This is my life, undiluted and on the rocks
A COMPENDIUM OF MILITARY MAYHEM
Many books have been written about time spent in the South African military and National service, however they all seem to revolve around the hardship and damaging effect of serving against one`s will in a war fought against an enemy who were done wrong. There is so much parading going on and talk of sour grapes in these books that I find them off putting. Yes there were tough times and some really annoying individuals but they were few and far between. I spent time serving my country in the then South West Africa and then within the Republic and I loved every minute of it so much that I would phone my home base every year and volunteer to be called up for camps. I even got to spend some time at 1 military hospital`s psychiatric ward and boy was that a weird place to say the least. I recently read some comments about a guy who had been a visitor to ward 22 and he had nothing good to say about the fabulous service at ward 22, my guess is that he was a rebellious unstable type to start with and thus was more than likely treated as a belligerent inmate. I quickly sussed out that if you listen and do as you are told you will sail smoothly through the military and even the psychiatric facility.
With this in mind it will be easier to grasp how some of us enjoyed the camaraderie and wild days we endured in the service of our once great country. I hanker back to those really great days in the warm African sun sipping on icy cold beers. There will be no talk of unfair treatment and mental scarring leading to an inability to re- enter civilian life after suffering at the hands of Apartheid and all its evil henchmen blah, blah, blah. Herewith follows my account of life in the military and my great adventures. I have written them in “episodes” detailing events as they unfolded. I am starting this journey in the middle and work my way back to the sordid beginning and then take a detour into the twilight zone.
WARNING! Many, many beers were killed.
SPUTNIK & THE SPY
Copious imbibing madness from Air Force Base Rundu Sector 20 South West Africa 1988/89
Timeline: 03 August 1988 to 13 April 1989
Basics to Border.
I matriculated from school in December 1987 and was ready for my compulsory military service of two years to begin on the 3rd of august 1988. I was in the second call up period and i was super stoked and could barely wait to get into military uniform and embark on an adventure. The 7 months i had to play with between January and august were spent “training” really hard for my new career in the military. I partied till i sometimes puked and drank like there was no tomorrow and when tomorrow came i shrugged the hangover off and launched a fresh attack. The women, wine and song ROCKED!
The 3rd of august rolled around and i had my call up papers in pocket and was sitting on the train at Johannesburg station readying to depart for basic training at Valhalla air force gymnasium. Basics in the air force was a run of the mill affair, there was the running, marching and esteem breaking/ building tasks necessary to build a soldier fit to be part of the greatest army in the world. That was the handle the military played and i accepted this to be the truth. I started off as G1 K1 ( fully fit and able bodied) but after a week i was re classified to G3 K2 ( not entirely medically fit) this was due to an accident i had been involved in as a young child leaving me with a foot that had a collapsing arch and was two sizes different from the other. I wore a size ten shoe regardless and the sliding around of my stunted foot had aggravated my scar and so i was duly reclassified to the “bomb squad” the name used to denote the G3 squadron at the Valhalla gymnasium.
Not all our G3 compatriots were crocks, we had in our ranks a professional national tennis player and golfer, they were sent to the G3 squadron to prevent injuries and impede their game. Anyways G3 was a doddle and a shorter basics program than the G1 K1 program. We were situated conveniently at the bottom of the base and our bungalow was adjacent to the perimeter wall. This allowed us easy access in and out of the base to get to the liquor store and local Kentucky Fried Chicken a few blocks away in the neighbourhood. Having a dad that worked as an area manager for a booze company also had its benefits. I had a very lucrative “business” running during basics supplying all and sundry with booze at a premium price. The guys happily paid two to three times the cost for the booze i had to sell. Our basics open day (the day when family came to visit) was a particularly drunken affair as the guys were allowed to drink at the beer garden and obviously it all went pear shaped quickly.
Once my pals had left and my then active girlfriend, i embarked on the planning of a cunning plan to go AWOL and spend the weekend with her. Over a few beers we (my two fellow inmates and i) had laid our plans out and gone through our very sophisticated escape and evasion plan. We were basically going to jump the perimeter wall and run like hell through the field alongside air force base Zwatkops across the road and hike along the highway. Brilliantly cunning plan i thought. That night the three of us hopped the wall and ran swaying side to side through the veld, the swaying was not a diversionary tactic so much as simply the inability to walk in a straight line due to the copious amounts of beer and whisky we had consumed. We eventually were given a lift by two permanent force members going to Johannesburg on leave, they were driving a Toyota Cressida and had the cassette tape of U2`s the Joshua tree playing. The song that was playing when we got in was “I still haven`t found what i am looking for”, which is still in my personal top 20 all-time favourite songs.
We were dropped off in Hillbrow and legged it to the rendezvous point we had arranged with our “outsider”. The outsider was the brother of my compatriot and worked as a DJ at a club called KISS DISCO. It was a seriously dubious dive but the beer flowed freely and the females keen to dance with us AWOL renegades. Things get a tad fuzzy and my recollection fades. I awoke the next morning though in bed with my girlfriend. Apparently my buddies had dropped me off at her place in the early hours of the morning. Her name was Charlene and was a belter of note, her mother was a hard core Christian but seemed to really like me and did not seem at all phased by me being there in her daughters bed in the morning, she brought me coffee and welcomed me with a big smile. On return to Valhalla we slipped over the wall and re-joined our flight (air force equivalent of the army platoon).
Monday morning was hell; the hangover was ringing in my head like a cathedral bell being rung by Quasi Modo! Then came the daily “opvok” PT session designed to expressly destroy mind body and spirit, add this to a hangover of biblical proportions and you have an effective torture ritual. We were lined up and then asked to volunteer our names as to who had gone AWOL over the weekend. The silence of the lambs fell over the entire squadron as thoughts of punishment and other horrid means of punishment ran amok in our minds. A few of the wankers in the squadron decided to volunteer some names of their pals who had gone AWOL, these good citizens were told to go and sit under the shaded tree.
To avoid being pimped out by my supposed comrades i stood forward and told the Sergeant present that i had indeed gone AWOL. I was soon joined by a few others. The Sergeant then handed over proceedings to the PTI corporal in charge and he read a list of names of those not present at Sundays roll call. Those names were sent to stand in another place and the small group of us that had admitted our guilt were asked by a particularly gnarly corporal “did you guys have fun?” we all muttered that we indeed did have a frikking fantastic time.
He congratulated us and dismissed us and sent us back to our bungalow. The “pimps” were then hustled off from their shaded tree and taken to the parade ground where they spent the remainder of the day being suitably punished for dropping their mates in the shit. Those that weren’t man enough to fess up were given the remainder of basics “mess hall duty”, we all hated mess duty. Peeling veggies and serving up food like a servant to the rest of the guys. We learned our first real lessons in camaraderie that day.
Our basics was shorter than the G1 K1 and thus were busy with our second phase (course) within our varying fields while the G1 K1 chumps were still busy running to and fro all day long. Some of us were sent to air force security, some to intelligence, others to be mess hall bunnies and i fell into the intelligence mustering and went off on the ops course. I was super stoked as i was going to be doing something more meaningful than peeling carrots all day. We were ferried daily to Pretoria central where we learned all about flight plans and related procedures that we would be using soon. I had volunteered to go directly to the border and was told one morning that i was to go off to air force base Rundu in Sector 20 in South West Africa after completion of the course. Once again i was super stoked and i celebrated that evening at a bar in Voortrekker Hoogte after once again jumping the wall. It was October when i boarded the Hercules C130 transport plane (Flossie) and left for Rundu and the adventure of a lifetime serving our country in what was still war time. Life in Rundu was grand and i thoroughly enjoyed the whole idea of being on the border. We as airmen ate in the communal officer’s mess out of plates as opposed to the infantry who were still eating out of varkpanne (pig pans) and living under silly draconian laws like only being able to drink two beers a day. The Rundu bar was amazing and every Friday saw the bar open in the evening to the song “all fired up” by Pat Benetar off her album that had just been released ,every Friday evening`s menu was battered hake fish, French fries, salad, pap and gravy with an excellent selection of desserts on offer. The bar man was a dedicated permanent force flight sergeant and we all wanted his job! The bar area and attached thatched entertainment area was called the “Shitingura”, and we had a small pool. This was the life.
Much heavy drinking was practiced at the bar and many funny instances occurred leading sometimes to discipline being instilled in those that went a “bridge too far” so to speak. One Saturday afternoon a pile of air force security guards went on a drinking binge and were totally pissed by the time it came for them to stand “beat” (guard duty), one particular idiot went and passed out on the grassy area right next to the runway and when the daily “Flossie” came in for landing they radioed in that there was a dead dude lying on the runway approach with his weapon next to him. All hell broke loose as the “Flossie” did an overshoot and climbed rapidly to altitude out of reach of shoulder fired anti-air craft weapons such as RPG`s and such.
The entire security section mobilised and raced to the afflicted soldier only to find him gormlessly drunk. The security section was effectively banned from the bar for a month as punishment. Naturally we could not allow this unfair practice to be unleashed on our pals and we also could not allow a money making opportunity pass us by. We milked these sods for all their daily danger pay in exchange for beer. The guys would bury the beer in the sand for an hour or so and then drink them in one go through a straw to get the desired effect from only one beer. We sat in the shitingura and sipped our ice cold “frosties” in comfort. At 85 cents for a beer and the same amount for a can of coke it was therefore superfluous for anyone to drink cold drink, why drink a coke when beer costs the same? Fridays saw the tradition of “greenies & brownies”, greenies was a mixture of peppermint Schnapps, Sambuca and a beer chaser that was given to new arrivals. Brownies was a double shot of Stroh rum, Kahlua and a beer chaser. Sometimes a “weekend warrior” from headquarters would get his greenie and brownie in the same evening. We scoffed at these arse holes as they were there to simply say they were on the border. A weekend of relaxation at the Shitingura didn’t count as border duty! I must just explain that Stroh rum is possibly the strongest booze known to man and although it has the aroma of rum and raisin ice cream it has the ability to render even the strongest warrior a dithering blubbering buffoon in 6 shots.
One Friday evening my friend Dion and I sat and drank till we had our fill quite literally. There was simply no space left for any more liquid in our systems. Dion leaned back on his bar stool and fell straight off the stool onto his back on the bar floor narrowly missing a dart that had been thrown by two guys playing a game of darts. Dion was lying there on the floor doing back stroke ( strangely enough, this would be the first of two friends named Dion who would do the bar floor backstroke, the other story follows a little later.) He truly believed he was swimming in the pool.
I left him there tanning at night and swayed off back to my crater (a four wall room with a tin roof ) but i was too out of it so i stopped and slept in a vacant tent. I awoke in the morning with my arms hanging out the tent and i was puking all sorts. I must have been propped up with my arms over the tent side for some time as i was severely chafed under my armpits by the coarse canvas of the tent. I started sweating in the heat and the pain from the chafing and sweat was unbearable. I walked around with my arms slightly raised like i had such big muscles that i could not put my arms down. One guy retorted that i looked like i was carrying watermelons under my arms and wanted to know if i thought i was Lebanese. I made a mental note to myself to never hang my arms over an army tent ever again.
Dion was duly banned from the bar for a month, luckily he had an insider that could bring him beer and other treats back to his tent. He had not yet been lucky enough to be issued a crater as he was still tagged as being a “bos roof” (bush raw recruit). He arrived after me by a few weeks and the military had a complex series of levels. These were. “rou roofie” (raw recruit) like in basics. “Roofie” the months after basics. “Bos roofie” a “bush raw recruit”. “blou gat” (blue arse) this is a midterm national service man and then there is “ouman” old man , this is the national service man that has less than three months left of his national service. ” bos oupa”, bush grandfather, this is the highest rank in the military. A national service man that will clear out of the military in less than three months and is still on the border. These men are the most respected people in the military next to a camper (a civilian force member called up for duty after leaving national service). Reserve force. I left the border as a blougat and very proud of my time on the border. I received two certificates, a medal (eventually by post in 1995) and promotion to lance corporal after arriving at air force base Waterkloof.
One evening in November just before my 19th birthday i embarked on a drinking spree of legend! Armed with R100 my mom had posted to me for my birthday and a weeks’ worth of danger pay I earned at four Rand a day i sauntered into the bar like John Wayne and got busy. At 85 cents for a beer and 15 cents for a tot of vodka it was surely going to be a hairy operation. After the assault on my sobriety i made my way back to my “crater” (concrete bungalow) where four guys shared the space. We had a silly tradition of punching holes in the ceiling board when we got pissed, nobody knows who started this dilly practice but we carried it on as if by law. I got on my short “kas” (green army steel cupboard) and let rip with a punch of note! Little did i see that i was punching in the area of a piece of brandering but also managed to connect the nail head that secured the brandering to the wooden beam in the ceiling. The pain even in my drunken state was so intense that i fell off the cupboard in agony writhing as if i had just been given a prostate exam by a giant. My right fist swelled and started resembling something in a cartoon. My party came to an abrupt end and i slunk off to bed to lick my wounds.
A while later i had the need for a huge pee and i got up swaying and bumping into stuff in the dark, i was so out of it that i was convinced that i had walked for at least a mile when i bumped into something metallic and cool. I took this as the urinal in the toilet block and duly whipped it out and started to pee. All of a sudden there was a light to my lower right and a face was staring up at me! I shouted in disgust “what the fuck are you doing you sick fuck, are you spying on me while i piss, are you a moffie?!?!?!!” The reply came “dude, you are pissing in my cupboard”. I looked down and the fog cleared from my eyes enough to confirm the statement as true and i duly crimped the end of my tally whacker to try staunch the flow but it just made it spray all over the place, so i turned and stumbled out pissing all over the place as i went. By now i was laughing and gagging at the same time, my friend whose cupboard had been utilised as a urinal was not yet finding the funny side of it all. When morning came the hilarity started setting in with all the guys and even the poor guy who i had accused of being a spy and gay was laughing at my stupidity. I however wasn’t out of the woods yet; i would first have to wash all the guys’ clothes that were in the cupboard, his blankets, pillow, boots et al.
Rewinding back a tad. Imagine waking up to someone pissing passed your face into your cupboard and then being accused of being a deviant sexual pervert. I stood there in the bleeding hot sun with all this guy’s clothes hand cranking the Sputnik (manual spun steel drummed washing machine) i was turning this behemoth 100 turns in one direction followed by 100 turns in the other, take all water out add clean water for the rinse cycle, a further 100 spins of this by now “wheel of misfortune”. I started looking a tad green around the gills and soon i was puking my lungs out giving the other guys much to laugh at. A couple turns and a wretch followed by a few more turns and some more puking. I ended up at the medics on a Dextrose drip but i had at least completed my task of washing all the clothes.
I was somewhat of a celebrity when i left the medics later that evening and arrived in the bar for a “regmaker” (hair of the dog). By now my exploits had made its rounds through the air force part of the base and the mean as hell RSM (regimental sergeant major) an acting RSM as he held the rank of Flight Sergeant named Itel Zurich still managed to commend me on my stupidity. I got off easy considering the poor guy whose cupboard i peed in was branded as a “peeping tom” from then on. (Hence the “spy” part of this story). My 19th birthday passed by quite tame in comparison to the pee “event” that preceded it.
Just before new year’s eve a friend of mine whom we called “DEKKIES” short for dextrose and i went on a bender and got up to all manner of mischief like riding the Met monkey`s (meteorological / weather man`s) little Suzuki 1oo up and down the runway at top speed while pissed as coots, we would later tell the ATC (air traffic controller) we were conducting runway checks. Anyway, Dekkies and i decided we wanted to go into Rundu town and visit a civilian lady who worked for the army as a secretary of sorts, she was known to be quite keen on air force personnel and was not a difficult snag. The only catch was that this flame red haired freckled face “overweight” / plumpish woman was as ugly as all sin! She was collectively known as KMS kilo mike sierra (kokorot met snawel or translated as cockroach with beak). Anyways we were pissed and horny as all hell, so we in our infinite wisdom hatched a diabolically complex plan to get out the base and ride the Suzuki to Rundu town and shag this easy roller. Our plan was two pronged, we would ride to the gate of the base and then turn left and ride to Rundu. However our well laid plans were thwarted by the army security at the main gate. They would not let us out the gate because we didn’t have a signal giving us permission to leave the base with a regimental vehicle after hours and obviously while intoxicated as skunks.
The army guys were helpful and told us of the gate at the far end of the fence line that had been washed out by the recent heavy rains that left a deep chasm under the fence that we could possibly drag the bike through and set off for our meeting with “KMS”. Apparently they had all heard of her too and showed us the direction to head off into. With no front light and me wearing a staal dak( steel outer helmet) and my pal donning the “doibey” (inner plastic helmet) we set off down the dirt track at speed hurtling at what seemed near breakneck speed, the tears flowing in my eyes from the wind. The staal dak was spinning around on my head like a carousel as we rode and Dekkies was clutching a bottle of brandy in one hand and a beer mug in the other. I tried my best to keep to the track but did not see the fence that was jutting out in our path and we hit the chain link fence at speed. We crashed to the ground and petrol was pissing out of the tank and all over us.
Dekkies was moaning that his hand was sore, and when we checked he had a huge gash across his inner palm up to his thumb and it was deep. He was bleeding like e pig at slaughter and my back was sore. Undeterred we picked the bike up and attempted to proceed however the front fork was bent and the tyre was flat, added to that we were worse for the wear and the hollow under the gate was not deep enough for us to get the bike through, we decided to call it a day and limped the Suzuki back to the ops room and left it where we found it. By now Dekkies was delirious and in need of medical attention. We walked to the medics and he was put onto surprise, surprise a dextrose drip and had his palm stitched. A week later he was transferred to 1 military hospital to “dry out”. I believe he may have had a drinking problem? In the morning the met monkey went ape shit when he found his Suzuki standing there covered in blood and dust with a bent fork and flat tyre. I professed all innocence and assured him that i was firmly tucked into my bed the previous evening. “Everyone believed me”.
The Commandant did find this a tad humorous and i think chalked it up to youthful exuberance and was not too worried about the motor bike as we were busy “pulling out” of South West Africa and were told that we would leave nothing behind in a serviceable state that could not be returned to the Republic. We destroyed our ops room under express orders from the Commandant. 320 FACP (forward air command post) within the army ops centre was totally wrecked, with all maps, photo`s, signals, flight plans and equipment destroyed and burned and buried. One Sunday while the UNTAG contingent were having a big slap up luncheon put on by the SAAF at the officers mess, we were busy loading all we could on a bakkie (pickup truck) and heading off to the end of the runway near the engineers section where they had graded an enormous hole earlier with their bull dozer and we put everything in the hole. Trommels (foot lockers) with thousands of papers inside were tossed in along with “balsakke” (duffle bags), we climbed into the hole and poured many litres of AVGAS (aviation gasoline) all over the contents and then left ten or so open jerry cans in the hole. We retreated to what we perceived was a safe distance and one of the guys threw a pencil flare towards the hole. Before the flare got to the hole it erupted into a huge orange fireball. Apparently AVGAS fumes are highly flammable and the resultant eruption left us all very “sun burned” and my one eyebrow was totally singed off. The smell of singed hair mixed with the smell of AVGAS was overbearing. The fireball was massively spectacular but short lived as it burned out very quickly. The engineers got busy grading the whole lot closed very quickly so as to “hide” our activities.
The UNTAG group was not that large at that time so it was easy to pull the wool over their eyes. We retreated to the bar for well-earned beer and become the laughing stock due to our newly acquired sun burns and” eyebrow augmentation.” From New Year’s Day onward we were transferred from 320 FACP to base ops at the flight line.
With the arrival of UNTAG our collective drinking skills were once again brought to the fore and we were commended by the career soldiers of the Finnish army on our prowess when it came to the imbibition of copious amounts of alcohol. We were all between the ages of 18 and 21 and out drank the career soldiers whose average ages were 30. Many “drinkathons” were embarked on with our new found friends from Finland, they were however very badly suited to duty in the hot South West Africa and they fell early by the wayside during our “pissups”.
The military was a great place and i loved every moment of the time spent in uniform and i was very serious at my job when i worked. However when work was done i partied hearty like i was on a mission from god or some other deity. We played hard but we also worked hard. It wasn’t all beer and sunshine but it was the greatest time of my life both the good and bad times.
The border was a great place and there is no doubt in my mind that today`s youth are desperately lacking in the fibre and moral direction required to become true men. The easy way out has become the order of the day with today`s youth and even through all the wild antics we got up to we were a disciplined well orientated bunch of young men.
ONE FLEW “INTO”
THE CUCKOO`S NEST
MY STINT IN THE BIN
This is a true story of my time spent in 1 Military hospital`s psychiatric ward. Ten days of pure beyond bizarre strangeness.
This all begins back in 1989 while i was in Rundu coming to the end of my bush tour. It was Monday the 20th of march and my new “roofie” green/ raw recruit had climbed off the plane on Sunday the 19th to take my slot for the few weeks before complete withdrawal from the then South West Africa. I was to be rotated to air force base Waterkloof where i would carry on with my National Service for the second year. We had a tradition for our new arrivals, we would break out the malaria tablets (nivaquine) which are bitter as hell and get the roofies to chew them. It would take no more than 4 to get the desired result of the poor dude hurling all over the floor. My roofie who was a skinny nerdish dude proved to be one tough customer and had us flabbergasted when he calmly chewed through the tenth nivaquine. Not to be undone and overshadowed by my roofie i decided in my infinite wisdom to show him how the “oumanne” (old men) do it. I promptly picked up the nivaquine tub we had in the ops room and poured a generous helping of thirty or so into my hand and promptly popped them into my mouth and washed them down with a splash of horrid tasting army orange juice. I was the man! I had just showed the roofie what was what and i was awesome! My awesomeness quickly took a turn for the worst when i broke out into an unrelenting sweat and my muscles went lame, i collapsed into a heap on the floor shuddering and blubbering uncontrollably.
The medics were immediately called over the “squawk box” (internal base intercom system) and a Samel 20 converted ambulance pulled up outside the ops room door. The medics quickly loaded me into the ambulance and drove as if pursued by the Philistines. At the medics bay i was loaded onto the operating table and the doctor got to work trying to administer a “endo tracheal tube” (my spelling here may be incorrect) to supply oxygen to my now collapsed lungs. I fell into unconsciousness and was rushed to the airstrip where the daily “Flossie” a Hercules C130 transport aircraft was about ready to leave for Waterkloof air force base. I had just become a CASEVAC! (Casualty evacuee)
Unbeknownst to me, Nivaquine if taken in overdose amounts acts as a muscle relaxant and thus my hearty went and relaxed, a lot. I was subjected to heart massage of which i cannot remember if it were done by a Swedish masseuse or Thai one. At 19 i had me a heart attack due to overdosing on anti-malaria tablets as a gag! On my arrival at air force base Waterkloof i was then airlifted by Puma helicopter to 1 Military hospital and taken into emergency. When i came to i had a rubber mouth piece glued to my face with the tube still inserted into my throat, however the tube was clogged by gob, blood, vomit and pieces of stomach lining eaten away by the huge amount of Nivaquine in my system. Mosquitoes everywhere avoided me like the plague. I remember going into panic as i couldn’t get breath in and yanked the mouth piece off my face taking a little skin with it. I then duly vomited all over the show and all over my father`s shoes. Yes my father was at my bed side. My parents had been phoned by my pals in Rundu from the ops room telephone and my folks rushed to Pretoria to see if i was still alive. It was a few very painful days before i was visited by the head shrink to evaluate whether i was suicidal or just plain stupid. I can with certainty state that it was the latter. It was decided to send me to the psychiatric ward for further observation and decide what to do with me.
I reported to the psychiatric ward as ordered and opened the ward door to find a nurses station on the right side, rooms to the left and a long passage with a long table in the passage way. I was shown my bed and told that i will have to make my own bed each morning or i would forfeit points. I was told that the bed did not have to be done like during basics but it must be made. All meal times were to be taken at the long table in the corridor, failure to do so and points would be deducted. The same went for occupational therapy sessions and PT; failure to partake would result in points being deducted. I asked about these points. It was explained to me that for all the above, a point system was put in place and points would be deducted for non-compliance to rules and activities which meant we would not be able to go home on the weekend. What! Shit, this is splendid, i am in the nut house and i still get to go home on pass on the weekend, all i need to do is obey some more military laws and rules, easy peasy.
I was now introduced to my fellow screw balls and told that i may NOT refer to them by their rank and only by their surnames. There were a few infantry guys and a very gay dude who had already tried to commit suicide numerous times, his dad wanted a rugby player as a son but got a hairdresser instead and this was just not on back in the 80`s so he forced his light in the shoes son to go to the army. After the usual teasing and occasional beating by his platoon mates in basics he tried to kill himself for the first time. He was more female than male and was one of those that were born gay as opposed to a social gay.
Then there was a drug addict of note and we called him druggie with which he was happy. It was soon going to be his 20th birthday and he was in the best place to get “medicated”. A hospital is a great place to get prescription meds of all sorts and we would gladly share our meds with him. We would stand in queue and get our meds and our “points” and then hand what we didn’t trust to druggie. On his birthday we made him a big collage birthday card in occupational therapy with dagga leaves and syringes drawn on it and the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY DRUGGIE” from ward 22. It brought a tear to his eye, i shit you not. We all duly were awarded points for our comradeship.
Furthermore we had a 32 battalion sergeant major who had a little bit of a breakdown of the nervous variety. It was very disconcerting for me as an airman to have to refer to the sergeant major from 32 Bn by his surname! The same went for the Colonel who had had a stroke on the golf course and could not recall who he was at all. That was odd. A colonel and Sergeant Major and we may not call them by rank designation. Very odd for a troepie indeed.
We all had to sit together at the table and say grace for each meal time. I was asked to say grace and my effort was as such. I bowed my head and clasped my hands and started the grace as “rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub”. I didn’t even so much as get a skew look, the sergeant major ended it with Amen and we knazzed down.
What got to me were our visits to occupational therapy each day. We had to go to the ground floor ward and play table tennis and darts with each other to show that we could integrate and interact with one another and by doing this we scored points. Naturally, being the sanest one there i could not let this opportunity pass by without starting nonsense. I would start using the entire room as a table tennis court and throw the darts from the far end of the room at the dart board, (here i lost a few points). We never had the sergeant major with us as he was taken elsewhere for EST (electro shock therapy); i still wonder just how effective this sort of treatment really is? This man should have been sent to club med for some R&R and not treated as if he were buzz lightyear. That`s my opinion anyway.
Now each morning we had to gather in the corridor wearing our Government Issue “chappie wrapper” gowns and do “aerobics”. Yes aerobics. We stood there all lined up shoulder to shoulder and watching a truly bizarre woman wearing a leotard and gold glitter high platform shoes , topped off by leg warmers and pumping high energy music from her boom box we had to do star jumps and other dilly moves that must have made us really look like lunatics. I was certain that this woman must be from the ladies ward because man was she a fruit loop.
Our visitors would come and visit and we were once again penalised points if we were out of line during visits, this was made increasingly difficult by my friends who like me have very weird senses of humour. Knowing well that i was in the psychiatric ward they duly arrived to visit me bringing me a bunch of carrots as opposed to flowers. These carrots i must just state were possibly the biggest i have ever seen and my one friend Gillian was sitting there with one particularly enormous carrot sizing it up with her open mouth saying “i got to meet this man!:” The guy in the bed adjacent to mine who was being visited by his very Christian parents did not find this amusing at all. The nut house had just gotten nuttier. My pals informed me of the upcoming street part at Gold Reef City and i wanted to be there! So my behaviour was impeccable for the remainder of the day and come Friday i had oodles of points and was turned loose on society along with an aggressive anti-social dude i had befriended in the ward. He was interred in the ward after beating up his corporal in basics who woke him up and apparently he had a bad reaction to being told what to do. In the psychiatric ward he had also punched a doctor and hurled obscenities and chairs etc. He was funnily enough also turned loose on society that weekend.
I arrived at Gold Reef City and laid siege to the bar!
I was very merry and was chatting up two very dippy broads when the familiar holler spoiled all chances i had of scoring with one of these lovely ladies. Psycho as he was known in the ward screamed at me “hey Mike it’s me Psycho from the psycho ward at 1 mil”. The two ladies i was trying so hard to impress suddenly evaporated from the scene. Anyways, we went on with getting roaring drunk and going ape shit! This was by the way Saturday the 1`st of April 1989 and it was the day that South Africa was attacked and then had its little 9 day war against SWAPO who attacked bases throughout the northern area of South West Africa.
I arrived back at 1 military hospital early Monday morning and was called into the quacks office. I was sure that i was in shit for not coming back Sunday evening like we were supposed to( my father had dropped me off in person at the hospitals front door). After a few minutes i was told of the unfolding events and asked if i thought i was “fit” to be sent back to Rundu and continue with my duties? I thought about it for a millisecond and immediately said that i was definitely ready and most definitely not suicidal or out of control, i carried on to tell the shrink of our tradition and that i was merely fucking around when i swallowed the tablets. I was merely showing off and never thought for a moment of the consequences of my stupid actions and that i was very sorry for wasting valuable resources. The whole casevac thing and flight in a helicopter and all. He excused me and i was sent back to the ward. I was sure that i had blown my chance of being part of our little war and i was feeling very down. I was sitting in the nut house and was missing it all!
Then Tuesday came and i was called back to the quacks office where he told me that i would be flying back to Rundu on the Thursday. I was elated and packed my things. I was discharged and allowed to go home with the understanding that i must be at 28 Squadron moves (military version of departures) at Waterkloof air force base Thursday morning the 6th. I was!
I returned to Rundu as somewhat of a celebrity after my stay in the nut house so to speak, the register we kept of the malaria tablets issued weekly had a big bracket open next to my name which read “season ticket”, it was written in by the Commandant, our ops officer. The little war didn’t last too long but i did get to task choppers and other aircraft to ferry troops in and out of the operations area and handle casevacs for wounded troops. I was back and i loved it! The UNTAG troops were nowhere to be found, the Italians who were based at Rundu and were piloting the Huey`s of the UN were firmly hidden away as were the Finns who were the supposed “security” detail. They stayed indoors! This allowed us to set about misleading the “UNTAG`ians “wholesale and tasking aircraft as we pleased and giving them erroneous flight plans and pax lists. We were ordered to do this by our commanding officers and i obliged eagerly. We had an African high ranking observer who was festooned with medals and “balkies”( ribbons) that he looked somewhat like Idi Amin and boy did we bull shit this man and with very stern serious straight faces too.
The psychiatric ward was just another crazy part of my life and it was an education. The whole point’s system and “aerobics” side to it was odd to say the least. Watching a very serious career soldier like the 32 Bn sergeant major going hell for leather during the aerobics session was fucking strange. The colonel who was a reserved man and confused as all hell to boot also took these aerobic sessions with much gusto. I was not judged by the military and i received certificates of appreciation for my time spent in South West Africa and i was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1989 as well.
What a grand time National Service was. I miss that camaraderie.
THE GREAT CHASE
CRAZY TALK OF UFO`S AND BOGEYS
SOUTH AFRICA`s ROSWELL?
Back in 1989 i was stationed at air force base Waterkloof in Pretoria (FAWK). My job was as an ops clerk and it was my job to not only task squadron aircraft (prepare flight plans) and pass them onto the air traffic controllers (ATC) but also to monitor all military aircraft in our sector and FAM (friendly air movement), basically civvy aircraft flying in our monitored air space. I also initiated SAR (search and rescue) and CASEVAC (casualty evacuations) procedures in the event of a military or civvy aircraft going missing in our area.
We used signals and procedures called DETRESFA and so on to name the severity of the missing plane. We followed a list of acronyms ending with DETRESFA which basically meant wake up the bloodhounds and mobilise everyone in the “rolodex”. If a DETRESFA was announced and signalled it meant that a plane was definitely embedded into the ground. My security clearance was a mere “restricted” level when i left air force college, however due to my personality type and keenness for the flag of the country i was on many occasion tasked with drafting “top secret” signals. This started in my time on the “border” in the then SOUTH WEST AFRICA (now Namibia) where during the time of the UNTAG (United Nations crowd) we were all getting busy pulling out of the country under the supervision of the UNTAG`ians. They were making sure we weren’t getting all belligerent and donning our war faces so to speak.
I was given the express task of duplicating and altering flight plans to bamboozle our foreign friends. So i merrily tasked a Hercules c130 transport plane filled with 80 fully armed pax(passengers) for an apparent “team building “ exercise at the bush base called buffalo in Sector 20, the same sector as the base i was stationed at in Rundu(FARU). However the C130 Hercules headed in the opposite direction toward sector 10 and bypassed air force base Ondangwa (FAOA) and belched its cargo of parabats over the Angolan border passed a place called Ruacana. There they proceeded to get busy with whatever it is they had to do. However the board in the ops room showed the C130 safe at Buffalo and readying for its return journey to the Republic and home to 28 squadron at Waterkloof (FAWK). We did tell fibs from time to time but i felt justified as it was my duty and i was following orders.
I received various certificates that were not generally issued to national service men and i still have these and am very proud of them. I was also entrusted with the “destruction” of all paperwork from the ops room and destroy anything that was not bolted down. We were not going to leave anything for our foe to use when they moved into the vacated bases after our redeployment to the republic. My keenness to adhere to army / military rules made me the favoured “top secret” signal writer as they could depend on me for my willingness to do what i am told without being loose with sensitive info. I tasked many flights for the then person known as “spyker” (nail) a one Dr Jonas Savimbi and this carried on well into my time at air force base Waterkloof. The ops room was adjoined to the air traffic control tower and a departure area known as “VIP moves” basically the departure area for general staff up to and including the state president, including the little bloodless “coup” that we had when De Klerk waltzed into power. I was at the VIP moves one evening and was surprised to see some strange dude (De Klerk) getting off the stat prez`s (P W Botha) plane. ZSCAQ (Zulu sierra Charlie alpha Quebec), the other presidential bus was ZSCAS. DA50 Falcons of 21 squadron also based at Waterkloof.
So here i was now finished with my tour of duty on the border and getting busy with getting bored in Pretoria. The dreary day to day life of Waterkloof can be mind numbing. Planes coming , planes going, faxing, phoning for safe times, trekking out to the mess hall for shitty food and wondering when we will be re tasked and sent to a bush outing. May the 7th proved to be a very interesting day at the “office”. It was a Sunday and i was on my 24 hour shift along with an ops officer( pilot or officer staff) that was on rotation to do duty at the ops room as officer on duty for the base. It was evening when the teletype machine began going ape and the phone started ringing. Immediately i assumed it was a DETRESFA coming through and got busy reading the signal. It was headed as "secret” so i immediately called the ops officer who had zero idea how to read a signal. He was a pilot and didn’t really care for boring paper work. We were instructed to immediately ready flight plans for a pair of serviceable Mirage F1 CZ`s that were based at Waterkloof to be on standby for intercept of a “bogey” over the area around the northern cape area.
We found this strange as Silvermine had already ordered air force base Ysterplaat (FAYP) to send two Mirage F1 AZ fighters up already and they are way closer than us. We then noted that air force base Hoedspruit (FAHS) and air force base Pietersburg (FAPB) were also ordered to launch Cheetah fighters. I was duly confused as to why so many air force bases were readying intercepts of what we surmised must be a Russian Mig entering our air space, there is no way the Mig could fly that fast and cover distances so vast requiring bases from all over South Africa to mobilise.
I sent the signals to the squadron and prepped the flight plans regardless. Conflicting signals were coming in as the various radar and monitoring posts so to speak were giving new co-ordinates that were simply impossible for any plane we ever encountered. The signals were confusing as “fog” set in and ops officers from HQ in Pretoria and Silvermine in the Cape were frantically trying to lasso this bogey. After a long and stressful time the fax machine, telephone and computer become very quiet. A signal was transmitted for outlying bases to stand down as the “bogey” was reported intercepted and shot down. We went back to sleep and forgot about it. Later on Monday i was called to attend the Colonel`s meeting.
I was worried shitless that i had made a fuck up of procedures or something and was in for an arse chewing. At the meeting in the Colonel`s office were the ops officer from Sunday, the base ops officer Major Wellman and a major from intelligence, he was army not air force. We were told to keep the events from the previous day quiet and basically not repeat the story to anyone else. We were told that a craft was destroyed and it was a matter of urgency that we do not speak of it to anyone off base. Naturally i agreed and was happy that i was not in the shit. all entries in the ops book (much like today`s security occurrence book) were removed. And day shift was told to basically mind their business. It obviously was not long before stories started popping up all over the place about a suspected UFO having been shot down and all kinds of fascinating shit found at the crash site. The Yanks were also sniffing around with much interest. The leak we were told was believed to come from an officer out at Silvermine so i needn’t worry about being court marshaled for telling people that we had apparently shot ET down.
So this was my big excitement and tiny part in what has become South Africa`s Roswell. Whatever happened out there, one thing is for sure. A whole pile of planes were scrambled and put on the flight line, there was a “bogey” in our air space and it was shot down, whether it is a Mig or UFO is all still speculation. It is just “odd” that so many far flung bases so far from each other were placed on standby that evening, then being told by officers to not relay the events to anyone.
So did we shoot down a UFO on May 7th 1989? That answer is somewhere in military intelligence`s files and paper work at the bottom of some filing cabinet at either army or air force HQ next to the obligatory bottle of brandy stuffed away at the back of the drawer. I believe it is entirely plausible that we did shoot down a UFO over the Kalahari that day. Only the smallest brained person on the planet still believes that we are the only beings in the universe. It was not possibly the best PR for South Africa as a whole for us to shoot ET down but it does send the message that we won’t take rambunctious shenanigans from anyone , not even our inter planetary pals.
Moral of the story? Post a flight plan and get your visa before racing around in controlled air space especially in a country at war.
KALAHARI ROCK AND THE PEACE PIPE
TALES FROM UPINGTON AND SODWANA BAY 1989/90
The military was a gas. I enjoyed the entire event from start to completion in 1990. Along the way I learned a lot about discipline and camaraderie and of how to do what is known as the “fuck around”. It was every National Serviceman`s duty to perfect this art form like it is every POW`s (prisoner of wars) duty to start planning their escape if captured. I duly excelled in this particular “art of war.” I got up to mischief of the near legendary sort. I was indeed a “legend in my own lunch time”.
My border duty had wound down and the mundane monotony of life at air force base Waterkloof base ops after the 7th of May 1989`s “little” incident was mind numbing. I therefore jumped at the request for a volunteer to go with 12 squadron (the Canberra bombers) to Upington on operation Golden Eagle 2. I was to be their dedicated squadron operations clerk and handle all their flight plans and correlate all radio chatter between the pilots and ground crews. I was super stoked and boarded the 28 squadron C 130 Hercules for the deployment to Upington. We arrived in late October and it was sweltering! The heat was restrictive and the duty of setting up tents was murder. The days passed by and the beer was a welcome respite for desert parched throats. We imbibed the beer with much gusto. It was official, UPINGTON WAS A KAK PLACE!!
One Saturday we were treated to a Snoek braai (very salty fish BBQ), only in Africa and only in the South African air force in a desert will you be treated to a Snoek braai attended by permanent force moustached gits that believe that all National servicemen are second hand citizens. This was proved that day when I was standing there with the 12 Squadron personnel around the drums we were using as a braai when some idiot Afrikaans permanent force sergeant told me that I am nothing more than a sea fairing kaffir due to my Portuguese heritage. His logic was that because my surname was Portuguese I must therefore be a dark skinned descendant of the sailors who sailed the 7 seas. I detonated right there and disembarked on a diatribe of note. I held my forearm out and compared my skin tone to this wholly Afrikaans broederbond twat and showed him that he was in fact more tanned than I. moreover I questioned him on exactly how it was that his nation from Holland had gotten to Africa? I was pretty sure they didn’t fly KLM royal Dutch airlines and I pointed out that his forebears had arrived here in the Cape on boat named the Dromedaris and shortly thereafter a whole new nation sprung up bearing their surnames.
Furthermore I went on to tell him that by the time that Jan Van Riebeeck climbed off the ship in Cape Town, the Portuguese already had a fruit shop up the coast in Durban! I told him to look at his dark skin and think of just how much cross breeding was in his genes. The Major that was standing there took my side but told me to calm down before it turned ugly. This permanent force sergeant had really rubbed me the wrong way and I wanted to bust his head! After a few beers and some really nice Snoek fish there in the desert it was all forgotten.
Even trips to town in the evenings were dreadful. The local bar in town had a bar lady that should have worked as the bearded lady in the freak show circus and everyone sported a moustache, bar lady included. Granted it wasn’t as thick and obtuse as those of the local men but it was nevertheless impressive for a woman! The 12th of November was upon us and it was my 20th birthday, it also just so happened that there was a huge “sokkiejol”( South African equivalent of the famed American “ho down” or jamboree) at the local cooperative grounds where sheep et al are auctioned off. The army dudes were there in force from the local infantry base all kitted out in their step out uniforms and browns with “putties” (ridiculous white plastic things worn around the top of the boot). The air force contingency was there in civvies and in varying degrees of drunkenness. Being my birthday it is redundant to mention that I was well on my way. Sobriety had long since been dispensed with. The local females that turned out were dressed in their Sunday best, hats, corsages and all. Apparently these sokkie jols are a big deal in Upington. We invaded the hall and immediately laid siege to the bar area, sussing out the female talent in the “area of operations”. The music was pumping from the mobile deejay on duty, i cannot remember ever hearing Kylie Minogue`s the locomotion played so many times back to back and witnessing desert windsurfing practised with so much seriousness. It is truly a bizarre thing to behold. Watching people dancing as if during Baroque times but to the locomotion. This type of dancing persisted throughout the evening. It was horrible!
We were getting tired of this Kylie Minogue torture and a pal of mine approached the deejay and requested he play a song by the band U2, the song he requested was “where the streets have no name”, quite fitting for Upington! It was my favourite song at the time and it was my birthday. We should have taken heed of the deejay`s disco name “KALAHARI SHAKE SHAKE” and to add to the misery of this tragic name were two palm fronds standing on either side of the “deejay box”. He duly agreed and carried on with the most hideous music yet committed to vinyl and cassette tape. After what seemed an eternity enduring some sort of cruel Chinese torture and about 10 more beers my friend went back to the deejay box and was by now getting a tad vociferous and harsh in his request for this elusive U2 song. The deejay gave the thumbs up and we sauntered onto the dance floor ready to dazzle these farm chicks with our suave moves. The deejay then spoke, he reported that he had a special request for a U2 song, we were by now cheering, he then said in a terrible heavy Afrikaans accent that, “I have been asked to play U2, but i don’t have any U2 , but i do have Irish music”. He then proceeded to play The Blarney Brothers! The hatred and unhappiness was palpable, we jeered and cursed all the members of his family, extended family, his pet dog, the cockroaches in his kitchen and their ancestors. We regrouped and conducted a tactical retreat to the local bar in town where we were amazed and dazzled by the bar ladies impressive moustache. The following day after sorting our hangovers out with a hair of the dog we made our way to town once again to this time try our luck with the girls at the local water world. They had a huge super tube and it promised to be fun. This wonderland of fun was known as “die eiland” the island. Just keep in mind we are effectively in the middle of the desert and it’s a “warm” 45 degrees Celsius outdoors.
The kids were having a rip of a time running up the stairs to the top of the super tube and launching themselves onto it for what should be a raucous ride to the pool waiting at the bottom. PROBLEM: for a super tube to work it needs a constant flow of water running down to assist the user to achieve a frictionless fun ride to the bottom. This particular super tube had no water (due to a dry spell to say the least) and thus the kids were not going anywhere in a hurry. The sound of dry skin squeaking on the ultra-hot plastic super tube must have been torture. What a load of wally this town has turned out to be! The only saving grace this sandy dump of a town had was the “drive through “ bottle store. Yes, i bull schtein you not! They had a drive through liquor store, it had a window at which you could purchase your beer and brandy, it was GENIUS! Sadly it didn’t do much for the don’t drink and drive campaign.
After a month of this dump we were happy to get back to civilisation and the Castle bar in Pretoria till the boredom sets in again. The Castle bar in Pretoria was an institution within the permanent force members where they could all hang out and impress everyone with their awesome moustaches. In the South African military a moustache was your claim to fame from the rank of sergeant upwards. The bigger the stache the more awesome you are. National service scum like myself were only ever tolerated within the Castle bar as we brought in money and kept the place jumping. I was a very “paraat” National serviceman that is I was very “gung ho” and I truly believed in flag and country although I had a very offbeat sense of humour that was lost on the permanent force dudes. National servicemen were looked down upon and considered trash and therefore I would rile these pompous chops up as much as I could. I would wear a “conscientious objectors” T shirt into the place to annoy the PF`s (permanent force) members, for those of you that are not familiar with the term conscientious objector, let me elaborate. These are the degenerate types who would rather go to jail than serve their country because they are too sissy to be in any military situation. I wore the T shirt to illicit the ire of these moustached bonehead types because of how they treated us National servicemen who were actually fighting their war on the ground day to day. Apparently it worked fabulously, many of these “PF`s” got extremely worked up and would almost foam at the mouth at mere sight of the T shirt.
The next “bush” trip that came up was in the month before i was to clear out all together and re-join civilian life. I had met a woman that i though was the bee’s knees and i was in the middle of one of those moments where i had to decide whether to dump my school sweetheart for this new “hot-rod’. I decided to go on this next journey to Sodwana bay on an exercise known as a MAOT and i was member of a TAU. That`s army jargon for Mobile Air Operations Team and i was officially attached to the Tactical Air Unit although we were convinced it was actually a Tent Assembly Unit. We erected tents till the cows came home. The work was enjoyable and in all it was a better place than that shit hole Upington. We were at the sea side and we were groovy.(One guy even took a surf board with). The bar was naturally one of the first parts of the base that were established and we weren’t afraid to make use of it. We worked in close cooperation with the ATC air traffic controller who was a very young green lieutenant fresh out of officer`s course. Only the air force in its infinite wisdom would take a serious stutterer and make him an air traffic controller. This poor dude would stammer even worse when put under pressure sitting in his little mobile ATC trailer atop the hill. We were by now known as “oumanne” old men and had “min dae”, few days left of National Service, so we were allowed certain liberties and our indiscretions while in the “bush” were all but overlooked. Drunkenness, untidy uniform incorporating civilian clothes was also tolerated so long as they didn’t affect our work.
One evening i was contemplating this whole should i dump the long term girlfriend for the new-fangled hot rod model or not? I was doing this deep thought process over a few beers sitting at the foot of the hill that the ATC tower was on and the stuttering lieutenant joined my pals and i for a few cold beers. We were sitting next to a Sakem recovery vehicle (a mine protected tow truck) it has a huge ground clearance and when it started to drizzle we scooted under the Sakem to get out of the rain. The evening was upon us and as we were on an exercise we had a lights out policy so as to ensure we were not seen by the opposing soldiers partaking in what were war games. One of the guys wandered off into the darkness and got into the “Bulldog” an armoured personnel carrier similar to the Buffel, the difference being that the bulldog was utilised by the air force and its driver cab was in the middle of the vehicle as opposed to on the left side like the buffel. As no lights were allowed he made use of Cyclops night vision goggles brand new to the defence force and was called a Cyclops as it only had one “eye piece” jutting out front. I believe it made use of mirrors and stuff to reflect to one view. It took a bit of getting used to but worked magically. Anyways, while we were discussing the pros and cons of my dilemma one of the guys produced a monster joint.
It was some of Durban`s finest Zol. We stoked it up and passed it around. (We broke out into the updated nursery rhyme that went a little something like this “ROLL ROLL ROLL YOUR JOINT, TWIST IT AT THE END, LIGHT IT UP, TAKE A PUFF AND PASS IT TO A FRIEND). What we started to notice was that the lieutenant was starting to speak fluently. The stuttering had been cured! Hallelujah! We just made a medical breakthrough. It must have been about two hours (i cannot confirm this as by now we were experiencing time loss). The twilight zone was taking its toll.
In the distance we heard the familiar rumble of the approaching bulldog, we could not see it but we could sure hear it. We had now moved out from under the Sakem as the drizzle had abated and we had run out of pipes to pull out from under the truck, there was fluid leaking out everywhere. We had another big slow boat circulating and the driver of the bulldog just about flattened us when he pulled up to an abrupt halt. He had been following the huge red ember being passed around as a navigation “beacon” to the RV point (the place we were sitting). He jumped down from the cab still donning the Cyclops eyewear and had a big plastic packet chock a block with more Durban Poison weed. CANNABIS GALORE! He had visited the local population and procured us the stash; we got goofed right out of our trees wholesale.
(JUST A FOOT NOTE: i do not condone the use of hallucinogenic drugs and i do not take drugs, hell i don’t even smoke cigarettes but we were in Sodwana Bay and it was what one does when in Rome apparently, i just don’t recall seeing the Colloseum but i attribute this to the fact that i was soooo stoned, I do recall vaguely that everything was just so greeeeen man)
The following day we were all suffering from “green fever” from way too much weed and the heat and humidity didn’t help much either. My tour in Sodwana wound down a week or so later and i made my way back to Waterkloof. The trip was an absolute raucous time and i maintain fond recollections of those crazy military days. I did dump the long term high school sweetheart and i pursued the “hot-rod” leading to a later failed engagement. I was back at Waterkloof for a few weeks and i cleared out with my friends. We were ecstatic to be in Civvie Street and went and partied for a month non-stop to celebrate our freedom. Or was it freedom? Civilian Street is more of a prison than the army ever was. I missed the military so much that i volunteered to be called up for a camp the following year so that i could escape the monotony and treachery of civilian life. Monotonous in having to go to a dead beat job every day and treacherous because of the underhanded, callous, self-serving social climbers. These civilian types have zero loyalty and don’t practice team or unit. They love to harp on about team and unity but it’s all a lie!
the long term girl friend VS the Hot rod! The eternal conundrum!!!
I volunteered for two camps successively until the air force cancelled all camps for air force personnel. I was destroyed! However more on those camps at a future date and my employment by a PMC (private military company) Executive Outcomes.
BIRD ON A WIRE & THE CANNABIS CULTIVATION COPS
Air force camps to air force Pietersburg (1991) & air
force station Nelspruit (1992)
On completion of my National service i wandered off
into Civilian Street in search of gainful employment and to face the big bad world head on. It was a daunting prospect and i was not convinced of this whole civvie street business. I scoured the papers and left my basically blank c.v at all the personnel agencies. I was busy, busy, busy doing nothing. I eventually found a good work for really good people and what turned out to be the best boss i had and have ever worked for. He owned a Portuguese restaurant in the south of Johannesburg and his daughter had been working there since birth it seems, she is still there today! It was honest work and i worked long hours and made good money. I entertained myself by sabotaging the idiot manager who apparently “worked” there. He was a total waste of skin. I would on a regular basis put tooth picks inside his steak and rub a thin layer of tobasco sauce around the rim of his glass of wine he had stashed around the restaurant that he would sip from every so often. I once threw the contents of an ice bucket over the toilet stall door. He was groaning and grunting like a pig while cutting his daily loaf and i just couldn’t resist.
The work although financially viable did get mind numbing and i desperately harked for the military life, so one fine day i subversively made a phone call to Waterkloof ops room and requested they consider me for a camp. A month back in uniform sounded like the medicine i needed. My only requirement was that they don’t call me up for duty in Pretoria! The military duly sent my call up request and i was advised to be at air force base Zwartkops where i would be flown to air force base Pietersburg and report to base ops. I was delighted to say the least as i would still receive my civilian salary for the month i was away and i would get army pay. It wasn’t much but the army pay would be sufficient to pay for my month long drinking binge. I duly stocked up on essential kit that i would need to take along on my “deployment”. I had two bottles of Jack Daniel`s in my balsak (duffle bag) and a case of beers packed loose amongst my clothes as emergency stock. Life at Pietersburg was run of the mill at first while i sussed the guys out i was working with. I was tasked as the designated driver and was issued a Toyota hi-ace mini bus that i would drive the guys to and from the ops room; this also allowed me the use of the military vehicle for other “recces” around town. I would take myself and some of the others out to town where we would pub crawl and frequent the clubs till the early hours. One day a new permanent force member fresh from basics and course arrived and i know he definitely rued the day we made acquaintance.
For reasons of fuzzy memory i will call the “newbie” permanent force recruit “Johan” as i cannot remember his name and besides i am sure that he would appreciate the anonymity. One evening after lodging serious complaints in the mess hall comments book about the seriously lacking wholesomeness of the fare on offer and likening it to the slop served up at establishments such as Auschwitz and calling this grey goop death camp cuisine, i ambled over to the hi ace mini bus and headed off to the accommodation block to round up some guys who felt like going out for something decent. I had Kentucky Fried Chicken in mind. I would load the vehicle with people so as to not raise suspicions at the gate as to why i was utilising the vehicle alone. Being a camper i did not require the silly gate passes and other paperwork and those with me in the mini bus were thus also immune from requiring paperwork as we were obviously working. I suppose the guards at the gate must have thought we had “official” business outside the base even at 20h00. On my arrival at the accommodation block i got initially side-lined by some of the dudes watching a video of the recently released film titled “Bird on a wire” with Mel Gibson and one particular scene grabbed my attention. Mel and Goldie Hawn were escaping from some villainous types in a BMW 3 series E30 cabriolet by driving on the train tracks, this must have somehow resonated with me in my subconscious, this is easy especially after a dozen beers and a couple shots of Jack Daniel`s . Anyways, back to the story at hand. I went around and tried to recruit some followers to join me in my quest for decent chow and head off into Pietersburg town, however money was low tide for most the guys except for Johan our fresh faced clueless farm boy. He was still busy unpacking all his stuff and had missed dinner time so he was keen to go out to the KFC and get a chow.
We sped off in the mini bus and made our way through the streets towards town. As i approached an unguarded level crossing the imprinted memories of the movie from earlier kicked in and i hung an immediate left turn onto the tracks. The wheels fit inside the tracks and we trundled head on for about a kilometre before it occurred to me that this is an active train line! I started looking for somewhere to try and negotiate a U turn; Johan was by now completely frantic and babbling incoherently amidst screams of pure terror imagining a train killing us. I eventually sussed out a spot that i perceived was a “level-ish” piece of ground on either side of the tracks and i started to turn the steering wheel and hopping the mini bus forward to mount the track. We were inside the tracks and it sort of guided us, it was near impossible to get over the slippery train track but after much effort and wheel spin i got the front left tyre over the track and i floored the mini bus only for it to nose dive straight down resting on the front bumper with the tail gate end up in the air along with the rear wheels. The rear wheels were no longer on terra firma and panic set in. I had not seen that the “level” ground was just long grass and that the train track was in fact on an elevated “hump”. Johan and I scrambled from the vehicle and conducted a quick assessment of the situation, we came to the conclusion that we were in the shit! The headlights were shining directly into the dirt and the tail lights looked like landing beacons glowing red way up there in the air. I did the responsible thing and duly turned the hazard lights on, after all safety first!
Here is where the story goes tits up! We rocked the mini bus and Johan hung from the back to try and get the wheels to come into contact with the ground where i would floor the accelerator and hopefully attain traction to drive the bus out. That was the theory anyways but it was not working so well as the chassis was resting on the slope of the hump. We noticed that there was a piece of old exhaust pipe attached to an old silencer box (it had obviously been replaced and the old piece put in the back as proof i surmise). There was also a flat tyre still on the spare rim so we had tools to work with. I amended our plan and told Johan to put the flat tyre under the mini bus and when i gun the accelerator he must jam the silencer box into the gap thereby giving me sufficient traction to hop the mini bus free of its quandary. In my mind this was simplistic and was sure to work easily however what followed next was not in my original plans. I gunned the throttle and Johan jammed the silencer box into the gap where the spinning wheel was whizzing around at top speed. I then heard an almighty thud and in the left side view mirror saw a flash of something airborne. I jumped out the driver side and ran around the back of the mini bus to see Johan lying there writhing in agony and blood gushing from a huge gash in his obviously busted nose, the silencer box had flown out at near supersonic speeds and smacked him right in face.
I started to discombobulate a tad and ran around the front of the mini bus to do i don’t know what and i slipped on the grass and fell into a small barbed wire fence that ran along the side of the train tracks, something i had not noticed earlier . I was cut by the barbed wire and had cuts all over my hands and forearms as i tried to cushion my fall. Now we were both casualties. Once i had composed myself and calmed down to a bitch panic i went back to Johan who was babbling and spitting blood, i am sure he was annoyed by me, i cannot be sure but i had a niggling suspicion that he may blame me. I helped him to his feet and we set off on foot for the hospital for medical attention. I was wearing my browns and Johan was still in his full blues uniform. We must have been a sight to behold! On arrival at the hospital we were tended to by a two pip lieutenant doctor who turned out to be a camper doing his last camp for the military.
His first words were “ what kak did you two get up to?” i gave him a brief SITREP (situation report) and informed him of my status as a camper which immediately changed the dynamic of the whole affair. The doc was all too happy to assist a fellow camper out the shit, so after dressing the wounds on my arms and hands and sorting out some “augmentation” for Johan`s nose he took us off in his old land rover series 2 or 3 to help us recover our stricken vehicle. We got to the edge of a large veld and i pointed out to the blinking lights in the distance. He turned to me and reported that i had not mentioned that i had taken a long drive down the train tracks, he was under the impression i had maybe strayed a few metres onto the tracks due to my “night blindness” as i had said. All i could say was “watch the movie bird on a wire” and left it at that. Johan climbed up onto the bonnet of the landy and sat in the spare wheel which on these land rovers is on the bonnet. Johan`s job was to act as a message relay station while i walked ahead and was to warn of obstacles and holes, the lieutenant slowly drove through the veld, the last thing we wanted was another stricken vehicle. After much effort and sweating we managed to drag the minibus free and towed it out to the road where we thanked the doctor and headed for base. This ordeal had begun at around 19h00 and it was now around 02h00.
We returned to the barracks and cleaned up, got a few Z`s and readied ourselves for the upcoming uitkak parade. We got our story correlated and decided to spin the following set of events as fact. We told the Commandant that i had gone out drinking and got pissed and while negotiating the staircase at the barracks i fell against the walls which are rough ripple plastered and therefore caused the cuts and scratches on my hands and arms. The Commandant seemed to believe this set of events and found my story plausible. Johan`s story however he found suspect to say the least and did not believe for a second that Johan had been busy making his bed and tripped over the blanket falling and smashing his nose open on the steel frame. The Commandant believed we must have had a fight with each other or with other parties and that the bed making story was simply too farfetched to believe. We stuck to our story and did not waiver and we were suddenly brought back to reality when all hell broke loose out on the runway. The ATC (air traffic control) were in contact with an inbound Impala mk2 and if memory serves right were instructing the pilot to conduct an overshoot and abort landing, however something went pear shaped and the Impala mk2 crashed on the runway killing the pilot who had not had the time to eject. We all jumped into first gear and despatched emergency services, got a helo on standby and did all the necessary paperwork and signals. It was however too late for the pilot as he was killed outright. The Impala mk2 `s serial number was 1008 attached to 85cfs. It was February 22nd 1991. Chaos ensued as everyone was surmising and spreading rumours of the Impala maybe being victim to an rpg7 or brought down by ANC gunmen etc. The truth is that it all was attributed to pilot error on landing.
The Commandant congratulated the ops team for our professional conduct and following our SOP`s (standard operating procedures) to a T. I used this interlude to bring to the Commandants attention the horrid state of the mini bus taxi and its un roadworthiness and that i was not keen on putting the guy’s lives at risk in this shoddy bucket of bolts! Without further ado he sent me off to the “MT” (motor technical i think it is) section to get an appraisal on the mini bus and was phoned by a very concerned mechanic that could not understand why the chassis was so damaged and there was grass stuck inside the gearbox and the engine block had a hole in it and was pissing oil. The Commandant crapped all over the mechanic as if it were his fault and demanded a replacement vehicle for the ops room immediately. Later i drove the guys back to barracks in a brand spanking new hi ace mini bus. We had gotten away with writing off a military vehicle! The moral of this story is simple. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANYTHING YOU SEE IN THE MOVIES! On leaving Pietersburg, the sergeant asked me what had happened to Johan, me and the Hi Ace mini bus. I told him to ask Johan once i had flown back to Zwartkops and was a civilian again. He laughed and said that he knew there was more to the saga.
My next camp was the following year in March of 1992, i had once again volunteered for the camp so as to go on a paid holiday. i stocked my balsak (duffle bag) with travelling essentials such as Jack Daniel`s and emergency beer. It was off to the train station and i boarded the train along with 4 other campers off to Nelspruit which did not have a dedicated air force base but only what is called an air force station. The journey on the train was a wild drinking session which culminated in me “train surfing”; i have pictures where i am hanging out the door and one where i was hanging out the window. I knocked on the compartment window ahead of ours and asked a very traumatised old couple for the time. We were moving at speed and it was night time, the expressions of horror on the old timer’s faces were priceless. I was attached to the intelligence division and utilised as a dagga spotter (we were actively engaged in finding weed plantations) along with SANAB (South African Narcotics and Alcohol Bureau) these were cops that dealt with drug issues and booze etcetera. We were flown from a sports field just outside of Nelspruit town and deposited at a tiny aerodrome just outside Malelane. This was to be our home away from home away from home. We would overnight two nights and then head back to Nelspruit air force station to complete SITREPS and catch up on filing of flight plans and hours the pilots had flown. During our time back in Nelspruit we stayed in the army side of the base and shared quarters with army campers.
I had befriended a dude that lived in Evander and he had a banged up brown Daihatsu charade which he would drive at the limit into town to assault the bars. The most happening spot in town was the Mike`s Kitchen and one evening i was sitting in a “lotus type” position on the bonnet (why you ask? Hell i don’t know, it just seemed like a good idea at the time) we pulled up outside the front door and i slid slowly down and off the bonnet and then at a fast pace walked right in and sat at the bar, ordering a beer without pause. The locals were amazed at this entrance. I was officially the maddest dude in Nelspruit! My pal and i regaled the waitress and her friend with mindless bullshit and set the tone for the evening. We were going to snag these two broads most definitely. By the end of the waitress`s shift we were “low flying” and horny as all hell so we needed to get the lovelies into the mood, this we did by going to the city hall and taking a swim in the fountains. All this rebel without a clue stuff impressed these small town chicks no end and off we went to their place where we naturally got “jiggy wit` it”. The fornication persisted long into the wee hours.
On return to Malelane we were taken out by Oryx helicopter to an area between Malelane and Mahlati kop to spot and correlate with SANAB any dagga plantations. We struck pay dirt early and found an enormous plantation that would have made Bob Marley proud. The area was filmed using a simple hand held video camera and the tape given to SANAB. A few days later we were called up in a hurry to investigate an over border incident that had been reported by an infantry platoon along the “sissa” line on the South African / Mozambican border. Apparently a gunship had flown into South African airspace in the Kruger National park and fired rockets and heavy machine gun at people crossing into the Republic. We were flown out along with army intelligence personnel to conduct an investigation on the ground and i was once again utilised as the designated camera man. Trees were pocked marked with shrapnel and large holes. There were casings and linkages strewn all over the place. It was all very cloak and dagger as we gathered evidence and filmed everything. This was turning out to be a cool camp. Between hanging out the door of an Oryx helicopter looking for dagga plantations to “hush hush” intelligence work was cool.
SANAB (the cannabis cultivation cops) had made a huge find and burnt tons worth of dagga, the smoke cloud was evident for miles around and junkies were lamenting this horrid unfairness. The highest ranking air force officer was invited to join the SANAB crowd at a celebratory braai in thanks for the air force`s help. I was asked to be the designated VIP driver for the Brigadier as i was a camper and therefore more responsible. I was on my best behaviour as we drove to the SANAB camp. On arrival it was evident that the SANAB cops had definitely been inhaling when they burned the dagga, they were all goofed and pissed as coots. Gun play was actively being practised and the Brigadier instructed me to not come across as ungrateful in any way and accept whatever the cops offered. Low and behold the Brig was right. It wasn’t long before i was plied with “polisie koffie” (quadruple brandy and a dribble of coke) and i got pissed beyond repair, even the Brig was ticking and when it came to leave. I ended up being driven back to Nelspruit by the Brig!
The following day we were to report to the ops room for an important briefing pertaining to the future of the Republic. We were instructed by the Brig that with the upcoming referendum on the 17th of march we are expected to vote “YES” to keep in line with the new dispensation and with De Klerk`s vision for South Africa. So much for politics and voting being a personal choice! We were effectively ordered to vote “yes”. Naturally i shook my head in agreement and then went a made my X in the “NO” column. I did not support De K lerk`s vision for the future but i decided to quietly do what i felt to be right but loudly voiced my agreement for these idiots to simply keep the peace. I voted at a sports ground in Nelspruit wearing civilian clothes so as to not be looked at by the CP (conservative party) as being a menacing government operative there to coerce people to vote for the NP(national party).
My camps were a jol and i miss them, so that is why i am considering joining the reserves at air force base Ysterplaat (iron plate) here in the Western Cape. It will be great to be in uniform once again. However before that i will relay the story of a chance encounter in a bar that led me to Angola and in the employ of a company who’s “Outcomes” were advertised as “Executive”. It was a journey that led me to a greater understanding of military matters and a darn fine salary to boot. That would however be next year in September 1993.
Many thanks to Gloria Da Cunha at Restaurant Parreirinha for being so understanding when i was “called up” not once but twice in successive years by “surprise” to serve my country! Yeah right!
TEA WITH JOPLIN
A lost tale of the dangers of the wacky weed.
A week or so ago i had to catch possibly the world`s most uncomfortable bus to Durban for my recently deceased mother`s memorial service, it was 24 hours crammed into a 60 seat box on wheels. I figure that when people go to hell they may be sent on the Greyhound citi liner.
As i was admiring our truly beautiful countryside out the window i noted a sign that brought back a flood of fond memories of a long weekend spent in Leisure Bay on the far South coast of Kwa Zulu Natal back in 1991 with my then usual suspect pal in crime, Deon and an air force mate named Sheldon Gordon. He was Jewish but was definitely not a hard core practicing kosher fellow. He thoroughly enjoyed toasted bacon and egg sandwiches when away from the Jewish crowd in Rosebank where he lived. For our journey to Leisure Bay we crammed the car full to the rafters with beer, Jack Daniel`s, Amaretto and our trusty boom box. We invited his sister and her boyfriend along as well seeing as it was at his parent’s holiday house on the beach where we would be staying. The trip started off in Brixton Johannesburg after uplifting Sheldon`s sister and her boyfriend from the gym where he worked and pumped iron profusely. It is noteworthy mentioning that Deon and i would both have not minded “pumping” Sheldon`s sister as she was a belter of note.
It was a long and tedious journey of about 16 hours due to the constant stops to pee. We drank solidly from Johannesburg all the way down to Port Edward. The boom box pumped out the Great White song Congo Square repeatedly and we never tired of listening to it over and over, it kinda struck a chord with us and the rock n roll trip was on! I cannot recall Sheldon`s sisters name but i know it began with an M, so i will simply call her Melissa from here on in. Her boyfriend`s name was easy to recall as he too was a Michael. Poor Sheldon was the only sober one in the car as he was the designated driver by process of elimination, Deon and i were already tanked when we arrived and Melissa had no licence and Michael had no option but to get up to speed and catch up to us, thus meaning he had to drink hard core. Melissa jumped straight in to show solidarity for her boyfriend`s task at hand and also arrived in Leisure Bay cooking.
Deon at this stage was still in the police and was attached to the notorious John Vorster square security branch although he had the unenviable job of working “undercover” at the post office going through mail coming in from the Netherlands and Australia in support of the then still un trusted ANC. We hit Leisure Bay like a hurricane and immediately went for a swim at around 2 AM pissed as coots except for Sheldon who was only now getting his first taste of our dwindling supply. We were up at around 7AM and the heat was murder, we had drunk ourselves lame and the mere sight of booze turned me green, to make matters worse was Deon`s idea of a healthy breakfast. He staggered onto the porch with a bowl filled with rice crispies and beer. We had by now decided that since we were in the wild coast we too must be wild, a sort of when in Rome do as the Romans so we tasked Deon the security branch cop with his 9mm service pistol jauntily shoved into the front of his jeans to source us some wacky tabakky.
Deon being too trashed to drive was then driven by Melissa to the South broom golf course where he approached the local population and demanded a checkers bag of Durban poison, the pistol sticking out the front of pants waist line seemed to do the trick and the black dude disappeared in a rush and duly returned with a huge packet of stash. We were now going to smoke us some monster slow boats. I must just mention that i am not and never have been a smoker and i do not advocate the use of mind and reality altering narcotics but as i said before, when in Rome. Deon arrived back with our weed and we set about getting rid of all the pips that explode if left in the joints and i clumsily rolled huge spliffs and we did our little nursery rhyme which went “ROLL ROLL, ROLL YOUR JOINT TWIST IT AT THE END, LIGHT IT UP TAKE A PUFF AND PASS IT TO A FRIEND”. We then blazed away in grand fashion that would have made Cheech & Chong proud, that was till i had a “Zol malfunction” and the burning ember on the end fell down my shirt and burnt an enormous welt on my chest.
I must just add that i am a hairy dude, think Chewbacca the Wookie from Star Wars and you get the picture i am sure. The smell of singed hair was pungent in the air and i was the instantaneous source of amusement for my goofed comrades. I decided that this smoking story is just not my cup of tea and that`s when i had the light bulb moment and it dawned on me to make “herbal tea”, man in my mind i was having an Einstein moment that was surely worthy of some or other accolade. I made the brew strong and strained it at least four times to remove any offending particles and then we sat there and drank from teacups our marijuana tea and we even ate biscuits with it, the British culture was rich within us as we sipped our tea with the obligatory pinkie finger outstretched.
Now we had been boozing heavy and then smoked mighty joints and add to that a couple cups of herbal tea a piece and it is understandable that we were all goofed out of our trees, however we were under the impression that we were all still “sweet” and in control and headed off to Port Edward to a little pub and restaurant called “The Web”. It was a small dingy type place with a huge clay pizza oven on which a big spider`s web was painted, Deon used his superior police skills to deduce that this is the reason for it being called the web, we were amazed at his super sleuth like abilities. After a few more beers, whisky`s, vodka`s, ciders etc, we were amazed to see what we thought were the dudes from the 80`s band Bros walk in the door, we all immediately retorted to these two chaps “when will i, when will i be famous” and we rolled around in our own perceived funniness. It wasn’t long and we were startled when Janis Joplin WALKED IN, now i know she has been dead for donkeys years but this chick was the spitting image of Joplin and we started to feel eerie like we were in the twilight zone, this woman looked like her to a T and even had the clothes to go with it.
We were now starting to freak out and that`s when we noticed the poster of Uncle Sam pointing with his left hand and next to that was the same picture but pointing with his right hand, you know probably where this is leading? We marvelled at the ingenuity and arty brilliance of this painting but then we started to notice the rude fuckers sitting at the other end of the bar making fun and gesturing at us and we were readying ourselves for a fight, even Melissa was pumped up and ready to scratch the bitches eyes out that was checking out her boyfriend. After what seemed like an hour but in reality was more like a minute (time stands still when you are this high) i sat back in the stool and said to my companions, “it’s a mirror dude”. We had been picking a fight with ourselves in the mirror on the wall on the far side of the pub behind the bar counter. The Uncle Sam wants you poster was simply reflected in reverse! We started laughing and Deon still managed to fall off the bar stool with his Beretta 9mm flying across the floor, we were stoned as coots and we knew it. We awoke the next morning at around 10AM and none of us remembered the trip home, the last we remembered was Deon doing backstroke on the bar floor. We lost about 8 hours and for all we know we were abducted by aliens. After eating an enormous breakfast we ambled down to the beach and put our camping chairs in the water and passed around the bottle of Amaretto, it was a freaky weekend and one that i won’t forget in a hurry. Driving on the bus going through Port Edward on the 22nd of January this year brought those memories flooding back, what a monumental Jol!
Moral though of this story is stay clear of the electric spinach, the mountain cabbage it will make your name arse in public like we did at the Web pub where we are convinced we saw Bros and Janis Joplin and picked a fight with our own mirror reflections. Even years later when i ran into Sheldon in Rosebank we still spoke of the night we saw Janis Joplin, i am telling you she was there that night.
OUTCOMES OF THE EXECUTIVE SORT September 1993 – January 1994. 127 days in the best PMC to date
After my stint in the military and my two camps which i “was called up for” nod, nod, wink, wink i was back in civilian street and hating it. There were many hard core parties and life at “party central” , the flat i shared with my friend was all cool and stuff with much crazy shit happening and a plethora of women cruising in and out of the place on a daily basis, we were living like man sluts! All in all it wasn’t all that bad really. I had some dreary dead end bull shit job selling filing systems. Like i cared! It was just a salary toward the next piss up and a way into the next woman`s panty (not that i was wearing the panty). We basically lived at Bella Napoli night club in Hillbrow occasionally visiting the dive around the corner called The Summit Club where chicks were GUARANTEED if you get my drift.
One evening we were drinking hard at the bar in the Summit club at” Nero`s bar” and i was certain that my aftershave must have been spiked with aphrodisiac as i was literally surrounded by willing chicks on all sides. It didn’t hit me till a little later that my pal Mark and i were being set up by a Madam sitting at the bar. She had noted the thick payday wallets and despatched her ladies of leisure to set us up for robbery. We were led off by the smell of perfume like the proverbial pied piper to a block of flats in Van Der Merwe street Hillbrow. Unbeknownst to the two scarlet Ho`s was that i had collected my .45ACP 1911A1 hand cannon at the security desk on the ground floor entrance of the summit club while Mark regaled the chicks with all manner of bullshit stories. We arrived on the 8th floor and were led to their flat; we entered to find ourselves confronted by two very large buff Nigerian fellows. It is worth noting that this was before Hillbrow had totally become overrun by the Nigerian hoodlums. The one turned to us and in a heavy accent said “you gonna give us money man or we gonna fuck you”. The reality suddenly dawned that we had been duped by these two bitches! I recoiled backwards and immediately drew my .45 ACP which no one had anticipated and fired three rounds into the concrete ceiling above me( leaving only six rounds in the weapon) but i didn’t care as i had the definite initiative now. The two bitches dived for cover behind the couch and the shocked Nigerians made a route for the bedroom. Without further ado Mark and i made a “tactical” retreat from the flat and went back to Nero`s bar to compose ourselves over six or so beers. This had been a close call and we weren’t keen on a repeat unless we were firmly in the driver’s seat so to speak.
It was with this type of on-going craziness that i met a guy called Gary at our favourite watering hole in the South of Jo`burg called Torino restaurant. He sat there all cloak and dagger and listened to our near escape and piped up if we were interested in working for a company in Angola protecting oil fields? I immediately was interested and wanted to sign there and then, but Mark was more guarded and didn’t want to consider anything crazy as he was dating his future wife. I thought this to be stupid and dilly. The following day Gary phoned me and gave me an address in Randburg near Fountainbleau where i was to meet with his step dad Bryan Westwood who was in charge of signing up logistics personnel. I produced whatever credentials i had and signed a provisional contract there and then. A few days later i went to a house in Centurion and signed the contract and was informed of my Book Number, mine was 32. It was the first of September 1993 and a dude named sergeant Pelser had just made my day. We weren’t entirely sure of exactly where we would be going and the exact amount we would be earning but it was somewhere in the 2000 Dollar region and back in 1993 this was a shit load of money. We found out that we would be working for a guy named Eeben Barlow who was ex-military intelligence and most notably ex CCB (civil cooperation bureau) and his second in command Lafras Luithing, also ex-military and CCB. I didn’t care who i worked for so long as i was paid.
I was utilised for a week as a run around as i had my own car and ran errands to and from Lanseria airport and gave lifts to people, i also recruited two of my pals. One was my high school friend Deon who was ex SAP security branch and a childhood family friend Paul George who was able to communicate in Portuguese and was an ex National service signalman. Basically a radio operator, both were signed up in no time. I was booked to fly to Angola first and left about 10 days before Deon. I arrived at Lanseria airport with my old army balsak (duffel bag) and milled around the departure hall with 7 other guys not entirely sure of what to expect or where to go, we tried to simply look mean and all knowing. Our passports were stamped with exit stamps and we boarded a small king air 200 with the registration of N91TR. It was piloted by aviators associated with Crause Steyl and they became fixtures in Cabo Ledo Angola, our new home.
It was a cramped 6 hour flight and we landed briefly in Rundu Namibia to refuel, i used this brief stop to quickly go and check out what became of the ops room and the rundu bar and shitingura. I was dismayed at what i found and the destruction of the base disheartened me along with the squatters living in the former ops room where i had so fantastically overdosed accidentally on 30 nivaquine anti-malaria tablets. We got aboard the king air and left what was left of a once proud base called air force base Rundu. We travelled out to sea a bit and circled the runway at Cabo ledo Angola once before coming in to land. The landing was bumpy and the runway was overgrown with weeds and had holes in it.
We were picked up by two dudes wearing FAA (Forces Armada Angolana) camouflage fatigues and brandishing mean ass beards. They drove us back to our part of the base which was inside the 16th regiment commando base. The first guy i saw other than these two bearded bush Santa Clause types was a buff muscle bound guy wearing a bandanna and what seemed to be tailored cammo pants jogging up the road past the fuel dump. His name was Brett Cleaver and he was known as the best dressed Merc in the world ever. He had apparently done stunt double work on the Dolf Lundgren film Red Scorpion filmed in South Africa so i suppose it is safe to say “nuff said”. We were taken to the barracks which were a crazy pinkish / salmon colour that had been done by the Cubans and Cabo Ledo was indeed an ex Cuban base that Mig fighters had lauched from to attack South African targets during the bush war.
We were officially fighting for our old enemy and being paid handsomely to do so. We thought we were super cool and adopted the “i am meaner than shit” attitude. We were very green in this field and would shortly find out what happens to those that thought they were the bee’s knees. We were full of very misguided bravado and mouthed off ten to the dozen about just how cool we fancied ourselves to be. There were those that were watching and listening to our bull shit with dismay and would soon exact retribution and discipline us accordingly.
We worked daily packing fresh bottled water from one place to another in what seemed like silly PT with no real value other than pissing everyone off. Our trips to the beach were great and we ran around like tourists splashing and cavorting in the sea. It must have been around the 9th night when the Recce`s had, had enough of our collective nonsense and after many beers they formed a pack and visited our sleeping quarters. I was awoken by a stiff slap to my face right through the mosquito net and i immediately jumped up. This was taken as a belligerent action and i was told that if i raise my arms i will be “fucking killed” quote un quote. I took this advice very seriously and i stood with my arms bent up against my chest while i was given alternative punches to my face. After what seemed like ten aside the recce got pissed off and went berserk and proceeded to throttle the shit out of me banging my head repeatedly against the cupboard.
I knew that if i went down they would stomp me to death so I hung in there and tried to remain as upright as possible. Eventually a guy named Wayne Ross Smith walked in brandishing a bayonet and told the two recce`s having a field day with my face that i had, had enough. They moved onto the next bungalow and tramped the shit out the next fellow and so on. On leaving the bungalow one of the recce`s named Rich Nichol switched the light off and retorted “have a nice evening gentlemen”, i stupidly replied “thank you”. The light came back on and terror filled my soul! He asked if i was trying to be clever and i assured him in my most calm voice that it was merely a natural response and that i was not trying to be wise. The light went out and the recce`s moved on. I sat on the edge of the bed a leaned forward spitting blood a pieces of teeth. The mosquitoes were going ape shit and it was pointless to try and wave them off, these were persistent mozzies that seemed to form a squadron and dive down at me in waves, it was almost like pearl harbour! If you listened closely you could almost hear the high pitched voices shouting “Tora Tora Tora”. I eventually accepted that i was most likely going to get killed that evening and i lied down to await the inevitable. The recce`s ran around the bungalows stomping their feet and some were throwing what i surmise were detonators that made loud bangs, there were some dudes who could not take this and were openly crying loudly and one guy calling for his mother( and no it was not me) . The recce`s eventually went off and left us alone and in the morning there was a very tense air hanging over the camp. One of the officers that had also received a slap or two had possibly relayed the events back to Pretoria and it wasn’t long before Lafras Luithing who had been in Luanda some 90 odd clicks north was on base to assess the situation.
We were all interviewed and the list of those resigning was long. I told them i did not want to resign but i was in excruciating pain and my jaw was fractured. It was decided to fly us all back to Pretoria and take things from there. Lafras drove me to Johannesburg and dropped me off at my dad`s restaurant, my dad was over the moon to meet Lafras and didn’t seem too perturbed that my nose was three times its original size and smeared across the side of my face. Lafras instructed me to meet at the office in Centurion the next day where i would be taken to a dentist and fix a couple of my busted teeth. I knew i was working for the right company and fully trusted those i was employed by. The following day i drove around with Lafras to Midrand and waited while he had a meeting with someone at a house just off the main road, this was all very cool and cloak and dagger.
I frequented my favourite watering hole in the evenings and met up with a friend of mine Paul George De Sousa he was signed up as translator and radio man for the company and i spoke to a guy who would also join as a sapper, his name was Loedie Voges. So i now had at least three pals in the deal with me and this was cool in that we had a gang of sorts, my school buddy and ex SAP security branch cop Deon Partridge made up the gang. i returned to Cabo Ledo 7 days after being flown down and on arrival i was greeted by both Rich Nicholl and Simon Witherspoon whose fists i had stopped with my face, they both greeted me and said that i had at least had the balls to return as quite a few of the guys had run like bitches and resigned including Gary the logistics officer named Bryan Westwood`s step son. Bryan was furious at his step son`s sissy boy approach and openly chastised him in conversation. It was Bryan`s stepson i had originally met in the bar and took me off to Bryan`s house in Randburg to apply for the position within Executive Outcomes.
We were issued weapons and life carried on quite nicely without too much drama as we now had our jobs to do and left the chest heaving to those that were duly qualified to do so. The whole beating debacle had come about as a lesson to us to show exactly where everyone fitted into the pecking order and was indeed a necessity. I accept that my bravado and big mouth had gotten my person beaten up and i deserved it. We had to know where we stand and understand the parameters and severity, gravity of the situation we were in as this wasn’t a holiday camp. It was deadly serious work and we were expected to do a job and maintain our professionalism.
It wasn’t long before i was transferred to Rio Longa base about 80 or so clicks from Cabo Ledo to clear an area to serve as a heli pad but that never came to fruition as the ground was deemed to uneven and the brush too dense, so we were tasked at digging long drop toilets which i soon became a professional at. There were rumours of mine fields and that in the wet months they basically become “migratory” as the mines shift along with the wet loose soil, how true this is i cannot confirm but i can confirm that there were literally dozens of AP`s (anti-personnel mines) lying in the shallow waters on the banks of the river at the bridge. Our arrival at Longa was akin to arriving in a jungle base in “Nam” and it was well, cool as hell. What we noted first was an Angolan soldier being disciplined by the FAA (forces armada angolana) for what we were told was deserting; this sod was strung up by his feet and dangled over the river from the low vehicle bridge, his hands just touching the water. He was obviously told that the crocodiles were going to snack on him and he screamed non-stop, this would not have happened as there were literally thousands of FAA troops utilising the river as a big washing and ablution area. This shocked us and equally amused us a bit but it had nothing to do with us so we minded our own business.
The long drop toilets were a necessity as there were obviously no facilities in place and we went about this task with much seriousness. ( we had a little ditty we sang when walking off to dig the shit holes and went a little like this” hi ho hi ho it’s off to work we go, with a pick and a spade and a hand grenade, hi ho hi ho”). One idiot that had just arrived went and took a dump in the unfinished hole while we went to lunch, we were fucking furious and demanded he climb back into the hole and remove his turd immediately! We were still digging the hole to the at least 5 to 6 foot depth and did not appreciate this big log lying there in all its splendour in the hole we still had to work in. We had dug 4 of these crappers and were adorned with what is known as a “go kart” which is an upturned empty wood weapons case (the big box that our AK47`s and RPG7`s (rocket propelled grenades) came in. We would cut a neat hole in the top and place the go kart over the hole, sandbag the rim all round and hey presto, a shit house ala king. Every so often we would pour a bit of fuel into the hole and set light to it to “disinfect the contents and kill the stench a bit, one evening i was perched atop the bush throne which we had “built” on the top of a small hill to allow for the stink to bypass the encampment, i was busy turning my daily coil when some FAA soldier got creative with his AK47 and was shooting into the darkness. I could see muzzle flashes over the hill at the FAA camp but i don’t know where this clot was firing all i know is that i immediately cut my loaf off and grabbed my AK47 and was aiming in the general direction of the firing coming from the FAA camp, i had visions of being slotted while sitting on the crapper so i hastened my visit and retreated to the relative safety of tent town. Needless to say i never used that go kart in the evening again!
At lunch one day a new arrival who said he was an ex parabat was mouthing off at how mean he was and that the bats were a far superior group to the recce`s and 32 battalion and that he was basically Rambo`s cousin. We knew what was coming and sat there and waited for the inevitable. One of the recce`s strolled over to him and whacked him a shot that put him into lala land, it is noteworthy mentioning that this tool had arrived the day before and was on the plane back home the following day, Some warrior! During the hottest part of the day we would take a siesta to get out of the sapping sun and usually we would conduct basic maintenance on our weapons, on my return after my arse kicking episode i had brought along a comprehensive gun cleaning kit and so i always had a clean weapon.
There were four of us billeted in the Chinese army tents and we had steel cupboards between the beds which contained our odds and ends. A new arrival that was ex-navy marines (this was not a unit that worked out so good for the South African navy) was regaling us with all his weapons knowledge and Uber coolness forgot to remove the magazine from the AK47 before cycling the weapon in order to remove the dust cover plate and then remove the working parts and rotating bolt. For some unknown reason while he was babbling on, he cocked the AK47 then removed the magazine and squeezed the trigger. The round discharged and the bullet went through the cupboard hitting a can of deodorant and exited the tent between myself and the guy to my right (i am convinced it was my pal Paul George). A dust cloud was kicked up and all i could say was” it wasn’t me, my weapon is field stripped”, a nervous laughter broke out but came to an abrupt stop when Blue Kelly a very crazy Aussie sergeant major stormed into the tent and bellowed “who the fuck did that?!” the culprit immediately fessed up and apologised for his stupidity. Blue retorted in his very own subtle way “if you ever do that again i will fucking kill you myself!!!” needless to say we believed him. The navy marine had lost all his credibility with us and we were pleased at his decision to seek another tent to call home.
Daily we would all trek up to the training field and observe the FAA receiving training from the recce`s and other instructors, these poor FAA dudes did not know what had hit them and the fact that they were so badly fed by their own commanders didn’t help the situation either. Some were so weak that they could barely run 100 metres without collapsing from exhaustion, needless to say this sad state of affairs was corrected after intervention by the company and decent soldiers were being turned out for service by the EO staff. The Brigadier attached to the FAA was a brutal bastard and i and a lot of the others had no time for this repugnant pig of a man. His approach to discipline was cruel, swift and final. I truly hope this man has met an untidy, miserable and painful end! He was not a good man and i will leave it at that, i amongst others including some of the instructors witnessed his brand of discipline one day on the training field and it was uncouth to put it mildly. Brigadier Viliarano was a pig!!
After a month i was transferred back to Cabo Ledo to carry on doing my job which was as part of the air wing, i was a refueler and marshaller, i also maintained basic flight line safety and conducted very basic runway maintenance. We did not have oodles of material to utilise in repairing holes etc in the runway so we used whatever we could find to fill holes that were considered high priority. My other duties included basic weapons maintenance in the weapons store (i would clean the weapons of those going on leave), some of the guys had zero respect for the maintenance of their weapons and because of my keenness to maintain my weapon i was duly drafted into cleaning and logging all the rifles. I also stood beat at the boom that was the entrance to our little part of the base within the FAA base which had been a Cuban base previously. This duty started shortly after Rieme De Jager the RSM`s dog Leo was shot by a FAA soldier standing beat at the boom. Riema was furious and equally heart broken. Leo was no ordinary dog and was part of the company like everyone else. Every morning i was tasked with the important job of dumping our garbage, this i did in the field at the bottom of the base outside the fence line. We were told by a FAA sergeant not to go too far into the field as the Cubans had apparently mined the perimeter of the base years before. We gingerly reversed the Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck into the field and got the local labourer to empty the dustbins over the side of the vehicle. We started to call these garbage runs ‘breakfast at Tiffany`s” as the FAA would always pitch up in numbers to scratch through the rubbish for anything edible.
My 24th birthday was coming up soon on the 12th of November and i had secured myself leave time, i boarded the King Air N91TR and was off home for my birthday, i was stoked to be joining my friends for a piss up of note. Deon had already flown down and Paul George was to follow a day after me, our rendezvous would be at a small pizza place called Biella, the bonus part was that Bryan Westwood would also be there as he too was home on pass. After being airborne for about 4 hours the pilots received a call that there had been an accident on the Longa training field and that there were casualties, we were unfortunately too far to turn back and would not have had the fuel to make it back to Cabo Ledo, so we were flown the remainder of the trip which was about two more hours to Lanseria airport. There was no one from passport control to stamp our passports back into the country and we were told by some lesser official type to come back the next day. The air craft refuelled and left same day to collect the injured staff members. We were taken to the house/ office in Centurion and asked to be on “call” the following day when the injured would return. Naturally this would not be a problem and we then went home. I had flown down on the 10th of November which was a Wednesday and it was on Wednesday in Longa that an accident that should never have happened took place. The guys were sussing out the Russian and Chinese fabricated hand grenades and more importantly try and decipher the Chinese/ Cyrillic writing on the detonators so as to know the delays on the fuses. A grenade from what i can gather was tied to a small tree and a line run to the pin; this was to allow the pin to be pulled from a safe distance. Apparently the pin did pull out but the spoon didn’t properly release from the grenade. When it did the guys were dangerously close and to add to the situation the detonator was a “zero det” commonly used in booby traps. The closest person to the blast was Wayne Ross Smith and he had turned away slightly and was hit by the shrapnel in his back and the back of the head. A few others also suffered shrapnel injuries.
My friend Paul George flew down in the plane with a critically injured Wayne and others including the doctor. Unfortunately Wayne died shortly before the plane landed at Lanseria airport and judging by the state of the interior of the plane it must have been a difficult six hours for Paul George, he seemed to have changed somewhat. I drove Paul George home and met up with Deon where we discussed this tragedy, we were all friendly with Wayne and his death was a tragic affair. Wayne was a good guy and well-liked and respected by all within EO.
My birthday went off as planned as was attended by Bryan Westwood and my two comrades. It was a nice enough time but spoiled by the unfortunate turn of events. I had visited three other friends of mine and asked them if they wanted to join EO as they had military background with mortars and served in 61 Mech and the other was ex-police. I was dismayed at their uniform answers that they could not due to their girlfriends. What a bull shit, lame arse excuse! I was disgusted by their seemingly sissy attitudes and have never really maintained contact with them. My flat mate Mark had just gotten married and i sort of understood his reluctance to go to Angola, but i was still a tad disappointed by his negativity and his words “i am not going to go to Angola to get myself killed”. (It turned out that a few years later he would get himself shot twice in a drive by shooting after pissing someone off, his wife was eight months pregnant with their first child. )
A couple days later we returned to Cabo Ledo and carried on with our jobs. There were the negative noddy squad that resigned from EO in the wake of the accident that claimed Wayne Ross Smith and complained that there wasn’t enough space in the plane to evacuate the guys quickly enough if anything happened or we were attacked. Apparently these idiots were not aware that they were working in a country at war. Around this time there was a lot of rumour circulating about us being arrested for being mercenaries on our return to the Republic and that there was imminent war brewing within South Africa due to the elections that were supposedly going to spark all out civil war. I commiserated about this possibility at length and was fraught with worries that the ANC were going to go on an all-out wholesale killing spree. With this in my mind i went into December 1993 with doubts and trepidation. EO proved to us once again that the welfare of the men in their employ was of great importance and number 1 priority by supplying us with what seems a small gesture but made us really feel like we were appreciated. The company had flown us a whole pile of “Xmas care packages” that contained all sorts of nice goodies, we dined like kings.
There were a lot of guys that had gone home on leave so we had way too many Xmas parcels and these were donated to the FAA dudes in the vehicle section, little did we know that this would lead to all kinds of bother. Apparently one of the FAA soldiers had grabbed two parcels and would not share them with one of the FAA instructors who when he woke up from siesta demanded he receive one. An argument ensued and the instructor shot the FAA soldier in the stomach with his AK47 and sauntered off firing as he went. This Xmas parcel had obviously meant a lot to him? He walked out the vehicle park and marched towards our part of the base down the straight tarred road. Soldiers poured out the FAA vehicle park and were taking pot shots at the FAA instructor who was wearing a bright red T shirt. What is amazing is that he was only hit in the leg after about 20 or so shots had been fired in his direction, he would calmly turn and squeeze off shots in retaliation every few steps.
The instructor fell in audible pain after the bullet hit him in the calf and exited the shin. It was a bad wound by any account and he yelled in pain. By now i was standing at the medics to get a Voltaren injection for pain in my lower back i had sustained after being pulled off the wing of N123PW also a king air flown by Crause Steyl and his merry men, i had been refuelling the plane and was seated on the wing with the hose resting over my leg to protect the wing when the guy that started the fuel truck to allow the pump to supply fuel hopped the truck forward a few feet and i was unceremoniously yanked from the wing and landed flat on my arse. Anyways back to the FAA instructor and the Xmas day parcel debacle, i immediately grabbed the nearest weapon which belonged to a guy suffering from cerebral malaria and was hallucinating about a big bear attacking him, i suspect he had been given some seriously strong sedatives.
Paul George piled out the bungalow carrying my RPK ( i had since swapped my AK47 for the RPK with one of the recce`s who wanted a lighter weapon on the training field, Paul George went to ground and was lying prone, i was in a kneeling position and rounds that the soldiers were firing at the instructor were hitting inside our base in the dirt close by, we were not sure what the hell was going on and we thought we were being attacked by surprise using Christmas day as an advantage to sneak an attack. Pine Pienaar came out the ops room and told us to hold our fire as this was not our fight. He (the FAA instructor) started crawling up to our boom gate when a Chevy Cheyenne with a Caucasian Portuguese FAA Colonel pulled up and he casually strolled up to the instructor, drew his pistol and shot him! What i found amazing was that the guy that was wounded by the instructor was being pushed down the road from the FAA vehicle park in a wheelbarrow! There were at least 50 Chevy Cheyenne`s in this vehicle park and the Colonel had just rolled up in one and despatched the instructor then loaded his body on the back of the pickup and disappeared. The wounded fellow was being rushed to the medics in a wheelbarrow. This was bizarre to say the least. We returned to daily life and went to the bar that evening and discussed this funny event at length, pushing a dude to the medics in a wheelbarrow!
The next day we went to the medic’s side of the FAA base where we had a refrigerated container that had unfortunately run out of diesel a few days earlier and December in Angola can be quite hot. I was standing on the back of the Chevy and as soon as the one guy tried to open the doors of the container the FAA soldiers milling around the medics started to throng towards the container and were dead keen on looting its contents, i fired a few rounds off into the air to keep the walking wounded at bay but this was not necessary because as soon as the doors swung open the stench of rotting meat and fish hit us like a sucker punch. I recoiled and puked. The FAA troops even moved off in a hurry. The door was closed and i never went back there. The smell that emanated from some of the injured FAA soldiers also made people ill, they were walking dead and just had not realised they were supposed to fall down. One particular guy had a dirty stiff bloodied browning bandage wrapped around his stump that was amputated just below the knee and man did this guy stink. I would voluntarily have rather sniffed a skunk’s arse than the foul rotting stink that emanated from this poor guys had been leg. Till today i have a serious problem with foul odours and the gag reflex kicks in when i smell anything similar. The smell was so strong you could almost taste it.
The 31st of December rolled around and we were all relaxing and catching up on much beer consumption in the bar area and generally shooting the breeze about any old thing. It wasn’t till one guy decided to stir the shit pot by saying that 32 battalion were superior to the recce`s and parabats combined. This started to rub the recce`s the wrong way and it was not long before someone got a snot klap (bitch slap) and it all went seriously pear shaped from there. Some weapons were cocked and us support guys evaporated back to our barracks. Shit thing is that i slept right by the frikkin door! I lay there that night with my RPK next to me in bed while we waited for the shooting to start. The guys were very aggressive and none of us wanted a repeat of the hidings from September, only this time we were all armed both with weapons and booze. It did after a few hours wind down and the guys went to bed. We sighed a collective sigh of relief. I had by now already made my decision to resign and go back to the Republic so that i could assist my country when the war broke out. Naturally this did not come to fruition and the only trouble we had was between the IFP (Inkhata freedom party) and the ANC (African national congress) outside the ANC headquarters. I at that time was working with a guy who owned a security company and he contracted me to assist him. We were in town at one of our “biggest” clients protecting the business which was a block away. That was a hoot and the excitement was palpable during the 1994 elections i was contracted by an Italian concern to protect Italian journalists covering the elections for RAI TV. Deon and I escorted these very naive journalists to the bomb blasts at the then Johannesburg international airport and it just so happens that Eeben Barlow had just arrived at the airport, we did not know this and i only recently became aware of this after reading his book. It is funny how coincidences work.
I duly wrote out my resignation letter and handed it to the personnel officer in Cabo Ledo who in turn sent it on to Thys Pelser in Centurion. I further more requested a letter stating i had resigned and indeed served with Executive Outcomes. I received this letter on my last day in the employ of Executive Outcomes which was the fourth of January 1994; i spent a total of 127 days working for the company which was the most life altering experience in my life. I started very young and green and left a much wiser individual. I have the utmost respect for Eeben Barlow the founder of EO and Lafras Luithing the second in command. I was sorry that i had left and tried to reapply in 1995 but i was not able to slot in anywhere, i still have the letter sent to me after applying to re-join the company. I was saddened by my stupidity of leaving in the first place.
Executive Outcomes had a very positive impact in my life and even after my beating in the beginning i admit openly that i was acting like a horses arse and deserved to be issued corrective slaps, this was of vital importance to ensure i know exactly where i stood within the framework of the company and that cowboys will be a liability to those in the unit. The recce`s were the real deal and we were support and we had our job which was vitally important to the company as a whole even though we weren’t special forces and operators. Planes need refuelling, weapons need cleaning, garbage needs to be cleaned out, convoys need protecting, beer needs to be unloaded etc. I am very proud to have been a small cog in a big machine and we did our jobs well. Eeben Barlow wrote an excellent book titled Executive Outcomes against all odds and it tells in depth the job the company had and the successes it had in ending 30 years of civil war in Angola and later also turning the tide in Sierra Leone. His book also goes into detail describing his career in the military and then in the employ of the CCB (civil cooperation bureau) and is a must read. Eeben also has a blog site that he keeps updated with interesting articles. http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecurityblog.blogspot.com/
Once again i thank Eeben Barlow for the opportunity to have worked for his dynamic company which was to become the first real PMC (private military company) and the bench mark that those that sprung up have tried to emulate. What made EO unique was the emphasis on the wellbeing of its staff and the professionalism of the operation as a whole. I later met up with Rieme De Jager who was our RSM (regimental sergeant major) in Cabo Ledo in Randburg and had signed on to go off to Angola on a separate contract in the diamond region, where i was to be a supposed “tractor mechanic” although i had zero clue about mechanics and my visa was duly authorised and entered into my passport but at the last moment the whole project seemed to go haywire and we never went. I was very upset by this turn of events and went on with my newly found lucrative career in the private security field.
The party animal emerges
An unapologetic journey into the heart of the wild man from Borneo!
This road has been long and hard and i partied up a storm and took no prisoners along the way. The party battlefield is strewn with broken bottles, hangovers from hell and lost virginities. it was just a case of another one for
"Rock n Roll".
LA VIDA LOCA THE ART OF THE PARTY ANIMAL
Going ape , a guide
Before we start on this journey i feel obliged to warn you that what follows is a hard core journey deep into the heart of the wildest of all animals: Animalus Particus Extremis known by its acronym APE and that therefore may clear up any confusion when i explain that we went APE shit etcetera. These stories are all true and in some instances may still be considered illegal. I will change the names of some of those that partook in these wild rambunctious shenanigans to “protect the identities of the guilty”. Others i will name as i don’t really care what they think or they`re dead. This story is a compendium of various parties and generalised wild life instances throughout the years spanning 1982 up until 2002 when i abruptly stalled into mediocrity and middle age.
Part 1. The adventures of CAPTAIN CUPBOARD..
So, to start the ordeal off that you are now part and parcel of, lets take a journey in Marty Mc Fly`s 1.21 jiggawatt flux capacitor powered De Lorean and go back to the future. Date time group, 1982 when at the tender age of 12 i discovered the wonderful world of the emerging male patterned libido. I was pals with “an older woman” who lived down the street and she was 15 and in high school, i was a tender foot and in my last year of primary school. She was blessed with gargantuan boobs and legs that spanned endlessly up in to the stratosphere, it didn’t hurt either that she had a soft spot for me and i, a well hard spot for her and we would spend many hours exploring all the fun aspects of playing house ,house. I lost my cherry to a girl named Karin and man she was adept at the art of fornication! One afternoon my German buddy and i cooked up what we though was a sure fire plan for us to both “stoink” Karin by utilising a cunning plan which entailed super stealth perfect timing for it to be a success, the basic idea was for me to get “jiggy” with Karin as per usual in the lounge and my pal would hang back in my room and then all of a sudden like stroll into the situation where in i would suggest a ménage a trios and knowing Karin, i suspected she would be more than agreeable to this turn of events. I got very busy and was diligent to a T with much huffing and puffing going on. I awaited my pals entrance as all this was getting tiring and i could use a beer break but the German was nowhere to be found so i assumed he must have gotten cold feet and made a bee line for home. Once we were done we took a bath and much soap lathering was done by myself, i was seriously enjoying myself and was pooped by the time she went home. I went to my room to put my clothes and while i was putting my shoes on and was startled by a rustling sound in my cupboard! I was flabbergasted to witness the German getting out my cupboard! What the hell had he been doing in there and why did he climb into the cupboard in the first place? The idiot was supposed to help tie this one down and he left me dangling out there to fend for myself against this freaky nymphomaniac. The German would hence forth be known as (cue the dramatic super hero music) CAPTAIN CUPBOARD!!!!
I went into high school very wise to the ways of the fornication and captain cupboard i suspect was very wise to the way of the hand! I still wonder what the hell he was doing in the cupboard for more than an hour and a half? I suspect he may have been canoodling with himself and choking his chicken!
Part 2 THE FORMATIVE YEARS.
Standard 6 was typical run of the mill affair with every male trying to snag a piece of the competition who were of the female variety and the sneaky beer drinking was practised at every opportunity. By all accounts i was a nerdish dude in the first two years of high school and spent most my spare time at my friends house where we drank copious amounts of booze and getting the “stink finger” action on with my pals sisters. It was all within the accepted parameters that we lived by.
Standard eight was an awakening moment when i made acquaintance with what would be my closest friends for the next three years. We were a tight group and partied hearty at every opportunity. We were a co-ed group and stood by one another like comrades in arms and sometimes we were in each others arms quite literally.. we were divided into two groups within the main group as some of the group did art and the others like myself , Clyde, Deon and other wild men did Biblical Studies. None of us had any ideas of becoming ordained men and simply chose Bib Studs because we sucked at art and the teacher was a drop dead bomb shell named Mrs Ferguson who had the longest legs i had ever seen, coupled to that the tight pants and i was sold on this whole Biblical studies story.
We threw the wildest house parties at my folks house while they were out and it always degenerated into a drunken melee and someone puking in the garden. My pal Clyde had a horrid budgie yellow Audi 100 from standard 9 onwards and this car although ugly as sin was the epitome of rebel cool. every beer we drank we would chuck the empty can in the back on the floor so it was a case of empty beer cans avalanching out the door every time we opened the doors, how we did not get arrested still eludes me ! this car signified our individuality and reckless couldn’t care a shit attitudes , we were the coolest dudes we knew and didn’t care what others thought! The metal music rocked and our school bags stood testament to such greats as Dio, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, KISS, Motley Crue, Poison , Metallica, Man O War and King Diamond which were all festooned on our bags. It is only with the advantage of hind sight that i now see that poor Mrs Ferguson must have thought she was being punished by having all these metal heads in her Biblical Studies class. We were not the sneaky types and would sit on the field at break time and enjoy a beer with our sandwiches at lunch time, there was not a malicious bone in our bodies but we just ran with our own set of rules within our very close knit group. We would gather at my parents house and on one occasion once the booze was all but drunk we even got into smoking the Rooibos tea bags and our Matric year end blow out at one of the girl`s house was legendary. We drank till the cows came home and even a condom covered carrot was brought into play and was used as a phallic substitute with fellatio being mimicked on its “person” so to speak. It was hilarious and the photographs speak volumes.
The constant partying and bunking school left little time for learning and studying and really was a bothersome annoyance that i suppose we had to endure, to be perfectly honest i cannot believe we passed matric at all! Shortly before the end of the year we threw a monster party at my friend`s uncles flat and it proved to be one of those memorable evenings that were remembered for years to come. It was akin to a sixties love fest and the women weren’t too shy and coy at all, these were a different group than our close one at school. They were all a tad younger and were keen to hang with the matrics as we had street “cred” so to speak as being wild and untamed things. I was quite taken by one particular chick named Jackie and she seemed game so it all began. My pal John* was entertaining a girl called Charlene and dazzling her with his wit and command of the beer can and i was going cave man and dragging a very willing , giggling Jackie off to the open plan bedroom area, i was soon joined by John* who had by now secured Charlene. We got busy right there in front of people standing around not seeming to care none too much. We had a speed race to see who could screw fastest and someone had a camera popping off pictures. I truly hope they never surface. Once it was all done and dusted Jackie and Charlene upped and left with other people, my friend Lionel ended up with Jackie and shame he was left to deal with my sloppy seconds. It was all sport though and no one was hurt or did anything they didn’t want to do. Lionel was being a naughty boy as he had a steady girl friend called Claudine and here he was shagging some other skanky ho. I must just explain that Claudine and i had some shenanigans of our own so she wasn’t all innocent either. Her sister Charlene ( not the one from the wild Party) was juggled between John* and i when we couldn’t find alternatives for the evening.
PART 3 THE ANIMAL EMERGES.
High school was a mish mash of various parties copious imbibition of alcohol and a lot of sexercise. All in all it was all very educational. The year after i left school i spent 6 months prior to my military call up partying like a true professional bedding anything with a heartbeat. Here enter Daleen and her very own special personality. She was what is known as a “clingon “, you know the type that constantly hangs around and gets all crazy when you make advances on any other woman even though you are not a “parcel” per se. This clinginess however does not apply to her though and she is a very free agent who does the rounds among the circle of friends very willingly. Safe to say that she is all kinds of complicated. One moment she is ready to scratch the eyeballs out of some other females skull because i may be checking her out and then the next moment she is taking care of my friend Mark or Deon or the afore mentioned “Captain Cupboard”. This crazy shit persisted all the time i knew her. One evening in particular we were all hanging out at a mates place where we were gathered in the pool room enjoying the musical mellow styling`s of Metallica and AC/DC. I had been partaking in much imbibing of the nectar of the gods and my bladder was near rupturing point so i made my way to the toilet to unleash the rivers of Babylon, as i left the pool room i slid the sliding door closed behind me and turned to head off to the toilet when all of a sudden i was startled by a huge thud behind me. I turned to see Daleen sitting flat on her arse with a dazed and confused expression on her face and a large red impression on her forehead, the dazed and confused look was different to her standard one that she sported everyday. She had jumped up to follow me to ensure that i was not leaving to whore about with some other chick and had not noticed that the door was shut and had run full tilt into the luckily reinforced laminated shatter proof glass. She quite literally sat there with her eyes spinning around in her head, it was hilarious and she was embarrassed as all hell, she did not take much to the fact that i was hosing myself at her and she duly stormed off with one of the other guys to “play finger hockey with”, i believe it was Deon. Later that night we had another catastrophe brewing when another pal Lionel climbed to the top of the spot light tower at the perimeter of the show jumping arena. I suppose it is worthwhile explaining that the house we were at was on the same property as a stables and show jumping training facility owned by a friend called Dean`s parents. Around the show jumping training arena there were high towers with spot light for illumination, obviously. Anyways , back to the Lionel debacle that was unfolding.
Lionel had been trying very hard to snag Daleen all day but she was just not into Lionel all that much and kept brushing him off and hanging onto either myself or Mark and when he was busy elsewhere she would be attached to Deon. Lionel was besides himself that she didn’t want to know his story so he clambered to the top of the flood lights with his beer and lamented loudly as if in a Shakespearean play at how unfair life was that this chick wouldn’t shag him. We were more entertained by his production than concerned that he would fall and bust his neck. Daleen stood there at the bottom pleading seriously with him to climb down and not jump. We were by now besides ourselves with laughter. She even agreed to providing him with a “mercy fuck” if he complied and got down from the perch. This mercy shag never materialised because i was later rolling around with her on some fibre glass which made us itch like a bitch, to cure ourselves we took a swim in the pool and made like “fishes”. There was much moving and wave making in the pool. Lionel eventually climbed down and staggered off home to lick his proverbial wounds and besides he had Claudine waiting at home. These parties persisted unabated and X rated for the entire 6 months, i am truly surprised that i did not drink myself into a coma quite literally . in all it was one hell of a time.
PART 4 THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
After my time spent in the military i was unleashed on the general populace once again and i embarked on an assault of biblical proportions. Mark and i were flat mates and the flat was turned into party central. Old faces were still cruising through the doors with Charlene, Daleen et al still in the loop but we had expanded our repertoire to include many new female faces.
Mark had his girlfriend from Cape Town with him but their relationship was not doing so well as she was a very reserved church going over the top Afrikaans goody two shoes type and she could not stand me and blamed me for being a bad influence on Mark. One evening after going ape shit at Bella Napoli and partying like wild and untamed things we decided it was time to go home and get at least 2 hours sleep before getting up for work on Saturday. At the corner of Claim street and Pretoria street the paw paw hit the fan in spectacular fashion when we were cut off by two black dudes in an Opel Monza 2 litre GSi and i was very vocal in my unhappiness with these two “bananas in pyjamas” and swore them and their heritage. Uncouth louts could have caused an accident! The one black guy produced his police ID card and gestured to it, i immediately flipped him the bird and told him to observe my ID and then i hung a right turn with my Mazda 626 2 litre SL and floored that sucker, the chase was on! In the car i had in the back seat Mark and his then girlfriend Minki and my co pilot for the trip was Deon who was a cop attached to the security branch at John Vorster square where he worked “undercover” at the post office going through post destined for the ANC, he would intercept all manner of post cards and letters containing names of those that were to be i suppose kept tabs on by the security forces as undesirables. Undercover at the post office! Break my balls! Its an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Anyways after negotiating the right turn and stabbing the pedal to the floor i took us on a high speed car chase down Claim street with the Opel Monza hot on our tails, i shot red lights and at one time had the car up to 160 km/h. All the while i had Minki sitting in the back between the front seats screaming non stop in total terror! Mark was giving me a constant update of the cops behind us with Deon looking out for obstacles ahead. We were a slick team except for the ear shattering screaming emanating from Minki. At the bottom of the hill just before the cinema complex called Ster City i negotiated a hard right turn and sped away, the cops overshot and had to do a Uturn in traffic to follow us. We stopped on the corner of Delvers street and Market street to let Minki out the car who was by this time frantic and we had to take a leak.
Suddenly the Opel pulled up and the one cop jumped out brandishing his police ID like a shield to which Deon produced his police ID and informed these two black cops who were in civilian clothes and in an unmarked car of his mustering in security branch. The tone immediately changed and the cops became very meek and then we noted that the one in the passenger seat had a beer in his hand and so naturally we took the moral high ground and frowned upon these two members of the police partaking in such irresponsible actions like drinking and driving and we demanded their names, rank and commanding officer! To this the cop hopped back in his vehicle switched the headlights off and turned right into Market street and sped away up a one way against the traffic flow. We had gotten away with it, phew! I still however had to endure the squealing of Mark`s girlfriend all the way home and listen to Mark`s half hearted attempts at consoling her. We had a blast and it was yet another crazy arse story for the vault.
Mark and i did venture back to Hillbrow the following week along with Deon as usual however this evening , Mark had made an alternative arrangement to get home which left Deon and i to terrorise the bar at Bella Napoli until 02h00 when we decided it was time to go home. On arriving at my car i noted that my crappy parking earlier had punctured the rear right tyre and as Murphy and his laws would have it, my spare tyre was also bereft of air and inflation. We decided to drive on the flat anyway as it was only 20 clicks or so to get home. Deon dropped off into unconsciousness due to the inordinate quantities of alcoholic beverages he had consumed during the evening, i was driving at approximately 20 kilometres an hour and was freaked out by a guy riding a bicycle with clothes pegs clipped on his pants to prevent oil from the chain dirtying his smart pant. He pedalled past us and the mere thought of this clown on his bicycle at 03h00 in the morning beating us drove me quite literally insane! I pulled up next to the “mini land” park and climbed out the car, drew my handgun and started to shoot the offending flat tyre. Deon woke with a start and dove out the passenger window and crawled for cover, he was under the impression we were under attack from ANC gunmen or something. When we eventually arrived at the flat i parked the car and went up to get much needed sleep. In the morning when i went outside to check on the car i noticed that i had parked half on the pavement with the driver door still ajar. Only then did i see the three bullet holes in the wheel arch, i retorted to Deon and Mark who had dragged himself downstairs that i had killed my car dude. It was one hell of an evening and the miracle Mazda as i fondly called it had gotten us home in one piece.
A few weeks later Mark and i decided to frequent a house of ill repute and make as much shit as we could. We had watched some or other movie and wanted to replicate the whole rock star room trashing thing, i believe we had recently watched Pink Floyd`s The Wall at the Mini Kine in Hillbrow and were quite taken by the lead actor`s character when he trashes his hotel and chucks the tv out the window. With this embedded in our subconscious along with a bottle or two of bourbon we head off the Royal Park Hotel in town to chase up some shit. It was not long before we were led up to the rooms, i was one floor above Mark`s floor and i immediately started with the rock star trashing routine. Once i had chucked stuff around to my hearts content i then decided to throw the vanity stool through the window onto the road below. There wasn’t a television in the room so the stool had to suffice and it flew fantastically. The large Nigerian types downstairs at the door immediately made their way towards the lifts and immediately made my way down the staircase to call mark. He was already pulling up his pants and i shouted at him that we were there to trash the rooms and not shag the whores! I was truly bothered by this! Did he have no self discipline? We leaped and bounded down the staircase and exploded out the door of the hotel with what sounded like a tribe of Philistines chasing us! We got in the car and i negotiated a “Steve McQueen- esque” getaway with the Nigerians shooting at my by now out of range weaving miracle Mazda. These Nigerians couldn’t hit a barn let alone us driving like stuntmen. Once again the miracle Mazda saved our bacon.
PART 5 RAISING HELL
Friday the thirteenth was a strange day in our calendars as we would frequent various cemetery`s for some undefined reason or rationale entirely. It just seemed like a good idea and whenever Friday the thirteenth came around it was guaranteed that we would wind up in a cemetery somewhere talking shit and drinking beer, oh and on one occasion we decided that the two crosses adorning some ancient grave site would make groovy ornaments at home and thus we departed the cemetery that night with two crosses in hand. One was placed on the floor of the car and the other on the back seat and covered with my army poncho. That night Deon and his brother Johnny were with me and on the way home we noticed two chicks hitchhiking on the road in Glenesk Southern Joburg which is a shitty area even back then.
I did a near perfect hand brake turn and sped back a few hundred metres and did another stopping right next to these two females. I retorted that it is dangerous to walk at night and that there are weirdo`s out there that could do them harm, i still had the gumption to ask them if they are mad! In retrospect i suppose i was warning them about us. They accepted our courteous invitation to be dropped at their home and sat in the back with Johnny. The one chick in horror reported to her pal that there was a tombstone on the floor of the car( lying on its side semi covered by the poncho covering the one the other chick was sitting on). The other chick then with a warble in her voice asked what she was sitting on and i just could not resist and with my best Jack Nicholson accent i told her “its my grandmother” the chick screamed in terror and we hooted with laughter. She was all over the inside of the car trying not to sit on this tombstone. Shame, she must have been terrified but i am very sure they never ever hitchhiked again.
We left them very shaken and very stirred at their parents house and set off to deliver Deon, Johnny and the two tombstones at their house at 100 Tramway street Turffontein which was directly across from a church. The next day Deon called me at work and told me we had to get rid of the tombstones with immediate effect as his step father had during a marathon drinking session crawled to the cupboard where the crosses were hidden and when he opened the door was quite freaked out. I arrived at the house and duly carried the offending tombstones to my car and dumped them in the boot ion full view of the congregation across the street milling around after the church service, i can only imagine what they must have been thinking. I drove down Tramway street and leaned one cross up against a tree in the middle island between the two sides of the road and the other i left lying on the bowls club lawn as an ominous reminder to the old dodgers that their time was nearing.
One evening Mark, Deon and i were bored and decided to set a traffic cops car alight and it was magnificent. He parked his car on the pavement outside his house in daisy street Rosettenville and was one of those true punk cops that loved writing tickets and busting peoples chops so we have no guilt for this act of necessity. I had a two litre coke bottle brim full of petrol and casually poured it over the car and struck a match and watched that sucker light up. The car was not totally burned but the siren light had totally melted to the roof and the outside of the car was burned black but was still driveable as he did drive it like that to work. I wish i were a fly on the wall to hear the excuse he gave at work, that would be priceless. We were also the instigators of a little fire at our old school and the shooting of 15 holes in a blackboard. We also did try and steal a Putco bus as we wanted to ramp it into the Wemmer Pan lake but some do gooder on the ball security guard put paid to that plan. I can neither confirm nor deny the events of one evening that saw a vehicle ending up in the Wemmer Pan lake. I will leave it at that.
Mark was a hooligan but a totally solid guy and would stand by your side no matter what and i am saddened by the events that led to his untimely death. He had wanted to go out and party hearty as his then wife was 8 months pregnant and he wanted one last hurrah so to speak and had asked me to join him but i was not in the mood that night and stayed home with my now ex wife and step son. Mark disembarked on an assault of the bars and ended up at a real dive called The Captains Cabin 100 metres or so from the flat and he must have been chatting up the wrong chick because when he walked home he was shot twice in a drive by shooting. He died there on the pavement less than 40 metres from home. His killer was never found. After this event i decided to hang up my crazy hat and quieten down a tad. At Mark`s funeral Deon was apall bearer and had to fuck up on the day. When he rested the coffin on the straps he stepped back three steps not noticing the green carpeting covering the half filled grave alongside from the service earlier and in all his brilliance fell into the grave next door to Mark`s grave. It was like something out of a movie. We hooted with laughter and even Mark`s folks laughed and said that we couldn’t even get the funeral right without fucking it up. Deon was always the casualty and i am seriously surprised he is still alive today as he is his own worst enemy.
PART 6 THE WIND DOWN
We partied hard and some paid the ultimate price. These are a few of the wild parties we had but one that really was funny involved Fernando, our stuttering session drummer who could sing excellently with out stuttering but could string two words together in conversation. He was drinking at the flat one evening and got himself totally pissed and managed to bump the braai skottel ( wok) over the balcony along with all the meat and then decided he had to puke and ran for the toilet. Little did he know there was some chick taking a pee at the time and had her skirt hiked up and panties around her ankles when Fernando burst into the toilet and unceremoniously yanked her from the throne and vomited into the toilet. She was standing there in shock and peed all over her legs, she pulled the skirt down and had kicked the panties off and ran out the flat and we never saw her again! Thanks Fernando, that was one that got away!
I have lived a wild life and now have become somewhat reserved and dull ass boring and i hate it! I need one last hurrah!
2001: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT.
THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
2001 was the beginning of the end in my private security business and the start to a whole new world as we know it. The 9/11 attacks spun the world upside down and caught the INTEL community with their pants collectively around their ankles. 2001 was the year i lived dangerously and it all culminated with the near dismemberment of my penis! Yes it was that hardcore!
I had a very financially viable security consultancy private business and from time to time i utilised friends to fulfil tasks such as armed escort support and on banking runs for clients. We were entrusted with a lot of cash and my clients trusted me fully. I unfortunately could not reciprocate that trust in my utilisation of friends in the field. One was an ex police man who had the “street credibility of working for the security branch at John Vorster Square in Johannesburg “ and was also involved in Angola with me on the Executive Outcomes contract from 1993/94. Deon was a good guy( once )but suffered from the inability to keep his shit wired tightly and was a lush. I am saddened to have to admit this as he was my best friend but he just never could distinguish between work time and drunk time. Anyway, i digress and should stay on the path of the storyline and tell it with absolute truth and accuracy. I had after leaving EO in 1994 worked at first for a dude who owned a security company but had grown way out of his ability to run it as a sole proprietor and sub contracted me to help him out with the day to day operations of his very profitable little operation. This should have been my first red flag about the security industry in South Africa and the lengths that those involved in the industry will go to, to make money at the expense of those actually doing the graft. i worked on the ground in uniform as an example to the guards as how to look and conduct themselves while on site and we were in Joburg town the day the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party got all busy with each other where many Zulu Impi`s were shot full of lead. My boss and i were in the next road providing added security to our biggest client at the time, the chaos was absolutely amazing. A motorbike traffic cop came riding passed and had no helmet on and was screaming unintelligibly that the “munts” were killing each other! He had no weapon in his holster and we took it that in the chaos he had lost it.
It was crazy and fun as hell all at once and we were living large running around toting our weapons and shooting our guns in the air like cowboys. This was bat country and law was secondary to everything else that day. Time went on and the groups involved “kissed and made up” and the elections loomed like a sword of Damocles over the country. Stories and rumour was abound and everyone was stockpiling for the imminent civil was and it was now that i was contracted to protect some very naive dilly Italian journalists covering our first “democratic" elections and i had roped Deon in to help me with the contract. Deon has had a drinking problem since school and was effective but trying all the time as we were doing serious work and his predilection for booze did pose many headaches while we were busy on the ground with our clients from Italy. It all went off ok in the end and Deon managed to keep his demon at bay, only just. I would later work with Deon on the Rolling Stones tour to the country as VIP drivers and we drove the band members around for two weeks without major problems although booze was a mainstay and overriding factor to Deon as it would prove to be in the future.
After many years of crazy shit and getting wild we ended up working for the same security company in Johannesburg where i was employed as the operations manager and Deon as a supervisor. We were very effective at our jobs and proved that our prior training was vital to the professionalism we showed at work. Unfortunately Deon could not entirely disengage himself from the bottle and would start arriving at work hung over and sometimes still pissed. It is worthwhile noting that in 1997/98 Deon and i worked for a company called Duchini and this is when he met his future wife and mother of his first born. This is also the time when i finally got divorced from the most miserable woman ever to stalk the face of the planet. The company ended up in liquidation and Deon was sent to work at the retail shop they had in Joburg town where he was supposedly the manager. I remained at the companies head office and stayed there till the liquidators paid us out. At this time Deon`s wife was many months pregnant and went to Baragwanath hospital to give birth to her child. We weren’t that close as friends prior to this and she and i had a mutually tolerant relationship due to my friendship with her husband. This would change when Deon would ask me to fetch his wife from the hospital when she was discharged and take her and his new born child home as he was in a pub closed to his work place and didn’t want to waste good drinking time.
This persisted when i was asked to drive his wife and son to the clinic for the initial check ups. His wife and i simply began to grow closer together. Eventually i was driving her to work and picking her up from work while Deon was too focused on drinking. As it would happen they were told to vacate their flat due to non payment of rental and i said it was cool that they stay in my house a i had recently separated from my ex satanic wife. This was win, win for everyone. We would all frequent my Dad`s restaurant next door and talk while watching our favourite television program “The Soprano`s”, well it was her and my favourite program while Deon sat and stuttered at the bar. Our relationship was all but set in stone and she and i were connecting on a level that far super ceded her relationship with her own husband. One evening we decided to go home and put Deon`s son to bed and left Deon lurching at the bar and i and his wife were suddenly overcome by the necessity to jump each others bones which we did with much vigour. Little problem here, Deon decided to sway home and walked in while his wife was riding high up on the horse Rodeo style. I panicked a tad and ejected her off to the left and Deon then did the manly thing and threw the keys at me and launched himself over the bed and for some unknown reason to me grabbed my still erect penis and tried to yank it out from the root. I was horrified , mortified and felt all kinds of violated! He then punched me on the back of my head whereby i retorted that i would like to fight him like a man and pulled up my tracksuit pants and attacked this clown that had broken every written and unwritten rule in the mankind handbook!
The fight soon degenerated into an all out one for one slug fest and the he broke a pottery plant pot on my head, this i didn’t take lightly and proceeded to use his general facial area to break the pots pieces into smaller pieces. We were worse than a WWE smackdown match and we were soon exhausted. Problem with Deon is he tends to bleed like a pig and was oozing haemoglobin from his mouth and nose all over my carpet in the room. All the while this was happening his wife sat there in a corner stricken with panic. He then made his way to the kitchen and i was worried he was retrieving a knife and on his return to the “battlefield” i smacked him on the left temple with my expanding “Fitzwilliam” baton which had the desired effect of instantaneously putting him down and out of the fight. He made his way to the bedroom he was renting in my house and his wife who was using a small broken piece of the plant pot as an ashtray went off to join him and his child who was sleeping in its cot. I was concerned about his swelling head due to the blow from the expanding baton and called the paramedics.
On arrival the paramedics asked me if i had been shot due to all the blood and i replied that it wasn’t mine and let them in. The paramedic noted the for sale sign on the gate and complimented me on the tiles in the lounge and dining room, i volunteered to show him around and try flog the place to him. Deon was treated and his head wrapped in a bandage, his head resembled a planet and was immense. The paramedics left and told us they would not report the assaults that had taken place after seeing pictures of Deon and i from Angola on the bar wall and said it was just water under the bridge. The following morning Deon was sitting in my kitchen drinking a cup of coffee and was brandishing a large screwdriver in his left hand and told me to take his wife and leave my house and when we get back he will be gone. His wife and i went off to the Jazz Cafe at the Glen shopping centre for a draught beer and this is when i informed her of the violation perpetrated upon my person by her husband. We laughed and the seriousness all but evaporated and i chalked it up to another one for rock n roll. Deon had that morning answered me when i asked how he felt and i was alluding to his swollen head and he misunderstood and answered me “how do you think i feel, seeing my wife impaled on my friends dick?” and this is where my alter ego “VLAD THE IMPALER” was born, I did the Transylvanian accent and all. The months after “the incident “were great except when Deon got drunk and stood by my front gate chucking stones on the roof and screaming obscenities like trailer trash and this occurred plenty . She and i dated for a while but like all things it came to an end and we moved on. I suppose it all boils down to shit happens?
While we were working for the security company where i was operations manager and Deon was the supervisor i had an event that was to change my path in life quite a bit. One Friday i was off duty and was moon lighting with a company doing cash trips to the bank with a guy named George Liverdos who was the contract liaison so to speak. He would call me up and if time permitted i would follow trucks to the borders for extra cash or do these Friday banking runs. It was July and it was the last Friday of the month, the bank was packed and when we approached we didn’t notice anything strange till we actually got inside and the reality set in that we had just walked into a bank robbery in progress! The atmosphere was heavy and the first batch of robbers were leaving with a hostage as we entered through the magnet controlled booths. The robbers were allowing people in but allowing anyone to exit and they were telling the clients in the bank to remain standing very still in the queues so as to not raise awareness. This obviously worked as we had not noticed this happening, we were too busy scanning our surroundings and people passing by on approaching the bank. One of the staff members was ushered past me just outside the bulk teller booth and i said to her “what is going on?” she replied with terror in her eyes that they were being robbed and this is when i noted the robber walking directly behind her with a .38 special revolver in pointed in the small of her back. The bank employees name was Rhea and she was panic stricken. The robber took no notice of me or George and marched her to the doors which work by magnet release and some idiot outside was holding the door ajar so the outer door could not release. The robber shouted angrily at the security guard to open the door but he couldn’t as a member of the public was preventing the magnet from closing the circuit thereby allowing the door to open. By now i had drawn my .45 ACP pistol and was fast approaching the robber who had a bag draped over his left forearm which contained cash and the .38 special in his right hand firmly pressed against Rhea`s back, i shouted loudly for him to drop his weapon.
I was now only a few feet from him and i kept closing the gap aiming directly at his face. I tried to make a grab for the .38 special and with my right hand i smacked this clot on the head with the butt of my gun which shook him quite a bit, he then got very mad at me and started to bring the .38 special to firing point and he was fingering the trigger, i was busy bringing the second blow down onto his head with the butt of my pistol when i noticed this was going to get messy so i tipped my .45 ACP and placed the muzzle directly against his head and squeezed off the shot! The 180 grain Winchester silver tip hollow point penetrated his skull on the top left side and a piece of the jacket exited his right cheek. The robber was instantaneously incapacitated and went done like a sack of potatoes. His head was smoking from the muzzle blast which was at contact distance, this is the muzzle was against his head when the shot was fired and his brain tissue was ‘mushrooming” out the hole. It is noteworthy mentioning that it was still winter and i was wearing a big black and white camouflage jacket and donning ray bans inside the bank as i had a terrible eye infection in my right eye. I turned and immediately shouted the command for everyone to lie down immediately which was followed to a T as if they were all members of a rhythmic display team. I immediately asked who was armed as i didn’t want any surprises and one black dude volunteered that he was packing, i asked him sternly what the hell his story was and he replied that he was a police man. This was entirely plausible as the bank we were in ( Standard bank Jules street Malvern) is less than a hundred metres from the Cleveland police station and it was a Friday and the end of the month so it was completely possible that there would be cops in the bank doing their banking requirements, this particular “cop” was in civilian attire but i was thinking quick and my mind was racing with all the possible eventualities and i thumbed the safety on and holstered my piece telling the cop to take over on scene. He then jumped up and dashed past me and out the bank. I suspected he went for backup as it wasn’t two minutes and police started descending on the bank from every angle, hell there was even a helicopter circling outside. I gave my statement to the detectives that arrived on site along with about 20 members of the public, George and the branch manageress along with a very shaken Rhea. The branch was closed for further business and the customers were sent to the Bedford centre branch if they still had to conduct their banking requirements. George and i were allowed to leave the branch and we too made our way to the Bedford centre branch as we had not yet conducted our tasks. When we arrived at the Bedford branch we were greeted by a wall of security guards who immediately parted and allowed us entry.
They had no doubt heard of this crazy white man wearing sun glasses and shooting robbers was coming to their branch. George and i entered and we noticed a few of the Malvern branch customers who on seeing us enter the bank left their spot in the queue and left the bank altogether. This was one hell of a day and when my boss found out at the security company , he told me to take the evening off as he didn’t want someone still wired with adrenaline on duty that night. I took this opportunity to take Deon`s wife to dinner at an Oriental restaurant. This shooting was not long after another in which i had entered my parents house while my mom was being held at gunpoint by three home invaders. That story ended with one of the bastards chest being “ventilated” 5 times by my .45ACP pistol, he however still managed to stumble off and die elsewhere.
2001 was a crap year in the big scheme of things and it nearly cost me not only my life but i was just about “de horned” like a Rhino. I am still shocked after all these years that Deon would do something so dire such as try and yank my tally wacker out by root!
Deon if you ever read this.
“WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?”
2002 had its share of really good times which were all spent at a restaurant called Ze`s in Oakdene and was run by a woman who i still have a deep almost cosmic connection with. Michelle and i ran what we called our tribe and it was just a load of pals who would get together and party till the cows came home. This was the last drive so to speak before mediocrity and what feels like old age set in. It has been a long time since i have gone APE (Animalus Particus Extremis) and i dearly miss the days at Ze`s with Michelle and the tribe and our very strange traditions and practices including the odd one called “bite club”. i was basically used as a chew toy. Michelle had bitten my arm one evening with so much ferocity that it left a scar that was visible for a few years thereafter. We were very much like the Bohemians of the Moulin Rouge. It was one hell of a cool year and unfortunately the last great party.
Its sad to grow old and live miserably!
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE OFF CENTER
Weidland macht frei
(Grazing will set you free)
A story of an abattoir. One cows journey.
This is a story of Daisy, a cow and her journey along the path of life.
Cows have for eons been domesticated and kept as assets to farmers both subsistence and for commercial gains. We have fed our young from the udder and feasted on the flesh of our bovine “pets”, we have even given them names and when time was right and the price just right we sell them to large abattoirs for financial gain. We don’t spare a moment’s thought for the cow and the life the cow is leading quite happily getting its graze on in the pasture.
Here is where the fuzzy flashback starts with the sweet music melodiously playing in the background.
It was 1939 and life was swell for Daisy cow, life was a breeze and all seemed normal. That was till one day when the men came and separated her from the herd and loaded her into a cattle car and transported her for what seemed an eternity loaded in like, well cows. The trip was tedious and hot as hell in the cattle car, every cow seemed to be farting and belching incessantly, the honk was tremendous and overbearing. Some cows started panicking and seemed to go mad! At long last the train shuddered to a halt and the cattle cars doors swung open allowing the sun to blindingly glare in, the fear and expectancy was palatable as the cows trundled out all confused and lost, the fear glinting in their big brown eyes. The men callously herded the cows like they were merely a herd of cattle and once again the cows were separated from their young and males from females. The cows were herded into a row of barriers toward what they were told was a “dip” tank for delousing and de ticking, Daisy loudly protested “what the hell do these men think, we aren’t dirty, we`re COWS”!!! The cows were now slowly lined up and led into a building wherein there was a strange odour in the air and the smell of fear hung like a mist. As they trundled forward they saw the fear in the cow’s eyes alongside them and then the reality exploded onto them! When they saw the first bolt shoot into the lead cows head and it dropped moaning and writhing , Daisy suddenly bellowed “ OH FUCK WE`RE IN COWSCHWITZ”!!!
A slaughterhouse or abattoir is a facility where animals are killed for consumption as food products.
Approximately 45-50% of the animal can be turned into edible products (meat). About 15% is waste, and the remaining 40-45% of the animal is turned into by-products such as leather, soaps, candles (tallow), and adhesives. In the United States, around nine billion animals are slaughtered every year (this includes about 150.4 million cattle, bison, sheep, hogs, and goats and 8.9 billion chickens, turkeys, and ducks) in 5,700 slaughterhouses and processing plants employing 527,000 workers; in 2009, 26.9 billion pounds of beef were consumed in the U.S. alone. In Canada, 650 million animals are killed annually. In the European Union, the annual figure is 300 million cattle, sheep, and pigs, and four billion chickens.
Slaughterhouses which process meat unfit for human consumption are sometimes referred to as Knacker's yards or Knackeries.
Slaughtering animals on a large scale poses significant logistical problems and public health concerns , with public aversion to meat packing in many cultures influencing the location of slaughterhouses. In addition, some religions stipulate certain conditions for the slaughter of animals so that practices within slaughterhouses vary.
There has been criticism of the methods of preparation, herding, and killing within some slaughterhouses, and in particular of the speed with which the slaughter is sometimes conducted. Investigations by animal welfare and animal rights groups have indicated that a proportion of these animals are being skinned or gutted while apparently still alive and conscious. Many of these supposed cases are misinterpretations of post-mortem death twitching as shown by researchers. There has also been criticism of the methods of transport of the animals, who are driven for hundreds of miles to slaughterhouses in conditions that often result in crush injuries and death en route. Slaughtering animals is opposed by animal rights groups on ethical grounds.
We as humans are the higher race on the planet and we consume the lower animals, however we need to treat our food with a tad more respect and think where our meat comes from. As we endeavour to treat our fellow man with respect we need to do so equally with our four legged friends. I seriously dig a good piece of steak or rack of ribs so i aint going to get all vegan now, hell no! I dig my meat way too much, we just need to start thinking about where it comes from and how the animals were treated and culled. We aren’t Nazi`s and we aren’t working at Treblinka, we must show equal amounts of compassion and respect for our fellow man and our animals which are supplying us with sustenance, clothing and soap etc. I may have taken a round trip here describing the journey the cow takes from farm to plate via the bovine death camps we call abattoirs but we as the supposed higher being on the planet are lacking in the overall social morals department be it toward animals or our fellow man. The amount of needless stress we place on the animals being transported to the abattoir is not needed and neither is the callous way animals are treated in general at the abattoirs. The endorphins released which contain Beta endorphins and cortisol taint the meat and darken it making it a lower grade meat overall.
Let Daisy cows journey be a stress free one as opposed to the “saw “style horror parade it currently is.,,, now where`s my Texan steak at?
This one is going to be contentious I know! I am neither a heathen nor an obtuse Christian, I am merely a person who reads and understands the contents logically. Give this one a swirl if you dare, however if you are totally “blinkered” I recommend you take a stroll in the daisy field and frolic with forest fairies.
Little book of horrors
BIBLICAL HORROR STORIES!
What the hell are we subjecting our kids to?
Stories of adultery, murder, collusion, torture, deceit, hatred, war mongering, brutality, sacrifice, misogynists, angels of death and oodles more.
The other evening my 8 year old son asked me to read him a story from his “my first bible”, i sat there and thought “cool” it’s a kiddies bible and should be suitably sensitive for young kids. Boy was i wrong! This book of horrors propagates hatred and murder; the cutesy pictures don’t hide the blatant hate these stories really tell.
We must however start at the beginning, my son is a mild mannered individual who sits and really contemplates these bible stories; they work on his mind and cause him all manner of distress. The cruelty bugs him quite a bit and with this in mind we will start with the fun story of Cain and Abel. In this story Cain bludgeons his brother Abel to death with a rock because God supposedly rejects his offering of vegetables, it must be noted that Cain was a farmer and so naturally an offering of his produce to God should be expected as this is the produce of his land which he lovingly offers to his God, however God seems to be portrayed as a fussy snob and only finds favour with Abel`s blood offering of a goat. Abel as we know was a shepherd so an animal sacrifice is i suppose expected. Personally i find the practice of slaughtering an animal to any god ludicrous and an archaic dilly cruel and totally worthless practice. Surely God doesn’t need blood? Is our God really that blood lusting? Apparently he is according to the bible. My 8 year old son is now wrestling with this whole sacrifice/ murder story. What if he cannot offer God an animal?
My son detests cruelty to animals so now what? He can’t offer veggies as God will not like it and dismiss him out of hand! Oh hell what now????? Cain was a bad guy in the big picture i suppose and one can almost understand his annoyance that his hard toiled offering was rejected by a condescending God and his “oh so special” brother, the one everyone loves , gets all the praise and whom God almighty high fives for butchering a goat. For all we know Cain was probably a vegetarian pacifist driven by his arrogant snot nosed brother to murderous intent. I frikkin dislike snooty higher than thou types who always seem to be “teachers pet”. Now how do i explain this to my son, what do i say and how do i sugar coat murder obviously brought on by a fussy God who simply didn’t like Cain`s offering because it didn’t involve brutality and bloodletting? This is the tone the bible starts out with, just beautiful. You will also note that the bible does not come with any warnings on the cover or age restrictions, you know like we see on Marilyn Manson album covers: PARENTAL ADVISORY WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT: or the letters V S P L N. denoting VIOLENCE, SEX, PREJUDICE, LANGUAGE & NUDITY. The bible is chock a block with all of these.
Shall we explore the next story of horrendous parenting portrayed in the little black book of horrors that is touted as a fabulous show of unwavering faith. This story had my son thinking overtime... Abraham and his son out one fine day and Abraham suddenly decides to tie his son to an altar and yank out a huge flipping knife, chant some or other mumbo jumbo and gets ready to kill his son for God. I can only surmise that Abraham was high on acid or his schizophrenia was kicking in wholesale. The “voices” were telling him that God basically dared him to kill his son as a sign of faith, what a load of horse shit! That isn’t showing faith that is just plain barmy! Fast forward 2000 years utilising Marty McFly`s 1.21.jiggawatt flux capacitor powered De Lorean time travelling machine and try the same thing in down town Los Angeles or London or wherever , and you will have social services and a SWAT team breathing down your neck. The police are likely to shoot you in the head in order to save the by now traumatised and forever emotionally scarred child. Did Abraham for one moment think of the fear his son must have been experiencing, the emotional trauma and the fact that his son would probably never look at him in the same way ever again? Now you go and tell people that “God told you to kill your child” to prove your dedication and faith and you will find yourself locked up in a rubber room or 8x8 prison cell enjoying the intimate company of “Bubba”. However, it seems that within the Christian cult it was accepted and Abraham was a revered wise man. God in my mind is portrayed here as a college dude that suddenly jumps out and shouts “psyche”. How sick is this story and to put it in a child`s bible worries me as it worries my son. He asked me if i would do that. I retorted that my God wouldn’t ask me to do something so stupid or dangerous! My god is wise, kind and very clever unlike Abraham`s weirdo Deity.
King David fills the censor list with sex, nudity, violence and bad footloose dancing skills. Firstly as a young man he not only defeats goliath a huge frikkin Philistine but then shows his murderous madman side by hacking the giants heads off and here we thought that we had problems with teenagers violent outbursts today however the biblical teens were apparently just as unstable. This is indicative of a very sick youngster and we cannot even blame it on gangster rap music, heavy metal or first person shooter video games. Later he does some singing and dancing and makes a total mockery of the Ark of the Covenant by jigging in front of it like a moron (some confirmation is required as to whether he was fully attired or not while carrying on like someone freaking out on PCP). Later still he shows his voyeuristic/ peeping Tom side by spying on the wife of a soldier in his army taking a sexy bath. He embarks on an adulterous relationship with some skanky Ho named Bathsheba, David even sends her unwitting husband to the front in battle knowing he will buy the farm and thereby neutralise his opposition. Later on David`s son turns against him and basically leaves home, however he is killed by on of David`s generals while he is dangling from a branch by his long locks (the reason i suspect modern soldiers have short cut hair do`s). Upon finding out about his son`s demise David is apparently overcome by guilt and grief, to this i say you get what you sow you sorry lout! He couldn’t keep his pecker wood zipped and this led him to this misery. King David was at best a mediocre king and not the great exalted one the Christians punt him to be. He was a horny murderous twat.
The crucifixion of Christ is probably my most disliked story of torture, xenophobia and misogynistic brutality in the whole book. The Christians are seemingly blood thirsty deranged Nazi`s.. They “celebrate” Good Friday which by all intense purposes wasn’t that flipping good for Jesus. He spent the previous evening being betrayed by his pals and given to the romans in some or other garden, the way his luck was running, he probably got stiffed with the bill at the last supper as well !! He spends the morning being casually whipped repeatedly by his captors, beaten, mocked, spat on and forced to carry his own torture device up a hill to the place where he is then lashed to the cross, nailed and hoisted in the bleeding hot sun. To add insult to injury he is further poked in his side made to wear a thorny crown and left in his underwear. His followers all derided Mary Magdalene who was obviously more than just a groupie to Jesus. The apostles call her whore to her face, this is obviously because they (the apostles) were jealous of Jesus`s relationship with her. The Christians all side with the women hating apostles on this one too. It doesn’t fit into the Christian dogma that Jesus may have gotten “jiggy with it”. He however is touted as being born a man. Men have urges and needs and that makes us men and human beings. His troupe of “village people” aka the apostles i fear may have been a tad light in their sandals if you get my drift. The Christians then walk into church and wear a likeness of the torture device around their necks and kneel and pray to the humungous bleeding crucified effigy of Jesus adorning the wall. What a horror! It’s sick! If the Christians are so keen on having a Jesus hanging from the wall at least make it a lesser violent pose. I thought it was in the “good book” that we are not allowed to bow to or pray to any graven images made in the likeness of anything in heaven blah, blah, blah. Why don’t we all just go around wearing little “electric chairs” around our necks??
These are but a few of the horror stories that promote and propagate hate and xenophobia in the little black book. I cannot with a clear conscience read any further bible stories to my child; i want him to be able to sleep at night. If i must read scary stories to my son i will hence forth read him Stephen King novels! The bible is an out dated manuscript filled with stories of gore, corruption, nepotism, adultery and a very vindictive God who sends his assassin “the angel of death” to murder innocent children in Egypt! The barbarism is endless in this sordid graphic novel.
Save our kids, don’t send them to cult camps on Sundays otherwise known as Sunday school. It is bad enough they are force fed this tripe at school on a daily basis. The part that annoys me the most is that the Christians have the gall to look down on the Muslims by saying that Islamists are extremist in their writings but never for one moment bother to look at the hate their very own Christian writing is perpetuating.
My poor son is being bombarded by these ramblings of Cain killing Abel, the angel of death killing the first born and so on and so on. Whenever it rains heavily my son frets terribly about the world being flooded by God because people are wicked and he is punishing us. So the way i see it, God is the Punisher! Not in my religion, not in my views he aint but then again i don’t have straight forward dogmatic views. I would like my son to be free of fear in any form for whatever religion he one day follows. I just hope he doesn’t follow the clowns at the primary school we had him in this year. They have a wonderful compound/campus and are an offshoot of the failed doomsday cult called the Millerites of the 1840`s. The school he was in was a seventh day Adventist run school and man are they “ punchers” of note, we were not their favourite family as we don’t conform to their over the top Christian views and did not belong to their congregation and don’t go to their church, so they started their propaganda indoctrination campaign on my son . Here around Easter time they showed the grade 1 and 2`s what they said was the “kiddies version of the crucifixion”, what the hell?! How do you make torture, and crucifying kid friendly pray tell? What, was Goofy playing Jesus, Pontius Pilate portrayed by Elmer Fudd, Mary Magdalene portrayed by Betty Boop and the apostles by the seven dwarves and five of their cousins?
Hey if i want to join a crazy cult i will do so just don’t expect me to because my kid is in a school which is semi government so they can’t be all selectively exclusive. Sis man, that is really crappy and not the type of thing we teach our children at such a young and impressionable age. I studied Biblical Studies at school in my last three years as a main subject so i learned all the ins and outs of this book. What it taught me was to think and formulate my own views free of dogma. I definitely did not want to run off and do missionary work or become a priest i just wanted to learn a bit about a confusing collection of short stories and it just so happened that our Biblical Studies teacher was a siren, man she was a spanker with legs going all the way up. Mmmm Mrs Ferguson was a good teacher indeed. My son`s name is Kyle Reece and yes he was named after the character from the Terminator movies that fathered John Connor with Sarah Connor who goes onto leading the rebellion against skynet, my son loves the Terminator films and when asked what he will one day name his son, he replies “John Connor”. I would rather have my son watching The Terminator than anything from the bible; The Terminator is less violent and ultimately more believable.
So in conclusion:
Stop feeding our kids stories of horrid things and wrapping them up as all sweet, honest to goodness religious teachings. Murder is murder no matter how you slice it.
KIDNEY`S A GO –GO
First posted on the 12th of September 2010
RECESSION, PSEUDO RICH PEOPLE & CHOICE BODY PARTS FOR SALE.
Everyday i hear people whinging about how tough they have it and how they are struggling, this is made increasingly difficult to believe and stomach when they sit there and plead poverty wearing their designer slacks, designer branded shirt and jacket, designer shoes, designer watch, designer shades, designer socks, designer jocks(no doubt), designer jewellery, designer D&G cell phone which is so yesterday and cannot wait to upgrade to the latest Blackberry Android system smart phone next week when they are in stock and fancy car or double cab bakkie / suv parked next to their quad bike and jet ski . It makes me sick, they sit there and with a straight face order a fantastically pricey “designer’ cafe latte with croissant at an exorbitant cost of fifty rand. They claim that things are soooo tough and that they have to cut back on extravagances, as the credit crunch is really grabbing them, this all when they have their brand new latest fantasmagorically cool gadget inside the Incredible Connection packet , next to which is a trolley jam packed with an assortment of ridiculously costly groceries from “Woolies”. They are so in a hurry and cannot really listen to what you have to say because they are running late for their Virgin active gym session and facial peel, brow shape, lip augmentation, massage and sunbed session before heading out tonight to catch up on a show at the theatre after which they will be meeting “friends” at the Van Donk 5 star Ala Carte restaurant in the most exclusive hotel in Cape Town, (and this is the husband that is all metrosexual) let alone his wife! I then think to myself, “they are meeting friends, so what am i?” The poor person assigned to them to fill some rich persons quota of disadvantaged individuals that they are required to know and break down spiritually and socially? Holy kamoly, the credit crunch sure is taking its toll on these stuck up individuals.... Shit i wish i was in their predicament!
Here i sit at the table and order the most “cost effective” cup of coffee wearing my “generic” Mr Price socks, jocks, cargo pants, shirt, jacket that I purchased three years ago, my 4 year old phone, 4 year old shoes (Hi-Tec) naturally, hey even i like a moderately pricey shoe as they do last a tad longer than the “Fong kong” Chinese crap that i normally buy due to financial constraints. I am a victim of the crunch, i am struggling, and I am living very lean. These dildo`s have no clue about what it is to struggle however they are the first to retort that “i have been there”. What a lie!!! They have no frikkin clue. I unfortunately had to sell everything i owned and traveled with three kit bags to a new town to try start over again, i don`t own a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, i have lost it all and understand the meaning of credit crunch and struggling. I have always been a moderately humble person and never let my own perceived fantasticalness and ego rule me making me an impossibly vain schmuck like the fuckwit across the table from me.
I am fighting back the urge to stand up and scream obscenities at this fashion android and then gouge out “its” eyeball with the miniature teaspoon lying on the saucer which “it” just used to stir in” its” sweetener, the sweetener is not going to make you any skinnier if you gorge yourself like a pig at a trough! Use sugar for fuck sakes!!!! Don’t stir with your pinkie finger sticking out like it’s got a hard on! Stop with the annoying fake “Capetonian” “holistic” “schwa” accent; get over yourself already because the pretentiousness of your bombastic attitude is sickening! You love your own voice and you know it all, hell`s teeth it must be a full time job to keep up all that bullshit all the time? You look down on everyone around you forgetting that you too are just a person and your shit stinks just like everyone else`s, you are not royalty and you don`t deserve better service at Spar or the checkout at Woolies because you are just so busy and Uber important in your own little mind. Your car and address does not entitle you to special service, you constantly whine about the service at the tills and how despicable the cashier is however let me tell you a little secret. If you had a modicum of respect in that vacuous skull of yours you would realise that those around you would be nicer to you, unfortunately your horrid higher than thou demeanour results in the cashier for example being unhelpful in your eyes and it`s you that needs to re-examine, re-address and re-appraise your attitude and then others around you won’t treat you with disdain and rudeness that you harp on about, they are merely doing to you what you do to them.
Everyone, even the disenfranchised have the right to be treated decently by you! When the universe turns and the “karma bitch” takes all your stuff away it is going to hurt way more than it hurts the humble person. Why you ask? Simple, you spent so much time looking down at everyone around you that when it`s your turn you won`t be able to bounce back because your fall was such a long one and the view looking up to those you once looked down upon will quite literally kill you, the shame will be too much to bare. Next we read a small article in some obscure local paper that you took your own life, something like poor miss Fiona (YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK,, GOODBYE) Coyne. ****disclaimer****
(the views and opinions expressed are those of my own plausibility and theorem that i have garnered through hearing, seeing, reading and deducing via the media and my brain. I am in no way surmising that my chain of events is what happened for definite; they are simply my theories etcetera etcetera blah blah blah).
I predict that she was slip sliding from the higher than thou perch and couldn`t bear the “shame” of losing it all, which in reality probably wasn`t all that much or such a bad hurdle to overcome however the notion of moving into a smaller rented apartment from your luxurious Fish Hoek home for example was just too much of an embarrassment or perhaps the work front was taking a serious detour and the offers were drying up or the jobs being offered were simply embarrassing like being asked to be an extra in vetkoek paleis? Now a humbler person will accept the reality and make the best of a kak situation, i know, i have had to. Some dilly old bag suggested i become a car guard; i declined to comment and most certainly never entertained thoughts of committing sewerage pipe. My rationale is that i definitely didn`t travel 1450 kilometres to become a car guard. Hey i could have done that all the way back in Jo`burg. I secretly entertained thoughts of setting her car alight. Why she even suggested that i run out and stand in a car park to be ignored by her when she waddles back to her car after shopping, climbs in and leaves the lot without so much as making eye contact or saying thanks that i kept “a ninja eye’ on her vehicle. I moved to Cape Town from Jo`burg and i am looking for a job, i wasn`t released from a lunatic asylum or prison, so why did she allow her mouth let out ridiculous utterances that could very well end up with her lying in traction in the intensive care unit! If i were not a strong yet humble person i may have taken the Fiona way out, instead i gather my resolve and under my breath curse the bitch for suggesting such a dismal idea. Her comeuppance is in the cosmic queuing system.
This then brings me to my kidney.
Times are not optimal for me right now and the work situation remains elusive like the female “g” spot, i went online and surfed frenetically looking for Satan or contact details for Satan so that i could enquire about flogging or pawning my soul to him, unfortunately even Satan seems to be all “souled” out and doesn`t want to entertain any more applications. something about the market being flooded with people selling their souls causing a dip in the viability for Satan to pay for the souls at a premium rate, apparently the going rate for selling a soul is in the neighbourhood of a grand including vat and transfer costs. My next rational obvious option was to sell my left kidney, my first avenue of choice was to hang out at the local hospital and hand out flyers to those visiting relatives. This approach however seemed to annoy those visiting their ailing loved ones so I then went to cash crusaders however they said that my kidney came with too many “ encumbrances “ go figure?
Anyway, i then resorted to online advertising and duly placed an ad on Gumtree offering my left kidney for sale with some conditions and terms that obviously apply such as sold cash, as is, voets toets, in daily use and in great overall condition with forty two years on the clock, chancers need not apply. I foresee that my ad will be easier to view and will be available to a larger audience seeing that it is on the web. I am extremely excited at the prospect of some Yank or European phoning me and purchasing my kidney, i have been honest in my description and reason for selling, and my reason for selling is simple. I need the frikkin money oh and of course, i only theoretically need one to survive and seeing as i have passed my “midlife ” milestone what the hell do i need both for? I could really use the two hundred and fifty thousand rand to purchase something really important like a Ducati motorcycle or BMW z3. You know a necessity. Any ways i digress, please keep me in mind when speaking to anyone you may know that per chance needs a kidney or collects kidneys, hey people collect weird and wonderful shit out there. So next time you are on Gumtree check under the general goods for sale and visit my advert. I am toying with the idea of adding a lung to my shopping cart; i am a non-smoker so some poor emphysema ridden sod can get an added lease on life by purchasing my healthy right lung. So as you can see i am not only trying to benefit financially from the sale of my body parts, i am actually a philanthropist and by Jove i am a kind hearted straight laced dude however some people out there may say i am a sick twisted psychotic maniac! To them i say balderdash...... I am simply a complicated dude.
CHICKEN ALA CONSPIRACY
THE LIVES AND DEMISE OF TWO KINGS
First posted June 27th 2009
Well it has finally come to bear, the death of the “king of pop”, Michael Jackson. The man was no doubt a tortured soul, never feeling comfortable in his skin. This is blatantly obvious by his freak show transformation over the decades. I fear he may have been more confused than a chameleon on josephs Technicolor dream coat. Was he black? Was he white? Was he real? Was he of sound mind? To this, in my opinion i say he was insane. His quest for the perfect form, face, skin tone, home and quirky needs was legendary and known to all. His penchant for KFC was seemingly known to insiders but was clearly not a problem like his ex-father in law who’s gorging of toasted peanut butter and banana sandwiches followed by double cheeseburgers and fist full of an assortment of barbiturates led to this “kings” demise from a fatal heart attack. However, “Wacko Jacko” also had somewhat of a tablet fixation apparently?
Jackson and Presley shared many parallels. Both had talent, and took the world by storm, both had megalomaniacal sides to their personalities. Both built their “dream” homes. Elvis had Graceland, Jackson had never land ranch. Both had a weird thing for underage persons, however Elvis digged chicks and ultimately married the underage consort namely Priscilla. The two kings would by some strange twist of comedy be bound together as related family via Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie. Elvis had his “Memphis mafia” and was granted arrest powers by the then prez Lyndon B Johnson. Jacko would be surrounded by an army of body guards and in most countries a real army of soldiers of whichever country he was in. Both died of fatal heart attacks at home, although Jackson was not at the never land ranch. Both were on an assortment of prescription drugs, both were reaching the twilight of their careers and both were trying to give it one last stonk and go on tour again.
Now i am not an investigator but you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that these elements are conducive to funny business. I am of the opinion that there are those near to the stars that see the decline in sales, talent and increase in bizarre behaviour that is starting to spell out the end of the star and more importantly their meal tickets. The first step is to allow the star to spiral into their own megalomania and make outlandish requests, embarrass themselves in the public eye, allow a plethora of doctors to prescribe drugs of all sorts to placate the stars demands for more once they are hooked. Finally the star zeroes out and kicks the bucket. Enter the hyenas afterward that squabble ferociously for the intellectual rights to the stars treasures and spin billions off after the star is gone.
Now i am pretty sure that if toxicology reports are released unaltered they will show i am sure that Jackson had many different prescription drugs in his blood stream just like his ex-dad in law “E”.::: a star under the control of drugs is easily mismanaged by those entrusted to caring for him personally, physically and in business. I am of the opinion that someone entrusted to the revival of Jacko`s new tour saw that the “king of pop” was over the hill and a done deal so the cogs are set in motion to create a legend after the man. With Elvis’s death and the subsequent boom in the king’s legend spinning a multimillion dollar a year business that is still raking in the bucks and tourists after all these years surely gave those with ulterior motives the blue print on how to create a fiscally viable business. Jackson was almost obsessed with cleanliness and health so how did he die from a massive heart attack? I believe it to be from the underhanded dealings of doctors with easily accessible prescription pads who write out prescriptions for classified drugs at the drop of a hat when requested to do so by the person who gets them on behalf of the star. So jacko`s emissary in waiting just resurrected the “king of pops” career with his heart attack. Man, what a career move, it was a coup! Jacko didn’t drive himself to his downfall, no!!! He was driven there. Jackson’s album sales will sky rocket, his memorabilia will be worth shit loads of money. His memory will live on in his fans minds and a lot of “people” will get insanely wealthy. Poor old Jacko who was the man behind the fame gets diddely squat, other than a memorial. Web sites will flood the net and sightings will be made from all over the planet. Dudes, the man is dead. “Jackson has moon walked out of the building”
The man was strange to say the least and there are those that will miss him, i however wont. He just didn’t make music i liked and i thought he was a tad too freakish for my liking. I prefer muso`s like Abba, Pat Benetar, Elvis, AC/DC, Laibach, Rammstein, Rob Zombie, INXS and Marilyn Manson.. So wacko and Elvis in my opinion met similar fates when their candle of talent waned, greed by “someone” within their entourage and close circle were the engineers of a blatant public relations cover up and murder most foul by allowing, assisting, encouraging and purposely pushing the star to the brink of what seems by outsiders as self-destruction. This is absolute shit! No intelligent human would allow the goose that lays the golden egg to kill itself. These conspirators knew well what they were doing for quite some time. They simply sailed with the ship in the calm seas of success and made money by the bucket full, however when the ship started resembling the titanic the plans were carefully put in use to capitalise on the honey pot that awaited in the wake of the death.
The more nuts the star acts the better, the more controversy the better. The truly sick thing is that this isn’t an isolated incident. This type of “suicide by installment” by wealthy, popular, powerful people has been going on since the caveman days. The sad part is the people who cared for these men are left to pick up the pieces of their lives and attempt to move on. To these people it must be like trying to extricate themselves from the wreckage of an airplane crash deep in an isolated desolate place.
To those who orchestrate and encourage these dastardly deeds it’s just about the dollar. They are the hyenas of society and every star has these parasites within their close circles who are slowly herding them to misery and fulfill their own ends and needs. Every star who overdoses or is led to feel unfulfilled and commits suicide to escape themselves and what they believe to be mediocrity have been helped along by hyenas who cleverly disguise friendship, caring, good business sense and devotion to spin a quick buck or mountains of money at others expense. That expense is heavy, the stars pay with their lives, and (anyone recall Mr Kobain? Brilliant career move but just not for him!)
Another noteworthy gent who checked out “prematurely” was Michael Hutchence. That auto erotic sex shit is pretty friggin weird. His career was slowly “coming” to an end. I just find it mind boggling that no one sees the slippery slope as it approaches; my only conclusion to this is that everyone is so enthralled by the money, fame and fun that they simply turn a blind eye to the inevitable.
I believe that there should be investigations as intense as Jacko was investigated for his “transgressions”. I believe he was guilty, that however is my personal opinion. People must be brought to book. I believe too that stars should examine their close knit circle of confidantes more closely and finally those that are close and clean should be very wary when the star starts acting like nut balls and then concentrate closely on those who stand to lose the most and by default gain the most.. Investigate. Intervene. Imprison... Then get the star into rehab and save their life. Those that should be worried are the diva, socialite types like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Brittney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Amy Winehouse et al. They are currently being prepped for similar fates. They need to un-screw themselves and their confidantes must weed out the mongers before they too become epitaphs.
It’s as simple as that. Back to Jacko. The man was nothing more than a creepy 50 year old with questionable intentions toward little boys, just look how Mc Auley Kulkin turned out?!?!?! There must have been some amount of foul play, i mean really now, "who the hell lets a person derail so badly and does bugger all about it?"
“UNLESS IT WAS ORCHESTRATED TO BE THAT WAY.”
You have hereby survived the initial onslaught of oddities that clang around the inside of my head. Congratulations and thank you.
Mike Da Silva