The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says Jacob Zuma will lead its campaign ahead of next year’s general election. What a good idea. Durban is like one of those burned-out racehorses who break a leg and have to be taken around the back of the stables and shot. Actually, maybe not. The city has been scratched from the race because it’s really not well. Getting Zuma to head the election campaign is nothing short of a mercy killing. KZN needs to be put out of its misery. It’s the humane thing to do.
Last week, the eThekwini municipality closed the city’s beaches due to the sea being contaminated by things of great evil flushed down the Umgeni River after heavy rains. The murderous shark nets had also been displaced. So if you did go for a dip and somehow avoided catching dead cow disease, a ragged-tooth would bite your face off.
“However,” said the municipality brightly, “residents can still enjoy other activities along the beach that do not require them to come into contact with sea water.” Holidaymakers are apparently free to take their chances. Here are some alternatives that residents might want to consider.
Mugging. Durban’s climate is ideal for outdoor activities such as mugging, an increasingly popular sport with many health and other benefits. Jogging up to someone, relieving them of their valuables and sprinting off down the promenade on a sunny day makes for a cheap yet effective cardio workout. More importantly, it provides a welcome boost to your finances. There is a police station at North Beach so don’t forget to give the officers a cheery wave as you speed past. They will appreciate the gesture and, if they are awake, might even return it.
Touch rugby. With the Springboks having bludgeoned their way into the World Cup final, the sport is enjoying a tremendous revival. You can’t bring out a rugby ball in public right now without strangers diving at your ankles. Durban’s beaches are ideal for touch rugby because you can get away with a wide range of offences. I don’t mean like being off your face at the breakdown. I’m talking manslaughter, here. Cops hate getting sand in their boots. Make the game more interesting by playing with four balls and 100-a-side.
Metal detecting. Yet another fun activity that doesn’t require contact with sea water. Durban’s beaches are a veritable trove of hidden treasure. Items buried in the sand include wedding rings, Kruger rands, detonators, AK-47s and World War 2 landmines.
Rollerblading. Not so much on the actual beach, but the neglected children’s paddling pools are ideal for a bit of skating. I mean the pools are neglected, not the children, although every December there are parents who succeed in giving their kids the slip, thereby earning themselves a few hours and sometimes even years of peace.
Amusement park. In line with the municipality’s single-minded mission to kill tourism, Durban Funworld was forced to close down a few months ago after 75 years in business. To be fair, it was never a massive amount of fun if you weren’t seven years old or quite drunk. But even though the park is now inhabited by roaches and rats the size of cats, it doesn’t mean you can’t still go on rides. Climb onto a stranger’s shoulders and get him to run around in circles. Whip him if you have to. This is more fun than it sounds, especially if there are a few of you doing it. And the people on top are armed with pangas. The aerial cableway is gone but you can still get high by buying weed from one of the many helpful vendors who frequent the area.
Sandcastles. Building sandcastles is always fun, but be prepared for the construction mafia to drop by and encourage you at gunpoint to pay two homicidal balaclava-wearing members of the underclass to supervise the building process.
Cycling. Hire a bicycle at the Skate Park and cycle to Blue Lagoon for a bunny chow and a hit on a friendly fisherman’s crack pipe. Then turn around and ride all the way back down to the harbour mouth. If you come across a mounted policeman, give the horse a good slap on its rump and turn it into a race. Police horses love that sort of sport. If you’re riding with a friend, you can also play Spot the Whitey. The first to see a white person has to buy the beers at uShaka. This is not a game that’s easily won.
Emigrate. Not many people know this, but if you keep digging for long enough on, say, Addington Beach, you will eventually come out on Bondi Beach in Sydney. When you reach halfway, you are going to have to turn around and start digging upwards. This means you will emerge in Australia like a giant human mole. This could startle others on the beach. Don’t forget your passport. And maybe a bottle of rum to appease the natives.