This afternoon I had a very long chat with possibly the most naive person in existence. I was on my lunch break and she just came up to me, even though I'd never seen her before. I was panicked at first, because my gut told me I'd either slept with her and I'd been to drunk to form a lasting memory, or she wanted something. It was the latter.
It quickly became clear that she was trying to trick me into giving her my money by coming straight out and demanding it. When that failed she turned to emotional blackmail. Luckily for my bank account I am immune to guilt, because whilst my doctor was vaccinating me for measles, mumps and TB, my wise dad was teaching me not to be an easily persuaded fool.
She went on and on about the Africans of Africa, pleading their cause, but she couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to set up an eternal direct debit to fund international charitism.
"It won't be forever though." she said "We just need enough to give them a head start. Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day, teach a man to fish and he can eat everyday."
I had to spend the next fifteen minutes explaining why teaching an African man to fish would have terrible global consequences.
"If all of a sudden the husband, the head of the family, is now spending every waking minute gallivanting in river beds and lakes, making use of his newly found skills, it would be just a matter of time before his wife became lonely. Women need company." I told her. "It would be only natural for the wife to seek the company of a man who isn't trained in the art of fishing, and, over time, she would surely fall in love with him." She seemed to agree, but only in her eyes at a subconcious level.
"Who could blame her?" I said "An absent husband is barely a husband at all. Eventually the husband would find out, he's no fool, for he is more educated than his wife and her new lover, all because my damaging pounds have taught him about the world. At first he would be angry. The African man is a passionate man, it would not be unlikely for him to slay the object of his wife's affection on the spot. Who could blame him?" I said.
"Soon they would be seperated, leaving many children without a father. Now, living alone, the husband no longer has a reason to fish. That is until the depression hits in. I don't know if you know much medicine and psychotherapy in Africa" I told the girl "But I will tell you this - Africa is no place for the depressed man. It would be simply a matter of days before he has turned to heroin to numb the pain of his existence. Everyday he fishes, not to feed his family, they are gone, but to pay for his daily fix of smack, which is of the lowest quality.
His wife would see the damage she had caused the only man she had ever truly loved and one cold African night would see her hanging from her neck until dead. Partially orphaned the children are halfway to a foster home, where they will be tortured daily, such is the state of foster homes in Africa, that is unless the father can get himself together. Which I think he can. He's off the gear, but looking after six children is a fulltime job. He no longer fishes. He's back to square one."
What good came of teaching this man to fish?" I asked her, but by this point she was talking to somebody else.