Let's raise politicians!

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 00:00

based on a column I wrote for the Manila Chronicle way back in 1987

Hello to all our viewers out there. For today's show we'll learn how to start a small business raising an animal which is very much in demand these days.

I'm talking of course, about the politician. The market for this creature is huge - why even as we speak, they're being bought and sold all over the country!

How do we cash in on this boom? Before we go into that, look here, I bet you never knew these animals could be so companionable. Look, isn't this one cute and cuddly?

Now, according to this manual, if you want to raise politicians you have to decide what breed you want. The one I'm holding here is the most common, the traditional variety.

This breed looks cuddly when young, but it's pretty tough: it doesn't die easy. It's easy to recognize because of its rather vacuous expression and a continuous compulsive twitching of its little claws. Under this breed are many types - some white, some black, others with broad yellow stripes running down their backs.

The manual says there are non-traditional breeds, but we've never found them. I guess they don't live very long.

OK, you'll want a place to keep them in, and the best thing is a nice iron cage. You know, it's almost as if they were meant to be put behind bars, ha ha. There we go, doesn't it look so cute?

For food you can give them lots of mush and corn; a few like bugs but all of them love greens - especially US Treasury greens, mint-flavored. Give them a nice supply of water and they'll be amiable, but keep them away from alcohol.

To keep them healthy, give them an exercise wheel, where they can run pointlessly. Occasionally, they like stopping and making meaningless burbling noises, so you could build them a small podium.

After you've done these things, you can more or less leave your politician alone to grow. Be sure to give it lots of dark places and shady corners where it can plot and mutter to itself, so let's put this big canvas cover on the cage...

Just before selling your politician, you might want to teach it some tricks. It catches on fast and invents its own. Careful: these critters are very good in finding and hiding valuable objects so you'll never see them again.

What you must never do, according to this manual, is use a leash. Never, especially, tie it down to its promises.

The average politician has a short maturing season. Why, before you know it, it will be fully grown and developed...hmmm, what's that noise coming from the cage?

Let's just get this canvas cover off...hey, what are all those guns doing there? Hey, where did this large ugly reptile come from?

GUNSHOTS, SOUNDS OF TRUCKS AND TANKS...

...well, folks, it seems martial law has just been declared. After I'm released from detention, our next topic will be how to raise golden snails for export

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