Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Best Defence is To Attack (Then)

Excerpt no 5: Africa Will Always Break Your Heart

We had some weird and wonderful neighbours. We only saw the woman next door when we played soccer or cricket in the street and one of our balls had soared into her yard. She must have sat sentinel everyday. She would be out in a flash, cut the ball in half and throw the pieces back at us.

My friend Edward lived across the road from her. When I started High School he was one grade senior than my eldest brother. Edward failed his exams so many times that he finished school with me. When his dad had drunk enough wine at night to be out for the count we used to steal his car, a DKW. The DKW had a distinctive sound and made a hell of a racket so we worked our asses off pushing it as far as possible down the street before starting it. We had some great joyrides in this vehicle — always managing to evade the local traffic cop who was on the lookout for us. Edward was a hairy bugger and would cover his upper lip with sticky plaster to hide the moustache he grew before every school holiday. He was a great friend.

I went to their house often. His mother never left the house. I never saw her in anything else but a dressing gown and slippers.

A few houses away from us lived Frank. Like most people at the time he was fonder of the bottle than what was acceptable outside of military circles and defi­nitely not something which relationships were built upon. One Friday evening Frank returned from the pub where he’d had a few pints. He got told by his wife:
“Go and buy some bread and milk. We have none in the house. Hurry back. I still need to feed the children.”

Frank did a quick shop and went back to the pub. The party got out of hand and Frank continued his quite impressive intake of beer.

He joined a group of chaps who’d come to town with the sole intent of loading up for the rugby match the next day. The military pub, of course, had to adhere to strict hours. Everyone got totally smashed. The Queens Hotel was their first venue of choice and the public bar and snooker hall had to take the full impact of a bunch of drunken military louts.

Frank was a spectator at the rugby match that Saturday afternoon without having been home yet. The local team lost and the party to drown all sorrows started right after the match. On Sunday morning Frank woke up in the single quarters of the military base. There was still some booze left over and Frank had a serious hangover. He was unshaven and unwashed. He had a splitting headache, a full-blown case of amnesia from the night before and in need of some comfort. Soon they got stuck in again. Frank had a disturbing premonition that he might be in trouble with his wife. These thoughts he tried to drink away.
“I’m always in shit with my wife. It is just the depth that varies. Please pass the rum.”

On Sunday evening Frank arrived home. Standing on his doorstep, newspaper in one hand and a squashed loaf of bread under his arm and a pint of sour milk in the other hand with a plan of action prepared. As he walked in through the front door he immediately started shouting at his wife:
“Why are the bloody children still playing in the road? Do you know what fucking time it is? Don’t you realise it’s a school-day tomorrow?”

The poor woman had nothing to say. Frank was delighted since this part of military doctrine worked so well in his favour. He bragged about it for days in the tea-room.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Verbal Laxative called The Peoples Republic of South Africa

A fundamental revolutionary lesson:The enemy manouevres (sic) but it remains the enemy / Part I

The ANC must depend on itself to defend and advance the democratic revolution!

I’ve been reading Thabo Mbeki’s letter to the nation part1 as on ANC Today with a growing unease. The same unease a diarrhoea sufferer experiences when starting a fart and realising that he is nowhere near a toilet, dressed in white trousers and in a crowd.

At first glance it is a well written piece of rhetoric but after a few more reads the feeling of trepidation grows stronger and stronger. I had this feeling before; when I watched the planes crash into the World Trade Centre on television. I then told my boy to watch as history was forever changed in front of our eyes.

First of all the president repeatedly addresses a “democratic revolution.” I have no idea what this means and to further confuse the issue he describes it as an ongoing event. The only reasonable conclusion I can draw from it is that first one must have a revolution to ensure democracy. Then you screw up that democracy with incompetence until your back is against the wall and you are under siege from the western world to start governing your country. When there is no other way out, you then promote another revolution. In this process you find enemies everywhere. These enemies do not exist but that hardly matters as long as your blind followers believe what you are promoting.

He then takes the quantum leap of declaring an independent judiciary body, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the ANC as one. He continues to describe what they (ANC/TRC) did not uncover and still need to do. This is sending a clear message to the already under siege realistic, law-abiding and competent minority and the message is: “Toe the line and don’t criticise our government, we are not done with you yet.” I wonder what the International Court in Den Haag will have to say about this. I also wonder where Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch stand on this issue.

The next heading is the real scary one. “Let a hundred flowers bloom.”
No sane government anywhere else in the world will use this line in any of their speeches. Was this not what Mao said? Are we talking about a future “Peoples Republic of South Africa?” Are we going to see a purging of the intelligentsia as under Pol Pot?

The “democratic revolution” then becomes the “national democratic revolution” and for the remainder of the speech the media gets bashed for daring to expose any ANC weakness. Mbeki lavishly quote The New York times as argument for his opinions but he tends to forget that the same newspaper recently carried a strong worded attack against him about his stance on HIV and AIDS.

I will be on the look-out for part 2 of this speech and like a diarrhoea sufferer I will ensure that I am close to a toilet when reading it as things like this does tend to keep me regular.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


With a heavy heart and eyes brimming with tears I am pruning my friends’ lists on both Facebook and Myspace.

I am forced to do this because I have to face reality.

He does not care about me. I was just a one-night stand. No matter that I hung onto his every word and every drag he took from his pipe. I worshipped him but he does not call and he does not write. He did not even send me a sms to thank me for the cuddly teddy bear gift I sent him on Facebook. I tried to give him moral support with the hard times he is experiencing but he just brushes me aside.

It is not that he has not got the time. How busy can one be steering South Africa off a cliff, defending Robert Mugabe and your Minister for Health? He clearly does not care about me.

Thabo Mbeki, you brought this one yourself! I’m not your friend anymore and don’t expect a Christmas card either.

Let this be a lesson to all. Never fall for short men. They will break your heart.

The Cango Valley, Affairs and Fantasies (1968 - 1973)

Excerpt no 4: Africa Will Always Break Your Heart

...We discovered popular music. In Geoff’s case, The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival while I was leaning more towards Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Cat Stevens. We drove the old man insane with our newly discovered ‘satanic’ influence. He initially did not allow us to play any of it while he was around. But he soon learnt that all of our friends listened to it as well and only then did he grudgingly accept it. Geoff became a good guitarist. I think the old man was silently very proud of him.

We did holiday jobs as guides at the ostrich farms and the Cango Caves. We got well paid and were therefore esteemed by our peers. We bought our own clothes and fended for ourselves.

Family life was more relaxed. In an honest effort of reconciliation mom was not having any affairs. We had friends over. Most of them liked our folks as they came across as carefree and liberal. Dad had a wry sense of humour and treated our friends a lot better than he did his own children especially the teenage girls.

One thing that didn’t change was the dinner ceremony. For one thing, were you as much as a few minutes late you were bound to have shit coming your way. Dinners would always be concluded by dad taking out The Holy Book. He would read and preach and this inevitably led to some serious arguments. He elevated himself to godly status within a few minutes by quoting the Word of the Lord as to how a son should obey his father and then immediately embark on the stupid rules and regulations imposed by him, which he believed we did not carry out to the letter. We were made to feel like the scum of the earth. My most vivid recollection of these suppers is that I used to make ‘fists’ with my toes, tensing up for the argument that was sure to erupt sooner or later. It all depended on whether the old man had a good day at work or not. Mostly it tended to be bad days.

Still, things were better. We even went on a few holidays as a family. Dad had bought a car and even though it was close to becoming a vintage, it was a somewhat reliable form of transport. We did the trip back to Cape Town quite a few times, specifically to visit my cousins in Simon’s Town.

Soon mom was at it again.

Mini-skirts were in fashion at the time and one of mom’s lady friends would visit us regularly. This normally happened over weekends when my elder brother was visiting his girlfriend and not around. ‘M’ never wore a bra and one could see her firm breasts and big swollen nipples quite clearly through the thin tops she wore. She was a slightly chubby little thing, about a head shorter than me with long shining black hair, large emerald green eyes and an upturned nose. She was twice my age but could easily pass for a teenager. She rolled her ‘r’s’ as some do, and I found this extremely sexy.

I was never sure if she knew I was looking at her legs each time I managed to sit opposite her. This was most of the time since she always pulled me into the conversation and made sure that I sat facing her.

Her thighs were slightly thicker than perfect but muscular. I could swear that she’d purposely part her legs slightly to give me a glimpse of her forbidden crotch never looking me in the eye. She would start off by sitting cross-legged showing just a glimpse of her panties underneath a very short skirt. I would wait impatiently for her to uncross her legs as to get a better view of this small triangle of forbidden delight. In time she would uncross her legs, slowly, revealing a full view of her sex. She toyed with me and never let me know if she did this on purpose or not. My mouth went dry and I was unable to speak, mesmerised by her appearance. I was afraid to get up and show my prominent erection...