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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Malawi: the fear is gone at last

More good news out of Africa. Malawi has become the 147th country to ratify an international treaty banning nuclear explosions.

When I heard this, I vented a huge sigh of relief, removed my tinfoil helmet, switched off the Geiger counter and buried my bottle of uranium-235 that I had been keeping for a retaliatory strike against Lilongwe.

I never told anyone for fear of spreading panic, but I have always suspected those Malawians of being up to no good. After all, how many landlocked countries have navies? Malawi’s battleships and aircraft carriers operate out of Monkey Bay. Okay, so it’s not Pearl Harbour and it is on a lake. But still. Who knows what terrifying firepower lurks below their decks?

One minute we are admiring the way these people live — stable government, fabulous climate, great ganja — and the next we’re blinded by a giant fireball and our clothes have melted into our bodies.

Those of us who still had functioning mouths would turn to each other and say, “Malawi? Who would have thought it?” Yes. Well. It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?


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