Advice For The Doomed Generation

So you’ve just finished matric and are looking for a job.

The first thing you need to do is drop a few kilos. School-leavers are getting more corpulent by the year. Sure, some are pregnant, but the other ten per cent are just plain lard-asses.

There are many weight-loss tapes on the market, but I recommend the duct tape. Tear off a strip and put it over your mouth, you big fat pig.

Employers would rather hire thin people. It’s a fact. And if it’s not, it should be.

Thin people have more energy, take shorter lunch breaks and have fewer moral qualms about sleeping their way to the top. Bosses appreciate these qualities in a worker.

My advice is, don’t rush into a job. Take your time. Look around. Drink a lot, blow up ATMs, have lashings of casual sex. This brief period of unemployment could be the happiest time of your life.

Once you get a job, marriage won’t be far off. Everyone wants to be married to someone who has a job. The taxman will be first in line to savage your salary. Once he has eaten his fill, the banks and the insurance companies and the medical aid schemes will sink their claws into you. Then the scavengers at the municipality will have a go. Finally, your horrible children will suck up any crumbs that might still be lying around. That’s the next 45 years taken care of.

But at least you can look forward to retiring on a pension that will cover the rent on a bachelor flat for two years. And if you eat only once a week, you should be able to afford three days in Margate before you die. It will be the holiday of a lifetime. Literally.

If, however, you simply cannot wait to become an insignificant cog in this great wheel of misfortune, and you choose not to seek psychiatric help, then this is what you need to do.

Apply for every job you see advertised. It doesn’t matter if it’s a filing clerk at a panel-beaters or director-general in the department of education. You have just as much chance of getting one as the other.

Very few jobs in this world require skills that can’t be picked up off the internet in an afternoon. In the majority of cases, you really only need the ability to manufacture an impressive CV.

If you can write and you don’t have foetal alcohol syndrome, you stand a very good chance of getting a top job in the private sector.

When it comes to the civil service, however, brain damage can work in your favour. I don’t mean it helps to be retarded to work for the government. That would be rude.

I’m talking about their policy of hiring people with disabilities. But be careful. It’s a bit of a grey area.

For example, the SA Post Office will still invite you for an interview, but you might not get the job of postman if your CV says you have no legs. On the other hand, you could always say they grew back while you were having breakfast that morning. Post office staff have seen some amazing things – most of them inside parcels that never reached their destinations – and they will believe anything.

There is fierce competition for jobs, so be prepared.

Tuck your shirt in, make sure your nails are clean and carry a Z88 9mm pistol. It’s a very effective tool when it comes to convincing prospective employees that you’re the right man for the job. If you’re a woman, you might want to try the smaller, more feminine Glock 26.

But feel free to use something else. The Musler pump action riot gun is very effective in reducing the number of job applicants in any given situation. And it’s proudly South African, too.

If it’s queues you’re worried about, get there early and cordon off the area with razor wire. The one thing we learned from Marikana is that we no longer have to use our hands to set up the barricades. That’s right. Razor wire can be dispensed from an armoured vehicle. Pick one up on Gumtree. Make sure you’re on the inside when you seal off the premises.

A career in the air force has become a popular choice ever since Prince Harry single-handedly killed half the Taliban from inside his helicopter.

He compared being in charge of the Apache’s weapons systems to “playing Xbox”. You can have just as much fun in the SAAF. The only difference is that none of our choppers are airworthy. And we can’t afford Xboxes. You will, however, get authentic combat experience on your unit’s PlayStation 1.

The KwaZulu-Natal road traffic inspectorate would sooner kill you than hire you, so I’d suggest you stay away from them.

If you lack the courage of your convictions, you could always get a job at First National Bank.

Here’s the catch, 22 or otherwise. The problem you jobseekers have – apart from being too thick to go to university – is that you don’t have any experience.

Smoking weed and losing your virginity in grade eight doesn’t count as experience. Well, it does in my book. But I’m not currently hiring.

You might have to take a poorly paid job.

In my opinion, all jobs are poorly paid. None of them are worth a damn. Jobs are evil. They take away your freedom and destroy your health. They turn you into something you never wanted to be and they fill you with self-loathing.

I know what I’m talking about. I have been there. My eyesight is ruined and my ass is sore.

If you’re offered an unpaid job-shadowing opportunity, don’t turn it down. Take notes. Make maps. Forge keys. Learn the security codes.

When you are thanked for your free labour and told there are no vacancies, return late one night and put all that knowledge to good use.

Ngikufisela inhlanhla!

An Open Letter to President Jacob Zuma

Dear Msholozi,

I am a huge fan of yours and an even bigger supporter of the ANC, that glorious revolutionary movement to which I would dearly love to belong. Since you are the party’s number one member, I implore you to grant me entrance to this exclusive club.

I tried to apply online but was incapacitated with fear. Logging on to the ANC’s website is not a natural act for a white man. In the old days, my back door would have been kicked down and Kaptein Skok de Kock would be asking me questions while his sidekick checked my prostate with a cattle prod.

To be on the safe side, I created a false identity for myself – Abdul-Aziz Ben’t-Ariel Hlobongo. I was hoping that with a few quick clicks I could become an ANC member and start reaping the benefits first thing tomorrow morning. Easier said than done.

Are you aware that nowhere on the ANC’s website does it indicate how one can become a member? It does, however, provide the details of a Nedbank account into which I am invited to make a donation.

“Any information you provide will be treated confidentially,” it says. But I am not providing information. I am providing money.

I suppose in these treacherous times, information is as important as hard cash – both, for instance, can help keep one out of jail. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not talking about the missing arms deal tapes, here.

I found a link to ANC merchandise but was disappointed to find just two items for sale. The vibrant leather jackets are a bit out of my price range, but if I ever have a spare R1 620 and feel the urge to spend the evening in a gay biker’s bar, I’ll definitely come to the ANC first.

The other item is a poster of Nelson Mandela. I hope I am not speaking out of turn here, but don’t you think a poster that says: “Mandela for President – The People’s Choice” is a tad dated? Why not a poster of Thabo, saying: “Mbeki for President – The Poephol’s Choice”? Or one of you: “Zuma is President – No Choice”.

The only party that understands business might want to consider offering more than just a jacket and a poster on its website. What about handcrafted ebony and ivory backscratchers? Or jars of money-scented lotion to grease even the toughest of palms? How about a genuine doctor’s certificate that cadres can use should they need to get out of jail in a hurry? Give it some thought. The possibilities are endless.

Hang on. I do apologise. I’ve just come across a link explaining how one can go about becoming a member. It seems awfully complicated.

I was under the impression that all one had to do was have a passable singing voice, a reasonable sense of rhythm as it pertains to the national dance – the toyi-toyi – and a basic understanding of why socialism is not a viable alternative for South Africa.

I am concerned that you list only five rights but eleven duties of members. But perhaps this is how it should be. Duty comes first. Some of the rights remind me of the words of the prophet Joe Strummer: “You have the right to free speech – as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.” You should put it out as a public service announcement. With guitar.

The duties are a bit off-putting, to be blunt. Are you even aware of the duties? They are outrageous. Here are just four of them. Behave honestly. Observe discipline. Combat harmful propaganda. Carry out decisions of higher bodies. It reminds me of my time in the army.

Being a member of the ANC should be an opportunity to make a lot of money and have a bit of a laugh at the same time. I really can’t see the point otherwise. And, comrade president, nor can you.

At the ANC’s 101st birthday party in Durban the other evening – an event I was unable to attend due to previous commitments – you said a wise businessman would support the ANC because it meant he would be investing in his business. “Everything you touch will multiply,” you said, giggling endearingly.

The only thing I ever touched that multiplied was a calculator.

I want a piece of this action, compadre. I understand that, if I wish to benefit, I will need to join the ANC. However, the annual membership fee of R12 is out of my reach at the moment. Hard times have fallen upon me and I need every cent for beer and newspapers, neither of which I am prepared to live without.

If you can waive the membership fee, then I am prepared to meet you half way and form a business. I don’t know what it will be because I am a failure at almost everything. But you shall be my King Herod who bestows the Midas touch upon his loyal subjects. Or something. Hebrew parables are hard to fathom at the best of times.

To be honest (duty #7), it isn’t the membership fee alone I am struggling with. To become a member, I have to visit your offices. Having grown up in Durban, I thought it would be easy to find my way there.

Your offices are in Stalwart Simelane Street, according to your website. I don’t know where this is. I have tried asking but everyone I spoke to thought I was a plain-clothes cop. They either ignored me or spat on the ground. Perhaps they were IFP supporters.

This is how people get killed in this town. Merely asking for directions brands you politically and the next thing you know, you’re having your arms chopped off at the intersection of Problem Mkhize Boulevard and Swapo Avenue. Not that they intersect. I might be white, but I’m not stupid. I’m simply trying to make a point. I forget what it was.

Anyway. Don’t worry about the DA. Lindiwe Mazibuko might have said your remarks were deeply irresponsible, but she also used phrases like “leveraging of state resources”. This is a direct translation from the original Swedish and provides conclusive proof that she was raised by Scandinavian wolves who fled to the Canadian Rockies to escape the insufferable Nordic elitism that tore so many wolf packs apart in the late 1970s.

This means she isn’t even human, let alone African. Get your men to bring her in at once. Make sure they have a muzzle. She might be rabid.

Others are saying you can’t tell the difference between party and state. This is ridiculous. Sure, both words have five letters in them, which can be confusing, but most people can tell they are not the same. And you, sir, are not most people.

I think you should impose sharia law at once. Remember, you can do whatever you like in your last term as president. I look forward to seeing Helen Zille dancing in a burqa and Pieter Mulder begging for minority rights with no hands.

Good news! I have formed a business. Between writing to you and visiting the fridge, I have inadvertently fashioned a crude office for myself. From tomorrow, I will be buying and selling things. It could be shares on the stock exchange or it could be snoek. I haven’t decided.

Durban is hell at the moment, so I will be needing a fan. Please let me know the amount of “information” I should deposit into the ANC’s account in order to get a good deal from your people in the fan industry. I mean our people.

And if you want anything at all – uncut diamonds, second-hand crocodiles or unit trusts that fell off the back of a lorry – I am your man. Put the word out.

This is fun. It’s like being a Freemason without having to learn funny handshakes, attend secret meetings or exclude women.

No, wait. What am I talking about? It’s just like being a Freemason.

An Open Letter to Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education

Dear Comrade Angie,

Well done on getting the league to nominate Jacob Zuma for a second term as coxswain of the national gravy boat. Without him leading from the stern for another five years, the good ship RSA would run aground in no time at all.

To be honest, and I think honesty is important at times like these, you scare me a little. I don’t know if it is because you are black, a woman or a teacher. During what I laughingly call my life, I have been frightened by all three demographics at one stage or another. Truth is, you are the first black female teacher I have encountered. Not that we have ever had an encounter, of course. We need to clarify this because people like you and I have enemies who would relish the opportunity to destroy our reputations by leaking a doctored sex tape implicating us in a four-in-a-bed romp with Eugene Terreblanche’s widow and Steve Hofmeyr. I can’t afford that kind of scandal.

I cannot get over the nerve of these bloody counter-revolutionary agents in the capitalist running dog media suggesting that you only endorsed Zuma because any other president would fire you for doing such an appalling job as education minister. I think you have acquitted yourself remarkably well. Just the other day I met a child who could almost count to a hundred. Well, he got to 34. And he was 19, but small for his age.

I enjoyed the way you apologised for the late delivery of schoolbooks in Limpopo while denying liability at the same time. It is a wise fish who knows its way around a hook. I say this with the utmost respect. Or, as the matrics would have it, respek.

I must also congratulate you on never having once nominated a woman for the position of president of South Africa. Who among us will ever forget your words: “We are not a feminist organisation. We are a women’s organisation.”

Bravo, madam! Bravo! I applaud not only your courage in drawing a clear distinction between conventional red-blooded womenhood and the mental illness known as feminism, but also your implicit recognition that South Africa is nowhere near being ready to have someone who is not a man running this country.

Women tend to hire other women and it wouldn’t be long before the Union Buildings were overrun by civil servants in skirts and ugly shoes. You have obviously given some thought to the hazards of menstrual synchrony. I know I have. The country would be thoroughly ungovernable for three to five days a month. If they got their timing right, Swaziland would be able to colonise us.

If I were a woman, I wouldn’t want a president who has only ever dabbled in a single wife. I would want one who dives into women head-first. Wallows in them. Marries them. Impregnates them. Puts them on a roster so they all get their turn to appreciate the executive member. That’s what I call democracy, even though it may sound like a dicktatorship.

As a woman who clearly knows her place in the pecking order, you were obviously instructed by someone wearing trousers to nominate Squirrel Ramaphosa for the position of deputy-president. Whatever happened to that Motlanthe fellow? He got 13 votes to Squirrel’s 62. I expect you will be hunting down the dissidents in the days to come. You cannot have independent thinkers in your ranks. That’s where the rot sets in. Next thing you know, your members will be demanding the right to stand at the braai instead of in the kitchen.

And that, comrade, is a slippery slope.

Aluta continua. Up to a point.

Application For The Post Of CEO Of Armscor

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was alarmed to learn that Armscor does not currently have anyone in charge. With no pilots to fly the Gripens and our submarines up on bricks, our flanks are vulnerable to warmongering nations like Lesotho. There is already ominous assegai-rattling coming from Swaziland. As you know, their lunatic king is claiming a chunk of KwaZulu-Natal all the way down to the coast on the grounds that every country deserves a harbour.

But it is not only beyond the fringe where danger lurks. Our security forces must also be fully equipped and capable of subduing an increasingly violent section of our population. Their mood is ugly and right now they pose the biggest threat to this country’s internal stability.

I am talking about our police force.

With apparent free license to go on strike, form death squads or open fire on ordinary civilians, our men and women in blue are the new Tonton Macoutes.

Have you seen what is happening in Durban? The metro police have taken over the city and are running amok in the streets while the council cowers in its well-feathered nest. My first act as CEO of Armscor will be to despatch air and ground forces to eThekwini to help these officers understand, in the language of Rooivalk attack helicopters and G6 cannons, that their job is to maintain law and order.

Please inform the minister of defence that, in future, these decisions will be made by me. We cannot leave such critical matters in the hands of a woman. I am not being sexist (some of my best friends are transgendered bisexual paraphiliacs) but whether it’s quelling a civil insurrection or dressing for dinner, she is going to take forever to get ready. Our enemies will capitalise on this.

You fail to mention how much the position pays, but I am not a greedy man and will settle for half a million rand a month. I do not expect a company car. However, I will be needing a modified Centurion tank with a built-in bar fridge, water bed and three-person jacuzzi. And a stripper’s pole. And maybe a disco ball. War is hell and one must keep one’s spirits up.

You mention in the ad that you are looking for a visionary leader. In that case, you will be happy to know that visions are the one thing I have plenty of. Especially around 3am on a Sunday morning when the absinthe is finished and the goats have gone to bed. Admittedly, some of my visions are a little on the unrealistic side, but there is one that involves jet-propelled statues of the Virgin Mary fitted with concealed anthrax dispensers that I will discuss in greater detail with my team.

You say a strong political and commercial awareness is essential. I presume that means you don’t want some DA-supporting idiot who is going to be suckered into buying Uzis from Israel at a million shekels a piece.

Acquiring cheap weapons from the right sort of people will not be a problem for me. This is South Africa. I was in a shebeen the other day and the owner asked if I wanted a piece of artillery with my Black Label. It would have been rude to say no.

Having said that, I don’t think we should be fiddling about with conventional weapons. We are neither a conventional country, nor do we have a conventional government.

Until the exploding Virgin Marys are ready, we need to concentrate on our nuclear capability. Obviously I’m not talking Fat Man and Little Boy, here. I’m talking about pocket nukes, small enough to be fired with catapults at targets big enough to warrant that kind of lesson. Take Julius Malema, for example. Drop a very small atomic bomb down his trousers and he will be a changed person, I guarantee it.

I will also personally supervise the production of Agent Orange, except I will change it to blue because orange is gay. This fabulously toxic defoliant worked wonders for the Americans in Vietnam and there is no reason it won’t work when it comes to flushing no-good hippies out of the Knysna forest.

Your ad says you are looking for a person of influence boasting excellent communication skills. While I think boasting is vulgar, I should point out that I certainly know a thing or two about influence. When it comes to convincing people to agree with my point of view, I employ a combination of methods used by the legendary Dale Carnegie and Francesco “The Beast” Matrone of the Camorra group, masters of persuasion in their own right.

As for communication skills, well, I have always found that shouting and slapping are the most effective tools when it comes to getting one’s message across.

Since there is no reason not to believe the job is mine, you might as well begin refurbishing my office. Please model it on the Centurion tank I mentioned earlier.

You may also go ahead and hire a team of crack sangomas. Let us be clear on this. I do not want to get there and find the building overrun with sangomas on crack.

Why sangomas, you ask? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it. Don’t make me slap you. All but 34 of the striking mine workers at Marikana used muti before the police got medieval on their asses. This stuff clearly works. With our best and brightest sangomas working for Armscor, our troops will no longer need body armour. That’s a huge saving right there. We won’t be manufacturing armoured vehicles, either. Second-hand Toyotas and VW Jettas, painted with muti, will be indestructible in battle. Europe will be ours by Christmas.

You say a Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement? This is fantastic. I have spent most of my life as a bachelor and know all the tricks of the trade. I can’t imagine, though, why the head of Armscor would need to know how to maintain seven girlfriends without them finding out about each other.

I also have top security clearance from my wife, Brenda. She says I can’t remember anything as a result of years of alcohol abuse. I’m sure you agree this would be useful should I ever be tortured by foreign agents. In fact, in the morning I probably won’t even remember applying for this job.

A last request. I cannot relocate to Pretoria because I am allergic to the pollen and the people. Armscor will have to relocate to Umdloti. I will make space in the spare room.

Looking forward to contributing to the destruction of the human race!

Spanking The Olympic Monkey

The South African nation is today filled with pride and joy,” decreed presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj on Tuesday.

This was astounding news. The nation is usually filled with anger, resentment, remorse, guilt and wine.

What momentous event could have turned us, overnight, from a country of indolent, pilfering misanthropists into a country of back-slapping happy campers bubbling over with good cheer and self-love?

Had President Zuma done the right thing and fired his cabinet on the grounds of gross incompetence?

Had Winnie attended a session of parliament?

Had Bafana Bafana won a game?

No, nothing so implausible.

Instead, the nation was officially beside itself because a kid from Durban won a swimming race in London. I suppose when you’re coming off such a low base, it doesn’t take much to reach patriotic orgasm.

Anyway, I don’t believe Chad le Clos is the fastest in the world in the 200m butterfly. There are tribesmen deep in the Amazon who can do it in under twenty seconds. However, their times do drop off when the piranha fish head upriver to spawn.

So much for Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, I pulled a muscle in my back while lying on the couch watching the Olympics. It happened while lunging for a fresh six-pack that Brenda had cruelly moved just beyond my reach. This shows the importance of stretching exercises for spectators.

I could have been a contender.

Look at le Clos. His father said he had been swimming since he was in nappies. My father also threw me into the pool when I was in nappies. Then he went to the kaya to check on his latest batch of home-brew and forgot all about me. By the time my mother came home from the casino, nine hours later, I was doing the 100m crawl in just under 45 minutes. She made my father fill in the pool and I was never allowed near water again.

Watching the Olympics, I was constantly amazed at what the human body is capable of. At one point, even with a sprained rhomboideus, I managed to go from a prostrate position to a conventional sitting position while simultaneously opening a beer, changing channels and wedging my big toe into Julius Seizure’s bottom to avoid further contamination of the atmosphere.

I think these games are overrated. There are several events in which I could easily win a medal. Skeet shooting is one. Most white South Africans of a certain age are excellent skeet shooters, although in those days we didn’t call them skeets – we called them terrorists.

I remember being on the border and shooting someone in the back from a distance of two kilometres. It turned out to be our radio operator, but still. When it comes to marksmanship, it’s important to give credit where it is due.

Common sense says it is easier to win a medal in a team sport, like hockey or genocide, because you can rely on your mates to do all the hard work. Take curling, for example. Right away, I would commandeer the comb and let my more talented colleagues wield the tongs and hairspray.

There was a time I felt myself drawn to archery, but then I watched Robin Hood – Men In Tights and realised this so-called sport had the potential to turn ordinary decent folk into dangerous homosexuals.

It’s a pity Olympic organisers don’t offer an alternative for athletes from the developing world, using human targets and pangas instead of bows and arrows. We’d get gold in that, for sure.

As for beach volleyball. Really? The way these women carry on after winning a point, why not just make lesbianism an Olympic sport?

Men play it, too. They use words like “spike” and “jungle ball” and “underhand serve” which is quite obviously code for activities of a deviant nature. And why not? After all, the Greeks started this business.

I think I would be good at judo. Most married men who haven’t yet been emasculated are experts in the art of pushing and slapping. My friend Ted says it was originally an elitist money-making sport started by Zionists who called it Jew Dough. I called him a filthy anti-Semite and beat him soundly with a leg of pork, which we later cooked and ate with relish and gusto.

As for that ridiculous business with the swords. A South African’s idea of fencing is to make a tidy profit from selling stolen goods. It makes far more sense than attempting to prod a stranger with a pointy stick. If you’re going to have a sword fight, then, for god’s sake, do it to the death.

I could also win a medal in dressage. It’s not even as if you have to be fit. All you have to do is sit on your horse while it goes through its dance routine, and maybe have a word with it if it gets over-excited and tries something from Michael Jackson’s repertoire. It’s best not to let your horse watch programmes like Strictly Come Dancing.

Cycling and rowing should only be Olympic sports once all modes of transport are included. Let’s see events where people have to catch buses and run for taxis.

Badminton is trapped in a mire of match-fixing, drugs and human trafficking and is clearly the sport of the devil. And it’s no good watching gymnastics to cleanse your soul, either. I tried, but halfway through the women’s floor exercise I came over all Humbert Humbert-like and had to switch to the women’s boxing. Rather a misogynist than a paedophile, I always say.

Should the ANC ever decide to stage its own games, here are a few categories they might want to consider: Running for office, rigging the ballot, deploying the cadre, looting the treasury, fleecing the taxpayer, riding the gravy train, playing the race card, watching the clock, hunting for witches, jumping the queue, pulling the wool, loading the dice, shooting the breeze, stalling for time, spinning the truth, spanking the monkey, palming the tender, fiddling the expenses, diving for cover, dropping the ball and passing the buck.

Thank You For Not Sharing

Much like alcohol and organised religion, Facebook can ruin your health, wreck your marriage and make you appear stupider than you are.

However, it brings great happiness and joy in so many other ways. Take brunch, for example. Too often we take this simple meal for granted. If brunch had feelings (and who is to say it doesn’t?) it would be hurt by our callous disregard for it.

I am not a late breakfast, nor am I an early lunch!” it would cry, were it allowed a voice at this unholy buffet we call life.

Fortunately, there are kind people out there who, through postings on Facebook, remind us that brunch can be a deeply moving if not life-changing event.

OMG! Just had most DIVINE brunch eva!!”

Y u not invite me I thort I woz yr BFF?!!??”

Sorri babe! Nxt time ROFL!!”

Won’t be a nxt time coz am cuming round to cut yr hed off.”

The same goes for children. If it weren’t for some parents proudly posting pictures of their progeny, we would labour under the misapprehension that all of us were cursed with ugly, talentless offspring. Who would have thought that some are so bright and beautiful that one would require sunglasses to avoid being blinded by their coruscating countenances?

My very best, though, are the gut-churning parables and three-hankie homilies.

Flipping through Facebook’s news feed is like having a stream of Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing your doorbell while Paulo Coelho sits in your lounge spouting 20-word truisms dressed up as profundity.

The practice of posting platitudinous parables, ass-kissing aphorisms and hackneyed self-help clichés is not only monstrously offensive to the condemned and the cursed – among whom I count myself – but also an alarming indictment of the depths to which these meddling missionaries will stoop in their nugatory quest to help others see what they call “the light” but which I call moral bestiality.

I would wager that many of those who flood Facebook with these disposable sermons suffer from poor self-esteem and a pestilential smorgasbord of personality disorders.

If this is where you find redemption or look for lessons on how to live your life, you’re in a lot more trouble than you think.

Here is a sampling of esoteric excrescence which this week interfered with my search for amusing tales of stupid people in real trouble.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

The picture is of a child, perhaps mentally disturbed, standing in the rain. She doesn’t look happy, probably because she knows she’s in for a thrashing when she gets home. “What’s the hell is wrong with you?” her gin-soaked mother will shout. “Why didn’t you wait for the bloody storm to pass before going outside?”

Dear God, thanks for this beautiful life and forgive me if I don’t love it enough.”

Forgive you? What kind of spineless God do you take me for? You will love your life – even if you have no legs and live in a cardboard box on the N2 – or you will burn for all eternity in the hellfires of damnation. Forgive you. I have never heard such rubbish. If I did it for you, everyone would get up to all sorts of crazy shit knowing that I was dishing out forgiveness to anyone who asked. In future, you can show how much you love your life by dancing in the rain. Naked. Then I want you to go to work and murder your boss. Don’t bother me again.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”

The picture is of an angry mob of very big trees posing aggressively for the camera. First, let’s me just say I don’t believe in spirits, unless it’s Klipdrift you’re talking about. In which case, make mine a double. Second, the kind of places that have not been rearranged by the hand of man (even though it is women who do most of the rearranging) are in such remote areas that you would have to be a damn fool to go there without a posse of heavily armed friends, one of whom should be a paramedic and another a lawyer.

Nature that has been spared the firm hand of man is nature that will tear your throat out as soon as look at you. It will crush you, drown you or just plain old snap your spine and leave you to rot. Don’t be an idiot. The human spirit can get whatever it needs off the internet.

Being strong doesn’t always mean you have to fight the battle. True strength is being adult enough to walk away from the nonsense with your head held high.”

Bollocks. You must fight the battle, unless of course you started it, in which case it’s more fun to sneak off and watch from a safe distance. Still and all, I wouldn’t advise using that craven “adult enough” rationale while backing out of a bar fight in Hillbrow. Your head will be held high, alright. It just won’t be attached to your body.

Even in the darkest of night there is hope. As the moon lights our path so does hope light our way.”

No, it doesn’t. Hope is the last refuge of the doomed. It smells of lavender and carries a concealed weapon. Hope will not hesitate to bludgeon you from behind, moon or no moon.

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

This is the kind of paranoid, judgmental gibberish shouted by a right-wing redneck moments before he slaps his wife, drags a giant bag of ammonium nitrate into his bakkie and blows himself up outside a government building. Not always a bad idea.

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.”

Right, then. That’s my job and marriage out the window. Can I come and live with you?

I have learned it is not what I have in my life but who I have in my life that counts.”

Really? Can you drive your husband along Chapman’s Peak on a Sunday morning with the roof down and a bottle of champagne between your legs? Has your Blackberry ever cheated on you? When you need to see a naked woman, do you reach for your iPad or your wife?

God made the horse from the breath of the wind, the beauty of the earth and the soul of the angel.”

Whoever said this has never been stabbed in the face by a horse. He will pretend to be your friend right up until the moment you’re on his back, and then he won’t listen to a word you say. Sooner or later he will try to kill you.

So much for that.

Shops are full of this tawdry tat coyly posing as philosophy. You wouldn’t buy a tea-towel that said: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”, but see it on Facebook and it’s, “OMG I love that!!!” and “So very TRUE!! Thank you!!!”

Were these people raised by wolves? Or do they genuinely have the intellectual capacity of a garden gnome? For the sake of humanity, I pray it’s the wolves.

Thank you for not sharing.

 

Happiness Is A Warm Molotov Cocktail

I was saddened to read this week that we are one of the ten unhappiest countries in the world. What the hell is wrong with us?

Looking around, reading the papers and listening to people talk, I would have expected us to easily qualify as the unhappiest country of all. But no. That honour goes to Botswana. See what happens when you’re saddled with a government that eradicates corruption and fosters economic growth?

A thousand people from each of 151 countries were polled by the Happy Planet Index, a non-governmental organisation who take it upon themselves to pass judgement on the rest of us. Fair enough. Someone has to do it and it may as well be them.

Home-owners who are inexplicably reluctant to shoot people conducting surveys were asked to fill in questionnaires about their personal happiness. At the end of it all, we limped in at number 142.

Listen to me. If we hope to win competitions like this in the future, I suggest you ditch whatever vestiges of blind optimism, false hope and misplaced confidence might linger in what little remains of your mind.

There is no point admitting in a survey that you are as miserable as a one-legged chicken during the week but tend to perk up a bit on Saturdays when Lucky drops by with a bottle of brandy and the crack pipe. All this does is ruin our chances of making it to rock bottom.

Nobody cares if you’re the ninth unhappiest nation on earth. They want to know who is the unhappiest because schadenfreude makes the world go round and they want to know who is the happiest so they can spend their holidays there and ruin it for the locals. Brace yourself, Costa Rica.

So the next time a doe-eyed researcher from the Happy Planet Index visits your home, make sure you are wearing a hessian sack and have ash in your hair.

Lock them in and draw the curtains. Bring out a bottle of gin and make them drink with you while you rage against the sheer unmitigated hopelessness of it all. Weep and smash stuff. Have a few grime-encrusted children in tattered clothing shuffle into the room. It would be helpful if they also wept. Use a lit cigarette to get them started, if you must.

Speaking of children, the school holidays have begun and I am outraged. It is not public holidays that need to be scrapped – it is school holidays.

They are an anachronism – a throw-back to an era when teachers needed time to go and fight the communists in southern Angola and children needed time to recover from the horror of learning about the Boer War.

My history teacher was a cross between Machiavelli and the Marquis de Sade. He stepped on a landmine somewhere north of Oshikango and when the third term started he rolled into class and carried on as if nothing had happened.

Here’s what should have gone down. At 10am on Wednesday the army should have been deployed. Every school should have been sealed off with electrified blade wire. By now, there should be snipers in the trees and alsatians on the ground.

Nobody should get to leave until everyone, teachers included, can read to themselves without moving their lips and tell the difference between there’s and theirs, who’s and whose, to and too and it’s and its.

This country is not only being destroyed by its leadership. It’s also being destroyed by people who write memos that say: “Staff who’s cars is parked at the rear must move too the front theirs no exceptions and its got to be done today.”

Call me a grammar Nazi if you must, but I believe if you cannot spell Kalashnikov you shouldn’t be allowed to handle one. If you can’t tell the difference between your scrotum and a dangling participle, you shouldn’t be teaching English. And if you think you have the right to strike, you shouldn’t be teaching at all.

Sadly, the government has once again seen fit to send these shiftless ingrates home for the holidays. But it’s not them I’m worried about. It’s the children. Actually, I couldn’t care less about them either.

However, parents often turn to me for advice in times of great stress. As a father, I feel duty bound to help wherever I can. The question I am most asked when school holidays come smashing into our lives is: “What can we do with our children?”

The most obvious answer is: Put them to work.

For the last few months they have done nothing but drink and fornicate and – no, hang on, that’s the teachers.

Many of my friends regret living in a country where, during school holidays, they are not given a choice between putting their children to work and putting them to death. Quite a few have emigrated to libertarian societies such as Australia where this sort of thing is permitted.

School is what makes a child tolerable. If education had to be abolished – and it’s heading that way here – nobody would dare breed.

The idea of having anything between the ages of five and 17 in the house all day long, other than a dog, does not bear thinking about. Even if you can’t see them, you can feel them. They are like saturnine poltergeists full of shit and hormones.

When I was smaller than I am now, my mother would bring out a book called Things To Make And Do. First, though, she would bring out the wooden spoon and beat me senseless. She called this credit in the punishment bank for all the bad things I might get up to during the holidays.

Kids today wouldn’t be interested in a book like that. Unless, of course, it showed you how to make Molotov cocktails and throw them without setting fire to yourself.

If you’re okay with this, you might want to wait until the fuel price comes down. There’s an awful lot of spillage when children learn to make their first petrol bombs.