Lord Iqbal of the Waterfront Penthouses glanced sideways at the large, gilt mirror. Sideways because, he suspected that, despite all the stem cell lotion, he might struggle to set a maiden’s heart a-flutter.
Still, he wanted reassurance, so he asked: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the wisest, most handsome, astute, sensitive, honest, medical genius philanthropic mogul of them all?”
There was what sounded like a choking sound coming from the mirror.
“Err… tis you, Your Magnificence…”
Lord Iqbal shook his head in irritation: “How do I know you’re not just saying that?”
“I am not, sire, and to prove it, I will summon instantly the most brilliant, unbiased, independent scribes who chronicle our Times…
“Oops! Sorry – I meant chronicle our New Age…
“Oops! I meant chronicle what’s happening outside. They shall confirm to Your Eminence how truly amazing you are!”
Out of a puff of magical smoke, figures emerged, clutching gilt-inlaid sheets of paper, one which proclaimed itself “A Star”, the other that it was “The only Independent news on a Sunday”.
“I am Ayanda of Mdluli, sire…”
“And I am Sizwe of the Dlaminis…”
“And I am Piet of the Rogue Unit…”
Lord Iqbal’s velvet and ermine cape flounced as he swept towards his magnificent chair, made of out Rhodesian teak (he had banished the rest of those racists from the castle long ago), with its carved, twisted snakes about its four legs and which he lovingly called Sekunjalo, which means “appropriate the liberation struggle for your own ends”.
He looked at the assembled praise singers and said: “Tell me, honestly, what do you make of the terrible attempt by Sheriff Cyril of Nottincontrol, to usurp my grandeur?”
They looked at each other in bafflement. Usurp? Grandeur?
“Sire, the report has completely cleared you of any malfeasance,” said Ayanda. “’Tis but a pitiful attempt to bring an end to your tireless work as a champion of the poor!”
Lord Iqbal smiled: “My calling is to help these people, who cannot help themselves. It’s a good thing I had Friar Tuck-it-under-your-belt Matjila to ensure their pitiful little coins from the Peasants Investment Corporation were put to good work… for me!”
Sizwe chimed in: Your Grace, Most Humble of Doctors, it is clear there is a conspiracy against you by Sheriff Cyril, who, we have heard, often calls you a ‘Robbing Hood’…”
The Mighty One glared: “Have I not declared war on him and his minion, that fiery dragon, Pravin?”
Piet piped up: “You have, Master. And we have loosed many flaming arrows towards him. It does look like it is all bouncing off his thick, scaly hide, but we will get him in the end.”
Ayanda smiled: “We have an Ace up our sleeve, as well as someone with Supra-powers, not to mention our ability to deploy our fearsome war machine, the Batter-beelie…”
Suddenly, from a back room came a swirl of wounded grammar.
“Ah,” smiled the Doc, “My favourite attack poodle, Maid Adri from the wet side of Senekal.”
“Belaboured Leader, you have be unstuck upon the horns of the chimeric unicorn of capitalism…”
The mirror sparkled to life: “I don’t know what the hell she said sire, but no need to worry.
“By tomorrow when the rampaging hordes from Emperor Corona get here, no one will care…”
Lord Iqbal clapped: “So, let’s Sekunjalo, like we did last summer!”