By the time you read this, I will be gone. No, not by my own hand. I’m too much of a coward for that. Although I did come close to death over the weekend. Surfing is among the few sports where one can die in many interesting ways. There is, for instance, almost zero chance of coming home after a friendly game of tennis with one arm chewed off at the elbow. And rugby players hardly ever drown during a game. Rackets, bats and balls themselves rarely inflict life-threatening injuries. A surfboard, on the other hand, can easily take out an eye or sever an artery.
At first, I thought I’d been hit by a shark because I was underwater at the time, which, if you know anything about surfing, is not where you’re supposed to be. I felt a tremendous blow to the face. Sharks tend to prefer the extremities, but there was a chance this one had a bit of Ramaphosa in him. Goes through the motions of being a shark, but when it comes to finishing things, the killer instinct simply isn’t there. Indecisive. Easily confused. Maybe I’ll just take a bite and hope for the best. To be clear, this is the shark thinking, not the president. Cyril would be more, like, maybe I’ll just take a nap and hope for the best.
Struggling to the surface, the only way I could tell if something was amiss was to see the expressions of others when they looked at me. I knew I still had a face because I could make moaning sounds and see things. A teenager paddled past. I moaned extra loudly to get his attention. He glanced over and made that face you make when you see someone who has been injured. A grimace, baring of clenched teeth, raising of the eyebrows and sharp intake of breath.
“Bru,” he said, quickly paddling away. I pressed my hand to my face and it came away red. Sharks can smell a drop of blood from a long way off. Hammerheads in Brazil would already be on their way. I prayed that the local great whites would make a start on the teenager, giving me time to reach the beach.
A pack of semi-clad nymphettes squealed as they saw me lurching up the sand and rushed over to help. No, of course they didn’t. They put their hands to their pretty mouths and hurriedly backed away. “Gross,” I heard one say.
There’s only one doctor in the village and I’d never been to him but I knew where his house was. With no patients waiting, always a bad sign, he told me to lie down. Because I had blood in my eyes and couldn’t see anything, I lay down on the floor. With the rough hands of a man more accustomed to delivering lambs, he helped me up and pushed me onto his bed. I hoped I wasn’t in his bedroom. I hoped even more that I’d come to the right house.
He cleaned me up and said I’d need some glue. I told him it had been a while but I was up for it if that’s what he recommended. Hell, why not make a party of it? Get some girls around. He didn’t say much more after that. With my wound glued shut, he stabbed me with a tetanus injection and said it’s good for 10 years. “I doubt you’ll be needing another,” he said.
So, anyway. How about our very own Bonny and Clyde? It seems our homicidal Houdini was travelling under the name of Tommy William Kelly, an American citizen. His Machiavellian moll, Dr Nandipha, was also pretending to be someone else. I bet they were having a blast practising their Alabama accents as they blew down the Tanzanian highway with the fleshpots of Mombasa in their sights. It all came crashing down at a routine roadblock near the Kenyan border.
They’d already been through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Why didn’t they just buy a farmhouse in Putsonderwater and stock up on recreational drugs, imported liquor and a powerful sound system? Our cops would never have found them. Instead, they went on a tour of southern Africa. Did these gibbering miscreants think they were on some kind of nefarious Top Gear Special?
Our neophyte justice minister praised the Tanzanian authorities for their “exemplary” cooperation. Compared to the UAE, anything would be an improvement. Our government no doubt screwed up the extradition of the Guptas, but the Emiratis could have cut us some slack. After all, we’re both on the FATF’s grey list. That should count for something, right?
As I was saying, by the time you read this, I will be gone. Not to one of Vanuatu’s 80 islands for a spot of snorkelling with Atul and Rajesh. Honesty doesn’t pay for that sort of lifestyle. Then again, I wouldn’t want to visit any country that dishes out citizenship to the likes of the Guptas in return for a few sacks of filthy, stolen lucre.
That’s one of the reasons I’m going to Costa Rica. And also because they have electricity.