Gettin’ me a little R&R

It wasn’t long before I was convinced that Mkuze Game Reserve had no animals. Judging by the size of the staff, it was entirely possible that they had eaten the lot.

I went into a hide where a section of fence along the walkway had been smashed by either an angry elephant or a hungry Ezemvelo Wildlife employee upon discovering that someone had wolfed the last impala.

Inside the hide was a family of three. The man had a camera with a zoom lens the size of a 420mm howitzer. I put my phone on vibrate and laid it gently on the wooden counter. Five minutes later it vibrated.

Shh,” said the woman. I was about to apologize but she held up her hand. “I heard a lion!” My phone vibrated again. “Did you hear that?” she said excitedly. I casually slid the phone into my pocket. “Yes,” I said. “He sounds close.” A terrapin snuck its snout out of the muddy water two metres away. The husband swung his giant lens around and fired off a round. The terrapin disappeared.

The thing about sitting in a hide is that often the animals aren’t aware that you have paid to see them. I waved my receipt through the slit but still nothing. I spotted three turtle doves and a tree trunk that I kept mistaking for a baby elephant with a crocodile’s face. Animal sounds drifted out of the bush at fairly regular intervals, but that’s easy enough to arrange with a few cleverly hidden speakers.

Driving through the reserve, I came around a corner and almost ploughed into a flock of rhino. One of the reasons I hate poachers is because I will never again be able to look at another rhino without thinking, “That’s the price of a Ferrari he’s got on his nose.” I drove closer to inspect this lucrative appendage and the bastard had the nerve to charge me.

Fifty bucks for a look, mister,” he said. No, he didn’t. He lowered his head, snorted and took three or four lumbering steps towards my car. I am accustomed to things lowering their heads, snorting and lumbering around my apartment, but this was altogether more frightening. He stopped in his tracks before I could even find first gear. We gave each other the lazy eye, then, having made whatever primeval point it was he thought he was making, he ambled into the bush.

Back at camp, I saw a sign warning that hyenas were attracted to braais. It said they were opportunistic and would grab food whenever they could. Please. I have been to conferences and seen what civil servants are capable of when the buffet opens. Hyenas are amateurs.

The next morning I headed for Mozambique. After a couple of hours I arrived at the border. Or, more accurately, I arrived at the back of a long line of parked 4x4s. My heart sank. I would be there for days, possibly weeks. I would have to sleep in the car and beg food from local villagers. I would probably go mad and kill myself.

I had apparently forgotten it was Easter weekend. This is the price you pay for being an atheist.

It was mayhem. People milled about like sheep, bleating, “Where am I meant to go now?” To their credit, the South Africans and Mozambicans were doing their best to get people through as quickly as possible. Forms were snatched, passports stamped, money exchanged for worthless pieces of paper and, finally, tyres were deflated. Well, other people deflated their tyres.

I think it’s an urban myth perpetuated by men who like to cut a rugged image by dropping to one knee and sticking a match into their valves. I set off down a sandy track. I had gone about nine metres before someone on the side of the road, kneeling next to his tyres, shouted that I was going the wrong way.

I pretended that I was just trying out my non-deflated tyres before making a u-turn. The Land Rover sank up to its ankles. I got out and shouted at the car. I kicked its tyres and slapped its face. With a dog, you need to bite its ear to let it know who’s boss. Land Rovers are no different to dogs, except you need to use more violence. For all I know, they enjoy a bit of the rough stuff. That’s probably why they break down so often.

Anyway, it seemed to have learnt its lesson and got me out of the hole it had dug for itself and onto the right road. Not that you could call it a road. You couldn’t call it signposted, either.

I was booked into a place called Gamboozini lodge in Ponta do Ouro, which means Place of Gold in Spanish or whatever the hell language it is they speak in these parts. It was supposed to be 10kms from the border. I had been bouncing along for a lot further than that, causing permanent injury to my kidneys, when I arrived at Ponta Malongane.

Gripped by a raging thirst and nursing a belly full of badly rattled organs, I spotted a man beckoning me towards a shack made entirely of sticks, straw and bottles of alcohol. It seemed rude to ask for directions without purloining a local beer at least.

After an hour or so, it seemed rude to leave at all. Ever. The Dosem beer was delicious. The reggae was fabulous. The company good. I could sleep on the floor behind the bar. I’d wash glasses and repair the fittings, not that you could call them fittings.

My new friend urged me to try a local delicacy called an R&R. It consisted of a beer mug half filled with ice, half filled with Tipo Tinto rum and half filled with raspberry Sparletta. It was a mathematical impossibility. As was walking, after a few of them red rascals. It’s a good thing one cannot drive faster than walking speed along these roads. And if you do happen to fall out of your car, you land on soft sand.

There are several rustic bars on the road between Ponta Malongane and Ponta da Ouro, which helps to make the journey longer or shorter, depending on a range of factors. I suppose a 7km stretch can’t strictly be called a journey, but it certainly felt like it at times.

There are no tarred roads. It’s just a question of how thick the sand is. The road forks constantly and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you take the left or the right fork. Like our opposition parties, they usually merge at some point. However, one needs to do a fair amount of veering off the road if one wishes to to avoid having a drunk quad-biker land on one’s lap.

Soon enough I discovered where the multitudes from the border had got to. They were all in Ponta do Ouro. Going by their number plates, most of them seemed to come from Joburg. Going by their physiques, most of them seemed to come from Mordor. Orcs and Uruk-hais recuperating from the great battle littered the shores of the bay.

A howling onshore wind meant surfing was out of the question, so I bounced off in search of Gamboozini. I found it on the far end of the bad part of town. Not that Ponta has a good part. My accommodation, which I assumed would be sumptuous at R800 a night, turned out to be a room barely bigger than Nelson Mandela’s cell. The other guests were juvenile orcs whose shrieking and braying alone would have kept me awake, even without the giant anopheles mosquito launching raids at my face every thirty seconds.

White South Africans have done terrible things to Mozambicans. For a start, the locals have been led to believe that we all love rave music. For that alone, we should hang our heads in shame and, as penance, dispense cheap sweets to their tattered children and learn how to say “obigadro”. No, wait. That’s not right. Obrigado. That’s it. “Una cerveja e dos R&Rs, por favor. Obrigado.” That’s all the Mexican you need to know to survive in Mozambique. And if you’re hungry, chicken is frango. Whatever you do, don’t ask for a frango smoothie.

The other name for Ponta do Ouro in season is Gouge City. From a hundred bucks for a toasted bacon and egg to twenty bucks to park at the beach, the locals were out to get as much as they could before the aliens returned to their planet.

Here, babies are weaned on prawns. Stray dogs have prawn suppers. Homeless drunks are half-prawn, half-people. But herd a bunch of whiteys into a restaurant and suddenly prawns are priced according to the gold standard.

A gamboozini is a small pink hairless creature with a long snout that may or may not lurk in the undergrowth. After two nights, I felt myself turning into one and fled back to Ponta Malongane, whereupon I checked in to the Tartaruga Luxury Tented Camp. It was like going from Mogadishu to Maui – all dune forest and peace and well-behaved monkeys.

I was allocated a beautifully appointed tent with en suite bathroom, set deep in the bush, and my own personal fridge up in the self-catering area. Inexplicably, I had brought no food with me. I put six beers in my fridge, lest the other guests took me for a pauper, and drove off in search of sustenance. I didn’t have to go more than a kilometre or two before coming upon a promising place that offered views and alcohol.

The Land Rover protested and suggested we rather repair to an eatery that did not entail clambering up the side of a dune, but I put my foot down. Mozambican music was playing as I chose a table overlooking the endless flatlands of the south. A waiter brought me a cold beer. It was perfect – right up until a pack of feral Gautengers arrived, full of muscles and tattoos and R&Rs, and within minutes the music had changed to that execrable electronic shit.

I went inside and insisted that they return to Portuguese music. Three minutes later, the music went off. There was a long silence. It occurred to me that they were desperately searching for music from Lisbon. Music that reminded them of the savage brutes who had colonised them. A waiter came by and I attempted to explain that I had meant they should play Mozambican music. He listened politely and then, in perfect English, said, “I’m sorry. I don’t speak English.”

Just then, a man who looked as if he had been designed by Armscor rolled around the corner and headed towards my table. I closed my laptop and readied myself to fling it at him. MacBook Airs are aerodynamically designed for the express purpose of beheading troublemakers. He lurched to a halt and stood there, swaying gently. I was about to decapitate him when he spoke.

Does you mind if we get the bar okes to play Bob Marley?”

Was this some kind of cunning trick? To what end? It made no sense. “Sure,” I said. “Go ahead.” He flexed his muscles and made a grunting sound. “Come join us,” he said. “We playing drinking games.” I declined on the grounds of being on deadline. Also, drinking is not a game. It’s a damn serious business. People have died doing it.

He snorted, pawed the ground and lowered his head. I picked up the MacBook Air as if it were a Frisbee. Our eyes locked. Just then, the music kicked in. It was a message from Bob, via the barman.

The song was Crazy Baldheads.

 

Let’s All Drink To The Death Of A Clown

This is the first time in ten years that I haven’t had a weekly deadline for a newspaper column.

The first five were with the Cape Times, the second five with the Sunday Times. It’s very unsettling to suddenly have an extra six hours a week to fill. I suppose I could go drinking, but then it would just feel like deadline night without the writing. It would be too sad. They go together, writing and drinking. They are old friends from way back and it would be wrong to do one without the other. It would be like cheating on a lover.

The Cape Times was good to me. They gave me an extraordinary amount of leeway to write whatever I wanted. Week after week they allowed me to denigrate, defame, belittle, taunt and tease anyone I pleased, irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, political affiliation or social standing.

On September 3rd, 2002, I wrote my debut column. In case you were a semi-literate wastrel languishing in grade ten when it appeared, here it is again:

 

Gorilla Tactics in Mating Season

 

“I am looking forward to spring more than most men. It is the time of year when somebody cleans the house. But more importantly, there is a very good chance that my wife will thaw.

Brenda’s libido has been trapped in pack ice ever since the first rains fell. My efforts to send out a metaphysical icebreaker have repeatedly failed and I still bear the scars from an incident involving a multi-pronged kitchen utensil.

A warning to other men. Do not, under any circumstances, approach your woman silently from behind while she is bent over a sink overflowing with dishes and try to pull her skirt down in one fluid movement expecting her to whip around and sink gratefully to her knees. Granted, not all women will instinctively lash out with a blunt instrument, but my Brenda is well trained in the untidy art of suburban warfare.

My latest attempt to imbue a little spring fever in her was met with howls of outrage and a running battle that swept through the house until the neighbours threatened to call in the army. Ted and Mary usually call the cops but they switched to the military after the local police station had its telephone stolen.

These days I wear padded clothing and a fencing mask when I try to instill some of the passion that once raged in Brenda’s ample bosom. She is a bit of a tease and likes to play hard to get by locking me out of the house.

Ted suggested I approach the Constitutional Court since Brenda is clearly violating my conjugal rights. A brilliant idea, I thought, until I remembered that judges these days are a bunch of limp-wristed nancy boys who are more concerned about appeasing disgruntled lesbian couples than they are about protecting the interests of red-blooded males who have wives that refuse to meet their connubial responsibilities.

Once Cape Town catches up with the rest of the country and realises that winter is over, I stand a far better chance of getting Brenda to see what she is missing. I won’t even have to use force. With warmer weather, she will stop wrapping herself up like a beef roti before going to bed. And once she realises that direct eye contact no longer signals an impending outbreak of hostilities, she will become more generous with her favours.

She might even start cooking dinner again. The laundry may take some time, but I have no doubt that once the birds are singing and the flowers are blossoming, she will make a start on the enormous pile of dirty clothes that threatens to topple over and suffocate me while I sleep.

It’s not that I refuse to do any domestic chores. It is simply that I do not know how. Women are genetically programmed to clean, cook, sew, crush a man’s confidence with a single word and so on.

A man, on the other hand, will see a vacuum cleaner and immediately start thinking that with bigger wheels on it and a small petrol-driven engine mounted on the back, it would be possible to ride it along the beach and discover new fishing spots while circumventing the ban on 4x4s. The dirty floor is quickly forgotten while he sets about designing this revolutionary vehicle. She gets home to find the vacuum cleaner has been disemboweled and her man has gone off to the pub because he knows there is safety in numbers.

As for me, I’m on my best behaviour. I simply cannot allow another rutting season to slip through my fingers.”

 

My inaugural column was not received as well as I hoped.

L Koekemoer was among those who wrote to the newspaper: “Ben Trovato is obviously an obnoxious, uninformed womaniser. I can understand why his wife has lost her libido. Living with such a man could be a complete turn-off. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.”

H Nichols joined in: “Ben Trovato’s column is beyond offensive. I cannot believe the Cape Times would publish something which reinforces and perpetuates the degradation of women. Please don’t insult us with this kind of pathetic drivel again.”

P Eloff wrote: “Your editorial staff have sunk to new lows. I will not be renewing my subscription to the bigoted trash that you call a newspaper.”

Jaco MacGillicuddy wrote: “What kind of human being are you?”

G Marschner wrote: “You must have been beaten up terribly as a kid.”

As the hate mail vomited in, I waited for the call from then editor Chris Whitfield. It came soon enough. Not to fire me, as I expected, but to laugh like an anarchist who has just won a year’s supply of Molotov cocktails.

Encouraged, I wrote my second column.

 

Happy Men, Happy Planet

 

“I am appalled. In fact, I am more outraged than Outraged of Oranjezicht. I was absolutely boggled to read the scathing responses to my very first column.

To be honest, I was expecting a flood of letters from sympathetic females offering me a little rumpy pumpy on the side. I did not anticipate a tongue-lashing from women who are clearly in desperate need of what I am not getting enough of.

I stand accused of encouraging men everywhere to insist that their wives and girlfriends do the cooking and cleaning and whatever else it takes to keep the smile on a man’s face. So what?

Unhappy, frustrated men go into politics and declare war on one another and hold boring international conferences. It is vitally important that men are kept happy. And let me say the fact that I am one is purely incidental. I have only the interests of the planet at heart. To the credit of delegates, and here I must single out Sam Nujoma, the only worthwhile resolution to come out of the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development was the one calling on women to be more aware of the need to keep their men happy.

If I were a woman I would want to make men happy. It is a fulfilling and potentially lucrative calling. Look at Suze Orman and the girls from Teazers.

But I was not born a woman. And when you are a real man like me, you don’t go out of your way to make other men happy. Unless you want them to buy the next round, of course. I want other people, who aren’t men, to make me happy. Men are happiest when they aren’t doing the dishes and getting French kissed at the same time.

When men are unhappy they want to go off and invade Angola. They start devising ways of killing people just by looking at them. Women take out their frustrations by cleaning things. It is a cathartic process for them. They enjoy picking up wet towels off the floor. Men don’t.

Forcing a man to clean the house is tantamount to taking a blunt panga and hacking off one of his testicles on the bread board right there in the kitchen in front of his friends. On the positive side, you can get him stitched up and by suppertime he is making moon-eyes and trying to slip his hand up your skirt.

Forcing him to dust and vacuum is guaranteed to fill him with hostility and self-loathing. Sure, the house will be clean, but forget about any action in the bedroom for a while.

Men have always believed that hand-to-hand combat is the best way of sorting out a domestic argument, but they have learned, through bitter experience, that the withholding of sex is a far more powerful weapon. Foolishly, some have even tried it themselves. Needless to say, they failed spectacularly because this is a form of resistance that violates every masculine instinct.

Even though the man is still seething at the indignity of having to hang up the washing, he is genetically predisposed to slipping into something more comfortable as soon as the last load is on the line. But since the target of his affection is also the target of his resentment, he gets confused and becomes gay. This is what has happened to most of Cape Town’s men.

I have overheard women complaining about the lack of straight men in this city. But it is they who have created this situation by forcing their men to cook casseroles, do the ironing and wear pastel cardigans and clean underwear on the assumption that if they comply they might be rewarded with a little non-violent physical contact.

In some parts of Cape Town it is even worse. In suburbs like Camps Bay, men are expected to know the difference between their Cabernet Sauvignons and their Augustus Pinochets. In the good old days we could just order a beer and a tumbler of whatever it was that made our woman drunk enough to stay the night. Sadly, this glorious age is coming to an end.

Men are constantly being told to become more sensitive, more in tune with their feminine side, but nobody has bothered telling them when to stop. And when your husband is eventually caught flouncing around the house in nothing but a lilac apron and bobby socks, it is people like me who are blamed.

I am outraged.”

 

I wasn’t the only one.

This time, the brothers were up in arms.

Modise wrote, “I’m a strong African man and DO NOT share your opinion, Sir. Women are not there to serve Men. The days of Men being out hunting and Women staying at home cooking are gone. We don’t hunt anymore. Women have also entered the labour market and it is both our responsibilities, as Men and Women, to make each other happy and share our responsibilities.”

Anton Jansen, clearly a sensitive man in his own right, said: “I can only say that I have not come across a bigger load of tripe in my life. The rubbish you spout about unhappy men wanting to go off and “invade Angola” is, in my opinion, indicative of the fact that you have never experienced the horrors of war. Please stop referring to yourself as a man. In my opinion you do not know the meaning of the word.”

You’d think they would run out of outrage. Or at least cotton on to what I was doing. But no. Three months later, they were still at it. Jeanine McGill developed rabies over something I wrote a week before Christmas:

“Ben Trovato’s column is the most disgusting I have ever read. I recommend that you do not re-employ him when he returns from Durban. In my opinion, he is welcome to stay there. How can a columnist get away with so positively describing Ted’s abuse of his wife, Mary; his cruel and unusual plans for his faithful dog Gonzo and the senseless slaughter of birds? In there no-one in Cape Town who can write a positive and uplifting column, that this trashcan columnist receives 64cms in your paper to spew his hash-rotted drivel?”

Jeanine was wrong on one score. In 2002, it was almost impossible to get your hands on decent hash in Cape Town. My drivel was rotted by beer alone.

Fortunately, the Cape Times readership was, by and large, an intelligent one, and the bright, bold and beautiful began leaping to my defence.

Velile Phato called me a “really crazy whitey”. I took it as a compliment.

Michael Rolfe, who I suspect might have been on drugs, said: “Ben Trovato is not merely South Africa’s foremost journalist; he is also a seer, a visionary, and the still, small voice of reason in a world run mad.” I am not related to Michael Rolfe, nor have I ever met him.

D Chaplin helped enlighten the sourpoeses of Cape Town: “Warning! This column contains irony, satire and other forms of humour. Readers who are unable to distinguish these literary devices from bona fide opinion or fact are advised to avoid reading further, and are referred to the TV guide or the classifieds where there is a lower risk of misunderstanding.”

In those years, much like now, my identity was a closely guarded secret. Perhaps too closely, if JA Browne’s letter was anything to go by.

“Since so many people are asking who Ben Trovato is, may I be allowed to spill the beans on this imposter? Ben Trovato is a woman. It becomes clear after much reading of these columns that Brenda is a symbol of oppressed womanhood, especially those married to gin-sodden men. Only a woman writer could so cleverly get under the skin of this bully, and by doing so make this Trovato creature a thing of scorn and contempt to all women. It is all very cleverly contrived by the feminist lobby. How can we be so sure that Ben Trovato is a woman? There is a certain sensitivity about the pieces – notwithstanding the pretence of macho image – that betrays the truth: the deep-seated need to denigrate men.”

As I weren’t confused enough, I received this email from a Dr Enetia Robson in London: “One has a sense of people like yourself being challenged by chaotic and violent events and trying to find a new modus vivendi while still retaining a sense of rationality and a wicked sense of humour.”

Jou ma se modus vivendi.

So, anyway. Chris Whitfield, and the editor who came after him, Tyrone August, never flinched in the face of calls to fire me or have me publicly executed. Brave men of honour, they were. And not once did they change my copy or censor me.

I repaid their loyalty by abandoning ship when the Sunday Times offered me more money to write exclusively for them. That’s right. I behaved like a common whore, dumping one client who was giving me a perfectly acceptable blowjob for one who was offering a full house. In my defence, they also offered me a full page.

By way of introducing myself to a national audience, I wrote on June 8th, 2008: “When I told my wife, Brenda, that I was going to be writing a regular column for the Sunday Times, she unleashed a scream the likes of which hadn’t been heard since she saw me naked for the very first time. I thought some kind of wild animal or housebreaker had walked into the kitchen and I almost wet my broeks.

“The Sunday Times?” she shrieked. “Don’t you know what they do to columnists over there?”

I poured her a stiff drink, quickly drank it myself and reassured her that I am an Untouchable. Like Essop Pahad. Unlike Pahad, however, I expect to retain my position after the next election. Unless, of course, the editor is instructed by his handlers in the Illuminati to terminate my services.

I ask readers to bear with me during these difficult times.

This dreadful xenophobia rumpus has caused a tremendous upheaval in domestic arrangements at the ramshackle pigpen I laughingly call home, and it may take a week or two before I can get to grips with matters of concern.

Right now, the gentleman in charge of ensuring that my garden does not degenerate into a hideous eyesore infested with alien species and itinerant drunks has moved into the spare room at the bottom of the house. This wholly unsuitable turn of events occurred two weeks ago when he asked permission to work nights as well as days rather than return to the warm welcome that awaited him at the hands of his South African comrades.

Brenda made him a cup of cocoa and said he could stay as long as he wanted. This is a situation fraught with complexities, but there is little I can do about it. Certainly, I could emigrate and cut my own lawn. Or I could stay here and have my lawn, and possibly my throat, cut for me. It is a risk I am prepared to take.

The reluctant lodger is called Sudan Red. He says his name is John but, quite frankly, I find that ridiculous. He is a refugee from Darfur, for heaven’s sake, not an accountant from Sandton. He keeps trying to tell me about the horrors of the ganja weed but I have advised him not to believe the propaganda and that if he smokes less than half a kilogram a day, he will be fine.

When I pointed out to Brenda that he was eating us out of house and home, she said that he at least earned his keep, unlike some people who apparently sit around all day waiting for something to come along and amuse them. With the application of minimum force, I explained to Brenda that writing was a noble pursuit. She silenced me with an elbow to the epiglottis and threatened to zero the counter. Like most white women, Brenda sees sex as something to be earned. Apparently it all works on a rather complicated points system. Getting into Australia would be easier than getting into Brenda.

In the meantime, I appeal to my fellow South Africans to allow our foreign domestic workers safe passage. We need to learn how to live with each other. I don’t mean me, of course. My house is full. You will have to learn how to live with other people – people who have spare rooms that aren’t filled with broken furniture and empty beer bottles.”

 

That’s where it all started. Now, half a million words later, it is I who have been unceremoniously dumped on the boulevard of broken dreams.

We deserve it, though, us freelancers. We go about accepting jobs willy-nilly, unprotected by unions and indecently exposed to corporate fuckery, then we fritter our wages away on luxuries such as medical aids, retirement annuities, second-hand cars and exotic dishes like mutton bunny chows. And then BANG! In an instant, we can no longer pay for any of it. It’s our own damn fault.

I am not left without a choice. I can ferret about for work in the hope of staving off the repo men, or I can run a hosepipe from my exhaust through the back window of the Land Rover. No, that won’t work. It would take six months to gas myself – my car has more holes in it than Jacob Zuma’s alibi. Besides, as a result of latest developments, a hosepipe falls under non-essential goods in my revised budget and it would be silly to waste the last of the beer money on it.

So there it is. The end of this particular road.

Siyabonga.

Airplanes, Wedding Trains and the CAR

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments – John 14:15.”

And so it is with Trovato 07:45. Or, if I oversleep, 10:30. President Jacob Zuma is also big on this parable or homily or whatever the hell you call it.

When I saw our fearless leader come lumbering out of the Mahlamba Ndlopfu presidential residence in Pretoria, with CAR Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye two steps behind him, I felt a pang in my chest. At first I thought it was love. My president. So powerful he didn’t even bother changing out of his pyjamas for the meeting. But it wasn’t love at all. It was the after-burn from a shot of Mexican heart medication.

Zuma cleared his throat. All the birds and beasts fell silent. The sun glinted off his burnished dome, momentarily blinding a 747 pilot high up in the sky.

Tiangaye looked contrite, as well he should. Zuma squared his massive shoulders and said, “We have accepted on behalf of South Africa …” Here it comes, I thought. The apology. About time, too.

“ … their condolences.” What? The rebels gun down half our combat-ready army and all they offer are condolences? Not an oil field or even a million cows? Hell, I’d sooner we got flowers and a “Hope your army gets better soon” card than mealy-mouthed condolences.

Tiangaye said it was regrettable that there had been “a personalised relationship” between South Africa and the skunk-faced former president Francois Bozizé.

I don’t know about you, but I almost certainly wasn’t having a relationship with Bozizé. I’m not ruling it out, mind you. The Mexican heart muti has made me do a lot of things I’m not proud of. Things I don’t always remember the next day.

I think we can accept, though, that what Tiangaye meant was that Zuma and Bozizé had a personalised relationship. But because Zuma was standing right there, yawning and scratching his crotch, he had to say it was not the president’s fault.

Just over 600kms away, in a luxury home-based intensive care unit incorporating a well-stocked drinks cabinet and indoor putting green, Schabir Shaik nodded and smiled.

“Jacob, my man,” he said softly to himself. “You’ve pulled it off again. Nurse! Bring me the 18-year-old!” The nurse did as she was told. “No, you idiot. Not her. The Johnnie Walker!”

Anyway, now that the CAR is no longer Zuma’s dirty little secret, I would like to wish the happy couple all the best for the future. Maybe he should give the Seleka rebels free access to the national key point of their choice.

The Guptas have dibs on the Waterkloof Air Force Base so it will have to be something else. Use of the Simonstown naval base as a private marina, perhaps? Or how about converting Genadendal into a B&B for anyone else who might have a personalised relationship with the president? It could be run by Mac Maharaj and his wife. I expect they will have to learn Mandarin.

So how about them striking teachers, eh? Pity Maggie ain’t around no more. She would have sent in the horses by now. After the teachers had eaten their fill, more horses would be sent in to trample the indolent swine underfoot and give them a damn good lesson in civil etiquette.

Karl Marx once said: “The working class can kiss my arse”. I used to agree with him, but now I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy having my arse kissed just as much as any other insufferable middle management moron, but I am starting to feel twinges of sympathy for them.

I’m not talking about teachers or bus drivers. To be a member of the working class, you actually have to work and not spend your time dancing in the street, chanting incomprehensible gibberish and frightening the children.

Earlier this week I took my Land Rover for a drive through the sugar cane fields near Ballito. I wasn’t going anywhere in particular. Just driving. I kept passing clumps of workers – the real kind – trudging along the dirt road into the sunset. Some waved, some ignored me. All of them choked on my dust. There was a group of seven or eight up ahead. As I drew level, one turned and looked at me. It was a woman. Like the men, also in overalls and gumboots. She smiled.

“Hmm,” I thought. “She likes me.” I quickly pulled over. No, of course I didn’t think that. What kind of lunatic white man would drive alone through the cane fields of KZN at dusk hoping to catch the eye of a beautiful maiden and take her back to his palace and make her his possession? I’m not King bloody Mswati, you know. Not that he would ever take the Maybach on a dirt road.

I pulled over to give them a lift. Eight quickly became fifteen. People who were walking in the opposite direction got in. In this province of a thousand hills, nobody turns down a free ride. Where you’re headed is irrelevant.

Sure, I knew there was a chance I’d get my throat slit. It’s a risk you take when you pick up strangers. But I was prepared to die for the sins of the white man. Perhaps someone would start a religion in my name. Followers would wear tiny silver Land Rovers around their necks and baptise their children in beer.

But it was not to be. They had no interest in martyring me. All they wanted was a lift after a day of backbreaking work in the filthy Durban heat. I drove for five kilometres before a dude with menacing tribal scars tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to stop. It wasn’t a town or even a village. Just a jumble of wood and iron shacks in a clearing in the bush.

They worked for a landscaping company with clients like the Tongaat-Hulett Group, Moreland, Zimbali and the provincial government. The company’s website says the owner’s “upbringing in Northern Zululand has allowed him to speak the Zulu language and
understand their cultures which have benefited all staff and contracts”.

I’m sure the workforce deeply appreciates being told, in their own language, that because the company has a turnover of only R30-million a year, it would be unreasonable to expect transport to shackland or the Ballito taxi rank at the end of each day. After all, you’re looking at a monthly petrol bill that could easily run into the hundreds.

Speaking of bad ideas, Microsoft’s evil genius Bill Gates wants to put a video camera in every classroom in America to monitor the performance of teachers.

Given the fact that around 90 000 South African schoolgirls fall pregnant each year, I imagine the footage could be tastefully edited and sold to TopTV for screening after the kiddies have gone to bed. It could be called A Broad Banged Up. People with DStv will understand the reference. Next week, I’ll try to slip in a joke for those have access to SABC channels only. Poor bastards.

And finally. Ex-police commissioner Bheki Cele had a couple of bottles of expensive whisky stolen out of his car a few days ago. Because that’s where everyone keeps their best hooch.

Good for him, I say. I like the image of a former police chief thundering through the city streets late at night, hurling abuse at the citizenry and sucking savagely on a thousand rand bottle of whisky.

Give him his job back at once.

The Chicken Who Cried Fowl

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway. Let’s move on.

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

The ad goes like this:

Voice 1: “What you inside for, boet?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Mickey Mouse Would Make A Better President Than Jacob Zuma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Open Letter to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alcohol is the great leveller.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s police state stuff, that is.

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

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

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

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

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

Howzit Henke,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We All Have Assburger’s Syndrome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Of course I do,” said I.

“Can I see it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The undignified corporate scramble for the high ground continues.

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

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

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

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

Shootin’ From The Hip With Dead-Eye Dickhead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, knives are shiny. I like shiny things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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