Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the dreaded chocoriano© fever …
...and other serious worries we should be, well, worrying about…

Last week I got a text message from a bloke in office saying to please tell the admin officer that he had got chocoriano fever and wasn’t going to be able to make it …. I spent some time pondering seriously as to what this gruesomely named malady could be, and visions of Mars Bars gone wrong, Cocoa beans taking long overdue revenge on humankind etc clouded my imagination until I figured that the T9 text on his mobile phone had probably spelt chikungunya out like this and he had probably been too delirious to correct the text ( and mind you T9 is one of those other horrors of the modern world I wont even bother to go into here…)chiken what?you ask, hello- don’t we have enough on our plates?

Life in this day and age is full of worries. The average Colombo housewife like me has so many diverse concerns at any one point in time to worry about - leave aside the obvious ones like possible bomb explosions, kidnappings, paedophiles stalking our kids and escalating fuel prices, floods and power cuts , I can worry whether I will get diabetes because I don’t eat enough fruits, whether I’m using enough moisturiser or sunscreen or breast cancer is silently creeping up on me, and now, when not if chikunguniya will strike me and my loved ones. Thanks to regular blasts of well presented paranoia from local TV adverts we can add osteoporosis, cholesterol, MSG, bird flu and a whole gamut of oddly named diseases and conditions to this list- both regular and obscure. The film industry with its serial defamation of innocent dumb fauna adds to our subliminal anxieties about roving Sharks(Jaws), fish (Piranha) Dogs(Gujo), Snakes( Cobra, Anaconda, Anaconda two, Snakes on a Plane, Snakes on a Train, whatever next? Snakes on a bus? Yikes- ) and even Rats (poor persecuted vermin!)- plus the Bollywood spin offs to all of these.

Time not spent worrying about these identifiable worries can be filled by the vague worry that we may actually be missing out on certain worries just by not being actually informed about them so the key is to spread the word – usually in the form of urgent bulk emails which greet you in the morning when you stagger dazedly into the office (with the top priority ^ symbol of course) about such horrors as what could happen to you if you let your defences down for even a moment by letting your credit card out of sight , sitting on chairs in theatres without checking them and getting a particular unpronounceable worm in your computer. These emails are usually forwarded by someone who personally knows someone to whom this terrible thing has actually happened.
Awareness raising is therefore the keyword and apparently what you don’t know can kill you, so you make an effort to be informed ,sadly ignoring the fact that even if you know it , it will still kill you, the only difference being that instead of breezing through the life you do have , you would have faced it cringing cravenly and guiltily convinced that it was somehow, something you could have avoided if you had just been a step quicker…

It’s the price of civilisation, you see: those days worries were tangible uncomplicated things – the risk of invading Mongolian armies*kidnapping you , rampaging herds of wild mammoths , drought ,famine and the bubonic plague (read the totally yukky description in Wikipedia)are now a thing of the “savage" and “stressful” past . Modern man has organised his environment so well as to take all dangers and discomforts out of it –you forage for food at Cargils, and you usually don’t see saber toothed tigers ,dinosaurs or invading Cholas ploughing through Colombo on your way home - but hey have you noticed that worries are a strangely self perpetuating species – and were designed to never actually become extinct, but, rather like amoebas, simply break in half and mutate into newer and funkier versions…so the next thing you should be worrying about is credit card fraud, ozone depletion and the effect of UV rays, not to mention of course, the curse of that obscure chocoriano virus…

This is, you may say to me, dear gentle reader, exactly why civilised man invented the concept of “Insuarance” – to let us have some measure of relaxation in life and handle some of our more tangible worries for a fee. Seriously have you read through the fine print in any of those policies lately ? the one I have promises 2 million in damages if I lose an arm and a leg on THE SAME SIDE of the body! Try remembering that when you are next involved in a bus collision! (The same side, man- you need to turn with the agility of Catwoman to co ordinate that at a crisis moment -) and if an accident results in death WITHIN 60 days of the event your next of kin gets 2 million smackers . Can you possibly imagine the bated breath and hushed whispers that will surround your bedside on day 59?
Loss of a finger gets you a paltry 5,000/= each which of course means you are more valuable than 50k (SLRs which works out to about 25 GBP)but the next worry is whether someone related will notice this and relieve you of your digits, when they need to pay an instalment on the new home theatre system. Or if you have actually remembered to pay the premium on time , since it would be kind of embarrassing to turn up fingerless and find that the policy had lapsed. And so this list goes on. ..;



* this was of course before cable TV , and Need for Speed 2, they were bored and had nothing in the way of recreation besides plotting to invade neighbouring territories and increase the content and diversity of their harems.

3 comments:

Fahim said...

:) lol! where do you come up with all this??? hehe.. enjoy reading 'em. recently glanced through the daily mirror and broke out laughing at one you had written. looked up ur web page and lo and behold! the aljuhara Archives! i have to go through them one by one.... :)

-Fahim

al juhara said...

ideas come from the bunch of wierdos I work with and the ones at home, and of course I am inspired to write by your feedback. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you wil continue to visit as I will be printing one of my books soon and the story will be here too…:-)

Ashan said...

Hi aljuhara,

im a blogger myself n i hav to say some of ur articles r laff-out-loud stuff..far be it from me to judge but ur articles r pretty hilarious, sprinkled wit a little cynicism and sarcasm and everything else that makes the world go round :) keep writing.