There is so much going on in this wonderful country of ours that I scarcely know where to begin.
Perhaps I could start with the murders. There are so many that, when you sit down with the newspapers, you have to be fairly selective when it comes to choosing which ones to read about. I think we can agree that we all skip the random shebeen stabbings and the gangland shootings. Par for the course, we say. Surprise us, we say, flipping the page.
Love triangle homicide. Yawn. Farm killing. Next. Witness whacked. Who cares. Even satanic ritual slayings no longer grab our attention as they once did.
Quite frankly, I don’t know why the papers even bother. If the bloodshed involves alcohol, we would rather you didn’t write about it. Instead, tell us about people who, after drinking too much, stumbled upon a cure for cancer.
Drunk people probably accomplish all manner of incredible things which nobody ever gets to hear about. After all, it’s only because Isaac Newton kept falling down while slurching home from the Slut and Legless that we know about gravity today.
But let us return to the foulest of felonies.
There is one story that stands out from the daily carnival of carnage.
Matricide has been an eye-catcher ever since Amastris, queen of Herclea, was drowned by her two sons in 284 BC. I don’t know why they did it. She was the first woman to issue coins in her name, so I suppose she might have been a bit of a pain. Or perhaps it was because she named her sons Clearchus and Oxyathres.
On the other hand, if children offed their parents because of the names they were given, it’s unlikely Kanye West, Bob Geldof, Jamie Oliver, Gwen Stefani and Gwyneth Paltrow would be alive today.
Imagine if your mother had named you Racing Cloud and you weren’t a member of the Sioux tribe living on a reservation in South Dakota, but instead you were a member of the Theron tribe and you lived in Fish Hoek. I am fairly sure, though, that this isn’t why Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron and her boyfriend Kyle Maspero allegedly bumped off her mum Rosemary.
For now, newspapers are reporting that the mother and daughter had argued. Mother went out and the two teenagers “smoked drugs” while they discussed killing her. When she returned, Maspero allegedly strangled her with a rope.
Every report I have read mentions that the idiot children had “smoked drugs”. The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking this were the sole reason for the murder. Perhaps it was. And this is where it gets interesting. For me, anyway. If you’re not interested, read something else.
Smokeable drugs include marijuana, crystal meth, heroin and the most addictive of all, tobacco. Let’s for a moment assume they weren’t driven into a murderous frenzy by one too many Marlboro Lights.
When one hears the phrase “smoking drugs”, one instinctively thinks of weed. Maybe it’s just a Durban thing. This country – and KZN in particular – grows some of the best marijuana in the world and, quite frankly, I don’t know why anyone would bother smoking anything else if they were planning to kill one of their parents. Heroin ruins your skin and crack makes your teeth fall out. Surely you would want to look your best when you appear in court?
For a few months now, I have wanted to kill my neighbour. He is loud and obnoxious and encourages his rat-faced bastard dogs to bark for no reason at all. Motivated by news reports of the Racing Cloud incident, and curious to see if cannabis would provide the impetus I needed to do the job, I went off to find some. I believe the correct terminology is “score”.
Not knowing if I would need a gram or a kilogram, I emptied out my boot and filled my pockets with money.
The last time I bought weed, it cost a rand a hand from Temba round the back of the Journey’s End Moth Hall in Broadway. The hall is now a post office sorting depot, Broadway is Swapo Road and Temba is probably a director-general in the ministry of police.
I went to a bar north of Ballito and asked for a beer. When the waiter brought it, I gave him the secret handshake and asked if he might be in a position to help me out with a smidgen of the old igudu. He brought me a menu. I tried again. Intsangu? He started telling me about the specials.
I made the international gesture for crushing a handful of dope, being careful to remove the pips and stalks, snapping the neck off a wine bottle, making a girrick, inserting said girrick into the bottleneck, filling the neck with weed, wrapping a sulfie around the neck, putting it to my mouth, striking a match and inhaling deeply. I even gagged and coughed a couple of times in case he thought I was acting out a parable from the Old Testament. You never know with the Zulus.
I noticed everyone had stopped talking and was watching me. The waiter made the international gesture for ‘I think you should leave’ and so I did.
After almost getting arrested several times, I eventually came upon a maker of beaded wire animals. It is a well-known fact that threading beads is impossible unless you are stoned. I was right.
He even threw in a chameleon with the bankie of weed. It was the smallest bankie I had ever seen. Three 10c pieces would have been a squeeze. What kind of customers does this bank have?
On my way home, I stopped to pick up an axe from Mica. One of those big mothers that lumberjacks use. When I knocked on my neighbour’s door, filled with a violent bloodlust after smoking my drugs, I wanted him to be under no illusions about what I was doing there.
There was only enough for a toothpick of a joint, but size isn’t important. Especially not in Durban. Two hits and my mouth was drier than a Mormon convention. This wasn’t good. My neighbour would open his door and he’d find me struggling to speak.
“You what?” he would say. I would make mmpf mmpf noises.
Maybe I’d lick my axe to get the saliva glands working. To avoid arousing suspicion, I might even have to do a Miley Cyrus impersonation, licking my axe, thrusting my pelvis and rolling my eyes, by which time he would have called the whole family to come and watch and I would then be forced to kill everyone.
I finished the toothpick, fetched a beer and sat on the veranda for what felt like nine hours. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes. I could definitely feel something, but I couldn’t say for sure what it was. Did I want to kill someone or did I want to eat something? Was I hungry or homicidal? Was it best to eat before or after a murder? Wait. The trees are full of something. Are those hadedas or monkeys? What if they have started breeding? Oh, God. Flying monkeys with voices from hell. I would have to move. Those branches look like fingers. I have fingers, too. We both feel. We are one. I am a tree and you, tree, are me. I must stand up before I put down roots. There was something I had to do. What was it? Water the plants? No, that wasn’t it. Stay away from the plants. They can’t be trusted. Maybe get another beer. Yes, that was it. And go to the beach. Take cheese. Someone left an axe in the driveway. Must be the neighbour. I’ll invite him for a braai. Give him his chopper back. Neighbour. What a peculiar word. Nayba. Nay. Ba.
Two days later, I can say with absolute certainty that Racing Cloud and I weren’t smoking the same kind of drugs.