Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Variations on a theme

What would you do if you had a sheep, a goat, a basket of cobras, a basket of mongeese (or whatever the plural of mongoose is) and a troupe of dancing women?

Friend heh heh argues that the combination could help you make the perfect presentation. I don't disagree - I just think that as applications go that's hopelessly tame. Imagine if P T Barnum had gone in for this kind of thinking. Let's see - I have a fat guy with a tophat, three clowns, a trapeze act, a couple of fire-eaters, four lions, the incredible shrinking man, an elephant and this big monstrosity of a tent. Hmmm. Maybe I should organise board meetings.

So here, instead, are 10 things that you could do with the combination above that would be so much more fun:

1. Walk into the boardroom. Make an altar on one side and sacrifice the sheep, the goat and the women to propitiate the gods. Then throw mongeese out of the window and get a character reference from the snakes so that when the client gets around to suing you his lawyers will be on your side (seeing as you're a friend to the species and all). Take deep breath. Present.

2. Use the James Bond approach. Walk into the boardroom. In one swift motion, grab the goat by its hindlegs and swing it around, using its horns to disable the guards you walked in with. Then, using the mongeese as hand-grenades to give you cover, knot the snakes together into a rope, hook the teeth of the first one into the CEO's neck, grab a woman with one hand, tuck the lamb under your arm and shimmy your way out of the window. Find a cave to hide in for the night. Kill and skin the lamb (make sure it's a small one) and then tell the woman that if the two of you are going to make it through the night you're going to have to share the 'blanket' - you have to - it's for survival.

3. Pretend you're Aesop. Tell the following fable: "Once upon a time, a lamb, a goat, a snake and a mongoose were going on a long journey. On their way they came upon a wide and deep river. Seeing the river, the snake said, 'Don't worry - I shall bite the river and kill it'. So the snake bit the river, but his poison just floated away on its surface and he drank up too much of the water and it drowned him. Then the mongoose said, 'Don't worry - I will pounce upon the river and kill it'. So the mongoose took a big leap and jumped onto the river and he drowned as well. Then the goat said, 'Wait! I have a better idea. I will simply drink up the river and then everything will be dry.' (Scholarly aside: this, of course, is the origin of the tradition of using goatskins to carry water). So the goat drank and drank, but the river was too much for him and he exploded and little pieces of sheesh kebab scattered all around. After the goat was dead, the lamb didn't say anything but just sat around looking cute, until a troupe of village women came along and took him across with them'. Then stand back (looking sheepish, naturally) and wait for someone to come up with a moral.

4. Walk into the boardroom. Hand the sheep to one manager and the goat to another. Then set the mongeese loose in the room so there's total pandemonium. When the CEO catches you trying to sneak out, tell him you can't work like this - point out how one manager is always wool-gathering and the other really gets your goat. Assure him that no, you're not trying to weasel your way out of it. That's a mongoose. But it's okay, many people can't tell them apart.

5. Write a letter to a Bollywood producer with a new film script involving icchadhari mongeese. One of those things where the hero (who's a cobra naturally) accidentally kills the male of a loving mongoose couple, whereupon the female comes after him pretending to be a snake. So now the people are mongeese and the mongeese are snakes and the snakes are Miss World finalists and no one's quite sure what species Bappi Lahiri might be. And then, just as the vengeful mongoose is about to kill the hero God calls and reminds her of the pre-nup. What romance, what action, what drama! Suggest using the goat as the lead instead of Shah Rukh Khan because the goat will work for less and can actually act. Use the women for an item number. Use the sheep for costume (pretend he's a mink coat from Switjherland)

6. Send the basket of cobras to your client CEO in a long, mournful looking black car with a note that says 'Hiss' and 'Hearse'. Sit in a dark room and get the sheep and goat to say Bah! to you (repeatedly) for making such an atrocious joke. Dissect the brain of a mongoose to see what a sense of humour might actually look like. When that doesn't work, console yourself with women.

7. Skin a mongoose and put the pelt on your head so that you look like Donald Trump. Practise saying "You're fired" to a sheep until it looks like he may actually believe you. Get the cobras to hiss at you behind your back while you're doing this, just to make it feel authentic. When you feel confident that you really have no personality left at all, verify this by bringing in the troupe of women and making sure that they find the goat more sexually attractive than you.

8. Pretend you're Mel Gibson. Make a movie called 'The Passion of the Lamb' with the following script: Scene 1 (30 seconds): A cobra slithers across the ground hissing while a woman with a shaved head looks on. Scene 2 (30 seconds): A group of women stand around looking mournful Scene 3 (49 minutes): A pack of mongeese attack a sheep and slowly bite it to death. Scene 4 (48 minutes): A long still of the dying sheep slowly bleeding into the ground. Get the goat to do voice-overs, and pretend that it's the Bible, only in Aramaic.

9. Make an ad for shampoo. Voice-over starts: "Does your hair look like this" (shot of snakes writhing about) "or like this?" (picture of mongoose with fur standing on end). "Don't worry. With the new XYZ shampoo" (picture of hot woman in skimpy bikini, as if using a shampoo is going to give you a 26 inch waist and perfect tanlines) "you'll get the soft, lovable hair that everyone loves to touch" (picture of woman with flowing hair running loving hands over cute little lamb". Air ad on TV three times. Then cast goat in bronze and pretend you won him at Cannes.

10. Find a river that can only be crossed by a small boat. First take all the women across in one trip, placing them on your lap. Row in slow, rhythmic motion. Come back with only woman to keep you company. Leave her on the side you started from and take the mongeese across next. Come back with another woman. Pick up the snakes to take them across next. As you're about to go across again, wonder what's happened to the sheep, the goat and the first woman you'd brought back. Remember too late about the tiger (have you ever seen a river-boat crossing thing where there was no tiger? So there). Panic. Jump hastily into boat to escape to safety. Upset basket of cobras. Get bitten 378 times. Die.

Bonus application: Tell fortunes. Charge 1/4th of normal admission. Put the mongeese on sticks and colour them pink so that they look like candy-floss. When people walk in ask them if they're Aries, Capricorn or Virgo. If they are, direct them to the appropriate counter (sheep, goat or women). If not, sic the cobras on them. Then have them watch in amazement as you predict the time of their death with formidable accuracy.


meditativerose said...

Well ... it's funny and all, but perfect tanlines?
Doesn't work ...


Mrudula said...

I'd make that a troupe of dancing men. Keep the troupe and set the rest on each other so that they can wipe each other out and I'll be left with the men ;)

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