By Nury Vittachi
The fact that judges always have tiny hammers made me realize that in the old days they just went round tapping miscreants on the head. Bop! “Take that! Now go away and stop murdering everyone.” “Ouch. Yes, my lord.” Judges were on my mind after reader Rahul Mangal told me that court officials sent an eviction notice to Lord Hanuman at a temple in India’s Madhya Pradesh state. “You have illegally encroached (on) the road,” the letter said.
This was unwise, Rahul explained, as “Hanuman is a powerful monkey god known for throwing mountains around and threatening to eat the sun”. Court officials must have realized this, because they quickly withdrew the letter and are now awaiting repercussions.
Official’s wife: “How was your day, dear?”
Official: “Fine. Except I annoyed Lord Hanuman who is now eating the sun, ending the solar system.”
Official’s wife: “That’s nice. We won’t have to wash the dishes.” I mentioned this to colleagues who asked why officials didn’t use traditiol Asian methods of conducting evictions, which involves the organizing of spotty youths in sunglasses to loiter in a way that threatens violence.
Violence sucks. By chance, evidence came in the shape of a news item forwarded to me about a man in Ireland who turned around to see an ugly man staring at him. Gerard McGaughey stepped up to the stranger and head-butted him. Unfortutely, the victim was the attacker’s reflection, so what he actually did was to cause significant damage to his own head. There’s a deep moral here, right? I think it’s “some people are dumber than rocks”. Not a single rock I’ve encountered would do such a thing. A colleague showed me another recent news item about an ill-judged legal threat. A Swiss diplomat in Venezuela was annoyed by the number of golf balls that landed in his garden. His staff erected a sign saying that the embassy was technically a separate country, so firing missiles into it would “break the Vien Convention” (i.e., start World War Three). That could turn out bad.
Golfer’s wife: “How was your day?” Golfer: “I started World War Three, which is a bit of a downer, but on the plus side I was three under-par.” Would you rather be credited with starting World War Three or ending the solar system? Tough choice. Both would win one a place in history, but only the first would be likely to have survivors to appreciate this fact, even if they were hard-to-eradicate primitive life forms such as bacteria, cockroaches, tiolist politicians, Britney Spears and the like.
Anyway, my message to the Madhya Pradesh court is that if you are going to evict people, you have to be single-minded. How To Be A Landlord In Three Easy Steps. 1) Locate your heart. 2) Rip it out. 3) Start renting. And if trouble follows, don’t resort to legal threats. Sociologists say we all have powerful negotiation skills but use them selectively. This is so true. If I negotiated as fiercely with my bosses as I do when talking myself out of sticking to a diet plan, my income would be the entire world economy by now. It isn’t. But I’m sure my landlord’s is. (IANS)