ARE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS WORTH MAKING? By CAMERON DUODU
I must admit I never make New Year Resolutions. What is the point? I know I shall break them the moment I make them!
For instance, as I woke up in the morning of New Year’s Day, my eyes alighted on the indoor exercise bike I have installed in my bedroom, so that I can get on it first thing every morning, before the world invades me with its endless distractions.
But just as I am getting on the machine, I remember I must go and take my pills. Especially those for HBP – otherwise I might over-excite the blood-pumping mechanism, you know what I mean?
Now, taking the pills means filling my stomach with water. Which means I can’t exercise then. Because a full stomach and exercise don’t go together.
So, I don’t exercise. And by the time the water in my tummy has gone down enough for me to get on the exercise bike, I’ve forgotten that I was due to go on it and I am engrossed in something else. Usually, something to do with the computer. Yet I have been warned that sitting in front of the computer too often can be dangerous. It can even become addictive if one does it too often.
Of course, I don’t take any notice of the warning about computers. After all, don’t I have loads of readers around the world waiting for the wise words to tumble out of my fingers on to their own computer screens? Should I disappoint them? No! So, out of the window goes my intended resolution not to sit in front of the computer too often. Two resolutions done for, so far.
Another thing that interferes with my effort to make New Year Resolutions is this – making New Year Resolutions for other people. That is a perfectly legitimate pursuit for me to engage in, because other people haven’t got the peculiar distractions I’ve got, have they?
For instance, what could possibly distract the cellphone companies from implementing the resolutions I am about to make on their behalf? These are:
If I receive a request from a phone to connect it to one of my subscribers, I shall not annoy the caller by playing some crappy music to the caller, whilst he’s waiting to be connected. I shall recognise that I have no right to invade his space with something I want him to download! I won’t urge him to press 200-plus-hash if he wants to download that crappy music onto his own phone.
Why should he want to download music when all he wants is to speak to another person? Are there not international tones that indicate that a call is being put through? Why am I ignoring that and trying to make the person mad by playing him crappy music, before he has a chance to speak to his interlocutor? Do I know what/s on his mind? Suppose he’s trying to contact his lover: how do I know that I might not put him in a foul mood that will make whatever he wants to say to her come over as the opposite of what he intended it to be? Do you know what a lame apology sounds like on the phone? Do you know that distance can create unwarranted suspicions? Why are you getting in the way of a possibly strained relationship with your crappy music? Why? Why?? Why???
2. After forcing the caller to listen to my choice of crappy music, I shall actually connect his call to the person he wants to speak to. I resolve, henceforth:
Not to say “The number you are calling is either switched off, out of range, or engaged in the other call!”
Which other call, for heaven’s sake?
Not to end the call before warning the caller that he is about to run out of credit.
Not to overcharge the caller because he is calling a cellphone number and not a land-line. Why the difference, in this digital age?
Check the amount of credit bought by the caller at the last opportunity, in order to determine whether if he is allowed to continue with his call, he will go and replenish his credit and thus refund whatever additional credit he was lent in order to complete his call. In other words, I shall allot him a certain number of units as unpaid-for credit, in order not to strand him midway on his call, when he needs to make a call but he is not in a position to buy credit. Do you know how easy it is to miscalculate how many calls a forty pounds sterling purchase of credit can finance? When they say you’ve run out of credit, your mouth just drops?! What? Yes!
I Resolve also to make additional installations to increase my capacity – instead of sending all my income to my shareholders as dividends – so that every call that is requested from my network can be completed successfully, without my having to resort to lies to cover the congestion on my network due to my lack of adequate capacity.
REOLUTIONS MADE ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY:
I shall set myself up as a friend of the consumer, rather than the friend of the providers of services in the communications sector. I know that the consumer, unlike the cellphone companies, cannot offer my personnel ten cellphones each, with unlimited credit; nor can the consumer manage to enter Parliament House, in spite of the security there — or probably because of it – and put free telephones into the pigeon-hole of each MP. Nevertheless, I shall each day, make telephone calls from all sorts of different locations in order to determine whether the cellphone companies are fulfilling the promises they made when they were applying for their licences. Any company that I find is breaking a promise shall immediately have its licence withdrawn, so that that those that are left can provide a better service to Ghanaians. Fining the companies does not work, for they have money pouring out of their ears, through the loose monitoring regime we have been operating so far. We must make them know that we cannot be bribed [any longer] because we realise that without excellent communications, our country will never see any real progress.
RESOLUTIONS ON BEHALF OF CABINET MINISTERS, DEPUTY MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT:
Sirs/Madams, as elected representatives of the People of Ghana, or persons appointed to minister to their needs (that’s what the word minister stands for, not Master of The Public!) we shall eschew the Victoria Hammah syndrome, whereby we set a target for self-aggrandisement, and work relentlessly to attain it before we leave office.
Vic set herself a target of $1m! By rights, if each of us was to go according to rank, Ministers should go for a target of $100 million. Wait! Wait!!Wait!!!. I shall explain: Vic is 25 years younger than most Ministers, no? Yet she aimed for $1 million. If you take into consideration, the fact that a Minister’s responsibilities are four times as onerous as hers were, you can see that a Minister is entitled to quadruple his/her target and multiply it by the number by which he/she is older than Vic: let’s say $100 million.
Even the $100 million is a conservative figure. For if you factor in the Woyome Syndrome – look, we all suspect that Woyome didn’t do any work, and yet he got C51 million. OK? So we could say that if W x 0 = 51m, then W x 100 = 5100m. (a Minister’s work rate being 100 times that of Woyome’s). You get the drift? It means that a Minister’s target, theoretically, should be around $5,200m. Okay! Isn’t the math getting a bit complicated, we hear you say. But look at it this way – five billion times the number of Ministers we’ve got — is it 87? (To be frank, most of us have lost count of our own numbers!!) would tax the exchequer too much, even if receipts from petroleum and borrowings from China are factored in. So Ministers will cut theirs down. Final bokobokoboko figure, completely non-negotiable: $4 billion. $1 billion for each year of service, abi? Not too much. What has Ghana’s annual GDP got to do with it?
How can any mere journalist, sitting his somewhere, say we shouldn’t resolve to target such a figure, when mathematically, we have proved that it is feasible and fair, considering the enormous strain the high office we hold outs on our mental and physical capabilities? People coming to ask us for donations to funeral expenses; people coming to us ti beg us to pay school fees so that children should not be sent home; people asking for transport money to go to hospital….
Hey, Mr Journalist, were you not recorded on tape saying that Victoria Hammah had a very nice smile and that it was wrong of the President to have sacked her because we shall no longer be able to enjoy her smiles? Was she not honest when speeches she had edited were replaced by others? Didn’t people speculate that her behind was so – what was the word – “bosomy” (!) that it could make her an African First Lady, even if the title was not publicly acknowledged?
Mr Journalist, you also want us to resolve to do something before we leave office? Look, seriously, you don;t understand Ghana politics. If you are in politics in Ghana, your best bet is to do NOTHING, for , as the saying at the back of some mammy lorries says, “Whatever you do, people will talk of you!” Look, didn’t Kwame Nkrumah build the Akosombo Dam? Do you know that when “dumsor” became a by-word in Ghana, people began to blame him for not building an Akosombo Dam that was twice as big, so that dumsor could have been nipped in the bud?
On that same theme, aren’t those who built the George Bush Highway being blamed for not constructing enough pedestrian crossings on it? Are they not being accused of leaving people to cross it at random spots and getting themselves knocked down and killed by speeding vehicles? Aren’t some people saying that the money used to build the George Bush Highway should have been diverted to the unfinished section of the Accra-Kumasi road?
Ha, Mr Journalist, didn’t the late Prof Mills say that we should dzi our fie asem (solve our internal problems) and leave foreign matters to foreign governments to worry about? The moment he said that, he was doomed, for as soon as he arrived back from the USA, where he had gone for medical treatment, some of his handlers said, your “home matter” relates to your being fit for President. So you must DO something! Make a Usain Bolt dash across the tarmac of Kotoka Airport!! Wasn’t that the end of him?
Ha, in asking him to DO something, i.e. to run, they were metaphorically telling him not to have gone to America for medical treatment, but to have stayed at efie (home) and solved the problems of Korle Bu, 37 and Ridge, as well as the Police Hospital. Hmm – Ghana here, you have to be careful oh. Whatever you do, people will talk of you. So resolutions mean nothing. They will only make you DO things, which will set you up to be abused, traduced and despised. That’s why good politicians, like us, do nothing but talk and talk and talk. Words don’t mean anything, or can mean nothing, so nobody can attack you for using them. You can always deny you used particular words, anyway. Or that they meant what people think they meant. But DO something and see – everyone can use their eyes on it, and people will talk of you!! Endlessly.
In other words, empty words –good; concrete action – bad! A happy new year to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see!