Sunday 9 August 2020
SOS – Steve on Sunday
THE WEEK THAT WAS
3 – 9 August 2020
Greetings my fellow sufferers,
What a wonderful week! I believe it was because I managed to escape from Big Brother for a couple of days. Or is it Big Sister, you know, that elderly lady who says that all people over the age of sixty must stop work and remain at home during this ‘pandemic’. And she is 71 years old but do you see her quietly fading away and going home? Oh no. Different rules for different people. Just there I typed ‘people’ and thought I should leave it like that, but then remembered this is a family site and I had better not.
Where was I? Oh yes, escaping the grip of the power and control lockdown for a few days, but before dashing off into that story, first a short but true story about those lovely women and men dressed in blue who leave no stone unturned for some reason. Led by that funny fellow who wears a hat all the time and threatens to execute smokers, drinkers and curfew breakers, and ignoring the true criminals.
Anyway, here in Kimberley about ten days ago a car park owned by a supermarket chain was taken over by hundreds of these people dressed in blue and several dozen of the finest fighting military force south of the Limpopo. No, not the Lesotho army, although they might take out our fine sollies with ease, but rather the men and women in cammo who have been doing such a fine job despite many of them leaning towards being overweight and being over 40 years old too…so much for retirement after a 15 year contract as an infantryman. It now appears to be a life-long job for an infantryman in the Republic. Heaven help us if Lesotho or any other similar major country declares war on us.
So this car park is taken over and there is going to be a massive parade where the Northern Cape Premier shall address this mob and tell them what a fine job they are doing and they are all going to get bravery medals and a handshake and cigarettes and booze and whatever. Actually all I know is that he was going to tell them what a fine job they are or have been doing. And I am sure some of them have.
I waited to hear what wonderful words he was going to say but after about 90 minutes of hovering around I decided to go back home and sleep. More exciting.
One of these men in blue also standing around is/was an acquaintance. We used to be on drinking terms but as there is now a ban it is probably only him that consumes a tipple or two. Now this chap, slightly plumpish, but a nice enough bloke is a Captain and his job in the law enforcers is in the band. Yip, the musical band. So I ask him howzit going since lockdown and he replies that he is exhausted from working these terrible shifts at night and that he now needs a break. He carries on waffling away and tells me that the last time he picked up a musical instrument was before lockdown at the end of March 2020. (I have to write the year nowadays as we do not know what year this lockdown will unlockup.) Now that equates to about 4 months without playing an instrument and he is indeed very unhappy. He did not join this service to police the people, he says, but that is what he is now doing.
He carried on blabbing and moaning, and told me that not only the entire band – so much for ‘and the band played on’ – but also all the admin men and women in blue are doing their duty on road blocks and catching ‘criminals’ like myself smuggling alcohol and cigarettes across borders. I told him that he is doing a seriously absolutely marvellous job but who needs band music anyway. A sudden silence and immediately a long legged lady dressed in blue called him away from my company, so off he wandered rapidly. Don’t blame him to be honest. It was then that I noticed he had not been wearing a mask and nor had he stayed a metre away from me. And he was having a smoke! Remember what I said about rules for some poeple only. Ach, I’m just leaving my typo errors, you all know what I mean. I do apologise for the spelling errors that do creep in from time to time. I mean, I do know poeple should read people but somehow it reads better with the error. Those who know Afrikaans may understand…
Which is why there were suddenly so many men and women in blue all over the place, the 95% of ‘other jobs’ joined the flying squad and the riot squad and the normal patrol chaps and chappesses and did some real policing. Or what they believe or have been told real policing is all about.
Heaven help us all.
Anyway, back to escaping the lockdown. I managed to escape my province and sneak via many, many gravel roads on to some battlefields in the next door province to where I normally reside.
Or maybe it was a dream?
Let us pretend it was a dream, but it was a good dream, believe you me.
So in my dream I rapidly moved over the border escaping the permanent road blocks and over three days managed to see four battlefields, lots of animals, no hunters, and stayed in some really marvellous lodges. And ate like a king as you can only do in a dream. Gave a talk or two too.
Sunshine the entire three days, walking the veld (bush), and staying clear of rhinos and predators. I spoke with the many dead of the battles from 120 years back but they did not reply. Thank goodness otherwise I should have been back in Kimberley rather rapidly. I would also probably have started drinking and smoking again which would have been fine as it was only a dream remember?
So after a lovely time away I decided to come back on the one tar road into Kimberley as a contact has phoned me (in my dream) to advise that the daily roadblock is not up and they are having the Monday off.
Yeehaa. Now this roadblock is about 5 kilometres out of town and is on a straight section of tar so there is no turning back. They will see you and if you stop or do a u-turn they will chase you and you will go to jail and pay some ridiculous fine. But there is no roadblock, so my mate says, and off I go.
I breast the rise, Kimberley very near, and lo and behold my lovely dream turns into a nightmare. A kilometre away are blue flashing lights. I have a change of underwear experience and stop the vehicle immediately. I jump out and open the bonnet and study the radiator and take lids off and place spanners and other vehicle weaponry all around. The men (and women) in blue at the roadblock are sure to come and see what is going on and seriously, I have no answer to their questions at this time. I make myself a cup of coffee, take out my camping chair and sit and contemplate my immediate future. It looks quite bleak for my immediate future.
After 15 minutes the vehicle with the blue flashing lights leaves the roadblock and heads towards me. In Afrikaans there is a saying about ‘hier kom k*k’ and I know it.’
Fortunately it is a dream!
The vehicle gets closer and closer and I get more and more nervous. I study the engine of my golfie as if I know what’s going on and they toot their hooter, waving merrily at me as they drive on past. What the…?
I get out my binoculars and take a good look at what is really ahead of me. Well, well, well. There had been an accident and the vehicles are now being towed away. Half the men and women in blue have headed back to Kimberley and the other half have headed back past me in to the Free State. It was not the normal roadblock.
Suddenly my vehicle was working again and off I went. A further two kilometres down the road was where the roadblock is normally positioned and guess what? There was no-one there and I got back safely to my home.
Some dreams do come true…
I think I shall leave you all on that happy note, and just wish you all, especially the ladies, a most enjoyable Women’s Day today and tomorrow, a public holiday under lockdown.
I thank you.
PS: I can only presume that there is no Men’s Day celebrated as a public holiday because each and every day is in fact Men’s Day?