Every night is fright night

It is Halloween on Wednesday and I, for one, cannot wait to put on my succubus suit and go creeping around the neighbourhood late at night banging on doors, shouting: “Trick or treat!”

The real sport starts when the homeowner presses his panic button. You then have seven minutes to break into the house, tie the occupants up, find a treat and get out before an armed response unit can shoot you in the face. The kids love it.

For a lot of South Africans, every night is Halloween. The only difference is that these perennial pranksters can’t be bothered to dress up. To be fair, though, some do make the effort and put on a balaclava. Traditionally, a treat is a handful of sweets or, if you hit a vegan house, an eggplant without the egg. Our year-round rogues rarely settle for less than cellphones, money and guns. Or, at the very least, an HD-ready TV. Anyway. Who are we to judge? A treat is mos a treat.

I would advise against opting for the trick unless you want to watch someone juggling with your testicles or super-glueing your wife to the wall.

I have celebrated Halloween ever since I was dishonourably discharged from the army of Christ in the early ’80s. Standards were higher back then. These days they take anyone.

I would like to call myself a pagan, but I can’t. Worshipping nature is all very well if it knows its place. By this, I mean its place is not down my broeks stinging my bollocks to death. Nor does it have any business trying to crush me, drown me or bury me alive. It would be a far better idea if nature were to worship us. That way, the ants would stay out of the butter and sharks would be a little nicer to us. Is that too much to ask?

Besides, I have grown weary of flappy-lipped adherents of monotheistic religions using “pagan” in a pejorative sense while relying on me not to over-do the sacrificial lamb at our Saturday night synod. Adding insult to injury, they are the ones who invariably bogart the bong. Bloody heathens.

I generally refrain from defending my position for fear of inviting the fate met by Hypatia of Alexandria, a pagan philosopher, mathematician and astronomer who was killed by a Christian mob in 415 CE.

Unfortunately for the employed, Halloween is not a public holiday in South Africa. If only the Soweto Uprising had taken place on 31 October instead of 16 June. Youth Day would be so much more entertaining if it were combined with Halloween. The horror is already there. All we would need are police uniforms, nitrous oxide grenades, a few dozen crates of cherry-flavoured vodka and some live music. Also some live ammunition. And a smattering of German Shepherds all sniffed out and hoping to reach retirement age without any major drama.

At this time of year, carving vegetables into grotesque shapes is popular in some cultures. In my house, it’s called dinner. In Ireland and Scotland, they use scooped-out turnips. It’s that lack of imagination that allowed the English to oppress them for so long. In America, they use pumpkins. In Israel, they use Palestinians.

I don’t know what we can use here. If I tell people that instead of eating their madumbi this week, they should carve them so they look like little tokoloshes, they will think I work for the DA. And if I tell them to put a small candle inside the hollowed-out madumbi, they will think I work for the municipality. Either way, I’m screwed.

If only we could make some kind of genetically modified clone of Julius Malema’s head and carve that instead of wasting perfectly good vegetables. It’s the ideal shape and consistency. And scary as hell.

Halloween’s imagery is derived from horror movies and stories like Frankenstein and Dracula. Here, it can be derived from films and books like There’s A Zulu On My Stoep and Bitch, please! I’m Khanyi Mbau.

There are many overseas traditions that can be adapted to local conditions. Take apple bobbing, for instance. Instead of using your teeth to grab an apple from a bucket of water, you must use your political connections to win a tender wrapped in fly-paper and coated in honey. This creates a hilarious yet potentially sticky situation, especially if the Hawks find out about it.

The telling of horror stories is also a popular feature of Halloween. Gather the children around and, in the unlikely event that Eskom hasn’t already done it for you, switch off the lights. Tell them about The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Man Whose Mouth Tasted of Wormwood or The Second Coming of Jacob Zuma.

The important thing, comrades, is not to let your Halloween be co-opted by the Christians. We are more Nosferatu than we are Cosatu. No praying. No fasting. No skiving off to church.

Deconstruct all that Celtic reconstructionist propaganda and unleash your demons.

It's that time of year when …

It’s that time of year when boilerplate journalists stare out the window, sigh heavily and begin writing stuff that begins with “It’s that time of year when ….”
Calling them journalists gives them more credit than they’re due, I suppose. They’re content producers. And it can’t even really be called writing. ‘It’s that time of year’ stories are almost always lists or advice. Quite often advice in the form of a list. Any idiot can draw one up. I am nothing if not an idiot, so here’s my contribution.
It’s that time of year when the ravening dogs of capitalism are out of the cages and straining at their leashes. Their eyes are red and wet and their foam-flecked jaws snap and slaver. Soon they will slip their choke chains and, howling and biting at our heels, they will herd us into the malls and shopping centres until panic drives us crazy and we plunge desperately into debt.
The objective of this appalling game of loans is to accumulate as much new stuff as you can while not losing any of the stuff you already have. Cars, handbags, cellphones and occasionally entire families are lost at this time of year.
One of the byproducts of poverty, unemployment, sloppy genes, faulty upbringing and bad drugs is that the closer we get to Jesus’s birthday, the more our personal belongings become irresistible to others.
For some the festivities have already begun. Last week a group of 20 armed shoppers visited a shopping centre in Limpopo, blew up a safe, shot a policeman and left with some cars that weren’t theirs. In some towns people gather around and cheer when the Christmas lights are turned on in the main street. The other day in Vereeniging, onlookers cheered when a Fidelity cash-in-transit van exploded during a heist. I’m not making this up.
Parking lots are filling up fast and you don’t want to find yourself having to park so far away that you need a GPS to find your way back to the mall. I was lucky enough to buy a second-hand car that already had a disabled sticker on the windscreen. I don’t really take advantage of it because shopping takes so much longer when you have to pretend to be crippled. You can’t just get out of your car and limp off, either. To properly pull it off you have to gimp it up spectacularly, which can be exhausting. Also, everyone around you then makes a very obvious point of not looking at you, which is a bit cruel if you enjoy being the centre of attention, as I do.
A lot of malls have parking bays right at the entrance that are reserved for women with babies or toddlers. I don’t know why toddlers. I’ve toddled around plenty of parking lots as an adult and if I can do it I don’t see why a two-year-old can’t. They don’t even drink beer.
As for babies, they’re either pushed in carts or carried in plastic bags. Any mother who can’t portage her own baby shouldn’t have one in the first place. And if she has more than one, she shouldn’t be allowed out in public. The parking is great, though. If you don’t have a baby, try to borrow one for the afternoon. A lot of mothers would be grateful for the break. I think R30 an hour would be a fair rate for a decent baby. If it has teething or colic issues, or is one of those babies that can move objects with its mind, insist on a discount.
I can’t remember if the sign actually says ‘Mothers With Babies’. That would be incredibly sexist if it did. If security says you can’t park there because you’re a man, tell him that you are in fact a woman and threaten to hit him with your borrowed baby. There’s a lot of sensitivity and confusion around gender at the moment. Exploit it.
Don’t think you’re safe once you are in the belly of the beast. Keep your guard up. Trust no-one, especially not members of your family. Children who could barely string a sentence together a week ago suddenly understand the psychology of guilt and coercion.
And remember that even though pickpocketing and purse-snatching is considered quaint and old school in this glamorous age of state capture, the pilferers and purloiners are still out there practising their ancient craft. Fleet of foot and nimble of finger, not for them the tedious complexities of tender rigging and money laundering. Handbags are their thing. This is why women should keep a small explosive device in their bag at all times. If the bag is stolen, they can detonate it with a remote control. This will not only teach the thief a valuable lesson but will also help thin out the crowds in the mall.
Apparently the big thing this year is not to go to the mall at all but instead to second-hand shops. Peter Forshaw, the chief financial officer of Cash Converters, said more people were starting to buy “pre-loved” gifts. This makes sense. There are a lot more pre-loved people out there than ever before.
The only thing I want for Christmas is for people to shut the fuck up about bitcoin. Stop telling me to get in now. Stop trying to explain the mining process. You got nine percent for maths and your mother was still helping you with your jersey at sixteen. Maybe that was me. The point is that you sell bathroom supplies, believe that women who have abortions are going to hell and that the earth is six thousand years old. When it comes to advice of any kind, I’d sooner trust a Nigerian prince.

The intelligent designer is a moron

The stomach-churning, brain-curdling news that Donald Trump is the 45th American president continues to give rise to all manner of existentialist questions like: What the fuck? Is this really happening? Is there a God? And if there is, what the hell is he thinking?
I know feminists prefer referring to God as she, but in the wake of recent events, they might want to change their position. No self-respecting female creator of every creeping thing that creepeth, flying thing that flyeth and fishy thing that swimmeth could possibly have had a hand in the elevation of this ludicrous tangerine-coated semi-literate superpatriot to the most powerful position on earth.
If I’m right – and there’s no reason to think I’m not – then God is not only a man, but he is an arrogant, combative God who won’t listen to reason. What am I talking about. You just have to read the Bible to get an idea of where the Almighty stands on a whole range of issues. He sure ain’t no bleeding heart liberal, that’s for sure. No wonder he had his hippy son whacked by the Jews. Or was it the Romans? Jewish Romans, maybe.
Details are sketchy. Ballpoint pens hadn’t been invented yet and the only reporter on the scene got drunk that night and lost the tablets he’d spent all day carving.
Editor: “Are you sure this is what Pontius Pilate said?”
Reporter: “Yes, of course. Well, close enough. I’m paraphrasing here.”
Pontius: “Fake news! Feed him to the lions.”
Fast-forward a couple of thousand years and not much has changed. The internet is groaning under an avalanche of slander, subterfuge and lies so bald they make Lord Voldemort look like Zack Galifianakis.
Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication has got journalists fact-checking like never before. The problem is, Trump supporters care little for the facts. And why should they, when their hero makes it up as he goes along? Trump and his inner coven are utterly shameless when it comes to subverting the truth and his supporters couldn’t care less. Or, as the Americans would have it, could care less. Which makes about as much sense as Kellyanne Melted-Horseface before she’s had her meds.
Tom Rosenstiel, director of the American Press Institute, questions if we’re already in a post fact-check world. “There’s a difference between facts and knowledge. I can tell you your facts are wrong but not change your belief.”
Which takes us back to religion. Atheists, when they’re not busy drinking the blood of virgin sacrifices, know there’s little point in badgering the offensively religious with science. Their belief will not change. It’s called faith. Which, as we know, has less than perfect vision. Fact carries a baseball bat. Faith, a white stick.
Did Schrodinger even have a cat? We can’t be sure. What we are sure about is that America’s new Secretary for Education is a woman by the name of Betsy DeVos. She’s Cruella De Vil in ugly shoes and it’s only a matter of time before she starts making lampshades from the skins of young public schoolboys.
She’s one of the billionaires with whom her president is repopulating the Washington swamp now that it’s been drained of everything true and good. She said not too long ago that guns should be allowed in schools for protection against “potential grizzlies”. I don’t know if she meant actual bears or if it was a euphemism for rappers, pot-smokers and the homeless.
Speaking at an evangelical event a few years ago, she proclaimed, “Our desire is to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways which will continue to help advance God’s kingdom.”
These are bowel-loosening words for us heathen scum living in the relative safety of Africa, but far more so for the juvenile heretics and pagans trapped in the American public schooling system. Let’s go back to the Middle Ages and do it right this time, goddammit!
One thing you can be sure of is that Cretinella DeVos will not be pushing schools to include evolutionary biology in their syllabuses. Syllabi. Whatever.
Four in ten Americans believe God created humans ten thousand years ago. The hardliners say six thousand. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, but then ruin it by saying God guided the process.
Then there’s the intelligent design movement. They think they’re smarter than the creationists, but the jury’s out on that. Not really. The jury came back a long time ago. I’m just trying really hard not to offend anyone.
I don’t feel like I’m the creation of an intelligent designer at all. I drink too much, never watch rugby and pretend that my dogs aren’t mine when they defecate on the beach. I don’t give to charity and I shout at old people when they drive badly. I have way too many design flaws and should have been recalled long before now.
Maybe that’s what death is. You get recalled because you are defective. After your warranty is withdrawn, you line up outside the intelligent designer’s workshop along with all the other broken people. The queue must be horrendous. Bring a book.
After waiting a few hundred years, the intelligent designer hoists you on to his workbench, clamps you in his divine vice and gives you a tweaking with his celestial spanner and supernatural screwdriver. It’s gets a bit tricky from this point on. The only way he can get you back into the race is by rebirthing you, but now the good ship Faith is drifting dangerously close to the rocky shores of Reincarnation. So scrap that idea.
Perhaps the designer simply strips you of your consciousness and tosses your carcass into an unmarked grave on the desolate outskirts of the Pantene Nebula.
I don’t really feel like God made me, either. God has made some terrible mistakes and there are certainly days I think I might be one of them. But doubts do creep in. I mean, really, make the earth in just six days? It takes me two weeks to put shelves up.
If God has a plan for all of us, as the Christians would have it, then why won’t he give me an indication of what the hell it is? Maybe he already has. Still, going to the beach or sitting in pubs writing rubbish doesn’t seem like much of a plan. Then again, the Christians don’t claim he has a fabulously awesome plan for everyone.
I think maybe God has fallen asleep, because sometimes the sound of him snoring comes out of my bum. Or maybe God is speaking through my bum. Maybe I have fallen asleep and he is telling me to wake up and be a better person. Maybe I should put my bum on eBay.
As I’ve already mentioned, most Americans don’t believe in evolution. This is not necessarily because they are in-bred reactionary rednecks, but rather because scientists are pathetic when it comes to marketing their discoveries.
The remnants of a five-million-year-old Homo are dug up in one or other godforsaken flyblown corner of Africa and a man in a white coat appears on television squinting nervously into the camera, saying, “Um. Sorry to bother everybody, but we seem to have found something that could be, well, rather important.”
What they should be doing is dressing up in yellow seersucker suits and glittering top hats and taking the bones on the road. Turn it into an event. A bacchanalian carnival of discovery. They should ride through towns on the backs of painted elephants, drinking champagne from the bottle and brandishing the skull of the flat-faced man of Kenya while shouting through megaphones fashioned from narwhal tusks, “So where’s your god now?”
In the meantime, I have applied for membership to the fastest growing carbohydrate-based religion in the world. Pastafarians believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created life on earth 4000 years ago when very drunk. I think they may be on to something.
In the words of church founder, Bobby Henderson, “We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10 000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5 730 years. But what our scientist does not realise is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.”
I am particularly drawn to this church because every Friday is a religious holiday. Also, heaven has a beer volcano and a stripper factory.
trovatonoodlyappendage

An open letter to Pastor Steven L Anderson

Dear Pastor
On behalf of all red-blooded, right-thinking heterosexual South African men, I would like to apologise for the appalling treatment meted out to you by the limp-wristed, cocktail-sucking pillow-biters in our government.
You were meant to arrive today – a day declared holy by God after he spent six days working his all-powerful arse off making the universe. And this is the thanks you get? How very dare they ban you from entering our country? You are a man of the cloth. You should be allowed to enter anything you like. Well, when I say anything, I obviously exclude certain categories. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I’m talking about leather-pantsed, Latex-rubbered men with lisps and whips.
Quite frankly, I was surprised our government even had time to get involved in this matter. As you may know, the entire executive has been tasked with the full-time job of protecting our president from prosecution and bankruptcy. Between you and me, I don’t give a damn how corrupt or dysfunctional he is. The important thing is that when he goes home at the end of the day, it’s not to a man wearing nothing but fishnet stockings and Manolo Blahnik stilettos, swivelling his girly hips to Born This Way, an anthem of blasphemy performed by a fallen Jezebel by the name of Lady Gaga.
When Jacob goes home, he has to put on gumboots to wade through raging torrents of oestrogen being secreted by his multitude of wives. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t write us off just because of one man with a predilection for gold braid and pilot caps. Trust me when I say you won’t find a more butch president than ours. I thought maybe Vladimir Putin could give him a run for his money, but the Russian has a disturbing penchant for whipping off his shirt and mounting the nearest animal. I think it’s fair to say that our President Zuma loves women more than he loves … I was going to say money, but that would be a lie. More than he loves governing, let’s say.
In 2006, when he was deputy president, Big Z told a crowd attending Heritage Day celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, “When I was growing up, unqingili (homosexuals) could not stand in front of me.” This was followed by an outbreak of stamping and flouncing and demands for a retraction. Well, not really an outbreak. There were complaints. As you’re undoubtedly aware, “retraction” is a term frequently bandied about in the homosexual community. I don’t know what it means. Nor does our president. It’s probably part of the secret code gays use to fool us normals.
Our so-called Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, is obviously a closet homo. Why else would he ban you from visiting South Africa? Just because you believe homosexuality should be punished by death, that women who use contraception are whores, that abortion is a sin, that the Holocaust is a scam, that Islam is evil, that the Jewish Messiah is the Antichrist, that the unsaved will be consigned to eternal torment in hell, that Barack Obama deserves to die, that … I’m running out of space. Just because of this? Please. You’ve never even said that second-born girl children should be slaughtered. Or that people with disabilities should be drowned. You’re almost a liberal where I come from.
You said Gigaba was “damned” for standing with the “sodomites”. To be clear, it’s not so much the standing with them that unleashes the wild beast in these perverts. It’s the shirtless dancing and, later, the trouserless lying down. And sometimes the being roughly taken from behind on the balcony by a man wearing a nun’s habit, a titanium dog collar and a studded cock ring. Or so I’ve heard.
Gigaba said you were an undesirable person for “practising racial hatred”. That’s ridiculous. God-fearing folk like us don’t need to practice racial hatred. It comes naturally. I’m sure your 150-strong congregation at the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, have had all kinds of hatred down pat for generations. That’s the beauty of in-breeding.
Our government, by the way, also considers the Dalai Lama to be an undesirable person, but that’s because he wears a dress and preaches peace and love and other hippy filth.
After you were grounded by our government, you called South Africa “a den of iniquity” and a “demonic stronghold”. I have to correct you here. You’re describing Cape Town. The rest of the country is filled with brethren smiting the scoffers and mockers with an abundance of righteous violence. O yea. Huzzah to the highest.
As you pointed out, there has been much wickedness in South Africa during its history. “It’s like the devil has a hold on that place. And don’t try to make it about this race or that race or this nation or that nation.” Nicely put, sir. This places the blame for colonialism, apartheid and overgrazing squarely on the shoulders of the devil himself. Or, dare I say, herself. There’s a reason devil worshipping and wooing women are so very similar in methods and outcomes. And yet women are not devils. We love women and hate the devil. Do I have this right? But what if the devil really is female? This could explain and, I hesitate to say, justify why so many men are becoming homosexuals. I’m very confused. I do hope this doesn’t signal the early onset of gayness.
I need clarity on something so that my hatred may be fully focused. You say that all GTBQLI people are “sodomites”. Are you certain about this? I can’t be sure, but I don’t think lesbians, for instance, are all that crazy about action in the botty area. As for intersex people, I’m not sure they even have botties. Either that or they have several. Can you send me some pictures? You must have a few lying around at home for research purposes.
You issued an angry message on Tuesday informing the free world that you’d been banned from not only South Africa, but the United Kingdom too. What irony. Britain is the original home of the deviant. Cabinet ministers are regularly found late at night in the parks and commons on hands and knees dressed as fairies and elves, snorting magic mushrooms and having their prostates checked by hirsute men with tattoos and bad attitudes. The nation is ruled by a queen, for heaven’s sake. Can you get more bent than that?
The quote you fired at the two aberrant countries was well chosen. “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”
I know what you mean. I have shaken my raiment many times, and even sometimes had it shaken for me, and have almost always gone unto the Gentiles, usually just for a wee but sometimes a shower, depending on the state of my raiment.
You also complained that the Christians in South Africa did not defend you and that you wouldn’t be surprised if you were unable to win any souls here. That’s our Christians for you. Bunch of backsliders who would rather get drunk and watch rugby than spread the word of King James. I’m not talking about King James the advertising agency. People who work in advertising serve the Dark Lord and should be set alight and thrown into a burning pit full of burning vipers along with the homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, sodomites, catamites, chilibites, Muslims, abortionists and the French.
Your message ended, “I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists.” I’m not altogether convinced that the multitudes in Botswana want to be saved. But if they do, my advice is to give them a bit of the old dimethyltryptamine before the sermon. You’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand. Some of them may even try to eat the palm of your hand. Don’t worry. It’s an African thing.
See you at the Rapture.
crossdonesmall

Annie Got Her Gun

I wanted to write about the recent dramatic developments on the local government front. I really did. It’s got to be worth something, right? Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The DA, the ACDP, the UDM, the Freedom Front Plus and Cope walk into a coalition … ah, fuck it. That’s all I’ve got.
I’ve tried my damnedest to mine the situation for humour but no matter how much I drink, I keep coming up empty. Musi Maimane is not funny. Bantu Holomisa is definitely not funny. Mosiuoa Lekota is a little bit funny. Pieter Mulder is hilarious but the laughter quickly turns to tears. Where is our Donald Trump? It’s not right that America keeps setting the bar to new lows that few nations can reach. Trump is comedy gold. It’s as if someone, maybe Jesus, poured all seven deadly sins into a sack of skin and said, “Go forth and represent the worst of humanity.” Why would he do this? I have no idea. Jesus moves in mysterious ways. From what I’ve heard, he also had a wicked sense of humour. Who else would turn water into wine and then, when everyone’s off their faces, urge them to join him for a stroll across the Sea of Galilee?
I’m not being altogether fair here. Trump embodies only six of the deadly sins. Sloth probably doesn’t apply to him in the same way it applies to you or me.
Turning to Facebook for inspiration is like turning to vodka for sobriety but I did it anyway and that’s where I found Lynette Oxley. Her profile picture is of a Rottweiler looking as if he’s about to chew the photographer’s face off. That’s the fun part. She and her husband Paul run a company in Joburg called Tac Shac. I don’t know what it means. They sell teddy bears and semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles that are the civilian versions of military weapons systems. Okay, I lie. They don’t sell teddy bears.
Lynette contributes to a blog called gunservant.com. The blog’s logo is, “The Truth is our Weapon.” When ‘truth’ and ‘weapon’ get together in the same sentence, it usually ends badly. Someone called Corinthian, or maybe he lived in Corinthia, once wrote, “In truthful speech and in the power of God, with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.” I close my eyes and see Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Which, I suppose, pretty much sums up the Bible. And America. And our Cabinet.
Anyway. That’s enough religion for now. In the piece I read, Lynette points out that the media tells us “we are under constant and violent attack by criminals”. If the only reason you think you live in a violent society is because the media tells you so, then you’re not getting attacked enough.
At least 20 people are shot and killed every day in South Africa. More guns is clearly the answer.
She says the only way to level the playing field “with a man twice our size” is by using a gun. The average woman is five-foot-six. This blood-crazed mythical man would, then, be eleven feet tall. Truth? I don’t think so. Okay, fine. Hyperbole is second nature to gun groupies so I’ll let it slide.
Her proselytising is clearly aimed at women. Actually, her contribution to this website was a tribute to Women’s Month. Let’s get started, girls. Anyone for tea and bullets … er, biscuits?
In an attack, the Bad Guys, as she calls them, will go for the men first. “This will give you, as an armed woman, an advantage.” This is just one of the reasons why it’s not a bad idea to have a man around the place. Actually, it might be the only reason.
“If you decide to purchase a firearm, you need to change the way you think.” I imagine you would. For a start, you’d need to stop seeing people as living, breathing human beings and start seeing them as moving targets.
Lynette has been “carrying” since 2003. If a pregnant woman says this to you, don’t assume she’s talking about the contents of her womb. Just run.
She says there’s no point having your gun locked up in a safe – it needs to be with you 24/7. One of the conditions of getting a gun licence is that you have a safe. I don’t know how Lynette gets around this. Maybe she straps the safe to her back.
Oh, right. The law simply says you must have a safe. It doesn’t say you have to keep your gun there. Lynette says carrying your gun 24/7 means you have to make certain arrangements. I expect she’s talking about your VGO – your visible gun outline. In the old days, women needed only worry about their VPL. I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve seen videos of women shoplifters stuffing frozen chickens up their skirts, so I imagine secreting a gun wouldn’t be much of a problem.
She does say that concealed carry would involve having to change your lifestyle and your wardrobe. I’m surprised a fashion designer hasn’t come up with a range of cocktail frocks with discreet built-in holsters for that sexy little 9mm in your life. As for lifestyle, well, I imagine you’d want to avoid those wild house parties where the men get drunk and throw the women into the pool. On the other hand, you do have a gun.
“Please don’t throw me in the pool.”
“Arrr c’mon babe! Why?”
“Because I’ll shoot you in the face if you do.”
Sensibly, she advises women against keeping their gun in their bags. Studies have shown that it takes the average woman between four minutes and two days to find any given item in her handbag.
Lynette says she carries her gun in an inside waistband holster, so if she suddenly shoves her hand down her broeks, you need to know this is not a come-on gesture. This is a go ahead make my day gesture. She also has an outside waistband holster for sport shooting, which presumably is when the mugger starts running. Firing at a moving target is always great sport.
She prefers the outside holster because she has “built significant muscle memory for this position … the gun is where my body is used to it being”. My body is used to being in the slouched-over-the-bar position and only two muscles have any memory worth mentioning.
Lynette says most of her friends “appendix carry” or carry “small of back”. I always thought the small of a woman’s back was one of their more easily locatable erogenous zones. Turns out it’s nothing more than a convenient indentation in which a pearl-handled pistol may nestle. I always wondered about that post-coital metallic taste in my mouth.
Lynette moves on to what she describes as the most controversial issue. I thought it might be, when is it okay to kill someone? Apparently not. The most controversial issue is which firearm to buy. I expect she means controversial in the sense that debate on this topic frequently becomes so heated that people get shot.
She says the size and weight of the gun should “fit in with your particular lifestyle and circumstances”. If, for example, you’re a kindergarten teacher, you might want to look at something smaller than the 1.2m Pfeifer Zeliska revolver. I suppose it all depends on how rowdy your class is.
“One of my biggest irritations are what a lot of men (I am not saying all men) think women should carry.” Typical bloody men. If they’re not trying to murder you, they’re trying to tell you what gun to carry.
Men (not all men) seem to think their women should carry .38 special revolvers. I’d be happy if women just carried their own shopping bags.
Lynette says they’re talking rubbish. Revolvers are bulky, have bad triggers and are hard to shoot. Also, they have a lot of stoppages. They’re like the Mineworker’s Union of handguns. She suggests ladies – as she calls them – should rather go for pistols.
By now, all the girls reading this will be jumping up and down, screaming, “Okay fine! But what caliber? Tell us the caliber!” Relax, ladies. Help is on its way.
Lynette’s all-time fave is a 9mm Parabellum round rather than, say, a 380 auto/9mm short, whatever that is. My knowledge of bullets starts and ends with Black Talon and, for that, I have Oscar Pistorius to thank.
She recommends hollow-point ammunition. They are designed to expand on impact, maximizing tissue damage, blood loss and shock. Yeah! Now you’re talking my language. The expanding bullet decreases penetration, which is a good thing because over-penetration could cause collateral damage. Tell me about it. I’ve lost a number of bedside lamps through that kind of thing.
Lynette reminds us that firearming needs constant practice. She says handgun skills are perishable and can go off if not used. Like bananas. She suggests joining a sporting organisation such as the SA Defensive Pistol Association or the police. Kidding. The police aren’t remotely sporting. They’re quite defensive, though.
“Shoot your gun at least once a month,” she says. If you’re not a joiner, you’re going to have to shoot someone who is committing a crime. Or looks like he’s thinking of committing a crime. Or might have committed a crime at some point in his life. Do it at the end of the month when he’s more likely to have money in his pocket.
Lynette wraps up Guns for Girls 101. “I would like to urge South African ladies to stand up for themselves and take responsibility for their own safety! Don’t moan about crime – do something constructive and get yourself a firearm. Have a safe and awesome day!”
That’s right, ladies. Do your bit. Help end crime by shooting people.
shootme

When Good Friday turned bad

I was making an emergency house call on the bad yellow-eyed woman when I stumbled across a rapidly forming mob at the old harbour in Hermanus. Sensing a fight in the making, I pushed my way to the front.

If you come across an outbreak of hostilities between rival gangs of perlemoen poachers, there is no point in hanging about at the back. You want to be close enough to hear the crack of teeth and the splinter of bone. You want to feel that whipspray of hot blood across your face. You want your words of encouragement to be heard by the combatants.

This was, after all, Good Friday – a day in history that is soaked in violence and steeped in shame. Not for everyone, of course. The Rosicrucians, for example, treat Good Friday just like any other day of the week. Similarly, the day has little relevance to practising Gymnosophists. Then again, so does food and clothing. For others, like the Rastafarians, every Friday is good.

Kicking ragged urchins out of my way and elbowing the elderly and infirm aside, I made it to a small clearing down by the water’s edge. In the middle were two burly bearded types wearing sheepskin car seat covers and carrying wooden shepherd’s crooks. They were nodding sagely at one another. The crowd pressed in. The bearded men nodded some more. I have learnt through bitter experience that in Hermanus almost anything passes for entertainment, but this was just silly.

“Hit him!” I shouted. The men stopped nodding, glared at me briefly, then went back to their nodding. “Use your crook!” I shouted, making hitting and thrusting motions.

Just then, a powerful spotlight snapped on. Thinking it was a police helicopter I grabbed a young girl and, using her as a shield between the sharpshooter and me, I began fighting my way back through the throng.

“You’ll never take me alive!” I yelled. An ancient person of indeterminate gender kicked me on the shin and told me to shush. I dropped the girl and she scuttled off like a giant crab. Maybe it was a crab I had picked up. It wouldn’t have been the first.

I raised my arms in the air and froze. Everyone around me did the same. It was like an extreme game of Simon Says, only this one bore all the signs of turning into a hideous bloodbath.

A voice boomed out across the harbour. It was as if God himself was speaking. “Dawid,” thundered the voice, “kyk daar.” I dropped my arms. God doesn’t speak Afrikaans, does he? Surely not! But what if the Boers are right? What if they really are God’s chosen people? But then where does that leave the Jews? The sheer heaviness of the moment made my head spin and I had to fall down for a bit.

When I got up, I was enormously pleased to discover that it wasn’t the Almighty at all, but a couple of out-of-work actors huddled on a grassy knoll looking rather more bibulous than biblical.

The spotlight picked them out like a pair of oversized dassies. Alongside them, a bright red laser burnt a star into the side of the cliff. I looked around. There was no drunken brawl about to break out. No police ambush. My relief was swiftly tempered by the cruel realisation that I had walked slap-bang into the middle of a Passion Play, or, as they called it, ‘n Passiespel.

I was shocked to the core. What I needed, far more than redemption, was a stiff drink. I could see the lights of the nearest bar twinkling far above me at the top of the cliff, but there was no way out. The crowd had closed in like pack ice in an Arctic winter. It was as if they knew.

Just then the spotlight picked out a flock of faux Pharisees. One of them stood up and said, “We must stop this man before people start following him.” I assumed he was talking about Jesus and not me. Delivered in Afrikaans, the line sounded not so much post-Julius Caesar as it did pre-FW de Klerk.

It was around the time that Jesus was getting his feet washed by that tawdry harlot Mary Magdalene that I started having brutal flashbacks to the army. I must have passed out because the next thing I remember, a young married couple was helping me to my feet. Their eyes shone and they made soft murmuring sounds. I shook them off and began trying once more to break through the throng.

Then the lights went off. I was the only one who screamed. A fat lady wearing a purple tea cosy on her head clutched me to her heaving bosom. I couldn’t tell whether she was under the impression I was having a religious epiphany or had become possessed by some kind of godless demon, so I had to put my foot down pretty sharply. The snapping on of a battery of arc lights drowned out the snapping of her tarsal bones.

The crowd swivelled and gasped as one. There, on the far side of the harbour, were three crosses ominously illuminated against the night sky. I, too, might have gasped had I not still been struggling for breath.

The crucifixion was mercifully brief and I began applauding the moment the lights went off. Nobody else clapped, though. They probably knew that wasn’t the end of it. We had to wait a few minutes for Jesus to get down off the cross and get ready for his resurrection, but by this stage I had given up all hope of ever leaving the harbour.

My Easter weekend went quickly downhill from there.

The Christmas spirit

Today, 177 years ago, the Voortrekkers defeated the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River.

And in 177 minutes from now, the Boers and the Zulus will join forces to defeat me at the Battle of Gateway Shopping Mall. The Zulus will stream in through strategic entrances to isolate me in a pincer movement that would have made King Shaka proud. The Boers will use their traditional tactics of walking eight-abreast, scoffing ice-creams and knocking me out of the way with their meaty hips and big asses. I don’t stand a chance.

William Butler Yeats wrote, “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Here, they’re slouching out of Bethlehem (there by the Free State) and into Durban. Quite frankly these people scare me. If I had the space I would explain how one can tell the difference between trolls, homunculi and troglodytes.

I did a recce at Gateway earlier in the week to check out the exits and locate the shops that sell weapons. If it was going to turn ugly, I wasn’t going down without a fight. To hell with reconciliation. At this time of year it’s every man for himself.

The first thing I noticed was that Christmas decorations aren’t as Christian as they used to be. In the old days you could barely walk through a mall without smacking your head into a simpering polystyrene angel swinging from the rafters. These days it’s all disco balls and plastic dross swaddled in fairy lights. It’s not so much Santa’s grotto as it is Hugh Hefner’s, although in Game you do have a slightly smaller risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

Orphans are big this year. I saw several shops offering to donate a percentage of purchases over R100 to those lucky enough not to have parents. They never say how much goes to the orphans, though. It could be 0000.2% of each purchase. This means that by the end of the holidays, three children in a village north of the Tugela will each get a tin of soup. Next year, if they’re really lucky, they might get a tin opener.

The war for drugs escalates at this time of year. Too many family reunions, dinners and parties mean that young and old alike are desperate for fresh meds. If you’re new at this, I recommend something from the benzodiazepine family. Ativan or Librium will do nicely if all you need to do is get through Christmas lunch without slashing a sibling’s throat.

However, if you’re worried about getting drunk and exposing Uncle Pervy for the kiddie-fiddler that he is, you might need one of the neuroleptics. Thorazine works well, but get your timing right. You don’t want to be slack-jawed and drooling into the turkey with your paper hat over one eye while everyone else is pulling crackers.

I saw a sign saying, “Add more sparkle to your festive season – shop with American Express!” Yeah, sure. It’s all fun and sparkles now, but what happens next year? It’s bad enough what the local banks will to do to you, but you fuck with the Americans at your peril. I’ve heard that Guantanamo Bay isn’t a prison for political detainees at all. It’s for people – Muslims, mainly – who have maxed out their American Express cards and are late with their repayments.

A 10-piece nativity set caught my eye. It was rather nicely done, if a bit outdated. If it were today, the three wise men would be unemployed academics with substance abuse problems, Joseph would be out working overtime to pay for the new baby and the shepherds would be on strike.

I saw television sets so big you would have to sell your house, buy a piece of land and build a new house around the telly. Where will it end, this race for the biggest television? Will new homes eventually offer plasma screens instead of walls? I hope so. I already spend hours staring at the wall. I may as well be watching something.

And lava lamps are still being sold even though weed remains illegal. It makes no sense. You have to be on drugs to fully appreciate a lava lamp. I’m surprised that each purchase doesn’t come with a bankie of Durban Poison.

In the toy section, there’s a doll that speaks six lines. Or does six lines. I can’t remember. Cocaine Barbie, perhaps.

For the boys, there are millions of heavily armed action figures that don’t look so macho as they do gay. This is a good thing. If you want your son to grow up believing he can kill with impunity, rather he does it wearing nothing but cropped hair, a moustache and a pair of tight red shorts. At least that way we’ll see him coming.

I found a paramedic’s kit but it lacked a plastic handgun for when the ambulance has to go into the townships on a Friday night.

Then I came across a whole series of things you can do in the tub. “Shaving in the tub” was one. This is a filthy habit and you should only get this for your child if you have someone other than yourself who cleans the bath. Everything on the box is in French, which makes sense when you consider what these people regard as acceptable behaviour. What next? Wine in the Jacuzzi? Frog’s legs in the bed? Pissing in the pool?

There’s also a talking octopus. I once met an octopus while snorkelling and in the brief moment our eyes met, we both knew there was nothing we had to say to each other. If octopi could talk, though, I expect they would say, “Please take that pointy stick out of my head and return me to the rock pool from whence I came.” Well, the educated ones would. The more common octopi would probably squirt ink everywhere and try to strangle you with a tentacle.

A shop assistant has just caught me looking up a doll’s skirt. Awkward. I simply wanted to ascertain whether it was anatomically correct. With the education system as it is, I wouldn’t want my nephew growing up thinking that all girls have a piece of hard plastic between their legs. Not that I have a nephew. Or can even remember what’s between … never mind.

With my blood-alcohol levels dangerously low, I repaired to the restaurant area where several companies appeared to be having their get-togethers. Christmas parties used to be held at night. There would be carousing and fornicating and the company would happily pay your bail the next day. Now, the grinches offer their employees a free lunch. As if there’s such a thing.

Jesus was a rabbit

easter rabbit

Over the last few weeks the shops have been filling up with lurid gold and silver bunnies of all shapes and sizes. If I didn’t know any better, and I frequently don’t, I might be forgiven for thinking that the Son of God was a rabbit.

Who are we meant to be remembering – Jesus or rabbits?

If we were to do this thing properly, we wouldn’t be sucking on little chocolate Lepus curpaeums this Easter Sunday. We would be sucking on little white chocolate Jesuses moulded onto dark chocolate crosses. I’m pretty sure most Catholics would prefer a bit of that at Mass instead of the same old skinny wafer. Hell, I might even consider becoming a Christian if there was some of the sweet stuff going around.

So what actually happened here? When those busybodies discovered that Jesus’s body had inexplicably disappeared from the cave three days after he was strung up, someone must have said, “We really should make a point of remembering this moment. Any ideas?” After a bit of head scratching, a small fellow with long hair and red eyes put his hand up. “Hey, man,” he said. “Why don’t we, like, pretend that a big invisible rabbit brings chocolate eggs for everyone on this day for the rest of eternity.”

Over the last few hundred years, rabbits, much like Christians, have been responsible for some good things and some not-so-good things. Who can forget the Spanish Inquisition? Or that murderous white rabbit in Terry Gilliam’s quasi-biblical docudrama, The Holy Grail? That vicious brute shocked viewers with his repeated attacks on Knights of the realm, tearing their throats out and forcing the survivors to abandon their quest.

And I still carry the emotional scars of being forced as a child to watch Bugs Bunny. What’s up, Doc? I’ll tell you what’s up, you vocally impaired, dentally challenged freak. My blood, that’s what. If I had my way, I’d blow your stupid floppy-eared head off. I think there is a little bit of Elmer Fudd in all of us.

In fact, a few years ago, a team of assassins was hired to thin out the burgeoning herds of wildly copulating rabbits on Robben Island. They were eating all the fynbos and shagging openly in front of the children. Some of the bigger boy rabbits had even formed gangs and more than one Japanese tourist had reported a mugging after being separated from his group and wandering into the notorious lighthouse district.

Rabbits make good pets but even better stews. And while Christians have been off the menu ever since the Coliseum closed down, rabbits continue to feature on dinner plates around the world.

Easter, like the Robben Island rabbits, is a moveable feast. This is because nobody can agree on a precise date on which Easter should fall. Even the pope relies on the appearance of chocolate chickens and ducks in the Vatican gift shop to tip him off that the day is getting close. I have also heard mention of an ecclesiastical vernal equinox, which sounds like it could be contagious.

“How’s John doing?”

“Not so good. Picked up a nasty vernal equinox during Lent.”

People can’t even agree on where the name comes from. Everyone else around the world spent 700 years calling it Passover or Pesach or Paskha or La Pascua, until the English came up with Easter. Of course there are others – the kind of people who take all the fun out of fundamentalism – who call it “that profane orgy of idol-worshipping paganism”.

In some parts of the world, well, in my house, anyway, Easter Monday is spent experimenting with different methods of lowering the body’s critical blood-sugar levels. Vodka seems to work best as a quick means of fending off diabetes. Periodic visits to the vomitarium are recommended.

Men in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia also have a jolly old time on Easter Monday. Their tradition involves throwing water at women and spanking them with a special handmade whip. The spankee then gives the spanker a coloured egg or a small amount of money as a token of her gratitude. Shades of Borat.

In some regions, the women get to pour a bucket of cold water on the men later in the day. With all that spanking going on, I dare say they need it.