My doctor might have murdered me

I am girding my loins for the antibiotic apocalypse and I suggest you do the same. Actually, what you do with your loins is none of my business.

I get sick once a year when the seasons turn. This year my body decided flu was so, like, 2015, and decided to give me an infection instead. Nothing deadly, unfortunately, which means I have to stick around and watch our president and his confederacy of dunces continue to ransack the state.

I don’t have a doctor for the same reason I don’t have a religion. I don’t get sick and I don’t believe there’s a god. Not that that’s the same reason.

I tend to judge people on their looks rather than their abilities, and doctors are no exception. This means I have dallied with a number of beautiful women before taking the trouble to find out anything about them. Many have turned out to be not quite right in the head. This suggests my modus operandi is fatally flawed but there is nothing I can do about it now.

I turned to Google to find a doctor’s face I could trust. I didn’t care what qualifications he held – firstly, because they’re just a jumble of upper and lower case letters, and secondly, because I’m not convinced a huge skills gap exists between doctors. They’re like pilots. You have to know what you’re doing or people will die and then you’re unlikely to still be practising, let alone flying.

Very few doctors, it turns out, put their photographs up. Perhaps they don’t want people recognising them in the street and making them look at unsightly rashes on their genitalia.

Eventually I found one that looked okay. Middle-aged. Glasses. Slightly disheveled. You don’t want a doctor who looks like he stepped out of GQ magazine. He should be worrying about how other people look.

His surname sounded foreign but his first and middle names were about as Waspish as you can get. Perhaps he was Jewish. God’s chosen people sometimes have weird surnames. Or maybe his grandfather was from one of those unpronounceable Balkan states. I made an appointment.

The waiting room was like any other. Scuffed pleather couches, toys for unimaginative children, magazines from the Boer War – all coated in a thin veneer of other people’s filthy germs.

I took my infection off to a corner chair and tried not to touch anything. I loathe sick people. I can’t even bring myself to look at them. Just because I was sitting among them didn’t make me one of them. I was different. Special. My bacteria were far superior to theirs.

I heard my name called. An Indian gentleman standing at reception was smiling at me. Had we met at a party long since erased from memory? I twitched my mouth and nodded, then quickly looked away. Doctor’s waiting rooms are no place for socialising. It’s embarrassing enough to be recognised. He called my name a second time. I pretended not to hear. A woman with the face of a diseased kidney barked, “Hey, the doctor’s calling you.”

The doctor? How did my doctor become an Indian? He was blocking my path to the door. I would have to shoulder charge him if I hoped to make it out. Just then another door opened and the doctor in the photograph walked into the room. For a fraction of a second I had the urge to shout that a terrible mistake had been made and that I really wanted this guy to see me. Could I get away with this without everyone assuming I was the illegitimate love child of Eugene Terreblanche and Sunette Bridges? Probably not.

Look, I didn’t care that the doctor was Indian. Some of my best friends are Indian doctors. I was just utterly confused. Thinking of it, of course his surname was Indian. Four of the six letters were vowels. It was his Christian names that threw me. And, obviously, the photo of him as a white man.

As if to show him and the entire waiting room that I wasn’t Steve Hofmeyr in disguise, I shook his hand. This is clearly the wrong thing to do. Doctors touch the filthiest things, and I’m not just talking about foreign currency. I would’ve asked to wash my hands if I wasn’t afraid of looking like a cross between Adolf Hitler and Howard Hughes.

I went into his office and described my symptoms. He gave me the medical nod and asked what I did for a living. I could hardly say, “I write a weekly column” because of the very real risk of him replying, “No, I meant for a living.” Anyway, my infection had nothing to do with my so-called job, which really only puts me at risk of contracting deep vein thrombosis from sitting on my arse all day.

Without taking my blood pressure, checking my heart rate, feeling my pulse, asking if I had any allergies or a history of mental illness or was on any medication or even giving my infection a name, he wrote out a prescription for two antibiotics and wished me luck. I didn’t try to shake his hand this time. He didn’t get up.

Later, I chucked a couple of pills into my mouth and reached for the half-empty beer on the passenger seat. That’s when I saw it. A red sticker on one of the containers screamed, AVOID ALCOHOL. This made me feel substantially worse. I hoped this was a general health warning and not something I was expected to do for the duration of the course.

I have on occasion put things into my mouth without first asking what they were. In almost every case, though, alcohol tended to enhance their, er, healing properties. This time I thought I’d do some research. Find out exactly what was in this filth that conspired to prevent me from drinking. First off, I discovered that it contained 0.8% alcohol and “could be harmful to alcoholics”. This confused me deeply.

One container yielded a package insert 92cm long. Almost a metre. I measured it. You’d need the eyesight of a yellow-billed kite to read it so I checked it out online. Sure enough. Even a small amount of alcohol will make you violently ill. The antibiotic is on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines. I don’t care. Beer should also be on that list.

It’s used to treat a variety of infections, including something “popularly known as beaver fever”. I am almost certain that I don’t have beaver fever.

Hang on. The drug is listed by the WHO as a possible carcinogen? Tested on lab animals, it gave them cancer. Whoa. Back up the bus, Gus. I’ll take the beaver fever, thanks. The antibiotic I’ve just necked is banned in America and Europe for use in animal food. Because it’s carcinogenic, you can’t give it to cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, goats and quite possibly beavers, but it’s okay to give it to me? I don’t know about that, man. It just doesn’t feel right.

The other antibiotic – a pill the size of the Hindenburg – is also used to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax. That’s pretty serious stuff. One of the more beneficial side effects is hallucinations but, disappointingly, I haven’t seen anything freakier than my neighbour’s children.

Which brings me back to the antibiotic apocalypse. Right now, superbugs are killing 700 000 people a year. Want to hear the forecast? By 2050, resistance to these drugs could cause the deaths of ten million people a year. More than cancer will kill. This isn’t a figure I got from some homeless man shouting on a street corner. It’s in a report commissioned by the British government. The Brits are not known for public displays of hysteria. If anything, the report underplays the crisis.

Scientists are working hard at discovering new classes of antibiotics. In the past thirty years, they have found one. One. I’m not making this up. Bacteria are laughing at us. They don’t take us seriously. They’re worse than our government. You think Julius Malema is dangerous? Try antimicrobial resistance.

Sensible people who know things are warning of the world being cast back into the dark ages. Routine operations and even a cut on your finger could be a death sentence.

We’re at this point because doctors have spent decades dishing out antibiotics like they were Smarties. And also because farmers pumped their animals full of the stuff to make them grow faster. As a result, germs have adapted and mutated. It’s evolution, baby.

In Britain, 45% of all antibiotics is given to livestock. You really don’t want to be eating pigs. This could prove to be the only tenet of the Judaic and Islamic religions that might actually save lives.

None of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have made a financial commitment to invest in new antibiotics. Why? They are expensive to produce and offer a poor return because they are taken for a short period only. Drug companies don’t want miracle cures that cost them a fortune to research and develop. They want sick people to stay sick, but not so sick that they die and can’t buy drugs any more.

So now there is talk of rewarding, well, bribing, drug companies with millions of dollars to develop new antibiotics. Because, you know, they’re really struggling to survive. Pfizer makes a paltry $22-billion in profits a year. I don’t even know what that is in our currency. My head would explode if I tried to work it out. In the space of three months in 2014, drug company Gilead made $3.5-billion from its hepatitis C drug alone.

To be fair, their overheads are high. For instance, in 2012 Glaxo SmithKline was fined $2.2-billion for excessively promoting a drug for depression to kids under 18. Merck, on the other hand, paid a piffling $950-million fine for illegally promoting a painkiller. It goes on.

And it’s no secret that pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors to prescribe their drugs over others. I don’t know if my doctor is among them. All I know is that his haste to give me antibiotics bordered on the unseemly. Antibiotics, I should emphasise, that cause cancer in laboratory animals. I still took them, though. Doctors know what they’re doing, right? RIGHT?

The Chicken Who Cried Fowl

I had a birthday this week. Many of you failed to wish me well. Fine. Don’t expect me to be there for you when days are dark and friends are few.

Out here on the North Coast, in the 4399, the days are darkening earlier than they are in, say, Muizenberg. And as for friends being few, I know homeless lepers with wider social circles than me. I throw cocktail parties and mingle with myself. I get to play my own music and I’m my own bouncer. I’m not saying it doesn’t turn ugly on occasion, but at least nobody calls the cops.

The thing about living in Durban is that you can’t lie in bed at night and read with your windows open. By the time you get to the second chapter, you’re covered in housebreakers, mosquitoes, feral moths with wings the size of hang-gliders and praying mantises big enough to claw your eyeballs out. That’s at night.

During the day I have to keep everything closed to prevent the monkeys and the chairman of the body corporate from getting in. I can hear something on the roof right now. It’s probably a hit man. Or a hit monkey. They charge less.

You live in a complex in the middle of the bush, that’s what you are going to get. Monkeys wanting a banana and the body corporate wanting a word about the goings-on in your unit. That’s what they call it. A unit. What unit are you in? Is your unit bigger than my unit? Residents are complaining about the state of your unit.

One of these days I’m going to do a Wee Willie Winkie and run naked through the complex, tapping at the windows and crying through the locks. I’ll show them the state of my unit, alright. I’ve been single for a long time. My unit is not a pretty sight.

Anyway. Let’s move on.

People with faces like diseased gallbladders have been complaining about a radio advert for a company that sells security gates. The type you slam shut in the nick of time, leaving the murderer to rattle the bars helplessly. He knows that if everyone had a gate like this, he would have to move to Australia. But he has seen Border Patrol and knows they will arrest him at the airport because he can’t spell Kiwirrkuua and has a packet of wine gums he didn’t declare.

The ad goes like this:

Voice 1: “What you inside for, boet?”

Voice 2: “Eish, I was so hungry. So I walk up to the kitchen by the boss’s house and grab a roast chicken. The madam, she slammed the Xpanda door in my face. No way out. That is how I ended up in jail, with no chicken. Eish.”

This has been giving me sleepless nights. If the madam shut the gate before he could get to the chicken, then surely he would have hot-wired the madam’s car and driven away. But it appears he already had the chicken in his possession when the madam shut the gate.

So we have Boet in the kitchen with the chicken. Why did he not simply leave via the front door? And if the gate was on the front door, did this house not have a back door?

What stopped Boet from giving the madam the choice of either opening the gate or having her legs broken? This is standard operating procedure for any self-respecting burglar who finds himself trapped by a cunning madam.

I can only think that Boet, weak with hunger, was shoveling wings into his face when the madam either overpowered him or the police arrived. No, it couldn’t have been the police. They would have been incapacitated by the smell of roast chicken. Boet would have had their guns in a flash while they stood around, heads lowered, drooling down their uniforms. It must have been an armed-response company.

Like the two concerned citizens who lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority, I am also outraged by the advert.

Boet is in jail for stealing a chicken. Not even a raw chicken or a wild chicken, but a chicken that madam had spent hours in the kitchen roasting. She was probably slaving over a hot stove trying to get the trimmings ready before her lawyer husband got home from a hard day of raiding his clients’ trust funds.

Boet doesn’t deserve jail. He deserves to have his hands chopped off. Yes, I know this isn’t Saudi Arabia. But over there, women aren’t allowed to drive. Is that really such a bad thing?

This country could learn a thing or two from the Saudis. For instance, three men were forcibly removed from a festival in Riyadh this week after it was deemed that women could find them irresistible.

“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome. Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices feared female visitors could fall for them,” the Elaph newspaper reported. The world has a lot to learn from this enlightened nation.

In Britain, the cradle of civilisation, footballers have begun eating each other right there on the pitch. Borat’s people are blowing up children with pressure cookers. Hyundai has just brought out a new model. Will the atrocities never end?

On top of it all, a survey has found that 54% of young black people believe the Democratic Alliance will bring back apartheid if it wins the 2014 elections. What absolute morons. Now wonder unemployment is so high.

I’m talking about the 65% who don’t believe it.

We would be lucky if it were only apartheid that they brought back. With Helen Zille in the Union Buildings, we could expect to see concentration camps springing up around the country. Apostates will be herded together and forced to attend lectures in heavily fortified prefab classrooms. Those who are unable to concentrate will be given Ritalin.

“Repeat after me,” white men with moustaches will shout. “The DA waged an armed struggle to bring freedom to this country!”

Only 19% of whites agreed that the DA would reintroduce apartheid once in power. I don’t think so much agreed as hoped.

In other surveys this week, it was discovered that 602 166 African people speak Afrikaans at home. Of course they do. But a lot of them are speaking it in your home, not theirs.

Maak oop die safe,” is often heard. As is, “Bly stil anders sal ek … hey Boet, what the fuck is the Afrikaans for iron your face?”

See what I did there? I used racial stereotyping to get a cheap laugh. That’s why I love this country. Laughs, like lives, are dirt-cheap.

Besides, we have so many role models in government doing things at our expense that it would be silly to get our knickers in a knot over having a laugh at someone else’s expense.

Why Mickey Mouse Would Make A Better President Than Jacob Zuma

Mickey is black but he has a white face. This means he stands a good chance of being accepted across the racial spectrum.

Mickey is keenly aware of the importance of personal hygiene. For a start, you will never see him without a clean pair of white gloves. He takes precautions to protect his health in other areas, too. Cheddex, the Cheddar-Flavoured Condom for Randy Rodents®, is his preferred method of contraception. Mickey does not believe that a post-coital shower eliminates the risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Mickey has mastered the art of getting people to laugh with him instead of at him. Blessed with the ability to sing and dance at the same time, Mickey brings joy into people’s lives as opposed to striking terror into their hearts.

Mickey is an independently wealthy mouse. Worth an estimated $15-billion, Mickey never has to rely on his friends to bail him out of financial difficulties. In fact, it is usually Mickey who lends money to cash-strapped losers like Goofy and Pluto.

Mickey can be trusted implicitly. It doesn’t matter whether you are a dog, a duck or a bird, you can run out of petrol in the middle of the night and one phone call will bring Mickey rushing to your aid. But don’t ask him to lie for you, because he won’t. Don’t call him up and say: “Yo Mick, Donald here. Listen, if Daisy calls, tell her I’m sleeping over at your place tonight.”

Mickey is not a homophobe. In fact, given his predilection for skimpy red shorts, there is a very good chance that he is latently gay. He might not come out openly and condone the homosexual lifestyle, what the prominence of his position and all, but he most certainly would not describe same-sex marriages as “a disgrace to the nation and to God”. And especially not if he happened to be the guest speaker at, say, Heritage Day celebrations in KwaDukuza.

Mickey is a one-woman mouse. Apart from a brief ill-advised flirtation with Daisy Duck in 1968, he has never cheated on Minnie and would never, ever consider bringing another wife into the Mouse house.

Mickey never shows his age. Even though he was born in 1928 and stills turns up for work every day, he always looks fit, young and happy. Almost human, in fact. Just the kind of president we need.

Earth Hour Se Ma Se Poes

Earth Hour last night was a raging success and it doesn’t matter that the surge caused by everyone switching their lights back on at the same time forced power stations to crank up their output levels so high that even the dolphins at uShaka Marine World were sweating.

To be frank, with the possible exception of Happy Hour, I am not overly interested in anything that lasts for only 60 minutes. The other thing is this. I have never felt particularly close to the human race and for me to join them en masse in a staged event of this magnitude would have felt like a deeply unnatural act.

Brenda, however, insisted that we put the lights off at 8.30pm. There is nothing worse than being lectured on global warming by someone who doesn’t know the facts, so I agreed if only to shut her up. Also, it meant the next generation wouldn’t be able to accuse me of not having done anything to save the planet. Not that the planet cares much for us, what with its capricious earthquakes, impulsive landslides and fickle volcanic eruptions.

“But I’m keeping the television on,” I said. If Brenda planned on sneaking up behind me, I wanted to see her coming. Earth Hour – there is no better time to kill your spouse. I can see the secretary-general of the National Union of Housebreakers making a note in his diary. Indeed. South Africa might not be the best country in which to encourage people to switch off all their lights at a predetermined time.

I was deep into the movie when the doorbell rang. It has to be said that when a doorbell rings in a darkened house in the middle of a horror film, no good can come of it. Wives will scream and husbands will curse. Cats will get tripped over and dogs will bark like creatures possessed.

Brenda found the front door and shouted hysterically into the night: “Who’s there?”

A shrill voice pierced the air. “Hi! Just wanted to let you know you have a light on upstairs and there’s still half an hour to go. It would be FABULOUS if we could all just pull together, you know?”

Brenda apologised and went upstairs to switch off the bathroom light. I was so incandescent with rage that my face went thermal and lit up the lounge in an eerie red glow.

How dare this … this stranger interrupt my movie to tell me to put all my lights off! I turned on Brenda, snarling, demanding to know why she was dancing to this incomprehensibly rude intruder’s tune. “Did she say she was with the Earth Police?” I shouted. “Why didn’t you ask to see some ID?”

My nerves shattered, movie ruined and evening in tatters, I went around the house switching the lights back on, ranting and raving like a Palestinian suicide bomber who made it all the way to Tel Aviv only to find that he had left the detonator on the kitchen counter at his uncle’s house back in Gaza.

Brenda got her back against the wall and watched me warily.

Who, in their right mind, would go around in the middle of the night ringing other peoples’ doorbells to tell them they have a light on and that, in the interests of stopping the polar ice caps from melting, they should turn it off? Those are the actions of a certifiably crazy person – a person who you should legally be entitled to shoot.

It is sanctimonious, overweening, self-appointed and almost certainly hypocritical eco-cops like this who make otherwise rational people like me want to wake up in the morning and spray cans of deodorant at the ozone layer. They make me want to start up my car and let it idle in the driveway for an hour or two every day and they make me want to leave my carbon footprint all over their officious little ferret faces.

Unless you are wearing a uniform, carrying a gun and have a warrant for my arrest, don’t think you can ring my doorbell and tell me what to do. The next time it happens, I swear, the planet gets it. And you will be responsible.

An Open Letter to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

Dear Sir or Madam,

Forgive me for I know not whether you are a sir or a madam. For all I know, you are both. If you are indeed a hermaphrodite or even a transsexual who dreams of one day undergoing gender reassignment surgery, may I take this opportunity to wish you luck. Some of my best friends are trapped inside a woman’s body. In one case, quite literally.

While we are on the sticky subject of genitalia, I would like to congratulate you on your legal victory against those godless purveyors of filth, TopTV. Had you not stepped in and hauled those vile degenerates into court, this country would be on its knees right now. Performing acts of unspeakable depravity on a vulnerable neighbouring country, no doubt.

Three channels of porn? I mean, really. How very dare they!

This is an honest Christian country and even though the Ten Commandments avoid making specific reference to pornography, I think “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass” comes pretty damn close.

These would be 24-hour channels. More and more people would begin calling in sick. Industries would fail and the economy would collapse. Eskom’s blackouts would see gibbering porn addicts embarking on rolling masturbatory action. The lunatic asylums would be jammed with hairy-palmed madmen and the gutters would overflow with semen.

Many of us who own holiday homes on the moral high ground have learnt, through bitter experience, that sex is a deeply unnatural act.

Who among us can forget the terrible deeds the devil made us do when we were younger? All these years later, we remember the studded gloves, the smell of antiseptic, the sting of the lash, the bone-chilling silence that followed those horrifying words, “Is it in yet?”

We do not want our kids to have to walk through the same fires of damnation.

I am proud to say that my boy Clive still believes babies are made in Wonky Willie’s baby factory in Salt River. He stole my car the other night to go and look for it and came back at 3am. He seemed very agitated and wouldn’t stop talking. Eventually I had to dart him with my tranquilizer gun. Brenda thinks he might have wandered into a crack house.

That’s fine with me. Just as long as he never discovers he is the result of a process so shameful that his mother and I have not repeated it since he was conceived.

TopTV gives a hollow assurance that the filth will not be freely available to everyone, but there is not a child on this planet who couldn’t find his way to their offices, present a fake ID proving he was over 18, take out a subscription, shoplift a decoder, hook it up to the TV, break the encryption code, bypass the security system, tune the channels and change the locks on the house.

In no time at all our suburbs would be full of weeping parents banging on their front doors shouting, “Jimmy! We know what you’re doing in there! Let us in! You’re going to hell if you don’t close your eyes right now!”

My fear is that not even the very real possibility of Jesus withdrawing his unconditional love would be enough to stop little Jimmy from gorging himself sick on this carnal buffet.

It wouldn’t stop there, either. Studies have shown that pornography is a gateway drug to harder habits such as cannibalism, journalism and politics.

Well done on securing the support of Pastor Errol Naidoo and all the other right-thinking Christians who threatened to boycott TopTV and their advertisers if Satan’s broadcaster went ahead with its nefarious plan to destroy humankind as we know it.

Some say you cannot call yourselves “independent” while co-opting allies in your righteous crusade against evil, but these heretics will burn for their sins and I, for one, will be there with marshmallows when they do.

One last request. Please do something about those pagan Muppets who live in sin on Sesame Street. Bert and Ernie are clearly homosexual and have no business being on public television.

You also need to shut down the internet. Did you know that if you type “sex” into Google, you get 3.8-billion results? Many of these sites are unrelated to the human reproductive system and some of the longer lesbian videos can take more than an hour to download. This is outrageous. We need high-speed broadband so we can see what we are fighting against.

I have to go now. There is a fantastic movie starting on SABC3. It’s full of violence, bad language, misogyny and racial prejudice. Just what us decent God-fearing folk need on a Sunday evening.

Here’s To Alcohol: The cause of – and solution to – all of life’s problems

Instead of trying to find a cure for Aids, medical researchers should rather concentrate on finding a cure for hangovers.

Sure, most hangovers won’t kill you, but more of us suffer from them. And when the majority suffers, it’s bad for democracy. Something needs to be done before the situation spirals out of control. Anyway. There’s no point in talking about it. The government never listens until it’s too late.

It has come to my attention that the provinces are once again fannying about with the liquor laws. This is good news. If there is any law that needs a swift kick in the nuts, it’s this one.

For too long we have been denied our right to drink whenever and wherever we please. And I, for one, am looking forward to the day that I can buy a lolly and a half-jack of rum from a vendor on Camps Bay beach at 9am on a Sunday.

KwaZulu-Natal is leading in the pack with moves to allow bottle stores to open on the one day of the week that people need alcohol the most.

Chief executive of the KZN Liquor Authority, Stella “Artois” Khumalo, correctly pointed out that the fascist regime had prohibited sales because they regarded Sunday as the Sabbath. Back then, when Ozzy Osbourne heard what was going on in South Africa, he formed a band called Black Sabbath and toured the world calling for an end to unjust laws governing the sale of booze.

Gauteng is considering a total ban on alcohol sales on Sundays – eight years after it was unbanned. This is inexplicable. Sundays are depressing enough, but to have to live in Gauteng and then not be able to drink on the most deathly of days constitutes cruel and inhuman punishment.

This is a clear breach of Article 5 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. South Africa is also a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture. We are in violation, people. My advice to Gautengers is that they approach Amnesty International.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane also wants cars to be replaced by ox wagons and a moratorium on electricity to allow cooking fires to resume their rightful place in the home.

I suspect the situation in the Western Cape is even more dire.

When it comes to matters of health and safety, the people running that province make the Taliban seem like the Teletubbies. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that city councillor Oberstfuhrer JP von Schmidtundwesson was backing the introduction of sharia. There is nothing he would like more than taking the family to a public beheading in Greenmarket Square on a Saturday afternoon.

Alcohol is the great leveller.

Once we’re all in the gutter, this country will be the better for it. I want to be able to crawl to a park bench late on a Friday night, only to find that it is occupied by Patrice Motsepe. I will offer him some of my Tassies and, in return, he will allow me to wet my lips on the neck of his crystal decanter. We will end up fighting over some toothless old hag from the Oppenheimer family but will have a good laugh about it during our morning vomit.

We are a nation of drinkers and the last thing we need is the government making us feel bad about it. Our self-esteem is already lower than Julius Malema’s credit rating. We need to be picked up. Quite literally, more often than not.

Why do we have to be proudly South African only in areas like sport, commerce and industry? Why can’t we be proudly South African when it comes to being alcoholics?

We have everything it takes to make any kind of alcohol right here in this country. Why are we importing anything? Look at Amarula. It’s made from crushed elephants, sugar and cream. How easy is that? And it’s so tasty that I have never been able to stop at just one bottle.

We are blessed with an abundance of plants and animals that can be converted into alcohol. Springbok shooters, for instance, would be a lot more appealing if they were made from real springboks. It could be the sponsored drink of the national rugby team. Instead of having water at half-time, a dozen girls dressed as slutty cowgirls could gyrate into the change room and use water pistols to fire shots into the mouths of the players. Rugby fans are generally motherless by the second half, and it would make the game more interesting if the players were, too.

Another drink I have in mind is the Amabananadaquiri. It’s made from bananas, banded mongoose and unleaded petrol.

With an alcohol content of 94%, it will be legal to drink Amabananadaquiri and drive because if a motorist were involved in an accident, it could be used as an anaesthetic. This will help paramedics who have already drunk their morphine.

It could also be used in service delivery protests, helping to keep protestors hydrated while at the same time providing them with an affordable yet effective weapon.

Since KZN is showing itself to be the most enlightened province, I expect them to allow bartenders to give cocktail-suckers exactly what they want. If someone orders Sex on the Beach, a Screaming Orgasm, a Buttery Nipple, a Blow Job or an Irish Car Bomb, then that’s what they should get. Perhaps with a free drink thrown in.

But how about them Brits, eh? There are people on the other side of the pond who think there’s something wrong with shops selling booze that’s cheaper than bottled water and want the introduction of minimum pricing laws.

That’s police state stuff, that is.

Any country where it’s cheaper to get drunk than it is to eat, is my kind of country. Food is highly overrated. It certainly does nothing for me.

That chinless wonder of a prime minister, David Cameron, wants to stop cheap alcohol from being sold in supermarkets. But he also doesn’t want to commit to a minimum pricing policy. “Oh, what to do! What to do! Perhaps I shall ask Samantha for a spot of the old oral entertainment. I find it helps me think more clearly.”

The pointy-faced fun-haters say that a 45p (R6) minimum price on a can of beer could potentially save two thousand lives within ten years. Please. Two thousand people will have died in my neighbourhood by the time I finish this column. And none of them drink. I know because I have knocked on their doors on many a Sunday afternoon.

Sure, alcohol can trigger violence. But so can unemployment and corruption. Does this mean we should ban the government? Of course we should.

An open letter to Henke Pistorius, father to Oscar, defender of the faithless

Howzit Henke,

I feel like I know you already. Did we meet around a braai sometime? Or maybe it was on a hunt. I think I saw you there by the Kruger Park last year. I shot nine elephants, six hippos, three giraffes and about 450 springbok. And a tortoise. Jislaaik, this hunting business is fun!

What did you get? Must have been a lot because you have more bigger guns. I only had a pomp-action shotgun. Gives the lions a big skrik but doesn’t actually kill them. Which is a pity. I wanted to have a whole bunch of lion heads on the wall behind my bar.

Maybe I will put one of the hippos there. I can chop out his top teeth and stick a couple of those awesome tot dispensers from Makro in their place. Maybe also make his mouth big, like he is yawning, and then keep the bottles in there. Don’t steal my idea, hey!

So, ja. I just wanted to send commiserations. I know what it feels like to have your family turn on you. My father only reads Shakespeare and when I started writing for the Sunday Times he said he didn’t have a son any more and my mother died of shame.

I can’t understand why your family would stab you in the back, especially when they have so many guns. Sorry, boet, that was a bad joke. There is a time for stabbing and there is a time for shooting. There is also a time for drinking. And sleeping.

You were doing the right thing when you told those Bolshevik scribblers in Britain that Oscar needed guns because the ANC government had failed to protect white people. I was surprised your boy wasn’t acquitted straight afterwards. I bet you thought the family would hold a moerse braai in your honour, with sperm whale on a spit and a crocodile on the coals and enough brandy to kill the Taliban.

Instead, the family thinks you are actually harming Oscar’s case. What? I have never heard such radical propaganda in my life. It’s like some kind of communist plot they are busy with.

If the ANC cared about white people for real, they would form a special task force to sit with us in our homes and escort us to and from our places of work. They would also give us our own province, although some say this has already happened in the Western Cape. And maybe our own beaches. And restaurants.

White people have special needs. You only have to look at us and listen to us to know that. Minorities are rare things that must be protected. It is even written there in the Convention on International whatwhat for Endangered Species that the government has signed.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I heard your brother, Arnold, telling everyone that your interview was not approved by the family’s media liaison team. Your own brother. Sies, man. Did they even tell you the family had a media liaison team?

People like you and me, Henke, we don’t mess about with liaison teams. For a start, liaison is a foreign word. I reckon Portuguese. That’s how it starts. The next thing you know, you can’t go for a kak without getting approval from the family ablution team based in Lisbon.

Arnold is your brother. I can’t tell if he is older or younger. You people all look alike to me. You need to discipline him as Abraham disciplined his son in the Jesus time. Arnold needs to be reminded that we are God’s chosen people. If Abraham had said he would check with the family liaison team and get back to Him, God would have just sommer given him one smote-klap right there.

Ja, I don’t know about Arnold, hey. If your family owns 55 guns, you can’t tell those drunken liberal whores in the media that they are used purely for sport and hunting. It makes Oscar sound like he thought a gemsbok was in the toilet.

It also sounds like something a mad English woman would say. Like the Queen, maybe. “We only bring out the guns when the horses and hounds are gathered for an afternoon frolic with old foxy-woxie.”

I don’t know what Arnold means by sport. When I think of sport, I don’t think of guns. I think of rugby and sex. Often at the same time. I can be watching the Bulls play the Sharks and suddenly I will want to fornicate. Does this happen to you?

What Arnold should have said was that the 12 big guns were for hunting, the 42 small guns were for self-defence and the pellet gun was for getting rid of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a Saturday afternoon if there was a game on. Then we would have believed him.

What if an intruder broke into Arnold’s house? I can see it now. “Go away,” he would shout. “I have guns but I can’t use them because they are purely for sport and hunting. Go away or I will scream.”

When Arnold said your interview doesn’t represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the family, you must have felt like that oke in the Bible who was cast into the wilderness with nothing but a technicolour dreamcoat and a bagful of fish. Can’t remember his name.

Point is, you have been sold down the river for twenty pieces of silver. On the upside, you run a sulphate mine. I first experienced sulphate in London many years ago. Wow. I didn’t stop talking for three days. No wonder you’re shooting your mouth off, pardon my French.

And now you have gone and upset the ANC. Instead of them agreeing to provide white people with their own private army, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said your statement was a racist slur. That’s rich. If there is one person in this country who knows about slurring, it’s Jackson.

I can understand why Oscar might be anxious. What if the judge is an ANC man? There are a lot of them about these days. He might get life just for babysitting your .38-caliber ammunition. I suppose with all those guns, you wouldn’t have room in your house for the bullets as well. You should build a granny cottage.

Anyway. Good luck with the family. If they throw you out, you can come live by me. Bring your guns, if you like. Or you can just sleep with my shotgun. It has a very big barrel. You will like it.

We All Have Assburger’s Syndrome

Birds aren’t the only creatures that make a yummy meal when deboned and compressed. Donkey, goat and buffalo are as delicious as any turducken.

Mmmm dongobuffillet. Donkey stuffed into a goat stuffed into a buffalo.

Serve with a glass of chilled Chardonnay, a bag of sticky marijuana and a private performance by three Ukrainian lesbians and you have the makings of a fabulous evening.

It involves pushing one animal inside the gastric passage of another. It’s called engastration. I’m talking about the food, here. What you do with the lesbians after the show is your business.

The French are particularly partial to this kind of thing. The Marquis de Sade, for instance, was a big fan of … no, wait. That’s different.

In his 1807 Almanach des Gourmands, gastronomist Grimod de La Reynière proudly presents his rôti sans pareil – a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, a bunting and a garden warbler. This was a man who clearly loved birds.

A vegan turducken, made with tofu and other meat substitutes like wheat gluten, is called a tofucken. True story. And because it’s a real word, we don’t need to fanny about with stars so as not to risk offending the lunatic fringe.

In my research, while I rarely bother with, I also came across an item traditionally served at Bedouin wedding feasts. Here’s the recipe. Cook eggs. Stuff eggs into fish. Cook the fish. Stuff the fish into cooked chickens. Stuff the cooked chickens into a roasted sheep. Stuff the roasted sheep into a camel. Cook the camel over a charcoal fire and season to taste.

Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but I am struggling to build up a decent head of outrage over the news that there is goat in our beef, donkey in our mutton and buffalo in our pork.

There are families in rural Somalia that celebrate for days after finding a locust. And I can’t imagine anyone in Sudan complaining about weevils in their annual cup of UN-sponsored rice. The weevils are the French contribution to the relief effort. And it’s no coincidence that the French invented complaining. I’m not sure where I am going with this, but I have a feeling that if I continue, it’s going to end badly.

The last thing I need is Francois Hollande diverting his fighter jets from Mali to my house. The neighbours already have a problem with me and I expect they would use an aerial bombardment as an excuse to get the body corporate to evict me.

So. Of 139 samples of meat, 68% tested positive for ingredients other than those declared on the packaging.

The study was done by the University of Stellenbosch, the same institution that educated the likes of Hendrik Verwoerd, Andries Treurnicht, Magnus Malan and Martin Welz. Big meat eaters, every one of them.

Everybody lies on their packaging. Everybody except me. I’m talking about you, here. People present themselves as packages and lie shamelessly while selling their bodies and brains to the highest bidder. Yes, we buy. Even though there are no guarantees.

There’s 12% buffalo in your boerewors? Please. That’s nothing. I’ve got 65% psychopath in my boyfriend. Really? You’re lucky. I have 72% slut in my girlfriend. And so it goes.

I tried to buy a flat screen television this week and quickly found myself bogged down in a quaqmire of lies and subterfuge, mainly on my part.

“Do you have a TV licence,” asked the shop-soiled assistant.

“Of course I do,” said I.

“Can I see it?”

“No, you can’t. Just give me the fucking thing. I have money.”

What a peculiar country. You can pay someone R250 to kill your wife, but a shop that is in all likelihood selling counterfeit goods cobbled together by seven-year-old Asian girls won’t take your R2 500 and give you a 32” Sinotec because they think you might be an undercover SABC licence inspector dressed as a homeless person.

I was also lied to on the packaging on a TV stand. Easy assembly, it said on the box. Easy if you were the engineer on the Sydney harbour bridge, maybe. Not so easy if you got 13% for technical drawing in matric.

Insert dowel into bottom? Really? Fifty shades of DIY. Cover nuts (B) with plastic caps (C). I covered my nuts and went drinking.

Let’s get back to the wildlife the producers have been feeding us. The shops are panicking. Meat is big business in this country.

You need a machete to get a braai pack on any given Saturday in rugby season. As you hack and chop your way through the seething mob, butcher’s assistants are standing by to collect the severed limbs, shrink wrap them and put them on the shelves as legs of lamb. This is the way it should be.

The butcheries don’t care. Have you seen the kind of people who buy their meat in butcheries instead of supermarkets? They love the smell of blood in the morning. Their eyes glaze over at the sound of circular saws tearing through the haunches of cloven-hoofed animals. That’s in Joburg. In Durban, even vegetarians go to butcheries in February. Not for the meat, for the air conditioning.

So how are the shops that cater to the BMW-driving, diamond-smuggling, coke-snorting, mineral-pilfering, tender-fiddling classes dealing with this crisis?

Woolworths was quick to saddle up its high horse. “Random checks, such as DNA testing, are conducted routinely on meat products,” they said snortily.

The forensic science laboratory is run by the police. They hope to have the results of the Verwoerd case by the end of the year. My money is on the tapeworm.

Here’s what I think should happen. Woolworths offers a one-stop forensic service – maybe in the cold meats section – and the police start selling ready-cooked meals. I don’t care what they are. Seagulls stuffed in honey badgers stuffed in zebras. If it comes with olives and feta, I’m in.

The undignified corporate scramble for the high ground continues.

Nestlé, billing itself as is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company, dropped a Spanish supplier after certain products were found to contain horse meat. What a shame. I rather liked their Shetland-flavoured chocolate.

Shoprite also does DNA testing. On its meat, not its customers. Although you never know when they might be running a special. Buy a kilo of wors and make sure the brat is really yours. Whitey Basson is nothing if not an innovator.

Pick n Pay, too, claims to conduct spot DNA tests. But in their case it’s probably on the staff to make sure they aren’t white.

Bon appetit. Or, as my mother used to say, shut up and eat it.

Shootin’ From The Hip With Dead-Eye Dickhead

If your husband or boyfriend goes shopping and comes home with, say, a slow cooker, you stand a chance of getting supper. If, on the other hand, he comes home with a gun, you stand a chance of getting shot.

Me, I’d rather take my chances with a slow cooker type of guy any time. Not that guys are my thing. No, really. They aren’t. I swear.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of guns. I like the idea of twitching my index finger and a split second later, 300m away, a paedophile’s head explodes like a pumpkin. Not that pumpkins explode. Although it’s not impossible. Perhaps exploding pumpkins are the Pentagon’s new secret weapon in the war on terror. Cheaper than drones but slower and not as manoeuverable.

Speaking for myself, because nobody else will let me speak for them, I would prefer to see a situation where we returned to throwing rocks at one another.

Our penchant for resolving disputes through the hurling of projectiles began two hundred thousand years ago when we evolved into Homo sapiens. Or, as the lunatic fringe would have it, six thousand years ago when an invisible policeman made a man from dust and a woman from the dude’s spare rib.

Sure, I’ve thought about getting a gun at different points in my life. I grew up around guns. No, wait. Those weren’t guns. I don’t know what the hell they were, but I still see their rat-like faces grinning at me when I close my eyes at night.

My father had a gun. Two guns. He was known as Tommy “Two-Guns” Trovato. No, he wasn’t. His name isn’t even Tommy. I don’t know why I said that. But he did have two guns.

One was a .22 rifle and the other a Walther PPK. He told me it was the same gun James Bond used. So when he first invited me to join him on a shoot, I almost wet myself with excitement.

Would the girls have names like Pussy Galore? I hoped so. I also hoped they would be gentle with me. Even though I was big for my age, I was still only nine.

The shoot turned out to be three Castle beer cans against a sand dune near the mouth of the Umgeni River. He hadn’t brought the rifle because he thought me too weak to lift it. I still am.

“Here,” he said, thrusting the Walther PPK into my tiny hand. “Pretend those cans are Soviet troops trying to outflank the German army at the battle of Stalingrad.” He’s a bit of a Nazi at heart. But then, deep down, aren’t we all?

I pulled the trigger and the metal beast barked and bucked, almost breaking my delicate wrist. It felt good. Not because I was shooting, but because it was such an exhilarating example of cause and effect.

Pull on this little thing and, instantaneously, something wild and inexplicable happens. It’s why boys love magic. It’s also why they love masturbating.

“Stand closer,” he said. I kept missing. It was ridiculous. I was wasting the entire month’s food budget on ammunition but my father wouldn’t let me stop.

“Squeeze the trigger, don’t pull it!” he shouted, steadying my grip. “Let’s try a bit closer.”

With the barrel eventually resting lightly against the can, I pulled the trigger. This wasn’t target practice. It was an execution. He never took me shooting again.

Years later, I redeemed myself by killing half a million FAPLA troops while parachuting from a burning helicopter and then, riding down the Kunene River on the back of a crocodile, I drove the Cubans out of Angola and brought the National Party government to the negotiating table. You can thank me later.

You know what I really like? Knives. Throw a gun at someone and you’ll just make him angrier. But throw a knife and there’s a chance he will think you’re some kind of Triad-trained knife-fighter and take cover, giving you time to run away and hide.

Also, knives are shiny. I like shiny things.

We are all capable of killing. Some, like the British royal family, do it for sport. Which is silly, really. Foxes contribute more to the economy than some of the yobbos who sponge off the welfare system.

Don’t give me that. They are not victims of circumstance. They are fat, lazy bastards. I know because I spent a fair bit of time in the UK doing jobs they didn’t want to do because the dole paid more.

We need to ban guns. Yeah, yeah. I hear you. Do that and them yellow-eyed motherfuckers are the only ones gonna be left holdin’ guns ‘coz they don’t care for no motherfuckin’ bans.

What you do, then, is ramp up the sentencing laws. Whether you’re bust for housebreaking, speeding or littering – if you’re found with a gun, you go to jail for 25 years.

We might need another 30 or 40 prisons, so build them in the Karoo. There’s nothing else going on out there. Shell can put them to work in the fracking fields.

Or don’t ban guns. Instead, the government embarks on a campaign to arm the nation.

Indigent families and the mentally handicapped qualify for state-subsidised guns. Government schools offer weapons training as part of the curriculum. Death skills, perhaps, as a counterpoint to life skills.

Bottle stores run mid-week specials. Trigger-Happy Tuesdays! Buy a .38 Special and get a bottle of Klipdrift free!

Forget about background checks. If you can tie your shoelaces, you’re eligible to own a gun. If you don’t have shoes, you will have to perform some other competency test.

You could be asked to count to ten, for instance. If you can’t get further than five, you’re fit only for a small caliber pistol. Go all the way to ten and you can have an AK-47.

Shooting someone when you’re drunk will be considered a premedicated act and no charges will be pressed.

Similarly, murder and homicide cases will not be prosecuted if the suspect uses the infallible “I-thought-you-were-a-burglar” defence.

In the interests of justice, this will apply to everyone.

For example, a bank robber shoots a security guard and is arrested. If the robber says, “I thought he was a burglar”, the police will be compelled to release him.

Let’s start by making Mshini wam our national anthem.

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.