[Fwd: The conversation that will never take place]

Things the Queen and Zuma probably won't say

*By John Scott*

This is the conversation that President Jacob Zuma and Queen Elizabeth
probably didn't have around the banqueting table at Buckingham Palace:

JZ: It's a great pleasure to be here this evening, your majesty.

QE: So nice to have you, Mr President. Please call me ma'am.

JZ: And you can call me Jake, er, ma'am. What's "ma'am" stand for,
ma'am, if I may ask?

QE: Oh, "madam", I suppose.

JZ: That takes me back to my young days, when we had to call all white
madams "madam". That's all finished now in South Africa.

QE: I'm so glad. It's just a formality here in court. Have you been to
court before, President... er, Jake?

JZ: Yes, but as you know, I was acquitted of all charges.

QE: Of course. I meant the court of St James. Cultural differences cause
so much misunderstanding, though I've always been interested in
diversity within the Commonwealth.

We have fox-hunting and grouse-shooting, and you have
cattle-slaughtering to celebrate important events. Both pretty bloody,
really, except that there's more point to yours.

No one eats the fox except the dogs.

JZ: We slaughtered quite a few cattle at my wedding feasts.

QE: That's another difference. You have polygamy, and here even having a
second spouse is a criminal offence. My own forebears made up for it
with a succession of mistresses, except for Henry VIII who had six wives
though not all at the same time. He bumped each one off before he took
on another.

JZ: That's what my critics don't understand. Polygamy means no one has
to get divorced, let alone get bumped off, before a person can remarry.

QE: Mind you, my crowd had a lot of mistresses, too. Charles II is
supposed to have had a record number, but my great-grandfather Edward
VII didn't do too badly either.

JZ: In my country some people make such a fuss even if you only have one
or two.

QE: It was so nice meeting your first wife, Thobeka. I'm sorry you
didn't bring any of the others. I'm sure we could have found more space
for them round the table.

JZ: Well, Nompumelelo's got a bit of a problem at the moment. They want
to kick her out of her eight-bedroomed Durban house in spite of my good
friend Erwin Ullbricht being more than willing to go on paying the rent.

QE: I hate these accommodation problems. I have always found the palace
cold and draughty. But they insist on Philip and I staying here. It's
the British puritanical streak. Discomfort is supposed to promote good

JZ: That reminds me, ma'am. You may not know that I am leading a
national campaign of moral regeneration in South Africa. We believe it's
the only way to stop corruption, immorality and same-sex marriages.

QE: That's wonderful news, Jake. If there is any support I can give you
as supreme governor of the Church of England - except for same-sex
marriages of course - please let me know.

JZ: Thank you, ma'am. I myself speak as an ordained honorary minister of
the Full Gospel Community Church in Ntuzuma, which is part of the
Independent Charismatic group.

QE: I'm afraid I'm not really a happy clapper, Jake. But we may have
more in common than I thought.


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