A tourist once asked if I ever had an egg thrown at me during a circus performance.
“Never!” I declared emphatically. “Not even a person who hated my act would have dared! By God, I would have caught the egg and hurled it back with interest!”
I was reminded of this conversation on hearing that the police in Vancouver have paid damages to a lawyer they believed was plotting to throw a pie at the prime minister. In their zeal to protect the nation’s chief executive, they arrested the lawyer and subjected him to a strip search, expecting to find a pie hidden in his rectum. But the lawyer was much too crafty to hide the pie there, realising it would be the first place the police would look. So the police found no evidence of the conspiracy, and the lawyer rubbed salt into their wounds by suing them for wrongful arrest and unjustified digital penetration.
The Vancouver Police Department might have avoided this ignominy if they’d studied the modus operandi of other crooked lawyers. We Africans remember the case of an American lawyer involved in diamond smuggling. He hired a local transvestite to pose as his wife so he could hide the gems in her empty bra cups. Fortunately, a drunk passenger reported the transvestite to a security guard after groping her tits and concluding she was carrying a bosom bomb. Even a drunkard knows what a woman’s breasts are supposed to feel like. The transvestite broke down under interrogation and confessed to everything, revealing that the lawyer had insisted on conjugal rights as part of the deal. These legal vultures will squeeze every last drop from a contract.
So, as with most plots and intrigues, the motto to follow when investigating scheming lawyers is cherchez la femme. If the VPD had rounded up the lawyer’s female associates and threatened to strip-search them, the guilty women would have surely pulled out hidden pies from under their skirts and blouses. There’s no point trying to conceal your ammo when you’re going to be probed from head to foot.
The deeper question thrown up by this affair is whether politicians should be protected from people who want to throw pies at them. Getting a pie in the face is an unpleasant distraction if you’re not expecting it, but it never does serious damage. I must have seen hundreds of clowns get facialized without being harmed by the experience.
Preserving the dignity of high office is fine in principle, but expecting the police to hunt down every pie-thrower is taking it too far. If I were the prime minister of Canada, I would prefer to take my chances and dodge the pies, while reserving my right to deliver summary justice to anyone who managed to land a lucky shot. I’d like to see how many subversive lawyers would dare to hatch a pie-conspiracy after watching me grab one of their colleagues and rub his face into my sweaty armpits.
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