In the beginning the ‘Party’ was not yet out of control.
In the main hall Correctional Services and Security were in an intense discussion behind the Pineapple Beer.
Tables groaned under bountiful anticipation and those who were anybody and somebody, wafted around the room exchanging snippets of conversation with all who wanted to engage.
Tourism looked pale and weak as she propped herself against a window staring longingly at the open doors of the Tattoo parlour below. She often sighed and begged for freedom especially from those who blatantly tried to ignore her.
The Honourable Minister turned her back on Tourism as she was playing ‘Cluedo’ with Aviation and Water Works, all three were losing hopelessly.
Soon a small group of family gathered around Tourism offering sympathy and support. Domestic Leisure Travel was feeling guilty about her new level 3 status whilst Inbound Travel shared terminal symptoms with Travel Agent and Coach Operator.
At that moment Taxi Industry arrived.
He was shouting louder than all the others and looking strong and energetic. The hosts rushed to welcome him with plates of abundant offerings and suggestions to quench his thirst. Moving delicately behind him was Take Away Food who had been poorly lately and had only recovered her strength in the past few weeks. She clutched the hand of Deliveries who had become her best friend in May.
Loud laughter erupted from a table in the corner. The opulent Online Shopping was loudly teasing Digital Platform who was determined to ‘take a lot’ of the credit. Supermarket and Mask Manufacturer were at the same table ordering hot roast chickens for everyone.
Law Enforcement spots Gate-Crashers.
At that moment Law Enforcement jumped onto a table which had been firmly placed on top of Sanitizer as she had been getting in the way at the door. He had spotted movement in a far shadowy corner where the gate-crashers, Pieter Stuyvesant and KWV were crouching, deliberately ignoring their restraining order. He loudly blew his own trumpet and gave chase.
He pushed Unbanned out of his way and violently collided with Casino who was only allowed half a seat and had been clutching onto Profit. Hairdresser and Beauty Salon ran for their lives as they were still recovering from their stint in solitary confinement. Open Toed Shoe quickly hid under T-Shirt as she was trying to maintain a low profile.
Law Enforcement signalled for his son, Siren, and cousin Blue Light to run ahead of him but in the chaos tripped over Bribery. He came crashing down on top of Surfer and Dog Walker and rolled over on Truth whilst squeezing Corruption and Organised Crime out of sight.
Amid the pandemonium the host of the party Zoomer, strode assertively into the public eye shaking her finger and demanding to be heard. She left her speech with her colleague Squirrel and ordered him to read it as he was well practiced at delivering her messages.
Peter Stuyvesant and KWV had by this stage gone underground leaving space for Black Market who had been eagerly stuffing his pockets in the shadows. It was now time for him to step out of the closet and demand his true worth. On his arm, looking robust and attractive was Shabeen, most seemed to know her well and she was greeted with enthusiasm and familiarity as she carefully side-stepped Law Enforcement who was on the floor peering through the cracks to find his lost foe.
Squirrel to deliver the address to his fellow South Africans.
Press stood quietly and watched the fiasco before him with disdain. He was feeling aggrieved as the hosts had refused to answer any of his questions of late not even allowing his family, The Journalists, a courtesy phone call.
He had just buried his cousin, Magazine, who had succumbed to the virus and even Microphone, whom he had relied on all his life was barely hanging onto a loose relationship with Current Affairs.
Microphone was standing next to Squirrel who was tapping his head to get the attention of all the guests.
Squirrel had the unenviable task of having to speak to the gathering for at least 45 minutes without saying anything of substance. He had been practising this for many years under numerous tutors, although he knew that his expertise lay rather in designing constitutions as opposed to smiling benignly and repeating the same sentence in twenty different ways.
Zoomer was standing at the back of the room awaiting the address. Many of the guests had been commiserating with her over the demise of Economic Development but she was resolute in her stance that as long as the restraining order against Tobacco was enforced, the loss of Economic Development was of little concern.
The room was hushed as the address began. Whilst all were impressed with Squirrel’s abilities to strip the address of any logic, there were moments of intrigue when speculation abounded as to how Zoomer was going to contradict the few and far between salient points.
‘You’ve lost that Lovin’ Feeling’
By this stage, the crowd was becoming restless. An Honourable Minister from the Eastern Cape was showing Anti-Corruption how to use loud flatulence to cover up uncomfortable moments. Anti-Corruption was not listening to her as he was asking for advice on his personal corruption charge from Corporate Governance.
Finally, the band oozed onto the stage and started playing ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling’.
Taxi Industry called out his preference for The Rolling Stones hit, ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ but Juju said this was racist and insisted on ‘Paint it Black’ also by the Rolling Stones. Law Enforcement demanded ‘I can get no Satisfaction’ and the weak voice of Tourism asked for all to hear “Sounds of Silence”. Finally, the Eastern Cape Honourable Minister raised her hand and called for ‘Blowing in the Wind’.
‘I’ll do it My Way.
By 8h45 Curfew had started to jostle the crowds towards the exit and most left together with Black Market and Shabeen.
Suddenly the entrance door was flung open and in rushed an extremely late UIF, just as everything was closing. She sadly joined the departing queue badgering IT that it was his fault that she was so late, and he could have waited until the middle of August so she could have closed everything down.
The waiters, who had been recruited for the night from the hospitality unemployment line, slowly moved between the tables collecting the empty bottles of Cream Soda and Fanta Orange.
In the muted light Zoomer stepped delicately over the carnage and closing her eyes began to sway to the sounds of ‘I’ll do it My Way’.