Friday, April 3, 2009

Potbellies revisited

I felt mean after I posted the last blog entry. I was unfair to the government men. I portrayed them as all belly and appetite and nothing else. I hate that. They are human.

This guilt surprises me. To overcome it, I’m writing about it. To understand The Minister better, here are some questions I might ask:

  • Why doesn’t he give a crap? Would I give a crap in his shoes?
  • What does he give a crap about?
  • Why does he work for the government? (For the pension? Access to a shiny car? Commitment to public service? It was that or the mafia?)
  • What keeps him awake at night? (Fear of exposure? His baby crying? Cockroaches scampering?)
  • How does he stereotype my kind? (Ignorant foreigner? Fresh meat?)
  • Has he always driven around in a shiny black car or did he grow up riding rickshaws and rickety bikes?
  • If he steals money (as the stereotype suggests), what does he spend it on? (Cuff links? Shoes for his children? Hemorrhoids cream for his ailing mother?)
  • What does he talk about with his father? (Indian Idol? The fluffiness of today’s rice? The impact of global warming in Nepal?)
  • How many NGOs does he visit each week? (Two? Twelve?) Does he get tired of finger sandwiches?
  • How does he regard his potbelly? (With pride? Affection? Disdain? Loyalty?) Did he work hard to grow it? Or is he trying to lose it?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I bet more than one would surprise me.

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