A Marriage Maid in Hell

It has been a terrible week so far. The undisputed low point was when Brenda informed me that she wished to be registered as a domestic worker.

I thought she had come up with a new parlour game so I loosened my trousers, poured myself a strong drink and pretended to take down her details.

Then I crossed the room and pretended to take down her knickers but the vicious cow ruined the game by hosing me down with a can of pepper spray. Once I had done screaming and clawing at my eyeballs, I explained to Brenda that it would be impossible to register her as a domestic worker.

For a start I would be setting an unhealthy precedent that would see every housewife demanding a living wage, medical aid and time off to attend their grandmother’s funeral for the seventh time in two years. But more importantly, I said, you are white.

Everyone knows that to be a domestic worker in South Africa you have to be declared legally black. In fact, I read somewhere that the new labour legislation has a clause preventing white women from proclaiming themselves to be domestic workers.

White women drink on the job, sneak off early for a waxing and are frequently available for lessons from Ricky the pool guy on how to bypass the system and get a good backwash at the same time.

Brenda started on at me about something called the UIF, which I always thought was some kind of contraceptive device that could only be removed with a pair of long-nosed pliers.

The way she explained it, she would stand to get free money if I terminated her services as a domestic worker. I told her that I couldn’t fire her for the simple reason that she doesn’t do any work.

You can’t simply straighten a picture frame, pull the duvet up and claim to be a domestic worker.

It takes years to learn the art of covertly pilfering groceries, losing socks in the wash, smashing the good crockery, racking up enormous phone bills and pretending not to understand English.

Besides, I said to her, if you insist on posing as the maid then you leave me no choice but to pretend to be Kobus your verkrampte sheep-farming employer who forces you to sleep with me. Break one tradition and stick to another. Fair’s fair.

Brenda was having none of it and threatened to call the labour inspectors. Go ahead, I said, you won’t get far.

On a more positive note, I am pleased to report that Clive is not gay after all. He was simply using the affliction as a cover to sneak pubescent fillies into his room. What a relief!

Something must have happened at the institute to kick-start his hormones, because he has always shown more of an interest in pyromania than nymphomania.

I was trying to encourage Brenda to cook dinner on Saturday night when it struck me that I hadn’t seen my gun for some time. While searching Clive’s room for the weapon, I came across a drawer full of rubber gloves and Thorazine.

Some people take hotel towels as souvenirs so who am I to begrudge Clive a bit of fun? It’s not as if I am one of those New Age parents who dole out the Rohypnol to Jimmy Jnr on a Friday night because he can’t get a girlfriend without it.

Brenda is doing everything in her power, which isn’t much since she has none, to keep the nymphets out of Clive’s room. She is one of those mothers who subscribe to the ‘Not Under My Roof’ school of thought. It is this policy that contributes to the growing batty boy population of the world.

From an early age our sons are sent to boys’ only schools and segregated institutions where they are exposed to pedagogical pederasts, organised religion and the wrong kind of drugs.

Back home the situation is no better. The sanctity of their own bedrooms is repeatedly violated by mothers who often behave no better than sniffer dogs.

I say raise the boom and lower the standards. Let the girls in. Clive takes after his father in the looks and broeks department, and ever since his homecoming there has been a steady stream of vacant-eyed tartlets slipping through the back door and up to his room.

I caught one of these lissome Lolitas trying to sneak past without paying the non-refundable deposit for breakages and I was in the process of wrestling her to the ground when Brenda walked in.

Within seconds the air was thick with allegations, denials and threats of legal action – a situation made worse by Clive leaping naked from his bedroom window believing some kind of police raid was underway.

I shudder to think what those doctors did to the poor boy’s mind. I don’t know what Brenda’s excuse is.


6 May 2003



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