Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Never Never Man

Never Never Man, portrait of the naysayer
Altogether satisfied with his station,
   atop his perch, call it his fiefdom
"How about a donation, young man?"
   He laid out the usual corruption
Frustrated, for all that was required
   was a signature or a stamp
How hard was it for him to do his job?
   It was hard to understand
Blaming bureaucracy was beside the point,
   the obstacle was clearly this man
Stalling, and then declaiming action,
   "It's out of my hands"

Never Never Man, you know, you're really a trial
When it comes to getting things done,
   your only response is denial
Nevermind that some of us have wider ambitions
Now we've run headlong into your mounting obstruction
Gnomic. "It can't be done",
   and other pronouncements with no explanation
And, when confronted,
   a torrent of lies, misdirection, and evasion
A bright remark, a non-sequitur,
   and you simply change the subject
Then you act like you don't understand things,
   "with all due respect"

Never Never Man, what kind of life is this?
For weeks now, I’ve been trekking early to the head office
Camping out, waiting for the appointment I’ve been promised
The labyrinth of corridors and offices that I roam
It feels as if the waiting room is now my second home
Trapped as I am, internally displaced in the torrid zone
I've learned that home truth: no one is coming, you're on your own

Never Never Man, being around you
   has turned into a kind of quagmire
The roadblock was this man,
   with his easy, expectant smile, and baleful laughter
Who had no conscience, no compunction,
   treating me as if my name was Kafka
I'd never given bribes before, this would be new territory
But then I'd never encountered such a brazen adversary
Finally, I gave up on my scruples because I really had to go
The moral of the story: it takes two to do the corruption tango

Never Never Man we can't pin you down, you're inscrutable
Nay, your fortress of ineptitude is impenetrable
The original Doctor No, a real life Bond villain
Messing things up for my wife and children
Try as I can (and I've tried) to make my point understood
Never Never Man, simply put, you're no good

Containers: side-by-side

This folktale is dedicated to my mother's favorite insult and, sadly, our perennial foil, Never Never Man, the patron saint of the stall and runaround.

Never Never Man, a playlist

A soundtrack to relieve my frustration (spotify version).


When I shared this note with The Wife, she read into it another Never Never Man that was the bane of our existence some years ago, a jobsworth sans pareil. I had completely excised his face, his name, and indeed the eighteen month ordeal we suffered at his expense, from my memory, which is how I deal with post-traumatic stress, I suppose. The Wife couldn't see any humour in things, she still bears him a grudge for what he put us through. I pray you have the good fortune to run away at the first chance when you encounter your own Never Never Man. As I can attest, it's much safer in the long run.


Timing is everything
Observers are worried

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Writing log: March 16, 2021

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