This is the fourth consecutive year in which I have neither killed nor raped anyone. I have refrained from hijacking cars and taking hostages. I have paid my taxes and some of my traffic fines. I continue to withdraw money from ATMs instead of blowing them up and I hardly ever shoplift.
And yet I have been overlooked for national honours once again.
I don’t know how much longer I can maintain this aberrant lifestyle without some kind of acknowledgement from the government.
Any idiot can see I am more deserving than many of the recipients on this year’s list. I should at the very least have been given the Order of Mendi for Bravery.
Even though I failed to rescue anyone from drowning, which appears to be the criteria for this award, it wasn’t through a lack of trying.
I spent almost every day on the beach looking for people to save. Apart from two attention-seeking tail-gunners in Speedos pretending to drown, everyone swam about with no trouble at all. Damn their selfish eyes.
I even offered a farm boy R27 to allow me to carry him from the surf and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There may have been a misunderstanding because he resisted fiercely when I moved in to deliver the kiss of life. An angry mob chased me off the beach as if I were little more than a common pervert.
I should also have been in line for the Order of Ikhamanga. The government’s information website says: “The Ikhamanga (Strelitzia) plant symbolises the unique beauty of achievements by men and women who carry colourful South African aloft in the fields of creativity, arts, culture, music, journalism and sport.”
I would carry anyone aloft, regardless of their colour, if it meant getting the recognition I deserve. Well, maybe not anyone. It would be a struggle to lift, say, Khulubuse Zuma without the help of a block-and-tackle.
But struggle is what these honours are all about. Johnny Clegg struggles to lift his foot above his head these days and Cheeky Watson struggles to keep his son, Luke, from vomiting on the Springbok jersey. That’s why they were both on the list.
Being dead doesn’t seem to hurt your chances of receiving the Order of the Baobab. Ten of the 16 recipients are no longer on this mortal plane, including Sebebubijwasekgogobontharile Moroka, who almost certainly introduced himself as James when dealing with white people.
I want my award now, dammit, not after I’ve been put in a box. On the other hand, at least my death would mean something to my family.
While we patriots pay perfunctory obeisance to our most recently anointed heroes and heroines, perhaps we could also look at replacing some of our national symbols.
The springbok, for instance, is no longer suitable as our national animal. For a start, it is the dumbest animal in the bushveld. They practically beg to be shot between the eyes, cut into strips and eaten as biltong or even worn by the president at his next nuptials.
Now that we are 18, we should have an animal more closely representing our ethos as a nation. The hyena would be a good choice. They organise themselves into territorial clans of related individuals and so do we – except we call them government departments. The centre of clan activity is the den (Union Buildings).
Like many of our business leaders, spotted hyenas are opportunistic scavengers. No meat too rotten, no tender too tainted. We also both enjoy a bit of a laugh now and then, usually at someone else’s expense.
They have large ears and thick, short necks, as do many of our farmers. And, much like us, the female outweighs and dominates the male. Needless to say, the male plays no part in raising its offspring. You don’t get more South African than that.
Moving on to our national bird.
The blue crane simply has to go. What manner of bird stands a metre in its socks? That’s just silly. It has longer legs than some of my ex-girlfriends. Unlike my exes, it doesn’t have much to say. We need to dump this manically depressed introvert before it bores itself into extinction and embarrasses the lot of us.
I nominate the African crake. They make an unlovely rasping sound, have bloodshot eyes and their plumage is the colour of a soiled nappy. However, once the farms have collapsed, the president will be able to say: “Let them eat crake.”
Alternatively, it could be the white-bellied bustard. This is not to be confused with the yellow-bellied white bastard, among whom I count myself.
We need to replace the galjoen as our national fish because he is Afrikaans and, quite frankly, we have bent over backwards to accommodate this dysfunctional demographic.
What’s more, it is illegal to buy or sell galjoen. We might as well have heroin as our national fish.
I say out with the cheerless galjoen and in with the electric eel. It could represent our foreign policy – hard to pin down and delivers a nasty shock when you finally grasp it.
The national tree is the yellowwood. This is 2012 – who cares if its wood is yellow, blue or brown? This is a racist tree and should be chopped down on sight.
As for the protea, the less said the better. This ugly brute gives flowers a bad name. It should be struck from our list of national symbols without delay and replaced by the magnificent Cannabis sativa.
This botanical wonder sports an attractive five-bladed leaf and can grow to heights exceeding 10 000 metres. It has small, sticky buds that attract birds, bees, hippies and policemen.
Lastly, the national anthem should be converted into one minute of silence and the national flag should be white because, at some point, we are going to have to surrender.