A misanthrope’s lament

Writing is a solitary business. But so is life, if we allow it be.

I’m neither talented nor crazy enough to be a genuine recluse, yet I find myself becoming increasingly isolated. It’s not so much that I dislike people. It’s more that I am no longer prepared to share my time with the dull and the witless. And there are so many more of them around than there are of the other kind. And yet. Being a loner comes at its own cost. Especially when mixed with dark rum and wild women.

British poet Felix Dennis sums it up rather nicely.

You cannot live as I have lived and not end up like this.

You cannot walk where I have walked denying the abyss.

Long nights of iguana joys and terror on the wheel

Will lead you to a labyrinth where Minotaurs are real.

And there’s the rub for amateurs; they act as if they care,

Too slow to cauterise a need to strip their wires bare:

You cannot dance with Dracula and wave away the kiss.

You cannot live as I have lived and not end up like this.

 

The battle of the sexes is alive and – well ….

I was elated to hear that dozens of men had been arrested as part of the celebrations for the government’s 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Children.

Personally, I don’t think the authorities have gone far enough. Every male over the age of nine should be rounded up and held incommunicado for the duration of the campaign. Hell, why stop there? An Egyptian dude with the pretentious name of Pharaoh once ordered all boys to be drowned at birth. I expect this is already high on the agenda of the Minister for Women. Pull it off and you’ve got my vote, lady.

One half of the bipartite alliance of jackbooted viragos ruling the Western Cape said she was thrilled with the way the campaign was progressing. Patricia de Lille was speaking after at least two dozen men were snatched off the streets and tossed into jail for not paying maintenance.

I think women and children should take responsibility for their own maintenance. Like cats. Women are almost there, what with the nails and the hissing and the endless grooming, but unfortunately they hate being on their own for too long.

Cape Town’s traffic cops are doubling up as bounty hunters and what the Americans call “deadbeat dads” are quivering with fear and phoning in to see if they are on the wanted list. A provincial spokesman said there had even been calls from fathers who actually wanted to see their children. What on earth is going on in the Western Cape? Is Helen Zille slipping oestrogen into the water supply? Are there no real men left out there? Next thing you know, the bars will be full of divorced men weeping into their beer and telling each other that their ex-wives are such wonderful people.

Men need to learn that violence against women is wrong. They also need to learn that being a man is wrong. Man, wrong. Man, wrong. This is the message that must be literally pounded into their heads. The best way to do this is with a baseball bat. It’s the only language they understand.

Arresting them is not going to help. Married men already languish in a psychological prison and most would welcome a few nights of peace and quiet in a cosy, insulated cell with other people who aren’t in the mood for chatting or cuddling.

I therefore propose we celebrate 16 Days of Activism for More Violence Against Men. The beauty of the campaign is in its simplicity. Virtually everything men do or don’t do can be rewarded with violence.

If you are a woman and you know a man, do not hesitate to drag him from his home or office. Beat him soundly and toss him to the lesbians. He will most likely deny having done anything. This is not a reason to go easy on him.

Pre-emptive punishment helps men understand that they need to do something about The Situation. It is your job, as a woman, to let him know what is expected of him through a combination of body language and telepathy.

The creative use of discipline is recommended since men have shown a disturbing tendency to begin enjoying physical abuse if the pattern of violence is not regularly diversified. You should, for example, avoid concentrating on spanking.

Here are a few suggestions for those of you who wish to train your men or, if you are a misandrist who prefers flying solo, simply to vent. Which, after all, is one of your many rights as a woman.

  • Forgetting a birthday or anniversary – Six lashes to the buttocks (canes to be provided by the state).
  • Unwilling to go out and look for a job – Miley Cyrus played at full volume through speakers in every room.
  • Leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor – Two waterboarding sessions.
  • Leaving dirty clothes on the bedroom floor – Non-erotic asphyxiation.
  • Leaving dirty dishes on the lounge table – Three tablespoons of wasabi.
  • Unable to cook a meal – Indefinite withholding of food.
  • Unable to work a washing machine – Indefinite withholding of clothes.
  • Demanding frequent sex (more than once a month) – Electric shocks to the genitals.
  • Drinking excessively (more than six beers a week) – Dog box for 10 days.
  • Flirting with other women (real or imagined) –  15ml of hydrochloric acid in each eye.
  • Refusing to walk the dogs – Extraction of toenails.
  • Refusing to walk at all – Pop riveting of kneecaps.
  • Refusing to watch romantic comedies – Gagged and bound and forced to watch Gigli on repeat.
  • Unable to open up emotionally – Tongue injected with embalming fluid.
  • Pretending to listen – Hair set on fire.

 

5 December 2010

An Open Letter to Melissa Bachman

Dearest Melissa,

I just wanted to say how much I love that photo of you posing next to the lion you killed in South Africa.

The picture has gone around the world and everyone thinks you are absolutely wonderful. Well, apart from those who think you are a coldhearted filthpig who uses a gun to deal with issues of low self-esteem and other unresolved childhood pathologies.

I think you are great. I wish you were my wife. My dream would be to travel the world, just you and I, with matching His and Hers .357 Benjamin Rogues, shooting animals in the face just for the hell of it.

I can’t believe the size of your telescopic sights. This is not a euphemism. That thing mounted on your gun is huge. I’m surprised you even had to leave America. It would have been cheaper to just get on a stepladder out on your porch, face South Africa and pull the trigger.

I bet you’re a real tiger in bed, too. That’s a post-orgasmic glow on your face in the dead lion shot, that is. Was it good for the lion, too? Must have been. He looks completely exhausted. And who wouldn’t be after taking a bullet in the head? It was the head, wasn’t it? I don’t suppose it really matters. The important thing is that South Africa has one less lion. These furry bastards sleep all day and contribute nothing to the economy. We can’t even go out without one of them sloping up to our window and asking for a handout. And god help us if we don’t give them some kind of meat-based product right away. They think nothing of chewing our arm off right there at the traffic lights.

I read your tweet just after the gun battle. “Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion. What a hunt!” Sixty yards sounds a lot, but it isn’t. Not if the lion charges and you have to suddenly make the five yards back to your vehicle.

Some honey-buggers seem to think it would have been a fair fight if you had been dropped into the middle of the bush by helicopter at night, and then used nothing but your teeth and nails to kill the lion. Look, you’re American. Those are some big-ass scary teeth you have in your head, no doubt about it. But who said it has to be hand-to-hand combat? Jesus talked about survival of the smartest. Besides, if lions enjoy living so much, why didn’t they invent guns?

I see on your website that you have killed almost every animal that ever dared to walk, fly or crawl across your path. Well done. I particularly liked the one you gunned down in Alaska before you came over here to deal with our lion, nyala, duiker and zebra problem. The nice thing about zebra is that you can go over to them and shoot them in the back of the head with a handgun without even spilling your drink. We’re very lucky to have them. Or not have them. Whatever.

Oh, yes. The caption was, “My first Alaskan brown bear! A beautiful and extremely blonde one to top it off!!” It must have been particularly satisfying for a brunette like you, Melissa. Blondes have all the fun. Well, not any more they don’t.

I love how you have taken the sport of archery and converted it into a means of hunting. The same should be done with other sporty type things. Croquet is a giggle, sure, but how much more of a giggle would it be to substitute the ball for a splinter grenade? Place hoops at the entrance to fox or rabbit burrows. Get extra points for blowing up babies. That kind of thing. I’m surprised the British haven’t thought of it.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful lion with his head cut off and stuck on your wall where it belongs. Did you know that a lion’s front legs make great sock puppets for the kids if you hollow them out properly? Make sure not to leave any meat in them. You don’t want your children getting all maggoty.

By the way, I couldn’t help noticing that your lion has a couple of nasty scratches on his face. You might want to take him back and shoot a fresh one. Tell that Julious Heyneke at the Maroi Conservancy that you don’t want a second-hand lion.

I’m glad to see that those people at the “conservancy” point out on their website that all the meat from hunted animals is given to the local community. But they must be careful. I can already hear the complaints.

“That’s canned lion three times this week. Fuck that shit. We’re on strike.”

Oh, wait. They don’t have lions. But it was on your “wish list”. So when you asked them for a lion, they said, “Sorry, lady, we’re out of lions. But we know a guy who knows a guy in Zeerust.”

I don’t like pimps myself, whether it be for chicks or lions, but hey, whatever gets your ovaries off, babe.

Anyway. Good luck with the hunting. If you ever come back, there are people who will pay you good money to take out a dangerous animal terrorizing parts of Johannesburg.

They call it the Krejcir from the black lagoon.

 

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The Final Countdown to Total Onslaught

I was out the other evening and happened to ask a passing waiter to bring me a fresh beer. He told me he wasn’t a waiter. He said he was a civil engineer from Joburg, visiting Durban on business, and that I could fetch my own goddamn beer. Then he said something in Xhosa and that’s when I knew it was starting.

The uprising. The vengeance. The annihilation of the last white tribe of Africa.

I raced home and phoned United Nations headquarters but they said I couldn’t speak to the secretary general. Have these people learnt nothing from Rwanda? I turned to the interweb to see if anyone out there had an emergency plan of action. A lot of people did – mainly involving shaven Asian babes – but then I found the Suidlanders.

Patriots to a man, they have already given advice to white people on what to do when Mandela dies and the pressure cooker pops its lid. Thing is, their website is entirely in Afrikaans. When I was a child, my mother threatened to wash my mouth out with drain cleaner if I so much as uttered an Afrikaans word.

Now look what’s happened. A whole infoportal giving us instructions on what to do and where to go when anarchy engulfs this country and I can’t understand a word of it.

Maybe it’s deliberate. Maybe the Suidlanders don’t want their places of safety overrun with snooty soutpiele whinnying and braying at cocktail hour and organising games of polo with the war horses.

So, for those who wish to avoid being scalped and roasted over an open fire, but are unsure of what to do when the apocalypse is upon us, here are some handy pointers. This is aimed largely at English-speakers, but black Boers are welcome provided they sit quietly at the back and don’t keep asking other people for cigarettes.

Unfortunately, the catchy name “Suidlanders” is taken and I don’t know what to call ourselves. Send me your suggestions. The best one wins a box of matches.

We also need some kind of divine justification for our actions. The Suidlanders are backed by everyone from Isaiah to Ezekiel and when the Habbakuk hits the fan, I want to know we have solid backing from someone  with real power.

Hugh Hefner once said: “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion; it is sex.” Until we come up with something better, I think that provides a worthy endorsement of our cause.

The Suidlander’s motto is taken from the fourth stanza of the national anthem. I didn’t even know our anthem had stanzas. In fact, the entire affair is the musical equivalent of an Israeli rocket attack on a children’s hospital and should be hauled off to answer charges of violating the integrity of anthems everywhere.

Right. Let’s get down to business.

First rule: Be prepared. You cannot afford to get caught with your pants down. Look what happened to Eugene Terreblanche. You need to be ready to withdraw to a place of safety. Please do not come to my house. It is a place of many things, but safety is not one of them.

It is no secret that black people operate on a complicated system of coded signals. These messages are often transmitted via email, registered post, funny handshakes or simply by shouting from one side of the valley to the other. Bearing in mind that 45 million people need to be alerted, you will have roughly four years to implement your evacuation plan. This may seem like a long time, but once you have gathered the children, found the car keys and convinced your wife that those pants don’t make her bum look fat, your neighbourhood could be in flames.

Do not jump the gun. Many whites emigrate, only to read in the Sydney Herald that it was not the final onslaught after all, but merely a group of striking garbage collectors. Nor should you take fright at the increasing number of people gathered at traffic lights. They are not mobilising. They are merely unemployed. Act as you normally do. Wind up your window and ignore them.

When the moment arrives, and you will know when it does, you need to move quickly to your nearest rallying point where trained personnel will be waiting to escort you to safe locations. I cannot identitfy the rallying points because the darkies would simply go straight there and tear us to pieces. Or worse, make us drink skokiaan and insist on discussing local soccer.

I recommend that you purchase a shovel, a welding torch, a toilet brush and a bag of marijuana. That’s the only down side of the safe locations – there won’t be any darkies around to score weed from. It’s a small price to pay.

You will also need to stockpile food. If you forget to pick up the groceries, you will need to know how to forage for food. We are fortunate to live in a country full of edible and smokable flora. Know your nuts and brush up on your mushrooms. If you eat the Amanita phalloides, you will need a liver transplant. If you are truly one of us, you are likely in need of a new liver anyway. Stick with the Agaricus campestri, or, even better, anything from the psilocybin family.The crucial thing is not to leave your evacuation too late. If you wake up on a Sunday morning to find 50 000 Zulus at your front gate, do not assume they are looking for gardening work and go back to sleep.

On judgement day, it is important that you get moving early. There is little point in beating the mob only to get caught in traffic. Taxi drivers will be the cavalry in this war and they will be doing whatever they can to kill you. In that respect, nothing will have changed.

Hey! Look at that. I pressed a button and translated the Suidlanders’ website into English. “The National Board of Suidelanders want all fans to moon to guard against any illegal action as it not only yourself and your family influence, but also a large community of supporters across the country already in the Suidlander structures are included.”

I am not convinced that mooning is an appropriate response to genocide, but I suppose it’s worth a shot.

Noddy sought on Golly abuse charges

To celebrate Noddy’s 60th birthday, Enid Blyton’s granddaughter has added a new book to the series – the first in 46 years. But Sophie Smallwood has cut the black golliwogs out of the story, saying the characters would be too controversial – news report

I was slumped in the pub the other day when a peculiar-looking fellow came in and pulled up a stool next to me. He asked for a scotch on the rocks and sat there, quietly fraying at the edges. For the sake of good race relations, I introduced myself. He put out his hand. It was soft and furry.

“Golly,” he said. Odd thing to say.

“Golly what?”

He gave a hollow laugh and downed his scotch. “Golliwog,” he said, “although for obvious reasons I don’t use my full name any more.”

Then it dawned on me. “You’re Noddy’s friend, aren’t you?” He snorted. “Don’t talk to me about Noddy. Middle-class snob bastard.” I was shocked.

“But you two always seemed to have so much fun in Toyland!” Golly signaled the barman.

“Sure we did,” said Golly sourly. “But after I closed up the garage, Noddy went off to his posh house and I went back to my shack in Golly Town. The brothers weren’t allowed to live in Toytown. That was for the special ones.”

“You mean ..?”

“Yeah,” said Golly, sniffing his drink suspiciously. “For the whiteys. For imbeciles like Big Ears and the local filth, Mr Plod. He arrested my cousin once. Accused him of stealing Noddy’s stupid taxi. Just imagine.”

Golly slammed his furry fist onto the bar counter. “Noddy wasn’t so perfect, you know.”

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Where do you think he got his name from?”

“From nodding his head to make his little bell ring?”

“Yeah, right. He kept nodding off on account of his heroin habit. The goblins were his suppliers. Not many people know that.”

Golly told me Tessie Bear was a transvestite. We didn’t speak for a while after that. Eventually I plucked up the courage. “Noddy and Big Ears. Is it true they were ..?” He barked harshly.

“They had sleepovers, for Christ’s sake. Noddy lived in a house-for-one. There was no spare room. Use your imagination.”

I ordered a couple of tequilas and changed the subject. “So what do you think of the new Noddy book?”
“Bound to be a bestseller,” he said bitterly, “now that us golliwogs are out of the picture.” It did seem a bit unfair. “Is it because I’m black?” asked Golly angrily.

He downed his tequila and asked for a Jägermeister. “I turned 60 today,” he said.

“To your health,” I said, raising my glass. Golly coughed up a little blood and lit a cigarette. “Doc says my liver’s ruined. Says I’ve got two, maybe three years left.”

I didn’t know what to say. It all seemed so terribly sad. A police siren wailed in the distance. The barman called for last orders. I slipped a twenty into Golly’s tattered pocket and said goodbye.

“See you around,” said Golly, not bothering to look up.

I stopped at the door. “By the way,” I said. “Whatever happened to Bumpy Dog?”

Golly smiled for the first time. “Noddy reversed over him back in ‘62.”

Why Mickey Mouse Would Make A Better President Than Jacob Zuma

Mickey is black but he has a white face. This means he stands a good chance of being accepted across the racial spectrum.

Mickey is keenly aware of the importance of personal hygiene. For a start, you will never see him without a clean pair of white gloves. He takes precautions to protect his health in other areas, too. Cheddex, the Cheddar-Flavoured Condom for Randy Rodents®, is his preferred method of contraception. Mickey does not believe that a post-coital shower eliminates the risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Mickey has mastered the art of getting people to laugh with him instead of at him. Blessed with the ability to sing and dance at the same time, Mickey brings joy into people’s lives as opposed to striking terror into their hearts.

Mickey is an independently wealthy mouse. Worth an estimated $15-billion, Mickey never has to rely on his friends to bail him out of financial difficulties. In fact, it is usually Mickey who lends money to cash-strapped losers like Goofy and Pluto.

Mickey can be trusted implicitly. It doesn’t matter whether you are a dog, a duck or a bird, you can run out of petrol in the middle of the night and one phone call will bring Mickey rushing to your aid. But don’t ask him to lie for you, because he won’t. Don’t call him up and say: “Yo Mick, Donald here. Listen, if Daisy calls, tell her I’m sleeping over at your place tonight.”

Mickey is not a homophobe. In fact, given his predilection for skimpy red shorts, there is a very good chance that he is latently gay. He might not come out openly and condone the homosexual lifestyle, what the prominence of his position and all, but he most certainly would not describe same-sex marriages as “a disgrace to the nation and to God”. And especially not if he happened to be the guest speaker at, say, Heritage Day celebrations in KwaDukuza.

Mickey is a one-woman mouse. Apart from a brief ill-advised flirtation with Daisy Duck in 1968, he has never cheated on Minnie and would never, ever consider bringing another wife into the Mouse house.

Mickey never shows his age. Even though he was born in 1928 and stills turns up for work every day, he always looks fit, young and happy. Almost human, in fact. Just the kind of president we need.

Earth Hour Se Ma Se Poes

Earth Hour last night was a raging success and it doesn’t matter that the surge caused by everyone switching their lights back on at the same time forced power stations to crank up their output levels so high that even the dolphins at uShaka Marine World were sweating.

To be frank, with the possible exception of Happy Hour, I am not overly interested in anything that lasts for only 60 minutes. The other thing is this. I have never felt particularly close to the human race and for me to join them en masse in a staged event of this magnitude would have felt like a deeply unnatural act.

Brenda, however, insisted that we put the lights off at 8.30pm. There is nothing worse than being lectured on global warming by someone who doesn’t know the facts, so I agreed if only to shut her up. Also, it meant the next generation wouldn’t be able to accuse me of not having done anything to save the planet. Not that the planet cares much for us, what with its capricious earthquakes, impulsive landslides and fickle volcanic eruptions.

“But I’m keeping the television on,” I said. If Brenda planned on sneaking up behind me, I wanted to see her coming. Earth Hour – there is no better time to kill your spouse. I can see the secretary-general of the National Union of Housebreakers making a note in his diary. Indeed. South Africa might not be the best country in which to encourage people to switch off all their lights at a predetermined time.

I was deep into the movie when the doorbell rang. It has to be said that when a doorbell rings in a darkened house in the middle of a horror film, no good can come of it. Wives will scream and husbands will curse. Cats will get tripped over and dogs will bark like creatures possessed.

Brenda found the front door and shouted hysterically into the night: “Who’s there?”

A shrill voice pierced the air. “Hi! Just wanted to let you know you have a light on upstairs and there’s still half an hour to go. It would be FABULOUS if we could all just pull together, you know?”

Brenda apologised and went upstairs to switch off the bathroom light. I was so incandescent with rage that my face went thermal and lit up the lounge in an eerie red glow.

How dare this … this stranger interrupt my movie to tell me to put all my lights off! I turned on Brenda, snarling, demanding to know why she was dancing to this incomprehensibly rude intruder’s tune. “Did she say she was with the Earth Police?” I shouted. “Why didn’t you ask to see some ID?”

My nerves shattered, movie ruined and evening in tatters, I went around the house switching the lights back on, ranting and raving like a Palestinian suicide bomber who made it all the way to Tel Aviv only to find that he had left the detonator on the kitchen counter at his uncle’s house back in Gaza.

Brenda got her back against the wall and watched me warily.

Who, in their right mind, would go around in the middle of the night ringing other peoples’ doorbells to tell them they have a light on and that, in the interests of stopping the polar ice caps from melting, they should turn it off? Those are the actions of a certifiably crazy person – a person who you should legally be entitled to shoot.

It is sanctimonious, overweening, self-appointed and almost certainly hypocritical eco-cops like this who make otherwise rational people like me want to wake up in the morning and spray cans of deodorant at the ozone layer. They make me want to start up my car and let it idle in the driveway for an hour or two every day and they make me want to leave my carbon footprint all over their officious little ferret faces.

Unless you are wearing a uniform, carrying a gun and have a warrant for my arrest, don’t think you can ring my doorbell and tell me what to do. The next time it happens, I swear, the planet gets it. And you will be responsible.

Kill To Licence

I have come to the conclusion that the City of Cape Town’s motor vehicle registration and licensing department is not so much a department as it is a bat-eared, clock-watching post-nasal drip sitting in a padded cubicle eating a cream donut and practising his/her signature with the sharp end of a spark plug/mascara pencil.

All indications point to this being the case after I attempted to renew the licence on my Land Rover. This is not as impressive as it sounds. It’s not one of those gay Land Rovers with electric windows and air con. It’s the other kind. The masculine one.

If Rommel had managed to get his hands on a few of these, we would all be speaking German today.

My other car, you may recall, slipped into a coma after a gang of supakak assassins operating out of Fish Hoek bungled the job. I recently decided to pull the plug on my beloved Hyundai after real mechanics told me he would never drive again.

In the last few weeks, members of the constabulary have on several occasions taken it upon themselves to remind me, in writing, that my licence disc had expired. Each reminder will cost me R600. I am speaking hypothetically, of course. Like many of you, I pay my fines with the same diligence Blade Nzimande accords to higher education.

Eventually I could no longer endure watching traffic officers take an hour to spell my name and paid R549 for a new disc.

The City of Cape Town was quick to take my money and almost as quick to tell me that they wouldn’t be giving me the disc until I … well, the bat-eared half-wit says it so much more eloquently than I ever could:

The vehicle licence disk for the Rover was not printed due to the Hyundai Elantra that’s licence has expired 2012-04-30.Please note that all your vehicle’s is registered on your ID number, automatically if one vehicle’s licence disk has expired the other wont print.In order for the Rovers licence disk to print the Hyundai’s licence must be paid, scrapped then you need to request for a refund on the licence or the vehicle must be scrapped.The bank is still the title holder of the Hyundai.”

I care not what atrocities you visit upon the English language, nor am I concerned about your clumsy attempts at extortion, but please do not tell me that the bank owns a car I bought second-hand 14 years ago.

If I am in contravention of one of our nugatory laws, then I shall take my medicine like a man. I shall take it – hopefully it will be mildly hallucinogenic – and, like so many other malfeasants in this country, proceed directly to the Constitutional Court so they may remove the stain upon my name and allow me to run for president.