Kaieteur News – It happens with every government in Guyana. There are always within the ruling administration, certain persons who have a special talent for bumming and sponging.
Somehow these individuals believe that because they are big ones within the government they have a licence to call up their familiar targets and beg for things, invite themselves to parties, and sponge off you when you are dining or entertaining your friends.
If these spongers and bums used to put their hands in their pockets and help pay part of the bill, their demands would have been more acceptable. But these guys somehow feel that because they hold down certain positions of influence within the government, they have a right to invade your privacy and to enjoy themselves at your expense.
One of them tried that recently. He saw me and my friends having a drink and decided to invite himself over to our table. Nobody asked him to sit. He decided to pull up a chair and join our company.
Nobody ordered a drink for him; he called the waiter and ordered a drink. He did not pay for it. When he arrived, there were no “cutters” or food of any sort on the table. This sponger decided that he would order some of the most expensive dishes on sale, assuming of course that it was the table, and not him, that would pick up the tab.
He had a rude awakening. I told him immediately that he would have to pay for what he ordered. He presumed that I was joking and burst out laughing, crowning the moment by ordering another drink for himself and himself alone. Again he felt that somebody was going to pick up the tab simply because he was a government official who everyone wants to befriend.
He was wrong about that also. I had no interest in befriending him, so I got up, went to the waiter and told him that we had an interloper at our table, and that whatever this interloper took had to be paid for by him, and should not be added to the table’s tab.
I left soon after and I am told there was a moment of embarrassment for the interloper as he was handed a bill for what he took. He learnt a lesson there: that not everyone is going to be imposed upon simply because he holds a position of authority.
There are many like him in the PPP/C government. Their entertainment bills were paid for by rich businessmen. Their overseas vacations were subsidised by private interests. I once saw a senior police officer take his entire family, numbering about five, into the embassy to obtain visas. They were successful, but I had to ask myself how on such a small salary he was going to take his entire family on vacation, especially considering that air fares are prohibitively high. Someone suggested that he would be obtaining assistance to do this. But I cannot say for sure if that is true.
The PPP had their bums and spongers. The APNU+AFC also.
When Christmas comes, these bums and spongers are going to expect gifts from their private sector friends. Some like to receive liquor, but this year they are in for a rude awakening, instead of Grey Goose and Johnny Walker, these guys will have to settle for Five-Year-Old and Ivanoff.
Johnny Walker will have to do a lot of walking this year and the Goose will have to fly off.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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