Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, August 10, 2006

Keep your friends close, but enemies closer-
A special tribute to friendship dat

By reggie

Friendship Day reminds me of Sponge Bob and Patrick. What could be more 'wonderful' than the 'love' that exists between these two aquatic friends? In any fine day in Bikini Bottom, chances are you will find them prancing around in their shorts, catching jellyfish, and holding hands and enjoying this 'togetherness'. Isn't that what friendship day is all about? This “togetherness”, this “bond”, this “assurance of a loyal presence”? Isn't friendship wonderful? Look at Spongy's life. Look how happy he is? Isn't that what we all need?

There is, however, only one itsy problem… Sponge Bob is perhaps the biggest loser on the face (and under) this earth. I mean, what is he? He lives alone, has a job, and yet spends his day running around the whole town in schoolboy pants. He dwells in a pineapple and has a lower I.Q than any of your regular sponges. But, come on, isn't that what is supposed to happen to a guy who 'loves everyone' and has no one to hate. We give 'enmity' less credit than it deserves. As anyone with “Spongy Bob experience” would know, having enemies is way more important than having friends. What better time to discover this crucial fact than the day that seeks to hide the source of our greatest strength, Friendship Day.

A very wise man discovered centuries ago, the only way to keep everyone on their toes, is for them to compete, a system, which gradually evolved to what we call free market economy, the miraculous elixir fueling economic boom everywhere. And the only person whom you can compete with most efficiently is thine enemy. Enemies keep you on your toes. The face of an enemy smirking at a success he is enjoying is the most powerful motivation force you can get. In the holy battle of success that can prove critical in pushing you over the edge to wipe that smirk off your enemy's ugly face. Thus, as Confucius said, 'He who has enemy has good body and soul'. All right he didn't say that. But you know the sheer physical exertion; the constant planning to keep ahead of your enemy has a greater positive effect on your physical and mental strength than all those drugs cyclists take to win Tour De France.

Don't believe me? You only need to open your eyes to see how the concept of beating the pulp out of your dire enemy is pervading in our world. If Microsoft never had its enemy Sony, there would never be the awesome game called Halo. If Khaleda Zia had no enemy in Sheikh Hasina, there would have been no colourful and edge-of-our-seat political drama to witness in Bangladesh.

And who can overlook the awesome importance of enemies to the developed nations? Without a foe, in underdeveloped third world countries their whole political and social machine would just collapse. Even the prince of smoochy soft love ballads, Enrique Iglesias would be nothing if he weren't spurred on by the hot chicks swarming over his arch enemy, Ricky Martin. And vice versa.

Perhaps the greatest asset of enmity can be seen in the sporting field. Did you ever think you could witness any better match than the World Cup Final if Matarazzi loved Zidane? Do you think cricket would have thrived if collective India didn't hate the guts out of the Pakistani Cricket team? The tension, the drive, the heat, not to mention the gobs of cold cash- all is generated from the singular source- the enemy.

Enemies are excellent for deciding out who your true friends are. And if it turns out you don't have any true friend, then a mutual enemy is enough to drive two people together to become best of buddies. All this made me realize how important enemies are for your social life. I mean only when you have enemies, can you practice important diplomatic skills like lying, propaganda and subterfuge to sway the masses to your side. Enemies can be used as a great tool for social entertainment. If bored you can dwell in the immensely enjoyable activity of enemy bashing- i.e. pochafying everything about him starting from his tooth colour to hairstyle. In the process you not only learn a very important art of insulting people in the most intense manner, but also a variety of colourful vocabulary which has a wide range of uses everywhere except college essays, SAT, resumes, official letters and love letters. And don't forget how important enemies are as scrape goats. The next time the teacher comes up to you with an allegation simply point the long finger at the guy whose guts you would rather feed to a dog. This will not only get you a narrow escape but is also good for the soul- by calming your nerves and blood lust.

Of course I don't really mean that friends are useless. Its just that you spend everyday in your life with friends that the thought of allocating a special day to buy cards from Hallmark and say 'I love you dost, you are very special to me' sounds both repulsive and weird. So I say, this time, we all ditch Friendship Day and send some hate mails to our enemies. Lets take an opportunity to tell them how much we really hate them and how much this hatred means to us. After all they are the ones who make us tick.



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