Category: Ben Trovato’s Guide to Everything

Psst! Wanna book?

Not many people know that I have written twelve books. I imagine even fewer care. Be that as it may. The fact remains that I have, without even really trying, built up what writers and publishers refer to as a ‘backlist’ and what writers’ wives call ‘those bloody boxes at the back of the garage’.

Some of you might even own one or two of my books. Now you have no excuse not to own all of them.

I am doing this is a public service and not because I have been told to clean out the garage.

Books will not be sent via the Post Office, unless you specifically want them in time for Christmas 2015.

Here, then, are the Dirty Dozen listed in order of their year of release. Point and click.

Thank you.

Ben Trovato

Ben Trovato Files

WTRBTPSU

Stirred not Shaken

Guide to Everything

Golf

Art of Survival

Hits and Missives

On the Run

Still on the run-2

Whipping Boy 2

Incognito

Hearts and mines

Guide to Everything – The Absolutely Final Bit Of Useless Advice

 

How to get the most out of your drugs

It is important to remember that drugs are like electrical appliances. A grey product, whether it is heroin or a waffle iron, can kill you.

A popular misconception is that all drugs make you high. They do not. Some make you so low that you cannot even look your dog in the eye. This is why so many teenagers become disillusioned and cynical. The dealer on the corner says, “Hey pssst wanna get high?” and then sells them something that dumps them on level four of Dante’s Inferno.

Lysergic acid diethylamide is a bit like a child with Down Syndrome in that it is difficult to handle and can go off quite quickly. It is important to remember that not all types of LSD react in the same way. Superman, for example, becomes more powerful if left in direct sunlight for eight hours, while Goofy is at its best after two days in the fridge. It all comes down to acid management, really.

Cocaine, sprinkled lightly on a well-browned lasagna, is absolutely divine. But remember to use imported Italian tagliatelle and not that dreadful fake penne stuff churned out in the southern industrial area.

Marijuana, South Africa’s primary export crop, is one of the most versatile ingredients that you could hope to find at the back of your underwear drawer. It can be snorted like snuff, used to garnish a roast chicken or even brought out as a substitute for catnip to keep your new kittens amused for hours on end.

Ketamine is much like truffles in that it is very hard to find out of season. You may want to try your local vet, or even the stables if you have any nearby. Horse tranquilizers are among the most effective in their group and have been known to quieten down even the most neurotic of Joburg kugels. Racehorses rarely misbehave and there is no reason why you should, either.

Psilocybin is absolutely delicious when fried up with a few rashers of back bacon, a handful of wild tomatoes and three or four free-range eggs. Wake up early on a Sunday morning and surprise your loved one with a tray of these earthy delights. He or she will thank you in many new and interesting ways. Put the fun back in fungus!

Heroin should be avoided because it is just plain immoral to buy anything from Afghanistan now that America has taken over the drug trade.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, street slang for Ecstasy, is hard to beat when it comes to chasing away those Monday morning blues. Washed down with a glass of fresh orange juice, you’ll find the day simply flying by in a warm, fuzzy blur of contentment.

Beer, like a dead body, should be kept on ice at all times. At breakfast time, it makes a refreshing change from mango juice and always goes well with a fish lunch. Some say that beer itself makes the ideal lunch, but I believe that you should always snack on something while drinking beer. That way, when you develop an enormous gut, you can always blame the peanuts.

 

What to do if your girlfriend is a barmaid

Unless you are a rabid teetotaler with right-wing fundamentalist tendencies, the chances are that you have fantasized about having a relationship with the woman who works behind the bar in your local pub. Or any pub, for that matter. This is quite normal and you have nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, she is one of those chain-smoking bartenders with stringy hair, elephantine thighs and a furtive addiction to cheap brandy. Then you should be worried.

The advantages of having a bartender girlfriend far outweigh the disadvantages. To make full use of this rare opportunity, it is advisable that you spend as much time in the bar as possible. You will never again have such a watertight case for going to the bar night after night.

Order as many drinks from her as possible. It is her job to bring them to you and, unlike when she is at home with you, she is not allowed to refuse. Stockpile if you have to, but whenever she gets a breather between serving other people, shout at the top of your voice, “Bartender! Another pint of your finest!” Then, when she brings it to you, lean quickly over the bar counter and kiss her full on the lips. This will drive the other patrons into a frenzy of envy. The danger, here, is that they will all start trying it and the next thing you know you are up on the bar with your stool in one hand and a broken bottle in the other, threatening to disembowel the next man who touches your girl.

It might be wiser not to kiss her at all. Anyway, there is a very good chance that kissing her will affect her tips in a big way.

Something happens to men’s brains when they walk into a bar. I have seen it happen countless times. Their tips grow progressively larger as the evening drags on, as if somehow a magical number will be reached whereby the bartender will drop her tray and say, “Oh, baby, you’re such a great tipper. Please come home with me!” I have only seen this happen once in my life and I can tell you that the circumstances on that occasion were far from normal.

So if a customer catches you with your tongue in the bartender’s mouth, he is going to correctly assume that something is not quite kosher. And if he suspects that he has a less than zero chance of getting jiggy with her, he will see little point in tipping her after every drink. She needs her tips. So do you. In fact, you may want to set a precedent by giving her ridiculously large tips after every drink in the hope that everyone else will feel guilty enough to do the same. You can always get your money back later while she is asleep.

 

How to win the Argus/Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

The first thing you should know about this race is that the route is a very difficult one. However, there are certain parts that will make it a lot easier for you to finish, and even win, this race.

My favourite is a cul-de-sac at the bottom of Queens Road in Sea Point. From here to the finish line is a mere 3.5kms. There is a large bush growing on a traffic island at the entrance to the cul-de-sac. If you are careful and get there early enough, none of the organisers will spot you. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the race leaders to swing out of Victoria Road, into Queens and then it’s a sharp right at the traffic circle and into Beach Road, the home stretch. Because of the hairpin bend, riders are preoccupied with making the turn and spectators are busy silently willing someone to crash. Nobody will notice as you slip out from behind the bush and join the frontrunners. A word of advice. Come in at the back. This is very important. If you suddenly appear in front of someone who has risked his heart and genitals to keep the lead for the last 100kms, he will not be as accommodating as you might think.

It is just as important to decide well beforehand what drugs you are going to take. Narco-loading is vital for racers such as us. Essentially, we are sprinters. And jumping into the race two hours after the official start is not as easy as it sounds. For a start, the drugs will make you thirsty. I have always found that two plastic bottles, one holding white wine and the other red, can clip neatly onto the frame of any of the more expensive models.

If wine is too pretentious for you, I suggest you make use of one of those cunning backpacks that are designed to hold a litre of pre-mixed Jose Cuervo and orange juice. It is easy enough to run a plastic tube from the bottle to the mouth.

Ideal race drugs include Dexedrine to get the heart rate up, Ketamine to verbally abuse your fellow competitors and LSD to brighten up the colours. Just remember that while narco-loading is great for short sprints, one of the side effects is that you see and hear things that might not altogether exist.

If you finish the race and claim victory, there may be a lot of angry people in yellow vests who will try to convince you otherwise. Whether or not you listen to them is up to you.

If you are a man, you might also want to think about rolling up a pair of socks and putting them down your Lycra shorts. Sportsmen are always held in higher esteem when people see that they are hauling serious freight. If you are arrested at any time during or after the race, be sure to remove the socks before entering the police cell.

 

How to behave when impersonating a doctor

I am not sure why, but it is apparently illegal to masquerade as a doctor. On the other hand, it is quite legal to impersonate a journalist. It makes no sense to me. If you visit a doctor or speak to a journalist, you are quite literally putting your life in their hands. But while a journalist might destroy your reputation, a doctor can do little more than cause you physical harm.

Besides, untrained and unqualified doctors would be a whole lot cheaper than some of those heartless greedheads out there who think the world owes them a living just because they are legally entitled to render you unconscious and then slice you up like you were some kind of prime beef.

Bastards.

When deciding to impersonate someone in the medical profession, it will be quite tempting to pretend to be a surgeon. There is something about all that scrubbing up and snapping on of rubber gloves that appeals to a surprising number of men (17.2%) and women (0.1%). However, I strongly suggest that you choose to impersonate someone else.

Surgeons are regularly called upon to perform surgery. This is why they are called surgeons. And unless you know your spleen from your pancreas, it is best to stay away from the operating theatre. Besides, most men (87.5%) know so little about the workings of the female body that they could not be trusted with a naked, drugged woman lying on a table in front of them. Especially not with a razor-sharp scalpel in their hands. Women impersonators, too, should avoid a similar situation involving male patients, especially if they suffer from penis envy.

It is, however, easy enough to impersonate a general practitioner and move through the wards in a white coat and stethoscope feeling patients’ foreheads and making them laugh with your comically exaggerated invoices. But keep it professional. You do not want to be mistaken for Patch Adams.

If you are a man, you might want to be among the 0.3% of men who impersonate gynaecologists. This is the dream job of most adolescent boys. It is only when they grow up that they realise this is not at all what they want from life. There is no rational explanation for this, particularly when you consider that a mechanic will work on a Porsche Spyder all day long and when it comes time to knock off he will drive home quite happily in his Nissan Sentra. Perhaps there are fundamental differences between cars and women that should be taken into account here.

Research undertaken by nobody who wants to come forward and take credit for it has shown that it is far more fulfilling to impersonate a doctor of the mind. The good thing about pretending to be a head doctor is that you can operate from your home and you do not need much in the way of specialised equipment. A couch, a box of tissues and a notebook and pen should cover it. If you have one, a video camera can liven things up a bit.

If you do this properly, it won’t be long before you develop a healthy list of unhealthy patients. There is really only one thing to remember when treating mentally ill people. Do not laugh at them. Ever. Do not even try to laugh with them. If they start laughing, excuse yourself and leave the room until they have stopped. The sounds you are looking for are mewling and sobbing. Only then can you do your job properly.

Diagnosing people with psychiatric problems is a lot easier than you think. For a start, they hardly ever argue with you because they genuinely believe they are sick and you aren’t. This gives you an edge right away.

If you are ever at a loss for words, all you have to do is rub your chin, look out of the window, nod slowly and mumble. It doesn’t really matter what you mumble because most of the time the patient will be too afraid to ask you to repeat it. If they do ask, however, you could say something like, “It’s the Aubert-Fleischl paradox. Hmm. Very interesting. Very interesting indeed …” The patient will not press you for details because they already fear for their sanity and would rather not know about the Aubert-Fleischl paradox.

Developing your own Rorschach Test can also be a lot of fun. If you have small children, you might get them to play around with a bottle of ink and a few pages of blotting paper. See what they come up with and then pass them on to your patients. At the very least, the family will have a good laugh around the dinner table that night.

If you are trying to get rid of a problem patient (i.e. one who never pays on time), you might suggest that, at your next session, you will explain the Whorfian hypothesis as it relates to his condition. He won’t be back.

If a patient’s symptoms make no sense whatsoever (e.g. biting the edge of your desk while urinating into your wastepaper bin), do not be alarmed. Have a little sport. The best way of passing the time in extreme situations is to tell the patient that he is suffering from a range of phobias. Ask him to subtract 1 from 14. If he runs into the wall screaming, tell him he has triskaidekaphobia. When he has calmed down, tell him you have detected signs of dysmorphophobia. Don’t tell him what it means. He will find out on his own and will never again be able to look into a mirror. There are many more. Keep going until he signs up for another 20 sessions. If you have done your job properly, he will have developed phobophobia, the fear of acquiring a phobia, by the time he leaves.

If a patient confronts you with suspicions that you are an impersonator, laugh and tell him that this is understandable because you subscribe to the Gestalt psychology movement and patients often say that. Once he discovers that there is no English equivalent for the word Gestalt, he will have no option but to give you the benefit of the doubt. He already suspects he is going mad and will not want to appear stupid on top of it.

 

How to be a sex tourist while training for the Kololi pool challenge in the Gambia

Some people think that sex tourism is all there is to the Gambia. This is not true. There is also the Kololi Pool Challenge that takes place once a year. Or once a week, depending on the number of entries. And the rainy season. And the groundnut harvest.

The best way to prepare for the tournament is to become a sex tourist. I have always found that if you choose a short, heavy cue and a tall, light-skinned woman, you stand a damn good chance of winning. Most of your opponents will be Rastafarians. They play with heads full of powerful Gambian weed. But do not be lulled into a false sense of security just because they have to be reminded whether they are stripes or solids after every shot. Your opponents will also be attached to some of the biggest, scariest women you will ever come across in your life. Try not to be intimidated. They are sex tourists just like you, except they are from Dusseldorf and Wapping.

It is important that you learn some basic Wolof so that you can order beers and women throughout the challenge. You do not want to run dry of either. This will give your opponents the edge. Here is a helpful phrase I picked up while defending my title a few years ago. “Danka Danka mojapa golo sinjai.” It means, “Slowly, slowly catchee monkey”. Either that or, “Slowly, slowly catchee syphilis”.

 

How to deal with a woman who wears fur coats

Try to get her into bed as quickly as possible. Women who wear fur are animalistic and violent, but better than that, they are usually very rich.

If she refuses to sleep with you, there are several ways in which to respond. You may want to buy a gram or so of PCP (Angel Dust) and follow her home. Sneak into the garden when she is in her bedroom biting the legs off baby mice or whatever it is that women who wear fur and won’t sleep with us do when they are alone. Wrap the PCP in a pork sausage and feed it to her dog when it comes out to bark at you. Two hours later, when she bends down to kiss her beloved pooch good night, its little brain will be about ready to snap its moorings. Try not to laugh as she runs from the house with a Maltese poodle latched to her throat like some kind of avante garde accessory from the House of Pain.

 

What to do if your partner has an aversion to bathing

This is essentially a male trait, but I have encountered women who suffer from what I consider a deviant version of hydrophobia.

There was one woman in particular who resolutely refused to shower or bath, regardless of how much money I offered her. I tried to find out the reason once or twice but never really made an issue out of it because some women are sensitive to interrogation.

In the end I gave up trying to convince her that soap and water are not the twin pillars of evil and instead began licking her clean. It was fun while it lasted, but it is not something I would recommend on any long-term basis.

However, should you find yourself married to such a person, there are a number of tongue exercises that you can do. Tie a piece of string to the top of a full beer bottle and wrap the other end tightly around the base of your tongue. Now hang your head down as if you are about to throw up. Retract your tongue slowly and then let it out again. Do this 50 times while taking short, shallow breaths like a dog panting on a hot day. This will develop your diaphragm and give you the necessary stamina to lick your woman from head to toe at least three times a week.

 

Guide to Everything – Still More Useless Advice

 

Pissoir etiquette

If you are alone and a man walks up and takes the urinal next to you, it is important to make a point of looking at his willy. This shows that you were there first and are in charge of the pissoir. He will get stage fright and will have to stand there pointlessly holding his willy in his hand until you zip up and leave. Again, it is important for you to hold your ground. Do not leave until he does.

Even if you have finished your business, put your willy back in its pouch and stand there. The intruder knows that he cannot leave because that would mean never being able to show his face in those parts again. He also knows that he badly needs to go, but cannot because you are now standing there with your hands in your pockets, making popping noises with your mouth and staring at the ice in the urinal.

Why all the pretty girls shop at Woolworths

This is true. In fact, I don’t think ugs are even allowed in. If you are into ugs, try Shoprite. The place is full of them. Lovely warm women with great characters and faces like dog’s bums. They are often very friendly and smile at me in a non-threatening manner because they are accustomed to men not wanting to have sex with them. But go to Woolworths and you will see the difference.

There, the nip ‘n tuck brigade stalk the aisles with intent. When a woman makes lingering eye contact with you in Shoprite, you can be sure that she is in one of those thousand-yard stares that women get when they are wondering if it’s worth walking all the way to the meat section to see if anything is on special.

A woman who does this in Woolworths is asking to be roundly rogered in the fruit and veg section as soon as management turns his back. This doesn’t happen to everyone, of course.

Don’t think you can buy your groceries at Shoprite and then stop off at Woolworths for a meat pie and a quick shag behind the kosher section. It doesn’t work that way. You have to belong. And believe me, these women know at a glance if you belong.

The simple act of picking up a basket marks you as an outsider. This tells the regular that you either don’t have enough money for a full trolley of luxuries or, even worse, you live alone. And while the married Woolworth’s woman is not morally opposed to the idea of an affair, she would far rather have one with a man who is also living with somebody.

Woolworth’s women prefer to have their food neatly packaged and compartmentalised, just like their men. This is why when the aisles are suddenly invaded by an unruly brute with an unshaven face and shirt hanging out, they become momentarily disorientated. Take advantage of their confusion. Wear reflective sunglasses and follow them about. This won’t do much for you, but it gives them a thrill.

How to appear smarter than you really are

The main thing here is not to talk. Unless you are cross-eyed and dribbling with a traffic cone on your head, it is very difficult for anyone to gauge how intelligent you are merely by looking at you.

Women have the edge, here. Nobody likes a woman who talks too much. Not even other women, but only because it cuts into their voice time. To get a man’s attention, all a woman has to do is smile and drop her eyes. Not physically, of course. No man, with the exception of the odd German, would be aroused by the sight of a woman’s eyeballs rolling about the floor.

Sooner or later, men have to talk. They can carry the strong, silent type thing for only so long. And, unlike women, they can’t get away with flashing a bit of cleavage in lieu of an entire evening’s conversation.

So, if you are a man and you are particularly stupid, make sure you have a few prepared quotes. If you are unable to memorise them, enter them into your cellphone and then, while pretending to check your messages, recite them. Here are a few you may wish to use.

  • Did you now that mental illness is the second leading cause of disability and early death in the US and other developed countries?
  • You have the most beautiful (insert feature) I have ever seen.
  • What do you think Descartes really meant when he said: “Cogito, ergo sum”?
  • Fancy a quick shag?

How to deal with road rage

First, you have to choose a weapon. It’s no good snorting and saying, “Well, obviously.” Many drivers assume that they are prepared simply because they have grabbed whatever comes to hand and tossed it into the back of the car with absolutely no thought to the matter.

I know someone who keeps a pool noodle under his seat. When I asked him the reason, he said it was the first thing he saw in the garage. He claimed that he could disable me within 30 seconds using his noodle. When I laughed he became very defensive and asked if he should go and fetch his noodle. I said that wouldn’t be necessary. I wasn’t about to take any chances. Perhaps he really has mastered a new art of Chinese noodle fighting.

Most people prefer the more conventional tools of the trade. Baseball bats, hockey sticks and pick handles are all popular among the Jetta and Polo set. BMW drivers tend to opt for more exotic implements such as the short-handled Ovambo war club, while Mercedes-owners go for the more technologically advanced but less sporting snub-nosed Beretta.

I know this will offend some people, but I find the baseball bat very clichéd. Every moron with a licence seems to think he is the first to come up with the idea. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead assaulting anyone with a baseball bat, even if it is one of those fancy Tungsten ones. Now if you want to talk about a hand carved kliphout knobkierrie from the Lusikisiki area, that’s another matter.

Knowing how to use your tool is almost as important as knowing which one to choose. Even young children think they know how to disable a careless driver with something as crude as a baseball bat. Pick it up and swing, right? Wrong! Like throwing a boomerang, it is all in the wrist action.

You also need to know what kind of injury you are going to inflict. Bludgeoning is passé. It not only leaves a terrible mess behind, but you also run the risk of pulling a muscle. The modern road rager prefers to go for something a little tidier, like a snapped tibia.

There is also something very modern about leaving behind nothing more than a pair of crushed metacarpals. It is almost feng shui in its simplicity.

How to deal with rogue cops

It is important to remember that all cops are rogue cops. The only difference is that some are able to repress their dark side better than others.

The urge to carry guns and handcuffs and interfere in everyone’s lives is not a natural one. This is why it is always a good idea to treat the police with a great deal of circumspection. The hardwiring in their brains is already out of whack and it does not take a great deal of provocation to get them frothing at the mouth and scrabbling for weapons.

Talk to them as you would any other decent human being. The only difference is, do it as if you have a speech impediment. A great deal of fun can be had by talking to a policeman as if you were born with a harelip. Or you may wish to try a falsetto lisp. I have a friend who prefers to reverse his l’s and r’s.  Police are not trained to deal with people who are clearly afflicted with some kind of terrible disorder that makes them sound like a cross between a Chinese transvestite and a steam train.

If you have a car full of people, it is important that they do not burst out laughing as you spew your mangled words in the officer’s general direction. It is best not to play this game if anybody in the car is stoned. I have found that people high on drugs are rarely able to contain their emotions in such situations. And there are few things more dangerous that a constable who realises he is being mocked. So, rule number one is: keep a straight face at all times.

Rogue cops can be dangerously unpredictable. That is why they are called rogue cops. One of the first things you may want to do upon being confronted by a rogue cop is disarm him. This sounds harder than it actually is.

The trick to getting his gun away from him is to get him to swallow six or seven Rohypnols. If you don’t have any Rohypnols on you, I suppose you could use any other industrial strength muscle relaxant. Nine times out of ten, the officer will immediately return to his car and take a long nap. Sometimes he will take a nap right there next to your car in the middle of the street. The decent thing to do is to drag his lifeless body out of the road and make him comfortable on the pavement, or preferably down an embankment where nobody can see him. When he wakes he will feel refreshed and in a better mood, and you will be at home drinking cold beer and watching television. Everyone wins. Unfortunately, the lawyers have informed me that I am unable to give precise instructions on how to get the Rohypnol into the officer.

How to deal with new age faith healers in public conveniences

New Age faith healers go around telling people stories like this: “Nicanor, a lame man, was sitting by the temple when a young boy ran up to him and snatched away his crutches. Nicanor chased after the boy and was cured.” Then they stand back and look at you with a triumphant smile as if to say, “What more proof could you possibly want?”

Many people have had this kind of encounter. Bodger was one of them. Bodger was married to his stepsister’s friend’s cousin and spent some time in London but then came back to South Africa. Bodger said he was standing at the trough in a public urinal in Margate when a man came up next to him and started telling him about the time when the infertile Agameda of Ceoa went to sleep in the temple, whereupon she dreamt of a serpent lying on her belly and five children were later born to her. Bodger is one of those men who find it impossible to pee with another man standing right there, even if he is not saying anything. He said he ignored the man and tried to pretend that he was an engineer at a hydroelectric power station opening up a jammed valve, and was almost there when this stranger started recounting another story of a patient at the ancient Greek health spa, Epidauras. He turned to Bodger and said, “When perchance my penis was hurt, I feared the surgeon’s hands. I was reluctant to entrust my membrum virile to the care and the very great gods such as Phoebus and the son of Phoebus.”

Bodger says he has never been back to a public urinal. He says he goes in the bushes or, if there are no bushes around, he might go between two parked cars. Unless, of course, there is a street light right above him in which case he says he tries to hold it until he gets home.

The point of the story is that New Age healers can be found anywhere. And they do not take kindly to arguments. If, for instance, Bodger had said to this man that Agameda had no business being in a temple alone at night and that it’s not surprising she encountered a lonely “serpent”, it is very likely that the man would have sprayed Bodger’s leg with urine and run off down the street.

Ignoring faith healers rarely works because in their fevered minds, silence is a sign of kinship and it only encourages them to try to reach you on a deeper level.

If you are stuck next to someone who suddenly begins explaining the Tridosha theory to you, it is best that you interrupt and point out that Grigori Rasputin is your spiritual leader and that you are a high-ranking member of the Khlist sect. Tell him you are a practised flagellant and invite him back to your place for a good, healthy whipping. That should distract him long enough for you to reach the safety of a crowd.

How to cure your partner of jealousy

Jealousy is the strangest of all the crippling neuroses we have at our disposal. It is a destructive emotion that rears its viperous head in many different forms.

Take penis envy, for instance. For a lot of men, this form of jealousy manifests itself when they find themselves standing at the pissoir alongside a man who is hung like a wildebeest. What these men don’t realise, however, is that when Sigmund Freud spoke of penis envy he had something else in mind. Freud had a theory that the anatomical differences between the sexes lead every girl to envy every boy his possession of the penis. And as she grows up, her wish to possess a penis turns into a wish to possess a man as the carrier of a penis. This, in turn, transforms itself into something even more complex involving the holding of grudges against other women for their possession of men (and their penises, I presume). Freud was clearly out of his mind.

Modern psychology proposes a number of different ways of curing your partner of jealousy, but I have always found the most effective method to be the .357 Magnum, although these days most women prefer the less cumbersome but equally effective 9mm Glock. It looks like a toy but the women I have spoken to swear it works like a charm. One well-placed shot and, voila, no more jealousy.

 

Guide to Everything  – Even More Useless Advice

 

How to deal with self-pity

Wallow in it. Wallow like a big fat warthog in a mud pool. Put on Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads and take the elevator all the way to the basement. Do not stop at the ground floor. All the losers are on the ground floor. You are not a loser. Well, you are, but you are a different kind of loser.

The ones huddled together on the ground floor lack the courage to indulge in pure 100% hi-octane self-pity. For a start, they are missing self-hatred, a vital component of remorse that only the true masters of self-pity are able to excavate from the tortured belly of this restless beast. Go all the way down. Take a deep breath and plummet. Put on Songs of the Damned, light a candle, pop a Seconal and take out all the old photos. After that, the only way out is up.

Surviving erectile dysfunction

This is a condition created by many different factors, chief among them the features editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. She created the condition so she could reassure her readers that it is not their fault. Cosmo readers are damn near perfect and if they are unable to get their men aroused, well, they should simply cancel their subscriptions and start reading Farmer’s Weekly.

It is a little known fact that erectile dysfunction has nothing to do with men. It is not caused by the stress of closing yet another multi-million dollar deal. It is not caused by clogged arteries. It is caused by women.

Bobby, the ex-boyfriend of a former friend’s girlfriend told me that he has never experienced erectile dysfunction while he is on his own. The only times he has ever had trouble with his willy were when women were in the area. Bobby is not bent. I have seen pictures and I can attest to that. Bobby is among countless men who frequently find themselves naked with women whose only appeal turns out to lie in the fact that they will have to leave sooner or later.

Some say beer is to blame. Far be it for me to defend beer, but let me just say that while beer might be a contributing factor in taking the gravel donkey home in the first place, it also serves as a self-defence mechanism in that it prevents you from acting on your misguided impulse. Beer is good in that way.

I have never met a man who has gone home with a Charlize Theron lookalike after a few pints and said the next day that he couldn’t get it up. The fact that I have never met a man who has gone home with a Charlize Theron lookalike is not the point. You know I am right.

So, men, do not feel shattered when you are stricken with erectile dysfunction. Do not be afraid to tell the truth. And you, women, shame on you. Shame on you for blaming the beer, the cigarettes, the stress, the volatile heart condition and the ex-girlfriend.

Erectile dysfunction is caused by women who talk their way into your bed and then, when it is too late, you find they cannot spell. It is caused by women who lie through their teeth and kiss like Gila monsters.

How to get a job

First of all, make sure that you are not white. White is last year’s black and is hopelessly out of vogue among the new elite. If you cannot afford a full-body skin graft, then be very humble when applying for a job. Keep your eyes on the floor and your hands where they can be seen.

How to keep a job

Everyone is always saying how, even though they are desperately unhappy at work, they still count themselves very lucky to have a job in these harsh times of financial belt-tightening and racial quotas. This is just plain stupid. There have been no fundamental changes in the workplace since the industrial revolution. All that has happened is that a bunch of backstreet businessmen and assorted capitalist lackeys have spawned a slew of books with titles like The One Minute Manager and Six Secrets to Success.

In turn, the hard-nosed but generally even-handed bosses of the past began devolving into the two-faced expatriate Eurotrash scumbags who run most companies today. Where they once ruled by respect, they now rule by fear.

Through the underhand corporate philosophies propagated by people like, well, let me rather not mention names, today’s employers have learnt how to make their workers believe that they are lucky to have their jobs. If the propaganda has been installed correctly on the employee’s internal drive, it doesn’t matter how appalling the working conditions may be. The poor bastard could be using blunt nail scissors to cut matchsticks into equal lengths for 18 hours a day, and if the boss has applied the proper techniques, the shattered employee will drag his numb brain and body into bed at night and thank god he has a job in these hard times.

The strategy to get a worker into this state of mind is not particularly sophisticated. In fact, much like poker and marriage, it is based on the art of bluffing. This is how it works:

Employee: “Sir, I’ve worked here for 25 years without a raise. But I’m not complaining. However, I’d like to have this Friday afternoon off.”

Employer: “Well, you can’t. And if you don’t like it, you can leave. There are a thousand people lined up around the block waiting for your job.”

Employee (sobbing): “I’m sorry, sir! I don’t know what came over me!”

If the employee had not allowed himself to have been so effectively brainwashed, he might have answered thus:

Employee (letter-opener against employer’s carotid artery): “You sick, twisted motherfucker. You don’t scare me. Go ahead, do your worst.”

Try it. You will be surprised at the results.

How to lose a job

See above.

How to analyse someone with the sole intention of getting laid

Rule number one. Never take a guess at their star sign. This is strictly for amateurs. When I was young and foolish I did this on several occasions, but only because the women were always wearing something that suggested they were astrologically inclined (dreamcatcher earrings, tie-dye pants, pierced tongue and so on). Without fail, the conversation went like this:

Me: Hi (nod and smile). You’re a Gemini, aren’t you?

Her: Um, no.

Me: Of course. Now I can see it. You’re a cusp. Taurus, right?

Her: No (turns to friend and mouths ‘help’).

If you are going to try such tomfoolery, make damn sure you know your signs and what they mean. I have no idea and yet there are still times when I feel inclined to use the line.

I know for a fact that there are women out there who will sleep with any man capable of guessing their star sign, but while she may be fun for a while, it won’t be long before you start considering how to short-circuit her electric yoga mat.

You will wake up on Sunday mornings to the stench of cheap incense and the sound of the Tarot deck being shuffled. Believe me, there is nothing that ruins a lazy Sunday morning more than getting the Death card three times in a row. She will laugh gaily and tell you, “No! No! It’s a good card!” It is not a good card. It has a picture of a skeleton on it. How good is that?

Where was I? Oh, yes. Psychoanalysis as a tool for achieving despicable ends.

Psychoanalysis is easier to do than it is to spell. Of course, the experts won’t tell you this. If their dirty little secret had to get out, nobody would bother wasting enormous amounts of time and money in stuffy little lecture rooms so that they could get a fancy-looking piece of paper saying Psychoanalyst so that they could spend the rest of their lives in stuffy little offices talking to mad people.

The only real difference between the Trained Psychoanalyst and the Street Psychoanalyst is that the Trained Psychoanalyst nods a lot and gives the mad people useless bits of advice in return for huge sums of money, while the Street Psychoanalyst laughs a lot and gives mad people drugs so that he can have sex with them. Both can be found staking their turf on the moral low ground.

A lot of fun can be had with emotional disorders. Some people seem to think that the disturbed mind is a thing to be treated with respect and caution. Nonsense! Embrace it! Just make sure that it is not carrying a flick knife when it embraces you back.

What makes street psychoanalysis such fun is that you can invite all your friends around to your place and hypnotise them and then delve into their collective subconsciousness.

If your friends are anything like mine, they are unlikely to be harbouring anything particularly interesting. Maybe a bath time fondle from Aunt Julie or a glad-hand from Uncle Pervy, but nothing to write home about. So what you have to do is make up some really wild stuff once they come out of hypnosis. Tell them that they were recounting the most horrendous stories of abuse, committed both by and against them.

They will be so disturbed by this revelation that they will come back to you over and over for advice and suggestions. This is when you start charging them or sleeping with them.

How to behave on the wine route

Most importantly, do not be intimidated. You will encounter people from the horsy set. In fact, some of them may even be horses. They let anything in on some of these estates.

The wine route goes back hundreds of years to a time when labourers would go from farm to farm begging to be allowed to work in return for a bottle of wine. This fine tradition continues today. The only difference is that the labourers are no longer allowed anywhere near the manor house. The wine is delivered to them in the fields.

While on your wine-tasting excursion, make liberal use of words like “woody”, “petulant” and “cheeky”. These terms can be applied equally to the wine and the staff.

I was unaware of it when I embarked upon my first tour of the Western Cape wine farms, but it is not acceptable to continue sampling the most expensive wines without showing some sort of indication that you are prepared to actually buy a bottle.

Staff are trained to compile psychological profiles of everyone who walks in. But they can’t watch us all. Make sure that you follow a tour group inside. While the French are hawking and spitting and generally behaving badly, you can get down twelve, maybe fifteen, glasses of the cheap stuff.

Since the tots are a little on the teeny side, I have found that pouring five or six different wines into one glass often works best. Then you can sip at your leisure while the attendant refills the glasses that she thinks the greedy French have finished. Repeat until you are led out staggering and shouting about the time you were caught deep in Shiraz country with your trousers around your ankles and a donkey on your ass.

How to respond if a person of a different race hits on you

Rule number one. Don’t panic. First, ascertain the colour. With skin lighteners and tanning beds, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell a person’s race with any degree of certainty. The waters have been muddied and the lines blurred.

You do not want to come across as politically incorrect, so do not, under any circumstances, refuse to go to bed with them should they ask.

However, if it turns out that they only want a few bob to buy a loaf of bread and a small house in Llandudno, then it is important to know which tribe they belong to. Should you fail to obtain this information, you run the risk of responding in a fashion that will brand you as a cultural anachronism, and even though you don’t know what it means you know it can’t be good.

Remember that white is also a colour. Not a very impressive one, admittedly, but it is most definitely a colour and should be treated as such. However, if you are black and a white person hits on you, this does not mean you should stab them in the eye with your swizzle stick and run like hell. They probably mean you no harm. You may, however, find that they are German or Swedish, but this shouldn’t be a problem because black and white South Africans are still struggling to speak the same language so you should feel quite at home.

How to avoid getting old

  • Autoerotic asphyxiation.
  • Swim naked at Gansbaai while a friend on a boat pours fish guts into the water around you.
  • Cut a broomstick into six or seven equal lengths and run towards an Israeli military checkpoint shouting in Arabic.
  • Use embalming fluid instead of milk with your morning cereal.

How to drink and dive with panache

Drinking and diving is the new paralympic sport for athletes disabled in drink-driving accidents. They still get to drink but all they need is a Speedo and a towel instead of a high-powered car. The water is softer than the concrete underpass that they rammed and they still get to do somersaults, except this time off a diving board and not through the windscreen.

Guide to Everything – More Useless Advice

Six habits of highly successful people

  • Cocaine
  • Using the rearview mirror to check for shnarf on upper lip while driving
  • Talking loudly in public
  • Driving slowly in the fast lane
  • Not listening when people are talking
  • Farting in the Jacuzzi

 Getting the most out of a mid-life crisis

When I turned 30, shortly after marrying Brenda, I suffered a spate of premature mid-life crises. It was terrible. The sweaty palms, blurred vision, projectile vomiting. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Then, just when I thought I would have to take my own life, a friend pointed out that I had been drinking solidly for a month and that my body was probably rejecting the toxins. I found it hard to believe. After all, what is a mid-life crisis all about if not rejection? How could he be so sure that my body was reacting to the alcohol and not to my having committed an unnatural act by getting married so young when I still had so much to accomplish? Now that I am older, I realise that he was right. I was simply in the throes of a multiple hangover.

The real mid-life crisis is probably far worse. I’m just not sure that I will recognise it when it hits, but I am looking forward to getting the tattoo and belly ring.

How to make casual sex even more casual

For a start, lose the corduroy jacket. You might think it makes you look casual, but all it really does is make you look like a journalist. And nobody wants to be mistaken for one of them these days. Not even really desperate women will sleep with these harbingers of doom and peddlers of pessimism.

The best casual sex occurs when there is no verbal communication whatsoever between the parties concerned. Talking detracts from casual like nudists tripping on acid detract from holy mass.

If you walk into a bar and spot a woman with whom you would like to have casual sex, wink at her several times and motion with your head towards the door. At the very worst, there is an outside chance she will think you have Tourette’s Syndrome and go home with you out of sympathy.

Unfortunately, casual sex has been saddled with a bum rap in recent years. Thanks to a team of French researchers, casual sex is now synonymous with a lingering, painful death. Not much of a laugh in that. Trust the French to spoil everyone’s fun. Bastards.

Surviving foetal alcohol syndrome

First, do not blame yourself. Second, keep your mouth closed when you are not talking. A gaping maw is a dead giveaway. Besides, drooling is unattractive and there are no excuses for having a lazy jaw. If you are unable to control your mandibles, have them wired shut.

At the same time, you may want to consider giving up any ambitions of controlling the world. It is far bigger than your jaw, although fewer things live in it.

Try to control your urge to drink. If you find this difficult, then at least try not to mix your drinks. It is important to remember that you are genetically programmed to drink. Nobody will blame you. Well, some might. But don’t let that stop you.

Know that you are unique. People who watch rugby like to think they are one of you, but they are not. I know one of these imposters. His only claim is having a mother who got drunk and copulated with her brother’s wife’s husband. And that kind of behaviour is nothing uncommon in the gated communities that surround us today.

So I say rejoice in your dysfunction. Go out and make new friends. Just don’t talk to them or try to make eye contact and you will be fine.

How to be happy

Look, it’s really not that difficult. If you are bipolar, take the blue pills. If you are not, take the yellow ones. Happiness is a chemically inspired condition. It is one of those cheap, overrated emotions that achieve nothing at all.

Jealousy, on the other hand, is worth striving for. Jealousy has the capacity to inspire machete fights at dawn, which is a whole lot more exciting than watching someone walking about smiling and humming snatches of song.

But if you want to experience a real emotion, skip Happiness and Jealousy and go straight to Fear. If you’re one of those pathetic suburban lapdogs who are too afraid to go in search of something to terrify the life out of you, then you do not deserve to experience the king of emotions.

Happiness, pah! It only leads to babies and polo neck sweaters. And we have more than enough of both in this so-called world of ours.

How to behave when a homosexual gives you the lazy eye

This happens more often than you might expect, and how to react is fast becoming a question that regularly enters the mind of the heterosexual male, often at the most inopportune time.

Jason, a friend of a friend’s friend, told another friend who told me about a recent incident in which he was lying in a strange woman’s bed waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom, where women on one night stands disappear to for exactly six minutes before they reappear to ravage you so mercilessly that you would have forgotten their names had they bothered to introduce themselves to you in the first place.

Jason said that thirty seconds before she was due to whip the bathroom door open, he spontaneously recalled an incident that occurred two days previously. It’s not like he was dwelling upon it. Or so he says. The incident involved a humdinger of a queen willfully squeezing his buttocks while he was waiting for a mutton roti at an unnamed late-night curry den somewhere between Salt River and Observatory. Jason said the incident disturbed him less than it should have, but that it came back to haunt him at the worst possible moment. So when she emerged from the bathroom and flung herself at him, he was unable to hold up his end of the deal. This led to him questioning his sexuality.

Actually, when I heard the story, the first thing I thought was that Jason is one of those poor bastards who have a little too much oestrogen in their bodies without ever realising it.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with a bit of harmless flirtation. If a batty boy gives you the lazy eye, you could always give him one back. I have never done this myself, you understand. I am always very quick to avert my eyes, although this can also give the impression that you are being coy, so it is important to dart him another stern look before letting your gaze trail away to the nearest woman.

However, homosexuals operate on a secret code of mixed signals so there is a very good chance that you have just told him to meet you upstairs in the dark room in 20 minutes. If you accidentally catch his eye again and he is making flicking movements with his tongue, move quickly to the nearest woman and stand as close as you can to her without arousing any suspicions. If she says, “Fuck off, Batman” and moves away, you may want to try another bar. Or another woman.