Tag: 2013

Helpful holiday advice

Now is a time for reflection, a time for evaluating the year gone by and a time to make fresh plans for the year ahead.

More importantly, though, it is a time to lie on the beach and get as much alcohol down your gizzard as is medically possible. It must be said, though, that both the beach and drinking come with their own attendant risks. Let’s start with drinking.

The worst thing about drinking, apart from waking up to find a wedding ring on your finger, is the hangover. Some doctors try to tell you that hangovers are caused by dehydration. This is like saying that floods cause drought and I, for one, would sign any petition that calls for these charlatans to be struck from the roll.

Dehydration is caused when the bartender ignores you because he is too busy catching bottles behind his back and flirting with all the pretty young things.

In rare cases, dehydration is also caused when a girly little hormone that is meant to tell the body to conserve water can’t hold its liquor and passes out on the job. This results in you having to wee every ten minutes. With the floodgates open, the body starts borrowing water from less important organs, like the brain. This causes the brain to shrink, something it is not altogether happy doing. This explains why stupid people with small brains suffer worse hangovers than smart people with big brains.

All alcohol contains methanol. I would have thought this is a good thing since it is also the fuel used in motocross bikes. And, boy, can those babies go!

However, instead of doing the sensible thing and using the methanol to accelerate the mind, the body breaks it down into formaldehyde and formic acid. Deformed foetuses and pygmy brains are preserved in formaldehyde. Ants and bees secrete formic acid when they attack. What the hell are our bodies thinking?

The monstrous aberration known in scientific terms as Babelaas Horribilus is also partly caused by the depletion of magnesium in your body. As we all know, magnesium constitutes 2% of the Earth’s crust. So before you go drinking, take the time to step out into the garden and grab a handful of that damn fine crust.

Just remember to wash the dirt from your face before you walk into the bar. Not many drinkers can handle the sight of a grown man with a soil-encrusted mouth spraying bits of grass and earthworms about while shouting for another round.

Drinking & Swimming

Lifeguards warn you not to drink and swim. I have never heard such nonsense. What are you going to do? Lose control on the backstroke and sideswipe a jellyfish? Burst a water-wing and roll? Have a head-on collision with a snoek?

The ocean is by far the safest place in which to drink. For a start, it is impossible to fall over. This means no more inexplicable cuts and bruises the next day. And there are no roadblocks to ruin your life. No chance of irresponsible sex with someone whose name you can’t remember.

The only problem I ever encountered while drinking and swimming was having my beer diluted with seawater.

Bluebottles (Bloublasies)

Apart from the Congolese gentleman selling beaded flowers, the thing next most likely to ruin your day at the beach is the bluebottle.

This little scoundrel is also known as the Portuguese Man-of-War, although we are no longer allowed to call them that because the Portuguese say it portrays them as an excitable people who are always up for a fight. I thought that was the whole point of being Portuguese.

The tentacles of the bluebottle trail through the water with the aim of snaring small crustaceans. Whenever I go into the sea, they trail through my baggies with the aim of snaring my testicles which, it must be said, look nothing like small crustaceans.

One of the first times I was stung, a friend said the best way to ease the pain was to urinate on the affected area. Since I had been stung on my back, he volunteered to help out. Our friendship was never the same after that. Later, after leaving school, I heard that he had joined the priesthood.

As I grew up, I heard more and more about people weeing on each other without even having been stung by bluebottles. As far as I could tell, they hadn’t even been near the beach. I found it all rather disturbing.

Using Sharks to Pick Up Girls

Very few girls can resist a shark attack victim. One bite, and you’re theirs. But don’t think you can simply pitch up at the beach, wade in to the water and expect something to chew helpfully on your arm.

There are an average of only six shark attacks a year in South African waters. With a strike rate like that, you might think that sharks are rubbish when it comes to dishing out a decent savaging. You’re right. They are.

So don’t waste your time with second-raters like the Zambezi or the hammerhead, let alone that big aquatic pussycat, the ragged-tooth. For a start, you would have to slap him around a good deal to get him angry enough to even nibble your toes.

You need to find Carcharodon carcharias – the Great White – the most frightening of all creatures in the sea apart from the Gauties wallowing off Umhlanga’s main beach as we speak. Here are some tips to help you lose a limb and get laid.

  • Swim only at river mouths at dusk and dawn.
  • Head into deep water and splash vigorously.
  • Use a razor blade to lacerate your legs.
  • Have a Ferrari in the parking lot.

Right. Enough helpful hints for now. You’ll be hearing from me next year.

An open letter to the matric class of 2013

Dear adultlings,

Congratulations on making it to the end of the beginning. Twelve years of being bullied, belittled and, in several thousand cases, banged up. A South African education prepares you for real life like no other.

I wish I could give you some advice on how to get through the exams without suffering a nervous breakdown. When I hear the word ‘exams’, my sphincter snaps shut and my knees sweat. And that’s not only because the last exam I took involved my prostate.

I regard the brutally interrogative nature of exams with fear and loathing. Sit down and shut up. Don’t move. Don’t look around. Answer these questions. Now. Think very carefully before you answer. Tell us how much you know. Tell us everything. And be warned. If your answers are wrong, we will make sure you never go to university. You will never find a job. We will destroy you.

If it were up to me, kiddo, you wouldn’t be asked to simplify tan(90° + x) .sin(-x-180°). In fact, I can’t believe they are still teaching this filth in our schools. If you are 18 and interested in relationships between fixed points and angles, you’re in a whole lot of trouble and I can’t help you.

Trigonometry is the work of the devil. Sure, it can tell you the distance to a nearby star. But why do you need to know this? Are you planning on going there? Don’t you think your mother would start worrying when she last heard from you five light years ago?

The only numbers you need to know are the cellphone numbers of people who work for the government. Call them up and ask them to organise a job for you. Bribe, blackmail or threaten them. The main thing is to get your bum in the butter.

If you don’t manage to crack the Grade 12 pass mark of 30 percent, don’t despair. President Zuma has a Grade Four education and look how well he is doing.

Of course, you are going to have to find a way of getting other people to subsidise your lifestyle. You probably have the gift of the gab, right? After all, you must have spent the last decade talking in class instead of paying attention.

Start a political party. Tell people they will rot in hell if they don’t give you money. And smile a lot. If you can dance, so much the better. Make sure they watch your feet, not your hands.

The rest of you will soon have a senior certificate in your grubby little paws. This is an important piece of paper and will come in useful when you’re jobless and homeless and need something to burn to keep warm at night.

As a new cog in a very old machine, you may feel a little lost in this big, grown-up world. Don’t worry. It won’t last for long. Soon you will have lots of new friends phoning you at all hours of the day and night. Many of them will work for Sars, the municipality, traffic department, insurance companies, estate agencies and banks.

Not all of them will want your money. Some will want your vote. Others will want your soul. Try to fight off the politicians and proselytisers for as long as you can.

Also, get yourself a gun. If you find yourself being chased down the N2 by the police or hemmed in by a car full of blue-light bodyguards, the decent and patriotic thing to do is shoot yourself. This saves them the trouble of having to do it and they can get back to doing the important work we pay them to do.

So, good luck, then. I do hope you aren’t the ones to nudge my country over the edge and into the abyss.