How to Stay Alive

With all this talk of farm murders and other crimes of a less savage nature, I thought it a good time to share a chapter from my book Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival.
 
BUYING property is a big decision. Bigger even than choosing a wife. These days it is far easier to divorce a dud wife than it is to sell a dud house.
You home is your castle. You worked hard for it and you have the right to defend it with your life. Or, preferably, someone else’s life.
When it comes to choosing where to buy, a lot of people make straight for the gated villages and security estates. I am not a big fan of these for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that you can’t escape easily if the sheriff comes looking for you.
Whether you opt to live in the leaf-riddled suburbs, within the walls of a fortified compound or free-range on a farm, you need to pay close attention to the points of entry. Some people prefer to stay in apartments high up in the sky where the yellow-eyed varmints can’t get to them. The estate agents call this a lock-up-and-go. All my life, wherever I have lived, I have simply locked up and gone. And yet I have been burgled more times than I care to mention. So much for that idea.
The suburbs are the natural habitat of the common housebreaker. Although they are solitary animals, it is not uncommon to find two or three of them hunting together. These shy creatures are easily startled and are difficult to spot during the day. Nocturnal by nature, they have a keen eye for detail, especially when it comes to alarm systems and dogs.
Police have warned that “scouts” leave coded messages on the pavement indicating which houses are safe to be robbed. Green crème soda cans let the boys know it’s open house. Red Coke cans signify that a little force might be required. Police urge residents to report strange objects that appear on the pavements outside their homes. Among the unusual objects that regularly appear on my pavement are drunk homeless people. I am still trying to work out what this signifies. I also on occasion leave half-empty beer bottles outside my house. I hope this strange new code gives the varmints sleepless nights.
The only way to ensure that you are never broken into is to make your house impregnable. Doors and windows are the weakest security points. These must be bricked up. Make sure you do this from the inside. If you have a chimney, seal it off. Burglars can also gain entry through your roof so you will need to replace your ceiling with a concrete slab. Your house should now be completely safe. Nobody will be able to get in to rob you. Nobody will be able to get out, either, so make sure you have enough food to last for the rest of your life. If you are married to someone who insists on getting out now and again, then you should probably consider other options.
Here are a few ways you can minimise the chances of getting burgled.
Moats
Apart from being one of the sillier words in the English language, a moat can be highly effective in keeping the varmints at bay. To minimise your water bill, it is best to run hoses from taps around the neighbourhood. If you live near a stream or river, go out late at night with a spade and divert it so that it fills your moat.
Once your moat is full, you may want to make a feature of it by adding water lilies, fountains and a couple of crocodiles to take care of those housebreakers who, as adults, have learned to swim.
Crocodiles are easily obtained in South Africa. Lake St Lucia is well stocked with these brutes. In Zululand, nature conservation officials move slower than the crocs so you need not worry about getting caught. You should worry more about getting eaten. With that in mind, try to avoid taking fully-grown crocs. As tempting as may be to have instant security, you will have trouble fitting more than one adult in the boot of your car. You could tie another to your roof racks if you don’t mind attracting attention.
If you are pressed for time, it makes more sense to load up on eggs. You can visit one of our crocodile farms and stuff the eggs down your pants when nobody is looking or you can get them on eBay for a few dollars apiece.
The eggs of saltwater crocodiles take about 80 days to hatch, but I would suggest you stay away from these unless you are prepared to go to the trouble of converting your moat. Some people say chlorine is best, others swear by salt. I don’t want to get involved. This argument has claimed lives.
You are most likely to end up with Nile crocodiles. Crocodylus niloticus can grow to over five metres long and weigh up to a ton so it is best to get them while they are young. Unless you want the SPCA on your case, you will have to feed your crocodiles on a regular basis. Although they will get to eat the occasional drunk who falls into your moat, this should be seen more as a dietary supplement than anything else.
One of the major benefits of using crocodiles instead of other aquatic species such as geese or hippos is that crocodiles can live for up to 80 years in captivity. Not having to replace your watchcrocs will save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t forget to get the drawbridge people in before you fill your moat.
Landmines
Some people have a thing about landmines. Princess Diana was one. She decorated two entire rooms at Balmoral with disarmed mines. The green room was reserved for anti-tank mines, the red room for anti-personnel mines. They were all there, from the Soviet POMZ-2 to the American M-18 Claymore. A particular favourite of Diana’s was the Valmara 69. Produced in Singapore, this little baby can shoot more than a thousand metal fragments over a 25-metre radius. Sometimes, when William and Harry were little, she would bring out the OZM-3 jumping mine as a special treat and let them play with it. The princes had hours of fun trying to catch it as it bounced through the castle.
None of this, however, is of any concern to you. All you have to do is remember where you laid your mines. I have heard of people who went to the trouble of sowing a minefield around their house only to step outside to fetch the newspaper and get blown up. It is essential that you create a map showing precisely where the mines are.
Most housebreakers prefer to take the path less trodden, so you might want to scatter some of those mines in the more inaccessible areas of your garden. Try not to bury any in the flowerbeds. Reliable gardeners are hard to find these days.
If you are a real patriot you will want to get your hands on something homegrown. During the 1980s Armscor turned out some damn fine blast and fragmentation mines. Unfortunately these have not been stocked at local hardware stores since Nelson Mandela was released. You could try getting your mines from the Russian mafia in Cape Town, but be advised that it is very difficult to get through to them. On all levels.
Here’s an idea. Why not make it a fun outing? Take the family to Angola for the weekend. Even though the country is a little run-down, landmines can still be found in most of the rural areas. It might take a while, but with a little poking around, you, mom or one of the kids are almost guaranteed to pick up a few good-quality mines for use around the home.
Walls and fences
The Germans and Israelis have done more to popularise defensive walls than any other nation in recent times. The trend was started by Roman emperor Hadrian in 122 AD when he built a stone wall right across Great Britain. It was the only way he could keep the lunatic Scots at bay. The feat impressed the electorate back in Rome and simultaneously served as a warning that Romans would not hesitate to build stone walls should anyone dare try to stop them from taking over the world.
Today, Hadrian’s Wall is the most popular attraction in northern England and tourists are often seen walking the length of it. Considering what else is on offer in northern England, this is extreme adventure at its best.
If we had to be honest we would admit that the Chinese started this nonsense with walls around 220 BC, but they claim credit for way too much already and I doubt that I shall mention them again.
Not everybody believes in the power of walls. The anti-wallers believe that by erecting a wall you are converting your home into a prison. What’s wrong with that? When last did you hear of a prison being broken into? How often does the head warden get back to his office to find his door kicked in and his TV missing? It just doesn’t happen. Prisons are the safest places on earth because they have walls around them.
Barbed wire vs blade wire
Anyone who grew up in South Africa will have a soft spot for barbed wire. Anyone who is white, of course. Barbed wire was invented to keep the darkies in their place and out of yours. Barbed wire sent out an unambiguous signal. Barbed wire was on the side of right. Barbed wire was strong. Trustworthy. It had principles.
Barbed wire topped the fences around our military bases. It lined the streets whenever the natives got restless. It lay there in tight reassuring coils in hardware stores throughout this once great country. If it weren’t for barbed wire, parliament would have fallen to the communists long before 1994. And if barbed wire is good enough for Guantanamo Bay, it’s good enough for your home.
The only negative thing I can say about barbed wire is that it is very working class. If you have received a good education and are well spoken (i.e. English-speaking), the chances are that you will prefer to secure your house with something that has a little more breeding. I am talking about razor wire, also known as blade wire. The Germans came up with it in World War One. And even though they eventually lost the war, they did succeed in killing several million enemy soldiers before admitting defeat. This was not bad going for a country that had little more than the crumbling Ottoman Empire and a couple of stoned Hungarians on their side.
It was at 11am of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 that a ceasefire came into effect. At 10.58am, a German sniper shot Canadian George Price through the head. Being the last soldier to die in the Great War showed the world once and for all what Canadians really are – a bunch of no-hope losers with an appalling sense of time and place.
This has nothing to do with razor wire.
Eina ivy
The most aesthetically pleasing device to come out of the home security industry. Its spikes will tear your burglar to shreds, but at least he can admire its shroud of lifelike plastic green leaves while slowly bleeding to death in the hydrangeas.
Alarms
Home alarm systems remain one of the most popular deterrents to people who lie around all day drinking wine from plastic bottles and smoking crystal meth and then when everything runs out they think they can come over to your house and take your stuff and sell it for a fraction of its worth so that they can stay drunk and wired for another three days. If it were that easy, we would all be doing it.
Alarms work by frightening off burglars who suffer from hyperacusis, an abnormal sensitivity to loud noises. These burglars, who make up 0.1% of the housebreaking fraternity, now wear earplugs to work.
Alarms are also designed to alert the neighbours that there is trouble next door. However, neighbours in South Africa have long since learnt not to get involved in anything that happens beyond their garden gate. The house next door could be dismantled piece-by-piece and carried away by a chorus line of transvestites in fishnet stockings and latex rubber leotards singing “Hi ho hi ho it’s off to work we go” and still the neighbours would say, “Didn’t hear a thing. We had the rugby on, you know.”
These days most alarms are linked to armed response companies. Keep in mind that most housebreaking syndicates are also linked to armed response companies.
If you are at home and your alarm is activated, all it really does is induce cardiac arrest in the elderly and infirm, give you a splitting migraine and encourage your cats and dogs to find a new home in the next town.
If you insist on an alarm that makes a conventional wailing sound, I suggest you invest in the type that Israel uses to warn people in Haifa that Hezbollah is about to ruin their day. If your alarm can be heard by every police station in the city, the odds are dramatically increased that someone might come around and investigate. If it’s not lunchtime, that is.
Try to get your hands on a Chrysler Air Raid Siren. It is the size of a car and weighs three tons but if you can hoist it up on to your roof, it would be a desperate burglar who would keep robbing you with 138dB howling into his head.
You may want to impress or even terrify your neighbours by acquiring a siren that has the ability to broadcast voice messages. These electronic sirens are similar to conventional sirens except for the fact that they rely on a series of electrodynamic, horn-loaded loudspeaker drivers to produce sound. I presume you record your message in much the same way that you would on your telephone answering machine. Here are a few suggestions in case you can’t come up with any of your own:
“The house is surrounded. Get down on the floor. If you move, you will be shot.” (Edit in background sound of helicopters and dogs barking).
“This is God speaking. Stop that at once.” (Insert background sound of thunder and a chorus of celestial voices raised in anger).
“Freeze! I’m Ma Baker! Put your hands in the air and gimme all your money!” (Boney M instrumentals in the background).
CCTV
Closed-circuit television has revolutionised home security. Cameras mounted in strategic places are able to monitor a housebreaker as he climbs over your garden wall, enters through a downstairs window, walks down the passage, grabs a beer from the kitchen, heads up the stairs and sidles into your bedroom where he ties you up and steals all your valuables, leaving you with a unique video of an unidentified man in a balaclava roaming around your house and robbing you blind, which you can then show to all your friends and use as justification for emigrating to Perth. You may find it more rewarding to use your CCTV system to make cheap porn.
Armed response
Armed response units are to police what paramedics are to doctors. They walk, talk and smell just like real cops but are quicker on the draw because they don’t have to fill in as much paperwork after gunning down a varmint. On the down side, they are paid almost as badly as cops. And, like cops, they also have habits to feed, gambling debts to pay and kids to put through reformatory. This is worth bearing in mind when you invite them into your home to inspect the entry and exit points and provide them with your secret code and a detailed schedule of your movements.
Dogs
Let us be clear on one thing. Dogs are animals. They are not meant to be kept as pets. We have all been to the beach or to a park and seen someone throw a ball for a dog. Perhaps you have even done it yourself. You people make me so angry. Why in god’s name are you encouraging your dog to chase balls when it is blindingly obvious to all who care about these things that he should be chasing criminals? Every time your dog runs after a ball, somewhere out there is a criminal not being chased.
And you, you with that fur-covered beach ball. Oh, it’s a Labrador, is it? Shame, give him another piece of cake. Watch him go into cardiac arrest through the sheer effort of wagging his anaconda-like tail. You, madam, are doing your dog and this country a great disservice. Your Labrador should be a lean, mean killing machine. He should be at home patrolling your perimeter fence, fangs a-slaver and barking mightily at anything that moves.
Big dogs are the infantry in our fight against crime. Their position is at the front. If you only have one dog, get another to watch the back. They are the first line of defence against those who wish to take our stuff and our lives.
Little dogs are signallers in this war. They form part of an early warning system and should be scattered about the property. Their job is to alert the big dogs that something might need checking out.
It is also useful to keep a supply of miniature breeds inside your house. If a burglar does gain entrance, one of the more effective methods of slowing him down is to throw them at him. Do not waste your dogs. Use them wisely. If you have done your job properly, your handheld dogs will have been trained to bite on impact. There are very few burglars who feel comfortable robbing you with two or three lapdogs hanging from their face. On the down side, small dogs frequently come with a manufacturer’s defect. Once they start yapping they frequently forget how to stop. A finger up the bum usually turns them off.
Breeds
Alsatians make the best guard dogs. Originally bred as all-purpose working dogs, they have a proud history of keeping darkies out of white areas. They also spent a lot of time on Jesus’s side of the Berlin Wall helping to fight communism.
They are handsome hounds, even if a bit right wing, and you will have to watch out for those neighbourhood bitches slipping in for a quickie while your dog is meant to be working.
If you are in the market for an Alsatian, pop in to your local police station and see if there are any on special. Try to get a dog from the drug squad. That way the days of misplacing your stash will be over.
Alsatians have their own governing body called the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde. Being German, the dogs understand what this means but they are often reluctant to talk about it. Perhaps it is like belonging to the Freemasons.
Some famous Alsatians are Hitler’s dog, Blondi; Rex the Wonder Dog; Rin Tin Tin and Orca of the SAPS KZN Midlands K9 Unit.
Bull terriers would make ideal guard dogs if you could only get them to open their jaws and let go. Nobody wants to pay top dollar for a pedigree dog and then have to cut its head off so the burglar can be thrown into a police car/mortuary van/hole in your back yard.
Whippets are faster than cheetahs in built-up areas. Obviously, out on the plains the cheetah will whip the whippet’s ass any day. When it comes to protecting your house, the whippet isn’t much good. Nobody is likely to be deterred by the sight of its tiny head, huge chest and ridiculously long legs. That its tail is permanently wedged between its legs is also less than intimidating.
A whippet will only care about whether the strange man climbing over your wall has any food in his pockets. Look at him in a friendly fashion and he will grin gratefully, roll over onto his back and open his legs. If I ever get the chance to dabble in genetics, I am going to cross breed a whippet with a woman.
Your whippet comes into his own when the burglar tries to flee. To see some real sport, tie something soft and furry (a pair of bunny slippers would work) to the burglar’s ankles and give him a 30-second head start.
Dachshunds are a bit of a gamble insofar as security is concerned. If the burglar does not incapacitate himself with laughter, you might want to have a back-up plan.
Zulu hunting dogs only work if the intruder is Zulu.
crocmoat

An open letter to Michaela ‘Sexy Hunter’ Fialova  

Dear Michaela,

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

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

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

Hunter-1

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

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

Michaela Fialova with monkey

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

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

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

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

Hunter-8

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

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

Hunter-5Hunter-3

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

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

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

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

Hunter-2

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

Hunter-4

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

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

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

Your fan, knee-deep in blood and gore,

Ben Trovato

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

 

Trovato cooking game

 

A Homicidal High

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

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

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

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

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

But let us return to the foulest of felonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Howzit Henke,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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