Jingle Hells

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 normally suggest you encourage him to consider pickpocketing as a career choice, but with a pair of nimble fingers he could certainly help bring in some extra beer money.

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 daughter who is older than 13, you will know despair. In truckloads. But if she is very young – six or seven is good – 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.

He will encourage your daughter to sit on his knee and tell him what she wants for Christmas. Before she does this, whisper 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 all 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 actually 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 among all the other whiteys on uShaka beach. Too much of irony, my bru.

Children also like to be taken to casinos. They might say they don’t but they are lying through their filthy 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 are also popular among the kids. When my loinfruit 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’s watching a chimpanzee playing on a tyre swing or daddy haggling with a black-hearted harridan whose name clearly isn’t Jasmine. It’s all educational.

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 mathematics. 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.

 

Relax, officer

’Tis almost the season to be jolly. Jolly careful. There are people out there determined to get us locked up over the festive season. Family, for a start. There’s always one asshole relative who insists on pushing our buttons until we lunge across the dinner table and club him to death with a chicken drumstick.

Should you be driven to this point, it’s likely that you will be filled with spirits stronger than the Christmas one. Even an attempted homicide generally requires a liberal application of the old social lubricant. If it weren’t for alcohol, we would all meekly go along with tradition and kiss rather than stab our racist cousins under the mistletoe.

In South Africa, as in most parts of the Christian world, we drink to celebrate Christmas. It’s what Jesus would have wanted. He did, after all, turn water into wine when the liquor ran out at a wedding in Galilee. This was his first public miracle and, quite frankly, I don’t know why he even bothered with the other six. You turn water into wine, you’ll have to get a restraining order to stop me from following you. I suppose it was also a nice gesture to heal the paralytic at Bethesda. Did he do the wine trick there, too? Quite possibly. I get very paralytic on wine but then have to heal myself. Jesus is never there when I need him.

Today there is always plenty of wine at weddings and everyone gets thoroughly trashed to commemorate his miracle on that hot summer’s day in the unoccupied territories. The heathens don’t care much for miracles and only join in because the liquor is free. In the end it all works out and everyone goes home happy.

Oh, wait. Not in Cape Town, they don’t. This is a city that goes the extra mile to ensure we spend a night or three on a horsehair mattress in a filthy cell rather than our own bedroom.

There is no mention in the Bible of a single wedding guest getting bust at a roadblock in Galilee, even though the cops must have got wind that someone was turning water into wine. If the DA had been in charge of the city, Jesus himself might have spent the night behind bars.

I have never been done for DUI. Have I driven over the legal limit? Of course I have. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. Virtually every car you see parked outside a bar, restaurant or club will later that evening be driven by someone over the limit. Sure, there might be one or two designated drivers among the crowd, but these are like unicorns.

It is the job of the barman to keep serving you alcohol even as it leaks from every orifice in your body, which makes no sense when you consider that it takes just two beers to put you over the limit. I need two beers just to get out of bed in the afternoon. Not really. My point is that the city of Cape Town’s obsession with roadblocks is ruining our social lives. Everyone is too terrified to go out at night for fear of ending up with a criminal record or having their bottom interfered with by a fighting general in the 28s.

Thanks to the police, it’s just not safe to be on the roads at night.

99.9% of people who regularly drive after a few social drinks manage to do so without veering into oncoming traffic or slamming into a lamppost. They might be breaking the law, but they get home quite safely without endangering their or anyone else’s life. And they have been doing it for years.

In Britain and America, police generally need a reasonable suspicion to suspect a driver is intoxicated before requesting a breath test. In many countries you’re given three tests, including standing on one leg and walking heel to toe in a straight line. If you fail all three, you get breathalysed. Fair enough. We don’t get that option here. I might be marginally over the limit, but if I can close my eyes and touch my nose or the cop’s nose or any other body part of his choosing, followed by an arabesque and two grand jetés on the white line, I should be allowed to proceed unhindered.

In the US, thirteen states currently disallow sobriety checkpoints while others require police to provide advance warning of any checkpoints that are planned. That’s right. They have to take out notices in local newspapers notifying people where and when the roadblocks will happen.

Look, I’m not endorsing drunk driving, but I am asking the law to be a little more flexible when it comes to ever-so-slightly-tipsy driving. Nail the heavily wasted, by all means, but stop ruining the lives of the lightly euphoric.

If things carry on as they are, we might as well move to Saudi Arabia.

Or, worse, Australia.

 

An open letter to the president of Egypt #LegsMustFall

Dear President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,

Well done on your impeccable taste in chief prosecutors. When your top man decided to put that brazen hussy Rania Youssef on trial, I threw a spontaneous Egyptian-themed party in your country’s honour. It got a bit untidy around midnight when a pyramid we’d built out of beer bottles collapsed and one of my guests lost an eye while trying to mummify the cat. This probably happens all the time at your house, right?

I, along with every other decent God-fearing man in the civilized world, was shocked to see what Youssef wore at the closing ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival. I have studied that photograph many times and each time I grow a little bit more aroused … I beg your pardon, shocked.

That dress was so revealing that I could see her legs. Her legs! Egypt cannot afford to allow harlotry on this scale. It starts with legs and ends with the fall of Rome. History is littered with civilisations that have fallen because women were allowed to reveal their legs in public places.

Quite frankly, the idea that women even have legs does not bear thinking about. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is the legs themselves that are at fault. If these shameless limbs did not exist in the first place, we would not be experiencing this crisis. Even if women wear dresses that reach the floor, we are still painfully aware that legs are being concealed.

The solution is obvious. When a girl reaches a certain age, she must have her legs removed. She could keep them during her school years because we need our children to bring us beer and hash pipes. After that, though, it’s off with the legs.

Where do you stand on arms and hands? They, too, can be very provocative. Especially when they are not being used in the service of men. Idle arms are the devil’s handiwork. I say cover them up or lose them.

Of course, having a population of women with no arms or legs presents its own set of problems. They are going to have go out on trolleys when they do the shopping. Who will pull these trolleys? Not us men, that’s for sure. Perhaps they could have little engines mounted on the back. No, that would be tantamount to allowing them to drive. Next thing you know, you’re following in the footsteps of that liberal, backsliding nation Saudi Arabia.

So the charge against the Youssef strumpet is one of “inciting debauchery”. Are you sure this goes far enough? What is the sentence for a crime of that nature? Probably little more than a light stoning. You might want to consider adding a charge of treason. Maybe even murder. Sure, she hasn’t killed anyone yet, but with all that wanton flashing of legs it’s only a matter of time before someone dies.

Besides, men are very easily incited to debauchery and it is not our fault. As the famous faith healer Lady Gaga said, we were born that way. I personally can’t even look at a table leg without my loins stirring. I assume people in Egypt are expected to cover up their table legs. It seems the right thing to do.

Flowers should also be banned. I suffer the most embarrassing reaction if I happen to catch sight of an orchid with its soft petals and dewy inner … excuse me, I have to go and lie down for a bit.

Okay, that’s better. So this nymphomaniac is an actor? That is no excuse. Thank goodness the Egyptian Actors Guild has said it will discipline anyone who wore attire that clashed with the “traditions, values and ethics of society”. The last thing you want is an organisation that represents artists to start defending the creative and personal freedom of artists.

I am sure your chief prosecutor is a competent man. Unlike our former chief, who was known as Shaun the Sheep although his mother called him Little Penguin, but the less said about him the better.

Fortunately there are legal precedents for a tough sentence. As you know, Laila Amer was sent to jail for two years for appearing in a risqué music video while Sherine Abdel-Wahab got six months for telling a joke about the Nile River. This latest Jezebel should get fifty years at least. Failing which, send her to me. I’ll show her a thing or two.

Anyway, best of luck with your efforts to return Egypt to the glory days of the 7th century. Those were the days, my friend.

Yours in the fight against legs,

Mustafa Ben Trovato

 

Shedding loads and spreading lies

Eskom has been fucking with us for years and there’s no end in sight. Here’s a letter I wrote to the boss of the power utility in 2011. This was before the Guptas even got their claws into it.

 

Dear Sir,

This is the fourth time I am writing this letter to you. The first three times you turned the power off before I could press save. I was angry before. I am now incensed.

I live in Cape Town, supposedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but what the hell good does that do when I can’t see anything for most of the time? Oh, sure, the sun still works, but how much longer can it be before you find a way to switch that off too?

The first time Eskom plunged the province into darkness, you kept very quiet and hoped nobody had noticed. Truth is, we weren’t too bothered. Unless you were on a life support machine. But it was a novelty. The power cut forced married couples to go to bed early where, without the option of reading or television, they were left with no alternative but to have sex. Apparently this helps to keep couples together. Or at least from killing each other.

Then you turned the power off several more times over the next few weeks. Suddenly it wasn’t such fun. Weeping women, saturated with sex, begged their husbands to sell up and emigrate to a country with electricity.

People began going hungry, fridges defrosted, beers got warm. The only thing moving in the streets were four men on horseback riding from town to town shouting in what sounded like Aramaic.

You, in the meantime, denied that anything was wrong. “Relax,” you said. “Everything’s under control.” The rolling blackouts got worse. Suburb after suburb, town after town, became engulfed in darkness.

Your men in suits went into a huddle. “The masses are revolting. What are we going to call this thing?” A middle-ranking executive blew his chances of ever getting promoted by replying: “An unmitigated fucking disaster?” But the truth is not something to be bandied about at times like these, is it?

“Let’s call it load shedding,” you said brightly. “That makes it sound like we are getting rid of something that we have too much of. People will want to thank us.”

Apparently not, though. Instead, people wanted to hunt you down and ram a syringe full of sodium pentathol, or any kind of truth serum, into your fat lying capitalist arse.

Once the ANC had pointed out that your incompetence was going to lose them control of Cape Town, which it subsequently did, you said sorry in a very small voice and pretended to cry.

The then public enterprises minister, Alec Erwin, felt so bad for you that he made up a story about a bunch of imaginary warlocks throwing a bolt into one of the Koeberg nuclear power station’s generators, damaging a rotor and causing a serious power shortfall in the Western Cape.

Since Koeberg is your baby, and a potentially lethal one at that, the last thing you wanted was the government suggesting that just anyone could walk up to the facility and gain entrance by scaling a wall. Oops, sorry, Greenpeace already did that several years ago.

So you dismissed Erwin’s claim. Erwin, under the mistaken impression that you were right behind him, quickly denied ever mentioning the word “sabotage” or even knowing where Koeberg was. “Look,” said Erwin, “I don’t even use electricity. I’m a gas man, myself.”

So not only were we surviving on tins of baked beans heated over cheap candles, but we now also knew that our shivering bodies could be incinerated in a boiling tsunami of radioactive particles at any moment.

Then, once businesses hit the magical mark of R500-million in losses, you began publishing a load shedding schedule in the local newspapers. But even then, you never lost your keen sense of humour. I bet you found it hard to stifle a giggle when you tricked people into thinking that they would be without power from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday, only for the lights to go out from 7pm to midnight on Thursday. You did this, with a twinkle in your eye, in towns around the Western Cape. And sometimes even in the Northern Cape, although it’s not quite as much of a laugh for you because the folk in Kimberley don’t even notice these things.

Sometimes, in the middle of a spot of load shedding, you would switch the power back on and then, a few seconds later, turn it off. What’s the point of earning R13-million a year if you can’t have a bit of fun? If you have the ability to make millions of people go “yay!” and, moments later, “fuuuck!” in perfect synchronisation, then you should go right ahead and do it. I know I would.

In the unlikely event that you decide to do the decent thing and resign, I would like to be the first to propose that Homer Simpson takes your place. He has worked at the Springfield Nuclear Power Station and will cause far less mayhem than you already have.

Apart from the loose bolt, short circuits caused by mist and soot, an unusually high tide at Llandudno beach and the gay pride parade, the power crisis is the result of you believing in 1998 (accurately, as it turned out), that South Africa was doomed to become just another corrupt debt-ridden crime-ravaged basket case and consequently there was no point in maintaining your power stations or even building new ones because they would just be taken over by squatters or stripped down and sold on the black market.

In the intervening years the population has grown and a lot more boys have reached drinking age. More shebeens means more fridges to keep more beers cold. Now there is simply not enough electricity to keep all those new fridges running. This is how countries descend into civil war.

Now you are asking us to help you by bathing in cold water, cooking over primus stoves, washing our clothes in the river and eating by candlelight. It’s fine for the majority, but we white folk are simply not accustomed to this lifestyle.

Vote Homer Simpson.

Yours truly,

Ben Trovato

 

The art of venturing into personal space

American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson issued a statement yesterday in response to several accusations of sexual misconduct.

Referring to a 2009 incident in which a woman accused him of groping her, he explained that she had a tattoo of the solar system extending up her arm and that he had merely been “searching for Pluto”.

Men who find themselves similarly overcome with what the scientist described as “planetary enthusiasm” are advised to make their exploratory intentions clear.

An appropriate approach would, for instance, be: “Excuse me, miss, would you mind raising your skirt so that I may conduct a brief search for Pluto?”

 

Rage, rage against the partying of the lighties

After hearing about the Matric Rage going down this weekend, I knew right away I had to be part of it. When I finished school, we didn’t have such a thing. On the last day of school, our teachers gave us a final farewell beating and sent us home to be beaten by our parents who sent us to the army to be beaten by our corporals. Good times.

I am delighted to see that school-leavers are finally venting their rage. They must be full of it. Rage against a derelict education system that left them ill-equipped for life on the outside. Rage against the puritanical purveyors of pedagogy who denied them the opportunity to experiment with sex and drugs and other essential rites of passage during break time. Rage against the parentals – against tyrannical fathers who maintain their tight-fisted grip on power by controlling the cash flow and cosseting mothers who merely extend instead of sever the apron strings. And, more than anything, rage against a government that has pocketed their inheritance and kicked them in the teeth.

I, too, am filled with unrequited rage and shall be expressing it at Plettenberg Bay. To be sure, I would rather have been at the Ballito Rage or the Umhlanga Rage because the constabulary in that region is a lot more laissez-faire and the weed is of a better quality. However, the holiday from hell is drawing to a close and I will be nearer to the Plett Rage. Since I am passing through the Transkei, perhaps I shall purchase several kilos of primo from one of the mendicant vendors who traverse those dusty boulevards and share it among my fellow ragers. On the other hand, perhaps not. There is nothing that dispels a good head of rage more than a good head of Transkei rooibaard.

During my research, I came across a rage page on the internet. Instead of extending an open invitation to anyone with rage bubbling in their hearts, it said quite the opposite. “To attend you have to have finished school and be no older than 25.” What? For a start, it was school that damn near finished me. And while my behaviour frequently exhibits tendencies that fall squarely into the realm of the juvenile delinquent, my well-travelled face will betray me when it comes time to demand entrance to this elitist, ageist gathering of the doomed.

The website promised bands, DJs and “beach activities”. You can keep your bands and your DJs. I want to be part of the beach activities. No. I want to spearhead the beach activities. American troops pulled it off nicely at the Omaha Beach Party in 1944, even though several thousand died at the after party. Since then, security has improved considerably and I expect fewer casualties at the Plett Rage.

In fact, ragers were reassured that an experienced security team “with close ties to the local law enforcement” would be on hand. Yes, this is exactly what rampaging mobs of pheromone-crazed teenagers want – surly bouncers on braaing terms with the local cops trailing them through the vomit-stained streets and breaking their legs whenever they showed signs of over-excitement.

The site also provided this coded message to ragers: ‘As you embark on your road trip to the paradise of Plett, say goodbye to exams, stress and deadlines and say hello to freedom!”

It must be code because if Plett is paradise, give me hell any day. As for entering a shiny new stress-free world full of fabulousness and frilly cocktails, well, I hate to pour acid rain on your dreams, but the best you can hope for is the chance to sign on the dotted line and work for fifty years.

And that’s if you’re lucky.

Get insurance against the insurers

Dear Comrade Johann Le Roux, CEO of Momentum Life.

Congratulations on steadfastly refusing to fork out R2.4-million to the widow of that 42-year-old Durban man who died while trying to protect his wife in a hijacking. Why was she even trying to claim in the first place? If you were in the business of giving money willy-nilly to families of policy-holders who get themselves killed, you would call yourselves Momentum Death.

But be that as it may. Dying is bad for business, especially when you’re in the life insurance industry. You pay a high price every time a customer dies. It seems terribly unfair. People these days make no effort at all to stay alive.

It seems, though, that some also think it’s terribly unfair that you are refusing to pay out on the grounds that Nathan Ganas had not disclosed his raised blood sugar levels when he took out the policy four years ago. For all we know, people with too much sugar in their blood attract violent criminals wherever they go. Let’s not forget that bees are also attracted to sweet stuff like pollen and cocaine, and you know how dangerous they are. It could easily be the same with hijackers. Studies have yet to be done into the link between homicide and diabetes.

Living in Shallcross, Ganas should have appreciated there was a better than average chance of getting murdered and should therefore have informed Momentum about his medical condition. If he was aware of it. But even if he wasn’t, that’s no excuse for non-disclosure.

Denise Ganas says she didn’t know about her husband’s condition. I believe her. My ex-wife would often say things like, “There’s something wrong with you.” Or, if she was in one of her better moods, she might ask, “What the hell’s the matter with you?” I would look at my feet and make whimpering sounds until she went away. My point is that we don’t always know what is wrong with ourselves, our loved ones or even the mentally unwell people we keep voting for.

Everyone tries their luck when it comes to insurance claims and you need to remain vigilant. For instance, you don’t want to be paying millions to the widow of a man who, say, dies in a plane crash if the post mortem reveals he had a high blood alcohol content when the pilot mistook a mountain for a cloud. It is vital that you include “Drunk” as a pre-existing condition to avoid payouts in cases like these.

Times are tough. Momentum only earned R2.8-billion in the last year. You need to save every cent you can. And yet you have buckled under pressure and agreed to refund the premiums paid by the Ganas family. This is ridiculously generous and sets a dangerous precedent. Policyholders will be flinging themselves off buildings on the assumption that the family will get the premiums back. Actually, I suppose the grieving relatives would initially expect the policies to be paid out in full, but once you have pointed out that their beloved’s application forms are riddled with omissions, spelling errors, coffee stains and so on, they will be happy just to get their parking validated.

Make sure they provide an affidavit indicating that parking has indeed taken place.

 

It’s all fun and games until …

Since I posted my column about Herzlia Middle School in Cape Town threatening disciplinary action against two students who “took a knee” in protest at the playing of the Israeli national anthem, I have received a couple of angry emails. One said I was “showing my true colours”. Another accused me of shrouding my “anti-Semitism in layers of irony and humour”, which makes me seem a lot smarter than I am.

When my weekly column first appeared in a Cape Town newspaper sixteen years ago, some readers were quick to describe me as offensive, slanderous and rude. Others said they laughed so much that their morning coffee spurted from their nose.

Then there were those who claimed to be my biggest fans – until the crosshairs swung in the direction of their own skin colour, their own religion, their own hard-earned prejudices and narrow political beliefs. Suddenly it wasn’t so funny.

Anyway. For those who deliberately conflate criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism, here’s another example of what I’m talking about – but from the other side of the barricades.

To the editor:

Good morning. May peace be upon you.
As a regular Sunday Times reader, I was extremely offended subsequent to reading Ben Trovato’s column, Ace That Job Interview (13/09/2009), where he makes reference to the Burqa (an outer garment worn by Muslim women) and Semtex (a plastic explosive), insinuating that the two are interrelated.

I am sure the Sunday Times values its Muslim readers, and publishing articles with this nature is a blatant insult to Islam and its followers.
I humbly request swift action be taken accordingly.
Thanks and kind regards

Ahmed

When I saw the letter in the paper, I emailed the editor.

Comrade Editor,

May peace be upon you.

I see that a couple of our Muslim brethren are objecting to my one-liner that contained the word “burqa” and “Semtex” in the same sentence and are now demanding that swift action be taken. If I have a choice in the matter, may I please have the flogging rather than the stoning?

We all know that certain sections of the Muslim population are horrendously intolerant, but I’ve never considered that sufficient reason to regard the entire Islamic world as off-limits to satire. Actually, that’s not strictly true. Knowing the extremists’ propensity for over-reaction, I have often held back or toned down the humour when it comes to Muslims. The fundamentalists have already frightened us into self-censorship, but surely we can stop short of a complete ban on lampooning this group?

I’m sure you rather fancy the idea of whipping the whipping boy, but to be honest I’d rather go for a symbolic stoning whereby you flick small pebbles at me and then we go off for a couple of beers.

In the meantime, keep the curtains drawn and watch your back.

Your man in the jihad,

Mustafa Ben Trovato

 

 

Warning: This post contains nuts

Dear Principal of Herzlia Middle School in Cape Town,

Forgive me if I have your title wrong. I imagine you are called something far more illustrious than Principal. The Ku Klux Klan, for instance, have fabulous titles. You have to admit that Grand Wizard sounds a lot more powerful than Chief Rabbi. I suppose titles don’t really matter, although it is weird that you both claim to be God’s chosen people.

Anyway. Let us not get bogged down quibbling about who the Lord loves the most. I am writing to congratulate you on taking action against those two grade nine pupils who knelt in protest during the playing of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, in a graduation ceremony last week.

As we all know, this “taking a knee” business was started by black American football players almost two years ago. I can’t remember what they were demanding. Vodka and crack whores at halftime, I expect. That’s the schvartzes for you.

Your latter-day Colin Kaepernicks are insurrectionists of the first order and I only hope your disciplinary action is severe enough to deter others from following in their footsteps. As Yahweh or one of his designated ghost writers said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

In this instance, though, they took a knee. So you take a knee. This form of retribution was popularised by the paramilitaries during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Please. Those weren’t Troubles. What’s happening at Herzlia Middle School right now? That’s real Troubles.

I understand that the atrocity occurred when the school’s Vocal Ensemble – or, as they are known in Israel, the Reserve Orchestral Battalion – began to sing the Israeli national anthem. How dare these traitors show such disrespect for the homeland? Once you are done with the kneecapping, I urge you to conduct DNA tests on the infidels. I would be very surprised if you didn’t find traces of Gaza in both of them.

The goyim filth might argue that this is South Africa, not Israel, and that you have no right to force anyone to sing, stand or weep during the national anthem of another country. Should you be confronted with this argument, I suggest you immediately declare a six-day war. It worked in 1967 and … come to think of it, our army is so out of shape that you wouldn’t need much more than a few hours. Yours will be known as the Tuesday Afternoon War and on Wednesday the Knesset, I beg your pardon, the governing body, will announce that Herzlia Middle School is an occupied territory and the school grounds, including Devil’s Peak, are henceforth a part of Israel. Hell, why stop there? Take the entire city bowl. Drive out the junkies and the queers, the anarchists and the property developers. Put up a wall if you have to.

I believe the horror of the treacherous kneeling incident sparked an email to parents from the school’s director of education, Geoff Cohen. An email? The man is a liberal. Get rid of him at once. Whatever happened to the old Likud maxim of minimum restraint, maximum force? I suppose it might be difficult to target just two boys. Still. Thanks to people like Benjamin Netanyahu and successive American presidents, collateral damage no longer has the poor reputation it once had. Then again, you bomb the school, what are you left with?

Geoff Cohen told parents that kneeling during an event of this nature was “inappropriate” and “demonstrated deliberate and flagrant disregard for the ethos of the school”. This man, Cohen. Have you had him checked out? Try to get some of his DNA. A true Israeli would not use pacifist words like “inappropriate”. Here, I am thinking of Israel’s heroic defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned a few hours ago because the cabinet voted for a ceasefire after only two days of bombing Gaza. He said this was tantamount to “surrendering to terror”.

I implore you, sir, to not surrender to terror. It starts with taking a knee and ends with goys wandering onto the school grounds and blowing themselves up. Please note that goys is not a typo. Some of my best friends are gay and Jewish and are quite happy to blow almost anything except up.

Cohen accused your two renegades of “blatantly flouting Herzlia’s Zionist values and the values of Herzlia’s menschlichkeit pillar”. I know not of this pillar. It has the ring of a German word. Please be assured that I have no German friends. I did have sex with a German woman once but if you had to see a picture of her, you would understand and forgive me.

That backsliding Cohen fellow wrote in his email that while pupils were allowed to take a view not aligned with the ideology of the school, they needed to choose the time, place and manner in which to express their views. The place and time was obviously the siege of Jerusalem in 1099 and the manner was … I don’t know. Slingshots were popular back then. As they are today among the Palestinians who, for religious reasons, refuse to use fighter jets, tanks and automatic weapons to secure their freedom.

I read a report quoting someone called Daniel Linde, a lawyer with something called the Equal Education Law Centre. He said that he had “much admiration for the Herzlia pupils who had bravely knelt during the the singing of Hatikvah at prize giving”.

This is outrageous. Who is this heathen? I know that Daniel was a Jewish lad who went into a lion’s den. I can’t remember why he did that. It doesn’t seem very sensible. But Linde? That is obviously derived from the original Lintfullah-Shihab-al-Din-Rahman. Like Trump who changed his name from Dumpfuk when his parents emigrated to America.

I see on your website that your school is aimed at providing a “Jewish and secular education to the Jewish youth of Cape Town, regardless of religious affiliation”. I read that sentence several times and have now started drinking heavily in the hope that it will eventually make sense. It hasn’t and I am now quite drunk.

Your wobsite also … no, that’s not right. I don’t know what is a wobsite. Your website, though, also says this: “As a leader in academic excellence and child development, we understand that this is the age for experimentation, creativity and exploration.” Noble concepts, indeed. Just make sure the treacherous little fuckers don’t stray beyond the borders of the sole and authentic kingdom of Zion.

 

We live in testing times

My wallet containing a credit card, driver’s licence, R12.50 and a small but well-behaved family of weevils has mysteriously vanished into a black hole. I made the money back by dressing up in a monkey suit and dancing outside the Spar on Friday morning. Afterwards I went to the traffic department.

The parking lot was jammed with crudely fashioned bivouacs and cooking fires. Scrawny goats roamed freely and chickens pecked at the tarmac. I half expected to see Angelina Jolie appear through the smoke, designer kaffiyeh wrapped around her swan-like neck, flawless belly swollen with a fresh batch of perfectly formed foetuses.

I hired a Congolese corsair to guarantee me safe passage to the entrance where a brute with knife scars and no neck was lashing out at the frenzied hordes trying to get in. It was like the fall of Saigon. With seconds to spare before the 3pm curfew, I slipped past Cerberus and was in.

If outside looked like a refugee camp, inside looked like Catholic limbo. Ben in the bardo. Sad hollow-eyed people drifted from counter to counter, lips moving in silent prayer. I joined the other lost souls in the queue of the damned that led to Persephone’s cubicle. The earth revolved, reptiles evolved, another ice age came and went. Moments before I died of natural causes, a bullet-proof window was all that stood between me and her.

She opened her mouth and showed me her terrible teeth. Blinking her goatish eyes, she spat a pomegranate seed onto the floor.

“Next,” she bleated. It is easier to pass through the eye of a camel than it is to follow the goddess of the underworld’s instructions.

“Collect form RT6 from counter 8 and form WM3 from counter 4 then go to room 101 in the east wing for fingerprints and room 309 in the west wing for the eye test then go to the cashier at counter 2 on the 3rd floor and afterwards take your receipt to counter 3 on the 2nd floor.”

As I proceeded from pillar to purgatory, I encountered knots of strange misshapen creatures. Being closing time on a Friday, many of them were moving too quickly for their fat little legs. A grizzled hireling took my fingers and pressed them into an ink pad. Said he had been doing it for 25 years. He told me to relax my thumbs. My thumbs are the most relaxed part of my body. I said I didn’t know what else I could do to get them to calm down. This made both him and my thumbs even more tense.

I could barely hear what he was saying above the extraordinary gibbering noises that civil servants make when the weekend is upon them.

“Eye test,” he shouted. “But I lost my driver’s licence, not my eyesight,” I shouted. My vision is more white rhino than tawny eagle and I felt like an athlete being asked to take a urine test after drinking a bottle of dehydrochlormethyl-testosterone.

By a stroke of luck, the regular tester of eyes must have gone home early because a woman dressed as a cleaner took me into a room and asked how many fingers she was holding up.

“Three,” I said.

“Close enough,” she said. “Please leave now so we can all go home and start drinking.”