Category: Job Applications

Prints of Darkness – Payback Time

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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

Application for the post of Principle Planner – SA National Parks

Dear Sir,

It is about time you advertised for someone to come up with a plan for Table Mountain National Park. The place is going to seed. It is covered from head to toe in unsightly fynbos. Deadly snakes and unattractive animals like tortoises and dassies carry on as if it’s their home. Nobody I have spoken to has ever been there.

Let me tell you that this pitiful excuse for a park would be a lot more popular if it didn’t have that dirty great mountain blocking everyone’s view.

Once I have the job, the first thing I will do is appoint a task team to look at relocating Table Mountain to the Cape Flats. The area could do with a bit of topographical excitement.

I am closely connected with people in the brewing industry and am confident that we will be able to secure a sponsorship whereby we get unemployed people from Athlone, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and so on to move the mountain rock by rock and pay them in heavily discounted brandy past its expiry date.

With that horrible pile of stones out of the way, I will have enough space to begin planning the Apartheid Theme Park I have always dreamed of creating.

I envisage attractions like the Amazing Water Torture Ride where visitors are strapped into roller coasters with their hands lashed behind their backs and wet pillowcases placed over their heads.

We will also have the Accidental Fall of Death Ride in which tourists are blindfolded and left to wander about on a 100m-high platform scattered with bars of soap.

Liar, Liar Balls on Fire won’t be a ride, but rather a quiz show in which white male contestants are hooked up to polygraph machines with electrodes taped to their genitals. They are then interrogated about their part in propping up the former racist regime. Fun, fun, fun for the whole family.

I will also convert Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens into a parking lot for staff and faculty of the nearby university. As you are doubtlessly aware, the only people who bother visiting this absurd jungle are little old ladies and Nigerian muggers. And they can find somewhere else to practice their flower-sniffing, purse-snatching ways.

You want a park? Alright, then. Park right here, madam, for just R200 a day. We will be rich in no time at all.

You will be pleased to know that my vision extends all the way down the peninsula to Cape Point. If you ever go to this desolate region, you will find nothing there but tour buses full of relentless Germans and snap-happy Japanese.

Let me remind you that views do not make money. Casinos make money. Open-cast kaolin mines make money. Strip malls make money. Either give me the job and let me do what I do best or, for the love of god, rename this place Cape Pointless.

I expect to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Ben Trovato (PhD Peri-Peri Rural Planning)

Application to Transnet Freight Rail for the position of Apprentice Welder

Dear Meneer,

I have been looking for work but nobody wants to hire me. I think the problem, apart from being white, is that I am setting my sights too high. But who wants to be a brain surgeon, anyway? Pompous old pederasts poncing about in white coats. They should grow up. Welding cracked railway tracks is far more fun than welding ganglions in some loser’s cracked brain.

Your advert says applicants must have matric maths and science. I expect that all your train drivers have degrees from Yale. I am a Harvard man, myself. We have certainly come a long way since the days when working for the railways was first choice for anyone who had been dropped on their heads as a baby.

Your ad says I will have to manage equipment and fix battered rail ends. No problem. But you also say I will have to ‘repair skid marks’. I need clarity on this. Are you referring to train lines or my supervisor’s underwear? I agree there are times when only an oxyacetylene torch can get rid of the most stubborn stains, but then I would want some sort of danger pay factored into my salary.

You mention that I would be required to assemble ‘flashbutt joints’. I suppose, after a lunchtime spent deconstructing Descartes’ dictums with the wheel tappers, your welders would need to unwind. But joints – flashbutt or otherwise – are a little gay in my opinion. When I come for the interview, I will bring my Hong Kong bong along and show you how the workers can relax without wasting half their break looking for the Rizlas.

You also say that visual acuity and psychomotor abilities are essential. I don’t mean to be rude, but you risk confusing applicants who might still be working towards their doctorates in developmental neurobiology. What you really mean is that you are looking for someone who doesn’t need the help of a Labrador in finding his way to the bathroom and back, and who can follow a conversation while simultaneously lowering the tinted visor of his welding helmet.

Other requirements are physical fitness, balance and agility. Are you looking for a trapeze artist or a welder? I may have to reconsider if the job involves working on top of fast-moving trains and then leaping onto other trains speeding in the opposite direction. Similarly, the prospect of racing to finish a job before the 8.45 from Kapteinsklip slices me in half leaves me less than enchanted.

If I am unsuitable for the position, please consider me for the post of trainee shed assistant. I would love to work long and irregular hours for a transport company that openly admits it cannot provide transport for its staff.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Ben Trovato (PhD Welding)

PS. I would like to be based in Kroonstad among the cream of Transnet’s intelligentsia.

To the Chief Executive Officer – Potchefstroom Hospital

Dear Comrade Doctor Sir,

I am applying for several positions at your hospital, largely because of the spectacular salaries, the great working hours and the gorgeous nurses who will doubtlessly be assigned to assist me in the performance of my duties, which, I imagine, would include opening people up, taking rotten stuff out and putting good stuff in, sewing them up, pumping them full of drugs and then taking the sisters out for drinks and whatever happy events may transpire thereafter.

I have several degrees in medicine from the highly respected Luanda Cyber University, which only accepts 500 000 new students each month. The paying of one’s fees up front constitutes 80% of the final mark and for geniuses such as myself, an MBChB with all the bells and whistles can be obtained in less than three weeks. I am unable to send you my certificates at the moment as they with the laminators.

You will be pleased to hear that I have specialised in all the fields mentioned in your advertisement.

Although damnably difficult to spell, especially after a few drinks, ophthalmology is really my forté. There is something profoundly magical about looking into a new patient’s eyes and knowing that it won’t be long before you are holding them in your hands. Naturally I will wear surgical gloves. I would never place myself at risk of infection by handling other people’s disgusting body parts without protection.

I believe eyes are the windows to the soul. This is why I have invented a device that plugs the eye sockets once the balls have been removed. I have seen far too many hospitals where souls have been allowed to escape because the windows were carelessly left open during surgery. I don’t need to tell you that there is nothing worse than being inside a ward full of troubled souls flitting about, switching the medication and tickling the patients who are in straitjackets.

You will also be interested to know that I have developed a technique in which the patient is able to leave his or her eyeballs with me and then come back for them in a week or two when I have finished scraping, painting and polishing them.

Paediatrics is another of my specialities. I love children. Even the sick ones. Actually, I am not all that fond of the sick ones. They never stop crying and complaining and, unlike my grown-up patients, I cannot take the horsewhip to them.

My ideal paediatrical patient is a 10-year-old who pretends to be sick in order to miss school. With a little whispered collaboration and the dispensing of certain substances that shall remain nameless, it often ends up that the child manages to miss two or three years of school. I expect some of them will want to reward me handsomely later on in life once they are in a position to throw a couple of juicy tenders my way.

I understand one of the requirements of this position is a willingness to train junior doctors. What an excellent idea. Given the nature of the field, it makes perfect sense. An eight-year-old girl with a sore throat or crushed vertebrae would feel far more comfortable in the hands of a doctor her own age.

I showed a tremendous amount of interest in playing doctors and nurses at a very young age and can testify that by the time I was seven, I could identify and name every part of the female anatomy. Blindfolded. After I got married, I began removing the blindfold at bedtime but it wasn’t strictly necessary since I still knew my around and nothing much had changed.

I see you also have a post in orthopaedics. Be sure to count me in. If there is one thing I know, it is bones. I have five dogs. Don’t talk to me about bones. From where I sit, I can see dozens of them strewn across the floor. My house looks like Hannibal Lecter has moved in.

You will be thrilled to hear that I have invented a procedure whereby people are able to remove the bones from their arms before they sleep. I won’t go into detail because you will steal my idea and win the Nobel Prize, but be honest, who wouldn’t welcome the end of awkward nocturnal arm syndrome? Just imagine, no more waking up in a blind panic thinking you are having a heart attack when it’s only paraesthesia, or, as we know it in the medical fraternity, pins and needles.

However, I still get the odd patient who wakes up and forgets to put his bones back in and then finds he can’t pick up his cup of coffee or beat his kids, but generally the ORA (overnight rubber arm) procedure works remarkably well.

As for the positions available in the intensive care unit, say no more. I simply adore the ICU. My absolute favourite is the machine that goes ‘ping’. Are you familiar with it?

I also find that patients in the ICU are the best-behaved of all. No idle chatter about the rugby or whining about the food. Lovely people, they are. Tolerant, respectful and, above all, dead quiet. And also you’re not wallowing about knee-deep in misery, blood and gore. The nurses are sexy, full of jokes and they keep the place spotless. I should have married an ICU nurse.

The hospital will also be able to utilise my skills as an anaesthesialologist. I have first-hand knowledge of everything that makes you pass out. Growing up, my father would come home and play games with me. One of the games was called chlorocatch. We would chase each other around the house and whoever got caught would have to sniff a dishcloth soaked in chloroform. I never managed to catch my dad, but every time I woke up after the game, my mother would be pregnant.

The part of anaestheololology I love the most is when you get to have a little fun with the patients while they are unconscious. I have yet to meet a doctor who can resist drawing a happy face on someone’s grumpy penis or taking cellphone pictures of a particularly pretty vagina. After all, isn’t that why it is called theatre?

One last thing. I see one of my duties would be to ensure adherence to something called Batho Pele principles. Is that the South African version of the Hippocratic Oath? I hope not. Have you seen the Hippocratic Oath? It says things like: “In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.”

I am sure you will agree that the whole point of being a doctor is that you get to have sex with vulnerable patients. Well, that and the money, obviously.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

Dr Ben Trovato (MBChB; FNB; ACDP; MWeb)

Application for the position of Director of Rugby at St John’s College, Johannesburg

Dear Arch-Vicar,

Congratulations on having the courage and wisdom to create a position like this.

People think there is something wrong with me when I tell them that the reason education is in crisis is because schools are not focusing enough on rugby. Sure, a lot of them have a team or two that plays on the odd weekend, but that is nowhere near what it should be.

Without a director of rugby, a school is little more than a place in which young people congregate to have their heads filled with rubbish like science and history. Would you believe that they are even being taught mind-rotting filth like evolution theory? No wonder our lunatic asylums and prisons are overflowing.

I am very pleased to see that a Christian school has taken the lead in showing the government where its priorities should lie insofar as teaching the next generation something of real value is concerned.

As Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, nor those who play not rugby shall inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Far too many schools in this country treat rugby as if it were just another homosexual activity like cricket or hockey. Tennis, needless to say, is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord and yet it is still played openly, often in front of children and the elderly. May their rotten souls burn in the hellfires of eternal damnation.

Watching the Sharks or the Blue Bulls, even the casual observer can quickly tell which player is the product of a worthy God-fearing school such as yours, and which is the product of an evil system propped up by the antichrist.

When I have the job at St John’s, I will make it a rule that any player who scores a try, drop goal or conversion and then turns to wave at his mother, or wiggle his hips for the cameras, will be forcibly removed from the field and locked in the Sin Bin, a one-metre-square steel box I have built, where he will remain until he is able to recite the Ten Commandments in their original Aramaic.

Players like Bryan Habana set an outstanding example by giving credit to God whenever they score, make a pass, kick the ball into touch or even tie up their shoelaces correctly. There is nothing that gladdens my heart more than seeing a player fall to one knee and point to the sky. He is letting us know that God is guiding him – that he is simply a tool. A big, hairy tool.

Having said that, I do find the tactic of bowing heads and kneeling in silence to be marginally less intimidating than that disturbing pagan dance the New Zealanders do.

With your permission, I will get the lads to perform something out of the Crusades. I expect the swords will be provided by St John’s. This should work particularly well when we play against the Muslim, Jewish and old Prussian schools.

I will also be changing the outfits. Although you are Anglican – what the infidels call Catholic Lite – and would probably rather stick to tradition, my research has shown that the best way to get people to watch the game is to put the boys in tight shorts and shirts.

Rest assured that under my firm hand the team will return to the ancient practice of allowing forward passes, using a sheep’s bladder for a ball and stoning the unmarried mothers whose first-born play in the losing team.

There will be none of this drinking the blood and eating the body of Christ at half-time. Quite frankly, I think it is an appalling practice and sets a terrible example for the boys. Instead, we will share vials of amyl nitrate, a biblical balm which, as Moses discovered, goes a long way towards boosting team morale.

Unfortunately, this energising ambrosia has over time been misappropriated by sexual deviants for purposes which rarely have anything to do with rugby.

By the way, sources not far removed from a certain archangel by the name of Gabriel have informed me that the Springbok coach is planning on using me as his secret weapon in the match against Scotland this weekend. Please keep this to yourself. It wouldn’t do to have those haggis-snorting brutes get wind of the plan.

I shall let you know when it’s convenient for me to start work.

Yours in Christ and Rugby,

Ben “Tighthead” Trovato