There will be blood (tests)

So the nights are getting shorter. But not short enough for me. I’m done with nights. Sleeping is an appalling waste of the little time we are allowed on this mad carousel.

If you live to 75, you will have spent 25 years asleep. Do you have any idea how much you could accomplish if you never indulged in these ridiculous second-rate comas? You could squeeze two new careers and three more marriages into the time you’ve been unconscious. I’m going to give it a shot. No more sleep for me from now on.

Also, I went for blood tests and I might not have much time left. Whenever I go to the doctor, which isn’t very often, he circles things on a form and tells me to go for blood tests. The form joins years of unpaid traffic fines in the footwells of the passenger seats, where they soak up seawater, blood, spilled beer and the like.

The most recent form was picked up by a rogue gust of wind and wrapped itself around my face, causing me to veer into the path of an oncoming taxi. The driver thought I was playing a game of chicken and held his line until the last second, when the form detached itself and I swerved violently out of his path.

I took this as a sign and decided to go to PathCare first thing in the morning and find out what manner of deadly filth was coursing through my veins.

Not belonging to any religions that fast – or any that don’t – I was distressed to discover that nothing was to pass my lips from 10pm until the test. It seemed extreme. I do all my best indulging after 10pm. Deprivation doesn’t come naturally. Fasting is for people who either can’t afford food or are doing penance. I prefer to punish myself in more pleasurable ways.

I woke at 8am, delirious with hunger, and made a cup of tea. It’s tea, for heaven’s sake. Not a jug of melted lard. How could it possibly skew the results? Anyway, to get a true reading, wouldn’t it make more sense to test people when they’re in their regular state? Anyone can pass a blood test when they’ve lived like a monk for 12 hours. As soon as the tourniquet is untied, they are going to make a high-speed run to the nearest Spur and gorge on dead animals and vodka milkshakes. When they stagger out three hours later, belching and farting, that’s when you want to test them.

The PathCare receptionist seemed surprised to see me. Did she think I would be dead? Quite possibly, given my results from five years ago. She asked if I’d eaten anything or had tea or coffee. I wasn’t going to tell the truth because she’d call security and have me escorted from the building. I could see she knew I was lying, and not just because I had a teabag tag stuck to my chin.

The nurse said, “You’re going to feel a bit of a prick.” I sighed. “Wouldn’t be the first time.” There was no response. I hoped she didn’t take it the wrong way. Not that there was a right way.

I wasn’t overly worried about the results because I hadn’t looked at the form and consequently had no idea what they were testing for.

A few days later my phone rang multiple times. It was an unknown number. After ignoring it for two days, it occurred to me that it might have been my doctor with the terrible news that I had another 30 years to live.

I’d rather die than speak to someone on the phone, so I went online and got my results directly from PathCare. It was a jumble of letters and numbers that made no sense at all, forcing me to scour the internet and learn new stuff.

“What fresh hell is this?” shouted my brain. “We’re in med school now?”

My cholesterol was high, but also lower than it was at the destructive peak of my last marriage when I was doing everything I could to trigger a fatal heart attack. It seemed quicker and cleaner than divorce.

My PSA levels showed my prostate was still a happy little walnut and I probably didn’t need to fork out money for a stranger to root around in my bottom. When it comes to that sort of thing, I’m the one who charges.

My GGT was 95, the highest I’ve ever scored for anything. I opened a bottle of champagne and called my father with the good news. Thought I’d never amount to anything, eh? That’ll show you. There was a long silence. I felt my liver convulse like an angry foetus.

“You might want to check your research,” said my father.

Don’t try to extinguish Girls on Fire

I saw a news story today about Girls on Fire. Someone should put them out, was my first thought. Risking my sanity by reading beyond the headline, I learned the story was about a marked increase in the number of women buying guns, applying for gun licences and enquiring about gun competency certificates.

Girls on Fire is, in fact, a campaign organised by one Lynette Oxley. She says it is “empowering” for a woman to have a gun and “it changes the way that you feel about yourself”. At last, a solution to all those annoying body dysmorphic and self-esteem issues.

The name Oxley rang one of those bells you hear fewer and fewer of as you get older. I put on a Hazmat suit, plunged recklessly into the archives and found a column I wrote six years ago.

…………………

Turning to Facebook for inspiration is like turning to vodka for sobriety but I did it anyway and that’s where I found Lynette Oxley. Her profile picture is of a Rottweiler looking as if he’s about to chew the photographer’s face off. That’s the fun part. She and her husband Paul run a company in Joburg called Tac Shac.

They sell teddy bears and semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles that are the civilian versions of military weapons systems. Okay, I lie. They don’t sell teddy bears.

Oxley contributes to a blog called gunservant.com. The blog’s logo is, “The Truth is our Weapon.” When ‘truth’ and ‘weapon’ get together in the same sentence, it usually ends badly.

In the piece I read, she points out that the media tells us “we are under constant and violent attack by criminals”. If the only reason you think you live in a violent society is because the media tells you so, then you’re not getting attacked enough.

At least 20 people are shot and killed every day in South Africa. More guns is clearly the answer.

Oxley says the only way to level the playing field “with a man twice our size” is by using a gun. The average woman is five-foot-six. This blood-crazed mythical man would, then, be eleven feet tall. Truth? I don’t think so. Okay, fine. Hyperbole is second nature to gun groupies, so I’ll let it slide.

Oxley’s proselytising is clearly aimed at women. Actually, her contribution to this website was a tribute to Women’s Month. Let’s get started, girls. Anyone for tea and bullets … er, biscuits?

In an attack, the “Bad Guys”, as she calls them, will go for the men first. “This will give you, as an armed woman, an advantage.” This is just one of the reasons why it’s not a bad idea to have a man around the place. Actually, it might be the only reason.

“If you decide to purchase a firearm, you need to change the way you think.” I imagine you would. For a start, you’d need to stop seeing people as living, breathing human beings and start seeing them as moving targets.

Oxley has been “carrying” since 2003. If a pregnant woman says this to you, don’t assume she’s talking about the contents of her womb. Just run.

She says there’s no point having your gun locked up in a safe – it needs to be with you 24/7. One of the conditions of getting a gun licence is that you have a safe. I don’t know how Oxley gets around this. Maybe she straps the safe to her back.

Oh, right. The law simply says you must have a safe. It doesn’t say you have to keep your gun there.

She says carrying your gun 24/7 means you have to make certain arrangements. I expect she’s talking about your VGO – your visible gun outline. In the old days, women needed only worry about their VPL. I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve seen videos of women shoplifters stuffing frozen chickens up their skirts, so I imagine secreting a gun wouldn’t be much of a problem.

She does say that concealed carry would involve having to change your lifestyle and your wardrobe. I’m surprised a fashion designer hasn’t come up with a range of cocktail frocks with discreet built-in holsters for that sexy little 9mm in your life. As for lifestyle, well, I imagine you’d want to avoid those wild house parties where the men get drunk and throw the women into the pool. On the other hand…

“Please don’t throw me in the pool.”
“Arrr c’mon babe! Why?”
“Because I’ll shoot you in the face if you do.”

Sensibly, she advises women against keeping their gun in their bags. Studies have shown that it takes the average woman between four minutes and two days to find any given item in her handbag.

Oxley says she carries her gun in an inside waistband holster, so if she suddenly shoves her hand down her broeks, you need to know this is not a come-on gesture. This is a go-ahead-make-my-day gesture. She also has an outside waistband holster for sport shooting, which presumably is when the mugger starts running. Firing at a moving target is always great sport.

She prefers the outside holster because she has “built significant muscle memory for this position … the gun is where my body is used to it being”. My body is used to being in the slouched-over-the-bar position and only two muscles have any memory worth mentioning.

Oxley says most of her friends “appendix carry” or carry “small of back”. I always thought the small of a woman’s back was one of their more easily locatable erogenous zones. Turns out it’s nothing more than a convenient indentation in which a pearl-handled pistol may nestle. I always wondered about that post-coital metallic taste in my mouth.

She moves on to what she describes as the most controversial issue. I thought it might be, is it okay to kill people? Apparently not. The most controversial issue is which firearm to buy. I expect she means controversial in the sense that debate on this topic frequently becomes so heated that shots are fired.

She says the size and weight of the gun should “fit in with your particular lifestyle and circumstances”. If, for example, you’re a kindergarten teacher, you might want to look at something smaller than the 1.2m Pfeifer Zeliska revolver. I suppose it all depends on how rowdy your class is.

“One of my biggest irritations are what a lot of men (I am not saying all men) think women should carry.” Typical bloody men. If they’re not trying to murder you, they’re telling you what gun to carry.

Men (not all men) seem to think their women should carry .38 special revolvers. I’d be happy if women just carried their own shopping bags.

Oxley says they’re talking rubbish. Revolvers are bulky, have bad triggers and are hard to shoot. Also, they have a lot of stoppages. They’re like the Mineworker’s Union of handguns. She suggests ladies – as she calls them – should rather go for pistols.

By now, all the girls reading this will be jumping up and down, screaming, “Okay fine! But what caliber? Tell us the caliber!” Relax, ladies. Help is on its way.

Oxley’s all-time fave is a 9mm Parabellum round rather than, say, a 380 auto/9mm short, whatever that is. My knowledge of bullets starts and ends with Black Talon and, for that, I have Oscar Pistorius to thank.

She recommends hollow-point ammunition. They are designed to expand on impact, maximizing tissue damage, blood loss and shock. Yeah! Now you’re talking. The expanding bullet decreases penetration, which is a good thing because over-penetration could cause collateral damage. Tell me about it. I’ve lost a number of bedside lamps through that kind of thing.

Oxley reminds us that firearming needs constant practice. She says handgun skills are perishable and can go off if not used. Like bananas. She suggests joining a sporting organisation such as the SA Defensive Pistol Association or the police. Kidding. The police aren’t remotely sporting. They’re quite defensive, though.

“Shoot your gun at least once a month,” she says. If you’re not a joiner, you’re going to have to shoot someone who is committing a crime. Or looks like he’s thinking of committing a crime. Or looks like he might have committed a crime at some point in his life. Do it at the end of the month when he’s more likely to have money in his pocket. He won’t be needing it.

Oxley wraps up Guns for Girls 101: “I would like to urge South African ladies to stand up for themselves and take responsibility for their own safety! Don’t moan about crime – do something constructive and get yourself a firearm. Have a safe and awesome day!”

That’s right, ladies. Do your bit. Help end crime by shooting people.

Municipal mayhem

There are few six-syllable words in the English language that fill one with more despair and contempt than the word “municipality”. Not in every country, obviously. There are parts of the world where people don’t start sighing, swearing or laughing when they hear the word spoken aloud.

Growing up in Durban, a career with the municipality never crossed my mind. Frankly, a career in anything never really occurred to me until fairly late in life. Back then, white people were guaranteed a position in the municipality. It’s where you went if you didn’t know what you wanted to do but your parents were threatening to put you in a wheelchair if you didn’t get a job and move out of the house.

I had friends who worked for the council. I didn’t think any less of them. That would have been impossible. I never understood what any of them did because my eyes glazed over the moment they began explaining. I do remember asking, “But isn’t it boring?”

Things have changed a fair bit since then. If you have a friend who works for the Durban municipality today, you are far more likely to ask, “But isn’t it dangerous?”

Not too long ago someone tried to poison the acting mayor. This was after the actual mayor, Zandile Gumede, was suspended by the ANC. Not, as you might imagine, by her ankles from the Connaught bridge. That sort of punishment will come later, once the rule of law has been completely obliterated. We’re still at the gnawing-away stage.

When I had the chance to work for the Durban city council, Sybil Hotz was mayor. I don’t remember her at all. Then again, I had just returned from two years in the army where I learnt how to kill, drink and get high. It’s surprising I could find my way home at the end of it all. I might not have if there hadn’t been a functioning railway system. I googled Mayor Hotz to refresh my memory. It seems she’s best known for having opened the Umgeni Bird Park.

Only three out of 61 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal got clean audits in 2020/21.

To be fair, municipalities across the country are struggling. Not only to lower the bar set by mayors like Gumede and incumbent Mxolisi Kaunda, but to get people to pay them for services allegedly rendered. Ordinary people like you and, well, you, owe our 257 municipalities tens of billions in unpaid rates, services and traffic fines.

There are municipalities, mainly in Limpopo, that ask job applicants, “Are you or have you ever been a gangster?” If you respond in the affirmative, many will hire you on the spot. Smart, industrious individuals with a clearly defined criminal bent are highly sought after in the civil service. So why, then, are so many municipalities battling to get people to pay up?

If there’s one thing gangsters know, it’s debt recovery. They need to be given free rein to express their creativity. Employees are wasted sitting behind their desks idly committing minor fraud and whatnot. Encourage them to get out into the fresh air. Thuma mina. With a baseball bat. You might even find Discovery Health will want to include it on their rewards programme.

Over 60 municipalities are collecting less than half the revenue owed to them. The rate of collection at dozens of municipalities can’t even be ascertained, presumably because nobody answers the phone and there’s a rabid dog at the gate.

When I was a kid, a girl from down the road borrowed 50 cents from me. In today’s terms, that’s, like, R50 000. When the end of the week came, I went over to her house to collect on the loan. She laughed and said she’d break my arm rather than pay me back. As a compromise, she offered to show me what makes girls different to boys. Best return on investment ever.

Municipalities owe water boards R14 billion and, in turn, water boards owe the water department R6.7 billion. It’s the same with Eskom. The government itself owes billions to municipalities and they, in turn, owe the government billions. I really don’t understand what’s going on here. Aren’t they all members of the same gang? It’s like a massive money-laundering pyramid scheme run by the most disorganised crime network in the world.

Point is, it’s essential that municipalities collect the debt they are owed. Stealing is only sustainable if supply keeps pace with demand. And, man, the demand out there for free money is second to none. Municipalities go bankrupt when plundering outstrips income and bailouts. It’s basic accounting, a subject I got 9% for in Grade 10 – which goes a long way towards explaining my current situation.

It gets more complicated. Municipalities also owe creditors billions of rands. If you live in the Free State and your local council owes you money, don’t even bother ringing the bell. A neighbour will have been paid to say they’ve all gone to a funeral. You might glimpse the twitch of a curtain as you drive away. That’s if the curtains haven’t been stolen.

Several municipalities have run out of money entirely and are in overdraft. They are, in the desperate parlance of the most ignored person in public office, the Auditor-General, in a state of distress and close to collapse. We have all been there, mostly on a Saturday night, but, unlike municipalities, we can’t blame the sponging class or cadre deployment for our appalling behaviour.

Thirty-three municipalities were so dysfunctional they were put under administration. The good news is that the Free State once again met its targets by becoming the only province, for the fifth year running, to record not a single clean audit. Can’t fault them for consistency.

Municipalities in the North-West – also without a single clean audit – spent R238 million on “consultants”, which explains a spending spree that saw 42% of procurement worth billions being declared irregular. My kind of consultant. Spend as much as you like on whatever you want. There won’t be consequences.

Standing upwind from the others, awkwardly shuffling their goody-two-shoes and trying not to look overly righteous, are 41 municipalities that got clean audits. Coming as a surprise to exactly no one, 22 of them are in the Western Cape. The other 216 fly-blown councils remain curled up in the foetal position whimpering, “Go away. It wasn’t me.”

Here’s a final fun fact. Two out of three municipalities filed financial statements and performance reports so unintelligible and flawed that they might as well have been scrawled in Aramaic on Wimpy serviettes.

We’ve got an Ankole in the forex business

I wanted to write about the last nail being hammered into Cyril Ramaphosa’s political coffin. Or about a fat, repulsive ex-spook stabbing South Africa in the back, not to put it out of its misery, but so that the vultures and hyenas might have one last, glorious feed on its festering carcass.

I really wanted to. But I don’t think I can. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said in a thousand different ways, all reaching the same conclusions – that the ANC is broken beyond repair and that the president is a moron. The reason everyone comes to the same conclusions is that it’s true.

I mean, you’d have to be an idiot to leave that much cash loosely hidden in your house, wouldn’t you? You needn’t even necessarily be up to no good. You might just be your basic, bog-standard idiot. It remains to be seen whether Cyril is both an idiot and a criminal. Thing is, though, most straight-up idiot criminals aren’t usually worth $450 million. You’d think if someone was able to accumulate that much money, they’d have to be pretty smart, right? Well, the president disproves that theory once and for all.

To be fair, there is a chance that he simply reckoned it was too much hassle to go round the back of Checkers and get some empty tomato boxes, spend hours packing them with $100 bills and then hang about in a stripped-down branch of Standard Bank waiting for the system to come back online.

Can’t blame him, really. I’d also rather go to prison than visit a bank. At least you’re guaranteed attention.

The only advice everyone is giving our boneheaded eunuch of a leader is to come clean. Tell the truth. Oh, please. Even I know this is appalling advice. And yet journalists, analysts and quite possibly the missus herself are suggesting he does something utterly unfamiliar to politicians the world over. I hear their cries now: “What is this truth thing of which you speak?”

Why would anyone risk implicating themselves when there are still processes to be finagled, palms to be greased and threats to be issued? And that’s just putting the legal team together.

Being open and honest when in a tight spot is heavily overrated. I know because I have tried it and consequently have two ex-wives and not many friends.

President Ramadingdong needs to double down. He is in this position because he bought into the myth that it’s better to keep your enemies close and pissing out of the tent, or something. Instead, his enemies stole the tent and are now pissing all over him. Unless you’re Donald Trump, this is not a good look for a head of state.

He needs to unleash the hounds. Get Zimbabwean on his critics’ asses. Declare martial law and round up everyone who has ever said anything nasty about him, and that includes me. With winter bearing down, I could do with a cozy cell and three meals a day. Can’t afford the petrol to go anywhere anyway. Might as well be living with Oscar Pistorius. At least he could teach me how to get fit. Or how not to react if I have an argument with my girlfriend in the middle of the night.

Cyril’s mistake wasn’t to stash all that cash inside his Stealy Posturepedic. Where he screwed up was trying to get his greenbacks back. It was in dogged pursuit of this filthy lucre that he tripped on his own cupidity (a cousin to stupidity) and fell headlong into the worst mess of his life.

Were it me, I would have kept dead quiet about it and somehow come to terms with the fact that I was suddenly worth only $446 million. Not easy, but with a bit of chanting, some ashtanga yoga and the right drugs, he would have eventually made peace with his loss and carried on with life.

Also, any African leader worth his bloodstained steel-capped boots wouldn’t have paid the robbers to keep quiet. He would, like the mafia, have sent them to sleep with the fishes. I can’t see any other way of enforcing a code of silence in the ANC, an organisation filled with people who cannot keep their mouths shut, no matter how much you pay them.

If Cyril were a Buddhist instead of a capitalist, he would have known that we must let go of attachment and desires if we are to experience happiness. Now, instead of cutting his losses and burying the rest of his loot in steel trunks at the bottom of his garden, there’s a good chance he won’t be experiencing very much happiness any time soon.

Then again, he does still have R7 billion to fall back on. It’s hard to feel too sorry for him.

No Country for Young Men

June, apparently, is Youth Month. To find out what stimulating events the Ministry of Youth, if there even is such a thing, has lined up, I visited the government’s website, LieSteal&Destroy.gov.za.

Under Youth Month 2022, we are told that “South Africa is fortunate to have a youthful nation”. We aren’t told that this is because most of the adult population is either in prison, has died of a preventable disease or been bludgeoned to death.

Also, “fortunate” might not be the right word. The youth’s biggest contribution is to drive up the unemployment rate. Their marketable skills include setting fire to tyres and making increasingly irrational demands.

We are also told that the government, under the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, is drawing more young people into the economy. Word on the street is that young people are bravely resisting. “We want no part of that filthy business!” they shout while being dragged kicking and screaming into a smouldering shell that looks more like a burnt-out Russian tank than an economy. Then again, interventions are never easy.

This year’s Youth Month kicked off on 2 June with the exciting launch of an email banner. Apart from providing links to the government’s social media accounts, which could only take a hapless youth further down the rabbit hole of despair and desperation, we were informed of the theme.

“Promoting sustainable livelihood and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow.” Perhaps there are youngsters who might break out in a hot, happy sweat upon reading this, but it’s more likely they’d recognise it as a bogus salad made of gibberish and well-oiled weasel words lashed together by a public relations company staffed entirely by cousins of cabinet ministers.

Youth Month’s logo is a militant black fist punching out of the top of a red Y. The “outh” is in blue and the Month is in green. The cousins must have agonised over the most appropriate symbol to reflect the dreams and desires of today’s youth. Having scotched the idea of a petrol bomb or Nike Air Yeezy sneaker, they settled on the fist as something all unemployed, uneducated and disaffected youngsters can rally around.

The theme for Youth Month 2021 was “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society.” In fairness, they didn’t say their aim was to transform the country for the better. The hospital named in honour of the Eastern Cape activist caught fire last year and has yet to fully reopen. Probably not what the government had in mind when they dedicated last year’s Youth Month to the first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa. I doubt Charlotte would be overly thrilled to have her name attached to this monument to incompetence.

I do apologise if I raised your hopes. Nowhere online can I find that list of fabulous events the government has surely arranged to celebrate Youth Month 2022. Perhaps they want to keep it low-key in case the youth turn up. You know how much our youngsters love a free party. Or riot. Whatever.

The government does, however, commemorate or celebrate – it’s often hard to tell the difference because heavy drinking and unprotected sex is usually involved in both – literally scores of international and national days, weeks and months. Not all with equal enthusiasm, obviously.

World Trauma Day on October 17, for instance, passes virtually unnoticed because every day is Trauma Day in South Africa. Seems hardly worth celebrating when every second person is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Likewise with Global Handwashing Day on October 15. Our government washes its hands of anything that takes a modicum of effort or integrity.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls on June 15. Won’t be all that falls. Careful, ladies! Hips don’t just grow back, you know. I’ll be doing my bit by verbally abusing the elderly of Fish Hoek who seem to think they can still drive.

June 20 is also World Refugee Day. Britain will celebrate by rounding up random asylum seekers and shipping them off to Rwanda, who has generously agreed to take them in exchange for $210-million. Can’t get more humanitarian than that.

June is also Environment Month in South Africa. How many more causes can they squeeze into this month? Poor June. It’s staggering under the weight of all this social responsibility.

Speaking of staggering, our well-fed energy minister Gwede Mantashe has been celebrating Environment Month by lighting several massive braais a day – using tons of charcoal, obviously – while shouting that it’s the ozone layer that has to change, not us.

Meanwhile, an ANC councillor fired for attacking a member of the public with a machete inside the Makhanda council chamber has failed in his legal bid to have his dismissal overturned. Damnably unfair. Is there no justice left in this country?

A letter to the ‘General’

The high court in Middelburg on Monday convicted Harry Knoesen, the self-proclaimed leader of a group called the National Christian Resistance Movement, also known as the “Crusaders”, on five counts including high treason. Sentencing is on Friday. I wrote to the ‘General’ in 2019…

………………………………

Dear Harry,

I know you can’t see me, but I have just saluted you in proper military fashion. Because I don’t have a beret, boshoed or staaldak, I have a tea cosy on my head. Not ideal, I know, but it’s better than disrespecting you by saluting with nothing on my kop. That kind of sloppiness would get you a month in DB back in the good old days.

I am saluting you because you are an officer. A general, in fact. Even though you gave yourself this rank in your own organisation, the National Christian Resistance Movement, you are still a general in my eyes. Just this morning I started the Anti-Dishwashing Movement and, after a brief promotion ceremony in the garden, I demanded that my wife calls me Brigadier Ben and obeys my every command. Then she went off and had her own ceremony and made herself a Major-General and now everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Condolences on being arrested by the Hawks at your Middelburg home. They are not really known for doing arrests so it’s just pure bad luck on your part. Did you know they had been investigating you for the last two years? Probably not, otherwise you might not have been sitting in the lounge wearing your wife-beater and sleeping shorts. Not the best image for the head of a private militia dedicated to violently ending the scourge of democracy and returning the apex race to its rightful place.

The cops say they found an “explosives factory” and lots of guns and ammunition at your house. When I was a teenager, I had a catapult that I wasn’t allowed to have so I kept it at a friend’s house and only fetched it when someone needed to be shot. Don’t you have any friends? What about your soldiers? Couldn’t one of them have looked after your arsenal?

The communist-controlled media tells me that your organisation is nicknamed the Crusaders. I like it. Catchy. Reminds me a bit of rugby, for some reason. There’s also that other group, Cash Crusaders, but as far as I know they don’t have an armed wing. Cowards.

When you came up with the name you were probably thinking more of that time when the Catholics declared a holy war on them uppity Muslims. Then again, there probably aren’t many Catholics among you. In the old days, if you fought in the crusades you were automatically forgiven for your sins. It was a penitential exercise, unlike what you’re going through, which is more of a penitentiary thing.

I imagine your crusaders have a fair amount of sins to be forgiven for. I’ve done some terrible things with a head full of brandy. Okay, I never got around to blowing up national key points or driving black people into the sea. Sorry about that. The sad truth is, I get quite friendly with the darkies when I am drunk. Do you think I might be possessed by demons? Maybe I’m just drinking the wrong kind of brandy. I shall switch to something cheaper and have an exorcism just to be safe.

I heard you made a video saying the South African government hates whites and that we have to strike first. I don’t know, boet. From what I can make out, the government hates everyone. When it comes to plundering, looting and ruining people’s lives, they don’t discriminate. As for us striking first, well, I can’t speak for you, but I seriously lack rhythm. White men can’t toyi-toyi. I suppose we could try the langarm, but I fear the enemy might not take us seriously.

In the video you call yourself an “English Afrikaans Boer”. Are you related to the Knoesens of the Derbyshire Dales, perchance? They come from a long line of potters, painters and medieval mass murderers. Lovely people. Mostly.

You also say, “Yes, I am talking war. If Malema can say what he wants because he is black, then as a white general of my own movement, I can also say what I want.” Damn right. That’s the beauty of our Constitution. Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, equality for … hang on. Aren’t we meant to be against this whole treating everyone equally business? Are you saying you want the same rights that Julius Malema has? Isn’t that what the darkies used to say about us? I’m so confused.

You said on Facebook that when you take back the land, you will make sure all white South Africans get “a free piece of land large enough to build and live on”. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but could I please have a free car instead of a piece of land? I am useless at building things and growing stuff. I don’t know how to use a spirit level or a plough and if I want meat I would rather go to the Spar than shoot a lamb in the face.

On the other hand, if you want to extend your war to the Indian Ocean islands – and I think you should – then I would like to put my name down for a piece of land in the Seychelles. Somewhere on La Digue might be nice.

I believe you were a member of the Middelburg council for the ACDP. That must have been frustrating for you. Did you leave because they were too liberal? Calling for the return of the death penalty is one thing, but why stop at hanging? For two hundred years, the feudal authorities in Japan boiled, burned, crucified and decapitated their criminals. We need to be more like the ancient Japanese. Unless you think Japanese are the same as darkies, in which case we need to be less like them.

So, listen. Tell me about this Riana Heymans woman who got arrested a few days after you. Is she one of your “special” Crusaders? You know what I mean. Praise be. She’s quite attractive in an unpleasant sort of way. Is she single? I once wrote some marital vows based on Blood River that would work well for her.

By the way, I read somewhere that you were in the army? Makes sense. I don’t think we met. I was a signalman. I told them I was colour-blind and they still put me in signals. No wonder we lost the war.

Good luck, ou pel. As they say, when days are dark and friends are few … sorry. I didn’t mean to say dark. Everything will be all white on the night.

Vasbyt.

Armageddon outta here

“We can’t pay R25 a litre!” What? Of course we can. In fact, there are far too many of us who can still afford petrol. And that’s the problem.

Let me explain. We all agree that a bad moon is rising and trouble’s on its way. Between Cyril Ramaphosa, Joe Biden, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, we are properly screwed. But it’s not happening fast enough. We must hurry the process along. Let us not suffer the indignity of whining our way into the apocalypse. The government already thinks we’re pathetic. We don’t want to be frogs in water slowly being heated. We must be crayfish dropped into boiling water. It’s imperative that we be jolted from our torpor.

We must take to the streets and demand that the government bumps up the petrol price to R150 a litre. Push up bread to R90 a loaf. Make rice 50 cents a grain. And keep burning those fossil fuels. Burn, baby, burn. Delaying the inevitable is a cruel way of punishing people who have done nothing more than do nothing. Apathy and ennui will kill us long before price increases do. So let us go directly to the end of the road so that we may adjust appropriately and accordingly.

By this, I obviously mean burnish our skills in hunting down the elite. It’ll be easy to identify them. They’ll be the only ones still driving cars and shopping in supermarkets. The rest of us will be out in the veld or on the mountains foraging for roots and berries along with the few wild pigs that have managed to outsmart us.

Soon, the government will call on us to tighten our belts. Let’s get the jump on the swine and book ourselves in for vertical banded gastroplasty. If we can no longer afford staples like potatoes and tequila, then we must have staples in our stomachs. It’s a simple procedure whereby a surgeon seals off your massive demanding stomach and creates a smaller, more economical one. A single banana and you’re full for days. If your budget doesn’t extend to a banana, tree bark or small stones will do the job just as well.

If you can’t afford a banana, you’re probably thinking you won’t be able to afford surgery. That’s what they want you to think. The best thing about doctors is that they don’t charge you upfront for operations in case they inadvertently kill you and have to return the money to your grieving family. Get your staples in and don’t answer the phone. It’s not long before the police start trading their guns and handcuffs for chickens or fellatio, so you have nothing to worry about.

Speaking of which, Robin Hood has been a hero of mine ever since an English teacher told me about an outlaw from Nottingham who’d ambush money-grubbing priests and cronies of the king on their way to do whatever religious leaders and the privileged classes did in those days. Probably the same as they do now. Buy a few grams of coke, pick up a couple of harlots, rip off a bunch of widows and orphans and head back to the castle.

Robin was a true philanthropist, robbing the rich to give to the poor. Principled, too. His adversaries knew better than to approach him with suggestions that the sheriff might be open to turning a blind eye if Robin were to put, say, 10% of the spoils in an untraceable account.

Robin also stole from the tax collectors. Back then, as now, the taxman worked hard at coming up with new ways of squeezing the middle class. We do what we can to avoid paying taxes, but he’s still getting away with too much of our hard-earned cash.

We need a Robin Hood to lead us. There is not a person in this country who shows any inclination to rob the rich and give to the poor. The ANC and its corporate collaborators know it’s easier to take from the poor and give to the rich, i.e. themselves. To be fair, they only learned how to do this by watching other less developed countries.

So let us demand that the government increase the price of everything. Put it out of our reach. It’s time to end the myth that working hard will one day pay off. Let’s stop the futile striving and the lying to our children about the importance of a university education. It’s time to go full Mad Max.

Once the 99% can’t afford 99% of everything, we can focus on the 1%. That’ll get the government’s attention. We might not be very good at maths, but we do have the numbers.

In the meantime, Eskom must convert its power stations into carrot farms because carrots are good for the eyes and we are all going to have to develop the ability to see in the dark.

A pox on your monkey

I ain’t scared of no goddamn monkeypox. For starters, there ain’t no such thing. It’s just Big Pharma tryna put the frighteners on us so we buy their fancy new drugs coz nobody is taking their fake Covid vaccines no more. Follow the money.

Them schmucks what’s breaking out in boils and stuff? That’s coz they don’t eat right. Too much vegetables and tofu and whatnot. Dumbass vegans. Put ’em on the cheeseburger diet and they’ll be right as rain.

Also, buddy, there’s no such thing as monkeys. We was indockterinated at school to believe in monkeys. Have you ever seen one? No, you have not. Are there monkeys in the Bible? No, there are not. What you might of seen is somethin’ that somebody once told you was a monkey but did you ask for proof? No, you did not. You just nodded your damn fool head and went and believed them.

The internet is full of pictures of what “science” wants you to believe are monkeys. Do your own research. Have you even watched that dockimentry Planet of the Apes? I didn’t think so. Otherwise you would of known that real monkeys, the proper kind, live on another planet and can talk and wear clothes and ride horses and stuff. I know what’s going through your mind. Alien monkeys riding horses? Are you high? That’s what they want you to think. Okay, so maybe I am a little high, but that’s not the point.

Look, I don’t know if these space monkeys can give you the pox but I do know that they will give you a smack if you talk back to them.

Anyways, once them “experts” have sold ten zillion dollars worth of monkeypox vaccines, they are gunna come up with new diseases to put the fear of Jehovah into you and sell you more drugs which aren’t even the good kind because they don’t make you see mad colours or laugh and talk too much.

Mark my words. I speak the truth. You will be told many different things by the government or people who secretly work for the government or know someone who wants to work for the government but there is only one truth and that is the one I am speaking.

Here are some examples of what they are planning. I cannot tell you where I got this information because then I would have to kill you.

Otterpox. Smart people will know that otters only exist in crazy folk’s imaginations but this will not stop “scientists” from “discovering” a new “disease” so they can sell their vaccines. Symptoms will include webbed feet and hunting naked for fish in nearby rivers or dams. Or restaurants. Some people eat crabs and likely already have the otterpox. They will need to get shots. Or get shot. The government will advise.

Roosteritis. Sufferers will break out in loud pre-dawn cries. No to be confused with Tourette’s, which is caused by prolonged exposure to goats. Big Pharma will collaborate with Big Liquor to manufacture a gin-based infusion to keep the afflicted quiet until a more reasonable hour.

Viral dystrophy syndrome. Caused by retired otorhinolaryngologists. Particularly contagious on golf courses. Some people, Thabo Mbeki mostly, will try to warn people that a virus can’t cause a syndrome and that it’s a stupid made-up disease but he will be shouted down. Well, he would be if people with viral dystrophy syndrome could shout, which they can’t because their trachea snapped shut while having a last round at the 19th hole and now they are dead.

Hipposis: Caused by excessive consumption of deep-fried foods and carbonated drinks. Symptoms include a swelling of the, well, everything, really. Sufferers become progressively reluctant to leave the couch and it often takes a divorce lawyer to get them up and moving. No vaccines are in the works.

Tiger-26. An ocular disease caused by looking at photographs of tigers. Symptoms worsen if they are pictures of tigers in zoos. However, even images of tigers in the wild can cause irreversible damage to the retina. Doctors advise anyone at risk of seeing tiger pictures to buy very expensive eyedrops developed by pharmaceutical company, Gouge, Grabbit & Runne.

Oxpecker’s pecker: A mental illness that causes the human willy to gravitate towards parasite-infested mammals generally found browsing in Hillbrow and Kempton Park. Treatment includes penicillin and removal of the prefrontal cortex.

Racistosis: A nasty virus brought to South Africa 300 years ago by English and Dutch merchants and explorers. Relatively dormant at first, it flared up in 1948 and infected much of the white population. In 1994 it was treated but not cured. Outbreaks still occur. A recent case was detected in a micturating student at a university widely considered a hotspot. Easily transmitted from one generation to the next. Hopes are that carriers eventually emigrate.

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 18-year-old arsehole who killed 19 children at a school in Texas two days ago or the 28-year-old arsehole who killed Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

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 kilometre 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 summer when the holiday hordes descend.

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.

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 drunk 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.

The author as a young psychopath.

SA takes top position by accident

Finally, some good news at last! For the second year running, we have been named the most dangerous country to drive in. Competition for the title is fierce and I have never been more proud to be South African.

Congratulations, then, to all our motorists who went out of their way to help us clinch pole position once again. By went out of their way, I mean veered across three lanes, spun out of control, rolled twice and ended up facing oncoming traffic without dropping their phone or spilling a drop of beer.

Handing out the top honour was an international company called Zutobi. Sounds a bit like that stupid 2010 Soccer World Cup mascot of ours who brought us nothing but bad luck.

Zutobi, in fact, is an online driver’s education resource offering courses tailored for several countries, none of which are ours. Basically, it’s a mine of useful information on things like dealing with cyclists, how to use your indicators and which drugs you should take to stay awake behind the wheel.

This year, Zutobi awarded us an impressively pathetic 3.41 points out of 10 for our sheer exuberance in driving drunk, disobeying the rules of the road and generally behaving like attention-deficit children once we’re in the driver’s seat.

Zutobi says only 31% of front-seat passengers in SA wear a seat belt. If you are one of the 69% letting the side down, please make more of an effort next year. Let’s go for the triple. Seat belts are a ploy by white monopoly capital to keep us in our place. Don’t be sheeple. Do your own research.

The world’s second most dangerous country to drive in is Thailand. There appears to be some skulduggery afoot here. Did Fikile Mbalula bribe Zutobi to give us the number one spot? I’ve driven in Bangkok and let me tell you, the mayhem there is on another level altogether. It’s quite spectacular. We’re rank amateurs compared to the Thais and they must feel horribly cheated right now.

Apparently, 29% of road traffic deaths in SA are attributed to alcohol. Doesn’t sound like much when you consider that 95 out of 100 people drink and drive every weekend. The other five have had their cars stolen.

Accidents are caused by drivers who can’t handle their liquor. Nine doubles and they’re all over the place. Bloody amateurs. Yes, certain types of alcohol are not as good for driving as others. The more tequila you drink, for instance, the sharper your reflexes and the more you enjoy accelerating around corners and freewheeling down mountain passes.

Norway, according to Zutobi, is the safest country to drive in, followed by Iceland. Of course their roads are going to be safe. They drive on ice and snow and their tyres are covered in chains. People regularly get overtaken by polar bears. Also, you need to be a millionaire to be able to afford a decent bottle of spirits. The common folk drink heavily distilled filth so strong that they pass out before even getting into first gear. And beer was banned in Iceland until 1989. They barely know what it is or even how to use it to improve your driving skills.

Last year, a group of anti-crash spoilsports called the Road Safety Partnership seemed to think it was a bad thing for South Africa to have the reputation of being the most dangerous country in which to drive and that we should work to change this. On the list of things we are not very good at, “work” and “change” are right up there. Along with driving, obviously.

I don’t think Zutobi’s courses would help us much. A lot of the content deals with abstract things like road signs, roundabouts and speed limits. Life’s too short to bother with theories. It’s the practical side of things that’s important.

What we need to do is scrap the learner’s licence requirement. Youngsters can no longer afford the bribes. Besides, learning isn’t a South African thing. We’re proud to be a nation that refuses to learn from anything, least of all our mistakes. The only rule novice drivers need to know is, don’t admit to anything. It’s also the first rule of politics.

And there should be only one driving test. No more fannying about with girly stuff like parallel parking and handbrake starts. On the last Friday of every month, applicants will race on the N2 between Kokstad and East London. Those who make it in under three hours will be given a licence. Contestants will be permitted to hit a maximum of two cows or one adult person, preferably male.

Anyway. Europe might have the safest roads, but on ours, you at least know there’s little chance of getting taken out by a stray Iskander ballistic missile.