I know it’s a bit early for nostalgia, but here’s a letter I wrote to the one-time lion of Africa eight years ago.
To: Zimbabwe President His Excellency Robert Mugabe
1 Feb. 2009
Dear Mr President,
As per your request, I examined your wife, Grace, upon her recent return from China and may I say what a lovely woman she is. You are a very lucky man. Having said that, however, I would be failing in my duty if I did not admit to having detected one or two interesting anomalies in her psychiatric make-up.
While Grace admits to having attacked a man upon leaving a Hong Kong shopping mall, she maintains that she was stricken by an episode of snow blindness and mistook the photographer for a Ninja assassin working for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
I find her version of events entirely plausible. History has shown us that the Chinese cannot be trusted. You only have to ask the Japanese. Or place an order at my local takeaway. You ask for stir-fried shrimp and they give you chicken that smells like fish. But I digress.
During our session, Grace used her lipstick to draw several organograms on my office wall, proving that the triads are controlled by the House of Lords. This makes perfect sense given that Britain ruled Hong Kong with an iron fist for 150 years. Grace told me her primary concern was that Hong Kong, her preferred shopping destination, would now be closed to her.
I assured her that these fears were unfounded. All it would take is a call from you to President Hu Jintao threatening to cut off their rhino horn and close down the shoe shops.
I am, therefore, pleased to inform you that Grace is a healthy, normal woman. Well, she will be once the operation has been performed. If you are interested, I can put you in touch with a good man in Pyongyang.
In the meantime, I would like to suggest that you keep her indoors, preferably away from the windows, for the next 12 months. As far as medication goes, not that she needs it, you may wish to consider slipping 1500mg of lithium into her Beluga caviar each morning. And if there is any buspirone, propranolol or clonidine lying around State House, you could always stir it into her raw rabbit spleen and fish eagle foie gras. It is up to you.
Professor Benjamin Trovato (Dipso.M.Aniac Chimanimani Univ.)