Jesus Christ Super Shopper

With supermarkets busier than churches on a Sunday, the Church of England is marketing Jesus in the guise of a shopper to boost his appeal – Daily Mail
Excuse me, sir,” said the security guard at the entrance to Pick n Pray. “You can’t come in here without shoes.” Jesus smiled and reached out to touch the guard on the head. Jesus was on the floor before you could say “Hail Mary”. Once the misunderstanding had been cleared up, the guard helped Jesus to his feet.
Sorry about that. Thought you were going for my throat. Can’t be too careful these days. You’re still going to need shoes.”
Jesus walked over to a teenager in a wheelchair and spoke to him for a few minutes. After the kid had jumped around for a bit, babbling and weeping as the miraculously cured are inclined to do, he took off his sneakers and gave them to Jesus.
The security guard sensed something very meaningful had happened right in front of his eyes but he couldn’t work out what it was. Anyway, the important thing was that the freak in the dress was now wearing shoes.
Right away, Jesus was drawn to the fruit and veg section. He remembered his Father telling him stories about the Garden of Eden. It was just the way he always pictured it, only with a lot more people. And fewer serpents. Wandering about, stroking the broccoli and admiring the plums, he caught sight of a woman handing a man a bag of apples. Recalling the damage that a single apple was capable of causing, he lunged across the aisle and knocked the bag from the man’s hand.
What the fuck?” shouted the shopper. Jesus kicked the apples away and made the sign of the cross without even knowing what it meant. “This is forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! Thou shalt not eat of it!” Mothers gathered their terrified children and made for the relative safety of the dairy aisle.
You’re talking kak,” said the woman. “They come from Ceres. Got ’em yesterday.”
What is this Ceres of which you speak, harlot?” said Jesus.
Watch your mouth, hey. Ceres is there by … ag, you know.”
The Mount of Olives?”
Nay my larney. Ceres just does fruit. Olives is mos a vegetable.”
Jesus gathered his robes and backed away. “You will be cursed with hard labour and pain in childbirth.”
The shop assistant pulled a face. “Asseblief. I work for Raymond Ackerman. Don’t talk to me about hard labour. And I got seven laaities. I feel no pain. I just sommer drop them right here between the pineapples and the paw-paws.” She threw her head back and laughed like the whore of Babylon.
Pale and shaken, Jesus followed the signs to the deli. The name reminded him of home. Deli. There was something Jewish about it.
Crossing the vast wilderness of dog pellets, he came upon mounds of slaughtered beasts and a terrible sadness rose up in him. “What tragedy has befallen this place? How am I to lie down with lambs when they have been rent asunder and covered in shrink-wrap?”
His eye fell upon a rack of pork ribs. With an anguished cry he lifted them high above his head. “Only the Devil has the power to turn women back into ribs!”
Just then the butcher came out from the back holding a bag of blood and gore. “Are you the dog bones?” he said. Jesus fell back. “I am the King of the Jews!” The butcher looked disappointed. “You’ll want the kosher section then. It’s over there. Just past the …”
But it was too late. Jesus was gone. Desperately searching for a way out, he found his path barred by what appeared to be a 937-year-old woman. She looked a little like Lot’s wife. Or a lot like Little’s wife. She pressed a fillet of hake into the Messiah’s trembling hands and said, “Forgot my bloody glasses. Can you tell me the price on that?” In an instant the floor was covered in fish. And not just hake, but the good stuff too. Patagonian toothfish and white musselcracker. Things turned nasty when a hammerhead shark materialised out of nowhere and thrashed its way down the toiletries aisle biting hollow-eyed housewives immobilised by Prozac.
Jesus ran like he hadn’t run since the Romans were after him. He sprinted through the bakery wreaking havoc as wholewheat loaves multiplied in his wake, then across the appliance section, along the household cleansers, down the tinned foods, through the pot plants – causing the hydrangeas to burst into flames – and, finally, out of the front door.
Not so fast, buddy,” said the security guard. “Where’s your receipt for that?”
What? What?” shouted Jesus, eyes rolling madly in his head.
That crown of thorns. You didn’t have it when you came in. Come with me.”
jesuspic

A season for exchanging gifts and bodily fluids

Bloody Christmas. Again. Squeaky little humanoid hamsters on a giant treadwheel in the sky. Round and round we go. Well, I’ve had enough. Stop this thing. I want to get off.
Why the 25th of December, anyway? It’s not as if anyone has irrefutable evidence that Jesus was actually born on that day. In fact, my research indicates that Jesus very nearly wasn’t the messiah at all. Luke (not Skywalker, the other one) tells the story of a childless couple, Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were visited by Gabriel. The angel told Zach his prayers had been answered and that he and Elizabeth would have a son. They were to name him John. Zach was, like, “Yeah, right, I’ll name my own son, thank you very much. Bloody angels, coming around here thinking they own the place.” Pissed off with Zach’s bad attitude, Gabriel went down the road to Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary, and pretty much told her the same story, only that she was to call her kid Jesus. Word on the street is that Jesus was born six months after John. There’s no mention of it, but I reckon Liz couldn’t have been too happy.
“You idiot, Zach. That gold, frankincense and myrrh could’ve been ours!”
“What the fuck is myrrh, anyway?”
“That’s not the point, you idiot. For thousands of years, people would have prayed to me, the Virgin Elizabeth.”
“Oh, please. You’re no virgin.”
“Bastard. My mum always said I should’ve married Joseph.”
Anyway. I suppose we should be grateful. It just wouldn’t be the same if every time we were overcome with frustration and rage, we shouted, “John!”
I trawled through a few more biblical tales in the hope of verifying JC’s date of birth, but became so depressed by all the wanton begetting and random savagery that I wanted to kill myself. Perhaps this is what one is meant to feel over Christmas. It certainly seems like a more appropriate emotion.
All this before I had even slithered from my lair in search of gifts. I once suggested to my ex-wife that instead of gifts, we exchange bodily fluids. She seemed to think something more substantial was in order, so I gave her a rough, uncut emerald I found in the driveway. She said it was a piece of broken beer bottle and threw it away. Ungrateful cow. That was the last time I gave her jewels. That Christmas I also gave my loinfruit a beautiful picture of the Maldives which I tore out of a magazine in the toilet. He was so overcome with gratitude that he wept for days.
Quite frankly, I’m still a bit pissed off that the Christians hijacked a perfectly good pagan festival, but if you mind your manners and wish Jesus a happy birthday, you can still get drunk and drugged and have hot monkey sex with your neighbour’s wife without being consigned to burn in the eternal hellfires of damnation. Okay, I might be wrong, but it’s worth a shot.
The worst thing about Christmas is that you have to go shopping and buy stuff for people you don’t necessarily care about – like your friends and family – because you know that if you don’t, you won’t get any stuff from them.
I was in a shop today, happy as a lamb in Islamabad on the eve of Eid-ul-Adha, loading up my basket with the cheapest, tawdriest rubbish on the shelves, when I overheard a young couple complaining.
“I don’t know what we can get him.”
“No idea. He has everything.”
I’ll tell you what you can get the person who has everything. You can call the SARS hotline and get him audited. You can bring him to the attention of the Asset Forfeiture Unit. You can send him to live among the untouchables for three months in the hope that his conscience will drive him to give away half of the everything he has. Preferably to you.
Nobody deserves to have everything. For a start, it makes a mockery of capitalism. What kind of world would this be if none of us wanted anything ever again? The only reason we work is so that we can get money to buy shiny stuff. If we break the cycle, everyone will go off to lie on the beach and play didgeridoos while the streets fill up with unemployed advertising executives begging for cocaine at the traffic lights. The world just isn’t ready for that.
I’m easy to buy for. Beer and power tools, I’m happy. There’s nothing more fun than spending Christmas Day drinking heavily and chasing your relatives around the garden with a whining Black & Decker drill in one hand and a nail gun in the other.
If you’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, you might want to consider getting a restraining order. They don’t need batteries and they work fabulously. Actually, they don’t work at all if the phone at your local police station has been disconnected. In a perfect world, the state would provide newly-weds with a marriage certificate and a complementary restraining order. Any trouble with the husband and all you do is dial 10111, wait for someone to answer while your beloved chops your legs off and then, when the police arrive three days later, you claw your way to the front door, show them the restraining order and everything will be fine. Well, once you get your prosthetic legs, everything will be fine.
Or you may want to give your spinster aunt a street child. Just grab him off the street. If your aunt doesn’t like him, or wants a different colour, take him back and find another one. There are more than enough for everyone so don’t panic.
Vietnamese potbellied pigs also make unusual gifts and, once their cuteness wears off, are even better on the braai. Alternatively, you may want to get a potbellied Vietnamese. They make excellent servants but not such good eating.
I could go on, but I won’t.
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Jingle Hells

Jesus!

The reason for the season. Happy birthday, dude. You’re looking pretty damn good for a 2000-year-old white hippy with a Mexican name. There aren’t too many kids born in a stable environment in that part of the world these days, let me tell you.

You are probably unaware of this, what with being on Sabbatical and all, but your name is taken in vain more at this time of year than at any other. The streets and shops are jammed with people muttering, “Jesus Christ!” beneath their breath. Some shout openly. Few, if any, show signs of being in a state of religious rapture at the time.

Now and then I am forced to deploy an Old Testament headlock and take one of the more strident blasphemers into a deserted shop, like CUM Books, and explain to him that at this time of year, nobody fucks with the Jesus.

Right. That’s enough about Jesus. This is my story. His story has been out for a while and still outsells my memoir by, like, three to one. I should have gone with his publisher.

A powerful combination of poor genes and even worse judgement saw me pass through the apocalyptic portals of one of Hell’s more commercial outlets this week. First, though, I had to progress from level one of Dante’s Christmas Inferno – the parking lot. Car guards are hopelessly under-equipped to deal with motorists in December. What they need is paramilitary training. They need pepper spray and cattle prods to keep people from leaping out of their cars and strangling one another. And that’s just the children.

This particular incubus-infested horror show had a hairdresser’s right at the entrance. The sight of women of every grimace and girth in various stages of lassitude and bedragglement hardly encourages one to move deeper into the belly of the beast.

Next to the hairdresser, possibly deliberately, was a shop called Outdoor and Velocity. It had an impressive range of paintball and pellet guns, including one shaped like an AK-47. The perfect gift for the man whose criminal record prevents him from owning a real gun. There was also a selection of knives that would’ve made the executioners of Islamic State envious.

Health shops were occupied only by their lentil-faced staff while bottle stores made the fall of Saigon seem calm and orderly.

Shopping malls are acoustically designed to enhance the high frequency sound produced by children hysterical on sugar and lies. It’s like psychological warfare; a way of rattling your synapses so you spend more money than you might otherwise have done.

I doubted I could single-handedly contend with this bloated river of humanity and its ungodly stink of anger and fear and money, so I ducked into a pet shop and asked for a medium-sized attack dog. They asked if I was blind. Absolutely, I said. Blind drunk. That’s a lot better than being barking mad, which they clearly were for charging R1 295 for a silly plastic ramp that allows one’s golden retriever to take a leisurely stroll from or into the back of one’s Range Rover.

“Protect the joints of the pet,” said the box. Nonsense. It’s our joints that need protecting from the ravening narcophobics in the police force. Point is, if you can’t lift your dog into your car then he’s either criminally big or you shouldn’t be driving.

I no longer even glance into the windows of jewellery shops because every time I have put a ring on someone’s finger it has ended in tears. “Here, darling, have this fabulously exorbitant bauble. It’s guaranteed to ruin your life or mine. Maybe both.”

Verimark’s Maxxus V-Trainer caught my eye. It’s a vibrating pad you stand on. “Get the body you have always wanted in just 10 minutes a day!” Watching a fat kid wobbling on the pad, I’d estimate it would take me 25 550 days to reach my ideal weight. And that’s only because I would have been dead for the final two years.

Buying gifts for people you loathe is never easy. What, for instance, do you get for the man who

has everything? Here’s an idea. You get him audited by the Revenue Service.

I heard the hideous sound of children screaming as if they were being murdered and rushed over to see if I could help but they were alive and, since I couldn’t kill them all on my own, I had a look around the toy department. The men who work in this section have nervous facial tics and their names are down for emergency vasectomies. The women don’t respond. To anything.

What is this fresh outbreak of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? I thought they had been wiped out years ago. Shouldn’t they be called Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles by now?

I found a radio-controlled king cobra snake with glowing eyes and a flickering tongue and it seemed more like something Satan rather than Santa would drop down your chimney. It “looks so real that may scare your friends”. What’s more frightening is that there’s a word missing from that sentence. That’s the Chinese for you. Always looking to cut corners. Save a word here and there and soon enough there’s a secret stockpile of surplus words they can use to build an entirely new piece of junk around.

“Look, babe, here’s something that says ‘Big it that was new fish water real flash remote jump.’”

“What does it do?”

“No idea. I think it lights up.”

“Ooh, let’s get three.”

There are shelves of model cars for boys although they could just as easily be for girls because men rarely drive any more thanks to the heavily armed extremists found at roadblocks. Four beers and you risk spending the evening having your bottom interfered with by a fighting general in the 28s. Not worth it. Sell the car and buy beer. Lock yourself in your room.

There’s a kitchen set with a boy pretending to cook. He looks about 19. Then again, I’ve never been a very good judge of age. It’s astounding that I’m not in jail. “Let the children play happily and feel assured,” lisps the box. So you see, laddie, you can rest assured that it’s quite normal for you to be pottering about in a frilly apron packing the tiny dishwasher and making imaginary vol-au-vents in your tiny oven.

There are little plastic prams and pushchairs, all of which are being controlled by little plastic girls. This isn’t so much gender stereotyping as it is a reflection of reality. All the boys are clearly in court fighting for custody or getting nailed for child support.

“Anything is possible with Barbie” just doesn’t sound right. I’ve known girls who have embodied this ethos but, while initially fun to be with, stick around for too long and you’ll end up in a mental hospital.

With one exception, the doll section looks like a picnic organised by The Young Mothers of the Ku Klux Klan. Talking Tip has an anxious yet determined look on her swarthy synthetic face. Her box says, “Try me!” but there are no buttons to push. It’s probably a challenge. A warning. She probably says things like, “Don’t be tryin’ none of that white shit or I’ll bust yo cracker ass.” She comes with a spare outfit and removable shoes, which I imagine would be useful when she’s hiding out from her parole officer.

There are also boxes of twins, all of whom look like an experiment by Dr Josef Mengele gone horribly right.

Toy department staff aren’t trained to deal with hulking unshaven brutes clearly unsuited for fatherhood loitering around the dolls, and I could see them becoming visibly anxious. I stepped out into the fetid, roiling swamp of humankind and was almost immediately possessed by the festive spirit.

All I need now is an exorcist.

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Hairy lips, healthy balls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What if they don’t do it, Bruce?”

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

“And roger all the Sheilas!”

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

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

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

“But, honey, what about the …”

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

“I am depressed, though.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dear Saudi Arabia

Congratulations on your decision to kill the Shiite boy who goes by the name Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. Teenagers are dreadful at the best of times, what with their sighing and eye-rolling and endless demands for human rights and justice. If I had my way they would all be put to death.

I suppose I shouldn’t call him a boy. He is, after all, 20 years old. However, he was still a teenager when he committed the dastardly crimes for which he must die. Apparently he participated in the Arab Spring protests in 2012. Is that right? My kid once participated in a school play and by the end of it I wanted to slaughter the entire cast and most of the audience, so I know how you feel.

I gather you are breaking with tradition and not beheading the lad. Well done. Beheading is too good for some people. Crucifixion is the only language this generation understands. Well, that and textese and SMSish. Hang on. I’m getting conflicting information here. Some reports say you’re going to behead him and then crucify him. I don’t want to sound like a liberal, but isn’t that overkill? I apologise. You obviously know what you’re doing. I’m a bit worried, though. Crucifixion can lead to new religions forming and nobody, least of all you, wants that happening. Yes, I’m talking about a certain Mr J Christ of Bethlehem. If the Romans had let him off with a light whipping and a warning, Christianity would probably not exist today. And even if it did, their symbol certainly wouldn’t be a cross. I’m just saying be careful, that’s all.

Your own media, which never gets anything wrong under pain of death – in my country that’s just an expression – said you wanted to string up the body after the beheading as a warning to others. I may be out of line here, but would the average Saudi be shocked at the sight of just one body? From what I’ve heard, one can barely move in Riyadh for the corpses of people executed for jaywalking or littering. That’s just the men. Apparently the countryside is littered with the bodies of female radicals who were caught driving, watching television or talking to men who weren’t their brothers.

Wouldn’t it be more effective to round up everyone who participated in the Arab Spring and crucify the lot of them? You could do a thousand a day for three months. If the United Nations starts gnashing its gums, tell them it’s none of their damn business what you do. Tell them it’s population control. If they threaten to pass a resolution, threaten to fire nuclear missiles into New York. You do have nukes, right? You’d better have, or even Israel could whip your arse.

I hear France has also asked you to call off the execution. France! That’s a laugh. After the terrible things they did in the Congo. No, wait. That was the Belgians. Same thing. If they want a united Europe, then all of Europe must take collective responsibility for all the horror.

At least you don’t have to worry about Britain putting the boot in. Their prime minister is too busy doing damage control after it emerged that he stuck his honourable member into a dead pig when he was younger. Also, they really want to land that £6m contract to provide prison expertise to your country. To be honest, I’m surprised you still bother with prisons. Decapitation is so much more cost-effective in the long run. I hope you’re not going soft on us.

By the way, congratulations on being chosen to head up the UN human rights council. This couldn’t have come at a better time for you. It doesn’t matter how much the limp-wristed dolphin-kissers wave their yoga mats and rattle their daisy chains, the fact remains that the US State Department has welcomed it, as do all right-wing, I beg your pardon, all right-thinking members of the global community.

By the way, you might want to get the plasterers in. I hear there are some nasty cracks developing in the House of Saud. The last thing you want to do is let the light in.

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God is a counter-evolutionary

I don’t know whether it was a dream or if I read it somewhere – I think I must have read it because I have lived in South Africa all my life and only have nightmares, not dreams – but I recall something about the education department wanting to stop teaching evolution to Grade 7 pupils because the concept was too difficult for them, and their teachers, to grasp.

I couldn’t agree more. Personally, I can think of nothing worse than having to stand in front of a room full of children and try to explain to them that we are descended from apes. Apes! Can you imagine? Children being what they are (dirty-minded, contumacious little ingrates aside), their first question would undoubtedly be, “Why?”

This is where my heart goes out to the teachers. They are trained to dispense knowledge, facilitate learning and nurture critical thinking skills and it is grossly unfair to expect them to be able to explain that we are a species called Homo something-or-other that developed as a result of genetic mutation and natural selection over a period of several millennia.

Were they to even attempt it, the reaction would be predictable. One of the children, and there is always one, will shout: “Jeffrey’s a homo!” There will be mass hysteria and the curly-haired, sensitive kid sitting in front will be pelted with used condoms and crack pipes.

Evolution can be a very disruptive subject to teach. It is highly suggestive and riddled with innuendo. How mortifying, then, for a professional pedagogue to have to tell her pupils that their ancestors slept with apes. Exposure to such filth can cause permanent damage to an impressionable young mind.

Apart from being a pack of pornographic lies, evolution is way too complicated for the human mind to comprehend. It would be far simpler for the teachers to explain that God, who needs no explanation, made Adam and Eve six thousand years ago. If any troublemakers in the class are not satisfied with this perfectly adequate explanation of our origins, all the teacher need do is draw a basic diagram showing how God made Adam from dust and then made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. No further elucidation is needed.

Teachers should, however, warn their pupils not to try this at home. If I know boys, many of them will want to use their ribs to make girls in the privacy of their own bedrooms. At that age, it’s a lot easier and probably less painful than befriending a ready-made one.

Having said this, I should point out that I am not opposed to the idea of exposing children to different points of view – as long as they have nothing to do with the discredited and impossibly baffling theory of evolution.

I am a big fan of creationism. However, there’s a problem in that it only takes three or four minutes to teach, sometimes quicker if the teacher disallows questions. That leaves a lot of time to fill the lesson – hence my offering of an alternative theory to teach the grade sevens.

Mine is similar to the theory of intelligent design except that I believe our designer to be not particularly bright. He only has Himself to blame, really. He would be a lot smarter if He spent more time reading and less time drinking and smoking weed and staring off into space.

In short, we believe an Electric Catfish called Roger created the universe. Not deliberately, of course. He was three sheets to the wind when the accident happened. Whatever it was that he dropped made such a big bang that He was rendered stone deaf, which is why we forgive Him for never answering our prayers.

Even though my church has thousands of members, if not hundreds, it is unlikely that many of you will have heard of us. Catfishists worship clandestinely because there are people out there who wish to harm us. They say there is no evidence to support our beliefs, but the truth of the matter is that, even though we weren’t around when Roger inadvertently created the universe, we have written quite a thick book – The Holy Barbel – which explains everything.

As an act of faith and to silence the skeptics, we are offering one million rand to anyone who can provide scientific proof that Roger the Electric Catfish did not create all creatures great and small, plus a bunch of other stuff like volcanoes and bananas.

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Do we panic now or later?

I would like to commend America for alerting its citizens in South Africa to a possible terrorist attack on US interests in our magnificent country. It’s important to take care of one’s own.

The warning also serves as a handy reminder to extremists not to overlook South Africa when it comes time to review their annual programme of action. It doesn’t seem fair that Europe keeps benefitting from all the free publicity generated by the Jihadi. We also want to lead the news on CNN and Sky now and again. As Shakira once so eloquently pointed out, “Tsamina mina, eh eh, waka waka, eh eh, tsamina mina zangalewa, this time for Africa.”

Like any country with a struggling economy, we are deeply grateful for warnings of this nature, largely because of their deleterious effect on tourism, the rand, investor confidence and so on. By contributing to our decline, America is in essence inspiring us to work harder and do better. South Africa thanks you, President Obama.

America has, however, issued similar warnings in the past and nothing happened. Life, as we South Africans laughingly call it, continued as normal. Quite frankly, this sort of let-down is bad for morale and gives extremism a bad name. I hope we don’t see a repeat of 2010 when America issued a security alert and the only thing that got blown up was a soccer ball.

For those who don’t follow the news – President Zuma clearly being one – I shall repeat the warning:

“The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has received information that extremists may be targeting U.S. interests in South Africa, to possibly include U.S. government facilities and other facilities identifiable with U.S. business interests. There is no additional information as to timing or potential targeting.”

Nicely handled, Uncle Sam. The delivery is no-nonsense and the substance is, well, there is none to speak of. If America ever knew the timing and target of an attack, they wouldn’t need to issue a warning, would they? They’d just send a Swat team around half an hour earlier and arrest the fuckers when they pitched up with their swarthy looks and sacks of Semtex. And if they did know the time and place, they could hardly tell us because then it would look like a false flag operation and Washington would have to admit that 9/11 was an inside job.

America obviously knows the location of “US interests” in South Africa. So, presumably, do the extremists. Then you get us, wandering about one hand down our broeks and the other clutching a beer, totally oblivious to the whereabouts of these potential targets. This is as it should be. We can’t be trusted with that sort of information. We keep voting for people who keep stealing our money. I wouldn’t trust us, either.

Since the warning is for the benefit of American citizens only, the rest of it also doesn’t apply to us. You’re allowed to read it, though. Just don’t take any notice.

“Review your personal security plans; remain aware and vigilant of your surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates and follow instructions from local authorities.”

In America, I presume “personal security plans” would include a trip to Spike’s Tactical and picking up an assault rifle called the Crusader. It’s inscribed with Psalm 144:1, which says, “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” I am not making this up.

Here’s the “thinking” behind this, in the words of Ben “Mookie” Thomas, a spokesman for Spike’s Tactical and a former Blackwater security contractor. “We wanted to make sure we built a weapon that would never be able to be used by Muslim terrorists to kill innocent people or advance their radical agenda.”

Meanwhile, there are also plans to spray al-Shabaab terrorists with holy water and drop plastic crucifixes on al-Qaeda bases. I am making this up. I hope.

For some of us, our “personal security plans” include redoubling attempts to get Australian citizenship. My short-term plan is to learn a few phrases of Arabic, fly to Germany, chuck some red wine on my I Heart Damascus T-shirt, run around a bit to work up a sweat, then stagger into Alexanderplatz and claim refugee status. After than, I’ll get the hell out of Germany and move to the Costa Brava where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. I don’t have a long-term plan.

As for “follow instructions from local authorities”, I can’t see it working.

“Pay your electricity bill or we will cut you off.”

“But we’re under attack by Islamic State!”

“Doesn’t matter. Pay your bill.”

On the same day America issued its warning, I got an email from something called USAFIS Immigration Services urging me to give them $29 so that they may prepare and submit my application for a Green Card.

Fantastic. So I’ll leave my country with its, say, ten thousand endangered Americans and move to a country with 320 million of them, all of whom are presumably at constant risk of being shot, stabbed or blown up. That’s like inviting an arachnophobe to move into the spider house.

A Green Card? Not on your life, let alone mine.

defenderofthefaith

 

When Good Friday Turns Bad

In keeping with the spirit of Easter, here’s something I wrote a few years ago.

 

I was making an emergency house call on the Consort when I stumbled across a rapidly forming mob at the old harbour in Hermanus. Sensing a fight in the making, I pushed my way to the front.

If you come across an outbreak of hostilities between rival gangs of perlemoen poachers, there is no point in hanging about at the back. You want to be close enough to hear the crack of teeth and the splinter of bone. You want to feel that whipspray of hot blood across your face. You want your words of encouragement to be heard by the combatants.

This was, after all, Good Friday – a day in history that is soaked in violence and steeped in shame. Not for everyone, of course. The Rosicrucians, for example, treat Good Friday just like any other day of the week. Similarly, the day has little relevance to practising Gymnosophists. Then again, so does food and clothing. For others, like the Rastafarians, every Friday is good.

Kicking ragged urchins out of my way and elbowing the elderly and infirm aside, I made it to a small clearing down by the water’s edge. In the middle were two burly bearded types wearing sheepskin car seat covers and carrying wooden shepherd’s crooks. They were nodding sagely at one another. The crowd pressed in. The bearded men nodded some more. I have learnt through bitter experience that in Hermanus almost anything passes for entertainment, but this was just silly.

“Hit him!” I shouted. The men stopped nodding, glared at me briefly, then went back to their nodding. “Use your crook!” I shouted, making hitting and thrusting motions.

Just then, a powerful spotlight snapped on. Thinking it was a police helicopter I grabbed a young girl and, using her as a shield between the sharpshooter and me, I began fighting my way back through the throng.

“You’ll never take me alive!” I yelled. An ancient person of indeterminate gender kicked me on the shin and told me to shush. I dropped the girl and she scuttled off like a giant crab. Maybe it was a crab that I had picked up. It wouldn’t have been the first.

I raised my arms in the air and froze. Everyone around me did the same. It was like an extreme game of Simon Says, only this one bore all the signs of turning into a hideous bloodbath.

A voice boomed out across the harbour. It was as if God himself was speaking. “Dawid,” thundered the voice, “kyk daar.” I dropped my arms. God doesn’t speak Afrikaans, does he? Surely not! But what if the Boers are right? What if they really are God’s chosen people? But then where does that leave the Jews? The sheer heaviness of the moment made my head spin and I had to fall down for a bit.

When I got up, I was enormously pleased to discover that it wasn’t the Almighty at all, but a couple of out-of-work actors huddled on a grassy knoll looking rather more bibulous than biblical.

The spotlight picked them out like a pair of oversized dassies. Alongside them, a bright red laser burnt a star into the side of the cliff. I looked around. There was no drunken brawl about to break out. No police ambush. My relief was swiftly tempered by the cruel realisation that I had walked slap-bang into the middle of a Passion Play, or, as they called it, ‘n Passiespel.

I was shocked to my core. What I needed, far more than redemption, was a stiff drink. I could see the lights of the nearest bar twinkling far above me at the top of the cliff. But there was no way out. The crowd had closed in like pack ice in an Arctic winter. It was as if they knew.

Just then, the spotlight picked out a flock of faux Pharisees. One of them stood up and said, “We must stop this man before people start following him.” I assumed he was talking about Jesus and not me. Delivered in Afrikaans, the line sounded not so much post-Julius Caesar as it did pre-FW de Klerk.

It was around the time that Jesus was getting his feet washed by that tawdry harlot Mary Magdalene that I started having brutal flashbacks to the army. I must have passed out because the next thing I remember, a young married couple was helping me to my feet. Their eyes shone and they made little murmuring sounds. I shook them off and began trying once more to break through the throng.

Then the lights went off. I was the only one who screamed. A fat lady wearing a purple tea cosy on her head clutched me to her heaving bosom. I couldn’t tell whether she was under the impression I was having a religious epiphany or had become possessed by some kind of godless demon, so I had to put my foot down pretty sharply. The snapping on of a battery of arc lights drowned out the snapping of her tarsal bones.

The crowd swivelled and gasped as one. There, on the far side of the harbour, were three crosses ominously illuminated against the night sky. I, too, might have gasped had I not still been struggling for breath.

The crucifixion was mercifully brief and I began applauding the moment the lights went off. Nobody else clapped, though. They probably knew that wasn’t the end of it.

We had to wait a few minutes for Jesus to get down off the cross and get ready for his resurrection, but by this stage I had given up all hope of ever leaving the harbour.

My Easter weekend went downhill from there.

No nudes is good nudes

Dear Reverend Mike Effanga,

I wish to applaud you on behalf of all right-wing, I beg your pardon, right-thinking South Africans for your efforts to stop those backsliding nudist barbarians from getting their wicked way.

As you know all too well, the Hibiscus Coast municipality – quite clearly agents of Satan – voted last year to allow people to take their clothes off on a beach in your area. Unfortunately, they chose a section that is hidden away and hard to reach. This makes it difficult for those who wish to protest. Luckily, there are many of us who are prepared to go out of our way to be offended.

This country has only 2 800kms of coastline. If we give these heathens 500m of it to practise their degenerate sun-worshipping ways, where will it end?

Cape Town allows nudists at Sandy Bay and look at that city today. Gay people walk openly in the streets. We don’t need that kind of wanton licentiousness here.

If God had meant for us to walk around naked, he wouldn’t have given Adam and Eve those fig leaf ensembles to wear. The unattired human body is a disturbing sight and I, for one, can no longer even visit my local swimming pool for fear of turning into a slavering beast incapable of controlling my most basic of urges.

I cannot believe these handmaidens of hell are planning their naked launch for Good Friday. Jesus wouldn’t be happy with that, I can tell you. Isn’t it enough that he has to deal with yet another anniversary of his crucifixion? I may be wrong but I’m sure he’d rather we just stopped mentioning it altogether.

I’m talking about that nasty business in Calgary. Nudist beaches, I bet he’d want to know about. What am I saying? Of course he knows about it. He’s Jesus. And if he didn’t get the memo, you can be damn sure his father knows of the horror about to be unleashed upon Mpenjati beach.

I must confess there are times I walk around my house without any clothes on. It is simply too hot. However, you will be pleased to know that I do punish myself afterwards with a light flagellation followed by several Bloody Marys. Hail Marys.

Nudity, unlike murder, poverty and child abuse, is not something we can tolerate. If we allow people to voluntarily remove their clothes on a beach far away from decent God-fearing folk, what will we allow next? Seances in the Margate Wimpy?

While you are on this crusade, have you given any thought to the farm animal situation? I’m sure I am not the only one to have noticed the growing number of cows along the South Coast. I think you know what I’m saying. Udders. I need go no further.

Once you have won this battle against the idolatrous undressed, I urge you to consider demanding clothes for livestock. It need not be anything fancy. Simple loincloths and four-cupped bras will do.

I understand you run an outfit called Worldwide Gospel Ministries. Your website has an interesting quote from Luke. “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching.” That’s exactly what the nudists are afraid of – Peeping Toms.

It goes on. “Verily, I say unto you that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”

I’m a bit confused here. Luke clearly wasn’t a vegetarian. But the Lord serves the servants? That doesn’t sound right. Imagine if this happened in South Africa. The servants would be ungovernable in no time at all.

In your ministerial profile you state your nationality as “Kingdom of Heaven.” Nothing wrong with that. Presumably you have your citizenship papers. I imagine the home affairs office up there is more efficient than the one down here.

Your website says that apart from healing the sick and broken-hearted, you also bring sight back to the blind. You are truly a man of many talents. What would you do if, say, one of those rotten nudists was sick, broken-hearted and blind? Tricky one.

I see you have 18 friends on Facebook. That’s okay. Jesus only had 12.

Anyway, congratulations on getting the pagans on the council to agree to listen to your objections for a second time. As you said recently, “The voice of the people has to be heard. The decision to have a nudist beach here is illegal, immoral, unethical and undemocratic.”

And therein lies the rub. Oops. I apologise. “Rub” is one of those words which, if used carelessly, can lead to the corruption of weaker souls. It won’t happen again.

What I’m trying to say is that it takes a wise man to point out that a decision taken by a majority of democratically elected councillors is, indeed, undemocratic. Some might say the voice of the people has been heard, but, as we both know, they are the wrong people. Not all people are people.

Well, I’m sure you and your Concerned Citizens Group will succeed in denying the Devil his due. Nobody wants to be cast into the hellfires of eternal damnation, even if they are politicians.

nudist beach