Fat manilla envelopes are piling up on the mat in the Tripoli palace of beleaguered despot, Muammar Gaddafi, which, when opened, reveal glossy brochures from retirement communities around the globe. While most of us wonder “Where next?” for a disgraced dictator, who has ruled his country with intractable brutality for 45 years, it’s illuminating to see just how many communities are competing to sign him up.
Roy Greenstreet is managing director of Tyrants-R-Us - ‘almost assassination-free since 1975’ - a small gated community in Tirana, Albania. He’s so excited by the prospect of adding Gaddafi to the rosta of brutal dictators who have chosen to spend their declining years in luxurious surroundings, overlooking beautiful Lake Tufina, that he’s already had a napkin ring engraved with the Libyan dictator’s name.
“He can have Idi Amin’s old room”, said Roy. “We were actually saving it for Robert Mugabe, but, well, things move so fast in the unelected dictatorship sector of the retirement home market. We’ve kept the lampshades made out of human skin, which should make Muammar feel at home.
“We run regular courses on ‘How to feign mental illness’. They're proving to be very successful, and no-one who has finished a course has ever been extradited for crimes against humanity. Of course, from the footage I’ve seen, maybe this is one course that Muammar won’t be needing.
“If he can get here by the weekend, we’re showing a film of the Nuremberg Rally on Saturday evening. That always perks the residents up; some of them will be goose-stepping for days”...