Tag: Bloody Mary

Buster Blood Vessel

Almost a year ago, I hired a bicycle and rode from Blue Lagoon to uShaka Marine World to investigate the state of the beachfront. I wrote a column about it. My body must have sensed that it was time for its annual work-out and insisted that I take it to the bike hire place next to Circus Circus.

Don’t be silly,” I said to my body. “You’ve got a hangover. Why not do it another time?”

My body crossed its arms and stamped its foot. “Because when another time comes around, you’ll have an excuse then, too. I’m atrophying, here. Take me for some exercise.”

Or else what?”

Or else I’ll stop your heart. Or tell your legs to run in front of a bus.”

My body has always had a bad attitude. Still, it’s not going to change now and I’d be an idiot to risk offending it.

How long will you need it for?” asked the comrade behind the counter.

Just a minute or two,” I said. My heart skipped a couple of beats.

Just relax,” I muttered. “I’ll take it for six hours.” My heart began racing. “Ha ha,” I laughed. “That had you worried, didn’t it”?

The comrade looked at me as if I were mentally disturbed. Come to think of it, he was wearing a pair of wraparound reflecting sunglasses. What I saw was a reflection of me looking at myself as if I were mentally disturbed. I handed him my expired driving licence as security and the comrade’s sidekick showed me to the bicycles. Which one did I want? They all looked identical.

Something called a Cruiser was extracted and wheeled over to me. The handlebars looked like as if they were designed by someone on acid. “Does it have gears?” The sidekick searched my face for signs that I was joking. All he could find were signs that I was from an era when bicycles were still made with only one gear.

With a gentle breeze at my back, I set off in first gear for Blue Lagoon. It wasn’t long before I was going too fast for first, so I clicked down to sixth. I detected a subtle change in pressure or drag or whatever the hell it’s called. But there was no sound of cogs meshing, as one might expect. Either this was the latest in gear design or the bloody thing was broken.

With my legs windmilling wildly, the kilometres flew by at a brisk walking pace. I was surprised to see that the Laguna Beach pools had been tarted up. A year earlier, they looked like the kind of recreational facility you might expect to find at Auschwitz. A bit of grass might have been nice, though. And a few more benches. I saw a family sitting on the brick paving. You may think nothing of this, but I should point out that this was a white family. I haven’t seen white people sitting on the ground since the AWB tried to invade Bophuthatswana. Well, they weren’t so much sitting on the ground as they were slumped next to their bakkies getting shot by a member of the local constabulary. Okay, bad example.

Reaching the mouth of the Umgeni, it was hard not to notice that the area was as desolate as it had been a year earlier. Is it a Hollywood set for Mad Max Beyond Blue Lagoon? Is it meant to be art? Is the council making some kind of anti-aesthetic statement by turning a once-bustling fishing, dopping and skyfing spot into a barren wasteland? I pedalled through a gate marked Do Not Enter. They needn’t bother with the sign. Sylvia Plath would have found it too depressing. Another sign said, “Vumani Civils”. Vumani is presumably Zulu for “We have given up and gone home.”

As I turned to make the long trek south, the buster came through. I thought that was a bit unnecessary. Riding into the teeth of a vicious headwind, first gear never felt so good. I had to keep my head down, which meant hitting a few things along the way. Some screamed, some didn’t.

I was grateful to come across Bike & Bean, a new addition since my last journey into these parts. I collapsed onto a stool. Here was clearly a man in urgent need of some kind of attention. Quite possibly medical. The two dudes behind the bar made a point of not looking at me. The white one, Bike, juggled a soccer ball while Bean, the black one, stared at his phone. I was the only customer. I staggered over to a fridge and helped myself to a Coke.

A sign said it was 5kms to Ushaka. A sob escaped my cracked lips.

Back in the saddle, I wobbled past Anant Singh’s magnificent new film studio where Natal Command once stood. Of course I couldn’t actually see the R40-million rand complex. It’s amazing what they can do with special effects these days.

The building next to the Rachel Finlayson pool still doesn’t have a restaurant in it, although I did see some kind of activity on the top floor. It’s probably a bunch of enterprising surfers setting up a grow house ahead of parliament’s adoption of the Ambrosini Bill, which will make it mandatory for people over the age of 18 to smoke marijuana at least once a month.

Several kilometres on, I spotted a yellow shipping container on the promenade not far from Addington Hospital. It seemed the perfect location to sell expired medication to the poor and I was looking forward to negotiating a good deal on a batch of hallucinogenics. I couldn’t see how I was going to finish this expedition without drugs.

But it was Afro’s Chicken. I couldn’t even sit down because the only three tables were taken by people stuffing birds into their faces. I had a look at a menu stuck on the window. If you’re going to sell “tjips”, then why not also sell “shikkin”, “koalslor” and “hambergiz”? There’s a fortune to be made from the semi-literate market.

The Children’s Hospital, I was delighted to see, no longer looks like a crack house bombed by Somali rebels and Addington Hospital has a shiny new entrance that will go a long way towards reassuring people that they might not necessarily die if they had to be treated there.

With my last ounce of strength, I rode up to Wazoos, dropped my bike and slumped at a table. Now and again, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a waitress. She seemed to be stalking me, then, just before I could make eye contact, she’d disappear. This went on for a while. My hangover now relentless in its demand for sustenance, I returned to the bicycle and pointed its snout northwards. I only had a couple of hundred metres to go before Piatti appeared like some kind of divine oasis. I crawled onto the veranda and dragged myself onto a chair. The only other couple there pretended not to notice me. As did the waiters. Eventually the other couple called for their bill and a waiter was forced to walk past my chair. I grabbed his shirt before he could escape.

A Windhoek lager and a menu. Please. Sorry. If it’s not too much trouble. Thank you.”

The wind changed. Then the seasons changed. It was the winter of 2016 when I went inside to look for my waiter. He had gone. It was as if he had never existed. Perhaps Anant Singh hired him.

The two greatest mysteries of this century – the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and my waiter.




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

Job Application to the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa

Dear Father,

I have received word through the Lord’s grapevine that you are looking for men and women to be trained as missionaries and sent into darkest Africa to convert the godless heathens to Christianity.

I do not wish to sound presumptuous, but I think you should forget the women. Don’t you remember what happened in the Garden of Eden? Of course you do. But nor do you wish to fall foul of the Commission for Gender Equality. Their wrath is worse than that of God.

In spite of my criminal record, I think I may have been born for this job. I love the idea of travelling to remote regions, meeting new people, absorbing different cultures and then, just when they are relaxing after dinner, rising up and telling them in a booming voice that the mother of all harlots will burn the number 666 into their foreheads if they do not change their graven image-worshipping ways.

There are nearly two billion Christians in the world. This is not nearly enough. The trigger-happy Muslims, cow-hugging Hindus and holier-than-thou Buddhists are right behind us and we have to move fast.

I am not afraid to go anywhere, but there are some countries where proselytizing is forbidden. Zimbabwe is one of them, now that Robert Mugabe is in the service of the Dark Lord. Sudan could be another. Should you wish to dispatch me to one of these wretched lands, it would be best that I go disguised as a tourist, a charity worker or a TV weatherman. It seems to be working for Derek Van Dam.

I would like to do for the pagans of Africa what the missionaries did for the Red Indians in America. In less than 200 years, the Comanche, Arapaho, Cherokee and Apache went from being noble savages running with the wolves to successful Christian alcoholics running drugs and casinos.

Today, I am happy to say, the reservations are full of face brick churches instead of satanic sweat lodges.

Before I accept the job, I need to know where you stand on witch burning. Luke 19.27 says: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

I am a very tolerant man, but my friends know not to bring witches unto my house, especially not when the cricket is on. The Weber is used to sacrifice marinated lambs and spatchcock chickens. The bonfire in the back yard is used to burn witches. I have only ever set three alight. The rest escaped.

With the global financial meltdown, firelighters and decent firewood are luxuries that I can no longer afford. Please let me know if there is a cheaper way to slay mine enemies.

I appreciate that conversion by faith is the best means of attaining salvation. However, Africa being what it is, conversion by threats of dismemberment is often a quicker and more cost effective way of helping the natives to see the way, the truth and the light. It worked in Rwanda and it can work here. Stab the stubborn ones with the sharp end of the cross, say seven Hail Marys, drink three Bloody Marys and you’re well on your way to creating a flock of faithful followers.

Does your organisation work on the same principle as the ANC? In other words, are your missionaries mere tools that get sent hither and yon to serve at the seminary’s pleasure? If not, I would like to ask that I be posted to Timbuktu so that I may work among the Dogon people. As you know, these swarthy agnostics still worship Sirius, the dog star, which is linked to the Egyptian goddess, Isis, who is related to the Greco-Roman deity Bacchus and his iconoclastic cousin Priapus, who takes his cue from the sacred fox which has no name.

I will, however, need more than a gun and a bible to reconstruct these Pyrrhonian backsliders. The Dogon believe they were created by gods who came from the sky in space ships. They are madder than Tom Cruise and I will need twenty crates of single malt whisky, 500 condoms and a thousand aspirin if I am to convince them that it is not the god Lebe, but the Almighty Himself who visits them at night in the form of a serpent and licks their skins in order to purify them and infuse them with life.

As one of your newest recruits, my motto will be Convert Or Die. I have already printed the T-shirts so you have to give me the job or I will sue your holy ass to kingdom come.

Yours in Christ,

Brother Ben Trovato