Hmmm. Amazing. Sometimes ago, 2014 and 2015 to be precise, it was the season of OPEN LETTERS. Lol. Letters written by notable public figures to another of their ilk but intentionally made public via the social media to ‘catch’ the attention of the intended recipients.????
Recently, i realised we are probably in another season. And i am definitely not talking about the weather like the Britons do. I found these two interesting PARABLES on the social media and decided to share under ‘OPINIONS’. Do chat me up, drop a comment or tweet at me on twitter @KemiOdutayo if you can decode and unravel these PARABLES. Happy reading. They actually call for a sober reflection. So #ReadRestRelaxAndReflect and lets see how you fare. Lol.????????????
THE PARABLE OF THE LANDLORD AND THE TENANT
By: Chris Ngwodo
A certain landlord once rented out his choicest property, the crown jewel of his family inheritance to a tenant. The landlord had been initially wary – having been left jaded by a succession of irresponsible tenants that had left the property in very poor condition thus leaving him to bear the cost each time of extensive renovation. But this new tenant armed with a genial grin and a mild-mannered comportment went to great lengths to prove his integrity and credibility, claiming among other things, to be a humble God-fearing man. Suitably impressed, the landlord agreed to the transaction.
In a short while, however, his suppositions about the tenant proved wrong. The latter defaulted on his payments as well as his obligation to keep the property in good condition. Soon, alarmed by the exponential rate of the property’s decrepitude, the landlord decided to exercise his option of non-renewal of tenancy and issued a quit notice to the tenant.
At first, the tenant claimed that the landlord had no such power. He suggested that he (the tenant) had somehow acquired the title deed to the property and was, in fact, the property’s rightful owner. There could therefore be no vacancy. When these arguments failed, the tenant opted for subtlety. He appealed to the landlord’s other sensibilities – their shared religion, his status as a distant relative – all to no avail. He pled ignorance of the damage that had been done to the property during his occupancy. It was the fault of the previous tenants and now the doing of some faceless squatters.
The tenant then claimed absurdly that the landlord couldn’t evict him because he would never find a better tenant. All tenants, he argued, were alike – they would despoil the premises and leave it worse than they met it. All previous tenants had done so. And all future tenants would do so. All tenants in this land were simply very nasty people and he was the best of the bad bunch.
Finally, the tenant sent emissaries to the landlord not with pleas but with threats.
The tenant was an impeccable well-meaning gentleman, they said, but if the eviction was carried out, his deranged relatives (who were skilled arsonists) might, in a fit of pique, raze the premises to the ground. Undaunted, the landlord insisted that the tenant must leave. Eventually, the tenant relented and moved out.
Presently, the previous tenant continues to claim that he wasn’t evicted but moved out of his own accord as an act of humanitarian sacrifice – a gesture meant to grant the landlord peace of mind. His friends insist that the landlord ought to be grateful for having such an exceptionally selfless tenant even though the tenant had defaulted on payments and vandalized the premises. What if the tenant had chosen to be intransigent and simply refused to leave?
What if, in one final act of defiance, he had thrown a tantrum and torn down the roof of the house or dynamited the premises? The erstwhile tenant may have vandalized the premises and looted its furniture and fittings but he deserves the undying gratitude of the landlord for his self-sacrificial surrender of the house keys when he could so easily have created a protracted scene.
Even as the landlord now mulls over suing the former tenant for vandalism and theft, the tenant argues that he deserves recognition if not adulation for his moderation. He is now demanding compensation for at least, having the decency to leave the building standing, however the worse for wear he may have left it. He insists that his relatively peaceful exit from the property was an act of such cosmic transcendence, unparalleled in the annals of tenancy agreements, that he is worthy of speedy canonization. His argument sounds bizarre. The wonder is that there are people who agree with him.
PARABLE OF THE OLD SCHOOLMASTER
By Ata Ikiddeh
A similar story talks about a headmaster who was kicked out of a certain school because of his high handedness. His hand never left the cane, it seems he derived pleasure from plumelling the buttocks of his students with the whip.
No offence was too small or too great. From tapping a biro to looking into your neighbours assignment, it all attracted 30 strokes on the buttocks no more no less. Concerned parents made several trips to his office and tried to explain to him the naughty nature of teenagers, proffering other forms of sanctions, that had worked, for he himself was never married and probably did not have a childhood.
Meanwhile discipline in the school grew worst. Students would often go home with bloodied cane welts, parents complained and went to the local villags press to register their complaints, Tyrant Irahub Must Go, the headlines chanted. They waited for the local education inspectorate to do something – nothing happened, not even the State was listening to them.
Then one morning, it happened, all the teachers and students stood in front of his door, some say it was a single knock on the door with a letter demanding he quit his residence immediately.There was no argument, no fight, just a neat path created for him from his front door right down to the school gate both sides mounted by youthful sentries with all manner of clubs In their handś. Such was his disgraceful exit. After his exit the local people stumbled upon a secret barn of nearly stashed yams discovered in Sir Tyrant Irahub’s back yard. Not only was he the epitome of wickedness he was also a thief. He refused to deny It. It was utterly disgraceful for man who carried his buttocks like he never farted.. Years went by the tiny village school became a University, students who had studied there as teenagers naturally became the first undergrads.
The moment came to elect a Vice Chancellor, for that was the uniqueness of this University, VC’s were elected and not appointed. Numerous applicants came forward, including an old man with a slight recognisable limp and a genial smile. The board members who were his former students couldn’t believe their eyes, if it wasn’t Sir Irahub’s the tyrant then let the heavens fall! Familiarity and the nostalgia of the, ” good old days ” took over, surely they needed a good experienced hand, Tyrant of coruse he was, but they all deserved his cane they were little rascals.
Without much ado, not even an interview at least, Sir Irahub’s the tyrant was unanimously elected the Vice Chancellor. Don’t ask me what happened next, this story I am giving you happened quite a while ago. I hear 4 of the students are languishing in the local police station for kwaraption, a fifth escaped and is on a self imposed exile outside the village. I guess the students never read the story of the old leopard who refused to change his spots. Sir Iranub the tyrant , I hear later appointed his friends as the new staff, some of them well known yam merchants, and sacked the entire teaching staff.
The student body is split, some who supported him want his immediate ouster. Other students on the other hand are very happy with him, they say now they can at least, go and eat freshly boiled yam dipped in oil in the new lecturers homes, unlike before when it was more of an exclusive club. However a certain obstinate elderly resident in the compound, who goes by the name Babangi, who’s tenancy expired many years ago and who really should have been the tyrant’s target ( that story is for another day ) says he has a police report about the barn of yams that was discovered many years ago in Sir Tyrant Irahub’s old school house, he has even challenged the tyrant that the day he thinks he has drunk enough Ogogoro let him come and evict him.
This bit of the story is completely lost among the crazed students who I hear are now constructing an effigy of a man many of them are calling a god saint. By the way I heard an aggrieved group of students set the effigy alight two nights ago burning the entire thing to the ground! there’s a tense atmosphere in a once peaceful school. Things are falling about. The entire school budget just disappeared this morning. Sigh!
(correct the typos, written in a rush – thanks! – Ata Ikiddeh)