Note: This post is excerpted from a letter, entitled One Saturday Morning, I wrote to friends on February 22, 1999. It was originally posted several years ago, but vanished from the Poobah archives because of the incompetence of my former web host. Welcome back.
My luck this week has not been good. Thursday morning I began the day by being pissed upon – twice. I don’t mean pissed upon in the metaphoric sense, but in the quite real wet and messy sense.
Let me explain.
The littlest Poobah called me to her room to reattach her pet rat’s water bottle to the side of his tank. Since he kept trying to escape while I was doing this I transferred him to his temporary holding cage. During the transfer he whizzed on my hands. As I went to wash them, our Sharbrador dog, Fiona, went into a terrific territory marking induced squat. When I grabbed her by the neck scruff to stop her, she managed to sprinkle me with Eau de Urine No. 2.
Not an auspicious way to start the day, but still better than a chap I heard about on the radio the other day. A Nigerian economist walking to work in Lagos, fell into an open and unmarked hole at a construction site. He was immediately sucked into an open sewer line and was swept to a smelly death somewhere downstream.
The BBC reporter, in a pique of British understatement, described his eventual fate as, “a fate worse than death”.
He has now become something of a cause celebre. Thousands marched on city hall to protest the absence or red caution tape around the hole to protect economists from drowning in excrement. The mayor replied that he had done all he could – the project’s budget just could not accommodate the purchase of 27 feet of red plastic tape. I think this probably speaks volumes about the Nigerian economy in general and about Nigerian construction projects in particular. It seems exactly the sort of thing that an economist might study. Ironic, eh?
Enough of food and body fluids for this morning. Time to return to my Saturday morning. I hope this finds all of you well.