"Tropic of Deceit"
A tragi-comedy in one act

"University politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small", an aphorism attributed to Henry Kissinger.

This is a story of personal ambitions in a school for delinquents populated by over-expecting students, dilatory teachers and a mushroom board.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real life or persons is unintended.

Dramatis personae


Hans Hedgyar

The behelmeted, imperious teutonic headmaster. Was found backstabbed to death in the schoolyard one day. It is common knowledge who the culprits are but they remain at large with only their consciences to live with each night before they slip into noddyland.

Hanna Toli

Emerged from a misty past of which records have been difficult to trace. Claims to have been master of a vast organisation of the proletariat in a defunct marxist state. Her articulation is inversely proportional to her speaking volume. After a several years being inexplicably put in charge of a mob of lynchers and finger-pointers, was exiled back to the land where she came from. With great fanfare, she announced that she is now employed by a top-notch British organisation (UCL), a claim which when checked proved to be fantasy believed only by the gullible (see 'The Terrorist' below). Best known for her practice of promoting acquiescent and supine invertebrates, thus ensuring their subservience.

Madam Fang

One of the the Gang of Three. Her smiling edifice hides a calculating and conspiratorial nature. Like countless others through history who cannot survive on their own merits, she values and grooms  obsequious underlings reliance upon whom her perch is secured. If you hear the scratching sound of pen on paper its probably because she is leading the unwashed in another petition behind your back. Does not have the finesse of a machiavellian reprobate but deadly nevertheless: her trademark fangs will bite. 

Deepshit Manure

Guru of an ashram of associates. Practices the transcendental philosophy of not biting the hand that feeds you until after that hand has fed you. A real snake charmer. The wiser young male novitiates of the ashram learn through experience to avoid the guru. Had his turban knocked off his head recently.


The Boy

You know the type ... he annoyingly runs after you wanting to copy doing everything that you do, and wants to be leader of the gang ..... except that he is inexperienced and can't. Eventually he learns that he has to wait til his balls drop before he can be like a man. A walking example of the joke: "Why is life like a septic tank? Because the largest turds rise to the top."


The Little Napoleonski

Another mysterious character unknown to Google scholar. As typical with people of his ilk, is fond of making the claim that he has led "thousands" of staff. Thrust into leadership in searching again by anointment. Would be more successful if he could speak intelligibly ... in English.

The terrorist

Typical bully character: small; opinionated; brusque. Makes decisions on hearsay without full knowledge: Shoots first and asks questions after. The man he replaced has ancestry from the land where Mercedes and BMW automobiles are made. This bully is from the land of the Irish joke.  A flash in the pan destined to disappear just as quickly as he appeared (and he did).

The lynch mob

The mob boiled over when told that they had to put in hard work and that they should always have quality in their output. They clamoured for a king who would maintain their fairy tale. They may eventually learn that they can rid themselves of the king but they wont get rid of the problem.


22 July 12

Created by Clem Kuek