It’s very very close now. The prospect of the summer holiday
has me salivating like a Boerboel about to knock over a small,
fat kid for his ice cream cone.
My fractionally owned piece of holiday heaven is just a short
trip away. Unfortunately it’s
down the satanic
alimentary canal that is
the N3 highway. There’ll
probably be a few unpleasant incidents on the road
when testosterone and
a GP number plate demand a duel, but soon I’ll be able to
forget the traffic and Zzzz… Waking only when the pristine
bushveld reverberates with the sound of fellow Joburgers on
quad bikes. In the outdoors I can watch troupes of baboons
congregating to watch lower life forms watching “National
Geographic” in locked, air conditioned caravans. Nearby
there’ll be a beach where penguins lucky enough to have
survived nitwit sailors unable to miss Africa with a ship, will
negotiate Coco-Pine sunscreen slicks or be bonked on the head
by runaway noodly pool toys.
For me, December the 16th is the starters pistol that signals
the holiday season has begun. Renamed the Day of
Reconciliation, it’s a day rooted in our violent past, originally
commemorating the flames and smoke of the battle of Blood
River. Sigh. If only our forefathers on both sides had inhaled
deeply while the Kwazulu-Natal bush was burning, we might
have been an altogether more laid-back country.
But enough history. Before we go, it’s time to buy stuff. Santa
doesn’t really bring gifts anymore, he sits in the mall, sweating
under his asbestos fibre beard. A stop at his chair can be
educational for your children when they see the guy in the red
fur drop like a rock from heat exhaustion. Nothing like billions
of disappointed, screaming kids to finally concentrate some
attention on the problems of global warming.
The sound of carols fills what passes for the air in shopping
malls. I like traditional Christmas songs, but I could do without
the modern background “music” that’s supposed to goad me
into spending more. Can we agree that Metallica’s greatest hits
chanted by Gregorian monks doesn’t fill me with yuletide
cheer? Okey dokey?
Buying presents is sort of mandatory, because the festive
season is all about the spirit of giving, and if your colleagues
have no imagination, the giving of spirits. Do we have to
celebrate the time of peace by handing out the gift of karate-
water? The idiot, macho, drunk-driving attitude of
“I’m too pretzeled to blow into the bag, so I’ll breathe into my
is luckily going out of fashion. If you think your timeshare resort
is hellish, try a holding cell. Nowadays every alcohol company
wants us to drink responsibly anyway. Somebody must have
borrowed the idea from the casinos that advise us to gamble
with our heads and not our hearts. I’ve tried both but they
insisted I use money.
I’m starting to ramble. I’m hallucinating about peaceful days in
the sun, daydreaming about the new car I’m going to buy to
replace the one that’s probably being stolen in the parking lot
while we picnic. A fantastic festive season to you all!
29th October 2011