Tuesday, 7 December 2010
You are attending the final day of the funeral/ commemoration festival for the deceased Queen Mother of the Kwahu Tribe. Having visited the local tailor, you are dressed just the thing and think you fit in wonderfully while watching the crazed dancing and wailing of around a dozen fetish priests and priestesses who are possessed by occasionally violent Lower Gods. A flamboyantly dressed lady dances towards you.
She rubs her hand on your crotch, squeezes her ample breast towards you and motions with her hands that she is interested in getting to know you in a carnal fashion. Not knowing how to react to a being of the otherworld, you just smile politely. As she grinds her bottom against your nether regions, an argument in Twi language ensues between her and another woman beside you. Your wife is nowhere to be seen. What action do you take?
Answer: A tricky one. The key here is preparation. Befriend the people near you who then will automatically take your side when something kicks off. When the argument balloons out of control, quietly shuffle out of sight. The priestess is issued a straight red by the mob and the game continues. You may be cautioned following the examination of video evidence, but you’ll be long gone by the time the review board gets round to meeting in this part of the world.
It is 10am. As you are finishing your late breakfast, you receive an urgent invite to the palace of the powerful local Chief for some local chop (food). Although you are full to the point of bursting, you are aware that to turn down such a kind offer would be seen as a slight. Besides which, the Chief has already provided exceptional hospitality recently. At the palace, you carefully select a modest portion of recognisable foodstuffs and accept the offer of a large beer. However just as you are squeezing in the last mouthful of chop, two things happen simultaneously: a) your wife slides a large and unidentfiable lump of something from her plate onto yours; and b) the Chief himself comes over to offer you more chop from the bowls. You are aware that finishing all this food and the beer will make you sick, however to refuse would be rude and offensive to your host. The history of visitor sacrifices has already been mentioned in conversation. What do you do?
Answer: There is no easy answer to this, but the main thing is that you come out smelling of roses. Accept the chop and engage the Chief in conversation. You discover that the he has to attend an appointment relatively soon. Time waste by picking at the food and speaking a lot. The Chief soon makes his excuses and leaves, and you insist that you must stay to finish your beautiful meal. Once he has departed in a flurry of ceremonial cloth, quickly guzzle the main staple (the beer), push the plate to the side, offer the remains to the servants and head off with the wife. The time-wasting risks a yellow, but the Chief now thinks you enjoy his company and his food and the wife has no choice but to award brownie points for digging her out of a hole. Nice one.
You are cycling to the funeral/ commemoration festival for the deceased Queen Mother of the Kwahu Tribe. You and your wife are happily tootling along on a flat stretch of uncharacteristically good road, enjoying the dawn chorus and the phenomenal views across to the surrounding hills. Suddenly she accelerates at breakneck speed, screaming like a maniac and shouting RAKE!! RAKE!! RAKE!! When you eventually catch her up, she is crying her eyes out. What do you say to her?
Answer: This is a time for a calm head. Take a soft line and ask what is up. It turns out, as correctly guessed by one reader, that she is claiming a large black snake was lying a few inches from her pedal as she cycled past. However, having not seen it yourself, immediately issue a yellow for play acting, but bear in mind it is also best this early in the day to keep the flair players motivated. Stop play, allow medical attention to be administered on the sidelines (groundnut paste sandwich and energy drink), and wave play on.