February 04, 2004

The Touts of Senegal

Africa Blog
'The Touts of Senegal' is NOT the new movie by Martin Scorcese, but if he's interested I have the vague outline of a script. In the opening scene, all the touts are at a convention in St. Louis. The chief tout is running through new strategies - 'OK boys, I hope you're all still using the 'my wife has just had a baby' routine - it works well for the sympathy vote. Also make sure you mention the brother/sister/cousin/friend who lives in the appropriate hometown , this gets the tourist on a more friendly level. When you've done this make sure you ask how long they've been in Senegal to get the gullibility rating, and then what hotel they are in, so you can work out your pricing index. Once you've got the basics down, you can say 'Welcome to Senegal' with a big smile, and then you can start the phase 2 pressure tactics'.
'A good basic start is the 'this is a welcome gift' ploy. Give them a piece of worthless junk, and insist there are no strings attached. Follow it up with a minor sob story, and you can raise the guilt level high enough for them to come into your shop. Once they are in the shop, your battle is half over'.
'As a last resort, go for the 'Don't you like Senegalese people?' retort, so you can play on their fear of being rude and unfriendly.'
'If all this has failed, at least ask for a cigarette, so you don't come out of the transaction with nothing, and make sure you remember their name, so you can harass them in the street when they pass again'
'All right lads! Off you go, get them tourists!!'
I haven't quite got the plot worked out for the rest of the movie, but I do have a good ending.
A lone British tourist finally cracks, and after buying a sniper rifle from the Vietnamese restaurant at the end of the island, he begins to silently shoot the touts one by one from his hotel balcony. The last remaining tout calls for backup from Dakar, and all the Dakar touts swarm the island. The lone British tourist however, has planted dynamite all over the island, and he flees across the bridge blowing up St. Louis and all the touts behind him. He then goes on to enjoy a few days in Dakar without any touts left to bother him.
If you're reading this Mr. Scorcese, and you're interested, drop me an email...

Posted by paul at February 4, 2004 09:06 PM

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