SAVING THE RAIN FOREST
Heard on the radio about the discovery of the Amazonian tribe that has no concept of time and it brought back some painful memories of when I tried to do good but so nearly did wrong.
A couple of years back I had the bright idea of bringing over some of these neglected Brazilian forest dwellers to live on my vast estate snuggled in the most exclusive part of the Chilterns and giving them the life they deserved.
I didn’t have the first clue on how to go about this but money sure does buy you a lot of things and after a few phone calls and a lot of bribes I soon employed a character known as ‘Mombasa Bob’ who was famed for his people skills, or to be more precise, his people catching skills.
His preferred method was to use a net like the monkeys used in Planet Of The Apes, in fact I think he actually bought the one he was using off Charlton Heston.
I paid him a lot of money and off he went to Brazil, his eyes bright with zeal for my mission of mercy.
6 months later, mid-december and Bob, wearing a leather conquistador helmet with a blue parrot feather jauntily affixed to the side, turns up at the gate of my estate driving a container lorry, looking absolutely knackered.
To tell the truth I’d totally forgotten I’d even hired him. He popped open the rear doors, jumped out of the cab and motioned for me to come and have a look into the dark interior.
What I saw made my blood run cold, here were the tribe all 20 of them backed into the furthest corner of the container, shivering, looks of despondency flickering across their noble Amerindian faces.
I asked Bob what happened and he confessed that had to burn down their local forest to flush them out into his net. “It took me about two weeks” He said, “And the Rio papers said the smoke from the blaze closed airports across the amazon basin. It was a right horror show”
He also informed me that the Brazilian police were on his trail and that I should keep the tribe out of sight.
A couple of weeks passed by and I could tell they weren’t really fitting in. I came home one day from a daytrip to Norway taking a look at an oil field I’d bought and they all were sat around watching the television.
By their gestures and look of boredom on their faces I could tell they weren’t impressed by my 100-inch Panasonic Plasma TV, with a 200,000,000 MHZ refresh rate. So I switched it on.
This didn’t make any difference. Something needed to be done.
I couldn’t really send them back to the Brazil, they might spill my location to the authorities and I didn’t really fancy dealing with South American cops- since the time I lent my personal submarine to some nice Columbian gentleman who’d used it for criminal purposes I was wanted across the whole continent.
I could bribe my way out of it, but frankly I was tired of the tribe moping around my mansion singing songs about their love for the jaguar and trying to turn the pot plants into psychedelic drugs to commune with their gods and didn’t want to waste any money on them.
Then quite by accident I hit on the solution.
I was in Prague to finalize a deal on a trans-Antarctica pipeline and walking across the Charles Bridge I noticed a group of Incas playing the pan pipes.
People were throwing hundreds of Euros into their bowler hats and the Incas look well fed and happy. By the time wheels down back in London I had formulated a plan.
The tribe didn’t take kindly to my plan at first.
I don’t know why they were complaining so much-I was offering them a one way ticket to Prague on Eurolines and was kitting them out with pan-pipes, stripey ponchos and those wooly hats which no one is quite sure are South American or Tibetan. And a chance as a new career as international buskers.
But a couple of days without any heating and non-stop playing of Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’ they were more amenable.
On the day they finally left I gave them a cheery wave as they trudged down to the bus stop in their garish clothes.
This was what it was all about I reasoned, I was helping them start a new life and I was helping the tourists of Prague-with new competition in town the price for pan pipe buskers would surely go down. At last my millions were doing some good.