Month: November 2013

Round up the mothers and make them pay

No matter how much I drink, I am unable to find much humour in the murder bonanza currently sweeping our fine country. Perhaps it is because bludgeoning, by its very nature, is the antithesis of satire. Too heavy-handed. Too blunt. The problem is, nothing else strikes me as being particularly funny right now, either. I suppose we all have our crosses to bear.

So. Dum de dum. Yabba dabba doo. Now is the time for all good men to … oops. Beer foaming all over the desk. Mop it up with unpaid traffic fines. Heigh-ho. Toenails could do with a clipping. Oh, look. The cat just walked into the room. There must be something funny in that. C’mon, you cold-hearted queen. Work with me here. Licking your privates is clever, but it’s just not enough. I need more. Do you understand English? Would you rather have feathers or fur? Chicken or beef? Talk to me, dammit.

Hey, there’s a dove on the balcony. Funny things, doves. Not really. They’re not funny at all. Hang on. A second one has just landed. This should be interesting. Do they know each other? Is this some kind of avian suicide pact? I hope so. I want to see them jump and then resist the impulse to fly. Maybe they’re going to have a fight to the death. Beaks at dawn, except it’s nowhere near dawn. Being the international symbol of peace and love, it’s more likely they are going to want to have sex. Yes, there they go. The small one up on the big one’s back. That doesn’t look right. Probably gay. I can’t watch. Reminds me of the time I was … actually, that wasn’t funny, either.

Crippled with boredom, I was unaware that I had been singing Dubul’ ibhunu while picking ticks off the dog. Brenda said she would have me arrested if I didn’t stop. I was outraged. Since when was tick-picking illegal? Not that, she said. The inciting people to go out and kill god-fearing men of the soil.

Oh, please. That old struggle chestnut is nothing compared to the violent, homophobic, racist, sexist songs we were made to sing as children. There are mothers out there who should be rounded up and made to answer for what they did to us.

Some darkies might not recognise these words because they grew up on nursery rhymes about driving wooden stakes through PW Botha’s heart and setting fire to collaborators, but anyway, here are just a few examples of the dangerous filth we whities grew up with. No wonder we’re so full of hatred, confusion and cheap brandy. And that’s just the English-speakers.

“Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the master, one for the dame, and one for the little boy who lives down the lane.”

This led us to believe that black sheep were not the same as normal sheep, not merely because they could talk, but because they were black. The subservient tone and alacrity with which the sheep responds to demands for its wool suggests that it has been oppressed for some time. Furthermore, no effort is made to ascertain the sheep’s name. It is unlikely that its parents called it “Baa Baa” at home. This dehumanises the animal. Must be banned immediately.

“Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.”

Once I realised that I could get girls to cry simply by kissing them, it took years of therapy, a restraining order and several beatings to get me to stop. I understand now that the girls were crying because they were lesbians. Either that, or I was a truly appalling kisser. I’m going with the lesbian theory. It also taught boys that running away is a better option than sticking around to face the consequences and today I still have difficulty in taking responsibility for my actions. This nasty piece of work incites gender violence and must be banned.

“Goosey Goosey Gander where shall I wander, upstairs, downstairs and in my lady’s chamber. There I met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers, I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.”

Osama bin Laden’s attitude towards religious tolerance was formed at an early age when his mother read this to him in his crib. As soon as he could walk, Osama would visit nearby homes to check that people were saying their prayers. After spending his youth throwing old men down flights of stairs, he rounded up a few friends to fly airliners into the World Trade Centre which was full of old men who weren’t saying their prayers, and even if they were, they were the wrong kind of prayers and deserved to die. This misanthropic jingle promotes religious superiority and must be banned in a secular state.

“Cry Baby Bunting, Daddy’s gone a-hunting. Gone to fetch a rabbit skin to wrap Baby Bunting in.”

This is nothing but a pack of lies. There are countless grown-up babies out there today who are still waiting for Daddy to get back from a-hunting. Truth be told, Daddy said he was popping out for a packet of smokes and never came back. No wonder Baby Bunting was crying, what with having to settle for a Huggies instead of a rabbit skin covered in gristle and blood. Ban it.

“Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon.”

Popular in the 1960s among people of all ages, particularly those who were partial to a cap or two of lysergic acid diethylamide in their afternoon tea. Promotes drug use and needs to be banned.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Couldn’t or wouldn’t? This is hate speech directed squarely at fat people. For all we know, genetics were to blame for Humpty’s size. But even if his obesity was caused by fried chicken and Heineken, this is no reason not to at least attempt to put him back together again. It undermines human dignity and deserves a place on the banned list.

“Hush a bye baby, on the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all.”

This cruel ditty proved exceptionally popular among mothers with colicky babies. Today, it is rare to come across a cradle wedged into the branches of a tree. Mothers find it easier to leave their surplus babies at drop-off points around the city. Ban it on grounds of incitement to commit infanticide.

“Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Up got Jack and home did trot as fast as he could caper. He went to bed and bound his head with vinegar and brown paper.”

Children have no business climbing hills to fetch water. This is a clear endorsement of child labour and must be banned. A favourite of former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Jack’s unique method of treating a gaping head wound gave her the idea that garlic, lemons and beetroot could cure Aids.

“Little Jack Horner sat in a corner, eating his Christmas pie. He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said, ‘What a good boy am I!’”

This has poisoned young minds by creating an unwarranted sense of entitlement. South Africa is full of indolent youngsters expecting to be praised for nothing more than using their opposable digits to thumb a free ride to the trough. Must be banned if only to encourage genuine entrepreneurship.

“Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow; And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.”

Aside from the gynaecological impossibility of Mary having a little lamb, the entire premise of this racist diatribe is based on the lamb having white fleece. One is compelled to ask whether the lamb would have been treated any differently if it had black fleece or, indeed, if Mary herself were black. The answer is yes. The lamb would have been eaten chop-chop. Ban it on the grounds of racial discrimination.

“Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker’s man; Bake me a cake as fast as you can; Pat it and prick it and mark it with a B; And put it in the oven for baby and me.”

This clearly perpetuates systemic disadvantage, encourages the exploitation of the working class and is a violation of the democratic values of social justice. Since the instruction is directed at the baker’s man, one can only surmise that the baker himself is off spending the profits in the Seychelles instead of giving his assistant a wage increase. Even though he is alone in the bakery, the baker’s man is instructed to bake a cake as fast as he can. Why the hurry? Are there starving people waiting out in the street? Probably. But in this instance the cake is for “baby and me”. Nobody else will get any. This song has no business still being sung and Cosatu will back me when I say it needs to be banned at once.

“Peter Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her. He put her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well.”

As far as domestic violence goes, this takes some beating. In South Africa, abuse of this nature is not widespread since few men have wives small enough to fit into pumpkin shells. Some men – Austrians, mainly – find that secret soundproof rooms are more effective than pumpkin shells. Most men find divorce to be less complicated. Others find that dismemberment works if the pumpkin is unusually large. This exhortation to commit uxoricide, posing as a nursery rhyme, must be banned on the grounds that women do not belong in pumpkins. As our constitution clearly stipulates, they belong in the kitchen. Ban the song. Or whatever the hell it is.

“Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.”

This anti-weasel propaganda falls into the category of hate speech and must be banned immediately. Weasels are people, too.

“Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair; Said Simple Simon to the pieman ‘Let me taste your ware’. Said the pieman to Simple Simon, show me first your penny. Said Simple Simon to the etc etc.”

This so-called rhyme goes on to make Simon look like a complete retard, which he undoubtedly was. Having said that, however, there is no good reason to mock the mentally challenged. Thanks to our bill of rights, simple people are no longer discriminated against. In fact, some of them hold powerful positions in government today. However, we should avoid encouraging them and therefore this evil chant must be banned immediately.

“Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run, they all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.”

This is not only blatantly anti-rodent, but it has a clear bias against disabled rodents. It also incites harm by encouraging pro-rodent militant groups to take revenge on farmers’ wives who labour under the misapprehension that it is somehow acceptable to mutilate sight-impaired mice. Rodents have rights, too. Ban it.

“The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat. They took some honey and plenty of money, wrapped up in a five pound note. The owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar, ‘O lovely Pussy, O Pussy my love, what a lovely Pussy you are …”

This sick animal porn thinly disguised as prose poetry degenerates quickly, with the cat and the owl being married by a turkey in a land where the Bong tree grows. Many young lives have been ruined by this pro-marijuana interspecies malarkey and it must be banned at once.

“There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile, he found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse. And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

These words send an unequivocal message to the youth that being crooked is no hindrance to success in later life. The fact that the cat and the mouse coexisted seems to suggest a solidarity among the crooked and countless children have deviated from the straight and narrow in the misguided hope of achieving happiness without having to suffer first. Must be banned right away.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; she had so many children she didn’t know what to do. So she gave them some broth without any bread, and she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.”

This vile piece of pro-life propaganda deliberately fails to inform girls that Marie Stopes provides them with a viable choice should they find themselves repeatedly falling pregnant. It also encourages child abuse, which, in this case, is probably warranted. Ban forthwith.

“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are? Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky …”

This is possibly the most subversive of them all. It suggests that stars might be something other than fiery balls of gas. Who, besides children raised by wolves, wonders what stars are? Clearly propagated by organised religion, this seemingly harmless nursery rhyme encourages children to question science and start believing that some kind of omnipotent being created the universe. Ban it before they turn to Scientology.

“Wee WillieWinkie runs through the town, upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown, tapping at the window and crying through the lock, are all the children in their beds, it’s past eight o’clock!”

Adolf Hitler was exposed to this story from an early age. He snapped on the evening of November 9, 1938, and sent the Gestapo running through the towns, upstairs and downstairs in their jackboots, smashing all the windows and shooting out the locks, all the children out their beds, it’s past Jew o’clock!

Apart from evoking memories of Kristallnacht, this narrative has disturbing homoerotic undertones and as a final solution it should be banned.

“What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails. What are little girls made of?  Sugar and spice and all things nice.”

The only point of reference I have here is Clive, my increasingly eccentric loinfruit. When he was smaller and more malleable, I asked him what little girls were made of. He said: “Meat and bones.” I didn’t know how to react so I bought him an ice cream and then beat him soundly. The point is that this piece of feminist propaganda must be banned on the grounds that it portrays boys as being full of terrible things, which they are, but it is better that girls find this out for themselves.

“Remember remember the fifth of November. Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot.”

This is quite obviously an incitement to blow up parliament and South Africans have once again failed dismally to rise to the occasion. Does not need to be banned.

The battle of the sexes is alive and – well ….

I was elated to hear that dozens of men had been arrested as part of the celebrations for the government’s 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Children.

Personally, I don’t think the authorities have gone far enough. Every male over the age of nine should be rounded up and held incommunicado for the duration of the campaign. Hell, why stop there? An Egyptian dude with the pretentious name of Pharaoh once ordered all boys to be drowned at birth. I expect this is already high on the agenda of the Minister for Women. Pull it off and you’ve got my vote, lady.

One half of the bipartite alliance of jackbooted viragos ruling the Western Cape said she was thrilled with the way the campaign was progressing. Patricia de Lille was speaking after at least two dozen men were snatched off the streets and tossed into jail for not paying maintenance.

I think women and children should take responsibility for their own maintenance. Like cats. Women are almost there, what with the nails and the hissing and the endless grooming, but unfortunately they hate being on their own for too long.

Cape Town’s traffic cops are doubling up as bounty hunters and what the Americans call “deadbeat dads” are quivering with fear and phoning in to see if they are on the wanted list. A provincial spokesman said there had even been calls from fathers who actually wanted to see their children. What on earth is going on in the Western Cape? Is Helen Zille slipping oestrogen into the water supply? Are there no real men left out there? Next thing you know, the bars will be full of divorced men weeping into their beer and telling each other that their ex-wives are such wonderful people.

Men need to learn that violence against women is wrong. They also need to learn that being a man is wrong. Man, wrong. Man, wrong. This is the message that must be literally pounded into their heads. The best way to do this is with a baseball bat. It’s the only language they understand.

Arresting them is not going to help. Married men already languish in a psychological prison and most would welcome a few nights of peace and quiet in a cosy, insulated cell with other people who aren’t in the mood for chatting or cuddling.

I therefore propose we celebrate 16 Days of Activism for More Violence Against Men. The beauty of the campaign is in its simplicity. Virtually everything men do or don’t do can be rewarded with violence.

If you are a woman and you know a man, do not hesitate to drag him from his home or office. Beat him soundly and toss him to the lesbians. He will most likely deny having done anything. This is not a reason to go easy on him.

Pre-emptive punishment helps men understand that they need to do something about The Situation. It is your job, as a woman, to let him know what is expected of him through a combination of body language and telepathy.

The creative use of discipline is recommended since men have shown a disturbing tendency to begin enjoying physical abuse if the pattern of violence is not regularly diversified. You should, for example, avoid concentrating on spanking.

Here are a few suggestions for those of you who wish to train your men or, if you are a misandrist who prefers flying solo, simply to vent. Which, after all, is one of your many rights as a woman.

  • Forgetting a birthday or anniversary – Six lashes to the buttocks (canes to be provided by the state).
  • Unwilling to go out and look for a job – Miley Cyrus played at full volume through speakers in every room.
  • Leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor – Two waterboarding sessions.
  • Leaving dirty clothes on the bedroom floor – Non-erotic asphyxiation.
  • Leaving dirty dishes on the lounge table – Three tablespoons of wasabi.
  • Unable to cook a meal – Indefinite withholding of food.
  • Unable to work a washing machine – Indefinite withholding of clothes.
  • Demanding frequent sex (more than once a month) – Electric shocks to the genitals.
  • Drinking excessively (more than six beers a week) – Dog box for 10 days.
  • Flirting with other women (real or imagined) –  15ml of hydrochloric acid in each eye.
  • Refusing to walk the dogs – Extraction of toenails.
  • Refusing to walk at all – Pop riveting of kneecaps.
  • Refusing to watch romantic comedies – Gagged and bound and forced to watch Gigli on repeat.
  • Unable to open up emotionally – Tongue injected with embalming fluid.
  • Pretending to listen – Hair set on fire.

 

5 December 2010

My kingdom for a kidney

I have been ill this past week.

At first, I never realised I was ill. I thought I was merely hung over. The symptoms were the same. Dizzy, weeping sores, swollen groin glands. But nobody stays hung over for three days, not even after a binge registering nine on the open-ended Retchter Scale.

I don’t have a regular doctor. Most of them moved away after seeing me. Choosing a doctor is not a question of simply opening the phone book, closing your eyes and slamming a steak knife into the page. Using that method, you are more likely to end up knocking on the wrong door. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter. Go inside and get a beer from their fridge. Lie on their couch and start describing your condition.

Right, that’s enough about you. Back to me. The gender of the doctor is most important given that there will be a certain amount of lying down and a general loosening of clothing, often from the patient’s side. Would one rather have one’s willy inspected by a man or a lady doctor? Not that there was any need for a willy inspection in this case. However, an inordinate number of medical practitioners seem to think that all illnesses can be traced to the male member. You go in to have your pterygium tensioned up and the next thing you know, the ophthalmologist has his hand down your trousers and is asking you to cough.

I have never been fully comfortable with strange men handling my privates, regardless of where they went to school. As it turned out, I chose a lady doctor because she was the only one who could fit me in before 2016.

“Will 3pm be okay?” said the receptionist.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Yes, sir. You have the choice of not seeing the doctor and dying, if you prefer.”

“Three will be fine.”

A doctors’ waiting room is my personal Room 101. Obscure Orwellian references aside, I have a powerful loathing for the places. Waiting is what other people do. I lack the temperament and humility to wait. If a queue is longer than two people, I walk away. As a result, I often go without food for days.

There was someone in there already. With a baby. The mother yakked, the doctor murmured, the baby did that terrible thing that babies do. By the time they finished, the baby was old enough to have children of its own.

“What ails thee, squire?” asked the doctor. Oh my god. I had been in the waiting room for so long that everything had come full circle and we were back in the Elizabethan era.

“Physician, I fear ’tis a touch of the Bubonic plague,” I said, praying she would end this Shakespearean farce before bringing out the costumes and forcing me to reenact something disturbing from Macbeth.

She told me to hop up onto the bed. Had she not noticed that I was 1.94m tall? Were I to hop, I would smash through the dry wall and land in the corridor. I lowered myself onto the bed like a giraffe at a drinking hole and began undoing my pants.

“No need for that,” she said, her voice heavy with regret. However, she wasn’t going to let me escape without a fondle at the very least. Her hand disappeared down my broeks. Poking around in my groin, she looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s very big.” I blushed and turned away. “Why, thank you, doctor!”

She looked at me as if I were an imbecile. “Your gland is very swollen,” she said.

She asked me to do what all doctors ask – whether you are there for a flu jab or to have your face stitched back on. Wee in a cup. I went off and brought it back overflowing. Three drops, apparently, would have been sufficient.

Her litmus paper turned into a rainbow, then settled on the colour of a squashed tick. She shook her head. When doctors shake their heads right after conducting a test, you may as well kill yourself. I scanned her desk for a scalpel. Nothing. Maybe I could gouge my eyes out with the edge of her platinum picture frame. Maybe not. I doubted she could take much more of my vitreous humour. That’s a joke for the doctors. If you don’t get it, go to bloody university and get your MBChB, whatever the hell that is.

“It’s your kidneys,” she said. Oh dear. Who will give me one of their kidneys? I have offended everyone I know. I am going to have to get in touch with someone who works for one of the organ smuggling syndicates. I shall visit the Chinese takeaway tonight. Get one crispy duck with hoisin sauce and make a few discreet enquiries.

“An infection,” she said. “Nothing too serious.” She agreed that I probably picked it up surfing at one of our ecoli-riddled beaches.

“That’s good,” I said. “I bet people like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus get their kidney infections from doing far less wholesome things than surfing.” Ain’t that the truth. Whether you be ridin’ whores or wrecking balls, sooner or later you’re gonna catch somethin’ nasty.

She opened the door.

“Are you sure you don’t want to see my …”

“Goodbye,” she said. “You can pay on your way out.”

 

Gissajob, Lenny!

Far-right leader’s payday loans firm

A WHITE supremacist suspected of carrying out a bombing campaign in Africa has been found by the Daily Star Sunday – running a payday loans firm in Cambridgeshire

By Sian Hewitt & John Ward/Published 18th August 2013
white, supremacy, racist, terror, black, pay, day, loans,Relaxing: Leonard Veenendaal enjoying his freedom

Leonard Veenendaal fled to the UK from South Africa in 1997 after breaking out of custody before his terror trial.

But now this newspaper can exclusively reveal Veenendaal is living in a sleepy market town with his wife and two children and running his own business.

But beneath the veneer of respectability lies an extreme past – Veenendaal was once the personal bodyguard and righthand man of the infamous racist leader Eugene Terreblanche.

He also led the Johannesburg branch of white-power group the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, which fought for a white-only state in South Africa during apartheid.

The right-wing activist was believed to be involved in a terror attack in 1989 in which a United Nations building in Namibia was blown up, killing a black security guard.

Veenendaal armed with an AK-47Veenendaal armed with an AK-47

“One shocking snap shows a black man lying dead in a trench while others show Veenendaal in his uniform holding guns”

But he and others escaped from custody just before their trial by overpowering two police officers, one of whom was shot and killed.

He fled to South Africa where he was arrested a year later as one of nine white extremists thought to be behind a series of bombings aimed at anti-apartheid targets including newspaper offices, bus terminals and a synagogue.

In 1997 he came to the UK where he has lived ever since, despite international arrest warrants being issued against him. His company Onesys Financial Limited is now offering payday loans with a whopping interest rate of 2,330%.

The firm claims online it draws on “17 years of experience” and lists its values as honesty and “striving to do our very best” for customers. The business also offers unsecured personal loans and debt collection – boasting a “proven success rate” at making people pay back money owed.

Last week Veenendaal refused to talk to our reporter about his shady past when we approached him in the industrial yard in Wisbech where he runs his business.

He also has a family website on which he says he, his wife Tracy and sons Darryl and De la Rey are “fiercely proud” of their “rich historical and cultural background”.

Both sons are promising rugby stars – Darryl plays for Bedford Blues in England’s Championship and De La Rey has played for England Counties under-20s.

The site details the family’s achievements, as well as hundreds of photos – with one section even showing pictures of Veenendaal’s time in South Africa’s military, fighting in the “Bush War” in Namibia and Angola.

One shocking snap shows a black man lying dead in a trench while others show Veenendaal in his uniform holding guns.

In one, a black man is tied up and blindfolded as he is interrogated and another shows a military truck with a corpse tied to the top of the wheel rim.

Before setting up his payday loans business Veenendaal worked for Cambridgeshire County Council in the education and ICT department.

A spokesman confirmed the council knew about the allegations against him but said: “A Criminal Records Bureau check was carried out and there was no reason not to employ him.”

 

MEANWHILE, here’s a letter I wrote to good ol’ Lenny’s former employer five years ago:

 

To: Cambridgeshire Education ICT Service                                               7 July 2008

42 West Street
Cambridgeshire
PE29 2HJ

United Kingdom

 

Dear Sir,

On behalf of all right-thinking South Africans, allow me to congratulate you on your decision to continue employing one of our Boer heroes, Leonard Veenendaal, in the face of mounting calls from limp-wristed liberals for him to be prosecuted for murder.

As you are undoubtedly aware, your technical services manager fled South Africa in 1997 after being persecuted by the Black government for simply having done his duty in trying to prevent Namibia from falling into the hands of the communists in 1989. It takes a special kind of man to bomb a United Nations office and then shoot his way out of police custody. It’s a shame that a security guard and a policeman had to die, but at least neither of them was white.

Leonard might have told you that his former boss, a lovely man by the name of Eugene Terreblanche, is busy getting the old group together again. Eugene used to call Lenny “my little fanatic” and I should warn you that the AWB will probably try to poach him from you. Reliable bodyguards are so hard to find these days.

Friends in the White Power movement tell me that Leonard and his wife, Tracy, and their two sons, Darryl and De La Rey, are living in a charming house in Wisbech where Lenny coaches the local school rugby team and enjoys attending the odd National Front rally on weekends. Good for him! After all he has been through, he deserves his place in the sun. Not that Wisbech gets much.

I have a favour to ask. At the moment, there are 21 equally patriotic South Africans facing a bunch of trumped up charges in Pretoria. They belong to a group called the Boeremag that used to meet twice a week for social activities such as brandy tasting, darts and bomb-making competitions. When the trial is finished, they will need jobs and I was hoping that you would be able to take them on board. You won’t regret it, I promise. Their English might not be the best, but these guys will kill for you.

Please tell Leonard not to worry about a thing. The Namibians won’t be trying to extradite him any time soon because the original docket is in Afrikaans and after 19 years prosecutors still haven’t been able to find anyone to translate it. Besides, by granting Leonard residency in Britain, the Home Office has shown that it will not tolerate discrimination against intolerant people who discriminate. The Labour Party is nothing if not highly principled.

I trust you will continue doing all you can to keep the darkies out of Cambridgeshire’s education system. Men like Leonard are all that stand between us and a complete breakdown of civilisation. I need not remind you that if Cecil John Rhodes had been black, we would all be speaking Swahili today.

Yours truly,

Ben Trovato (Imperial Lizard)

 

 

 

From the canned hunting archives …

VANDERBIJLPARK, 15 June 2009 — It is the end of the road for South Africa’s 123 lion breeders and 3 000 canned lions.

This follows a verdict in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein that these semi-tame animals may be hunted only 24 months after being set free from their breeding cages.

Judge Ian van der Merwe concurred with the government that bio-diversity must be protected and that the breeding of lions in captivity with the sole purpose of canned hunting does not aid their protection.

The lion breeders’ request that the period of 24 months in the regulations be changed to “a few days” was dismissed with costs.

Albi Modise, a spokesman for the Water Affairs and Environment Department, said the government welcomes the verdict.

“This means that the reprehensible practice of canned hunting has most certainly come to an end.”

 

 

Letter to Carel van Heerden – Chairman of the South African Predator Breeders’ Association

 

Dear Carel,

When I heard that the Free State High Court had rejected your efforts to prevent this liberal touchy-feely rabbit-fondling government from interfering in canned lion hunting, I was devastated. I know what you meant when you said the ruling by Judge Ian van der Merwe left you feeling as if someone had kicked you in the stomach. I had the same feeling.

I was so angry when I read about the court’s decision that I inadvertently over-medicated and woke up to find Brenda actually kicking me in the stomach and demanding that I throw away all the empty bottles. Is that what happened to you? Maybe we should introduce canned wife hunting.

What gets me is that the ruling was made by one of our own. I never thought I would come across a van der Merwe who is against hunting. In Bloemfontein, nogal. What is this country coming to? I noticed that the judge’s first name is Ian. He must have an English mother. That’s where the trouble starts, every time. As soon as these halflings grow up, they cross over to the dark side.

Look at Marthinus van Schalkwyk. He started this nonsense with his new rules about hunting predators. Before he crossed over to the darkie’s side, he would shoot anything that moved. Or was that Magnus Malan? Anyway, the point is that you were absolutely right to go to court to stop him. It’s just a pity that you got a judge who has never felt the pleasure of sitting on a deck chair drinking nicely chilled brandy and coke and picking off lions whenever they came up to the fence.

In his blatantly pro-predator judgement, van der Merwe said it was “abhorrent and repulsive” to hunt lions bred and raised in captivity. Is he not aware of the damage these animals can do? I have heard of hunters driving into enclosures in brand new 4x4s and having lions come up and claw the bodywork. It doesn’t matter that they only wanted to be scratched behind the ears. Purple metallic paint is not cheap these days.

As you know, foreign hunters will pay more than R170 000 to bag a big male who would otherwise spend his time lolling about under a tree licking his balls and generally being the mane ou. Pride comes before a fall. Or, in this case, a bullet to the head.

I was pleased to see that lionesses go for only R10 000. At least you guys don’t discriminate when it comes to devaluing the worth of females, regardless of their species.

Using unpatriotic words like “biodiversity”, the judge said that breeders were only interested in making money. What absolute nonsense. These people love lions with a passion. Why else would they have lion skins on their floors, lion heads on their walls, lion paw backscratchers, lion tail whips and lion teeth jewellery? These are the same people who drank Lion lager before the government banned that, too.

Until recently, we could proudly call ourselves one of the world’s canned lion hunting capitals. More than a thousand of these devil-cats were gunned down every year. We could have doubled this number if we had packed them a bit tighter in the cages. But because we are not cruel, we left them with enough room to turn around and even lie down if they kept their legs folded in.

If the government bans canned lion hunting, then they must also ban battery chicken farming. The only difference between the two is that there is less of a demand for trophy hunting in the chicken industry because most taxidermists are unable to work with such small heads.

Now that the bloodless coup is over, what is going to happen to the country’s 120 lion breeders? These people have big meat-eating families to feed. Have you thought about canned dog hunting? There is no law that says you can’t breed Great Danes or Irish Wolfhounds or any other dog with leonine qualities. These hounds would be a joy to hunt because you would only have to wait for one to come up and sniff your crotch before shooting it in the head. You needn’t even leave the braai.

You said that about four thousand captive lions had now lost their economic value and might have to be put down. Don’t go soft on us, Carel. You are a hunter. Get the men together, take the cats down to the Union Buildings and release them in the parking lot at 5pm. We may as well have the last laugh.

Yours, knee-deep in blood and gore.

Ben Trovato

An Open Letter to Melissa Bachman

Dearest Melissa,

I just wanted to say how much I love that photo of you posing next to the lion you killed in South Africa.

The picture has gone around the world and everyone thinks you are absolutely wonderful. Well, apart from those who think you are a coldhearted filthpig who uses a gun to deal with issues of low self-esteem and other unresolved childhood pathologies.

I think you are great. I wish you were my wife. My dream would be to travel the world, just you and I, with matching His and Hers .357 Benjamin Rogues, shooting animals in the face just for the hell of it.

I can’t believe the size of your telescopic sights. This is not a euphemism. That thing mounted on your gun is huge. I’m surprised you even had to leave America. It would have been cheaper to just get on a stepladder out on your porch, face South Africa and pull the trigger.

I bet you’re a real tiger in bed, too. That’s a post-orgasmic glow on your face in the dead lion shot, that is. Was it good for the lion, too? Must have been. He looks completely exhausted. And who wouldn’t be after taking a bullet in the head? It was the head, wasn’t it? I don’t suppose it really matters. The important thing is that South Africa has one less lion. These furry bastards sleep all day and contribute nothing to the economy. We can’t even go out without one of them sloping up to our window and asking for a handout. And god help us if we don’t give them some kind of meat-based product right away. They think nothing of chewing our arm off right there at the traffic lights.

I read your tweet just after the gun battle. “Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion. What a hunt!” Sixty yards sounds a lot, but it isn’t. Not if the lion charges and you have to suddenly make the five yards back to your vehicle.

Some honey-buggers seem to think it would have been a fair fight if you had been dropped into the middle of the bush by helicopter at night, and then used nothing but your teeth and nails to kill the lion. Look, you’re American. Those are some big-ass scary teeth you have in your head, no doubt about it. But who said it has to be hand-to-hand combat? Jesus talked about survival of the smartest. Besides, if lions enjoy living so much, why didn’t they invent guns?

I see on your website that you have killed almost every animal that ever dared to walk, fly or crawl across your path. Well done. I particularly liked the one you gunned down in Alaska before you came over here to deal with our lion, nyala, duiker and zebra problem. The nice thing about zebra is that you can go over to them and shoot them in the back of the head with a handgun without even spilling your drink. We’re very lucky to have them. Or not have them. Whatever.

Oh, yes. The caption was, “My first Alaskan brown bear! A beautiful and extremely blonde one to top it off!!” It must have been particularly satisfying for a brunette like you, Melissa. Blondes have all the fun. Well, not any more they don’t.

I love how you have taken the sport of archery and converted it into a means of hunting. The same should be done with other sporty type things. Croquet is a giggle, sure, but how much more of a giggle would it be to substitute the ball for a splinter grenade? Place hoops at the entrance to fox or rabbit burrows. Get extra points for blowing up babies. That kind of thing. I’m surprised the British haven’t thought of it.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful lion with his head cut off and stuck on your wall where it belongs. Did you know that a lion’s front legs make great sock puppets for the kids if you hollow them out properly? Make sure not to leave any meat in them. You don’t want your children getting all maggoty.

By the way, I couldn’t help noticing that your lion has a couple of nasty scratches on his face. You might want to take him back and shoot a fresh one. Tell that Julious Heyneke at the Maroi Conservancy that you don’t want a second-hand lion.

I’m glad to see that those people at the “conservancy” point out on their website that all the meat from hunted animals is given to the local community. But they must be careful. I can already hear the complaints.

“That’s canned lion three times this week. Fuck that shit. We’re on strike.”

Oh, wait. They don’t have lions. But it was on your “wish list”. So when you asked them for a lion, they said, “Sorry, lady, we’re out of lions. But we know a guy who knows a guy in Zeerust.”

I don’t like pimps myself, whether it be for chicks or lions, but hey, whatever gets your ovaries off, babe.

Anyway. Good luck with the hunting. If you ever come back, there are people who will pay you good money to take out a dangerous animal terrorizing parts of Johannesburg.

They call it the Krejcir from the black lagoon.

 

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To: Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa

Dear Sir/Madam,

For a long time, I have been looking for a unique shantytown accommodation experience because I don’t believe you can call yourself an African until you have spent at least one night in a shack.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I found your website offering just that!

Although photographs often lie, it seems that your shanties are very authentic indeed. Did you hire someone from Mangaung township to build them? I hope not.

You say yours is the only shantytown in the world equipped with under-floor heating. Are you sure? I have heard that the favelas in Rio have heated floors as well as Jacuzzis. Anyway, I expect the worst thing about living in a shack is that your feet get cold when you walk from the bedroom, through the lounge, across the conversation pit, down the hall and into the kitchen to get a beer. If municipalities installed heated floors in all the townships, nobody would ever want to go out and protest. That’s the end of the revolution right there.

Offering free wifi in your shacks is also a nice touch. There should be internet access in shacks everywhere. Why should all those stolen computers go to waste?

You say you offer “long-drop effect toilets”. What exactly does this mean? I am certainly not paying R850 a night to squat over a hole in the floor. Perhaps you mean the sound effects are piped into a normal toilet. Screaming, crying, that sort of thing.

And you have donkey geysers as well? Sounds interesting, although I would never have thought that donkeys burned well enough to heat a geyser. Do you soak them in petrol first?

I am a bit worried that the shacks might be right next to each other. I don’t want to be lying on my bed on bricks trying to sleep while Mr Venter from Ventersdorp gives Mrs Venter a vigorous ventering. Povery porn might be a turn-on for the conservatives, but it’s not for me.

Exactly how much of an authentic experience will this be? Will there, for instance, be mock raids by the police? I think it would be rather exciting to have my door kicked in at 3am and have two burly black constables pull me out of bed, throw me against the corrugated iron wall and give me a damn good frisking. I don’t mind being stripped naked.

I presume there will be the usual quota of goats, chickens and snotty-nosed brats running about in the dirt. It just wouldn’t be the same without them.

And I expect there won’t be any regulations governing the behaviour of guests. If I am to stay in one of your shanties, I reserve the right to play my radio as loudly as I wish for as long as I wish. I will in all likelihood get eye-bubblingly drunk at various times of the day and night. At some point, I may very well attack the Venters. I expect the lodge will provide a fake ambulance with fake paramedics to arrive once the mayhem has woken the other guests, who, in the spirit of authenticity, should attack the “paramedics” and raid their “ambulance” for drugs. I would suggest you equip the “ambulance” with genuine drugs as a means of livening up the experience. Pethidine aways gets people going nicely at parties.

Your name is Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa. Very smart. I don’t know what Emoya means, but it sounds African enough. Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that Emoya meant, “Beware of cheap imitations” in an obscure north Sotho dialect?

If you want to be truly authentic, turn your Spa into a Spar. You should also avoid telling people that each shanty sleeps four. Leave it open. If a family of twenty wants to stay there, let them.

And by the way, I am not staring at a filthy old tin wall all night. I want my shack equipped with a flatscreen TV. Don’t worry. I won’t ask where it came from.

I think all white people should spend a night at your Makhukhu Village to get an idea of how the other seven-eighths live. Perhaps they could even write it off against tax. Pretending to be one of the impoverished masses for a weekend must surely come with some kind of compensation.

I have just noticed that you also have a “shebeen bar” with a real township atmosphere. This is excellent news. You say, “Come and enjoy a court of beer while listening to quirky music or take on your buddies at the dart board or pool table.” I hope you mean, like, a tennis court of beer and not a magistrate’s court. And when you say quirky music, do you mean quirky like Worsie Visser or quirky like Miley Cyrus? Maybe she’s more twerky than quirky, if you know what I mean.

When you say, “Take on your buddies …” I expect you mean that fighting over the pool table is allowed. Do you provide weapons or must guests bring their own? I have a panga.

And you say it’s an ideal venue to bring your wife, girlfriend or “skelmpie”. Great stuff. If I were having an affair, the first place I would take my skelmpie would be to an artificial squatter camp on the outskirts of Bloemfontein.

The waiting list must go on forever so put my name down at once.

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An open letter to Dr Wouter Basson

Dear Wouter,

I thought you might need a few words of support while trying to convince the Health Professions Council that you are not some depraved monster who isn’t fit to slice people open and fiddle with their vital organs while they’re unconscious. You might be a dinosaur in a political sense, but it’s not as if you escaped from Thoracic Park and rampaged like a giant lizard through our cities.

And so what if the media dubbed you “Dr Death”? My own family calls me Dr Drunkenstein. These are terms of endearment and we should be grateful for them.

You have come a long way since slipping the hook on charges of murder, fraud and a range of drug-related offences so impressive that you would almost certainly be guaranteed of a top position in the 28s should you ever decide to move to the Cape Flats.

I cannot understand why, as former head of the old National Party government’s chemical and biological warfare programme, you have still not been given the recognition you so clearly deserve. As you once told the committee, your work was “for the benefit of mankind”. Instead of trying to nail you for unethical conduct, they should be nominating you for a Nobel Prize. I shall write to the Norwegians at once demanding that they at least give you a lifetime achievement award.

Mankind has indeed benefitted from your work. Who among us can forget dancing the night away after popping a couple of Basson’s Brownies at one of the secret raves that made the 1980s such a fun decade? Pure ecstasy, I tell you. Ridiculously pure.

As you told the committee, the ’80s were “crazy years … people did things. Doctors planted bombs”. Right on, bro. You tell ’em. I got so crazy in the ’80s that I planted marijuana. Turned out to be poison ivy. Smoked it anyway. Forgot I had a job. Went colour blind. Misplaced my girlfriend. Damn fine stuff.

You also told the committee that you never intended to hurt anyone and simply wanted to make a difference. That’s the whole point of germ warfare, isn’t it? Making a difference. Why can’t the council see this?

There was a report in the papers about you having been involved in some sort of altruistic reach-for-a-dream scheme for Swapo prisoners. If I remember correctly, they wanted to experience the joys of sky-diving. They were given fabulous drugs and dropped over the Atlantic. It’s not your fault the army couldn’t afford parachutes.

Your critics also claim you manufactured Mandrax and had it distributed among the anti-apartheid community. If that’s true, I think it was a very noble gesture. Lefties in those days could barely afford a toasted sandwich, let alone a bagful of quality smokable items. Back then, there was nothing quite like a white pipe to lift your spirits and dispel those state of emergency blues.

And how about that drug-laced teargas? I always thought the protestors were doubled over in pain. Turns out they were laughing. What a hoot! Wish I’d been sprayed with some of that stuff. Oh, well. That’s the price I paid for supporting apartheid.

Ironic, isn’t it, that you were fired by FW de Klerk and rehired by Nelson Mandela. Apparently the ANC didn’t want you selling your secrets to the Libyans. Or worse, the Americans. You know who needs you now? The Iranians, that’s who. I can hear President Hassan Rouhani shouting, “Unleash Wouter Basson!” Nobody is going to care about oppressing the Palestinians if there’s LSD in their water supply.

Word on the street is that you haven’t dabbled in chemicals for years, which is more than I can say for most of the people I know. Are you happy as a heart surgeon? I don’t think it’s for me. Cardiology is fine as a hobby but it’s not really a man’s job, is it. You need slender, girly fingers to be able to root around in a person’s chest cavity. And it’s not like they can fight back, either. I have big, powerful hands that can reach down a man’s throat and rip out his heart in one fluid movement, even when I am on pethidine. Especially when I am on pethidine.

Are you still operating behind the Boerewors Curtain? Watch your back, my friend. Durbanville isn’t what it used to be. The English-speakers are moving in under cover of darkness and there have been recent sightings of people who aren’t white.

Pathologically yours,

Dr Benzedrine Trovato

PS. If things turn nasty at your hearing, stand up and say to the committee: “I will give you my scalpel when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” It worked for Charlton Heston and it can work for you.

An open letter to Julius Malema

Dear Right Honourable Excellency Julius Sello Malema the First, Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Ruler of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of Colonialism in Africa in General and South Africa in Particular.

Or, in the parlance of the common people, heita Juju! Having said that, there shall come a time when political scientists will want to add an ism to your name. You need to drop a vowel. Malemism is easier on the tongue than Malemaism, which sounds more like a tropical malaise than a bona fide ideology.

People have been coming up to me and saying, “Who is EFF?” Sometimes they say, “Who the eff are you?” but their kind is best ignored. You put it rather nicely in your manifesto: “The EFF is a radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles.”

That clears that up, then.

I predict that, before the end of the decade, Malemism will overtake Marxism as the predominant school of thought among a new generation of urban guerrillas. Compared to you, Karl Marx was a pussycat. Marxism is a theory. Malemism will be a fact. If anyone argues, have Shivambu stab them in the face. Oops. That was a Floydian slip. Have him talk some sense into them. An open dialogue is usually less messy than an open wound.

What ruined Marxism for me was the number of psychobrates Karl allowed in to the inner circle. Even though he was very bright for a white man, Karl made the mistake of encouraging other men with beards to get savagely twisted on Jägermeister and come up with all kinds of crazy things like dialectical materialism and economic determinism. The proletariat could barely spell their own names. No wonder Marxism never caught on.

Now that Dali Mpofu, the devil’s advocate, is a member of your merry band of brigands, your quota of intellectuals has been filled. Do not accept anyone else with a university degree. Too many revolutions have been ruined by some smartass at the back who puts up his hand and says, “But, commander in chief, if we are going to nationalise everything, throw farmers off their land and give everyone free health care, housing and education, where will we get the money to, you know, pay for things like roads and power stations?”

When the EFF takes power, you can do away with money altogether and use stones instead. This country has plenty of them. The Karoo could be the new Treasury, except there won’t be any security at the door. Or any doors. People could just drive out there, fill their boot with stones and be rich right away. Small stones could buy takeaways while rocks could be used to buy bigger things like tumble dryers and plasma televisions. A Mercedes would cost a small boulder, of which we have plenty.

It’s uncanny how much you and Marx have in common. Karl collaborated with Friedrich Engels. You speak Engels. Your insightful exchange of ideas with BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher in 2010, which included the phrase, “Rubbish is what you have covered in that trouser”, showed an admirable grasp of the subtle nuances of the English language.

Marx studied at the University of Bonn. You once drove past the University of Cape Town.

You sang ‘Dubula iBunu’. He sang ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady’. No, wait. That was Groucho Marx. My researcher is drunk. I shall have him stripped naked and flogged at once.

By the way, I like your website. The colours of blood and canaries are very 2014. I also like your logo. A giant black fist dominating Africa, threatening Brazil with an assegai. Good for you. Those goddamn uppity Latinos need to learn that they aren’t the only ones who can cripple economies through poorly thought out socialist policies.

It’s also a smart move to invite people to donate R30 to the cause by sending an sms. Any idiot can send an sms. And I am nothing if not an idiot. I fired off an sms right away. Any chance of a receipt? When you finally deploy the 5th Expropriation Brigade, I want to be able to show them something that sets me apart from the neo-imperialist counter-revolutionary running dogs of capitalism that infest my suburb.

I see you are with FNB. Good choice. I like their slogan: “First National Bankie – How Can Weed Help You.”

I am also very impressed with your manifesto. Did you know that it comes from the Greek word ‘mani’ meaning ‘barefaced’ and ‘festo’ meaning ‘lies’? Of course you did.

I found it a tad long at around 20-thousand words, but that shouldn’t be a problem for your followers. By the time the economically disenfranchised have finished looking up words like heterodox and beneficiation, American helicopters will be evacuating the last of the capitalists from the roof of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the sangomas can move in. The fall of Saigon will seem like a stumble by comparison.

Nice touch kicking it off with a quote from Frantz Fanon, although one or two of your members might struggle to relate to a Martinique-born French Creole psychiatrist who dabbled in existential humanism on his days off. On the other hand, he did actively support the Algerian war of independence from France. As a result, Algeria today is in far better shape than France. And you, Julius, are in far better shape than Frantz.

The quote is, “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” Or, in the case of the ANC, and betray it. Do you like that? Have it.

The first point in your preamble reads, “Our decision is to fight for the economic emancipation of the people of South Africa, Africa and the world.” Nothing wrong with aiming high, comrade. But the world? I hope you have a passport.

One of your seven pillars for economic emancipation is to “build government capacity allowing the abolishment of tenders”. This is brilliant. Nobody need rely on the government for work because everyone will already be working for the government. Thirty million civil servants should get the job done in no time at all. Who cares if the economy shuts down over lunch every day? It’s a big, hungry thing, the economy is, and it can’t be expected to go all day without so much as a smoke break.

I love all the free stuff mentioned in your fourth pillar. Education, health care, housing, sanitation. I would go further and offer free booze. Having a roof over your head and knowing the square root of twelve would feel so much more satisfying if it came with a box of beer.

Pillar number five says there will be “massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs”. By protected I expect you mean that once the workers are inside, the factories will be sealed off with bladewire and minefields. Don’t let the bastards out. Ever. You didn’t say they would be paying jobs. Clever, that.

Your second pillar calls for the nationalisation of banks, mines and other sectors of the economy without compensation. You might need heavy artillery for the banks. I have been trying to get an appointment with my branch manager for months. You are going to have to winkle the swine out with howitzers.

The manifesto also says, “It is a crying shame that in the 21st century we are presided over by an elite system of power where only 400 members of the national assembly govern over 50 million people. The EFF shall agitate for the transfer of power to the people.”

You need to have teams visiting every home in every town. If the person who opens the door can sing the first stanza of L’Internationale and answer three questions about, say, the Babylonian revolt against Assyrian rule, he or she gets to make a new law right there and then. Parliament can be converted into a vegetable market.

And you say house repossessions will be illegal? Yeah! Fuck the bond. What are you going to do now, Sheriff? Shoot me? Oh. Okay, wait.

You also want to see “the scrapping of criminal record statuses of ex-convicts who were convicted of certain schedules of crime”. Nothing wrong in thinking ahead. That’s the mark of any good leader who might one day go to jail for certain schedules of crimes. Like tax evasion. Or money laundering. Or racketeering.

You warn that your policies might cause an “imperial backlash”. I wouldn’t worry about that. When the Mau Mau did their thing in Kenya, the imperial backlash extended to the madams of Happy Valley firing the servants and pouring their own gin and tonics. I expect our imperialists would do the same – right after they have shut down their multi-billion rand investments and repatriated the profits.

I like how your manifesto separates the race groups. It does away with all that simunye nonsense. For instance, you talk of the “Coloured question”, saying that the EFF will come up with revolutionary programmes to guarantee them fishing rights. I don’t know when last you were in Cape Town, but you should know that not all of them are fishermen. Many have diversified into the narcotics industry. It’s an important demographic. Don’t neglect them or they will be at the throats of the fishermen in no time at all and you will be to blame.

Still under the section titled “The Coloured working class”, you say, “The wine farms in the Cape should be expropriated and redistributed to the farm workers.” This is an excellent idea. Who cares if the chief financial officer of Spier has no front teeth and a touch of the old foetal alcohol syndrome? I certainly don’t. And I am all for buying cabernet sauvignon in five-litre plastic containers.

Under the “Indian/Asian working class”, you question whether Indians should be classified as a historically disadvantaged group. Should they benefit from affirmative action? You seem unsure. I tried asking around but the thing with Indian fellows is that you ask them one thing and they tell you another. And another. And before you know it the whole day has gone by and you’re lakka goofed and dronk.

When I came to the “White working class”, my sphincter snapped shut. I was expecting terrible things. But all you said was that white people who didn’t own land and the means of production would be allowed to live. Ha ha. Not really. Instead, we would benefit from the EFF’s struggle. Yay for me. I don’t own much more than a car and two surfboards, so I’m safe. Right, comrade? I am safe, aren’t I?

One thing is certain – the poor will send you to parliament next year. That’s R70 000 a month in your pocket right there. Sure, this is peanuts compared to what you are accustomed to, but it’s a start.

Anyway. Good luck, commander. If your dreams come true, we will all be living in one hell of a state.

For the love of thugby

I inadvertently got caught up in the Sharks victory parade on Wednesday. It was like being on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées on the 25th of August, 1944, as French and American troops swept through the Arc de Triomphe.

The liberation of Paris was nothing compared to this. As the bus carrying our conquering heroes drew level, I was so overcome with emotion that I grabbed the nearest woman and kissed her passionately. She pulled away and screamed. I screamed. Up on the bus, the players screamed. The car guards screamed. It was a time for kissing and a time for screaming. You would have been a fool not to do both.

However, I have a confession to make. I am not a huge fan of the sport. Some of you will think I am either a communist or gay. Or even a gay communist, although I imagine this is a fairly small demographic confined to a single neighbourhood in the more tastefully decorated part of Moscow.

The thing is, I wasn’t raised in a rugby house. Back then, the kind of people who played or watched rugby weren’t the kind of people my parents wanted me mixing with. I imagine that’s why my mother sent me for piano lessons. I don’t know what kind of men play the piano or watch other men play, but I sure as hell didn’t want to mix with them either. The lessons ended in tears and I was left wondering if my parents hadn’t perhaps mistaken me for another child.

I watched the Currie Cup final simply because I happened to be in a bar when the game came on. I suppose I should have been tipped off that something was up when the young man behind the bar lashed a rubber shark fin to his head. People do strange things north of the Umgeni and I had no reason to think this wasn’t just another Saturday afternoon on the east coast with a barman tripping gently off his painted face.

I knew trouble was brewing the moment I heard the national anthem. People around me began standing up and singing, not that you could call it singing. You can’t really call it an anthem, either. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika is the only thing left in our pantheon of national symbols still pretending that all is well in this fabulous rainbow nation. It has tried so hard to be all things to all people that if it were a contortionist it would need the Jaws of Life if it hoped to ever walk again.

I never stood up and joined in the singing because once you start with that, you may as well go out and sew the seeds of civil strife on the sidewalks of your suburb. Besides, I didn’t know the words. Nor did I feel confident enough to stand up. Also, I am a journalist, and we don’t stand up for anything but press freedom and an open bar.

This wasn’t my first time watching rugby. Nobody can spend as much time in bars as I do and not see a game of rugby. I have, however, never watched the sport in a stadium environment. I once went to watch a game of cricket at Kingsmead and the unutterable boredom drove me to drink relentlessly beneath a particularly cruel February sun. The day ended badly.

I like to watch rugby primarily for the violence. Many of the players on both sides remind me of people from my past. Hugh Reece-Edwards was in my class at school. Or somewhere in the vicinity of my class. We were on nodding terms until he discovered that I played tennis instead of rugby. But that is not the past I am talking about.

There are rugbyists like Hugh and Patrick Lambie who have English-speaking faces. I am not being faceist, but you have to admit that few people would look at Gurthro Steenkamp and wonder if his parents hailed from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Let me just say that while Lambie was living high on the hog at Michaelhouse, Reece-Edwards and I were being starved and beaten at Northlands Boys High.

The point I am trying to make, if there even is one, is that most rugby players remind me of bad times. I am not talking about Beast Mtawarira, here. Even though I grew up in a suburb where black men could be arrested or shot if they were caught on the streets after dark, the sight of Beast launching himself into yet another of his suicidal battering ram runs doesn’t make me wonder if my plasma TV is on its way to KwaMashu in the back of a taxi.

Most rugby players remind me of the corporals and sergeants who made my life a living hell in the army. They were supposed to teach me to hate communists and terrorists, but they were such utter bastards that I ended up hating them instead.

So when I see a fullback or a prop who looks and talks like the military policemen who routinely arrested me on the highway between Pretoria and Durban, I want him to be taken down and soundly stamped upon.

If there is one thing we all need in this country, it is catharsis. We should take it where we can find it.