Marty Peretz: About the time I bought The New Republic, the British satirist and editor of Punch, Alan Coren, published a book titled The Collected Bulletins of Idi Amin, purporting to be the actual writings of the then dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin. They were attacks on the belly and politically smart, too. I got in touch with Coren and his publisher with the idea of putting the collection out in America. Frankly, I chickened out because the lingo of the volume was black jive talk which seemed uncannily apt for an African tyrant-bullshitter. Well, it was for that reason deemed by those around me too sensitive or rather insensitive for TNR. So I stopped negotiations with the publishers in London, and the wonderful book was never issued on our shores. It made plenty of money in England. Some of the book's pieces are reprinted here. If you don't laugh at these ... well, you're a stiff.
Alan Coren: De Chrissermuss Broadcast, 'Punch' December 5 1973: DIS DE POINT where we steppin' into de worldwide role good an' proper, on account of dis bein' de tex' o' de pop'lar Xmas Broadcast, goin' out f'om de famous Radio Uganda station in de trendy downtown Kampala to ev'ry corner o' de world always provided we gittin' de plugs in proper an' not leavin' no bare wires hangin' out o' de skirtin' in Studio B. which is wot happenin' durin' de birfday broadcast an' it blowin' all de valves out o' de transmitter, had to wait six weeks fo' a new one f'om Hamley's, also all de wattles comin' off of de roof.
De broadcast goin' out at three o'clock pee em on Xmas day, an' de whole popperlation o' Uganda gonna be lissenin' in wid de love an' loyalty an' devotion, on account of we got de detector jeeps out an' anyone still guzzlin' de mince pies at 3.01 gonna find hisself havin' de brandy balls stepped on, not to mention bein' arrested by de ear an' taken down to HQ fo' a touch o' de seasonal goodwill, such as bein' worked over wid a lead-filled turkey. Now, here de scrip', hot f'om de miraculous four-colour Biro: Hallo word an' all de loyal subberjecks, especially all those on de Wolf Rock Lighthouse an' sim'lar, dis here are President Idi Amin speakin' f'om de centre o' de known universe an' hittin' you wid de Peace on Earf bit, which is jus' us DJs' way o' sayin' dat de time come roun' again fo' gittin' de matchin' socks an' hankies an' turnin' our thoughts to de loved ones wot sendin' dis sort o' junk, can't even be bothered gittin' de size right; jus' as a example, an' showin' dat even de top heads o' state human bein's like anyone else, de fust present I got dis year comin' f'om de Finance Minister an' it takin' de form o' de barf salts, an' wot I'd like to say is, it interestin' to learn he doan like de way I smellin' an' he got to de end o' de broadcast to clear out de desk an' git hisself down de car-park where he takin' up de noo duties, an' damn lucky it Yuletide, else he gittin' de head shrunk on top of it.
Turnin' now to de international scene, wot de hell happenin' to de Queen's Xmas card? I sendin' her de pussonal home-made job, wot I doin' wid de little bits o' sticky coloured paper, an' a damn fiddlin' job, too. If I ain't gittin' de recipperocation by de nex' post, de dipperlomatic representative o' HM Gumment gonna find hisself on de inside lookin' out.
Dis natcherly bringin' me to everyone spendin' Xmas in clink: it de time when we got to think o' those less fortunate than ourselves, so all you in chokey start thinkin' about de ones wot buried in quicklime in de prison yard, still plenty o' room out there fo' de slackers, an' I gittin' de word where a lotta shoddy mailbags bin appearin' lately, an' dis de last time I mentionin' it.
De way I seein' it, Xmas is a time fo' de fambly, an' I lookin' upon de whole word as a fambly, i.e. anyone steppin' out o' line gittin' de head smacked, especially if Julius Nyerere lissenin', altho' I ain't namin' no names, also any o' de Asian brudders wot givin' me lip, all ex-colonial rubbish wot still hangin' about de place, any memmers o' de Ugandan judiciary wot still on de lam, an' any subberjecks goin' roun' mumblin' under their bref.
Wow, lisseners, I jus' catchin' sight o' de studio sundial, an' it 3.10 already, so I signin' off now an' gittin' back to de puddin'. I mean, I'm fo' de peace an' de goodwill stuff as much as de nex' man, but enuff is enuff!