“You are currently waiting for a Telkom consultant.” Oh, of course! I have been sitting here for the last seven years with the phone pressed to my ear under the impression I was waiting for the Rapture.
How thoughtful of Telkom to have an automated voice reminding us of who it is we are waiting for as the inexorable passage of time atrophies our bodies and rots our minds away, leaving us to slump to the floor and be slowly devoured by the dog who could wait no longer to be fed.
Telkom inspires violence. Although I lack any hard evidence – which these days doesn’t seem to be a prerequisite for making wild, sweeping accusations – I suspect that most of our mass murderers and serial rapists were normal people until the day they tried to get a phone line installed. Maybe not the rapists. They probably tried to deal with Telkom, Unisa and the municipality all in one day.
A monkey just peed on my head. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. An occupational hazard in Durban, apparently. Not that anyone in these parts appears to have an occupation. People slope about yawning and sweating, eyes swollen and red from marijuana and monkey urine.
I’m sitting in a bar that inexplicably allows children inside. They are just beyond the range of my steel-capped boot, behaving like the spawn of the Antichrist. Their parents seem oblivious. To everything.
So it was probably a bad time to pick up the local newspaper and read an article by a professor from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Philosophy and Ethics. I won’t name him because I am apparently under threat of a lawsuit by a garage in Fish Hoek, which is a supakak thing to happen to anyone and so I am on my best behaviour.
The professor seems to believe that smacking children is a bad thing. I have never heard such nonsense. As a child, I was beaten mercilessly with an array of leather belts, coat hangers and kitchen utensils, and there is nothing wrong with me today. Well, when I say nothing, I mean … forget it. Perhaps I’m not the best example.
History speaks for itself. Mrs Hitler barely raised her voice, let alone her hand, to her precious little Adolf and look what a well-adjusted gentleman he turned out to be. As for Joseph Stalin, his small but perfectly formed Bolshevik ass remained resolutely unspanked until his 38th birthday. Mrs Stalin has a lot to answer for. The Great Purge, for one. The not-so-great Blade Nzimande, for another.
Returning to the professor. He maintains that children risk suffering serious psychological harm from even mild, infrequent parental corporal punishment. Does he know what’s going on out there in the suburbs? The average home is full of drugs and porn. And that’s just for the children. God knows what the adults are getting up to.
Youngsters today barely recognise their parents, and not just because they’re perpetually stoned either. Mom and Dad don’t look so good these days because they’re working their butts off and are hardly ever home.
Kids are crying out for some sort of physical contact and many would rather have a slap upside the noggin than nothing at all. I was lucky. I was suffocated with hugs as well as wet cloth bags. Tough shit, my father called it. “Don’t you mean ‘tough love’?” I asked. That earned me a cigarette in the eye.
The prof also says that corporal punishment violates childrens’ rights. Their what? When did this happen? Why the hell should children have rights when us whiteys have none? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying white people should have rights. Far from it. I think they should be subjected to a steady decline in standards that eventually forces them to emigrate. Oh, wait. That’s already happening.
The professor suggests, as an alternative to floggings, additional chores and suspension of privileges. What world does he live in? Children don’t do chores any more. They do coke and crystal meth. And they have labour lawyers on speed dial. Try to make the brat mow the lawn and the next thing you know you’re in a cell explaining to a heavily tattooed gwenza in the 28s why you would rather he didn’t interfere with your bottom.
As for suspending their privileges, try it. I dare you. Try to take a teenager’s Blackberry away and you’d better be prepared to learn how to breathe through a gaping wound in your throat.
The prof says that smacking may cause aggression and anti-social behaviour and could damage the child’s mental health. If that’s true, then every kid I have come across in the last few weeks has been beaten like a drum because they were all, without exception, angry, ill-behaved and not right in the head.
You know what makes children go off the rails? Not a clip across the ear, but growing up in a country where the police are in jail, the criminals are in government, the priests are paedophiles, the game wardens are poachers and an aid organisation has to bring in food parcels for starving miners because the president’s billionaire nephew ignores not only a court order, but also the noblest of human virtues – compassion.