Tag: Adolf Hitler

Deck the halls with boughs of folly

I was delighted to hear that students at the University of Cape Town were burning paintings last week. I have been wanting to do this ever since my art teacher gave me an F for a heavily stylised depiction of my, well, we needn’t go into details. I deserved at least a B+.

Art is responsible for so many terrible things in this world. World War Two, for instance, was a direct consequence of Hitler being a frustrated artist. “Nobody understands my art! Ich habe genug gehabt! Mutter, wo sind meine Unterhose? I am invading Poland in the morning!”

The paintings were ripped from the unsmiling walls of Fuller Hall, Smuts Hall and Jameson Hall. What’s with all these halls? Halls must fall. I admit to never having been inside UCT. I walked in the grounds once late at night, thinking I was in Kirstenbosch Gardens, and haven’t been back since.

Truth is, I’m a little disappointed that nobody thought to do a painting of the students burning paintings and then burn that painting while painting another painting of that painting burning. That’s what I would call art.

At least nobody was burning books. They often don’t catch alight properly, especially the thick ones, and there is nothing worse than a half-burnt book. Now, if you want to talk about oil paintings, those babies really go up. Rookies sometimes try to burn watercolours. Shame. They have so much to learn.

Quite frankly, I am in favour of all art being destroyed. This should preferably be done by the artist the moment he or she has finished creating it. This would save us from getting petrol on our hands and … no, wait. If the artist destroys his own work, that becomes a statement of its own. And statements are art. Well, not the statements issued by the ANC Youth League, obviously. Gibberish can never be art, unless you are a gibber, in which case you should worry more about improving your standing in a society where gibbers are taken less than seriously.

I went to Paris in my early twenties and wandered into the Louvre hoping to buy some cigarettes and a beer. From the outside it looked like an old hotel. Eventually the French had to put up a giant glass pyramid in front to indicate that this was an art gallery and not some sort of maison de mauvaise réputation for impoverished tourists.

Anyway, I ended up standing in a queue for what felt like hours. Knowing how much the French love their wine and fags, it didn’t surprise me in the slightest. What did surprise me was to get to the front and instead of finding a bisexual maître d’hôtel waiting to take my order, I was confronted by a smirking tart called Mona. She was of no use to me or anyone else. Who cares that she was painted by Leonardo di Caprio three thousand years ago? They’re all dead. Most of my morning had been squandered and I was still no closer to a beer or a cigarette. Of course I was angry. Anyone would have been. Well, maybe not the idiots who wasted half their day queueing up to look at a stupid picture of some French chick not even wearing makeup or showing her boobies. No wonder they lost the war.

That’s why I think it’s a good thing the students are burning paintings at UCT. Art doesn’t make you drunk or high. I can’t see the point of it. Statues are the worst. They actually take up space where real people could be standing.

After Paris I went to Florence. I was hitchhiking and didn’t care where I was going. If someone picked me up, I’d go wherever they were going. Some Italian pervert picked me up in a Jeep and said he was going to see Florence. I asked if she had a sister but he pretended not to know what I was talking about. That’s the Italians for you. The city itself was rubbish. Too old, for a start. And you could barely walk for fountains and statues.

There was this one dude called David carved out of some kind of rock by Michael-someone-or-other. He had his willy out right there in the open. David, not Michael. I reckon Michael is probably dead by now. Or living in Benidorm. Same thing.

People say you shouldn’t burn pictures of dead white people because they represent history. I say that’s exactly why you should burn them. History is more evil than Creationism and madder than Scientology. It shouldn’t be taught in our schools. Having to learn history is like having to talk about yesterday the whole time. I don’t care what happened yesterday, and I’m not just saying that because I can’t remember what happened. Terrible things took place in history and the whole filthy business is best forgotten. We should start every day as if we’re seeing and hearing everything for the very first time, like Alzheimer’s patients do.

Lying in the bonfire of last week’s vanities was a bronze plaque of Jan Smuts. He was either a hero or a traitor, depending on who you talk to. I have no intention of ever talking to anyone who knows anything about Jan Smuts. I do, however, think his plaque should have been melted down and beaten into tiny swords and distributed among the protestors. They could then symbolically stab university management without inflicting anything more serious than a scratch. Guns could also be redesigned to fire foam bullets, like NERF guns, causing little more than a light bruise. I think I just solved the problem of violent crime and it seems likely that if I pursue this, I will be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize. Then again, FW de Klerk got one so maybe I won’t.

The good news is that an online site called Joy Digital is calling on Christians to “pray for our nation, pray for our students and future leaders, and pray for the protestors”. To be honest, I prefer religions that don’t simply pray for absolutely everyone. I like the ones that say, “Don’t pray for that lot, because they’re utter bastards.”

They also said, “UCT has coined the name ‘Sodom on the Hill’ as it is filled with sin and debauchery, and many sins of the fathers have been passed down.” UCT coined the name? It seems unlikely. In a burst of defiance that would’ve made Jesus proud, they said, “We cannot turn our backs on UCT and return to our Christian bubbles. We need to be informed and involved.” Is this a threat? I can’t tell. To be on the safe side, it’s probably best you all go back to your bubbles.

The students also erected a tin shanty with en suite portaloo at the bottom of the Jameson Steps, which are well on their way to resembling the Eastern European Steppes. The point they were making was that white students were getting preferential treatment when it came to accommodation.

Vice-chancellor Max Price, going greyer by the minute, told reporters there are 6 800 beds in the universities residences. “Over 75% are currently occupied by black students.” I’d be interested to know what percentage make it out of the beds and into lectures on any given day.

Price needs to toughen up. He needs to come steaming into his parking bay in a jet black Ford Mustang with 375 horses under the hood and a blood-red boot-mounted spoiler. The first thing the protestors see when he opens the heavy door and slowly steps out is a pair of steel-capped crocodile skin boots. His sealskin pants are tight – not gay tight, but tight so he can kick people in the face. He is bare-chested. In one studded gloved hand is a briefcase. In the other, a World War Two flamethrower left to him by his grandfather, whose portrait is now just a pile of ashes blowing across the M3. Mad Max – The Final Chapter.

A word for those Rhodes Must Fall oiks. In the last five years, 95 000 whites have left South Africa. That’s an average of 50 a day. I know it’s not happening fast enough, comrades, but be patient. One day there will be nothing left to burn and nobody left to blame.

Unknown

Hairy lips, healthy balls

You know who else liked moustaches? I’ll tell you. Hitler. Stalin. Saddam. Gaddafi. Mussolini. That’s who. And here we are, being bullied into growing fanny dusters fit only for tyrants. Movember my ass. Having us walk around with moustaches for a month isn’t going to raise awareness of men’s health. All it will do is make women ridicule us even more than usual.

You mightn’t be so quick to put out a welcome mat on the doorstep of Casa Nostrils if it wasn’t called a moustache, a word that has the ring of the usual French nonsense about it. But what if you lived in Germany, where a moustache is called a schnorrbart? Would you want to be associated with Schnorrvember? Or, if you’re in Iceland, Yfirvaraskeggvember? Never mind if you’re from Slovenia. Those poor bastards would have to celebrate Brkivember. The idea of three vowels in one word is enough to drive your average Slove to suicide.

Normal people like me and perhaps you are not going to be pressured into cultivating a nasty habit that could well affect our political leanings and, indeed, our very sexuality. If Freddie Mercury had kept his top lip clean, he’d be living as Farrokh Bulsara in a trailer park in downtown Orlando today with a wife called Blanche and three gifted but disturbed children.

Having said that, it’s interesting to note that gay bikers and heterosexual farmers alike are huge fans of the mouth brow. And yet if you had to walk into a bar and ask a biker if he’s a farmer or a farmer if he’s a bottie-bandit, you’d probably get your face broken.

I don’t have a moustache because, in my line of work, it’s important to be trusted. People need to believe that what I write is the truth. If I am to be taken seriously, my upper lip needs to be dusted with nothing more than anxious beads of sweat. Unfortunately, and I don’t claim to know how this came about, men with moustaches cannot be trusted. I might lie through my teeth, but at least I don’t lie through my moustache as well.

Don’t get me wrong. My face doesn’t always resemble a finely buffed piece of Carrara marble. If anyone ever makes a movie called Unshorn of the Dead, I’m their guy. Fact is, men who live alone tend to let themselves go from time to time. Especially those who make their living within the confines of their own home. Not that you can call this a living. Or even a home.

This means my entire head is covered in fur for at least three weeks of the month. Not thick, coarse clumps of it. I’m not Chewbacca. Once there is a beard involved, though, the moustache ceases to be a moustache. It simply becomes part of a general facial flocculence that has been the defining feature of many of history’s lovable rogues ranging from Santa Claus to Charles Manson, from Jesus Christ to George Washington.

I dislike my hairy face, but I like shaving even less. By week four I will catch sight of myself in a shop window and recoil. That’s when I buy a case of beer on a Friday night, turn up the music and have a one-man shaving party. Pathetic doesn’t come close.

But what really gets my goat, apart from the stock thief in number nine, is that we allow these shadowy organisations to influence our decisions based on nebulous notions such as men’s health. I’m not even sure such a thing exists. Obviously I’m talking from first-hand experience here.

I’m reluctant to do this because I don’t get paid enough to involve myself in research, but apparently the idea of Movember originated in a bar in Adelaide in 1999. What a surprise. A bunch of Aussies off their faces decided that everyone should grow a moustache in November. Even the women, presumably, what with Australia being such an egalitarian society.

“What if they don’t do it, Bruce?”

“Well, mate, we’ll cut off their goolies.”

“And roger all the Sheilas!”

A stray dingo must have walked in at some point because the members of the freshly formed Movember Committee decided they’d sell T-shirts and give the money to animal welfare.

Being Adelaide, there was no real rush to get things moving. The committee passed motions, water and out. The dingo eventually ate the treasurer and, in turn, was taken to the kitchen and converted into bar snacks. Such are the laws of nature.

Five years went by and Movember, much like the committee, was still struggling to get to its feet. Meanwhile, a far sharper group of spritzer-drinking Aussies got together in Melbourne and started their own moustache-based event. Being more cunning and almost certainly more sober than the Adelaide mob, they linked theirs to a campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men.

“But, honey, what about the …”

“Shut up. Your lot doesn’t have a prostate.”

“I am depressed, though.”

“Of course you are. You don’t have a bloody prostate.”

So these new blokes formed the Movember Foundation which spread quicker than typhoid. More than $174-million has been raised around the world since then. I don’t know where it’s gone. I like to think some went to shelters for women traumatised by having to kiss men with moustaches.

In 2010, Movember merged with a testicular cancer event called Touchback. Quite frankly, I find the connotations of reciprocity disturbing. I don’t mind checking my own landing gear, but that’s where it ends.

Few South African men suffer from intellectualism and we should perhaps point out to the common herd that growing a moustache in November does not constitute adequate protection against prostate cancer.

Nor will the general health of men magically improve by a mass sprouting of soup strainers, no matter what the witches and warlocks of Limpopo province say. We might, however, be healthier if we didn’t have to work so damn hard. When I say we, I mean men who aren’t me. Men are becoming increasingly stressed by roadblocks and paternity tests. We get depressed by speed limits and flea markets. So let’s tackle the real issues first.

Movember’s main man in South Africa, Garron Gsell, if that’s his real name, says there’s a stigma around diseases that affect men, impacting on early detection and life expectancy. Never mind the bollocks. There’s a stigma around men, period. And early detection of a doomed marriage can also greatly improve life expectancy.

Gsell says the underlying message of this year’s theme is that “if you choose to live well and follow a healthy lifestyle … you can help shape your future”. In other news, if you wear shoes you can avoid getting thorns in your feet. Also, using an umbrella in the rain can help you stay dry. And not drinking a bottle of brandy for breakfast is good for you.

Finally, let us not forget that the biggest cause of depression among men is an inability to grow a moustache in November. Mo-shaming is a real thing. So if you do come across someone without a moustache, try to restrain yourself from smashing a beer glass into his face. He might not be a contumacious misanthropic iconoclast at all. He might, for instance, be unable to grow a moustache because he’s had radiotherapy to treat testicular cancer.

mask

Advance Australia Unfair

After flying halfway around the world I arrived in Joburg hung over, hysterical with sleep deprivation and barely able to walk upright on my mangled economy class legs. It was freezing cold and I was still dressed for Bali. Everyone else was dressed as if they were going to business meetings. Poor bastards.

Changing planes for Durban, we waited half an hour before the pilot decided to say something. “Guys,” he said, “you’re not going to believe this.” What? There’s no beer on the plane? Jacob Zuma has agreed to pay back the money? God is a woman?

“Our battery isn’t charging.” I summoned a stewardess and offered to round up a dozen guys to give it a push-start. She said it wouldn’t work. I looked around. She was right. There were only four or five darkies on the flight. They’d never be able to do it.

Someone must have come along with jumper cables because an hour later we were landing in Durban where I blended in with everyone else yawning and scratching and slouching about in baggies, T-shirts and slops.

I got home and did what most people do when they’ve been away for some time – read the papers. Catch up on the news. Sigh heavily. Start drinking. Plan to emigrate.

I hadn’t unpacked. I could call a taxi and be back at the airport in an hour. Get the last plane out. It doesn’t matter where. Just away. Away from the tyranny of democracy.

Whoops. That was the jetlag talking. I have since discovered half a bottle of Jose Cuervo beneath the sink and feel much better, thank you. I suspect comrade domestic worker has been using it as a household cleaner, which would explain why my place always smells faintly of tequila. I thought it was me.

Skipping past the stories about politics and crime – it’s increasingly difficult to separate the two – I finally found something to read without risking an aneurysm. The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit has released its latest list of the world’s most liveable cities.

My bags are still packed. There they are. Right next to the front door. My passport is in my pocket. I have a taxi on speed dial. It’s not too late. No, wait. That’s the tequila talking.

Top of the list is Damascus, the capital of Syria. That can’t be right. Ah, wrong list. Damascus is the least liveable city. Africa puts in a good showing, though, with Lagos and Tripoli romping home in fourth and fifth place, sadly nudged out of the medals by Dhaka and Port Moresby. Oh, well. There’s always next year. Looking at the cities, it might be more accurate to describe this as a list of the least liveable cities for white people.

Top of the list of the most liveable countries is bloody Melbourne, mate. And if you think that’s outrageous, let me tell you that Australia takes another three spots in the top ten with Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, leaving Helsinki, Auckland, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Vienna squabbling over the scraps. It won’t have escaped your notice that this is also a list of the most liveable cities for white people. Who mostly speak English.

Cape Town, incidentally, our only reasonable facsimile of a well-behaved city, never even made it into the top 50 most liveable. Thanks, Cape Flats. Thanks a lot.

So. Europe and Canada are out of the question. Too many people, too cold, too alien. That leaves Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Sydney. Tough choice. I have family in Perth, so I can’t go there. Just kidding, uncle. Uncles. And cousins. That’s my father’s mob. My great-granny on my mother’s side was a true blue Aussie and is almost certainly the reason I am genetically predisposed to petty crime.

A lot of mainly white South Africans choose to emigrate to Australia because there is plenty of sunshine and alcohol. And also because … well, as Queensland author Stephen Hagan puts it, “Australians are the most racist people in the developed world for their treatment of the First Australians and I make this claim comfortable in the knowledge that I am sufficiently supported by incontestable statistical data.”

I imagine being among worse racists than oneself can only be good for one’s self esteem.

Australia is also an option if, like Adolf Hitler, you prefer dogs. The government announced last month that it would destroy two million feral cats by 2020 in an effort to protect indigenous wildlife. They will use poison traps and attack dogs to kill the kitties. You can’t get more humane than that, Bruce.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of South Africans emigrate to Australia every month. I doubt I will be among them any time soon. I’m not smart or mad enough to understand the visa process, which appears to have been formulated by a statistician incarcerated in an institute for the criminally insane.

If you go over on a 189 visa but don’t have your OTSR because your job is on the CSOL list and you’re still on a 186 but haven’t submitted your EOI for a 489 you’ll need a 457 sponsor and the DIPB will want the IELTS.

Australia is infested with migration specialists dedicated to helping South Africans reach the promised land. Well, they call themselves migration specialists. They’re really just human traffickers in polyester suits and pencil skirts.

I thought I’d get in touch with one of them for an assessment of whether or not I stood a hope in hell. I knew the answer before I even filled in her questionnaire. Age, skills, academic qualifications and financial means are apparently important to the Australians, and unless there’s a critical shortage of borderline indigent middle-aged columnists who make a living out of shaming and ridiculing the rich and powerful, then I’m probably staying right here.

My “migration agent” said she had taken the liberty of stalking me on the Internet. “It is quite evident you have a very successful career,” she wrote. It’s not quite how I would describe it, but it seemed a promising start. Then it went downhill, fast. My occupation – her word, not mine – is on some kind of red list and, because I’m not a teenage virgin, I would need to be sponsored by a state or an employer and work for them for four years at an annual salary of at least R1.2-million. If my current remuneration is anything to go by, I am not worthy of sweeping Sydney’s streets.

Perhaps sensing that my special skills would do little to enhance Australia’s reputation in the eyes of the world, she offered me another option. Something called the 457 visa stream allows an offshore company to become a sponsor, which can then sponsor the employee to work in Australia. In a suggestion that smelled strongly of loophole, she said, “If we can get your current business to qualify as a sponsor, we may be able to get you the 457 visa.” With a masterful use of understatement, she described this as “a long shot”. She clearly sensed that my current business operated largely on cold beer, loud music and long absences from the “office”.

If my personal human trafficker were to handle the visa application, she would require the modest sum of R30 000. The loophole option would cost me another R40 000. And the Department of Immigration would want R18 000 for both. So, that’s almost R100k in return for an email from the Australian government three weeks later saying, “We regret to inform you …”

I’m going to unpack, open the gin and have a little lie-down.

BenRoo1

 

Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival – Part 2

Chapter 2

 

Your Home

 

 

Your home is your castle. You worked hard for it and you have the right to defend it with your life. A woman’s home is also her castle. But in her case it is more likely that she got it in a divorce settlement, which isn’t quite the same as working hard for it. However, this in no way impinges on her right to similarly defend it with her life. I am a firm believer in equality between men and woman and I will fight sexism wherever it rears its ugly head.

Buying property is a big decision. Bigger even than choosing a wife. These days it is far easier to get divorced from a dud wife than it is to sell a dud house. When it comes to choosing where to buy, a lot of people make straight for the gated villages and security estates. I am not a big fan of these for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that you can’t escape easily if the police come looking for you.

Whether you opt to live in the leaf-riddled suburbs, within the walls of a fortified compound or as a free-range chicken on a farm, you need to pay close attention to the points of entry. Some people prefer to stay in apartments high up in the sky where the yellow-eyed varmints can’t get to them. The estate agents call this a lock-up-and-go. All my life, wherever I have lived, I have simply locked up and gone. And yet I have been burgled more times than I care to mention. So much for that idea.

The suburbs are the natural habitat of the common housebreaker. Although they are solitary animals, it is not uncommon to find two or three of them hunting together. These shy creatures are easily startled and are difficult to spot during the day. Nocturnal by nature, they have a keen eye for detail, especially when it comes to alarm systems and dogs.

Police have warned that “scouts” leave coded messages on the pavement indicating which houses are safe to be robbed. Green crème soda cans let the boys know that it’s open house. Red Coke cans signify that a little force might be required. Police urge residents to report strange objects that appear on the pavements outside their homes. Among the strange objects that regularly appear on my pavement are very drunk homeless people. I am still trying to work out what this signifies. I also on occasion leave half-empty beer bottles outside my house. I hope this strange new code gives the varmints sleepless nights.

The only way to ensure that you are never broken into is to make your house impregnable. Doors and windows are the weakest security points. These must be bricked up. Make sure you do this from the inside. If you have a chimney, seal it off. Burglars can also gain entry through your roof so you will need to replace your ceiling with a concrete slab. Your house should now be completely safe. Nobody will be able to get in to rob you. Nobody will be able to get out, either, so make sure you have enough food to last for the rest of your life. If you are married to someone who insists on getting out now and again, you should probably consider other options. Here are a few ways you can minimise the chances of getting burgled:

 

Moats

Apart from being one of the sillier words in the English language, a moat can be highly effective in keeping the varmints at bay. Most of today’s housebreakers had fathers who were too lazy, mean or drunk to provide the family with a swimming pool in the back yard. For this reason, water provides a suitable deterrent to burglars. This doesn’t mean you can leave a bucket of the stuff at your front door and expect never to be robbed. It only works if you dig a moat around your property.

Moats are at their most effective when they are full of water. Without water, they are just ditches, really. And few housebreakers are known to admit defeat when confronted with a ditch.

To minimise your water bill, it is best to run hoses from taps around the neighbourhood. If you live near a stream or river, go out late at night with a spade and divert it so that it fills your moat.

Once your moat is full, you may want to make a feature of it by adding water lilies, a fountain or two and a couple of dozen crocodiles to take care of housebreakers who, as adults, may have learnt to swim.

Crocodiles are easily obtained in South Africa. Lake St Lucia is well stocked with these brutes. In Zululand, nature conservation officials move slower than the crocs so you need not worry about getting caught. You should worry more about getting eaten. With that in mind, try to avoid taking fully-grown crocs. As tempting as may be to have instant security, you will have trouble fitting more than one adult in the boot of your car. You could tie another to your roof racks if you don’t mind attracting attention. If you are pressed for time, it makes more sense to load up on eggs. You can either visit one of our crocodile farms and stuff the eggs down your pants when nobody is looking, or you can get them on eBay for a few dollars apiece.

The eggs of saltwater crocodiles take about eighty days to hatch, but I would suggest you stay away from these unless you are prepared to go to the trouble of converting your moat. Some people say chlorine is best, others swear by salt. I don’t want to get involved. This argument has claimed lives.

You are most likely to end up with Nile crocodiles. Crocodylus niloticus can grow to over five metres long and weigh up to a ton, so it is best to get them while they are young. Unless you want the SPCA on your case, you will have to feed your crocodiles on a regular basis. Although they will get to eat the occasional drunk who falls into your moat, this should be seen more as a dietary supplement than anything else.

One of the major benefits of using crocodiles instead of other aquatic species such as geese or hippos is that crocodiles can live for up to 80 years in captivity. Not having to replace your watchcrocs will save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t forget to get the drawbridge people in before you fill your moat.

 

Landmines

Some people have a thing about landmines. Princess Diana was one. She decorated two entire rooms at Balmoral with disarmed mines. The green room was reserved for anti-tank mines, the red room for anti-personnel mines. They were all there, from the Soviet POMZ-2 to the American M-18 Claymore.

A particular favourite of Diana’s was the Valmara 69. Produced in Singapore, this little baby can shoot more than a thousand metal fragments over a 25-metre radius. Sometimes, when William and Harry were little, she would bring out the OZM-3 “jumping” mine as a special treat and let them play with it. The princes had hours of fun trying to catch it as it bounded through the castle.

None of this, however, is of any concern to you. All you have to do is remember where you laid the mines. I have heard of people who went to the trouble of sowing a minefield around their house, only to step outside to fetch the newspaper and get blown up. It is essential that you create a map showing precisely where the mines are.

Most housebreakers prefer to take the path less trodden, so you might want to scatter some of those mines in the more inaccessible areas of your garden. Try not to bury any in the flowerbeds. Reliable gardeners are hard to find these days.

If you are a real patriot, you will want to get your hands on something homegrown. During the 1980s, Armscor turned out some damn fine blast and fragmentation mines. Unfortunately, these have not been stocked at local hardware stores since Nelson Mandela was released. You could try getting your mines from the Russian mafia in Cape Town, but be advised that it is very difficult to get through to them. On all levels.

Here’s an idea. Why not make it a fun outing? Take the family to Mozambique for the weekend. Even though the country is a little run-down, landmines can still be found in all 10 provinces. It might take a while, but with a little poking around, you, mom or one of the kids are almost guaranteed to hit the jackpot.

I would have suggested you take the family to Namibia as a more convenient alternative, but there, even more than Mozambique, demining has all but ruined the chances of picking up a few good-quality mines for use around the home.

 

Walls & Fences

The Germans and the Israelis have done more to popularise defensive walls than any other nation in recent times.

The trend was started by Roman emperor Hadrian in 122 AD, when he built a stone wall right across Great Britain. It was the only way he could keep the lunatic Scots at bay. The feat impressed the electorate back in Rome and simultaneously served as a warning that Romans would not hesitate to build stone walls should anyone dare try to stop them from taking over the world. Today, Hadrian’s Wall is the most popular attraction in northern England and tourists are often seen walking the length of it. Considering what else is on offer in northern England, this is extreme adventure at its best.

If we had to be honest, we would admit that the Chinese started this nonsense with walls around 220 BC, but they claim credit for way too much already and I doubt that I shall mention them again in this book.

Not everybody believes in the power of walls. The anti-wallers believe that by erecting a wall, you are converting your home into a prison. And what is so wrong with that? When last did you hear of a prison being broken into? How often does the head warden get back to his office to find his door kicked in and his TV missing?  It just doesn’t happen. Prisons are the safest places on earth because they have walls around them.

 

Armed Response

Armed response units are to police what paramedics are to doctors. They walk, talk and smell like real cops, but are quicker on the draw because they don’t have to fill in as much paperwork after gunning down a varmint. On the down side, they are paid almost as badly as cops. And, like cops, they also have habits to feed, gambling debts to pay and kids to put through reformatory. This is worth bearing in mind when you invite them into your home to inspect the entry and exit points and provide them with your secret code and a detailed schedule of your movements.

 

Barbed Wire vs Blade Wire

I think anyone who grew up in South Africa will have a soft spot for barbed wire. Anyone who is white, of course. Barbed wire was invented to keep the darkies in their place and out of yours. Barbed wire sent out a very unambiguous signal. Barbed wire was on the side of right. Barbed wire was strong, trustworthy. It had principles.

Barbed wire topped the fences around our military bases. It lined the streets whenever the natives got restless. It lay there in tight reassuring coils in hardware stores throughout this once great country. If it weren’t for barbed wire, parliament would have fallen to the communists long before 1994.

And if barbed wire is good enough for Guantanamo Bay, it is good enough for your home.

The only negative thing I can say about barbed wire is that it is very working class. If you have received a good education and are well-spoken (i.e. English-speaking), the chances are that you will prefer to secure your house with something that has a little more breeding. I am talking about razor wire, also known as blade wire. The Germans came up with it in World War One. And even though they eventually lost the war, they did succeed in killing several million enemy soldiers before admitting defeat. This wasn’t bad going for a country that had little more than the crumbling Ottoman Empire and a couple of stoned Hungarians on their side.

It was at 11am of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 that a ceasefire came into effect. At 10.58am, a German sniper shot Canadian George Price through the head. Being the last soldier to die in the Great War showed the world once and for all what Canadians really are – a bunch of losers with an appalling sense of time and place.

This has nothing to do with razor wire.

 

Eina Ivy

The most aesthetically-pleasing device to come out of the home security industry. Its spikes will tear your burglar to shreds, but at least he can admire its shroud of lifelike plastic green leaves while bleeding to death in the hydrangeas.

 

Alarms

Home alarm systems remain one of the most popular deterrents to people who lie around all day drinking wine from plastic bottles and smoking crystal meth and then when everything runs out and their backs are covered in monkeys they think they can come over to your house and take your stuff and sell it for a fraction of its worth so that they can stay drunk and wired for another three days. If it were that easy, we would all be doing it.

Alarms work by frightening off burglars who suffer from hyperacusis, an abnormal sensitivity to loud noises. These burglars, who make up 0.01% of the housebreaking fraternity, soon enough learnt to take earplugs to work.

Alarms are also designed to alert the neighbours that there is trouble next door. However, neighbours have long since learnt not to get involved in anything that happens beyond their garden gate. The house next door could be dismantled piece-by-piece and carried away by a chorus line of transvestites in fishnet stockings and latex rubber leotards singing “Hi ho hi ho it’s off to work we go” and still the neighbours would say, “Didn’t hear a thing. We had the rugby on, you know.”

These days, most alarms are linked to armed response companies. Keep in mind that most housebreaking syndicates are also linked to armed response companies. This means that more people have your alarm code than have herpes.

If you are at home and your alarm is activated, all it really serves to do is induce cardiac arrest in the elderly and infirm, give you a splitting migraine and encourage your cats and dogs to find a new home in the next town.

If you insist on an alarm that makes a conventional wailing sound, then I suggest you invest in the type that Israel uses to warn people in Haifa that Hezbollah is about to ruin their day. If your alarm can be heard by every police station in the city, the odds are dramatically increased that someone may come around and investigate. If it’s not lunchtime, that is.

Try to get your hands on a Chrysler Air Raid Siren. It is the size of a car and weighs three tons, but if you can hoist it up on to your roof, it would be a desperate (or deaf) burglar who would keep robbing you with 138dB howling into his head.

You may want to impress or even terrify the neighbours by acquiring a siren that has the ability to broadcast voice messages. These electronic sirens are similar to conventional sirens except for the fact that they rely on a series of electrodynamic, horn-loaded loudspeaker drivers to produce sound. I presume you record your message in much the same way that you would on your telephone answering machine. Here are a few suggestions in case you can’t come up with any of your own:

 

  • “The house is surrounded. Get down on the floor. If you move, you will be shot.” (Edit in background sound of helicopters and dogs barking).
  • “This is God speaking. Stop that at once.” (Insert background sound of thunder and a chorus of celestial voices raised in anger).
  • “FREEZE! I’m Ma Baker! Put your hands in the air and gimme all your money!” (Boney M instrumentals in the background).

 

 

CCTV

Closed-circuit television has revolutionised home security. With cameras mounted in strategic places, you are able to monitor a housebreaker as he climbs over your garden wall, enters through a downstairs window, walks down the passage, grabs a beer from the kitchen, heads up the stairs and sidles into your bedroom where he ties you up and steals all your valuables, leaving you with a unique video of an unidentified man in a balaclava robbing you blind, which you can then use in your application for refugee status in Canada. You may find it more rewarding to use your CCTV system to make cheap porn.

 

Dogs

Let us be clear on one thing. Dogs are animals. They are not meant to be kept as pets. We have all been to the beach or to a park and seen someone throw a ball for a dog. Perhaps you have even done it yourself. You people make me so angry. Why in God’s name are you encouraging your dog to chase balls when it is blindingly obvious to all who care about these things that he should be chasing criminals? Every time your dog runs after a ball, somewhere out there is a criminal not being chased.

And you, you with that fur-covered beach ball. Oh, it’s a Labrador, is it? Shame, give him another piece of cake. Watch him go into cardiac arrest through the sheer effort of wagging his anaconda-like tail. You, madam, are doing your dog and this country a great disservice. Your Labrador should be a lean, mean killing machine. He should be at home patrolling your perimeter fence, fangs a-slaver and barking mightily at anything that moves.

Big dogs are the infantry in our fight against crime. Their position is at the front. If you only have one dog, get another to watch the back. They are the first line of defence against those who wish to take our stuff and our lives.

Little dogs are signallers in this war. They form part of an early warning system and should be scattered about the property. Their job is to alert the big dogs that something might need checking out.

It is also useful to keep a supply of miniature breeds inside your house. If a burglar does gain entrance, one of the more effective methods of slowing him down is to throw them at him. Do not waste your dogs. Use them wisely. If you have done your job properly, your handheld dogs will have been trained to bite on impact. There are very few burglars who feel comfortable robbing you with half a dozen lapdogs hanging from their face. On the down side, small dogs frequently come with a manufacturer’s defect. Once they start yapping, they frequently forget how to stop. A kick in the ribs usually turns them off.

 

Breeds

 

Alsatians make the best guard dogs. Originally bred as all-purpose working dogs, they have a proud history of keeping darkies out of white areas. They also spent a lot of time on God’s side of the Berlin Wall helping to fight communism.

They are handsome hounds, even if a bit right wing, and you will have to watch out for those neighbourhood bitches slipping in for a quickie while your dog is meant to be working.

If you are in the market for an Alsatian, pop in to your local police station and see if there are any on special. Try to get a dog from the drug squad. That way, the days of misplacing your stash will be over.

Alsatians have their own governing body called the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde. Being German, the dogs understand what this means but they are often reluctant to talk about it. Perhaps it is like belonging to the Freemasons.

Some famous Alsatians are: Hitler’s dog, Blondi; Rex the Wonder Dog; Rin Tin Tin and Orca of the SAPS KZN Midlands K9 Unit.

 

Bull terriers would make ideal guard dogs if you could only get them to open their jaws and let go. Nobody wants to pay top dollar for a pedigree dog and then have to cut off its head so the burglar can be thrown into a police car/mortuary van/hole in your back yard.

 

Whippets are faster than cheetahs in built-up areas. Obviously, out on the plains the cheetah while whip the whippet’s ass any day. When it comes to protecting your house, the whippet isn’t much good. Nobody is likely to be deterred by the sight of its tiny little head, huge chest and ridiculously long legs. That its tail is permanently wedged between its legs is also less than intimidating.

A whippet will only care about whether the strange man climbing over your wall has any food in his pockets. Look at him in a friendly fashion and he will grin gratefully, roll over onto his back and open his legs. If I ever get a chance to dabble in genetics, I am going to cross a whippet with a woman.

Your whippet comes into his own when the burglar tries to flee. To see some real sport, tie something soft and furry (a pair of bunny slippers would work) to the burglar’s ankles and give him a thirty second head start.

 

Dachshunds are a bit of a gamble insofar as security is concerned. If the burglar does not incapacitate himself with laughter, you might want to have a back-up plan.

 

Zulu hunting dogs work only if the intruder is a Zulu. They won’t, for instance, hunt Xhosas.