2015 – A DIY kind of year

 

Friends, Romans, countrymen. Lend me your beers.

This year, ask not what your government can do for you because you tried that last year and it worked about as well as DStv in the rain. You begged, cajoled and threatened. Nothing. It was as if nobody was listening. Could that be possible?

“Shh,” hushed the ministry of science. “We’re listening for life on other planets.”

Since nobody in power seems to care much about life on this planet, we’re going to have to become a little more assertive. The only service delivery we’re likely to see this year will be in June when Wimbledon starts. Novak Djokovic for president. Those Serbs know how to get things done. Genocide, mainly. But still. It’s a start.

So this year, instead of polishing off whatever’s on it and then stealing it, we are going to step up to the plate. And when I say we, I mean you. I am a ringleader and expect others to grasp nettles and take bulls by the horns.

You need to see 2015 as the year in which you embark upon major home improvement projects. But instead of improving your home, you’ll be improving your country. Think outside the box. Literally. Some of us have bigger and better boxes than others, sure. But they are boxes, nevertheless.

Our proper home – which can’t be sold to anyone other than the Chinese – is this country. We are all welcome here, except for Angolans, Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, the Congolese and white people. For the rest of us, this is our home and it’s starting to look a little frayed at the edges. A bit tatty. Worn in patches.

So roll up your sleeves, grab some money and get down to the pub as quickly as possible. This is not a job you can do without being slightly off your face. It makes it easier to work in the field and harder to work out if you qualify for residency in Australia.

Right away, you need to stop saying it’s the government’s job. You need to pretend that if you don’t pay your taxes, two men in cheap suits and matching moustaches will come around to your house at 6am every Sunday morning and talk to you. Being a democracy, you get to choose between talking about Kim Kardashian or Jesus.

So get off your arse and start fixing this country. You don’t know where to start? Are you blind drunk or just plain blind? From where I’m lying, I can see at least four things that need urgent attention. One of which, admittedly, is my neglected member. However, you need not concern yourself with that. Some matters should remain in one’s own hands.

Potholes.

Let’s start small. Every day you hit the same pothole because it’s either full of water and you don’t see it or you’re drunk and have forgotten it’s there. And every time it happens, you fly into a rage and shout, “Why doesn’t someone fix that goddamn pothole!” Why? That’s like asking why doesn’t the moon fall out of the sky even though it weighs, like, a billion tons. Nobody knows the answers to these questions. Forget the why and start asking how.

How can you fix it? Well, you could start by knocking on all the doors in your street and telling people that the Virgin Mary appeared to you in a vision and said that whoever fixed the pothole would be richly rewarded in the afterlife. There will be one – there is always one – who believes it.

Or collect money from the neighbourhood for the pothole repair project. Take the money to the bottle store and buy a few crates of beer. Fill the pothole with empty bottles. Nobody wants to drive over glass.

Alternatively, find a very small person who failed matric and has no future. Get him to curl up in the pothole. Pay him in beer. He’ll be glad for the work. Later, he can legitimately say he studied at the School of Hard Knocks.

Security.

The police are like faulty condoms. You can buy one but don’t expect it to protect you. The best way to fight crime is to be proactive. This means neutralising people who look like criminals or look like they might have committed a crime or be thinking about committing a crime at some time in the future. This is a full-time job and doesn’t pay very well. Forget I mentioned it.

You don’t need to be Rambo to take care of your own security. You need to be a car guard. Nobody ever robs or attacks these guys. Get divorced, sell your possessions, drink heavily, never bath and sleep on the street. You’ll be just fine.

Education.

It is not the government’s responsibility to educate you. Well, it is, but when half the civil service is made up of people with degrees printed on serviettes and decorated with clip art from the internet, it’s hard to inculcate the importance of education in the minds of the young.

Some people aren’t bright enough to know they’re stupid. If you are one of them, good luck. For the rest of you, try reading a book.

I was surfing at Seal Point recently when a teenager recognised me and paddled over. A pupil at the elite Kearsney College, he told me that his English teacher would start a new lesson each week by reading my latest column to the class. That’s my contribution to the downfall of the aristocracy. What’s yours?

Power.

The year is not even two weeks old and already Eskom is starting its nonsense. “The power grid is under significant pressure.” I’m sorry, but fuck you, Eskom. We’re all under significant pressure but you don’t see us having spontaneous blackouts. Well, some of us might, but at least we don’t affect entire suburbs.

The DIY solution is to go off the grid. Don’t even bother with generators or solar-powered systems. These things will either kill you or other people will kill you for them.

By ‘go off the grid’, I mean move to New Zealand.

Water.

If your municipality is unable to provide water because they sold the pipes to buy holiday homes in the Seychelles, use something else. I have always found beer to be the perfect substitute.

You should also recycle your bath water by drinking it. Dying young is one of the best way to conserve the planet’s resources.

Health.

Don’t become a burden on the state’s health system by going to hospital every time your kidneys fail or you sever a limb. Give medical staff a break by learning to treat yourself and others. Studies have shown that almost all injuries and ailments can be treated with a fish hook, a piece of rope and a bottle of brandy.

Art.

Should you be out in a field sketching the scenery and a heavily armed Islamic fundamentalist comes up behind you and accuses you of drawing the Prophet Mohammed and wants to cut your head off, it is important that you do not remain calm. Set fire to your sketch, stab yourself in the eye with your pencil and flop about like an electrified jellyfish. He will recognise that you are madder than he is and go off to find an easier target. A cartoonist, perhaps.

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