The Fear Factor

Comrades, we have new things to fear.

Russia provoking world war three. The Oscar Pistorius trial dragging on for months. Protein.

Let us begin with the first. It’s the least likely to affect us directly because South Africa won’t be invited to participate in the third world war. We never get invited to anything. And when we do, we don’t pitch up. Besides, by the time we have fixed our submarines and found someone to drive our warships, a consortium of American businessmen would have turned Crimea into the world’s biggest theme park. And McDonald’s would have bought the Kremlin and turned it into their new eastern European headquarters.

The other scenario is that American schools would be teaching Russian and the White House would be owned by the Stolichnaya company. Leased, I should say. There would be no such thing as private property in the event of a Russian win when the final whistle is blown at the end of WW3.

Even though Vladimir Putin is currently channelling the ghost of Josef Stalin, I’m finding it difficult to worry about what’s happening 9 419kms away. I know I should. But it seems wrong to care about people in the Ukraine when there are people in a township 3kms from my house who I don’t care about. If I’m not going to care about someone, my fellow countrymen should come first.

I’m a bit concerned about Crimea, but only because it’s a really cool name and whoever wins this war will probably want to change it. I doubt I would feel the same way about it if it were called, say, the Autonomous Okrug of Krasnovorskashtanerova. Or, should there be an upset, Californiobama, America’s 51st state.

Wait! I’ve changed my mind. It has since come to my attention that Crimea’s currency is called the hryvna. There is no way that a country with a currency called hryvna should be allowed to survive. Was their first finance minister a five-year-old with access to fridge magnets? It gets worse. The hryvna is made up of a hundred kopiyok. And they want us to take them seriously? Please.

Right, I’ve had a few beers and a bit of a lie-down. Maybe they deserve a second chance. Let’s see what they produce. This is what I found on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The enterprises of Crimean food industry produce meat products, animal butter, dairy products, cheeses, oil, can foods, confectionary, groats and flour, alcoholic beverage, tobacco wares.”

I don’t know if you’re meant to eat, drink or snort a groat, but I want no part of it. And what the hell kind of animals do you make butter from? Mmmm. Creamy Crimean butter produced from only the freshest of field voles. With added epizooties! Yum yum.

We are assured, however, that “the tourist industry is very perspective”. Visitors can look forward to “mounting-foot, research, walks on yachts and car tours”. The cultural life of the Crimea consists of their many festivals and competitions, including Bilya Chornogo Morya, Zirky Planety and Artekivski Zori.

“Hurry up, honey! We’re going to be late for the Zirky Planety.”

“I thought we were going to the Artekivski Zori this year!”

“The Zori is too expensive. I’m not paying five billion hryvna to watch dancing voles being turned into butter.”

Let us now turn our attention to the second latest thing to fear – the unnecessary prolongation of Oscar Pistorius’s trial. Defence lawyer Barry Roux is so adept at badgering witnesses that I have come to believe that he is, in fact, a badger wearing a human bodysuit. There is evidence.

Badgers are short-legged omnivores. Roux is a short-legged omnibore. Badgers belong to a branch that includes polecats and weasels. Roux belongs to a branch that includes advocates and attorneys. Both are distantly related to the Asiatic stink badger, a member of the skunk family, which is often found defending Crimean voles on charges of treason.

I, for one, cannot listen, let alone watch, the Badgeroo go about his unpleasant business of forcing ordinary folk to the brink of confessing their own dark secrets. The biggest mistake these poor people ever made was to live within screaming distance of Oscar’s house. Now they are paying for it.

This case sends a valuable lesson to potential witnesses everywhere. Do not ever admit to hearing or seeing anything. Ever. I live at the coast and even I was woken by Oscar’s shrill girly screams. I heard his cricket bat spontaneously detonating three minutes later. I also thought I heard him ordering pizza but that might have been the neighbours. But did you see me put my hand up and volunteer to testify? Hellz, no.

Where there are cameras, there are politicians. Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane sat with Reeva’s family in court this week and told them that “even real South African men are ashamed”. Am I real South African man? I hope not. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am.

When I was but a pup, my father grabbed his Walther PPK pistol one Saturday morning and took me down to the mangroves near Blue Lagoon. I thought he was going to murder me. Instead, he set up a row of empty Black Label beer cans. Well, they were empty by the time he had finished with them. Then he put the gun in my hand and said, “Son, shoot those cans.” If that was some kind of rite of passage, I failed miserably. “Go a bit closer,” he said every time I missed. Eventually I had the barrel of the gun resting against one of the cans. It was like an execution.

So, yes. I’m ashamed that I can’t shoot accurately with a handgun. But put an R1 rifle in my hands and oh, baby, I could hit you if you lived in the next province. That should go some way towards redeeming me in the eyes of the premier, surely.

Now on to the third latest new thing to fear. Protein. Meat, in case you haven’t heard, is the new Marlboro. Cheese is a death sentence and eggs will kill you quicker than heroin. That glass of milk? Why not just drink cyanide?

We have been eating protein ever since we split from the monkeys two million years ago. And only now they tell us it’s bad for us? What the hell have they been doing all this time?

But not all protein is bad, apparently. The protein in beans and legumes is fine. Okaaay! Bean party this Saturday, your place! Bring your own beans. If someone pitches up with a bag of legumes saying that he wants to party, don’t let him in. Those legume fiends are nothing but trouble.

This new study reveals that middle-aged people who eat a lot of animal protein die younger. But the same diet protects a person’s health in old age. Man, my 70th is going to be one helluva cheese ‘n meat party. Bring your own sheep.

These findings have emerged from a study of six thousand people aged 50 and over. I don’t know anyone over 50 who tells the truth. Once you reach a certain age, lying becomes your default position. Most of them probably just wanted someone to talk to.

“Yeah, I eat a lot of meat and I have this thing growing inside my brain. So what? Sit down. Let me tell you about the time I caught a whale shark on a trout rod in the Drakensberg.”

I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’m scared of carbohydrates and now I’m terrified of protein. These scaremongering killjoys are telling us that we should restrict ourselves to no more than 0.8g of protein for every kilogram of body weight. Well, let me tell you something, Mr Smartypants scientist. We don’t all have brains that work like computers. We don’t know what we weigh. We also don’t know what 0.8g of anything looks like. Apart from maybe cocaine or weed. Rather tell us that if we hold a piece of meat against our leg, we shouldn’t eat beyond the knee.

And it’s no good telling us that we need to switch to a diet where nine or ten percent of our calories come from protein. Calories sounds like a made-up Crimean word. I cannot picture a calorie and therefore it does not exist. Stop playing mind-games with us.

You know what else they said? “Spend a couple of months looking at the labels on your food.” Idiots. Do they not know we also have to go to work? Besides, the human body cannot go more than 40 days without food. You have more chance of surviving by licking at the labels on your food.

There’s only one thing I want to know. What can I eat that will help me live forever? There has to be something, right? Look at Robert Mugabe. He’s at least 184 years old and he still won’t go down. I want some of what he’s having. Fuck death. And if I can’t have that, I’m moving to Simferopol and switching to a diet of Slavic whores, cheap vodka and lashings of vole butter pudding.


3 thoughts on “The Fear Factor

  1. Jaime Abrahamse says:

    Hilarious! JjjJ

  2. poseamonkey says:

    Crap, I was not Informed that animal protein was bad for us this week. Last week I had people trying to convince me that legumes and grains were the devil and we should only be eating animal protein and vegetables like people who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago and did not live past 20. The week before that, carbs were the devil, according to a sports scientist who previously worshipped carbs. Eating is just basically not advised.

  3. Claire Azzopardi says:

    Thank you for making an ex-durbanite laugh, cry with laughter, snort and chuckle so far from home. You are funny as fuck (sorry mom) and make me so proud to have shared a birthplace with you.

    I’m even forwarding your pieces to some of my more intelligent Australian friends … Ok just the one if you catch my drift. Thanks Mr Trovato – from a chick from Westbrook circa 1998

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