Take your pie and waai

You might think it’s enough that we have to contend with a corrupt, indolent government fronted by a venal, incompetent president, but it’s not. Far from it. This godless cluster of hustlers and harlots make up just one slice of the putrefying pie that South Africans have to eat every day of their lives.
Luckily for the president and his vile coterie of delinquents and desperados, we, the people, have an extraordinary capacity for tolerating whatever is dealt out to us without complaint.
Another big slice of this toxic pie is made up of the parastatals and the private sector. The little that remains of the pie is infested with robbers, rapists and murderers. Right, that’s enough about pies.
Speaking of corporate douchebaggery, I always thought it odd that we went from daily power blackouts to business as usual virtually overnight and nobody ever really explained how that happened. Now, thanks to the Dentons report, we know it was a scam by certain people in Eskom to enrich themselves and their buddies through emergency fuel sales. It was a manufactured crisis. Treason charges should apply.
Earlier this week, a court awarded a one billion rand settlement to Comair after it found that SAA wrongly offered travel agents incentives to book people on this pathetic excuse of a state-owned airline. Travel agents are like estate agents. Buy them a bottle of gin and they’ll do whatever you ask. By the way, don’t gloat about the fine. Ultimately, you’ll be paying it through the inevitable government bailout.
Now we hear that seventeen banks – including our very own Standard Bank, Absa and Investec – are to be prosecuted for fixing the rand. This makes no sense. The rand has been broken for a long time. Isn’t it a good thing that someone’s trying to fix it? Apparently not. Apparently there has been massive skulduggery afoot for the last ten years at least. It has something to do with colluding on spreads for spot trades, creating fictitious bids and offers at agreed times and manipulating prices in foreign currency trading. Gibberish to me and you, but the Competition Commission seems to understand it.
Essentially, it boils down to men in dark suits and cocaine moustaches making late-night calls to one another on secure lines and even on WhatsApp to distort supply and demand in such a way that they get rich and we get screwed. It’s now up to the Competition Tribunal to listen to the lies unleashed by the lawyers of these treacherous weasels and, hopefully, deliver unto them their just deserts. In other words, strip them naked and organise a lottery where ordinary people can win tickets to line up and whip them as they crawl through the streets.
Every time the rand dips in value, the thin-lipped hollow-eyed economists are trotted out to explain it in terms we can all understand. Market forces, economies of trading partners, price of oil, inflation blah blah blah. Not once have any of them suggested the rand is unconscious in the back of a fiscal ambulance as a singular result of collusion by the banks themselves. Are the economists gullible, lazy or part of this conspiracy themselves? Strip them naked and flog them.
In 2015, the rand lost 26% of its value in six months. We were told it was because the People’s Bank of China devalued the yuan by two percent. We scratched our heads and looked puzzled, then stuffed a boerie roll into our faces and ordered another round.
Bankers are usurers. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, usurers are placed in the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell, along with the blasphemers and the sodomites. Banks shouldn’t be allowed to have things like soccer stadiums named after them. Banks should only be allowed to lend their names to cemeteries, hospitals, homeless shelters, lunatic asylums and anywhere else we might end up when they foreclose on our homes and repossess our children.
Banks are bleak places. Bleaker even than post offices and funeral parlours. There is no music. Nobody smiles or laughs. If anyone talks, it’s in hushed tones, hands over mouths, little shakes of the head, a quick widening of the eyes. Does money really command the kind of respect you might expect to find at a wake for the Queen of England? Of course it does.
I get anxious in banks. Not only because they can seal the doors electronically and trap me inside, but also because I sense they somehow know I’m planning the robbery in my head. I check out the cameras and guards, the distance from the tellers to the exit. I try to locate the doors leading to the vaults. Decide who I’d take hostage. I bet I’m not the only who does this.
Everyone looks miserable because a bank is the only place of business where you hand over bags of cash and walk out empty-handed. There’s not the natural give-and-take of commerce. Sure, you can also walk out with money, but it’s hard to get excited when you know it was your money all along. They were just keeping it for you because you’re an idiot and can’t be trusted to look after it.
Even dentist’s waiting rooms are more cheerful than banks. They at least have music, magazines, comfy couches and children’s toys. Banks have nowhere to sit and nothing to distract you. All they offer are long queues and tellers who refuse to meet your eye then disappear for long periods of time for no apparent reason. And television sets telling you that if you haven’t started saving for your retirement by the time you’re 35, you’re almost certain to die a sad and lonely death.
It was Shakespeare who said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loseth both itself and friend. And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” I have never fully understood what the smarmy little gaylord was on about, but I do know that he failed to foresee the effect that banking would have on spam.
How I long for the days when one’s in-box was cluttered with the nourishing solicitations of honest merchants who wished nothing more than to provide us with equine peni and erections sturdy enough to serve as construction site cranes.
Now, thanks to the bankers, our in-boxes have become low-rent repositories for all manner of bloodsucking leeches who gather to feed off our pain. The sex-mongers have slunk away to lick their wounds along those desolate, unlit stretches of the information superhighway where none care to venture.
It was only yesterday that our shining eyes, so filled with hope, were ineluctably drawn to subject lines that said, “View the red-hot sluts in your area now!” Today, the subject lines say, “View the foreclosed homes in your area now!”
Roll up, folks. These homes are being given away. Hurry, hurry, hurry before the previous owners sell their kidneys and move back in.
Not long ago, infidelity was “Michael’s” stock in trade. But, thanks to the bankers, the bottom has fallen out of the lonely housewives’ market. “Michael’s” subject line no longer reads, “I found you a smokin’ hot married mama.” Now it says, “I found you a new job.”
Is this the brave, new world we were promised? A world where we would rather work than get laid? Rather look at pictures of empty houses than naked women?
Those ravening banker beasts have a lot to answer for.

Application for a position at South African Airways

Dear Biggles,
I stumbled across your advert quite literally. I was en route from the kitchen to the veranda with an adult beverage in hand when I tripped over the Sunday papers. The Bad Yellow-Eyed Woman said I hadn’t tripped at all, but had blacked out while traversing the north face of the lounge floor. She could be right. I have been known to black out for no apparent reason. I hope this won’t affect my application.
I have wanted to join South African Airways ever since a pilot let me sit on his lap in the cockpit. That was a year ago. Well, he called it a cockpit. It was really more of a basement with some kind of purple fur on the walls. Don’t worry, it was fake fur. He said he was one of yours. I love the new uniforms, but doesn’t it get hot under the latex rubber? My pilot was certainly sweating.
The advert said, “Do yo have Grade 12? If yes, SAA is now accepting applications.” I like the ‘yo’ bit. It makes working there seem hip and happening. I, for one, would love to work in a place where everyone walked around saying things like, “yo” and “bro” and “mofo” and “milf”.
The only criterion seems to be that applicants must have their Grade Twelve. Pardon my French, but I find this an extremely unrealistic expectation. Why set the standards so high? We have a president who barely completed nursery school and he runs an entire country full of millions of people. You’re just an airline with planes that don’t even carry more than two or three thousand people at a time. What difference can a matric certificate possibly make?
Anyway, the only real issue concerning education in this blighted country is whether or not teenage girls should be allowed to have hairstyles the size of Karoo tumbleweeds.
Please be advised that I have no intention of working my way up from the bottom. Parastatals are like giant corporate mazes full of dead-ends and dragons.
I have decided that I shall be a pilot. Forget the matric. It’s enough that I have a reasonable sense of direction, virtually no fear of heights and know the difference between the sea and the ground simply by looking at them. To be honest, I’m a bit night blind so I wouldn’t want to still be in the air at the end of the day. But who would? That’s sundowner time, that is.
Anyway, let’s not worry about technicalities. The main thing is that I’m behind the wheel by Christmas. Behind the joystick, I should say. My pilot friend taught me all about jiggling the joystick so there’s nothing to worry about there.
I am also very good at putting people at ease, especially if they think they’re going to die in a giant fireball. I have jokes that I will tell over the intercom. Here’s one.
Two Islamic State women are waiting to board a plane. One turns to the other and says, “Does my bomb look big in this?” They’ll lap it up, trust me.
One thing is troubling me. I read in the paper you’ve issued something called a Request for Long Term Funding. Where I come from, that’s fancy talk for begging. Are you going to want to borrow money from me? I should warn you that I grew up poor and have remained so all my life. Don’t feel bad, though. Everyone scrounges a bit of cash when the beer and drugs run out.
What worries me is that you’re asking for R16-billion and you want to start hitting it within two weeks of signing the deal. Do you have no money at all? What the hell happened? Does the airline have a gambling problem?
Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m a generous man. I always give to unemployed people at the robots if they reach me before I can wind up my window. So I’m not saying I won’t help you out. Let me make a couple of calls and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, I can spot you a twenty for lunch. Pay it back in installments if you have to.
Hold on. Your advert lays down some pretty heavy BEE conditions. Are there many disabled black women living in rural areas who served in uMkhonto we Sizwe with a spare R16-billion under the mattress? Probably. Anyway, I wouldn’t have thought a company in your position could afford to be that fussy.
If there are no takers, you might want to put management on the street with tin mugs and signs saying, “Crippled airline with 11 000 hungry wage slaves to support. Please help.”
Whoever does your hiring is also doing too much Ecstasy. Can anyone just wander in off the street and get a hug and a job? Your staff complement works out at 184 people per plane and yet nobody can ever find a flight attendant when they need another drink. So you have maybe four stewards in the cabin avoiding people like me and three allegedly flying the plane. Then there’s the guy that puts petrol in and another two on cargo duty. That makes ten. What are the other 174 doing? They can’t all be rifling through the baggage. Fire them at once.
I’ve changed my mind. I no longer wish to be a pilot. I want to be the chief executive officer. You clearly need someone who knows how to run a company. I am not that person, but I do know people who know people who know these things and I will bring them on board immediately. On board one of the planes, I mean. No more meetings in stuffy offices. When I meet with my executives, we will do it on a 797 Jumbo Jet 80 000 miles above the Indian Ocean, stopping only to disinfect the Jacuzzi and take on fresh supplies of tequila and whores.
I can see why you need money. For a start, a bunch of airlines are claiming damages amounting to hundreds of millions of rands because you spent years bribing travel agents to divert customers away from the competition. That was naughty.
What is also naughty is that you haven’t produced financial statements since 2014. Is your printer broken? I’ll bring mine from home. See what an asset I am already? My problem-solving skills are easily worth an extra million a month.
What the hell is Hong Kong’s case? How can they threaten to ground us if they don’t see our financial statements pretty damn soon. What business is it of theirs? Here’s my plan. We fit 30mm cannons to our wings. I know a guy with a welding machine. Then we come in low and hot over Chek Lap Kok and god help any Chinaman who tries to stop us from landing. Once we’re loaded up with tourists and heroin, we shoot our way out. That’ll teach them to bomb Pearl Harbour.
As for the Treasury refusing to give the airline a paltry R5-billion to tide you over, I think they could do with a damn good strafing, too. Sure, they’ve given you a bit of money here and there over the years, but how far do they think R14-billion goes these days? The price of bread is up, for a start. No wonder the president wants his finance minister behind bars. The way that Gordhan fellow keeps a stranglehold on the public purse you’d think it was his own money. It’s taxpayer’s money and if we want to toss it into a bottomless pit filled with rapacious vipers, that’s our prerogative.
The counter-revolutionary Gordhan reckons the airline could save money by cancelling unprofitable routes. Unprofitable for what? The People Shall Fly. It says so in the Freedom Charter. If there is even just one person who wants to fly to, say, Bora Bora, then SAA must organise a flight. That person will be me. Bora Bora is awesome.
Is it true that board chairwoman Dudu Myeni is Jacob Zuma’s sister from another mister? I’m a bit worried about her, to be honest. Is she taking her medication? She seems to suffer from fairly serious delusions of grandeur. Perhaps it is one of the requirements of the position.
My first act as CEO will be to change my job title to Commander of the Skies (COS). My second act will be to add another twenty rows of seats to all our aircraft. Legroom is a luxury that SAA can ill-afford. Passengers will be expected to squat on their seats. They may kneel if they wish. Free snacks will be done away with but passengers will be allowed to prepare their own meals. An area for slaughtering animals will be provided for those who require kosher or halaal food. However, they will have to bring their own animals and implements for the butchering thereof.
Frequent Flyer Miles will be replaced with Mile High Club Miles and clothing will be optional in First Class. I’m sure you agree this will ameliorate the ordeal of flying with SAA as it is now.
One of the best things about being COS is that I get to hire friends and family. Fortunately, I come from a long line of functional alcoholics who will be quite at home in an environment where drinking on the job is encouraged. Good news for the losers flying in cattle class is that I will replace all those silly miniature bottles with nips. Business class will get half-jacks and first class the full 750ml.
I also have a foolproof turnaround strategy for the airline. Tell the pilots to turn around and come back. It’s all this flying about that’s costing a fortune. Sell the landing gear and turn the planes into high-class brothels serving decent food. SAA has been screwing its customers for years. This way they’d at least disembark with a smile on their faces.