K1 – Koo, I am in trouble!
K2 – Ho, so what? You live in Ghana and ‘trouble’ is a stranger to you?
- Koo, don’t trivialise this. I am in real trouble. I’ve caught, or I’m in danger of catching, a disease….
- Hahahahaha! I did warn you that remaining a bachelor is not a very wise thing to do! Who is the girl? What did the doctor say?
- Hahahaha! Dirty mind! It’s nothing like that.
- Oh, I’m disappointed. I thought you were fermenting some testosterone at last!
- No! What I fear I am contracting is what psychologists call “Empathy Deficit Disorder” or “E.D.D.”!
- “E.D.D.”? I thought that stood for “Every Day’s Duty!” – a requirement for lovers – as in “E.D.D./T.D.B”?
- “What? E.D.D./T.D.B?”
- Yes! “Every Day’s Duty/Till Daybreak!”
- Hahahahahahahahahahah! I knew about “TDB” but not EDD/TDB!
- Ah – it’s because you only became fully masculine in the pre-Viagra days. Things have muscled up pretty much now. But do tell me, what is this your – E.D.D.?
- It’s “Empathy Deficit Disorder!”
- “Come again?”
- “And its twin brother is C.F. or “Compassion Fatigue”!
- Wa’lla’hi! Where did you pick up all this mumbo-jumbo from?
- It isn’t mumbo-jumbo. It’s as real as you and me!
- Hahahahaha! Are we “real”? How do you know we are real? It’s just our own minds that tell us we are real. If you take away our minds, what would be left?
- Awirade ei! Koo, what have you been drinking behind my back? Or have you been
smoking something common in California?
- I should be asking you that! All the new developments in psychology and philosophy and quantum mechanics have left you behind. Is this life we are leading a simulation or not? If time began with the big bang, where was time “hiding” before the big bang? Was there only one big bang or several? Are big bangs going on now but hidden from us by dark energy?
- Hohohohohohoho! So that’s it? You’re on your way to booking a bunk at that place near the Ridge Hospital in Accra?
- There’s no such place as the Ridge Hospital any longer! We now have the Accra Regional Hospital.
- Ah, so Korle Bu is in the Central Region now, right? Why do we love changes of name so much?
- Ask me!
- OK, now look. You introduced two concepts that even a country that’s in love with acronyms – like ours – would find it difficult to unwrap. And you’re dodging a definition of both?
- Well, haven’t you got Google on your phone? I thought the days of cheating during a conversation were over? Nowadays, if you don’t understand something someone says, all you have to do is to find out where the loo is. By the time you get back, you will be as erudite as Einstein.
- You are evading the issue.
- Ok, here goes: empathy deficit disorder:
QUOTE: Our increasingly polarized social and political culture ….has had profound consequences for the mental health of both individuals and society…. When you suffer from E.D.D, you’re unable to step outside yourself and tune in to what other people experience, especially those who feel, think and believe differently from yourself. . . E.D.D [is thus] a source of personal conflicts, of communication breakdown in intimate relationships, and of adversarial attitudes – including hatred.
- Wow! That certainly means we are ALL in its throes? Who could be exempt? We all hate the thieving bankers!
- And the corrupt preachers who tell us the bankers did nothing wrong!
- The taxi driver who took 100 Cedis from you to go and “repair” his air-conditioning system and never showed up again?
- The plumber who “repaired” your WC ten times before it stopped leaking?
- Hmmm! So you see, I am afraid the next step is that I shall be afflicted with “Compassion Fatigue”. When someone tells me that he/she earns only xyz Cedis per month and that transportation takes half of it, and I instinctively reach for my purse….
- Your arm freezes in mid-air, halted by remembrance of what the taxi driver did?
- How do you know? Have you also been attacked by CF?
- Ho – there’s nothing new in it? A young chap offered to take my broken laptop to a computer repairer he knew. He didn’t bring an estimate of the cost but left the machine. Then he told me the repairer had finished with it and wanted 250 Cedis as his fee. I refused to pay. Later, by trickery, I discovered that the repairer had only demanded C150! I paid only C100 in the end. What does that do to you?
- Yeah psychiatrists put news words to old diseases and “new” statistics obtained by sending out loads of questionnaires ….
- And before you know it, they’ve won the Nobel Prize?
- I don’t mind the Nobel Prize. It’s the pretence that something new has been discovered that annoys me. For instance, what’s the difference between this E.D.D, and the warning given in the Aesop story of “The boy who cried wolf”?
- You mean people do get used to deceit and as a result, change their attitudes?
- Right on! You mentioned Compassion Fatigue. Well, don’t you remember the story of ‘”The last straw that broke the camel’s back?”
- Koo, the picture you paint is of a dire nature. If we all adopt an attitude of unconcern….
- Yep! People get no water when they turn on their taps at Osu Ako Adjei, so what? It’s lasted for one month? What about those who get no water for a whole dry season?
- So, there are open, filthy gutters in Accra; there are bad roads in the rural areas and food is rotting on farms because it cannot be transported to the towns….
- Does that call for suicide by some ‘compassionate” Ministers?
- Yep! If you don’t like the situation, why don’t you go and burn the sea?
- Burn the sea indeed! Didn’t King Canute try the opposite – merely to stop the sea? And didn’t he fail miserably?
- Koo, you’ve got it! But I beg, when the asylum people come looking for you with their syringes and straitjackets, don’t run over to my house to hide oh!
- Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! You fear contagion, do you? Hahahahahahahaha
From Cameron Duodu