The lighter side of politics

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QUESTION: Why are some politicians like flounder (a kind of fish called dapa in Tagalog)?

Answer: Because they flounder when you take them out of the water.

This is the lighter side of politics. Take it with a grain of salt and not assault. My family and I worked overtime, and in great seriousness, to come up with something silly and a bit funny. I hope.

My Team Ober Khok (TOK) was composed of Aunt Tita Blitte, Uncle Gustave, my nieces Krystalle and Ellen, nephews Pannon and Polonggoy (actually the son of my cousin Dona), Dona and her husband Peetong, good friend Illustracio and his wife Nardie, and the family day maid/super girl/confidante, Julie.

“Politicians as sharks and crocodiles are old hat. Let’s look for other types,” Peetong said.

“Since you have a food column, why not create politician types based on food?” Aunt Tita Blitte suggested.

“Excuse me, Ober is ‘technically a food columnist’ because he writes about other topics also,” Uncle Gustave, her husband, clarified.

Illustracio stood up to get a piece of pizza. “Guys, Ober is not the topic here. It’s politicians. Shall we get started?”

In no particular order or type, we came up with the following:

FISH. Some politicians are like fish (not just sharks) because they move fast and can catch good things. The bad thing about this is that some of them horde the catch for themselves. In addition, some of them start to stink once they are exposed to land and air. Some of them have to be thrown back to the water to get a second chance in—we dared not say it.

SQUASH. Some politicians look huge and strong. But deep inside they are weak and hollow. A few of them have little brains but have big optimism. Their critics are many. One critic asked, “Mr. Politiko, we heard you have fish brain. What is your reaction to this?”

Poliltiko: “Oh, that is good! It means I have brains! I heard critics say I have none at all.”

BAMBOO. Dabong (Cebuano) or bamboo shoots are delicious when added to soups or sauteed with shrimps or pickled. Some politicians are like bamboo. No, they do not sway with the wind. That simile refers to the Filipino spirit. Here’s why some politicians are like bamboo: The bamboo belongs to the grass family. It is a tenacious plant. You prune or trim it, but it bounces back. It just springs up new offspring. The bamboo builds thick colonies that are difficult to pull out.

MANGO. Some politicians are like mangoes. They start sour and sappy. Then as they mature, they become sweet and good. But the system hastens their ripening. They soon get rotten.

The TOK has a long list, but my space is limited, thank Jove.


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