The bearded headman and his fat bald assistant looked at each other worried, “I have to travel to other rich villages and hug their chieftains!” said the bearded headman, “and hopefully they will not ask about troubles we are having here!”
“Hug them more closely, when it comes to delicate questions!” advised his bald assistant.
“That’s what I’ve been doing!” grunted the bearded chieftain in their own village language, “my hugs are now tighter and longer!”
“So necessary!” sighed his assistant, “So many problems here!”
“Especially the gangrape of two young women we’ve just heard about!” whispered the chief.
“Did they have to parade them naked? And did the rapists have to show their faces? With masks on, we could have denied it was our villagers!”
“But I don’t think my hugger list has heard about it!” said the chief thoughtfully.
“Just give them a tighter hug, and they will not question you about anything!” said his bald fat assistant, “Your hugs work well!”
“Hugs won’t work with gangrapes and public parading!” whispered the village chief fearfully.
“Nobody knows what is happening here!” said his assistant confidently, “Even our police are kept silent!”
“Silence is the key!” said the chief firmly, “Let Rome burn, let the villagers fight, but my tongue will remain still like a meditation pose!”
“And in that silent pose, those who seek approval to continue bullying will gain approval, and those who seek disciplinary action, will be subjugated!”
A few days later the bearded chieftain travelled to the other villages where he hugged rich chieftains and smiled and laughed and joked with them other chiefs strictly about things which chiefs smile and laugh and joke about and which we lesser mortals with lesser knowledge and much lesser understanding have no right to question or discern, like, how to attain peace of mind, using body postures, and how many from his village had settled in other villages which he visited. But whenever silly questions were raised about inconsequential topics like violence and bloodshed in his village, he looked grimly at the questioner and spoke of ancient planes and even more ancient rockets his village once had, and immediately his host and pretty hostess village chiefs laughed and nodded their heads and agreed to his bearded village wisdom!
And then he came back, and his village toasted his successful hugs, till last night his assistant whispered, “They shot a video!”
“Oh no!” said the bearded village chief to his bald assistant, “This will require more than hugs and silence!”
And the bearded village chief and assistant now sit and wonder, what fresh scheme will erase the video from the minds of their villagers while those other village chiefs hugged abroad, will soon whisper like Lady Macbeth as they rub their guilty backs, “Out damned hug..!”
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org