Swallow or spitting mad?

People who migrate to foreign climes to avoid winter in their home country are known as swallows. I am more of an eagle than a swallow. I don’t migrate so much as swoop in and take occupation. Like Hitler, without the moustache, uniform, harsh guttural tongue and hatred for Jews and gypsies. Nothing like Hitler, then. It was the eagle image that set me off. Perhaps I should have a tequila to calm down.

That’s better.

My plan to decamp from Durban to Cape Town for the summer has nothing to do with wanting to spend time in a city with clean streets, enforced bylaws and an almost complete absence of Indians and Zulus. That would be Eurocentric and racist and an almost certain career killer. Not that you can call this a career.

One of the reasons I’m heading south is because right outside my bedroom window a pair of hadedas have set up whatever it is these antichrists of the avian world live in. All hadedas get up early, probably because they stop drinking at a reasonable hour, but then, after waking everyone within an 800m radius, they generally take off and head for the wealthier suburbs to stab children in the eyes and suck their brains out. That’s where hadedas get their power from. So if one of your children is acting stupider than usual, you should know that a hadeda has got to him. They prefer boy children because girls’ brains tend to be on the acerbic side.

My hadedas are different. They start shouting at first light, sometimes earlier if one of them has had a bad dream. First light in Durban is ridiculously early. Like 4.45am. I can’t be sure because I keep throwing the alarm clock into the tree. Not the same clock, obviously. I live in a security complex with a body corporate trained by the Gestapo and I can’t afford to be found on my hands and knees beneath the mango tree in a pre-dawn raid by (name omitted).

“Who are you? Hande hoch!”

“Don’t shoot! I’m looking for my alarm clock.”

So I buy a new alarm clock each time. It’s costing me a fortune. I should probably throw something else. Fragmentation grenades would be ideal.

Unlike most hadedas, mine don’t fly off after first cry. In fact, they don’t fly off at all. Ever. I think they operate as some sort of navigational beacon for their brethren who do fly.

My hadedas: “AAAHHKKUUAHHAAHHHKKK!”

Hadedas passing by: “We know we’re passing Westbrook. We’ve been doing this for years. One of us should tell those idiots.” But because hadedas are morons, the message never gets passed on.

I am currently in Cape Town. I flew here to not only get away from the hadedas, but also to escape the tilers. A year ago I replaced a few square metres of tiles. The chaos was unimaginable. The shouting, the banging, the drinking, the half-naked women. It was too terrible. Now I have had to have the entire place redone professionally and I couldn’t bear to be in the vicinity of so much manual labour. The other reason I’m here is to find a place for the summer.

You might think it would be a simple matter to rent something in Cape Town for six months, but you’d be wrong. The city isn’t what it used to be. There was a time you could arrive at any time of year and stay for as long as you wanted for virtually nothing at all. But things have changed since Jan van Riebeeck sailed into Table Bay. The good news is that you can still negotiate a pretty good deal for two bottles of whisky and a bag of salt. Not property, obviously. But certainly an hour or two with one of Muizenberg’s finest, for sure. Or so I’ve heard.

I’m writing this on Wednesday. I should probably spell it out for some of you. I’m talking about last Wednesday, not next. I am not a time traveller. I’m just a guy standing in front of a waiter, asking him to bring me another beer.

I’m at Fisherman’s, one of only three bars in the deep south enclave of Kommetjie. The temperature has plummeted to minus seventeen and I’m wondering if I am not jumping the gun insofar as my eagling plans are concerned. I’m quite possibly the only person in the province who goes out at night wearing slops instead of fur-lined boots. I have Durban written all over me.

It’s 7.15pm and a kid in a wetsuit carrying a surfboard and dripping arctic water just walked past the bar. If you saw a surfer in Durban on the street at this time of night, he’d be carrying his kidneys and dripping blood.

I have now moved from Fisherman’s down the road to a bar called the Green Room. It’s 300m closer to Durban and feels much warmer.

My attempts to secure a summer lease in the deep south are not going well. The spirit of Gordon Gekko is strong. Greed is good. Not for me, though. Or for anyone trying to rent in these parts. For this, I blame the Germans. Just to be clear, when I say Germans I mean any white person who lives outside Africa.

They come here with their dollars and euros and pounds and buy up entire suburbs. I don’t have a problem with this. But instead of renting these properties out, they put them on Airbnb to gouge maximum dinero from the swallows, eagles and whatever well-heeled pilgrims might wander into their web. Now, for the first time, I understand why Berlin banned Airbnb from operating in the city. It shuts it down for people who want to rent for longer than a dirty weekend.

I’ve been here for almost two weeks and I still haven’t found anything. Not because I’m fussy. There are a handful of places available outside Airbnb, but I’m not convinced that R10 000 a month for a granny flat with a view of a Vibracrete wall, if not the actual granny herself, is worth it.

Airbnb has all but destroyed the rental market for students, young lovers wishing to cohabit against their parents’ wishes and itinerant freelance journalists of a certain age. This is nothing short of a travesty.

Aside from escaping the hadedas and the insufferable summer, I also have to get out of my home in Durban because I’ve, er, listed it on Airbnb and there are people coming to stay.

That’s right. We all need to stop kicking against the pricks and subscribe to our government’s new motto, “If you can’t beat them, fleece them.”

dogbox

Twisted Koeksuster

The loss of life today has been quite spectacular, even by our standards.

Thousands of pigs, sheep, goats, cows and chickens fought among themselves for the honour of being the first to lay down their lives so that South Africans could celebrate National Braai Day in true style.

So far, the day has been a resounding success. Gutters ran red with blood, dogs ran wild with bones and paramedics ran themselves ragged tending to the usual braai-related assaults, rapes and homicides.

The Bad Yellow-Eyed Woman wanted to do something to celebrate Heritage Day. Quite frankly, I couldn’t see the point. “We’re white,” I said. “We don’t have a heritage.” We did, on the other hand, have plenty of meat. It made far more sense to celebrate Braai Day.

We arranged to meet friends down at the beach where we could fall down without worrying about concussing ourselves. This is always one of the biggest hazards facing those who choose to celebrate Braai Day instead of Heritage Day.

Encamped on the beach, we had just finished our first case of Tafel lager and were wrestling a second kudu haunch onto the grid when we were forced to take up braai forks and fend off a pack of hungry darkies. Look, I’m all for unifying the nation and whatnot, but there are limits.

Engorged with dead animal and thoroughly beerlogged, we returned home to celebrate Heritage Day like the decent god-fearing patriots that we are. Heritage Day is a relatively new addition to the public holiday calendar. Prior to 1994, it was known as Right of Admission Reserved Day.

We agreed that the country has a fascinating array of indigenous fauna, all of which go well with one or other of the many indigenous sauces available in supermarkets everywhere.

Our flora, too, is not to be sneezed at. Unless, of course, you suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, in which case you have no business living here.

Look at our national flower, the giant protea. Actually, I can’t look at it for too long because I find it hostile and ugly. To be honest, I would rather look at roadkill.

Fynbos is unique to the Cape Floral Kingdom and you will be fined if you pick it. Cannabis sativa is unique to KwaZulu-Natal and you will be arrested if you smoke it. That’s diversity for you.

The central image on our coat of arms is a secretary bird, a graceful creature known for launching random attacks on unsuspecting tourists. It specialises in pinning people to the ground and pecking their eyes out.

Canada’s national bird is the Common Loon. A bit like our minister of mineral resources, really.

The motto on our coat of arms is !ke e:/xarra//ke. Nobody outside of the /Xam tribe knows what it means. Most South Africans think it’s computer code.

When it comes to the national animal, we have the springbok. France has some sort of chicken. Our rugby team is also called the Springboks. The French once accused them of playing like animals. This made us feel tremendously proud.

Our national fish is the galjoen. Like most hard-drinking South Africans, the galjoen is regarded as a creature that will fight to the death. Cooked over an open fire, however, galjoen tastes a lot better than the national drunk.

A few years ago I was expecting to receive one of the national orders that President Mbeki handed out with gay abandon. Unbelievably, I was passed over. Instead, Morné du Plessis got one. So did Roland Schoeman. And Schalk Pienaar.

If you’re white you have to be Afrikaans to get any kind of recognition in this country. As English-speakers, we are doomed. Even though our forefathers invented gin and tonic, lap dancing, airbags, the cat flap, shrapnel and the rubber band, nobody around here seems to care.

Oh, now I get it. Of course. It’s far more important to reward a people who came up with jukskei, witblits, the Voortrekker Monument, the G6 artillery gun and a racial superiority complex so twisted that it makes their koeksisters look straight.

An open letter to Pastor Steven L Anderson

Dear Pastor

On behalf of all red-blooded, right-thinking heterosexual South African men, I would like to apologise for the appalling treatment meted out to you by the limp-wristed, cocktail-sucking pillow-biters in our government.

You were meant to arrive today – a day declared holy by God after he spent six days working his all-powerful arse off making the universe. And this is the thanks you get? How very dare they ban you from entering our country? You are a man of the cloth. You should be allowed to enter anything you like. Well, when I say anything, I obviously exclude certain categories. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I’m talking about leather-pantsed, Latex-rubbered men with lisps and whips.

Quite frankly, I was surprised our government even had time to get involved in this matter. As you may know, the entire executive has been tasked with the full-time job of protecting our president from prosecution and bankruptcy. Between you and me, I don’t give a damn how corrupt or dysfunctional he is. The important thing is that when he goes home at the end of the day, it’s not to a man wearing nothing but fishnet stockings and Manolo Blahnik stilettos, swivelling his girly hips to Born This Way, an anthem of blasphemy performed by a fallen Jezebel by the name of Lady Gaga.

When Jacob goes home, he has to put on gumboots to wade through raging torrents of oestrogen being secreted by his multitude of wives. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t write us off just because of one man with a predilection for gold braid and pilot caps. Trust me when I say you won’t find a more butch president than ours. I thought maybe Vladimir Putin could give him a run for his money, but the Russian has a disturbing penchant for whipping off his shirt and mounting the nearest animal. I think it’s fair to say that our President Zuma loves women more than he loves … I was going to say money, but that would be a lie. More than he loves governing, let’s say.

In 2006, when he was deputy president, Big Z told a crowd attending Heritage Day celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, “When I was growing up, unqingili (homosexuals) could not stand in front of me.” This was followed by an outbreak of stamping and flouncing and demands for a retraction. Well, not really an outbreak. There were complaints. As you’re undoubtedly aware, “retraction” is a term frequently bandied about in the homosexual community. I don’t know what it means. Nor does our president. It’s probably part of the secret code gays use to fool us normals.

Our so-called Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, is obviously a closet homo. Why else would he ban you from visiting South Africa? Just because you believe homosexuality should be punished by death, that women who use contraception are whores, that abortion is a sin, that the Holocaust is a scam, that Islam is evil, that the Jewish Messiah is the Antichrist, that the unsaved will be consigned to eternal torment in hell, that Barack Obama deserves to die, that … I’m running out of space. Just because of this? Please. You’ve never even said that second-born girl children should be slaughtered. Or that people with disabilities should be drowned. You’re almost a liberal where I come from.

You said Gigaba was “damned” for standing with the “sodomites”. To be clear, it’s not so much the standing with them that unleashes the wild beast in these perverts. It’s the shirtless dancing and, later, the trouserless lying down. And sometimes the being roughly taken from behind on the balcony by a man wearing a nun’s habit, a titanium dog collar and a studded cock ring. Or so I’ve heard.

Gigaba said you were an undesirable person for “practising racial hatred”. That’s ridiculous. God-fearing folk like us don’t need to practice racial hatred. It comes naturally. I’m sure your 150-strong congregation at the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, have had all kinds of hatred down pat for generations. That’s the beauty of in-breeding.

Our government, by the way, also considers the Dalai Lama to be an undesirable person, but that’s because he wears a dress and preaches peace and love and other hippy filth.

After you were grounded by our government, you called South Africa “a den of iniquity” and a “demonic stronghold”. I have to correct you here. You’re describing Cape Town. The rest of the country is filled with brethren smiting the scoffers and mockers with an abundance of righteous violence. O yea. Huzzah to the highest.

As you pointed out, there has been much wickedness in South Africa during its history. “It’s like the devil has a hold on that place. And don’t try to make it about this race or that race or this nation or that nation.” Nicely put, sir. This places the blame for colonialism, apartheid and overgrazing squarely on the shoulders of the devil himself. Or, dare I say, herself. There’s a reason devil worshipping and wooing women are so very similar in methods and outcomes. And yet women are not devils. We love women and hate the devil. Do I have this right? But what if the devil really is female? This could explain and, I hesitate to say, justify why so many men are becoming homosexuals. I’m very confused. I do hope this doesn’t signal the early onset of gayness.

I need clarity on something so that my hatred may be fully focused. You say that all GTBQLI people are “sodomites”. Are you certain about this? I can’t be sure, but I don’t think lesbians, for instance, are all that crazy about action in the botty area. As for intersex people, I’m not sure they even have botties. Either that or they have several. Can you send me some pictures? You must have a few lying around at home for research purposes.

You issued an angry message on Tuesday informing the free world that you’d been banned from not only South Africa, but the United Kingdom too. What irony. Britain is the original home of the deviant. Cabinet ministers are regularly found late at night in the parks and commons on hands and knees dressed as fairies and elves, snorting magic mushrooms and having their prostates checked by hirsute men with tattoos and bad attitudes. The nation is ruled by a queen, for heaven’s sake. Can you get more bent than that?

The quote you fired at the two aberrant countries was well chosen. “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”

I know what you mean. I have shaken my raiment many times, and even sometimes had it shaken for me, and have almost always gone unto the Gentiles, usually just for a wee but sometimes a shower, depending on the state of my raiment.

You also complained that the Christians in South Africa did not defend you and that you wouldn’t be surprised if you were unable to win any souls here. That’s our Christians for you. Bunch of backsliders who would rather get drunk and watch rugby than spread the word of King James. I’m not talking about King James the advertising agency. People who work in advertising serve the Dark Lord and should be set alight and thrown into a burning pit full of burning vipers along with the homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, sodomites, catamites, chilibites, Muslims, abortionists and the French.

Your message ended, “I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists.” I’m not altogether convinced that the multitudes in Botswana want to be saved. But if they do, my advice is to give them a bit of the old dimethyltryptamine before the sermon. You’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand. Some of them may even try to eat the palm of your hand. Don’t worry. It’s an African thing.

See you at the Rapture.

crossdonesmall

We don’t knead no edukayshun

I was delighted to see bits of the University of KwaZulu-Natal go up in flames last week.

It made me come over all schadenfreudy, largely because I never got the chance to go to university. None would have me. They said I hadn’t done well enough in matric. Really? How is a C, a D, an E and three Fs not good enough? What kind of monstrous system would set standards so ridiculously high?

It was obviously personal and I have remained embittered and violently anti-tertiary education ever since. If I could afford petrol I’d be making petrol bombs around the clock and paying previously disadvantaged students to throw them on my behalf.

I was especially pleased to see Howard College’s law library go up in flames. For a start, “law library” is an oxymoron. An oxymoron is someone who goes to the library looking for books on the law instead of proper literature like 50 Shades of Grey and He’s Just Not That Into You.

Besides, libraries are the work of the devil. They are run by thin-lipped harridans who will think nothing of slitting your throat if you make a sound, even if you are having sex in the reference section, which is your right as a student.

You know what kind of people frequent law libraries? Law students, that’s who. Many of these miscreants will one day end up in front of a judge, where they belong. Also, let us not forget that the law cannot be trusted. It leaves itself open to interpretation and speaks Latin when it doesn’t want to be understood. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the law library hadn’t conspired to set itself alight. I can almost hear the Constitution rubbing its tiny redundant hands together, maliciously casting the Incendio spell.

Some people said that early Roman-Dutch law books were destroyed. This is excellent news. Terrible things happened in those days and we don’t need any reminders of people like Nero or Peter Stuyvesant. Try calling an Italian a Roman these days and he’ll have your throat. Or more likely your wallet. And maybe your wife. As for the Dutch, the less said the better.

I hope the burnings aren’t restricted to the law faculty. At the very least there needs to be a bonfire of the humanities.

Universities are responsible for more trouble in this world than anything else. Think about it. What do you get at a university apart from mediocre food, lashings of casual sex and recreational drugs? An education, that’s what. Want to know who has one? Robert Mugabe. This man is a living example of the damage an education can do to a person. Mugabe was a decent, young man when he walked into Fort Hare University in the late 1940s. It was a beast that shuffled out, clutching a Bachelor of Dark Arts degree in his misshapen paw. As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to acquire a further six degrees, thereby guaranteeing his reputation later in life as a dangerous megalomaniac known for his faultless grammar and syntax when it came to issuing draconian decrees against his critics.

The only reason our fearless leader Comrade Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma the First, by the Grace of God President of the Republic of South Africa, Head of the Household, Defender of the Faith, Pastor of the Flock, Defeater of the Mbeki, Unifier of the Nation, Msholozi of Msholozis, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, Conqueror of the Apartheid Regime and Owner of Property in Nkandla isn’t a bloodthirsty demagogue possessed by demons is because he never went to university and doesn’t know any better. Some say it is his single saving grace.

Universities cause police brutality. You would think that policemen, not having gone to university themselves, would at least understand that the enemy here is the university itself, not the protestor, and would teargas campus buildings and fire rubber bullets at the blackboards.

Universities also attract white people, the primary cause of racism. That alone is reason enough to burn them to the ground. The universities, not the white people. With every university destroyed, these white “professors” and “lecturers” will have nowhere to go apart from maybe Perth and London where they will get what they deserve i.e. massive salaries and considerable respect.

The Democratic Alliance describes the awesome events at UKZN as a “catastrophe”. Is there no limit to their hysterical hyperbole? I’ll tell you what’s a bona fide catastrophe. When you’re the last person out of the bottle store before they close on a Sunday and, as you get to your car, the bag breaks and you lose everything.

I don’t really know what the students are complaining about, but I’ve heard they are upset about having to pay fees. And so they should be. Tertiary education is a fundamental human right and should be free. Houses should also be free. And cars. And, obviously, beer. Anything that is not free must be destroyed immediately.

You know what else needs to be destroyed? Rocks and trees and stuff. Next to universities, Nature has caused more mayhem than anything else. Nature doesn’t hesitate to kill or maim people who get lost in it. When the universities are nothing more than piles of smoldering rubble, I urge protestors to stone the rocks and trample the flowers. #FynbosMustFall.

If the government keeps rebuilding the universities – which seems unlikely given minister Blade Nzimande’s staggering lack of interest in anything to do with education – the next best form of protest would be for students to deliberately fail their exams. One of the most basic human rights is the right to remain stupid. Knowledge is power and power corrupts. #KnowledgeMustFall.

And while the Guptas are hard at work capturing the state, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Cape Town was being captured by his students. Max Price had given a presentation at a commission set up to investigate the feasibility of free higher education. How very cheeky. Just because he’s the head of the university doesn’t mean he’s allowed to have an opinion on how it’s run. That’s the responsibility of the students.

Price comes trailing a string of degrees, including a doctorate. That’s half the problem right there. The other half obviously being that he’s a white settler. He needs to abdicate and make way for someone more suitable like, say, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Students have a right to insist that morons control their universities.

Oil discovered in giant human well

In what has been described as a “miracle of staggering proportions”, vast untapped petroleum reserves have been discovered inside Khulubuse Zuma.

The businessman, a nephew of President Jacob Zuma, was admitted to hospital at the weekend after complaining of stomach pains. A check-up revealed the presence of what appeared to be an oil field.

Hospital superintendent Dr Feelgood Sinkhole said the discovery took staff by surprise. “Khulubuse asked us to locate the source of his discomfort. One of the interns suggested the Aurora gold mine. Needless to say, he is no longer working at the hospital.”

Dr Sinkhole said three surgeons had refused to operate on Zuma. “They made obscure references to exploding chest cavities and something called Alien – a horror film, apparently. It subsequently emerged that they were having a little ill-considered fun at the patient’s expense.”

Dr Sinkhole said the surgeons were relieved of their duties and escorted to the parking lot, where they were shot by Brad Wood, one of Zuma’s employees.

Wood confirmed the shooting, saying he alone was responsible. “I have worked long and hard towards this moment and nobody is going to steal my thunder. I shot those people. Nobody else.”

Radiologist Eks-Ray Sieverts said minor alterations had to be made to the radiology department to accommodate Zuma. “Well, when I say minor, I mean we had to remove the roof and bring the patient in on a crane. He was lowered onto a reinforced table and we gave him a thorough seismic examination.”

Sieverts said photographs revealed what appeared to be a “huge subterranean cavern filled with black fluid”. She said it was at this point that hospital management decided to bring in outside help.

State geologist Igneous van Diesel said he was called during the early hours of Sunday morning. “When I analysed the patient, I detected a distinctive rumbling sound that usually indicates the presence of a high-pressure reservoir of oil or gas.”

Van Diesel said at first his team wanted to go in from the top, but it was decided that sinking an exploratory well in the rear would be safer.

“Minimal drilling was required because the patient fortunately had a pre-existing shaft. At first, our test well revealed nothing more interesting than methane gas and a half-digested sheep. As we were about to remove our protective gear, all hell broke loose.”

He said there was a blowout – a “gusher” – and the team had to move fast to cap the well.

“If there had been a roof over us, it would have been blown clean off. As it was, the hospital sustained serious structural damage by the force of the blast.”

Van Diesel said he estimated that Zuma contained “at least 160 million barrels” – enough to meet South Africa’s oil needs for the next few years.

“Of course, we are going to have to test the quality of the oil. There is a chance that it’s not even good enough to fry chips in. But if it’s the high octane stuff, as we suspect it is, then the patient can expect to become far richer than he already is. If that’s even possible.”

Speaking from the recovery ward while having his reservoir drained, Zuma said he was looking forward to negotiating a good price – “maybe $95 a barrel” – with BP or Shell.

“I’ll sell myself to the highest bidder,” he said.

oil

Application for a position at South African Airways

Dear Biggles,

I stumbled across your advert quite literally. I was en route from the kitchen to the veranda with an adult beverage in hand when I tripped over the Sunday papers. The Bad Yellow-Eyed Woman said I hadn’t tripped at all, but had blacked out while traversing the north face of the lounge floor. She could be right. I have been known to black out for no apparent reason. I hope this won’t affect my application.

I have wanted to join South African Airways ever since a pilot let me sit on his lap in the cockpit. That was a year ago. Well, he called it a cockpit. It was really more of a basement with some kind of purple fur on the walls. Don’t worry, it was fake fur. He said he was one of yours. I love the new uniforms, but doesn’t it get hot under the latex rubber? My pilot was certainly sweating.

The advert said, “Do yo have Grade 12? If yes, SAA is now accepting applications.” I like the ‘yo’ bit. It makes working there seem hip and happening. I, for one, would love to work in a place where everyone walked around saying things like, “yo” and “bro” and “mofo” and “milf”.

The only criterion seems to be that applicants must have their Grade Twelve. Pardon my French, but I find this an extremely unrealistic expectation. Why set the standards so high? We have a president who barely completed nursery school and he runs an entire country full of millions of people. You’re just an airline with planes that don’t even carry more than two or three thousand people at a time. What difference can a matric certificate possibly make?

Anyway, the only real issue concerning education in this blighted country is whether or not teenage girls should be allowed to have hairstyles the size of Karoo tumbleweeds.

Please be advised that I have no intention of working my way up from the bottom. Parastatals are like giant corporate mazes full of dead-ends and dragons.

I have decided that I shall be a pilot. Forget the matric. It’s enough that I have a reasonable sense of direction, virtually no fear of heights and know the difference between the sea and the ground simply by looking at them. To be honest, I’m a bit night blind so I wouldn’t want to still be in the air at the end of the day. But who would? That’s sundowner time, that is.

Anyway, let’s not worry about technicalities. The main thing is that I’m behind the wheel by Christmas. Behind the joystick, I should say. My pilot friend taught me all about jiggling the joystick so there’s nothing to worry about there.

I am also very good at putting people at ease, especially if they think they’re going to die in a giant fireball. I have jokes that I will tell over the intercom. Here’s one.

Two Islamic State women are waiting to board a plane. One turns to the other and says, “Does my bomb look big in this?” They’ll lap it up, trust me.

One thing is troubling me. I read in the paper you’ve issued something called a Request for Long Term Funding. Where I come from, that’s fancy talk for begging. Are you going to want to borrow money from me? I should warn you that I grew up poor and have remained so all my life. Don’t feel bad, though. Everyone scrounges a bit of cash when the beer and drugs run out.

What worries me is that you’re asking for R16-billion and you want to start hitting it within two weeks of signing the deal. Do you have no money at all? What the hell happened? Does the airline have a gambling problem?

Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m a generous man. I always give to unemployed people at the robots if they reach me before I can wind up my window. So I’m not saying I won’t help you out. Let me make a couple of calls and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, I can spot you a twenty for lunch. Pay it back in installments if you have to.

Hold on. Your advert lays down some pretty heavy BEE conditions. Are there many disabled black women living in rural areas who served in uMkhonto we Sizwe with a spare R16-billion under the mattress? Probably. Anyway, I wouldn’t have thought a company in your position could afford to be that fussy.

If there are no takers, you might want to put management on the street with tin mugs and signs saying, “Crippled airline with 11 000 hungry wage slaves to support. Please help.”

Whoever does your hiring is also doing too much Ecstasy. Can anyone just wander in off the street and get a hug and a job? Your staff complement works out at 184 people per plane and yet nobody can ever find a flight attendant when they need another drink. So you have maybe four stewards in the cabin avoiding people like me and three allegedly flying the plane. Then there’s the guy that puts petrol in and another two on cargo duty. That makes ten. What are the other 174 doing? They can’t all be rifling through the baggage. Fire them at once.

I’ve changed my mind. I no longer wish to be a pilot. I want to be the chief executive officer. You clearly need someone who knows how to run a company. I am not that person, but I do know people who know people who know these things and I will bring them on board immediately. On board one of the planes, I mean. No more meetings in stuffy offices. When I meet with my executives, we will do it on a 797 Jumbo Jet 80 000 miles above the Indian Ocean, stopping only to disinfect the Jacuzzi and take on fresh supplies of tequila and whores.

I can see why you need money. For a start, a bunch of airlines are claiming damages amounting to hundreds of millions of rands because you spent years bribing travel agents to divert customers away from the competition. That was naughty.

What is also naughty is that you haven’t produced financial statements since 2014. Is your printer broken? I’ll bring mine from home. See what an asset I am already? My problem-solving skills are easily worth an extra million a month.

What the hell is Hong Kong’s case? How can they threaten to ground us if they don’t see our financial statements pretty damn soon. What business is it of theirs? Here’s my plan. We fit 30mm cannons to our wings. I know a guy with a welding machine. Then we come in low and hot over Chek Lap Kok and god help any Chinaman who tries to stop us from landing. Once we’re loaded up with tourists and heroin, we shoot our way out. That’ll teach them to bomb Pearl Harbour.

As for the Treasury refusing to give the airline a paltry R5-billion to tide you over, I think they could do with a damn good strafing, too. Sure, they’ve given you a bit of money here and there over the years, but how far do they think R14-billion goes these days? The price of bread is up, for a start. No wonder the president wants his finance minister behind bars. The way that Gordhan fellow keeps a stranglehold on the public purse you’d think it was his own money. It’s taxpayer’s money and if we want to toss it into a bottomless pit filled with rapacious vipers, that’s our prerogative.

The counter-revolutionary Gordhan reckons the airline could save money by cancelling unprofitable routes. Unprofitable for what? The People Shall Fly. It says so in the Freedom Charter. If there is even just one person who wants to fly to, say, Bora Bora, then SAA must organise a flight. That person will be me. Bora Bora is awesome.

Is it true that board chairwoman Dudu Myeni is Jacob Zuma’s sister from another mister? I’m a bit worried about her, to be honest. Is she taking her medication? She seems to suffer from fairly serious delusions of grandeur. Perhaps it is one of the requirements of the position.

My first act as CEO will be to change my job title to Commander of the Skies (COS). My second act will be to add another twenty rows of seats to all our aircraft. Legroom is a luxury that SAA can ill-afford. Passengers will be expected to squat on their seats. They may kneel if they wish. Free snacks will be done away with but passengers will be allowed to prepare their own meals. An area for slaughtering animals will be provided for those who require kosher or halaal food. However, they will have to bring their own animals and implements for the butchering thereof.

Frequent Flyer Miles will be replaced with Mile High Club Miles and clothing will be optional in First Class. I’m sure you agree this will ameliorate the ordeal of flying with SAA as it is now.

One of the best things about being COS is that I get to hire friends and family. Fortunately, I come from a long line of functional alcoholics who will be quite at home in an environment where drinking on the job is encouraged. Good news for the losers flying in cattle class is that I will replace all those silly miniature bottles with nips. Business class will get half-jacks and first class the full 750ml.

I also have a foolproof turnaround strategy for the airline. Tell the pilots to turn around and come back. It’s all this flying about that’s costing a fortune. Sell the landing gear and turn the planes into high-class brothels serving decent food. SAA has been screwing its customers for years. This way they’d at least disembark with a smile on their faces.

PilotBen

 

Pining for the pines

I was out walking on the slopes of Table Mountain the other day enjoying the exercise and marveling at the view … oh, who am I kidding. I was out looking for shamanic fungi but I can’t write that or the police will be smashing down my front door before you can say 4-hydroxyl-dimethyltryptamine.

Truth is, nobody can walk anywhere in the Table Mountain National Park these days because a gang of government-backed eco-terrorists are hacking down all the pine and eucalyptus trees. A few days ago, someone spray-painted sad faces onto the ends of some of the executed trees. Then someone else came along and sprayed happy faces onto the rest.

This is how we protest in the Cape. Instead of being like normal people and throwing stones and setting journalists alight, we paint faces onto tree stumps and write angry letters to the local paper.

When I say “we”, I mean white people. Everyone else is “they”. Here in Cape Town, we speak it like it are. But this is not a racist thing. It’s a mountain thing. We take our dogs and our children and our secretaries for walks on the mountain and They don’t. If We see one of Them heading towards us, We stuff our wallet down our pants and try to call the mountain police before They disembowel us with screwdrivers and make overseas calls on our cellphones.

I’m talking rubbish. There is no such thing as the mountain police.

So. Out here in Africa’s last colony, one is either pro-tree or pro-fynbos. There is no middle ground. Stands must be taken and positions defended.

I have given the matter considerable thought – all of three seconds – and have decided to join forces with the tree people. One of their major grievances is that by hacking down all the pines, the Tree Taliban have deprived walkers of any kind of protection from the sun. Apart from a six-pack and a 9mm Parabellum, shade is the next best thing to have on a walk in the Table Mountain National Park.

The Taliban’s argument, which is supported by chainsaws, is that the birds don’t like alien trees. So? They’re fucking birds. They can fly to the Kruger Park if they don’t like it here. Apparently the pines also take too much water. Please. This is Cape Town. Everyone has a drinking problem. It seems unlikely the drought is being caused by a bunch of dipsomaniac pines in Tokai.

Fynbos is not known for its shade-giving qualities. If you’re suffering from heat stroke and desperately need shelter, you could always try to leopard crawl under a Leucospermum lineare and risk having your face slashed to ribbons by its cruel stunted branches. And there is no shortage of options to choose from. In these parts alone there are over 7 000 species of fynbos, ranging from dull to hideous. You can’t miss them. Once you pick up the scent of roadkill, you know you’re in the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Fynbos is not your friend. It will turn on you when you least expect it. Pine trees, on the other hand, are good for all sorts of things. They give you a place to hide when you want to wee. You can also make houses and books out of them. And chopsticks. The only thing you can make out of fynbos is a braai. It can’t even speak English, for god’s sake. Fynbos. What the hell does that even mean?

The Taliban accuse the aliens of being too flammable. So what would you rather watch in a forest fire – a pine tree exploding like a magnificent roman candle or a piece of fynbos popping and crackling like a girly little squib?

The assassins responsible for these killing fields don’t give a damn about what we want. They are fynbosbefok and nothing we say or do will make them see reason. They use made-up words like Afromontane and whine that the fynbos is going the same way as the great white shark. Except that fynbos won’t bite your legs off. But it would, given half a chance.

There’s a charming fellow by the name of Peucedanum galbanum who, if you brush against him, will make your skin erupt in suppurating blisters. Nice.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine that walking through a pine forest instills in one a sense of peace and oneness with the world. I have walked through fynbos. I get agitated and angry and lash out at strangers.

The Taliban say that plantations are not forests and that they were only planted for commercial reasons. This is nothing but arboreal xenophobia. Does the tree know its ancestors came from Europe? Even if it did, would it care? Mine did and I don’t. Come at me with an axe and I’ll have your throat.

Trees are happy to be left alone. Fynbos, on the other hand, has to be set alight every few years if it is to thrive. What kind of demon plant is this? Burn me and I shall rise again, stronger! That’s Satan talking, that is.

axe2