Tag: transportation

It’s Blood River All Over Again

Today, 174 years ago, the Voortrekkers defeated a Zulu army at the Battle of Blood River. And today, the Boers and the Zulus will join forces to defeat me at the Battle of Gateway Shopping Centre.

The Zulus will stream in through strategic entrances to isolate me in a pincer movement that would have made King Shaka proud. And the Boers will use their traditional tactics of walking eight abreast, scoffing ice-creams and knocking us out of the way with their meaty hips and big asses. I don’t stand a chance.

William Butler Yeats wrote, “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Here, they’re slouching out of Bethlehem (there by the Free State) and into Durban.

Quite frankly, these people scare me. If I had the space, I would explain how one can tell the difference between trolls, homunculi and troglodytes.

I did a recce at Gateway earlier in the week to check out the exits and locate the shops that sell weapons. If it was going to turn ugly, I wasn’t going down without a fight. To hell with reconciliation. At this time of year, it’s every man for himself.

The first thing I noticed was that Christmas decorations aren’t as Christian as they used to be. In the old days you could barely walk through a mall without smacking your head into a simpering polystyrene angel swinging from the rafters. These days it’s all disco balls and plastic dross swaddled in fairy lights.

It’s not so much Santa’s grotto as it is Hugh Hefner’s grotto, although in Game you do have a slightly smaller risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

You’d think at this time of year the very least God could do is send down a few real angels to pretty up the city. Maybe we’ve been doing it wrong and everyone has gone straight to hell. Or perhaps this is hell. Perhaps heaven is another planet with mountains of marijuana and rivers of beer and beautiful women who don’t mind if you never call them but who will still whip up a hearty breakfast if you happen to drop by early on a Sunday morning, horny and bleeding.

Orphans are big this year. I saw several shops offering to donate a percentage of purchases over R100 to those who are lucky enough not to have parents. They never say how much goes to the orphans, though. It could be 0000.2% of each purchase. This means that by the end of the holidays, three orphans in a village north of the Tugela will each get a tin of soup. Next year, if they are really lucky, they will get a tin opener.

As I made my way through the mall, hugging the walls and keeping to the shadows, retracing my steps to confuse the sniffer dogs and darting from doorway to doorway to prevent the snipers from drawing a bead on me, I saw a brawl break out in Dis-Chem. My money was on a geriatric with purple hair and no teeth. I got the idea this wasn’t her first Zimmer frame fight.

The war for drugs escalates at this time of year. Too many family reunions, dinners and parties mean that old and young alike are desperate for their meds. If you’re new at this, I recommend something from the benzodiazepine family.

Ativan and Librium will do nicely if all you need to do is get through Christmas lunch without cutting a sibling’s throat. However, if you’re worried about getting drunk and exposing Uncle Pervy for the paedophile that he is, you might need one of the neuroleptics.

Thorazine works well, but get your timing right. You don’t want to be slack-jawed and drooling into the turkey with your paper hat over one eye while everyone else is pulling crackers.

I saw a sign saying, “Add more sparkle to your festive season – shop with American Express!” Yeah, sure. It’s all fun and sparkles now, but what happens next year? It’s bad enough what the local banks will to do to you, but you fuck with the Americans at your peril. I’ve heard Guantanamo Bay isn’t a prison for political detainees at all. It’s for people – Muslims, mainly – who have maxed out their American Express cards and are late with the repayments.

I saw another sign. “Gateway recycles 248 378 litres of fuel – enough to send a single car 87 times around the circumference of the Earth.” Hang on. Wouldn’t the carbon footprint of this car be worse for the environment than if the fuel hadn’t been recycled? More importantly – can this car turn into a boat? No wonder our children suck at geography.

A 10-piece nativity set caught my eye. It was rather nicely done, if a bit outdated. If it were today, the three wise men would be unemployed academics with substance abuse problems, Joseph would be out working overtime to pay for the new baby and the shepherds would be on strike.

I also came across a very nice shredder for only R199. Guess what’s going to be the most popular gift in the Union Buildings this year.

And a box saying, “Magic fish – real living fish! Watch them hatch and grow before your very eyes!” We are expected to believe a lot of made-up stuff at this time of year, but I draw the line at magic fish. Or do I? Ah, what the hell. I’ll take one. They may even turn out to be talking fish, in which case I can stop this nonsense and buy an island in the Caribbean.

I saw television sets so big you would have to sell your house, buy a piece of land and build a new house around the telly. Where will it end, this race for the biggest television? Will new homes eventually offer plasma screens instead of walls? I hope so. I already spend hours staring at the wall. I may as well be watching something.

And lava lamps are still being sold even though weed remains illegal. It makes no sense. You genuinely have to be on drugs to fully appreciate a lava lamp. I’m surprised that each purchase doesn’t come with a bankie of Durban Poison and to hell with the consequences.

I spent some time in the toy section because it reminds me of my childhood, none of which I can recall, although I must have had one.

There’s a doll that speaks six lines. Or does six lines. I can’t remember. Cocaine Barbie, perhaps.

For the boys, there are millions of heavily armed action figures that don’t look as macho as they do gay. This is a good thing. If you want your son to grow up believing he can kill with impunity, rather he does it wearing nothing but short hair, a moustache and a pair of tight red shorts. At least that way we’ll see him coming.

I found a paramedic’s kit but it lacked a plastic handgun for when the ambulance has to go into the Cape Flats on a Friday night.

Then I came across a whole series of things you can do in the tub. “Shaving in the tub” was one. This is a filthy habit, whether you’re a girl or a boy, and you should only get this for your child if you have someone other than yourself who cleans the bath. Everything on the box is in French, which makes sense when you consider what these people regard as acceptable behaviour.

What next? Wine in the Jacuzzi? Frog’s legs in the bed? Pissing in the pool?

There’s also a talking octopus. I once met an octopus while snorkelling and I can honestly say that in the brief moment our eyes met, we both knew there was nothing we had to say to each other. If octopi could talk, I expect they would say, “Please take that pointy stick out of my head and return me to the rock pool from whence I came.” Well, the educated ones would. The more common ones would probably squirt ink everywhere and try to strangle you with a tentacle.

A shop assistant has just caught me looking up a doll’s skirt. Awkward. I simply wanted to ascertain whether it was anatomically correct. With the education system as it is, I wouldn’t want my nephew growing up thinking all girls have a piece of hard plastic between their legs. Not that I have a nephew.

My Little Iron apparently makes realistic sounds. Like “I’m sick of slaving away for these ungrateful white bastards” and “Why doesn’t your useless father ever do this?” and “Open the safe or I’ll iron your face.”

I felt my masculinity listing badly and headed to a shop selling goodies capable of blinding, crippling or even killing your enemy, many of whom were jostling me and pushing their trolleys into my ankles.

They had a matt black rifle mounted on a stand at the entrance. Gamo Big Cats, it was called. I rather fancy myself as a big game hunter so I bought it. Knowing my luck, I’ll discover that it’s barely powerful enough to take out the feral tabbies of Umdloti just as the last white lion of the Kalahari lunges for my throat.

With my blood-alcohol levels dangerously low, I repaired to the restaurant area where several companies appeared to be having their get-togethers. Christmas parties used to be held at night. There would be carousing and fornicating and the company would happily pay your bail the next day. Now the grinches offer their employees a free lunch.

As if there’s such a thing.

What To Do With The Feral Ingrates

School holidays should be abolished.

Our creaking infrastructure and shattered nerves can no longer withstand the blitzkrieg of semi-educated savages at the end of every year.

There should be new rules starting from next year. Any pupil who scores an aggregate of, say, less than 90% in their final exams will be deployed to help the M23 rebels take the Congo.

There is nothing wrong with children being soldiers. They are already halfway there, what with being accustomed to wearing uniforms and fighting among themselves. Then again, the rebels might not be able to put up with the constant cries of, “Are we there yet?” Never mind the convoys having to pull over every five minutes because someone needs to wee. It would take forever to reach Kinshasa.

But not everyone can afford to send their brat away to help topple a government. Here are some cheaper ways of keeping the ingrates entertained, while at the same time scoring a bit of payback for the twelve months of hell they have just put you through.

Shopping malls. Generally not a place for any sane, self-respecting adult, but exceptions can be made at this time of year. Decorations are up, tills are jingling and shops are getting more and more crowded. Consider, for a moment, that your child will probably only get a job if he is good with his hands. I wouldn’t suggest you encourage him to consider pickpocketing as a career choice, but with a pair of nimble fingers he could certainly bring in some beer money while at the same time increasing his chances of getting hired as a cashier.

Boys make the best pickpockets. If you have a girl, there’s no need to despair. Well, that’s not strictly true. If you have a girl who is older than 15, you will know despair. In truckloads.

But if your daughter is young – six or seven is good – then take her to a mall that has a fat, white man wearing a red suit and fake beard sitting in a tawdry tableau fallaciously billed as Santa’s grotto. Your daughter will want to sit on his knee and tell him what she wants for Christmas. Before she does this, tell her that Santa will only bring her presents if she jumps off his lap and screams, “He touched me inappropriately!” Tell her those are the magic words that will make her wishes come true. Santa settles out of court and you get a new car.

If there is something wrong with you and you don’t want to make money but still want a bit of a laugh, take the kids into a department store and remove a bunch of electronic tags from some of the clothing. Each person gets a tag and you all leave the shop at the same time. The alarm is the signal to start running. Security guards will chase you through the mall. The first person to the car wins. Even if you get caught, you can’t be prosecuted because you haven’t stolen anything. It’s good exercise and fun for the whole family.

Theme parks. In Cape Town, you have Ratanga Junction. Some of the rides, like the Cobra, get the adrenalin pumping. However, I have always found that at this time of year, the real thrill lies in gambling on whether you will make it to the front of the line before the seizures and hallucinations kick in. Heatstroke gives you all the symptoms of a heroin overdose and, best of all, it’s free.

Gold Reef City is Joburg’s idea of a theme park. I have never been there, but I imagine it’s full of undercover cops, coke dealers, human traffickers and obese families sucking on ice-creams and racially abusing the dude in charge of the Jozi Express. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a member of the tactical reaction unit shooting the Wimpy staff for getting his order wrong. For a bit of light relief, pop in to the Apartheid Museum.

Durban has uShaka Marine World where dolphins leap high into the air in the hope that their buddies in the ocean will see them and mount a rescue operation. There is also a paddling pool area where you can take your child to have its hearing impaired by hip-hop music. And, if you are white, you will feel right at home on uShaka beach. Too much of irony, my bru.

Casinos. Children like to be taken to them. They might say they don’t, but they are lying through their crooked teeth. I have seen many happy little faces pressed up against the barrier as they watch their mommies and daddies getting drunk and gambling away the last of the food money.

Zoos. Popular among the kids. When Clive was small I took him to a petting zoo which turned out to be a brothel. Still, he learnt a lot that day. And that’s what is important. It doesn’t matter whether it is watching a chimpanzee playing on a tyre swing or daddy haggling with a black-hearted harridan whose name clearly wasn’t Jasmine. It’s all educational.

Arts and crafts. Children also like to make things. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or complicated. Petrol bombs, for instance, can be made by kids who can’t even spell maths. And they don’t have to be used on Christmas Day, either. Keep them for a rainy day.

Of course, the best thing you could do these holidays is go to Thailand. Put the telly on, shout to the kids that you’re popping out to the shop and drive straight to the airport.

When you get to Bangkok, call home and tell the family that they can do whatever the hell they like. It will be the best Christmas ever.

Kissing Cousins And Strip Mines

I was going to write about politics this week but the moment I typed the word “Mangaung”, I projectile vomited. I tried again and again and each time I lost more and more of my lunch.

The sound I made was not the traditional “raaaaalph” but the more gut-wrenching “zuuuuuma.”

By the time I had progressed to the dreaded dry heaves, the far wall looked like a Jackson Pollock painting, had he chosen to work in beer instead of acrylics.

The doctor said I was suffering from politicalitis caused by an overexposure to lies and corruption. He suggested I avoid newspapers for a month and prescribed six tequilas three times a day.

And so I find myself back in Mtunzini, this time with my rabidly atheistic loinfruit, Clive, and his perpetually underdressed cousin Roxanne who has gone from being a slutty adolescent to a wanton herpetologist.
When I learnt of her new-found passion, I pointed out that Clive would be an ideal subject because the horny little toad was in all likelihood riddled with herpes. She enlightened me as to what it was that herpetologists did and I said in that case Clive would be an ideal subject because of his scaly skin, hooded eyes and forked tongue. He denied having a forked tongue.

So why do you speak with one, then?” I said. He had no answer to that, largely because by the time I came up with this punchy rejoinder he had already left the house.

Typical spineless reptilian-amphibian conflict avoidance behaviour,” I said to the cat. The cat nodded without opening its eyes.

I had a feeling Clive and Roxanne were rutting like wildebeest whenever my back was turned, but intervening would simply enable the brat to give me his stock response: “But dad, there is no God!”

I can’t work out if he is a genuine atheist or merely using it to get away with heinous acts of depravity. Anyway, there seems little point in stopping first cousins from getting jiggy on the grounds of morality when our leaders are sloshing around knee-deep in whores and blood money.

I decided to take them to Mtunzini in the hope that the sounds of the forest would drown out the stampeding of their pheroponies. I remain the sole responsible adult after Brenda went off three months ago to find herself (she should try looking up her ass).

Mtunzini is a quirky little town full of reclusive hippies, itinerant zebras, unmarried mothers and snaggle-toothed hillbillies. It lurks damply just south of Richards Bay and it’s about to get a whole lot quirkier thanks to a mining company called Exxaro KZN Sands/Tronox.

The forests and wetlands of neighbouring Fairbreeze contain noo-noos who care very little for the economy of this great country. They also contain titanium. Frogs are less important than titanium so the trees must be cut down and the dunes torn up. Anyone who has ever tried to build a jet fighter out of frogs will know this is the way it should be.

Approaching Mtunzini, Roxanne sighed deeply and remarked on the primordial power of the dune forests. Apparently this is how herpetologists talk. I told her to take a good look because the next time she comes this way, she’ll be looking at giant toxic slimes dams and a landscape bleaker than the dark side of the moon.

Tears welled up in her big blue eyes. Clive consoled her by putting his hand up her skirt. That’s my boy.

Being a sensitive man, I didn’t mention that the opening of a new mine meant the Chinese wouldn’t be far behind with takeaways along the N2 selling fish-eagle-cakes, sweet-and-sour blue duiker and bushpig-on-a-stick.

The Umlalazi Resort isn’t really a resort. A proper resort has strip bingo and pool tables and a man who sells drugs to the needy. Umlalazi has a riverboat moored in the parking lot that looks like it detonated a floating mine. That’s about it as far as entertainment goes. There are also millions of fiddler crabs, which aren’t as much fun as they sound, and the allegedly endangered Pickersgill’s reed frog, which is no fun at all.

I suppose one could have a swim in the river, assuming one doesn’t mind being bitten in half by a hippo and then having a crocodile use one’s spine as a toothpick. Failing that, there’s always a romantic evening around the fire inhaling mosquito repellent and biting pepper ticks off each other’s faces.

Or you could try identifying the birds, one of which makes the delightful sound of an infant being dangled in boiling water.

Leaking hormones, Clive and Roxanne wandered off to photograph “the wildlife”, leaving me alone on the veranda of the log cabin.

I stared into the forest wondering what was the point of trees. All they seem to do is stand there swaying in the wind and randomly waving their limbs. A bit like car guards, really. I should probably tip them when I leave.

A tiny antelope stepped daintily out of the forest and into a clearing. It twitched its nose and wagged its silly little tail and looked at me with big doe eyes. It is moments such as these that inspire poets to dash off a few stanzas before dipping into the morphine. All it did was make me feel hungry so I got into the car and dashed off to the Spar for a chicken pie.

Later, I combined the two events and wrote an Ode to the Antelope Pie. After using pope, dope, lie and cry, I ran out of rhyming couplets and went to bed.

The next morning I went looking for palmnut vultures, billed as one of the rarest birds in South Africa. The problem with rare things is that you never actually see them.

After staring up at a bunch of huge raffia palms for at least five minutes, I saw nothing other than tiny pinpricks of light followed by darkness and a sudden falling to the ground.

How do I know the palmnut vulture even exists? I can also go around telling people about the incredibly rare tree-climbing spider-dog that spins webs and barks only when there is nobody around to hear it.

When we left I cast an eye over the inventory to make sure the kids hadn’t stolen anything. One of the items was “whiskey”. I peeled Clive off his cousin and threatened to put his fingers in the toaster unless he confessed. He said God didn’t exist and demanded to be set free. When that didn’t work, he claimed not to have seen any whiskey in the cabin and said he thought it was meant to be “whisk”. I found it highly unlikely that an organisation as efficient as Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife would make such a horrific error.

I released him and he scuttled off in tears. Later I saw Roxanne helping to stifle his sobs by putting her tongue in his mouth. What a selfless girl she’s turned out to be.

I haven’t told Clive, but I subsequently found these items on the inventory. Egg bitter. Braai tooke. Five peace calving set.

And we wonder why they can’t keep their rhinos alive.

The Lighter Side Of Incest

Brenda’s 17-year-old niece, Roxanne, has arrived from Namibia. The last time I saw her, she had adorable blonde curls and was clutching a yellow teddy to her chest.

On Friday afternoon she alighted from the Mainliner bus at Cape Town station wearing a skin-tight purple halter-neck top, a pair of stiletto heels and a scrap of cloth that the southeaster had blown up against her hips. She had pink hair and was clutching a half-jack of vodka to her chest.

Brenda shrieked with joy. I shrieked with horror. Clive shrieked with unmitigated adolescent lust.

By the time I got her back to the car, a bidding war had broken out between a gang of Nigerian crack dealers and the Congolese beaded wire cartel. Lagos Larry was offering 50 000 naira while Kinshasa Ken guaranteed her free French lessons and a position as Joseph Kabila’s number two concubine.

It was a difficult choice and I started haggling but Brenda hooked her talons into my pants pocket and dragged me away while threatening to report them to home affairs. They were still laughing when we drove away.

Clive passed his final Rorschach exam at the institute a couple of weeks ago and, until Roxanne arrived, was planning on leaving home to embark on his career. He said he wanted to be a neurosurgeon and insisted on getting started right away. I gently removed the electric carving knife from his trembling hands and tried to talk him out of it by promising to get him an oxyacetylene torch for Christmas.

I sat him down and told him about the fascinating world of welding and explained that cutting and splicing large chunks of scrap metal was far more rewarding than cutting and splicing silly little neurons. Besides, neurosurgeons don’t make showers of gold and silver sparks when they work. Welders get to wear overalls and Darth Vader helmets. Neurosurgeons wear girly little masks and gowns. When welders screw up, their mistakes can be sold to the Kalk Bay hippies as avante garde objects d’art. When neurosurgeons screw up, their mistakes go off and join the Freedom Front.

I needn’t have bothered, really. Clive said that while he couldn’t wait to start welding, he wanted to get to know Roxanne a little better.

I tried to encourage him to move out of the house at once but Brenda intercepted us at the front door and sunk her teeth into the fleshy part of my hand, forcing me to let go of his throat. This allowed him to escape upstairs where he quickly moved his mattress into Roxanne’s room and locked the door.

I shouted to her to remain calm and set about kicking in the door with the one leg that Brenda wasn’t clinging to. When I finally broke through, Clive was down to his scants and on his knees. Roxanne was applying glitter gel to his quivering lips. She looked at me with big blue eyes and told me that this kind of thing goes on all the time in Windhoek. “It’s under control,” she said.

Even Brenda seemed taken aback. I dragged my aberrant loinfruit from the room, kicking and screaming and protesting that Roxanne was his first cousin. I bit him hard on the ear and told him that your first cousin is not the same as your first joint or your first assault charge or any of the other rites of passage that boys must undergo before they become men.

Like a dog reluctantly accepting that it is not yet strong enough to challenge the alpha male, Clive rubbed his ear and settled down after that.

He apologised and asked if he could still get an oxyamphetamine torch for Christmas. I laughed and was on the point of correcting him when I realised what a great invention that would be.

I pushed him into his room, bolted the door and ran for my computer to see if anyone had come up with a device that could provide a rush of oxygen powerful enough to counter the effect of amphetamines depleting the neuronal stores of dopamine in the mesolimbic pleasure centres of the brain. It was no good. Everything I punched in took me to sites that offered to show me pictures of Britney Spears with no broeks on.

I can barely look at Britney Spears fully clothed without wanting to tear my teeth out, and the prospect of seeing her fanny alfresco caused me to pour a whisky strong enough to make a grown man drunk.

The rest of the weekend was spent trying to get Roxanne to dress in something less likely to attract the attention of the white slave traders of Sea Point, and to get Clive to dress in something more likely to repel the rear admirals who have been scouring the city for husbands ever since the Constitutional Court struck down Leviticus 20:13 (King James Version).

There are still three weeks to go before Roxanne returns to the land that God would have made in anger if he hadn’t lost interest and moved to Somalia. Her blood runs with the wild horses of the Namib and the house vibrates with stampeding pheroponies.

For the first time in my life, I am afraid.


Doping Scandal At The Fish Hoek Olympics

In my part of the country, the coldest day of the year fell on Women’s Day. I will refrain from drawing any inferences.

Being sensitive to gender issues, I thought it might be a good idea to help Brenda thaw out by staging our own suburban Olympic Games.

I rang up Ted for some ideas and straight away he said we should give Gina a call. He described her as a fiery redhead who apparently does Greek, which fitted in perfectly with the whole Athens thing.

When I asked Ted if she could speak English, he said he wasn’t sure but the advert said she was “a totally inhabited lady”. Brenda also has that lived-in manner about her, so I told Ted to invite her to join us.

The boy, Clive, volunteered to make a replica of the Parthenon using bricks from the back wall of the police station down the road. Okay, that’s not strictly true. He never volunteered. I told him I would burn his favourite skirt and make him listen to Leonard Cohen if he didn’t cooperate.

While the brat was busy, I nipped out to buy the ingredients for a typical Greek lunch. When I got back, Brenda shouted at me and said there was no room in the fridge for 15 litres of ouzo and a small tin of olives.

Because it was Women’s Day, I let her go off at me for longer than usual before coming at her with the sharp end of the broom.

Using some sort of Tai Chi manoeuver, which I had never seen before, she brushed the weapon aside and was about to sink her teeth into my face when Ted arrived with Gina. She looked more lower Sea Point than upper Plaka.

Clive said his Parthenon would never be ready in time for the opening ceremony, which I thought was an authentically Greek touch, so I gave him a bottle of ouzo and sent him to his room.

Gina checked her watch and said her rate was R500 per hour or part thereof. There had obviously been some sort of misunderstanding, so Ted took her to the spare bedroom to fully explain the significance of Women’s Day.

Ten minutes later I heard the front door slam and Ted returned alone. He was having some difficulty walking and refused the offer of a chair. This was just as well because there is no time to sit when the Fish Hoek Olympics are underway.

The first event was an ouzo-drinking competition. It was declared a draw because nobody gave any indication they would stop. Ever.

The second event was golf. Brenda snorted like a sick animal and said golf was not an Olympic sport. I tried to correct her but she parried effortlessly and replied with a thrust to the solar pexus that left me winded.

Since it was Women’s Day, I resisted the temptation to launch a counter-attack and instead took Ted out on to my verandah overlooking False Bay.

By a stroke of good fortune, three medium-sized southern right whales were lolling about within range of my tungsten steel driver. Ted got seven points for hitting two of them, but I took gold by getting a hole-in-one.

Ted tried to argue, claiming that a whale’s blowhole was smaller than a golf ball and that a hole-in-one was technically impossible. I called him a lying dog and the mood turned ugly.

Demanding that I take a drug test, Ted ordered me to urinate into a cup. I was still sorting out my aim when the newly-wed Jehovah’s Witness couple from across the road came over to complain about the noise. I thought we were under terrorist attack and grabbed Brenda from behind. Using her as a human shield, I worked my way towards the kitchen where the machete is kept.

With an overpowering stench of aniseed pouring from his mouth, Ted announced that the archery event was about to begin. He lunged for my loaded speargun and, in the true pagan spirit of the Olympics, advanced on the Jehovah’s Witnesses but then went and disqualified himself by shooting before they had a chance to run.

The rules of this event were clear – the target must be moving at all times. As it happened, Ted missed by a few centimetres. By the time I had released Brenda and reloaded, the happy couple was safely home scanning back copies of The Watchtower to check if what they had just encountered marked the beginning of the end of the present system of world government.

I doubt that it did, but it certainly marked the beginning of the end of my friendship with Ted. The booze-addled heretic decided that the only thing missing was an Olympic flame, so he set fire to Brenda’s collector’s edition of Soldier of Fortune magazine and ran through the house shouting in fluent gibberish.

Once the smoke had cleared and the cat had been extinguished, Brenda cracked a fresh bottle of ouzo and said she had an idea for a new event. Despite being severely incapacitated, Ted and I rounded as one.

We reminded her that, for thousands of years, women had not been allowed to participate in the Olympics. Athletic training takes up a tremendous amount of time and the Greeks understood better than most that if women were allowed to take part, somewhere there would be men going without food or sex.

However, Ted and I agreed that as it was Women’s Day, we would make a special exception and allow Brenda to compete in the Striving for a Non-Sexist Society event.

For her to win, she had to convince us in thirty seconds why she should not go to the kitchen and make a round of toasted bacon and peanut butter sandwiches.

It was close, but she had to make do with bronze. Ted took silver and passed out. I’m still waiting for my medal.

And my sandwich.

Sea Point Promenade Is Hell On Wheels

Last weekend I was beginning to think there was nothing worth living for when it suddenly occurred to me that Monday marked the start of Transport Month.

Oh, what joy! Hurrah! Hurrah!

A chorus of angels sounded their trumpets, or whatever it is that angels play, and a squirrel darted through an open window and handed me a nut.

With a new lease on life, I sang like no one was listening and danced like no one was watching. It’s easy when you live alone. Startled, the squirrel ran across the road and got hit by a bus. It somehow seemed fitting, coming as it did at the start of Transport Month.

I refuse to let a bunch of surly mother-truckers spoil my mood with their selfish striking ways, clumsy dance moves and penchant for random homicides. This should be a happy time for all drivers, black or white, drunk or sober.

October is like Christmas for truckers because, after all, is not Santa Claus himself in the transport business? Yes, he is. And does he ever go on strike? Well, he did at my house. Three years in a row. Bastard.

Each province is celebrating Transport Month in its own unique way. In the Northern Cape, long-distance drivers have elected to wear condoms while entertaining their teenage guests in the tastefully decorated cubicles conveniently located behind the front seats.

In Gauteng, the Bombela Concession Company is allowing non-gay married couples to have a maximum of three minutes of sexual activity on the Gautrain. However, the chewing of gum will remain a criminal offence.

In the Eastern Cape, traffic police are waiving their usual Friday afternoon cash donations and will be accepting gifts of small livestock instead. If all you have on you is a sheep or a cow, the officer will, in keeping with the spirit of Transport Month, issue you with a chicken in lieu of change.

In Limpopo, truck drivers are being encouraged to enter win-a-tender raffles at the province’s many stop/go roadworks. With waits of up to three hours, ordinary motorists are invited to participate in the festivities by putting money into a hessian sack. The more you give to the Julius Malema Defence Fund, the more chance there is of getting to Polokwane alive. Fun for the whole family!

In KwaZulu-Natal, prizes will be given to truck drivers who can keep up with King Goodwill Zwelithini as he races between five star hotels and his palaces. In a gesture of, er, goodwill, the king has agreed to forfeit his regular blue lights, sirens and escorts. Instead, he will travel by helicopter. The first driver who beats the king to his secret destination will be taken away and questioned.

The Free State transport department will place koeksusters and nips of brandy along the N1. The first 500 truck drivers to make their way out of the province will be given assistance in emigrating. This is open to white truck drivers only. Black truck drivers can continue doing whatever they like.

And in the Western Cape, Her Royal Highness, Helen Zille, has decreed that the Sea Point promenade shall be opened to cyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers and other assorted riff-raff.

Previously, use of the promenade was restricted to wheelchairs, walkers, pram-pushers and drug-pushers who may well have been on wheels judging by the speed at which they disappeared on the rare occasion that a policeman hove into sight. Maybe that’s just how the Nigerians roll.

Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater (in terms of incongruity, a poor second to Durban’s parks, recreation and cemeteries), said the move is part of the city’s efforts to “build an inclusive city”. Luckily, this excludes those who might otherwise spoil the whole inclusivity vibe for the rest of us. In other words, those who cannot afford a square meal, let alone a skateboard. And even if they could, they are so full of TB and tik that they wouldn’t make it to the edge of the Cape Flats, let alone all the way to Sea Point.

You’re not a proper Capetonian unless you use a bicycle like you use your drugs – for recreational purposes only. A drug stops being recreational when the gentleman to your left stabs you in the face because you didn’t leave any for him. This hardly ever happens in Constantia.

Releasing a statement into the wild, Herron said: “We will be monitoring the situation very closely during the trial phase. However, I am confident that the experience will allow us to overcome some of our misperceptions and prejudices around users of alternative transport methods, also known as Active Mobility.” What? This is how lawyers talk. I am astounded by the … oh, he is a lawyer. By the way, there is no such word as “misperception”.

Herron assures us that this revolutionary step, taking the DA even closer to governing the country, has the full backing of the Sea Point Residents’ Association. Without their approval, nothing but the sun goes down in Sea Point.

The accountants, attorneys, stockbrokers, human traffickers, crack whores, pimps and paedophiles are hostage to the whims of the association. Mossad takes instructions from them. They have access to an arsenal of weapons ranging from fragmentation bagels to self-detonating seagulls.

I’m serious. You trifle with the Sea Point Residents’ Association at your peril.

Herron points out that this is not an invitation to professional cyclists. That’s where he is wrong. If you’re training for the Tour de France on the Sea Point promenade, then you’re doing the right kind of drugs and deserve to be there. Anyway, I’d far rather they were on the prom than clogging up Chapman’s Peak or titillating the Camps Bay rent boys with their shrieking Spandex shorts and ululating calf muscles.

Herron also says skateboarding tricks will be frowned upon. So, kids, no turning pensioners into skateboards. The same goes for rollerblades. They are to be used for “leisurely transportation purposes”.

The DA simply cannot bring itself to use the f-word. Fun. And a good thing it is, too. Fun leads to early pregnancies, school dropouts, higher unemployment, service delivery protests, famine, madness and death. Somalia used to be a fun place. Look at it today.

Herron says: “We have consulted local representatives for the various types of non-motorised transport, who have offered to launch Twitter and Facebook campaigns to remind their members of the basic rules of etiquette expected from Active Mobility users on the promenade.”

Translation: “We made a skyf with a couple of okes with dreads and they said they’d hit the web and choon their chommies to chill on the strip.”

I do so enjoy it when white politicians talk of the basic rules of etiquette. It reminds me of Kenya before the Mau Mau came along and ruined everything.

We all need distractions from the murder and mayhem of everyday life, and it matters not whether it comes from the Fish Hoek Croquet Club or a gentle non-threatening perambulation along the Sea Point prom of a Sunday afternoon.

Herron also said that flooding the area with cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers would “have a slowing down effect on the general speed of traffic”. Indeed it would. The city has already tried traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, bergies and speed bumps. So why not try Active Mobility practitioners?

Nothing discourages speeding more than a stream of ambulances racing back and forth between Mouille Point and Bantry Bay.

The new signs going up on the promenade depict three figures engaged in Active Mobility. All, apart from cycling, are known as gateway pastimes that lead to far more dangerous activities such as unprotected sex, intravenous drug use and voting.

I congratulate the DA on taking this courageous step. And, when Transport Month is over and the smouldering wreckage has been removed, I will applaud them for returning the promenade to its rightful owners – decent Yahweh-fearing folk who seem harmless enough but who, if provoked, will not hesitate to call in an Israeli airstrike at the push of a panic button.

Application For The Post Of CEO Of Armscor

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was alarmed to learn that Armscor does not currently have anyone in charge. With no pilots to fly the Gripens and our submarines up on bricks, our flanks are vulnerable to warmongering nations like Lesotho. There is already ominous assegai-rattling coming from Swaziland. As you know, their lunatic king is claiming a chunk of KwaZulu-Natal all the way down to the coast on the grounds that every country deserves a harbour.

But it is not only beyond the fringe where danger lurks. Our security forces must also be fully equipped and capable of subduing an increasingly violent section of our population. Their mood is ugly and right now they pose the biggest threat to this country’s internal stability.

I am talking about our police force.

With apparent free license to go on strike, form death squads or open fire on ordinary civilians, our men and women in blue are the new Tonton Macoutes.

Have you seen what is happening in Durban? The metro police have taken over the city and are running amok in the streets while the council cowers in its well-feathered nest. My first act as CEO of Armscor will be to despatch air and ground forces to eThekwini to help these officers understand, in the language of Rooivalk attack helicopters and G6 cannons, that their job is to maintain law and order.

Please inform the minister of defence that, in future, these decisions will be made by me. We cannot leave such critical matters in the hands of a woman. I am not being sexist (some of my best friends are transgendered bisexual paraphiliacs) but whether it’s quelling a civil insurrection or dressing for dinner, she is going to take forever to get ready. Our enemies will capitalise on this.

You fail to mention how much the position pays, but I am not a greedy man and will settle for half a million rand a month. I do not expect a company car. However, I will be needing a modified Centurion tank with a built-in bar fridge, water bed and three-person jacuzzi. And a stripper’s pole. And maybe a disco ball. War is hell and one must keep one’s spirits up.

You mention in the ad that you are looking for a visionary leader. In that case, you will be happy to know that visions are the one thing I have plenty of. Especially around 3am on a Sunday morning when the absinthe is finished and the goats have gone to bed. Admittedly, some of my visions are a little on the unrealistic side, but there is one that involves jet-propelled statues of the Virgin Mary fitted with concealed anthrax dispensers that I will discuss in greater detail with my team.

You say a strong political and commercial awareness is essential. I presume that means you don’t want some DA-supporting idiot who is going to be suckered into buying Uzis from Israel at a million shekels a piece.

Acquiring cheap weapons from the right sort of people will not be a problem for me. This is South Africa. I was in a shebeen the other day and the owner asked if I wanted a piece of artillery with my Black Label. It would have been rude to say no.

Having said that, I don’t think we should be fiddling about with conventional weapons. We are neither a conventional country, nor do we have a conventional government.

Until the exploding Virgin Marys are ready, we need to concentrate on our nuclear capability. Obviously I’m not talking Fat Man and Little Boy, here. I’m talking about pocket nukes, small enough to be fired with catapults at targets big enough to warrant that kind of lesson. Take Julius Malema, for example. Drop a very small atomic bomb down his trousers and he will be a changed person, I guarantee it.

I will also personally supervise the production of Agent Orange, except I will change it to blue because orange is gay. This fabulously toxic defoliant worked wonders for the Americans in Vietnam and there is no reason it won’t work when it comes to flushing no-good hippies out of the Knysna forest.

Your ad says you are looking for a person of influence boasting excellent communication skills. While I think boasting is vulgar, I should point out that I certainly know a thing or two about influence. When it comes to convincing people to agree with my point of view, I employ a combination of methods used by the legendary Dale Carnegie and Francesco “The Beast” Matrone of the Camorra group, masters of persuasion in their own right.

As for communication skills, well, I have always found that shouting and slapping are the most effective tools when it comes to getting one’s message across.

Since there is no reason not to believe the job is mine, you might as well begin refurbishing my office. Please model it on the Centurion tank I mentioned earlier.

You may also go ahead and hire a team of crack sangomas. Let us be clear on this. I do not want to get there and find the building overrun with sangomas on crack.

Why sangomas, you ask? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it. Don’t make me slap you. All but 34 of the striking mine workers at Marikana used muti before the police got medieval on their asses. This stuff clearly works. With our best and brightest sangomas working for Armscor, our troops will no longer need body armour. That’s a huge saving right there. We won’t be manufacturing armoured vehicles, either. Second-hand Toyotas and VW Jettas, painted with muti, will be indestructible in battle. Europe will be ours by Christmas.

You say a Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement? This is fantastic. I have spent most of my life as a bachelor and know all the tricks of the trade. I can’t imagine, though, why the head of Armscor would need to know how to maintain seven girlfriends without them finding out about each other.

I also have top security clearance from my wife, Brenda. She says I can’t remember anything as a result of years of alcohol abuse. I’m sure you agree this would be useful should I ever be tortured by foreign agents. In fact, in the morning I probably won’t even remember applying for this job.

A last request. I cannot relocate to Pretoria because I am allergic to the pollen and the people. Armscor will have to relocate to Umdloti. I will make space in the spare room.

Looking forward to contributing to the destruction of the human race!