An Open Letter To Patrice Motsepe

Dear Comrade Patrice,

My father always told me not to beg for anything. Today, he is a very proud man. Living in a cardboard box on the N3, but proud nevertheless. I would rather be rich and ashamed. This is why I am writing to you today.

I have swallowed my pride. It wasn’t easy. I had to wash it down with a dozen beers.

I am, after all, a white man and we are traditionally accustomed to rejecting the hoi polloi with a wave of the hand or a burst of automatic gunfire should a ragged urchin happen to ring the doorbell while the rugby is on.

There is no other way to say this, so here it is. Please, sir, may I have some of your money?

I am emailing you a photograph of me down on my knees kissing a photograph of your shoes. Very nice shoes they are, too. Is that gold plating or were they crafted from Krugerrands melted in furnaces fuelled by the bones of widows and orphans? Just kidding. They are a gift from the guys over at the Mint, right?

You should have the next pair studded with a bunch of Nicky Oppenheimer’s blood diamonds.

Listen to me, giving you fashion advice! You should see my wardrobe. I live inside it in someone else’s bedroom. It’s not too bad. The rent is reasonable and I have a candle for light, heat and cooking. Now who’s laughing, Eskom?

It is unlikely that I would be soliciting so brazenly had I not read a story in the lying, filth-mongering, foreign-controlled media about you donating half the family fortune to the Motsepe Foundation.

My friend Ted said donating money to your own foundation is nothing short of money laundering. I called him a paranoid racist pig and had the neighbourhood watch come around and administer a rectal examination with one of their high voltage cattle prods. He seemed to enjoy it.

Besides, if that’s money laundering, then Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are also up to no good. White Anglo-Saxon prostitutes, I beg your pardon, Protestants would never dare do anything to besmirch the puritanical reputation of their pilgrim forefathers.

From what I can gather, your magnanimous gesture is aimed at improving the lives of the poor, disabled, women and the youth.

I don’t suppose it’s enough that I am merely poor. You should know, then, that I am prepared to become a woman if it means getting my snout into your largesse.

Would you insist that I have my giblets chopped off? If not, then I am quite happy to become a woman in other ways. I would wear skirts and panties, wash my hair three times a day, shave my nether regions, check my phone every thirty seconds and behave like a lunatic for five days out of every month.

If that’s not enough, I am prepared to become disabled as well. I don’t mind losing a leg if it means never having to work again. I mean, walk again. It doesn’t have to be a leg. An arm is fine. Just not my right one. I use that for drinking and, well, the other thing. You know. You’re married. Of course you know.

Patrice, if you … may I call you Patrice? It seems as if we already know each other. If you cashed in your chips tomorrow, you could walk away with R24-billion rand.

If I were you, I’d buy Zimbabwe first thing Monday morning. Imagine the fun you could have with your very own country. Come to think of it, you could buy Jacob Zuma for a lot less and still have your own country. This might already have happened.

Over the years, I have been watching you grow richer and richer and I often wondered when the bank would call you and tell you to start getting rid of some of it because they were running out of space.

What prompted this sudden act of generosity? Ted says you must have gone to South America on a business deal when you were kidnapped by shamans and taken to the Temple of the Way of Light deep in the Amazon jungle and made to drink ayahuasca which opened up channels to the spirit world where the Cosmic Serpent told you to share your wealth with those who needed it.

I know this guy in Cape Town who went to Peru and drank a ton of ayahuasca and when he came back he bought me breakfast after a surf at Muizenberg, something he never would have done before.

It’s definitely possible that you were in an altered state of consciousness when you decided to give away half your fortune, and I don’t particularly care whether you reached this state after taking a psychoactive drink or a call from your accountant.

The important thing is that you did it.

Let’s get back to me for a moment. Like John F Kennedy, I, too, have asked not what I can do for my country, but what my country can do for me. Not much, as it turns out.

Oh, sure. My country was very nice to me when it came to guaranteeing me an education, a job and plenty of room to spread out on North Beach in December. But that was then, before democracy came along and ruined everything. I have been outraged for a very long time.

You can’t love anyone unless you love yourself and you can’t help anyone unless you help yourself. And I want to help myself. To your money.

However, I am so far back in the queue that I might as well give you something instead. Advice.

Listen to me. I know what I’m talking about. Your charity will be wasted. A fish rots from the head down.

Rather use your money to stamp out corruption by bribing the government to do its job properly.

Be our Pied Piper leading these rats out of temptation, down the path of righteousness and into the promised land.

We want to fear no evil as we walk down the valley where Dr Death lives when he is not pretending to be a motivational speaker.

We want to lie down in green pastures and smoke them without fear of being arrested.

We want to be comforted by your rod and your staff, but we would rather you lost the rod. And make sure your staff are who they say they are. The Congolese are everywhere these days and they won’t hesitate to watch your car.

Call me. I am so looking forward to my cup running over.

Dear Tom Cruise (A Flashback)

I’m going to eat the cord and the placenta right there.”

Who said this? Was it Jeffrey Dahmer? Hannibal Lecter? No, it was you, Tom. In an interview a few months before the birth of your first biological child with the equally childlike Katie Holmes.

Later, you told everyone you had been joking. Maybe you were, Tom, but we just can’t tell the difference any more.

You were born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

The other kids at school mocked your name. And when they found out you were dyslexic, they made fun of you. The fact that you were shorter than anyone else also got a big laugh.

Years later, in a bid to be taken seriously, you joined a church which believes that 75 million years ago an alien tyrant called Xenu ruled the Galactic Confederacy, an etheral alliance made up of 26 stars and 76 planets, including Earth. Except it wasn’t called Earth. Back then, our planet was known as Teegeeack.

As a means of population control, Xenu enlisted the help of psychiatrists to call in billions of people for income tax inspections. Instead, they were given injections of alcohol and glycol to paralyse them.

Then Xenu used interstellar space planes to bring these paralysed people to Earth. They were stacked around volcanoes and blown up with hydrogen bombs. After that, their souls inhabited the bodies of the people who survived and this is the reason there is so much trouble in the world today.

That sure stopped people from laughing at you, Tom.

Then, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, you eloquently defended your beliefs by saying: “Some people, well, if they don’t like Scientology, well, then, fuck you. Really. Fuck you. Period.”

You tell ‘em, Tom.

You absolutely don’t get to be an Operating Thetan on Level 7 of the Bridge to Total Freedom without being able to say whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want to say it.

People are talking, Tom. They are saying you have gone nuts. Not only because you are about to get hitched for the third time, but because you jump up and down on couches while being interviewed about Katie, your latest cradle-snatching coup.

But you’re not mad, are you, Tom? According to you, there’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

Even if your mind had snapped its moorings, you wouldn’t be caught dead visiting a shrink. In fact, you believe that psychiatry should be outlawed.

Dianetics is the answer, right, Tom?

Bring in the auditor and plug in that Electropsychometer. Erase those evil engrams and implants placed eternally in our minds by those dastardly Helatrobans and other alien nations of their ilk.

L. Ron Hubbard was the founder of your church. Like you, he also had three wives. Unlike you, he was a science fiction writer.

Xena? The Galactic Confederacy? Thetans? Anything ring a bell there, Tom? I could be wrong, but it all sounds a bit like science fiction to me.

By all accounts, your great leader’s overactive imagination might also have been somewhat chemically enhanced. When he died in 1986, enormous quantities of the hallucinogenic drug Vistaril were found in his system.

What drugs were you on, Tom, when you behaved like a hyperactive teenager on the Oprah Winfrey Show? Clearly not Ritalin, a med that you consider equal to heroin in the harm that it does to the youth of today.

Speaking of harming the youth, what on Teegeeack were you thinking when you pounced on the unsuspecting one-time child star of Dawson’s Creek? At 25, your wife was the oldest virgin in Hollywood.

You were 21 years old when you starred in Risky Business. Katie was five. It would be another 12 years before she was legally old enough to see you dance around in your underwear before banging Rebecca De Mornay seven ways to Sunday.

Shame on you, Humbert.

What are the odds of your relationship lasting? Well, Ladbrokes offered 5/1 that it wouldn’t see the end of 2006. I’m offering 20/1 that you will move on to convert another victim once Katie has parted with enough money to allow her to reach Operating Thetan Level III.

In October last year, your spin-doctor announced to those who care about these things that Katie was pregnant. She said the entire family was overjoyed.

No, they weren’t. Katie’s father, a staunch Catholic, thinks you’re some kind of demon instead of the highly evolved Thetan that you are. For a start, you impregnated his precious little girl without even having the decency to marry her first.

Then you filled her head with wild notions that we are all part of an elaborate space opera involving extraterrestrial civilisations. And you demanded sole custody of your child.

At first, everyone thought the pregnancy was a publicity stunt. After all, there must be a reason you had to adopt a couple of kids during the 10 years you spent trying to turn Nicole Kidman into a Scientologist.

Mission impossible, indeed.

Some said you had a zero sperm count. Others suggested that you preferred to have sex with men. You were understandably outraged. You are, after all, a Real Man. One only has to watch your movies to see this.

You gave us further proof of your heterosexuality by sticking your tongue down Katie’s throat whenever a photographer hove into view. Katie always played her part, consistently declaring with heartfelt sincerity: “I am, like, so in love it’s just not funny. It’s like, wow.”

Then your daughter was born. You named her Suri after the Andean Alpaca, a member of the camelid family known for its soft, wooly locks and easy breeding.

Katie offered you the placenta but you said you had already eaten.

The alien spawn had barely drawn its first breath before you were packing your bags. Taking yourself squarely out of the running for the cover of Ideal Fathers magazine, you jetted off to Rome, Paris, London and Mexico to promote your latest film.

To be fair, you did tell everyone who would listen that you called her a thousand times every day. It’s quite possible that you did. After all, your leader believed he was 74 trillion years old. Numbers mean nothing to you.

Unless, of course, they relate to the box office.

(Written in May 2006)