Guns don’t kill people. Arseholes kill people.

Don’t get me wrong. You won’t catch me hugging any bunnies, but that’s largely because I’m afraid of them. It’s not funny. Leporiphobia is a real thing. I don’t come around to your house and laugh at your phobias, but I will if I have to. Actually, no, I won’t. I will come to your house with spiders and snakes and black men wearing balaclavas and force you to confront your fears. I might also laugh.

So, anyway. We have established beyond doubt that shooting deaths are caused by aresholes with guns, whether it be the paranoid 26-year-old arsehole who killed nine people at an Oregon college or the 28-year-old arsehole who killed Reeva Steenkamp.

Then there are the tens of thousands of people around the world walking the streets today who have shot and killed people. Some of them even got medals for it. They are soldiers, former soldiers and that guy at the end of the bar who you really don’t want to bump into. Are they all arseholes? Of course not. But mostly, yes.

I like the idea of guns more than I like guns themselves. They’re a bit like women, really. And I don’t mean loud and capable of going off for no good reason at all. I mean you feel invincible when you have one, but take it away and you spend your nights in the foetal position crying yourself to sleep.

Guns are weirdly supernatural. I don’t understand how they work. I also find television and electricity weirdly supernatural. Did you know that Superman is the only person who can travel faster than a speeding bullet? It’s no wonder we haven’t seen him in ages. He probably overshot Hillbrow in the 1960s and has been trying to find his way back from the Andromeda galaxy ever since.

The idea of being able to kill someone sitting on the beach a kilometer away is one that I find strangely compelling. You needn’t even have to stand up. Simply put your beer down, rest your rifle on a small child’s head, aim and pull the trigger. Bam! One less person on the beach.

History has shown that hostile forces tend to gather at the seaside. The Germans killed thousands on the beaches of Normandy. Of course, you’re going to need more than a sniper rifle if you hope to match figures like these. And you’re going to have to wait until December.

Google spits up 381 million results if you search for “guns”. I googled “sex” and got 1.6 billon results. Then I got distracted. Later, I googled sex and guns and got 96 million results, one of which was a story out of an American town called Blacksburg. “A small community in Virginia mourns as a man dies after having sex with his revolver.” It got worse after that. The next few results pointed me to sites about Guns N’ Roses, a band that toured Europe in the late 1940s, precipitating the early surrender of the Nazis.

I prefer knives to guns. When you’re not stabbing someone, you can use it to put Marmite on your toast. Try doing that with a gun.

Perhaps I need to learn how to love guns. Embrace them. Not in the way the guy from Blacksburg embraced his, obviously. Besides, I’d have a hard time inserting my … never mind.

I’m not a complete stranger to guns. When I was a kid my father would take me and his Walther PPK pistol down to the mangroves near Blue Lagoon. The first time it happened I thought he was going to kill me. Especially when he sat down and polished off half a dozen beers. Instead, he lined up the empties in a row. Then he put the gun in my little hand and told me to pretend the tins were communists. If this was a rite of passage, I failed miserably. “Go a bit closer,” he said every time I missed. Eventually I had the barrel pressed up against one of the cans. It was like an execution.

If I do get a gun, I’ll probably order it from America. You get two-for-one Tuesdays, plus a Happy Meal voucher, and they all have their serial numbers intact. I found Springfield Armory online. I liked the sound of it because the Simpsons come from Springfield. If it’s good enough for Homer, it’s good enough for me.

According to their website, in 1777 George Washington “ordered the creation of Springfield Armory to store revolutionary ammunition and gun carriages”. I won’t bore you with the details of what happened between then and now. There’s a saying that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I failed to learn history and got 17% in matric. I was damned if I was going to repeat it.

Their website says, “Let us help you find the firearm that fits you best.” Fair enough. Who among us hasn’t seen a toddler struggling to load her AK-47 and thought, “If only she had gone to a shop that cared.”

They have seven categories of guns including competition, concealed carry, home defence and short to long range. We don’t mess about with categories in South Africa. We just go a township and ask around. Or take one off a sleeping policeman.

I was immediately drawn to the concealed carry category because I have always liked hiding things. This probably explains my two failed marriages.

They offer 19 handguns. “Whether you’re looking for the most possible capacity or the deepest possible concealment, you can find it here.” I suppose one shouldn’t expect impeccable grammar from arms dealers, but how deep is the deepest possible concealment? And if we’re talking womb or lower bowel, how would you get it out in a hurry?

The multi-purpose category has 25 handguns to choose from. “Perhaps you want something to put on the nightstand after spending the day with it on the range. Or maybe you want something that you’ll shoot as often as you carry it.” I don’t understand what any of this means. I want to be able to pull the trigger and have a piece of lead ejected at 1000m a second. That’s all that matters. Forget all this talk of nightstands. You don’t want your gun reminding you of bed – you want to be reminded that it makes living things dead.

Home defence, or defense as they say, because Americans can’t spell, has 26 options. “The good news is that Springfield Armory produces several ergonomically pleasing and feature-rich firearms with plenty of capacity and power.”

This is good news for victims. Imagine the indignity of dying in a pool of your own blood after being shot with a firearm that was less than ergonomically pleasing. What a horrible way to go.

It’s not all handguns, of course. “When it comes to long-range sustained fire, you can do no better than the M1A.” Sounds a bit too close to MIA for my liking. There’s only one situation I can think of when an ordinary person might need a weapon capable of long-range sustained fire and it involves Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I’m disappointed that the shape of guns has barely changed since they were invented. Look at the range of bubble guns in toyshops. I saw one the other day shaped like a seahorse. Why can’t we do the same with real guns? I, for one, would be far more inclined to arm myself if I could buy a pistol shaped like a mongoose or a dolphin.

Come on, gun people. Let’s put the fun back into fundamentalism.

Lastly, I agree with those who say that mental illness is to blame for all the mass shootings in America. The National Rifle Association alone has five million mentally ill members. In 2013, a proposal on gun control was torpedoed when 45 mentally ill senators voted against background checks and a ban on assault rifles. Half of America’s adult population opposes stricter gun control laws. That’s 120 million mentally ill people right there. With that many crazy people on the loose, no wonder everyone wants a gun.

South Africa has never looked more sane.

We need guns to prevent dolphins from taking over the world-2

We need guns to prevent dolphins from taking over the world.

 

The bandersnatches are on their way

 

We have finally overtaken Britain as the world’s foremost nation in whining and complaining.

Crime is too high. Standards are too low. Sex is too fast. Service is too slow. I hate my job. I don’t have a job. I have a headache. I have Ebola. Too many white people. Too many black people. Not enough rain. Too much rain. On and on and on we go.

Sure, every nation complains. But a lot of them don’t stop there. We complain, then sit back and wait for something to happen. And when it doesn’t, we complain some more. We shake our heads and mutter about emigrating. Then the weekend rolls around and we braai and get drunk and suddenly this is the best country in the world.

Here, complaining is about as effective as getting a duck to participate in the ice bucket challenge. They don’t notice, they don’t care. We need to change tactics. Death threats, issued by mail or telephonically, have been known to get results. If that fails, step it up a notch. If you’re a whitey, stop a darkie in the street and ask him to teach you how to make a petrol bomb. Then offer him a ride home. Or to the taxi rank, at least. It’s that kind of bonding that will be the salvation of this country.

Governments through the ages have forced us to use violence to bring about change. If only they listened to the common people, Russia would still be ruled by the Romanovs and one of Marie Antoinette’s loathsome progeny would be the president of France.

Governments aren’t overthrown because they refuse to meet demands for free weed and beer fountains on every corner. They get their metaphorical heads chopped off because they can’t, or won’t, meet demands for jobs and houses and affordable food and fuel.

Fuck the Jabberwock, my son, for ‘tis nothing compared to the underclass. The jaws that bite, the claws that catch. Beware the Juju bird!

You’d be an idiot not to have a vorpal blade in these tense times. I haven’t had cause to use mine yet, so I know not whether it goes snicker-snack. I hope it does. You can’t return a vorpal blade. Not in these parts, anyway.

We don’t hear much about the underclass in this country. And for good reason. What? You mean there’s another class below the working class? Good god. Where are our passports? Chanteclare, get the children into the Range Rover. Hurry! Bring the Faberge eggs! Leave the horses!

The only reason the EFF has a presence in parliament is because the government allowed an underclass to develop. To be fair, though, the underclass was always there. The only difference is that they now have a voice. Turn your back on them at your peril. France still has plenty of second-hand guillotines they could easily offload on a country with a 0.6% growth rate.

Unlike Britain, we don’t have a clearly delineated class system. I’ve worked it out, though, and if we had to go down that treacherous road, we’d have at least eighteen classes ranging from lower underclass, through middle nouveau riche and all the way to upper old money, also known as the Oppenheimer class.

Anyway. Where was I? Ah, yes. Complaining. You know what I hate? People who, when you ask how they’re doing, they say, “Alright, I s’pose. Doesn’t help to complain.” I want to shout, “Look over there!” And when they turn to look, I sink my teeth into the fleshy part of their neck and shake them like a terrier shakes a rat.

You gutless drone. Governments love people like you. The given-ups. The what’s-the-pointers. If you can’t even be bothered with the first level of resistance, you deserve to die on your knees.

My job is to fix or foul the fault lines that run through civil and uncivil society, but I’m not going to turn my words into action unless you shiftless swine are prepared to back me up. I don’t want to ride into battle against the political orcs and uruk-hais only to turn around and find you’ve all buggered off to the pub.

We have an odd way of protesting. Cape Town’s taxi drivers, furious at being constantly fined and harassed by the cops, go out and set a bunch of buses alight. That’s like Barack Obama saying, “It’s time to teach those Islamic State terrorists a lesson. Tomorrow we bomb Stockholm.”

The cost of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project inexplicably went from R6.4-billion in 2006 to R20.6-billion in 2012. I expect Cosatu will retaliate by calling for a boycott of King Pie.

Fourteen trustees on the board of the government’s medical aid scheme each earn more than half a million rand for meeting a few times a year. The Communist Party will demand that the SPCA be shut down.

The police are corrupt – stone the ambulances. Teachers are drunk – torch the clinics. The ANC doesn’t deliver – vote for the ANC. Welcome to Alice in Blunderland.

Overwhelmed with outrage, I went to my local pub to think about what exactly I should complain about this week. I have two local pubs. Skabengas in Cape Town and the Bush Tavern in Umdloti. Also Beach Bums, there by Westbrook. And the Blow Hole in Glencairn. And the … okay, so I have more than two local pubs. But right now I’m in Cape Town.

Sweeping changes have been made to one of my favourite bars without anyone ever having consulted me. I am outraged.

The yuppification of Skabengas will go down as an atrocity second only to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Real skabengas used to drink at Skabengas. Now it’s full of hipsters with ironically trimmed beards and young married couples sighing at each other over cocktails and canapés. Obviously it’s no longer called Skabengas. Its new name is Beach Road Bar. The owner doesn’t do drugs, that’s for sure. And if he does, it’s the kind of drugs that stifle the imagination or make you want to water your garden or go to sleep.

Skabengas had wooden tables, wooden benches and people you wooden want to take home to meet your mother. Rastas controlled the bar, a giant TV played terrible music and even worse sport and stray dogs had the run of the place. By midnight the floor was sticky with oestrogen and the air thick with testosterone. It got loud and the pony-faced neighbours complained regularly.

The battered old bar that lurked with intent against the far wall has been replaced by a younger model posing cheekily in the centre of the room. The stairs leading down to the toilets, which would turn into the north face of the Eiger as the night wore on, have been tamed and decorated with sparkly mosaic tiles.

There are sculpted plastic chairs and couches with scatter cushions, the bisexuals of the furniture world. The décor is all pastels and pale wood and whites. A lot of whites. Particularly among the clientele.

Funky electro punky reggae trip hoppy poppy jazzy blues is piped through speakers discreetly mounted in the corners. Après-yuppification, it was women of a certain age being discreetly mounted in the corners.

Having said that, the view over Noordhoek beach and off towards Kommetjie is as magnificent as ever. I’m only surprised the interior decorator never insisted on bringing in flocks of pink flamingos fitted with diamanté collars and leg warmers studded with Swarovski rhinestones.

The other good thing is that you can still bring your dog. Also, an elderly gentleman just walked in with a bright green parrot on his shoulder. He ordered a Windhoek draught. The man, not the parrot. I don’t know what the parrot ordered. It seemed wrong to eavesdrop on a conversation between a man and his parrot. I’ve never seen a man so in love with a bird. I only hope it doesn’t die before he does. It’s a non-racist parrot, too, being quite happy to perch on the arm of a black customer for the classic selfie with parrot. This country should be run by parrots, especially if they only ever say, “Hello. How are you?” Parrots don’t make promises they can’t keep. I had a parrot once. I called him Onan because he kept spilling his seed. Sorry.

My waitress was a young white girl. Her manner was awkward and her forced laugh set my eyeballs on edge. She said it was her first time. As a waitress or among people? I couldn’t be sure.

She waited until my mouth was full, then rushed up and began enquiring about my pizza. It turned into an interrogation. My phone started ringing and still she wouldn’t stop.

It’s very colourful, isn’t it?” she said. Could she not see my gob was stuffed with pizza? Could she not hear my phone ringing and that I was waiting for her to shut up so that I could answer it? Apparently not. Apparently my pizza was so bright and colourful that we needed to discuss it as a matter of some urgency.

When I asked for the bill, she said, “Not a problem.” Are there restaurants where asking for the bill is a problem? “I’m sorry, sir. You haven’t eaten enough to warrant dirtying the cutlery and a napkin. You will have to order another item before we can allow you to pay and leave.”

She brought the bill and stood there while I fished out a couple of hundreds. Then she asked a question I’d never before been asked in a restaurant.

How much change would you like?”

Well, honey-bunny, I’d quite like all of my change, if you don’t mind, and then I shall turn my mind to matters relating to the tip.

Too polite to actually say that, I found myself being pressured into making lightning fast calculations using nothing more than my brain. Having caught sight of numbers, my cerebral cortex shut down almost immediately. I would have sat there slack-jawed and drooling if it weren’t for an obscure neural reflex that had me going, “Ummm. Ummm.”

Customers shouldn’t be put in this position. Working out twelve percent of R97.45 and then somehow relating that to the change from a R200 note is the sort of thing you learn at Harvard.