Kalaki’s Korner: See- see TV

The Great Leader was beautifully dressed in his shiny yellow silk Chinese suit as he sat behind his huge rosewood desk, scowling dreadfully. He was scowling and growling at the latest story about himself on Yapdog, under the headline ‘The Great Leader Barks But Can’t Bite’. Then, above the gnashing of his ancient teeth he heard the sound of a polite knock upon the heavy mukwa door at the other end of his office. ‘Come in!’ he barked angrily, without looking up.
          Into the room came a little fat Chinaman dressed in a quiet grey English suit. The Chinaman then groveled all the way to the vast desk and stood there transfixed in a permanent half-bow. The Great Leader continued scowling at the laptop and barked ‘Don’t just stand there! Don’t you know who I am! Get down on your knees!’
          Finally the Great Leader deigned to look up, and saw nobody. So he stood up and peered over the edge of his desk, only to find the Chinaman groveling horizontally on the floor, and fast disappearing into the thick pile of the rich red carpet. He immediately ran all the way round the perimeter of the mighty desk to rescue the poor fellow.
          ‘A thousand apologies my dear brother,’ he said as he helped the Chinaman to his feet and dusted him down. ‘I quite thought it was one of my idiot ministers. Do forgive me. Come and sit with me over here,’ he said, pointing to an array of black suede armchairs over by the French windows.
          ‘How can I assist you?’ asked the Great Leader graciously, as they both sank into the soft voluminous chairs. ‘Or better still, how can you assist me?’
          ‘I am U See Me,’ explained U See Me, ‘and I have been sent by His Excellencee the Mighty Chinese Emperor, otherwise known as the Humble Servant of the Peepullee. He send me here to give you See-See TV.’
          ‘Thank you very much,’ said the Great Leader politely. ‘But we already have TV which we See-See every day. No need for more See-See.’
          ‘This TV velly differentee,’ explained U See Me. ‘With See-See TV you see if all the peepull are glateful to their Glate Leader. You can See-See what they are doing all the time. Velly See-See.’
          ‘Ah ha!’ exclaimed the Great Leader, ‘you mean CCTV!’
          ‘Ho ho no no,’ said U See Me, ‘CCTV is Chinese Central Television!’
          ‘No no,’ said the Great Leader in desperation,’ we already have Chinese Central TV. But we use Closed Circuit TV, which we call CCTV, to spy on poor people in Shoprite, to make sure that the starving don’t s steal a slice of bread.’
          ‘Oh no no,’ laughed U See Me, ‘this is not Closed Circuit TV or Chinese Central TV, this is the marvellee See-See TV. Not just to spy on the starving, but to spy on everybody!’
          ‘That’s not the way we do it here,’ explained the Great Leader. ‘I just spy on my enemies, not on everybody.’
          ‘But what about your friends?’ said U See Me, ‘Can you See-See them all the time? They might be your enemies!’
          ‘Hmm,’ said the Great Leader thoughtfully. ‘How much does this thing cost?’
          ‘Only $200million for one set of equipment to do Lusaka.’
          ‘I don’t know,’ said the Great Leader doubtfully. ‘My predecessor bought mobile hospitals to reach people where there were no clinics. But later he discovered that the places which had no clinics also had no roads. He made such an ass of himself that people are still laughing!’
          ‘Look,’ said U See Me. ‘See-See TV is not silly. It is your existing system which is silly. Your system works the wong way wound. All the people are watching the government on TV to see what you are doing wong. But the government is not using the TV to watch the peepullee to see what they are doing wong. See-See TV can install a devicee to look at them while they are looking at you. Any disloyalty will be seen immediately, and you can lock up the culprit. You can even search a dissident’s housee the very same nightee. Look for stolen library bookee and all such seditious attacks upon the state.’
          ‘I don’t know,’ sighed The Great Leader. ‘I’m already getting too many irritating phone calls from the American Ambassador.’
          ‘But with See-See TV,’ said U See Me, ‘you can keep your election promises.’
          ‘Such as what promise?’
          ‘Such as no development unless you vote for me. You just puttee See-See TV in every polling stationee, and you’ll see-see who doesn’t votee for you.’
          ‘Poof,’ scoffed The Great Leader, ‘I already know all that! And anyway I can never keep that promise because I always have to give more development to the ones who voted against, so that I can win next time!’
          ‘Ah ha!’ said U See Me, clapping his hands with glee. ‘See-See TV can make very sure you win next time!’
          ‘Really?’ said The Great Leader, now sitting up straight. ‘How does it do that?’
          ‘You just buy See-See TV and I’ll assist with your election expenses!’
          ‘Now that’s more like it! Why didn’t you say so before!’ laughed The Great Leader, as he now stood up and shook the Chinaman by the hand. ‘Then I’ll take four of them! On condition that this is a deal just between you and me!’
          U See Me looked nervously round the ceiling as he shook the Great Leader’s hand. ‘Let’s hope nobody can See-See!’

 

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