The shutdown that wasn’t

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, the day before the big shutdown. It’s quite exciting, not knowing how things will turn out. It’s like Schrödinger’s Revolution. Until Monday, it’s both a massive success and a dismal failure.

It’s the same feeling I used to get on Christmas Eve as a child. Will Santa come? Have I been good enough to deserve presents? Except this is more like, will the police turn up? Have I been too white to deserve mercy?

Being a great hedger of bets, I thought it couldn’t do any harm to join the EFF. I wouldn’t be the first Caucasian to sign up, but I’d probably be the first to do so purely in order to save his lily-white ass. Funny word that, Caucasian. It’s got “asian” in it, yet it’s meant to describe white people, many of whom probably don’t care much for Asians.

Wikipedia tells me “the Caucasian race is an obsolete racial classification of human beings based on a now-disproven theory of biological race”. That’s the last time I trust Wikipedia. The site has clearly been hacked by a member of the Mail & Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati.

Anyway, let’s move on. I can’t still be pondering these things with the curtain-raiser due to kick off in six hours. A bit earlier, Duduvanka Zuma tweeted: “For Those Who Will Be In Clubs Come Midnight, Please Come To The Streets And Join Us!!” That’s a good idea. It’s almost worth going to a club just to be able to spill onto the streets at midnight for a spot of the old pillaging. Beats a greasy burger and an Uber home any day.

First, though, my EFF membership needed to be sorted. The party’s website, awash in the colour of blood, looked pretty slick.

The first image was an advert for the national shutdown inviting me to join it “to demand electricity and the resignation of Cyril Ramaphosa”. Maybe I can protest for half the time because I’m only interested in achieving one of those objectives. Toss in a Madiba-type replacement for Cyril and I’m in all the way.

The next advert that popped up is for a scarlet “EFF winter jacket”, elegantly modelled by a fist-pumping Julius Malema for the knockdown price of R900. Looks warm. Absorbent, too. Handy for stanching flesh wounds. Might get myself one. A jacket, not a flesh wound. Although if I’m to be a part of the shenanigans, anything could happen.

There’s also an advert for the “EFF gender desk for any gender-related issues”. I assume it’s like Tinder for the underclass. Anyway, I’m not looking for anyone right now.

Then there’s an advert for “9th Anniversary EFF Golf Shirts”. On the back it says, “2022 Year Of The Branch”. Marxist botanists would love it. You can also order an 8th Anniversary Golf Shirt. These momentous occasions came at a time when the party’s accounts were flush with VBS cash. I doubt there’ll be a 10th anniversary shirt, so get one of the old one’s now. Collector’s item deluxe.

Oh, look. The site has a handy countdown to the shutdown. It’s now five hours and 12 minutes until the comrades stagger from their hideouts in clubs and bars around the country, shouting Fanonist slogans and retching daintily into the gutters.

Above the counter is an audio clip of “CIC Julius Malema Singing Revolutionary Songs Ahead Of National Shutdown”. Plus bonus speeches. I didn’t want to listen to it because I am already feeling quite emotional and knew this might push me over the edge. Nevertheless, I pressed play. A few minutes later, I was in tears. Laughter really is the best medicine. When it comes to oratorial skills, it’s safe to say that Malema is no Hitler. If anyone from the Jewish Board of Deputies is reading this, it’s Julius I’m complimenting here, not Adolf.

Anyway, I’ve just discovered that membership will cost me R10. That’s beer money, that is. All deals are off. I’ll have to talk my way out of trouble. Right now, it’s time for a quick drink and then off to the nearest club.

I overmedicated and didn’t make it to the club. In fact, I slept through the entire protest, waking briefly at 6am to see Carl Niehaus had posted a picture of himself in his lounge, his clean T-shirt tucked neatly into his well-pressed jean pant with one fist raised and a big, dopey grin on his hairy face. “Ready and on my way to the National Shutdown!” he tweeted, as if he was going to a mate’s braai. If he had mates. Later, Carl was photographed holding hands with Julius. Say what you like, but they do make a lovely interracial couple.

So, the verdict? Damp squid, for sure. If you want your protest to be noticed, get people to turn up in their numbers. And throw in a bit of looting. If you know there’s no chance of getting your hands on free groceries or a plasma TV, why would you even bother?

Anyway, at least the cops have dispersed and it’s safe to go out again.

10 thoughts on “The shutdown that wasn’t

  1. lan Paterson says:

    It is a bit late but I’ve only now emerged from hiding under the bed. Just in case! No-one broke in and ravished me, however (just thinking about Julius and Carl and the love that dare not speak its name. My advice to the happy couple is that they should not honeymoon in Uganda). On a serious note many years ago I went on a course in London with a famous and brilliant Argentinian immunologist who told us about research that had turned out to be a damp squid. She also heard something straight from the horse’s mouse.

  2. Nicholas Williams says:

    It’s also staunching, not stanching, but blood is thicker than tofu.

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      in British English
      1. to stem the flow of (a liquid, esp blood) or (of a liquid) to stop flowing
      2. to prevent the flow of a liquid, esp blood, from (a hole, wound, etc)
      3. an archaic word for assuage

      1. geoff says:

        Indeed Ben “British is Best ” English. And remember Nicholas you Rhodesian Rebel scallywag, to be born British is to win first prize in the lottery of life AND the more of the world we control, the better it is for the human race!! So, stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

  3. Paolo Giannini says:

    Thank you, a good laugh, something out of a Monty Python script 🙂

  4. Geoff Stroebel says:

    It’s damp “squib”, dearest BT!
    Wonder where Carl will flip-flop to when Julius gets tired of him?
    Cheers mate

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Thanks for the English lesson, Geoff!

      1. Graeme says:

        Damp squids are sea-ceatures too you know. Some of my best friends are squids.

        1. Charlotte says:

          Ag shame, Graeme. Maybe you can introduce one of them to Carl in his jean pant.

      2. Penelope Meyer says:

        I much prefer damp squid. It reminds me of Carl Niehaus

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