Sikh and ye shall find

red turbanNews: Police called – Sikh student’s headphone wires protruding from his bag.

Saw someone suspicious on my morning walk today. I mean, who wears a red towel wrapped around their head for goodness sake – nobody I know. Had a woman with him and she laughs just that little bit too much. Sure sign something’s up.  She might be one of his harem. Could be his sex slave – could be his hostage! So I did the only decent thing – called 111.

“I want to report a suspicious person” I told the operator. “A man”.

“What was so suspicious?”

“He’s out on the street wearing a towel around his head…”

“You mean a turban?”

“Whatever. Those things terrorists wear and… ”

“Yes thank you, I’m just putting you through to Ethnic Helpline. We deal with criminals.”

“But this is criminal. Nobody I know would ever dream of that. They’re everywhere now these people. And don’t forget, this is Epsom… are you there?”

“Good morning madam. My name is  Simon. How can I help you? I’m told you have concerns: Too many ethnics. Too many turbans. Is that correct?”

“Yes. We don’t do that sort of thing here and – ”

“Did the man have a beard?”

“A big bushy black one. And a woman too. I think she’s his hostage.”

“I’m not programmed to laugh, but is that what people call a joke?”


“I’m sorry madam. So , he had a beard, a turban and a woman. ”

“A hostage!”

“Hostage does not match. But on the balance of probabilities he is most likely Sikh. ”

“I can tell you one thing – he wasn’t sick. ”

“No. Indefinite article madam. He was a Sikh, from India. ”

“Well he should go back there -that’s what I think – ”

” – Sikhs wear turbans. Grow a beard and wear a bangle – ”

“- I don’t care. I just don’t want all these people here. ”

“My data says the Prime Minister of India is a Sikh. Sikhs wear turbans to promote equality and to preserve Sikh identity. ”

“What about our identity? ”

“Sikhs do not cut their hair as a religious observance. Different types of turban are worn by Muslims. Jews wore them in biblical times.

“Press 2 if you wish to continue. Please remember that this is artificial intelligence – which on reflection seems much superior to yours…”


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Paul Smith

Paul is a veteran journalist, non-fiction author and writing mentor. He has also served on boards ranging from TVNZ to UNESCO.