Dear Aunt Sophie,
I have devoted my entire life to international public service (surely nobler than a merely local endeavor like policing or fire fighting). But despite my high ideals I am being criticized and investigated. I, the leader of the only international body in existence that might some day prevent a war.
My organization does vital work for humankind, like taking money from rich countries and distributing it to the poor in what you Americans condescendingly call the Third World. Fortunately, in my organization, the Third World rules.
But this constant probing of my affairs has become more than annoying. I have been accused of corruption. Something about oil contracts. It is really quite complicated and I do not fully understand it, but there have been calls for me to resign. I, who see to it that my organization engages only in the purest forms of redistributive charity, have been asked to step down. Hell, no! I am not going to go away.
But enough about me. My son has also been accused of corruption, although he does not work for my organization. Both of these things are very disappointing to me. I gave him the finest upbringing money can buy. He is a sterling young man, even though he seems to have forgotten some of what I taught him. I promise you he is not corrupt. Only disappointing.
He worked for a company that was implicated in this oil contract scandal and because he was able to live well while being paid a subsistence-level salary, they found fault with him. Perhaps I should not have taught him thrift - I am the reason he knows how to live so well on so little.
When he was growing up I did warn him many times about appearances. I taught him all about Caesar’s wife, but apparently he forgot that lesson. In this respect he has certainly disappointed me. Some might say I failed him, but they don’t know how hard I tried. I guess no child is perfect.
Not having succeeded in vilifying me to their satisfaction, they have embarrassed my dear son, and now they are scrutinizing the activities of my friends and associates. It seems they will go to any lengths to discredit me. Do you think they can take away my Nobel Prize?
What can I do to help my son regain his reputation? And how can I protect my position and my prize?
It is must be heartbreaking to have to sit by while one’s child is raked over the coals. Especially such a clever whippersnapper as your son.
I can barely imagine the pleasure you must have had teaching the little tyke the ABC’s of international politics, explaining concepts like “fungible”, “in kind” and “under the table”. And now to see him implicated in a massive scandal that splashes all over your lap – how distressing.
As everyone knows, it can be extremely difficult to teach a child what sort of behavior to avoid without piquing his curiosity about it. Just how does one convince a lad weaned on the finest champagne US taxpayers can buy that 5-star dining on a no-star salary might raise a few well-placed eyebrows? At some point you should have taken him aside and said, “Look, son, you should never, never, never take pay-offs, but if you’re going to, don’t spend it all in one place.” I’m surprised he wasn’t working for your organization. He sounds like a natural.
As for your own professional woes, it’s just so darn unfair that anyone could hold you responsible for not halting illegal oil sales taking place right under your nose. After all, any benevolent international organization should run on auto pilot so as not to divert its secretary general’s attention from important issues like which vintage of Château d’Yquem to serve at its annual Zionism-is-racism banquet and love-fest. Certainly no one should expect the head honcho to be aware of every little thing that goes on in one of its major humanitarian programs. After all, it’s not as if you’d allowed this to go on for any personal gain.
Your position is probably secure as long as you can affect innocence and mild confusion with a straight face. But don’t place large orders for shredders any time soon.
And your Nobel Prize? That remains to be seen. If the payola was really world class, you’ll undoubtedly get another one.
Good luck and God bless.