Tag: Murder

How to Stay Alive

With all this talk of farm murders and other crimes of a less savage nature, I thought it a good time to share a chapter from my book Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival.

 

BUYING property is a big decision. Bigger even than choosing a wife. These days it is far easier to divorce a dud wife than it is to sell a dud house.

You home is your castle. You worked hard for it and you have the right to defend it with your life. Or, preferably, someone else’s life.

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 sheriff comes looking for you.

Whether you opt to live in the leaf-riddled suburbs, within the walls of a fortified compound or free-range 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 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 unusual objects that regularly appear on my pavement are 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, then 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. 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, fountains and a couple of crocodiles to take care of those housebreakers who, as adults, have learned 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 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 80 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 bounced through the castle.

None of this, however, is of any concern to you. All you have to do is remember where you laid your 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 Angola for the weekend. Even though the country is a little run-down, landmines can still be found in most of the rural areas. It might take a while, but with a little poking around, you, mom or one of the kids are almost guaranteed to pick up a few good-quality mines for use around the home.

Walls and fences

The Germans and 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.

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. What’s 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.

Barbed wire vs blade wire

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 an 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’s 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 was not 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 no-hope 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 slowly 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 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 0.1% of the housebreaking fraternity, now wear earplugs to work.

Alarms are also designed to alert the neighbours that there is trouble next door. However, neighbours in South Africa 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.

If you are at home and your alarm is activated, all it really does 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, 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 might 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 burglar who would keep robbing you with 138dB howling into his head.

You may want to impress or even terrify your 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. Cameras mounted in strategic places 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 roaming around your house and robbing you blind, which you can then show to all your friends and use as justification for emigrating to Perth. You may find it more rewarding to use your CCTV system to make cheap porn.

Armed response

Armed response units are to police what paramedics are to doctors. They walk, talk and smell just 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.

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 two or three 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 finger up the bum 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 Jesus’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 its head off 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 will 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 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 the chance to dabble in genetics, I am going to cross breed 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 30-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 only work if the intruder is Zulu.

crocmoat

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An open letter to Michaela ‘Sexy Hunter’ Fialova  

Dear Michaela,

When I first saw your picture I mistook you for just another of those very attractive, deeply sensitive women in their twenties who go around not killing things for fun. We don’t need women like that in this world. Actually, we do.

We need them to look after the children, although they shouldn’t even be allowed to do that unless they can strip a hunting rifle in under thirty seconds. I’m sure you agree that modern childcare has to involve weapons training.

So you’re from Czechoslovakia? Damn, that’s hot. Do you know a guy called Radovan Krecjir? Of course you do. He also loves killing things. People, mostly.

Hunter-1

I stalked you on Facebook in pretty much the same way that you stalked all those animals in my country recently. The only difference is that you got to live and I got … well, I got the vicarious thrill of looking at photos like the one of you on Valentine’s Day kissing some lucky guy holding a powerful rifle fitted with what looks like a silencer. Is he also a hunter or more of a hired assassin?

I particularly like the monkey you’re holding by the front legs. He’s grinning and looking up at you as you smooch the sniper as if to say, “Hey babe, how about cutting me in on the action?”

Michaela Fialova with monkey

Oh, wait. He’s not grinning. It’s a rictus thing. There’s nothing that says ‘I love you’ more than kissing someone holding a dead monkey. I’m surprised Hallmark hasn’t thought to bring out a card.

And there’s another cute photo. You’ve got your gun in one hand and … oh, those tight pants just kill me. Your caption reads, “Throwback! My first vervet monkey SA (two smiley faces). 110m with 308 win.”

As far as throwbacks go, sweetheart, you’re right up there with the best of them. Sorry. Did you perhaps mean you throw him back into the bush? Maybe it’s a Czech thing. Catch, kill, release. Your own personal Vervet Revolution. You go, girl.

I understand you’re a personal trainer? Well done. There is altogether too much focus on developing the mind these days. The body is what’s important. As far as intelligence goes, all one needs in order to survive is an ability to kill and cook. You’re clearly a master of both. There’s even a video of you in the kitchen preparing zebra steaks, which is something everyone needs to learn.

Hunter-8

Anyway, thank you for helping us reduce our zebra population. The a’re nothing more than horses with swag, but you wouldn’t think so if you had to see their attitude when it comes to demanding preferential treatment in the job market. Arrogant black-and-white bastards, the lot of them.

Oh, look. You have a fan page called Michaelka’s Hunting. And your profile picture shows you holding a shotgun and wearing a pith helmet. You’re taking the pith, right? What do you hunt with a gun like that? I bet your boyfriend throws tortoises into the air and you bring ’em down. Like skeet shooting but more fun because skeets don’t scream when they get shot. Fair enough. At least the tortoises get to feel what it’s like to fly once in their lives.

Hunter-5Hunter-3

You have another picture of your smiling face in the foreground and a terrified huddle of giraffe in the background. You wrote, “This is the way to see animals!!! Not support zoo!!! Zoo is most sad and disghusting thing I ever seen!!!!”

I couldn’t agree more. What the hell is the point of putting animals in cages if you’re not allowed to shoot them? Sad and disghusting, indeed. I hope that one day we will be able to ride through zoos murdering animals from the comfort of a golf cart. I’d like to have you at my side. I’ll even reload your Benjamin Rogue .357, if you know what I mean.

On March 6 you posted a selfie of yourself sprawled on the ground, your snug little shorts riding high, and captioned it, “Baffalo hunting – we just rest on the road after 4 hours stalking – hope we will get more luck today.”

Listen to me, babe. I know what I’m talking about. You have to be careful of them baffalo. Buffalo are easy. You walk right up and shoot them in the back of the head. And they’re grateful for it. But a baffalo? He’s a cross between a barracuda and a buffalo and a mean motherfucker, pardon my Shakespeare. If he turns on you, don’t even think of running into the water.

Hunter-2

While I was writing this, you posted a fresh picture of yourself with a dead hyena. Maybe he’s alive and pretending to be dead. Hyenas are sneaky like that. But judging by the smile on your exquisite face, he is an ex-hyena. He is no more. What bait did you use? Hyenas are mad for boerewors. They’ll take it right out of your hand. Is that when you stabbed him in the face? It must have been quite a struggle. Sometimes you have to cut a hyena’s head off just to get your boerewors back. They’re worse than politicians.

Hunter-4

On February 18 you posted a picture of yourself with a heavily armed woman in camouflage. An older woman. You wrote, “Love hunting with other girls!!!” Like most heterosexual men, I’m curious. How do you do it? If you have any pictures of you and other girls ‘polishing your bullets’, I’d love to see them.

By the way, do you eat the monkeys? Of course not. You’re a professional. Dead monkeys are good for one thing only. First, you have a few people around and get really stoned. Then you put the monkey in different poses, like reading a newspaper or driving a car. It’s hilarious. God created monkeys for our personal amusement when He created the earth six thousand years ago. Monkeys know this and they are happy to play along, dead or alive.

You, honey-bunny, are the Jihadi John of the bushveld and we hope you keep coming back to Africa to help eradicate all these unsightly animals.

Your fan, knee-deep in blood and gore,

Ben Trovato

* Messages of love and support can be sent to the world’s sexiest psychopath at michaelkashunting@post.cz

 

Trovato cooking game

 

A Homicidal High

There is so much going on in this wonderful country of ours that I scarcely know where to begin.

Perhaps I could start with the murders. There are so many that, when you sit down with the newspapers, you have to be fairly selective when it comes to choosing which ones to read about. I think we can agree that we all skip the random shebeen stabbings and the gangland shootings. Par for the course, we say. Surprise us, we say, flipping the page.

Love triangle homicide. Yawn. Farm killing. Next. Witness whacked. Who cares. Even satanic ritual slayings no longer grab our attention as they once did.

Quite frankly, I don’t know why the papers even bother. If the bloodshed involves alcohol, we would rather you didn’t write about it. Instead, tell us about people who, after drinking too much, stumbled upon a cure for cancer.

Drunk people probably accomplish all manner of incredible things which nobody ever gets to hear about. After all, it’s only because Isaac Newton kept falling down while slurching home from the Slut and Legless that we know about gravity today.

But let us return to the foulest of felonies.

There is one story that stands out from the daily carnival of carnage.

Matricide has been an eye-catcher ever since Amastris, queen of Herclea, was drowned by her two sons in 284 BC. I don’t know why they did it. She was the first woman to issue coins in her name, so I suppose she might have been a bit of a pain. Or perhaps it was because she named her sons Clearchus and Oxyathres.

On the other hand, if children offed their parents because of the names they were given, it’s unlikely Kanye West, Bob Geldof, Jamie Oliver, Gwen Stefani and Gwyneth Paltrow would be alive today.

Imagine if your mother had named you Racing Cloud and you weren’t a member of the Sioux tribe living on a reservation in South Dakota, but instead you were a member of the Theron tribe and you lived in Fish Hoek. I am fairly sure, though, that this isn’t why Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron and her boyfriend Kyle Maspero allegedly bumped off her mum Rosemary.

For now, newspapers are reporting that the mother and daughter had argued. Mother went out and the two teenagers “smoked drugs” while they discussed killing her. When she returned, Maspero allegedly strangled her with a rope.

Every report I have read mentions that the idiot children had “smoked drugs”. The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking this were the sole reason for the murder. Perhaps it was. And this is where it gets interesting. For me, anyway. If you’re not interested, read something else.

Smokeable drugs include marijuana, crystal meth, heroin and the most addictive of all, tobacco. Let’s for a moment assume they weren’t driven into a murderous frenzy by one too many Marlboro Lights.

When one hears the phrase “smoking drugs”, one instinctively thinks of weed. Maybe it’s just a Durban thing. This country – and KZN in particular – grows some of the best marijuana in the world and, quite frankly, I don’t know why anyone would bother smoking anything else if they were planning to kill one of their parents. Heroin ruins your skin and crack makes your teeth fall out. Surely you would want to look your best when you appear in court?

For a few months now, I have wanted to kill my neighbour. He is loud and obnoxious and encourages his rat-faced bastard dogs to bark for no reason at all. Motivated by news reports of the Racing Cloud incident, and curious to see if cannabis would provide the impetus I needed to do the job, I went off to find some. I believe the correct terminology is “score”.

Not knowing if I would need a gram or a kilogram, I emptied out my boot and filled my pockets with money.

The last time I bought weed, it cost a rand a hand from Temba round the back of the Journey’s End Moth Hall in Broadway. The hall is now a post office sorting depot, Broadway is Swapo Road and Temba is probably a director-general in the ministry of police.

I went to a bar north of Ballito and asked for a beer. When the waiter brought it, I gave him the secret handshake and asked if he might be in a position to help me out with a smidgen of the old igudu. He brought me a menu. I tried again. Intsangu? He started telling me about the specials.

I made the international gesture for crushing a handful of dope, being careful to remove the pips and stalks, snapping the neck off a wine bottle, making a girrick, inserting said girrick into the bottleneck, filling the neck with weed, wrapping a sulfie around the neck, putting it to my mouth, striking a match and inhaling deeply. I even gagged and coughed a couple of times in case he thought I was acting out a parable from the Old Testament. You never know with the Zulus.

I noticed everyone had stopped talking and was watching me. The waiter made the international gesture for ‘I think you should leave’ and so I did.

After almost getting arrested several times, I eventually came upon a maker of beaded wire animals. It is a well-known fact that threading beads is impossible unless you are stoned. I was right.

He even threw in a chameleon with the bankie of weed. It was the smallest bankie I had ever seen. Three 10c pieces would have been a squeeze. What kind of customers does this bank have?

On my way home, I stopped to pick up an axe from Mica. One of those big mothers that lumberjacks use. When I knocked on my neighbour’s door, filled with a violent bloodlust after smoking my drugs, I wanted him to be under no illusions about what I was doing there.

There was only enough for a toothpick of a joint, but size isn’t important. Especially not in Durban. Two hits and my mouth was drier than a Mormon convention. This wasn’t good. My neighbour would open his door and he’d find me struggling to speak.

“You what?” he would say. I would make mmpf mmpf noises.

Maybe I’d lick my axe to get the saliva glands working. To avoid arousing suspicion, I might even have to do a Miley Cyrus impersonation, licking my axe, thrusting my pelvis and rolling my eyes, by which time he would have called the whole family to come and watch and I would then be forced to kill everyone.

I finished the toothpick, fetched a beer and sat on the veranda for what felt like nine hours. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes. I could definitely feel something, but I couldn’t say for sure what it was. Did I want to kill someone or did I want to eat something? Was I hungry or homicidal? Was it best to eat before or after a murder? Wait. The trees are full of something. Are those hadedas or monkeys? What if they have started breeding? Oh, God. Flying monkeys with voices from hell. I would have to move. Those branches look like fingers. I have fingers, too. We both feel. We are one. I am a tree and you, tree, are me. I must stand up before I put down roots. There was something I had to do. What was it? Water the plants? No, that wasn’t it. Stay away from the plants. They can’t be trusted. Maybe get another beer. Yes, that was it. And go to the beach. Take cheese. Someone left an axe in the driveway. Must be the neighbour. I’ll invite him for a braai. Give him his chopper back. Neighbour. What a peculiar word. Nayba. Nay. Ba.

Two days later, I can say with absolute certainty that Racing Cloud and I weren’t smoking the same kind of drugs.

 

Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival – Part 1

Art of Survival-2

Part One

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Prophets of Doom and Lambs to the Slaughter

 

 

“Watch your back in South Africa. They kill folks here. Murder them at a bewildering rate. Robbers kill their victims, bystanders kill criminals, family members kill each other. Gun battles erupt on streets or in shopping malls. Passers-by whip out pistols and join in fire fights between criminals and police or security guards.”

 

These are the loin-stirring words of Associated Press reporter, Terry Leonard, as they appeared in the New Mexican on August 1st, 2006. Thanks, Terry. Thanks a million for sticking a knife into the skinny ribs of our fragile economy. Mexicans are the mainstay of our tourism industry and now you have gone and scared them off. I don’t know what we are going to do without them. All we are left with now are busloads of impoverished German industrialists and shifty aeronautical engineers from Scandinavia spitting in the streets and fondling our women.

There are many South Africans who share “Terror” Leonard’s cheerful depiction of life on the southern tip of Africa. These are the true patriots, men and women who love their country with a passion so powerful that they had to emigrate just to be able to express it. The fact is that this country will never slide into the abyss. Not while there are still white people living here (I hope you’re tuned in, Sidney from Springs now living in Surry Hills, Sydney! That one was just for you!)

I have no intention of leaving South Africa. Not because I can’t afford the airfare or because I have reached an age where no country wants me or because I fail the immigration points system by a wide margin or because I don’t meet the criteria for a visa of any kind or because I don’t have a single relative who holds citizenship of another country or because I have no money to invest and no real skills to offer. Far from it.

Ours is a very special country. For a start, our murder rate is second only to that of Colombia. And how about this? People like you and me are 12 times more likely to be murdered here than in the United States. At 50-1, the odds are better in Europe, but even so, these are impressive figures by anyone’s standards. Here are some other statistics to make you feel even more proudly South African:

  • South African men are seven times more likely to have sex on a first date than Korean men and 185 times more likely to get away with driving drunk than Australian men.
  • South African women are nine times more likely to bear good-looking children than Inuit women and 30 times more likely to secure an enormous divorce settlement than Bulgarian women.
  • South African children are 12 times more likely to become drug addicts than Icelandic children and 900 times more likely to be spanked than Swedish children.
  • We eat more dead animals each year than any other nation our size and we are second only to Germany in the girth of our men’s beer bellies.
  • South African men have bigger willies than Japanese men but smaller underpants than American men.
  • South African women have lower self-esteem than Danish women but higher testosterone levels than Chinese women.

If nothing else, these statistics serve to illustrate the inescapable truth imbedded in this ancient Zen koan:

When the question is common
The answer is also common.
When the question is sand in a bowl of boiled rice
The answer is a stick in the soft mud.

Types Of Crimes

There are many different types of crimes. Not all of them are illegal. An example of a legal crime is America’s unilateral decision to invade Iraq on the trumped-up pretext that Saddam Hussein was about to blow up the world with a bunch of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Another example is supermarkets in South Africa still not being allowed to sell beer.

The law makes a distinction between civil and criminal cases. Crimes of a civil nature are committed when the perpetrator shows his victim a degree of courtesy and respect, thanking him for his forbearance and making sure the telephone cord isn’t cutting off his blood circulation. Crimes of a criminal nature are committed when the perpetrator shows his victim a blunt machete, then uses it to hack off as many limbs as he can in the shortest time possible. 

 

White-Collar Crime

The term “white-collar crime” was coined to describe illegal acts committed by men who tend to be more fastidious about their appearance than your average shack-dwelling vagabond with a criminal streak so wide you can see it from the air.

These days, however, businessmen wear primary colours. Their shirts are electric blue or violent red or shocking pink. White is no longer considered a colour. White got its hands dirty and has a nasty reputation. Nobody wants to hear its story.

White-collar criminals are the aristocrats of the crime world. They have breeding and charm. Highly educated and well groomed, their daughters have ponies and their wives take only the most respectable of lovers.

When they commit a crime, there are no unsightly stains left behind on the carpet. The only thing that bleeds is the economy. Fraud, bribery and corruption help to keep the body count down. When a commercial crime is committed, nobody ends up in the intensive care unit. So, yes, if you feel compelled to live a life of crime, we would rather you became a white-collar criminal.

It is estimated that white-collar crime costs the United States more than $300 billion a year. Our government won’t give us the figure for South Africa in case we give up our jobs and become white-collar criminals.

For those of you thinking about putting down that panga and taking up corporate crime, there are a few things you need to do right away. First, run a hot bath and scrub yourself for a couple of days. The stigma of violence is a hard thing to get rid of. Then enrol for night classes. Learn to speak proper English. Fraud requires communication skills and no one is going to trust you with their money when it only members of the 28s who can understand what you are saying.

You may feel swamped by the range of choices available, so to make things a little easier for you I have compiled a list of some of the more popular white-collar crimes.

 

Computer and Internet Fraud

This is one of the few white-collar crimes in which black people are more successful than white people. To a large extent, we have Nigeria’s telecommunications infrastructure to thank for that. However, if it were not for computers, I would never have had the opportunity of going into a Sea Point internet café and sitting alongside the entire staff of both the Bank of Africa and the African Development Bank’s foreign remittance departments. Once, I even sat next to Mrs Sussan Adams, a large bald woman with a beard who was currently receiving treatment for cancer problems at the Lagos General Hospital (I would have thought she might have been there for a sex-change operation). She must have flown to Cape Town just for the day so she could send a few emails. The expense was obviously not an issue given that her deceased husband had left her $10.5 million dollars, which had somehow got tied up in the Reserve Finance Company. It was fortuitous that I happened to be there otherwise the poor dear might not have found someone to provide her with their banking details so she could get the money out of Nigeria.

Prevention

Stick with the postal service. If you need information, go to the library. Rent a small wooden cabin in the Knysna forest and mail letter bombs to companies that make computers. If you need expert advice, contact this gentleman:

Mr Ted Kaczynski

US Penitentiary Max

PO Box 8500

Florence, CO 81226-8500

USA

 

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud loses South Africa R100 million a year. I know how that feels. I lost R150 once when I pulled my car keys out of my pocket and the money blew away in the southeaster. I was very angry at the time because I needed the money for a bottle of tequila, but nowhere near as angry as I would have been had R100 million fallen out of my pocket.

Credit card fraud is what happens when you order Viagra from an internet address in New Delhi and after a month of desperate ploys to avoid sex, the Viagra arrives at the same time as your bank statement indicating that you have purchased a small factory in Mumbai, three child brides and shares in a Bollywood production called Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo.

Credit card fraud also occurs when you treat your waiter badly. At the end of the meal, he takes your credit card to the back of the restaurant and runs it through a skimmer. By morning, you have bought him a bachelor flat in the London borough of Chelsea. It’s a good thing you never tipped him on top of it.

Prevention

The best way to prevent credit card fraud is to cut up your credit cards and carry wads of cash in a money belt, in your underwear, down your socks, under your hat and in your bra.

If you have an aversion to banknotes because they are thick with germs and bad karma, then don’t let your credit card out of your sight. Keep it taped to the inside of your thigh. If you have to pay for dinner, follow the waiter all the way to the credit card machine. Scrutinise the machine before he uses it and watch his face closely for signs of nervousness. If his hands shake and he sweats heavily, you can be fairly certain that he is trying to defraud you. While he is busy swiping your card through his skimmer, grab his left arm and twist it behind his back. He will cry out in pain and fall to the floor. Pin him down with one knee across his throat and the other on his chest. Call for management. No, wait. Management is probably in on the scam. By now someone should have called the police. When they arrive, explain the situation clearly and concisely. Our police are trained to deal with homicidal maniacs and gaping head wounds, not the intricacies of credit card fraud.

It may turn out later that the waiter was shaking and sweating because he had 12 double vodkas, a case of beer and five hits of methylenedioxymethamphetamine the night before. No matter. Anyone who abuses his body that much deserves to be jailed.

 

Insurance Fraud

Every once in a while, South Africans refurnish their homes and upgrade their electronic equipment after someone breaks in and steals a couple of brass ashtrays and granny’s silver gravy dish. Like anal sex, everybody has done it at least once in their lives but will never admit to it.

One of better things about living in South Africa is that insurance assessors are unlikely to be suspicious when you report eight robberies in three weeks. They have absolutely no reason not to believe that a gang wearing matching uniforms drove a furniture removals truck into your driveway and loaded up the entire contents of your home, including the fridge and the dog.

However, there are some assessors who are part bloodhound, part polygraph machine. These hateful little people with their recording devices and scuffed shoes are also responsible for committing insurance fraud. This happens when you lodge a legitimate claim for something that was genuinely stolen and they arrive at your house and look at you through narrow, sceptical eyes and it is all they can do not to spit on your feet and call you a liar to your face. And when they find the loophole that exonerates them from paying you out (and they will find it), their smug faces crease into grotesque approximations of a smile and they drive off in their boxy little sedan cars leaving you feeling dirty and betrayed. Often, it is the young and inexperienced who have their faith so brutally violated. No longer virgins and scarred for life, they go on to become accomplished insurance scammers.

Prevention

Preventing insurance fraud is harder than it sounds. First, you have to resist the urge to embellish. That jacket is made of vinyl, not from the hides of 15 juvenile South American howler monkeys and it cost R49.99 at Pep, not $5000 from a dealer in a small Peruvian town whose name you can’t remember. And that digital video camera? It is not being sold for a pittance on a street corner in the township as you speak. It is in a box hidden in the roof of your garage. And as for that 108” plasma screen – well, it simply never existed anywhere outside your mind. But if you find it impossible to be honest (perhaps you are a defence attorney), it is not the end of the world. Your insurance company is insured so go right ahead and claim all you like.

Tax Evasion

This is the only white-collar crime in which people take great pride in committing. Go to any dinner party on easy street and you will overhear someone saying, “I beat the fucker.” It is almost certain that he is talking about the taxman and not a street kid who tried to mug him outside his office.

The taxman has become the friendly guy in the bar who buys you a drink and then smashes his glass into your face on his way out. He is the pretty girl who gives you syphilis on your first date. He is the homeless man who rings your doorbell and asks for a sandwich and then when you go to the kitchen to make it he steals your wallet off the entrance hall table.

He is the Fresh Prince of Darkness who giveth with one hand, taketh away with the other and biteth you on the bum for good measure.

There are 70 tax havens in the world – 71, if you count my house. In a bid to avoid paying tax, people around the world have shovelled an estimated $11,5 trillion dollars into these havens. I have about R380, maybe R400 if I look under the cushions and behind the couch, of undeclared income hidden in different places around my house and I am damned if the taxman is going to get his hands on it. I dare him to send his attack dogs to collect his pound of flesh. My home is protected by a moat, electrified blade wire, landmines, laser-operated alarms and a pack of vicious timber wolves that were captured in the forests of British Columbia and flown directly to South Africa. I am, after all, a master of survival. Let them come. I am ready.

Prevention

A famous British tax dodger by the name of John Maynard Keynes once described the avoidance of taxes as the only intellectual pursuit that still carried any reward. I am unable to vouch for this since I have never dabbled in intellectual pursuits of any kind.
Paying taxes flies in the face of human nature. It is an unnatural act and yet we are powerless to stop it. So we declare some of our income and falsify the rest because we know that if we don’t submit a return, one of the consequences could be infection with a deadly disease and a slow, lingering death. Gang members prefer to take tax evaders as their bitches because they are incapable of resistance. Their hands are soft after years of pushing papers and manipulating figures and their muscles have grown weak and flaccid. Ironic, then, how they spend years trying to avoid being shafted by the taxman only for it to end with them on their knees in the corner of an overcrowded cell being shafted by men with spider web tattoos on their necks.

What it comes down to is that, whether through genetic defects or sociopathic tendencies, we are all unable to stop ourselves from cheating on our taxes. This means that we can never altogether prevent tax evasion, however hard we may try. However, if you feel strongly enough about it and cannot sleep for the guilt, you could always turn in your friends and family by calling the SARS fraud hotline at 0800002870.

 

Bank Fraud

Bank fraud is committed every day in South Africa. Every minute of every day. Come to think of it, why hide the terrible truth. Bank fraud is committed every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year in South Africa.

Every time you walk up to an ATM or through those hateful time-delay security doors, you walk into an ambush. With no warning at all, you get assaulted from all sides with a battery of fees and charges for depositing money, withdrawing money, paying by cheque, taking money out of an ATM, putting money into an ATM, checking your balance, taking out a stop order, transferring money electronically. The fraud goes on and on. Even while you sleep, electronic devices are coldly calculating how much money the bank can squeeze out of you.

South African bank charges are 142% higher than in Canada. If Canada were not so boring and so full of South Africans, I would move there for that reason alone. Bank charges are also five times higher here than they are in the United States. And if half the Arab world wasn’t jostling for a clear shot at America, I might even consider moving there, too.

Prevention

If your bank charges you for depositing money, stop doing business with them immediately. Close your account, put your money in a biscuit tin (or a shipping container) and bury it in the back yard. If you are worried that it might not be safe, send it to me and I will look after it for you.

If, on the other hand, you are unable to extricate yourself from this web of lies and treachery, there are a few things you can do that, while falling short of actually preventing bank fraud, will go a long way towards making you feel better:

  • After using the ATM, kick it in the shins. If there is a security camera, give it the finger.
  • If you are forced to conduct business inside the bank, steal the refills from their pens.
  • Write death threats on the deposit slips and leave them lying around for other customers to find.
  • Write scraps of Jim Morrison’s poetry on the withdrawal slips.
  • While waiting in line, stand on one leg and talk to yourself. Fondle the buttocks of the person in front of you. Do whatever you can to get people to switch banks.
  • When you reach the teller, speak gibberish. Make her understand that you demand to see someone who speaks Esperanto.

 

Healthcare Fraud (Trust Me, I’m A Doctor)

You might think doctors would be happy earning a fortune, prescribing their own drugs and seducing their more vulnerable patients, but a lot of them want more. This syndrome, known as Greediensus Medicalus, also affects dentists, anaesthetists, surgeons and specialists. Gynaecologists only ever wish for younger, better-looking patients.

Healthcare fraud is committed when a non-existent patient makes an appointment to see the doctor. While the patient is being examined, the doctor goes out for a round of golf. By the time he gets back, the patient has been diagnosed and has gone home to die. The doctor dashes off an invoice to a medical aid company and sits back to wait for the check.

Fraud costs the medical aid industry between R4 billion and R8 billion a year. I expect your immediate reaction is to leap into the air, grab a beer and a loose woman and start carousing forthwith. This is understandable. Trying to get reimbursed by your medical aid is like trying to get a crocodile to give your arm back. So you may think that any losses suffered on their part are really nothing to take anti-depressants over. However, this kind of fraud pushes up your premiums so you end up getting screwed regardless.
In the space of three years, an investigation by a single medical aid scheme recovered more than R100 million from crooked doctors. The billionaires who head up medical aid scams, sorry, schemes, are strangely reluctant to refer to these doctors as “crooked”. Instead, these upstanding members of the medical profession are “engaged in unhealthy practices”. I would laugh if I weren’t afraid that the bile rising in my oesophagus would choke me.

But it is not just your average GP who is unilaterally promulgating amendments to the Hippocratic Oath.  That same investigation discovered dentists billing for gold or diamond inlays when they were inserting crowns, optometrists billing for designer sunglasses but dispensing spectacles, radiographers using an ultrasound over the skull and charging for a brain scan, pharmacists switching generics for an ethical drug prescription and charging for the brand name, specialists using a general practitioner as a locum and general practitioners owning a butchery and dispensing meat to patients. One doctor submitted 214 consultation claims in one day. This would have made him the first doctor in medical history to have patients who were never even given the chance to sit down in the waiting room.

Prevention

Don’t waste your time and money sitting for three hours in a waiting room only to be told: “Hmm yes interesting I see hmm okay I want you to take three flapulaxes twice a day for ten days you can fill in the prescription downstairs at the pharmacy in which I have shares goodbye.” After taking a personal loan to pay for the pills, you drive home and there, lying in your post box, is the doctor’s invoice. I still haven’t managed to work out how they do that. In future when you are feeling poorly, visit a sangoma, herbalist, alternative healer or shaman.

 

Timeshare

There are people out there right now who are luring unsuspecting couples into darkened rooms and promising to give them all sorts of things if they just watch a video. They select their victims openly in broad daylight in front of young children and the elderly. It may seem hard to believe, but this despicable practice remains legal.

Timeshare survivors often form support groups where they discuss their horrific experiences in the hope of one day being able to resume a normal life. Many people feel strongly that there should be strict laws against this sort of thing and, increasingly, timeshare and the death penalty are spoken about in the same sentence.

Prevention

The perpetrators are known to frequent public places like shopping malls. If you are approached, back away slowly. If you run, they will become aggressive and pursue you relentlessly. Maintain eye contact and shout, “Satan, get thee behind me!” Pray that mall security gets to you before they do.

 

Dog-Collar Crime

 

Dog-collar crimes are favoured by the clergy. Some of the earliest recorded dog-collar crimes were committed on slow days during the Crusades when Christians would indulge in a spot of looting and pillaging while on their way to start a whole bunch of trouble in the Middle East that still hasn’t died down. Then there was that nasty business with the Spanish Inquisition. And the schmoozing with Hitler.

Let us not even talk about what the missionaries did to Africa.

These days, dog-collar crimes are largely restricted to:

  • Fondling of altar boys
  • Guilting the faithful into giving the Church more than they can afford
  • Usury
  • Investing in the military-industrial complex
  • Disallowing abortions
  • Banning the use of condoms
  • Ringing bells very early on a Sunday morning.

 

Prevention

Say three Hail Marys and encourage your children to become Buddhists.

 

No-Collar Crime

 

No-collar crimes are committed by people who can’t afford decent shirts. They can be found wearing anything from T-shirts, vests and wetsuits to full-body tattoos and straitjackets. Almost all of the 167 000 people in jails around South Africa are no-collar criminals. These crimes are popular because you do not need to be particularly bright to commit them. Nor do you need any special skills, positive attributes or human emotions of any kind. Here are some examples of no-collar crimes:

 

Perlemoen Poaching

Most of us are prepared to turn a blind eye to perlemoen poaching because nobody gets hurt. Well, nobody but the perlemoen. And I am far from convinced that they experience pain. Sure, they have eyes and a cute little mouth, but that doesn’t mean they are capable of feeling sad or angry. Anything dumb enough to see a fully-grown diver heading towards it with a bag in one hand a tyre lever in the other and do nothing but close its eyes and cling to the rock deserves to die.

It’s not as if they are leopards. People don’t come all the way from Frankfurt, Stockholm and London to see our perlemoen. There is a reason that these moronic molluscs aren’t one of the Big Five. For a start, they live underwater. How stupid is that? Secondly, they serve absolutely no useful purpose that I am aware of. If all the perlemoen in the world had to die instantly, nobody would even know about it. Well, the Japanese would because then they would have to find something else to make their little Oriental willies grow to normal Western size.

 

Murder

Perhaps I should have started with murder and not perlemoen poaching, but, to be honest, violent death just doesn’t have the same dramatic impact that it used to have. These days, the word “murder” has about as much shock value as the word “sardine”.

Murderers in this country have two things in common. The first is that a human life is roughly equal to the price of six beers and half a roast chicken and chips. That is on weekends only. During the week, the price drops to a hamburger and two beers. The second is that almost all of them are black. This is not a racist statement. Some of my best friends are murderers.

As I mentioned earlier, South Africa is the world’s second most violent country that is not at war. The first is Columbia, but the affordability and quality of their cocaine alone makes it well worth living there.

South Africa’s rating is surprising given that only 18 000 people are murdered here each year. That’s just 50 a day. Please. More than 60 million people died in World War Two over a period of seven years. That works out at 2 348 a day. How about three million in three years? Say hello to the Korean War. And the Battle of Stalingrad? Nearly two million in six months. And what about Iwo Jima? It was a tiny island in the Pacific, for God’s sake, and yet 29 000 people managed to get themselves killed in less than two months. Check this out. Eight thousand dead in a single day in the battle of Hastings. Never mind that. It took the Zulus less than a day to kill 1 300 British troops at Isandlwana. Mind you, they did lose 3 000 of their own warriors. However, they probably turned on each other after running out of redcoats. You know what the Zulus are like. Never happy unless they are eating or killing something.

Anyway, these are impressive figures by any standards, and I am almost embarrassed to tell tourists that we can only manage 50 a day.

 

Rape

Rapists, along with child-molesters, are the bottom-feeders of the crime world. Having sex with a woman against her will is popular among men who are too stupid, dirty or ugly to get a girlfriend. They are people who can barely converse in their home language. If they had to lose a hand, they would never again be able to count to ten. Exterminate on sight for the sake of the gene pool.

 

Mugging

This increasingly popular way of earning a living comes with the advantage of keeping your own hours and reporting to no one but yourself. Overheads are low and the code of conduct is open to interpretation.

After being robbed at knife or gunpoint, a victim’s first instinct is to chase after the muggers, take each one by the hand and thank them over and over for not taking his life along with his wallet and cellphone. The sense of relief one feels after walking away from a mugging can be quite exhilarating.

Mugging is essentially an apprenticeship for trainee murderers, although there will always be those who lack the stomach for blood and thus adhere to the basically non-violent nature of the sport.

 

Public Drunkenness And Public Indecency

These two no-collar crimes are committed across the social spectrum, although the poor tend to do theirs in public while the wealthy prefer to transgress in the privacy of their own homes. This means that it is only ever the poor who get arrested. Which is as it should be.

If you are lucky, you will get to see someone being indecent and drunk at the same time. Look out for the impromptu shows that sometimes take place in the breakdown lane on the freeway. This involves the performer narrowly being hit by passing cars while simultaneously staggering around urinating on himself. It’s great entertainment for the whole family.

 

Arson

Rising petrol prices have made arson a dying art in South Africa. However, people do still occasionally set Table Mountain alight. If you are in the area when this happens, grab the kids, a packet of marshmallows and head for the flames. It’s the most fun you can have for free in Cape Town.

When a business is failing, it is not unusual for the premises to burn to the ground overnight. The owner then has to take a cruise around the Caribbean to recover from the trauma. When he gets back, he uses the rest of the insurance money to start another business. The careless ones sometimes have to wait for up to five years before starting anything at all. And even then, nobody really wants to do business with an ex-con.

 

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery is a firm favourite among criminals of all classes. It has a certain je ne sais quoi, something that sets it apart from your less sophisticated unarmed robbery.

“Hand over your money or I’ll blow your brains out!” hardly compares with “Hand over your money or I’ll give you a really hard slap!”

There are 4.5 million registered firearms in the country, 2.8 million of which are handguns. On top of that are between 500 000 and a million unregistered weapons. The country is awash in guns. You can barely walk down the street without tripping over one of the older models that have been dumped by someone who is upgrading.

Under these circumstances, who isn’t going to want to rob something? I know I would. A gun is your passport to instant wealth. Point it at someone and say “give me money”, and they do. It’s like a miracle.

If we all went around doing that, none of us would ever have to work again. And what a beautiful world that would be. I am surprised John Lennon never sang about it.

 

Prostitution

Prostitution is legal in South Africa. If it’s not, it should be. Just to be safe, if you get caught with Jade’s head in your lap down a cul-de-sac, tell the officer that I said it was okay. If he has never heard of me, give him R100 and inform him that he is now on the payroll. I will reimburse you.

There are two types of prostitutes. The kind that works on the streets and the kind that works in a whorehouse (let’s leave parliament out of this for now). Both of them value your business equally and it is insensitive and unethical to discriminate against them on those grounds alone.

Having said that, I should also point out that girls on the street are a lot cheaper than those who operate out of brothels. This is because their overheads, along with their standards, are a lot lower. They are also 100 times more likely to be addicted to crack and have a nasty disease. When you take them home, they will be more interested in what you have in your fridge than in your pants. Or so I am told.

 

Paedophilia

Strictly speaking, paedophilia is a crime committed without regard to collars. It stretches from a shack in the township to the Catholic Church on the corner. It goes on in sea-facing mansions along the Atlantic seaboard and face-brick houses in the working class suburbs. If paedophilia weren’t so wrong, it could go a long way towards uniting South Africans of all races and religions.

Paedophiles and child molesters should not be treated as common criminals and sent to prison. They should be taken to places of safety and provided with comfortable rooms. The doors and windows to these rooms should then be sealed with reinforced concrete slabs.

 

Drugs

More than 60% of all crimes in South Africa are committed by people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This leaves a staggering 40% who are doing unspeakable things without even a drink to help them conquer their shyness. Either there is not enough booze and drugs to go around, or we have some of the cleanest-living crooks in the world. I reckon a police raid at the local Virgin Active is long overdue.

A more likely scenario is that, given the levels of multi-skilling among the criminal community, nobody wants to take the chance of smoking a little ganja ahead of a lazy afternoon of pickpocketing only to find themselves in a high-energy situation where they are compelled to kill someone. And what could be worse than getting all tikked-up for a bank robbery only to get there and remember that it’s a public holiday and the best you can hope for is a couple of car stereos?

Drugs are as popular in South Africa as anywhere else in the world. However, nobody here knows for sure why they are illegal. Drugs brighten up a miserable day and give your self-esteem a boost. Is that so terrible? In a free market system, adults should be permitted to sell drugs to other adults. Kids should have to get theirs from somewhere else. Here are some examples of drugs and the effects they have on police officers:

Marijuana

This drug, well, it is more of a weed, really, induces a sense of hostility in policemen. Their eyes narrow and they tend to speak louder than normal. There is a strong possibility that they will turn violent for no apparent reason. Humour them. Play along. Never assume that they know what they are doing.

Cocaine

Coke makes policemen very jumpy. Symptoms include an inability to sit still and relax. They become restless and fidgety. Often they will tell you to keep quiet and let them do all the talking. They will come up with lots of unrealistic notions and ideas, like sending you to jail for the rest of your life. Nod and smile. That’s all you can do, really, until they have got it out of their system.

Tik (crystal meth)

Police become very self-assured when exposed to tik. They exude confidence. Their positive demeanour can lead to them slapping one another on the back and, in extreme cases, hugging. The comedown can be dramatic, especially when they spend two weeks testifying only for the magistrate to acquit the accused because the evidence has disappeared.

Acid (lysergic acid diethylamide)

LSD has a dangerously unpredictable effect on the police. Either they are happy with a couple of caps, or they will tear your house apart in desperation to get their hands on more of the stuff. Even if you swear on your mother’s life that there is no more in the house, they will not believe you. These hallucinations are quite normal. Do not make any sudden moves. Their imaginations are already in hyperoverdrive and the last thing you want to do is startle them. When they fire irrational questions at you, reply in low, soothing tones. They will soon be back to normal. Well, as normal as any policeman ever can be.

Drunk Driving

Driving drunk is not so much a crime as it is a rite of passage. When boys turn 18, their fathers buy them their first car. Not all of them, of course. If, for example, they are from the Xhosa tribe, their fathers send them away to have their foreskins chopped off by bush doctors equipped with rusty knives and a callous disregard for hygiene. Personally, I would take the car every time.

Then, to celebrate their son’s transition to manhood, fathers throw neighbourhood parties – sort of open bar mitzvahs without the mitzvah – where everyone is encouraged to drink their own body weight in beer. At some point in the evening, there is an official handover of car keys. The teenager is carried to the car, strapped in to his seat, slapped back into consciousness and told to take his new wheels for a spin. He almost makes it to the first corner before veering into a tree and there is much cheering and falling about. A neighbour calls the cops but by the time they arrive the kid is two days shy of his 21st birthday and it is a bit late for a blood test. Besides, the only witness has already died.

Every South African between the ages of 15 and 85 has at one time or another driven a car while intoxicated. This includes the deeply religious. We have such draconian drink-driving laws that your average Catholic taking communion twice will find that the blood of Christ has pushed him over the legal limit.

 

Resisting Arrest

It seems hard to believe that anyone would have the nerve to consider this to be a crime on its own. Resisting arrest is as natural an impulse as staring at topless women on the beach or kissing your best friend’s boyfriend when she goes to the toilet.

It should be your constitutional right to resist arrest. The courts should regard a failure to resist arrest as an admission of guilt and lock you up without the benefit of a trial.

If physical resistance is not in your nature, you would be within your rights to take off down the street at the first sign of trouble. In the unlikely event that the policeman is fit enough to chase after you and bring you crashing to the ground, a good defence is to say, “I’m sorry, officer. My legs ran away with me.”

In 1951, police wrestled Welsh poet Dylan Thomas into custody after he started a brawl in his local pub. Soon after being released on bail, he wrote these immortal lines:

Do not go gentle into that police car,
Better that you burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against them dragging you from the bar
.”

 

An open letter to Henke Pistorius, father to Oscar, defender of the faithless

Howzit Henke,

I feel like I know you already. Did we meet around a braai sometime? Or maybe it was on a hunt. I think I saw you there by the Kruger Park last year. I shot nine elephants, six hippos, three giraffes and about 450 springbok. And a tortoise. Jislaaik, this hunting business is fun!

What did you get? Must have been a lot because you have more bigger guns. I only had a pomp-action shotgun. Gives the lions a big skrik but doesn’t actually kill them. Which is a pity. I wanted to have a whole bunch of lion heads on the wall behind my bar.

Maybe I will put one of the hippos there. I can chop out his top teeth and stick a couple of those awesome tot dispensers from Makro in their place. Maybe also make his mouth big, like he is yawning, and then keep the bottles in there. Don’t steal my idea, hey!

So, ja. I just wanted to send commiserations. I know what it feels like to have your family turn on you. My father only reads Shakespeare and when I started writing for the Sunday Times he said he didn’t have a son any more and my mother died of shame.

I can’t understand why your family would stab you in the back, especially when they have so many guns. Sorry, boet, that was a bad joke. There is a time for stabbing and there is a time for shooting. There is also a time for drinking. And sleeping.

You were doing the right thing when you told those Bolshevik scribblers in Britain that Oscar needed guns because the ANC government had failed to protect white people. I was surprised your boy wasn’t acquitted straight afterwards. I bet you thought the family would hold a moerse braai in your honour, with sperm whale on a spit and a crocodile on the coals and enough brandy to kill the Taliban.

Instead, the family thinks you are actually harming Oscar’s case. What? I have never heard such radical propaganda in my life. It’s like some kind of communist plot they are busy with.

If the ANC cared about white people for real, they would form a special task force to sit with us in our homes and escort us to and from our places of work. They would also give us our own province, although some say this has already happened in the Western Cape. And maybe our own beaches. And restaurants.

White people have special needs. You only have to look at us and listen to us to know that. Minorities are rare things that must be protected. It is even written there in the Convention on International whatwhat for Endangered Species that the government has signed.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I heard your brother, Arnold, telling everyone that your interview was not approved by the family’s media liaison team. Your own brother. Sies, man. Did they even tell you the family had a media liaison team?

People like you and me, Henke, we don’t mess about with liaison teams. For a start, liaison is a foreign word. I reckon Portuguese. That’s how it starts. The next thing you know, you can’t go for a kak without getting approval from the family ablution team based in Lisbon.

Arnold is your brother. I can’t tell if he is older or younger. You people all look alike to me. You need to discipline him as Abraham disciplined his son in the Jesus time. Arnold needs to be reminded that we are God’s chosen people. If Abraham had said he would check with the family liaison team and get back to Him, God would have just sommer given him one smote-klap right there.

Ja, I don’t know about Arnold, hey. If your family owns 55 guns, you can’t tell those drunken liberal whores in the media that they are used purely for sport and hunting. It makes Oscar sound like he thought a gemsbok was in the toilet.

It also sounds like something a mad English woman would say. Like the Queen, maybe. “We only bring out the guns when the horses and hounds are gathered for an afternoon frolic with old foxy-woxie.”

I don’t know what Arnold means by sport. When I think of sport, I don’t think of guns. I think of rugby and sex. Often at the same time. I can be watching the Bulls play the Sharks and suddenly I will want to fornicate. Does this happen to you?

What Arnold should have said was that the 12 big guns were for hunting, the 42 small guns were for self-defence and the pellet gun was for getting rid of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a Saturday afternoon if there was a game on. Then we would have believed him.

What if an intruder broke into Arnold’s house? I can see it now. “Go away,” he would shout. “I have guns but I can’t use them because they are purely for sport and hunting. Go away or I will scream.”

When Arnold said your interview doesn’t represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the family, you must have felt like that oke in the Bible who was cast into the wilderness with nothing but a technicolour dreamcoat and a bagful of fish. Can’t remember his name.

Point is, you have been sold down the river for twenty pieces of silver. On the upside, you run a sulphate mine. I first experienced sulphate in London many years ago. Wow. I didn’t stop talking for three days. No wonder you’re shooting your mouth off, pardon my French.

And now you have gone and upset the ANC. Instead of them agreeing to provide white people with their own private army, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said your statement was a racist slur. That’s rich. If there is one person in this country who knows about slurring, it’s Jackson.

I can understand why Oscar might be anxious. What if the judge is an ANC man? There are a lot of them about these days. He might get life just for babysitting your .38-caliber ammunition. I suppose with all those guns, you wouldn’t have room in your house for the bullets as well. You should build a granny cottage.

Anyway. Good luck with the family. If they throw you out, you can come live by me. Bring your guns, if you like. Or you can just sleep with my shotgun. It has a very big barrel. You will like it.