What’s Cookin’ in De Despot’s Pot

Posted on April 8, 2011


In its never-ending quest to provide Life in the Boomer Lane with hilarity to comment about, this week’s Newsweek has an article titled “The Despot Index,” in which information about popular despots is given in a number of categories. Ten despotic-looking characters are represented, ranging from the cutting-edge leisureware fashionista Kim Jong-Il, to the next scheduled speaker at Rutgers, Muammar Gaddafi.

First off, the “Nickname” category:  Growing up in Blue Collar Philly, the premier Mafia haven after New York and Chicago, LBL was used to nicknames like Philip “Chicken Man” Testa, Salvatore “Chuckie” Merlino, Joseph “Chickie” Ciancaglini, Salvatore “Salvie” Testa, “Tony Bananas” Caponigro.  They all conjured images of happy-go-lucky, friendly folks and neighbors.  After all, how can you not like a banana?  The Despots don’t follow this trend.  Kim Jong-Il wins.  He is known as “Central Brain.”  Other nicknames are mostly cuddly (Big Papa), awe-inspiring (The Lion, King of Kings, Father of the Nation), or Bob.

LBL’s next favorite category is “Trademark.”  This is a fun category.  The winner is Teodoro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea,) who “Makes people wear pictures of his face.”  LBL imagines an entire population of people walking around wearing government-mandated tee shirts with pictures of him, which is actually pretty close to what is now happening with Justin Bieber.  Than Shwe (Burma) would be a runner up.  His trademark is “Wearing Women’s Clothing.”  Contrary to what one might think, his nickname is “The Bulldog,” not “The Cute Tiny Pekingese.”  Third would be Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) who “Has his own supermarket.”  Why would this be bad?  LBL would like to have her own supermarket.  That way, there would only be four items: coffee Haagen Dazs, anything made of chocolate, Peets coffee, and light tuna in olive oil with a pull tab top.  And none of the carts would have those little wiggly wheels that make it impossible to steer.

LBL will skip over the death and destruction that these guys created while they giddily amassed zillions of dollars that rightfully belong to their people.  She’ll go straight to her favorite category: “Peccadillo.”  It’s tough to choose a winner for this one.  LBL thinks it’s a tie between “Accused of boiling people to death,” (Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan) and “Widely thought to be a cannibal,” (Teodoro Obiang) which if you really think about this means that Islam could invite Teo over for a fun dinner.

Age ranges of these guys go from 40-87.  Most are in the 50-70+ age range.  This goes to show that just because you are “of a certain age,” doesn’t mean you have to slow down one single bit.  Especially if you get to wear pajamas all day. Or nothing.

Posted in: humor, satire