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Monday, 8 August 2005

I Am, The Donkeyman

Five in the evening. Seventeen hours. A truck pulls up, in a cloud of dust. Unusual; no traffic in these here parts. A man gets out of the truck and walks into the office. He is very tall, as tall as a giraffe. He has to bend his upper body just to fit under the rafters.

"Odi!"
"Hello."
"Afternoon."
"How are you?"
"Very fine. And you?"
"Fine. How can I help you?" Goaway getlost buzzoff. I am the only one in the vicinity and not in the mood for visitors.
"I have bought some donkeys. I've come to collect them."
"Some donkeys?" I didn't even know there were donkeys for sale.
"Yes, donkeys."
"Hmmm." The Big Cheese is in hospital, the Medium Cheese is in bed with malaria. I would look for The Donkeyman, but I don't think we have one. I huff and puff a little bit. "Everyone's gone you know. We finish at sixteen hours."
"Is it?"
"Yeah."
"Oh. But I've come to collect the donkeys."
I think we established that Mr Giraffe. I think a little bit. Perhaps Lonely the Security Guard can help. He is a very nice and helpful man, in a smart uniform with polished boots. I go outside to look for him.

The Giraffe follows me. "Do you have any milk?"
What? Milk? From the donkeys? From the cows? How is the cow's milk related to the donkeys? "No, I think it was all sold this morning."
"So you haven't done the milking yet?"
Do I look like a milkmaid I wonder? "I don't think there's any milk."

No-one is there, where the Security Guard should be. I sigh a little bit. A man I have never seen before in my life pops up from behind a pile of straw. He is wearing a red Noddy hat.
"Oh. Have you seen the Security Guard?" I ask him.
"Is me."
"Oh. Hmmm. Can you please go fetch [Medium Cheese] and tell him that a man is here to collect some donkeys.
"Shuwa."
I turn to Mr Giraffe. "[Medium Cheese's] house is some way, so if you'd just like to wait here while we fetch him. "
"Ok."

I turn and head back for the office. Mr Giraffe has ignored my request and is now following Noddy. I feel very bad for sending these people to someone sick with malaria, but really, there are LIMITS to just how far I am prepared to stretch my job description.

I am not The Donkeyman.