Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Boat Race 1: A Political Parable

An annual Canoe Rowing Competition was organized between Africa and Europe. The rules were simple; each team was to be made up of seven people and the first team to the end of the river would be declared winner. The teams were to decide among themselves the strategy they would deploy to win the race. They were each provided with a stop watch, money for what ever purpose they wanted and any number of oars they wanted.

The European team appointed one person as the leader and the same person as the time keeper. The leader bought a carton of energy drinks, sandwiches and promised the team an amount of money each if they won the race.

He formed a team of four rowers and two backs ups who would relieve two of the rowers a one third of the journey and the relieved workers would take over from the last two when they were two thirds way through the journey. At every time two rowed on the left and another two on the right. The leader did nothing except keep time and once in a  while utter give a few motivational words.

The African team elected a leader who in turn appointed an assistant, a time keeper and a motivational speaker. The remaining three were to be rowers. A box of cabin biscuits was the refreshment. The leader, his assistant, the time keeper and the motivational speaker were not to take part in the rowing.

The race began and the fans cheered and waited expectantly. The European team started a bit slowly but the leader kept motivating his team till gradually they picked up speed.

The African team started furiously and took a head start but soon problems began to arise. Since there were two rowers on one side and one on the other side, the rowing wasn't well balanced and the boat kept moving in one direction. The leader and his assistant kept berating the rowers and the motivational speaker kept using big words the poor rowers couldn't understand. The weight of the four executive members also added extra burden to the rowers. To make matters worse the rowers got hungry and eating cabin biscuit made them thirsty.

The European team arrived at the finish line a good three hours before the African team arrived. The leader of the European team true to his word gave the rest of the team some money as a reward for winning though he kept a large portion for himself.

The African team arrived later fighting among themselves. On arrival at the finishing line the leader formed a fact finding committee made up of himself, his assistant, the time keeper and the motivational speaker. The committees' duty was to ascertain the cause of the loss. Money was spent on refreshment and sitting allowance. The committee came to the conclusion that:

  1. the rowers had been lazy
  2. some of the rowers had intentionally sabotaged they race
  3. the team should have had a navigator
It was decided that the three rowers be fired. Three new people were hired. One of them was to be a navigator and the other two were to be rowers. The two rowers were to start immediate training in preparation for next years race.

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are either a product of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.  

Wednesday May 4, 2011

NB: Loosely based on a story i heard as a kid

Find Part 2 here "Boat Race 2: A Political Parable