulent fashion, at a cost of $500,000, which is donated (extracted?) from supporters. This, in a country that has record levels of inflation. They have a trillion dollar bill. It can buy a loaf of bread. Think about that.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a complete disregard for reality. If it’s at all of comfort, last year’s party was rumoured to cost $1.2 million. At least the old crocodile is cutting back due to the recession, right?

This is all taking place while he’s supposed to be “power-sharing” with Morgan Tsvangirai. Now, I try to be a pretty non-partisan person, but I like this Tsvangirai fellow. Bob Mugabe: throws lavish birthday party in the midst of suffering. Mr. Tsvangirai: pays Zimbabwean soldiers (and soon teachers, doctors, etc.) $100 each in US dollars because the Zimbabwean currency is worthless. Wow. Apparently they hadn’t been paid anything (not even those trillion dollar bills) in weeks.

Alright, here’s the deal, my birthday is in a month. I will be renting out the entire Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. You will pay for this. Any donations will do, but a suggested minimum of $1,500 per person would be appropriate. I would like three tons of lasagna, made by the finest Italian pasta makers. Thirty grams of beluga caviar per plate would only be hospitable. One thousand bottles of champagne, nothing too fancy, but it has to be real champagne. No sparkling white, thank you very much.

For the evening’s entertainment, I would like Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran to co-host as master’s of ceremony. Steve Martin will give a banjo performance. U2 will play a set of their greatest hits. My date will be Natalie Portman.

Now that you’ve been informed, make it happen. I’ll see you at the Chateau, March 20th.

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