Month: January 2018

The new dorsland draadtrekkers

I find it hard to take things too seriously because in a hundred years from now everyone on the planet will have vanished and been replaced by eight billion people who don’t currently exist. Also, we live on a giant rock floating in space.

So when people come to me with fear in their eyes and say that Cape Town – where I am at the moment – is about to become the first city in the world to run out of water, I guzzle tequila shots and do cartwheels until they go away.

And while everyone is whispering in urgent tones about the water crisis, I haven’t heard anyone talking about a shortage of beer. That’s because there isn’t one. The solution is obvious. Stop using water and switch to beer. After all, beer is, like, 50% water. The other 50% is supernatural happy juice. You can drink it, soak your clothes in it and even use it to wash your face and gentleman bits. Ladies should wash in wine.

Actually, I did have cause to panic earlier in the week when Western Cape Premier Helen Zille tweeted, “Talking to @WorldOfBeer about bottling 12 million quarts of water (instead of beer) to help us in the event of day zero.” What is wrong with this woman? Beer is the only thing that is going to get everyone through this nasty business.

After Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille went berserk and blamed everyone except herself and her party for the crisis, she was fitted with a muzzle and led away. Zille is now in charge of saving us all from certain death with a series of well-placed tweets. Like this one. “If everyone using water in greater Cape Town, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch sticks to upper limit of 50 litres per person per day, the dams will reach a low of 15%. Day Zero is 13,5%. We can still prevent it by the skin of our teeth.”

By then we won’t have any skin on our teeth. Not being able to brush will have us walking about with mouths seemingly filled with small marsupials.

As princess of the province Zille gets to live in Leeuwenhof, a lavish 17th-century estate lounging elegantly on the slopes of Table Mountain. This week she posted a picture of a tomato in a quarter of a cup of water. “Washing a tomato for supper in a cup. I will use it for other fruit (nectarines and grapes) as well. Then the water left in the cup goes into the toilet cistern.”

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Another tweet had a photo of her standing in a tin basin having a wash – mercifully showing only her bare feet. In response, Mududzi tweeted a photo of himself bathing with kitchen utensils. Zille responded, “No no no! No baths, not even with your pots and pans. Take them into a 90-second shower instead.”

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In an effort to shame the city’s top 100 water abusers, a list of addresses from Camps Bay to Crossroads was released. Just the name of the street, suburb and water consumption. In other words, no shaming at all, really. Topping the list is someone in Haywood Road, Crawford, using 702 000 litres a month. That’s got to be a clandestine grow house. Thanks to this list, everyone in Haywood Road is now a suspect.

So far there is no technical strategy in place for dealing with Day Zero. The city’s only plan seems to be to urge residents not to use more than 50 litres a day. What a brilliant idea. Let’s rely on the inherent goodness in people. On their willingness to sacrifice for a common cause. Does Zille even know what people are like? It reminds me of the time Neville Chamberlain met Hitler and made him pinky swear that he wouldn’t start a war.

Oh, wait. That’s not the only plan. Zille has also suggested that to relieve the pressure on the municipal water system, people could book into hotels for the duration of the drought. I’m not joking. She really said this. That’s fine for Jacob Zuma’s bagmen in the state-owned enterprises – they can go and stay at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai for free, thanks to the generosity of the adorable Gupta family.

At least 60% of city residents aren’t sticking to the daily limit. That’s because most people don’t care about anyone they’re not related to or have no chance of sleeping with. They’re not going to suffer for the benefit of strangers. They care only about themselves. Cape Town has plenty of them. They are called The Rich. So when you overhear someone droning on about the state of the Salukis (the Range Rover is in such a mess!) because the doggy parlours have closed down, you need to go up to them and say, “Shut your borehole.” You may wish to deliver a light slapping. Apart from hard currency, it’s the only language they understand.

One thing is certain, though. While we the people are wearing edible broeks, pooing in the bushes, eating off open fires, drinking our own urine and rutting like wild animals, The Rich will carry on as if nothing is amiss. The lowering of standards does not come easily to them. They are different to us. They will fill their pools with Perrier and drink cocktails on their verdant lawns. They will also know that we are coming for them. Well, for their water, anyway. Nobody wants the French Revolution.

The chattering classes – those of the metropolitan middle – have it that the problem is not one of too little water but rather too many people. What they really mean is too many immigrants. And by immigrants they mean people from the Eastern Cape.

There are moves afoot to impose a series of incremental fines on households that use more than their fair share. Obviously if you don’t have a water meter you can’t be fined. And who doesn’t have water meters? The poor, that’s who. They get to sit around their communal taps and drink all day long, then wash their goats and hose down their shacks when they catch fire and there’s nothing we can do about it. Damn their selfish eyes.

It hasn’t escaped the attention of Zille’s followers. This from a white rugby player from Kraaifontein, “Why should we that pay for water save if the people that doesnt pay water dont save? And what is the DA doing? Nothing instead of fixing the crisis you guys fight under each other.” At least his privileged education is finally paying off.

The city has issued an online map showing all the plots in Cape Town – apart from the plot to destroy Patricia de Lille’s career, obviously. An incredibly complex system involving coloured dots indicates who is saving water and who needs to be ashamed of themselves. I’m colour blind so it makes no sense to me at all.

I’m not the only one. “What I don’t understand is why the city still tolerates households consuming more than 10k litres? Why is the water map not showing red dots? If I would see my neighbor with a red dot I would go over and have a talk to help them to use less water!” Have a talk, eh? I reckon once that chat was over there’d be red dots of arterial spray all over the house.

Another suggested that watershedding should start now. You’d think, right? Before Day Zero kicks in, there really ought to be a dry run. Haha. “Shut it down now except for essential services … bring in the bowsers now.”

For those who aren’t familiar, bowsers are St Bernard dogs crossed with pitbulls. They are trained to distribute water to the needy and attack the wasteful. Unlike many of us, they are able to interpret the water map. However, they do need help accessing the internet.

Alexandra suggested that people should stop complaining because it does nothing to provide water. “Do your part, be wise with water and prayer. Pray for our government, our leaders and the poor. When God brings the floods they will be mostly impacted.”

It was probably excessive praying for sunny weather that caused the drought in the first place. God has been known to overreact at times so please tone down the prayers for rain.

Meanwhile, another tweet from Zille, complimenting some or other shiny-eyed family of do-gooders on their increasingly ludicrous water-saving measures, said, “Some people are really catching the “gees” of saving water.” Ah, yes. The old “gees”. The spirit. The last time we had it was during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, except this time we’re all going to die at the hands of thirst-crazed gangs with names like the H2 Ous. That’s if the Black Death doesn’t get us first.

By April the taps will be turned off and people will be lining up at one of the 200 distribution points around Cape Town. This could mean at least 10 000 people arriving at each point every day. I’m not going to be able to do it. I can’t be in a queue of ten people without being consumed by homicidal fantasies. Fights over bottled water are already breaking out in supermarkets.

Armageddon outta here.

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A day at the races

I see the J&B Met is being run in Cape Town today, except it’s not called that any more. It’s now the Sun Met. I don’t know what happened to the whisky people.  I attended the race twice. Once in 2007 and again in 2009. Here’s what happened the first time.

 

I awoke late on Saturday and drove out to Kenilworth Race Course for the J&B Met, eventually finding parking in a side street on the outskirts of Darling.

Arriving thirsty as seven stoned camels, I made for one of the makeshift bars on the lawn in front of the grandstand. Gallons of vodka, brandy and whisky. But no beer. That’s a good idea, I thought. Pump this white trash crowd full of high-octane spirits in the middle of one of the hottest days in living memory, then rig the main race and take all their money.

Earlier, while researching the history of the race, I got sidetracked by the history of J&B and researched the whisky instead. One line stood out: “J&B Rare has a youthful personality and is drunk as a refreshing drink during the day and throughout the night.”

Being a youthful drunk with a refreshing personality, I knew right then and there that I had met my soulmate.

I ordered a double and the callow youth behind the counter tried to charge me a small fortune. I looked him in the eye and flashed my media tag. “I’m a journalist,” I said. He nodded and offered to make it a treble. “Forget it,” I said, “I need my money for gambling. Where are the rich and famous?” He pointed towards some sort of tented village on the opposite side of the track. Within minutes I was out of the refugee camp and among my people. All around me, packs of half-naked women and silver-coated freaks of no discernible gender wafted in and out of air-conditioned marquees.

I marched up to the J&B tent and flashed my tag at the security goons. They stepped aside and waved me through. This was more like it. Free food and as much whisky as any sane man could ever hope to drink. And a quiet area to place your bets without being jostled and spat on by a heavily tattooed desperado trying to win enough to feed his chronic tik habit for another week.

It was like heaven. Well, that part of heaven reserved for black people, anyway. I was the only whitey in the area. Either J&B are way ahead in the affirmative action stakes or whiskey has become this year’s umqombothi.

The company claims that its Rare blend is the most approachable whisky in the world. And they are right. I approached it time and time again, from many different angles, and not once did it turn its back on me.

Sauntering over to the bookies, I studied the stats for the eighth race. There was something called a swinger pool but my body clock told me it was way too early in the day to strip down and start hitting on another man’s wife.

I couldn’t work out if I was looking at the horse’s age, weight or odds, so I put R100 on number 18 for no real reason at all. The bookie gave me the lazy eye and said there were only 13 horses in the race. “I knew that,” I said. “What about this 50kg three-year-old? Is that the horse or the jockey?” She ignored me so I asked if she thought Wonder Lawn had a chance, but she said he had been scratched for coughing. “That’s a bit unfair,” I said. “Maybe he was just a little hoarse.” She asked me to step away from the counter.

My media tag was like a magical passport to pleasure, a free pass for freeloading. I was welcomed into every corporate tent I went up to. Except Standard Bank. I was determined to recoup some of the trumped-up charges they have inflicted on me over the years but a thug wearing an earpiece turned me away in no uncertain terms.

Seeking refuge inside a less hostile tent, a woman spotted my media tag and rushed over. “Marc Lottering is here,” she said breathlessly. I wasn’t sure how to respond to this so I didn’t. “He said he doesn’t want to be bothered by the press so we would appreciate it if you stayed away from him.” Why a joker from the Cape Flats with a drunk driving conviction and a hair-do the size of Athlone stadium would come to the races and demand to be ignored was beyond me.

How to place a bet without making a complete fool of myself was also beyond me, but I wasn’t about to leave without a substantial win on the big race.

All of it on Badger’s Gift for a win,” I said, seconds before betting closed. She was the only filly in the race and hadn’t seen a track in three months. This was a good sign. She had to be hungry for a flat-out run.

Pressed up against the rail, I couldn’t see the start. Actually, I had no idea where the start was. For all I knew it was in Milnerton.

Then I heard the commentator mention my horse. The crowd erupted and I spilled whisky all down my shirt but I didn’t care because my horse was winning and soon I would be able to buy a thousand new shirts. Badger’s Gift crossed the line so far ahead of the others that I couldn’t even see them. I dashed back to the bookie to claim my winnings but she said it only counts if the horse has a jockey.

I was appalled. The stupid cow had thrown her silk-coated homunculus and made straight for the stables for a bit of hay and a little lie-down.

If lame horses get shot, why don’t you shoot lame jockeys?” I shouted, trying to reach into the till to get my money back. I was escorted to the door and asked not to come back.

Outside in the cruel heat, the beautiful people were starting to melt and stagger. Having spent the rent and developed a lifelong addiction to whisky and gambling, I sensed it was time to leave.

FINAL

Of Mr Feelfokkol and other rats

I got an sms from Standard Bank yesterday. They were very excited to tell me that my Gold Card is my ticket into some kind of draw where I could be selected as a contestant to play the bank’s new television game show where I could win up to one million rand. T&Cs apply. They actually used the word ‘excited’.

I’m a little less excited, mostly because I have never owned a Gold Card. You’d think the bank would know that. After all, I’ve been with them for almost forty years, most of which I’ve spent in the enquiries queue.

I don’t own a gold chain, ring or watch. I have no gold coins, teeth or nuggets. There is nothing in my possession that is made of gold. Standard Bank must be aware of this because they have never even so much as offered me a Gold Card, even though they appear to be under the impression that I am one of their Most Valued Customers.

All I have is a Mastercard, something even the peasants possess these days. When not being prodded across the counter at Shoprite, they use it to chop lines of inferior cocaine and jimmy locks so they may steal from those who qualify for Gold Cards.

It’s quite tragic that I don’t have one because their offer sounds super awesome. I can’t imagine anything I’d rather be on than a game show conceived by the creative geniuses of Standard Bank. I imagine the challenges will involve remembering thing like your last three credit card purchases, your last six telephone numbers and your maternal grandmother’s maiden name.

They tell me that I “could win up to one million rand”. This is tremendously exciting. When a balding man in a cheap suit presents me with a giant R50 cheque while being showered with confetti made from the shredded bond agreements of repossessed properties, he will notice my disappointment and point out that the terms and conditions clearly stipulate that the prize is “up to” one million rand. Security will encourage me to smile for the cameras before escorting me off the premises. All I need now is the Gold Card. Which I don’t ever want.

It’s not just Standard Bank that has been luring me down the boulevard of broken dreams. I’ve been getting other unsolicited messages since the Gregorian calendar dragged us one year closer to the grave. The Nigerians have got off to a flying start and my inbox is saturated with offers of a handsome cut in return for helping get their dead father’s millions out of the country. And more girls than usual are threatening to explode with desire unless I get in touch with them immediately.

In other news, two once prominent law enforcers are coming to the end of their careers after sitting at home earning millions for the last seven years. One was drunk on wine, the other on power. I hope you enjoy all that free money, Judge Nkola Motata and ex-cop Richard Mdluli.

Speaking of free money, the department of social development has admitted paying the SABC R140 000 for a two-hour bum-licking interview with the appalling Minister Bathabile Dlamini. I find it more disturbing to think there might be people in this country who actually watched it.

This column is a bit disjointed because I’m in Cape Town and it’s 38 degrees. My eyes are like melted Frisbees and I can hear my brain bubbling like a venison stew inside its cranial potjie. I can see a Cape clawless otter lurking in the milkwoods waiting for me to keel over so it can slither across the dying lawn and chew my face off.

Also, the provincial government has declared April 22 – my birthday – to be the day the city runs out of water entirely. I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than welding metal spikes to the front of my filthy Subaru, grabbing my grandfather’s World War II flamethrower and heading out to do battle with the soft-bellied water hoarders of Constantia and Bishop’s Court. They all have swimming pools and boreholes. I will fight them to the death. Or maybe not. I don’t really need water. That’s why Jesus gave us beer.

This is going to be an utterly berserk year both here and abroad. People in Hawaii have already spent half an hour waiting for a North Korean missile to kill them all. One guy saw the alarm on TV, drank half a bottle of imported whisky and went surfing. Sounds about right. To be fair to Kim Jong-un, the warning – broadcast by accident – didn’t actually say where the inbound ballistic missile was coming from. There’s a good chance a lot of Hawaiians assumed that Donald Trump had got the coordinates wrong.

Even Scandinavia is getting anxious. The Swedish government is resuming conscription and will be sending leaflets to five million homes instructing residents how to prepare for war with Russia. I imagine it will be a contest between Absolut vodka and absolute annihilation. H&M has its headquarters in Stockholm. The EFF should send over one of its infantry battalion when the festivities get underway. Those mannequins might fight back, though.

Squirrel Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president has well and truly upset the applecart, a cart almost entirely filled with bad apples. Forget the apples. Let’s call it a rat cart. Some of the rats are scrambling for cover, others are emerging blinking into the sunlight. Police minister Fikile Mbalula is one of the blinkers. Until December 18 there was nothing more he wanted than for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from her former husband as leader of the party. As one of her most vocal cheerleaders, he had nothing good to say about Ramaphosa. But then, oopsie. Rat cart overturned and all bets were off. Mbalula now comes across like a bad actor who has been handed a script he’s never seen before. All his old lines are out the window and the best he can do now is spout a mishmash of gibberish while frantically backpedalling and juggling in the hope that his new tricks will save his job.

Last week journalist Karyn Maughan interviewed Mbalula, who goes by the elegant name of Mr Fearfokkol on Twitter. Put on the spot, this was his answer, “With the election of the president of the ANC it comes with goodwill because he’s been tough, he’s been talking tough on corruption. He’s been talking tough on dealing with issues in a particular way. So this new particular paradigm and environment we find ourselves in, it is good for the country that for once we are not pussyfooting when it comes to the fight against corruption. We are decisive and there is action. But I can assure you these things don’t start now, they have been there and they will be there so don’t get shocked … prepare your shock absorbers, it’s going to be heavy, and those who are corrupt must know the state is going to stamp its authority.”

Ah, comrade. Why then have you been doing the pussyfoot until now? Come. Tell us. The truth will set you free. Thing is, Mr Fearfokkol, the truth will quite likely land your spineless jellyfish ass in court along with everyone else who has the most disgraceful family in South Africa and the entire state of Uttar Pradesh on speed dial.

Jesus Christ Super Shopper

With supermarkets busier than churches on a Sunday, the Church of England is marketing Jesus in the guise of a shopper to boost his appeal – Daily Mail

Excuse me, sir,” said the security guard at the entrance to Pick n Pray. “You can’t come in here without shoes.” Jesus smiled and reached out to touch the guard on the head. Jesus was on the floor before you could say “Hail Mary”. Once the misunderstanding had been cleared up, the guard helped Jesus to his feet.

Sorry about that. Thought you were going for my throat. Can’t be too careful these days. You’re still going to need shoes.”

Jesus walked over to a teenager in a wheelchair and spoke to him for a few minutes. After the kid had jumped around for a bit, babbling and weeping as the miraculously cured are inclined to do, he took off his sneakers and gave them to Jesus.

The security guard sensed something very meaningful had happened right in front of his eyes but he couldn’t work out what it was. Anyway, the important thing was that the freak in the dress was now wearing shoes.

Right away, Jesus was drawn to the fruit and veg section. He remembered his Father telling him stories about the Garden of Eden. It was just the way he always pictured it, only with a lot more people. And fewer serpents. Wandering about, stroking the broccoli and admiring the plums, he caught sight of a woman handing a man a bag of apples. Recalling the damage that a single apple was capable of causing, he lunged across the aisle and knocked the bag from the man’s hand.

What the fuck?” shouted the shopper. Jesus kicked the apples away and made the sign of the cross without even knowing what it meant. “This is forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! Thou shalt not eat of it!” Mothers gathered their terrified children and made for the relative safety of the dairy aisle.

You’re talking kak,” said the woman. “They come from Ceres. Got ’em yesterday.”

What is this Ceres of which you speak, harlot?” said Jesus.

Watch your mouth, hey. Ceres is there by … ag, you know.”

The Mount of Olives?”

Nay my larney. Ceres just does fruit. Olives is mos a vegetable.”

Jesus gathered his robes and backed away. “You will be cursed with hard labour and pain in childbirth.”

The shop assistant pulled a face. “Asseblief. I work for Raymond Ackerman. Don’t talk to me about hard labour. And I got seven laaities. I feel no pain. I just sommer drop them right here between the pineapples and the paw-paws.” She threw her head back and laughed like the whore of Babylon.

Pale and shaken, Jesus followed the signs to the deli. The name reminded him of home. Deli. There was something Jewish about it.

Crossing the vast wilderness of dog pellets, he came upon mounds of slaughtered beasts and a terrible sadness rose up in him. “What tragedy has befallen this place? How am I to lie down with lambs when they have been rent asunder and covered in shrink-wrap?”

His eye fell upon a rack of pork ribs. With an anguished cry he lifted them high above his head. “Only the Devil has the power to turn women back into ribs!”

Just then the butcher came out from the back holding a bag of blood and gore. “Are you the dog bones?” he said. Jesus fell back. “I am the King of the Jews!” The butcher looked disappointed. “You’ll want the kosher section then. It’s over there. Just past the …”

But it was too late. Jesus was gone. Desperately searching for a way out, he found his path barred by what appeared to be a 937-year-old woman. She looked a little like Lot’s wife. Or a lot like Little’s wife. She pressed a fillet of hake into the Messiah’s trembling hands and said, “Forgot my bloody glasses. Can you tell me the price on that?” In an instant the floor was covered in fish. And not just hake, but the good stuff too. Patagonian toothfish and white musselcracker. Things turned nasty when a hammerhead shark materialised out of nowhere and thrashed its way down the toiletries aisle biting hollow-eyed housewives immobilised by Prozac.

Jesus ran like he hadn’t run since the Romans were after him. He sprinted through the bakery wreaking havoc as wholewheat loaves multiplied in his wake, then across the appliance section, along the household cleansers, down the tinned foods, through the pot plants – causing the hydrangeas to burst into flames – and, finally, out of the front door.

Not so fast, buddy,” said the security guard. “Where’s your receipt for that?”

What? What?” shouted Jesus, eyes rolling madly in his head.

That crown of thorns. You didn’t have it when you came in. Come with me.”

jesuspic

Dear Ancestors …

ancestors

In times of great misfortune and uncertainty it is an African tradition to consult your ancestors and ask them to show you the way forward.

In the time of Zuma we have had misfortune in spades. These are also times of great uncertainty. This is a good thing. If you’re complacent in your job or comfortable in your marriage, you need to upset that applecart and get with the times. Forget certainty. It will stab you in the back as soon as sleep with you.

Change is in the air. Climate change. Regime change. Don’t be left behind. It’s a new year. Shed your old life and start anew. Sure, it might end in a homeless shelter. But it might not. Come on. Come and gamble with me. The odds are better than anything you’ll find in the Goodwood Casino.

First, though, I need to find my ancestors and shake their bones. I don’t even know if this works for whiteys. I assume it works for darkies. Last week Squirrel Ramaphosa, South Africa’s black Jesus, said the ruling party had been down and out, riddled with foreign tendencies and required ancestral intervention. Something or someone must have intervened because he was elected party president a couple of weeks ago. I’m virtually down and out and riddled with all sorts of things, so it’s definitely worth giving the ancestors a shot.

Thing is, Ramaphosa wasn’t consulting his own personal ancestors. He was reportedly shaking John Dube’s bones. And Walter Rubusana’s bones. Them be the bones of former ANC leaders. So the question I’m asking myself now, apart from why the waiter is ignoring me, is can one go about rattling bones willy-nilly when they aren’t in fact direct kin of the shaker and still expect sensible answers? Maybe it only works for people like Ramaphosa. After all, ANCestors, rights?

Can I go to the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris and shake Jim Morrison’s bones? Of course not. If I could afford to go to Paris why would I be sitting in this filthy bar writing rubbish for a pittance? Not to mention that the Lizard King would give me the most appalling advice in the unlikely event that we made a connection.

“Don’t take heroin. Don’t take a bath after taking heroin. Don’t date women called Pamela.” If he had told me this a few years ago, I would’ve listened to him on at least one of those counts. Too late. The damage is done.

It might make more sense to visit Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California, and rattle Steve Jobs’s bones. There are a couple of things that need clearing up. Like why do his laptop charger cables have the lifespan of a one-legged chicken in KwaMashu. Steve doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t care about any of us. He was meant to be immortal. He was meant to update his operating system, for heaven’s sake, not die.

A lot of other bones worth shaking can’t be shook because they got cremated. I don’t know what the ancestor worshipping business says about people who get burned instead of buried. Does shaking the urn have the same effect? Is it the same as praying with your eyes open or shut? Or, for that matter, not praying at all? Can I make a martini and shake it instead of the bones and expect the same result? Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous.

So the challenge for me, apart from catching the waiter’s eye, is to find my ancestors. Maybe define them first. I think it excludes parents. You can’t go from mother to ancestor in the blink of an eye. Even grandparents might be pushing it a bit. If you’ve met them they aren’t proper ancestors. From where I’m sitting, and I use the word sitting loosely, ancestors are people who died before you could get the chance to thank them for their contribution towards making you the genetic miracle you are today. By thank I obviously mean strangle.

I’ve always been a bit subnormal when it comes to grasping family relationships. Anything beyond uncle and my eyes glaze over, my mouth falls open and my heart rate plummets. If someone tries to explain how my aunt’s brother’s cousin is related to me, I am clinically dead before they can finish.

When I think of my ancestors, I think Cro-Magnon. Not so much upper class as lower Paleolithic. I imagine them in skins but only because I can’t bear to imagine them naked. Perhaps I’m going too far back.

As a white South African I have no traditions other than those involving the denigration and exploitation of black people. Sadly, those days are over and now there are no traditions I can call my own. Braaing, perhaps. Even then, there are darkies who will claim they were cooking meat over open fires long before white people were invented. It’s outrageous.

Look. I’m quite happy to rattle the bones and communicate with my ancestors if it means getting an indication of what I should do with what little remains of my so-called life. Communicating with the living doesn’t seem to help much at all. Might as well try the dead.

The problem is, I can’t afford to get to the graves of my ancestors. It would mean going to Italy, England, Australia and the Netherlands for a start. Those are just the ones I know about. Europeans spread their seed like wildfire in the early days. I’m surprised I didn’t turn out Catholic.

I’m a bit ashamed to say that I just googled Where Do White People Come From. What a mistake. I was dragged from Genesis to revolutions, from Australoids to Caucasoids, from the Semites to the Hamites, from the Third Reich to the Fourth Extinction. I could go on but it’s too depressing. It turns out that white people are little more than a concept.

Anyway. That’s enough about white people. In a few hundred years everyone will be brown. Or dead. I can’t do a global tour of my ancestors’s graves but I do need some direction so I’m going down to the bottom of my garden. There are bones there. Chicken and mutton, mainly. They must know a thing or two with the benefit of hindsight. Watch your back. Don’t trust humans. Have an exit strategy. That sort of thing.

My kingdom for a Kwaai Lappies

BEN TROVATO – Durban Poison

South Africans who say they would rather spend their holidays here than anywhere else – because, like, it’s such an awesome country – should have their jaws permanently wired shut so that never again will they be able to lie through their stinking teeth.

Patriotism be damned. They are here because they can’t afford to go anywhere else. Two-thirds of the people who support the Proudly South African campaign are right now sucking back margaritas in southern Spain or slipping their CVs under the doors of employment agencies in Perth.

At least a quarter of our country’s population never go on holiday because they are otherwise occupied in one of our many elegant state facilities for the morally challenged. Others, like the unemployed, are permanently on holiday and are the least deserving of our sympathy.

The people who you should really feel sorry for are people like me. People who…

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Higher education makes you high

One of the challenges I have set myself in 2018 is to get off the couch quicker than last year. The springs – in both couch and legs – have slowly deteriorated and it takes an almost superhuman effort for me to go from sitting to standing in under five minutes. I want to bring it down to a minute. That will give me an extra four minutes of staring into the fridge wondering what I got up for.

This is not the only area in which I hope to up my game in the new year. I also plan on going to university so that I may add another string to my bow. What does that even mean? I can’t imagine anything more useless than a bow with a plethora of strings. Wouldn’t it make more sense to want to add another arrow to your quiver? That way, even if you didn’t have a bow you could still stab people with your arrows. But I imagine most of us go to university so we don’t have to make a living from stabbing. Diversification is key, though, and a little tidy knife-work on weekends could go a long way towards supplementing any student’s meagre income.

I’m not yet sure which university I shall attend. Or what degree I will do. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that, thanks to Jacob Zuma, it’s all free. And there’s nothing I like more than not having to work or pay for something.

Julius Malema says that if you can’t afford to study, you should just arrive at your nearest university and pull up a chair. Commandeer a locker, claim a girl, borrow a pencil and there you go.

Thing is, university only really appeals to me in the sense that all institutions of higher learning are hotbeds of sex, drugs and all-night parties. The business of studying and writing exams doesn’t particularly interest me. Besides, given the couch issue I’ll probably be late for most of my lectures, if I make them at all.

I have done my time in the hallowed halls of academia … okay, that’s not strictly true. There was nothing hallowed about the journalism department at Natal Technikon in the ’80s. I did find my first love there, though, and, not long after, the Normandy Hotel, which was a stone’s throw from Oldham House where the journalism students were kept isolated from the rest of the campus.

Right, then. This year there were 370 000 applications for 39 000 places at six universities. This was before Zuma did his Oprah impression at the recent ANC conference. “You get a university education, you get a university education … everyone gets a university education!”

The EFF leadership will be waiting to welcome you to the institution of your choice. When registration day turns into the battle of Stalingrad, Dr Ndlozi and his footsoldiers will take the blows and teargas on your behalf, giving you a chance to make it to the nearest lecture hall where you can plant your metaphysical flag of freedom, take a member of faculty hostage and demand he teaches you everything he knows.

It doesn’t particularly matter what degree you find yourself doing. The important thing is that after three years, or, if you’re easily distracted, eight or nine, you can put the letters BA after your name. The counter-revolutionary elites will say this stands for Bugger All. Ignore them. By the time you graduate it will mean Beast Alliance. You will be the awesome stormtroopers – the Orcs and Uruk-hais of the new new South Africa – providing by sheer force of numbers the opportunity for the elite Masters and the PhDs to storm the citadels of power.

Somewhere among the ravening hordes rampaging across campuses on their desperate quest for knowledge, maybe lurking on the fringes if not in the shadows, will be Nicholas Brinkmann and his ilk. I have not selected Nicholas for any reason other than that he appeared on Twitter at this very moment. There are others like him. To find them I would need to scour the internet and, as I have repeatedly pointed out to no avail, I don’t get paid enough to do research.

Nicholas is 18 years old. He has just finished up at St John’s College and is preparing for a bright future in Australia. Just kidding. I don’t know what his plans are. Given that he achieved nine distinctions, they probably don’t involve magic mushrooms and transsexual crack whores.

I am simply using Nicholas as an example in much the same way that he will in all likelihood go on to use others for whatever purposes he sees fit. As a very intelligent lad, this is his prerogative. It is ordained. It is the way of the world.

The well educated become wealthy, the poorly educated become poor. Then there is you and me – a little bit educated, a little bit poor, always money for beer. A bit of a generalisation, to be sure. Toss in an unexpected work ethic and a couple of genetic surprises and all stereotypes are off.

Nicholas is not a throwback. He is a natural. Or maybe a nurtural, given the massive amount of support his parents must’ve given him. As a school kid I supported the hands-off approach when it came to parenting. They persisted with a hands-on approach, which usually came in a parabolic arc down to my quivering buttocks.

Nicholas totally cracked top percentages in seven of his nine distinctions and it doesn’t matter that he is more fluent in Latin than isiZulu. With the government’s new Woodstock approach to education – free for all and anything goes but don’t take the brown acid – it’s quite possible that we’ll all be speaking isiLatin by the end of the century.

Nicholas is from Emmarentia in Johannesburg. I will never go there. Not to Emmerentia or to Johannesburg. Let’s give him a chance to speak. “I spent my whole high school career just trying to learn everything well. In a sense you could say that my whole high school career has led up to my performance in matric.”

Now and then one reluctantly finds oneself in the company of a professional melanchologist from the past and even though we might plumb the murky depths of our spluttering adolescence, we use words like “disaster” and “torment” rather than “career” when referring to our passage through high school.

Nicholas said that during his matric year he would wake up at 6am because he wasn’t much of a morning person. This makes no sense. If you’re not a morning person you have no business waking up before midday.

“For my whole life my parents have made it clear that they support me and my education and they would do anything in their ability to help me. In the morning‚ often my mom and dad would make me breakfast. I feel like they sacrificed a lot in order to help me perform at school.”

Breakfast! No wonder he got nine distinctions. I was given a light thrashing and a pebble to suck on before being made to crawl to school on my hands and knees.

Nicholas also played second team basketball and first team hockey, which must be reassuring for his parents because if he ever gets brain damage he can still earn a living. He said sport helped him perform better academically. “If you don’t exercise you sometimes struggle to concentrate well.” I don’t know about that. Ritalin is basketball for the lazily gifted. Or something.

Nicholas is taking a gap year and then wants to study mathematics and science in America. Better hurry, Nick, before Donald Trump bans science altogether.

  • I deliberately haven’t mentioned the half a million kids who dropped out between grades 10 and 12. Sooner or later they’ll turn up at the robots. We’re going to ignore them then so we might as well ignore them now.