Zoology

Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the April 28, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

My mentor, Philip Gilmore, loves mixed metaphors, overworked clichés, and glaring redundancies like the one I just wrote. Among his favorites are “The Indians circled their wagons” and “Methamphetamines are in the country but we remain sound asleep.”

Gilmore once told me, “It’s the hallmark of hack pundits, do one for me.”

“I’ll try,” I replied.

Black propaganda about Noynoy Aquino’s mental fitness is a dog that don’t hunt but the paragons of mercantile punditry don’t care. They’re still at it. This time they want Noynoy to address the contents of a fake psychiatric report.

You would think that by now those enterprising journalists would have some other animal, one that can fly but no, one of their ilk decided on a cat instead. He surrendered his column to a letter allegedly written by “tomcat”, the pseudonym of a supposed schoolmate of Noynoy who riffed on the discredited psychiatric report.

I don’t know what that accommodating columnist was thinking but cats can’t fly, they don’t have wings so he’s either dumb as an ox, stubborn as a mule, or hungry as a horse. You pick the metaphor you think fits him best.

And so we go from dogs to a tomcat to flogging a dead horse, thanks to a columnist who has made a career out of beating a dead horse called Cha-cha. Maybe she thinks tomcat is a horse with nine lives because she’s still harping on Noynoy’s mental fitness.

Her column last Saturday began with, “Ninoy himself sought psychiatric help for Noynoy.” Now that was a grabber so despite the fact that laborious is an adjective I would use to describe the experience of reading any of her essays, I toiled on. And guess what, she pegged her entire article, all of 1092 words of it, on two lines from a story she claimed she got from an unnamed source she vouches for and therefore should be accepted as gospel, as true as the signatures on the People’s Initiative for Charter Change. I know that looks like a snake swallowing its tail or tale if you’ll permit me a cheap pun but I don’t know how to draw any other picture.

“My source said that when she read about Tomcat’s letter and other stories about Noynoy’s mental problem her mind clicked and related it to Boston days. “Ay totoo pala yung sinabi sa akin many years ago. (Gosh, it’s true what I was told many years ago.)”

“The psychiatrist in question became a close friend of the Aquino family. The doctor is now dead but he still has relatives living in Boston. Ninoy sought the doctor and his exact words to him were: “Tingnan niyo nga si Noynoy, walang ka-drive drive (Please take a look at Noynoy, he has no drive). He must have a problem.”

So that was enough for “trusted source” to extrapolate that Noynoy was a mental case? Obviously not, and Flogger knew it so she put lipstick on the pig.

“There are other reports of aberrant behavior. Bel Cunanan of Inquirer wrote in her column, “Some mayors relate that at a Tarlac festival, Noynoy was enjoying some halo-halo with local officials and other guests when quite suddenly, he blew some of it over the face of a friend. To the shock of those around him, Noynoy then began to laugh, as if it were a big joke.”

Sounds like Noynoy was horsing around with his buddy but jackasses and jennies don’t know horseplay, they’re donkeys.

Anyway, the steaming hot coffee that went shooting out of my nose after reading Dead Horse Flogger’s column was no joke. It was as painful as the sting of a female scorpion on a freezing desert night.

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