A simple proposal for world domination
Published 24 November 1994 in TODAY
Everybody says we’re wimps, right? The Air Force hasn’t got any planes and the Navy ships are held together by rust and spit and the Army’s guns are being sold off por kilo by enterprising parties. We’re practically defenseless, and if the leaders of some superior power should get it into their heads to invade us, the only way we might repel their forces is to douse them in buckets of boiling drool from the frothing mouths of our politicians. This way if infection doesn’t kill them, rabies will. Of course, those same invaders will rue the day they entered the P.I.–just wait until they breathe the black Manila air or see a Carlo Caparas film or attempt to drive on EDSA. But by the time they realize their humongous error, they’ll be here. We’re a bunch of defenseless dweebs, right? We’re weenies, right? We have nothing, right?
What is it that we’ve got, and in vast quantities? What do we have that criscrosses the globe, that is present in all the major capitals of the world? What is this secret weapon with which our disaster-prone little archipelago may become a world power?
Nope, not coconuts, Miss Saigon stars, or self-proclaimed messiahs, but maids. As in domestic helpers. As in chimay.
Don’t cringe: it’ a fact, and it’s a little late to be ashmed of it. All over the planet, from the Galapagoss to Gstaad, from the Thames to Timbukthree, there are Pinays who cook, scrub, babysit, wash, and do chores for foreign nationals. There are Filipino domestic helpers in the palaces of Arabian nobility, in the households of heads of state, corporate honchos, media moguls, and movie royalty.
Pavarotti has Filipina domestic helpers–he said so during his press conference. Christopher Lambert, star of Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and the Highlander movies, has a Filipina maid he is very fond of. My friend Ruth was in Paris recently, and she met a friend of the maid. According to the friend, Lambert maintains an apartment in Parish, but only stays there one week every six months. The rest of the time, the Pinay maid had the run of the place.
Whenever Lambert is around, the maid gets extremely annoyed because all the phone calls are for him. (Naturally, since it is his house.) Everytime the phone rings she goes, “Oy, Tarsan, you git dat tilipon. DatÃs por you.” Christopher Lambert adores her: “She ees so char-meeng.” He thinks she’s quaint. She also works part-time for supermodel Claudia Schiffer, whom she met when the latter was dating Lambert. So that’s two internationally prominent personalities the maid works for.
Assuming that there are half a million Pinay domestic helpers worldwide, and a fraction of thus number–say, ten percent–work for the movers and shakers, thinkers and doers of the world, that’s fifty thousand Pinays literally dusting the seats of power.
Now how can we harness this statistic to our advantage? Need you ask. I won’t event go into the potential for espionage and blackmail, which we would never ever stoop to, cough cough. Far be it for me to suggest that we keep dossiers on the private lives of world leaders, cough cough.
No, my proposal is far more simple. I propose that we establish stronger communications with the Pinay maids out there. I propose that we give them consciousness-building seminars that will make them more aware of their unique powers. Then I propose that at a given signal, the Pinay maids all over the world stage a sit-down strike.
Yes, a strike. They shall refuse to make dinner, iron clothes, wash dishes, or change diapers for their employers until their demands are met. They shall sit in their rooms watching TV while the phones ring off the hooks, the dirty washes and laundry pile up, the dirt ring spreads in the tub, and the babies bawl their lungs out. Imagine the international crisis this would precipitate!
The maids shall do their nails while employers frantically try to establish control and order over their households. Which, of course, they can not do, being unused to the demands of household management. Finally the embattled employers, many of them world leaders, will realize what deep doo-doo they’re in, and given in to all their maids’ demands.
And what exactly will these demands be? Oh, simple stuff. That our foreign debts be considered paid, for one. Armaments, planes, ships. Heavy investments. The clean-up of toxic wastes. Trade concessions. Almost anything we could ask for. We would literally hold the world hostage.
I am reminded of a Physics problem from high school. The Chinese get mad at the American and devise a plan to eliminate them forever. If you look at a globe, China is directly opposite the United States. At the exact given moment, every single person in China will jump one foot into the air. When they hit the ground, the impact will propel the population of the United States into outer space. Given the mass of the earth, the populations of the two countries, the average weights of the Chinese and Americans, and the laws of momentum, will the plan work?
It won’t, because the earth is too heavy. But that’s beside the point. Our plan will work because it is human nature to despise housework, and the farther one rises in the world, the less inclined she or he will be to do household chores. In fact, the degree of social, political, and financial influence a person wields in inversely proportional to her or his willingness to do housework. The less inclined one is to cook, clean, and wash, the more likely one is to hire a domestic helper.
So keep sending out those maids, those domestics, those chimays and atsays. In their capable hands lies what may be our only chance to become a superpower. Chimays of the world, unite! Before long, we shall take over the world!!!