More on that expat vote thing

Thanks to Persona non grata, (who of course is always more than grata here on 6000 miles…) for his comment on the Trevor Mallach fake letter post, which – after some top class detective work*, I have discovered came from here.

LONDON. South African expatriates living in Britain and the US say that they are unlikely to vote in April 22’s general election as they are too busy queuing at soup kitchens and catching rats to bulk up their gruel. However some expats have demanded the right to vote, hoping to stuff their shoes with ballot papers and gather up enough pencils to burn for warmth.

The issue of whether or not expatriates should be allowed to vote in the forthcoming election has been a political hot potato in South Africa, with the ANC opposing the move as it fears a strong expatriate turnout on April 22 could see its majority slip from 76 percent to 75.9 percent.

However the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus remain adamant that expatriates should be allowed to vote abroad, and are hoping for a major boost from this demographic.
4.4 million of South Africa’s 4.5 million whites currently live in four flats in Shepherd’s Bush in London, and both opposition parties are hoping to rouse at least a few dozen out of their traditional apathy come April 22.

But for expatriates, trapped in a crushing cycle of debt, joblessness and stale Jaffa Cakes, voting is not as easy as it sounds.

Worsie van Tonder, a 26-year-old electrical engineer currently working as a coffee-bean titillator at Costa, says he is unlikely to vote even if allowed to.
“If you’re out of the shop for more than twelve minutes a month they fire you,” he explained. “I just don’t know when I’d get the chance. And these beans need titillating.”

Elsa-Chante Smit, 23, is a classically trained pet therapist but is currently paying her heating bills by working as an exotic dancer at Little Caesar’s Skin Bar in Glasgow. She echoes Van Tonder’s sentiments, although she says she’s lucky just to have a job.
“A lot of South Africans in the UK, you see them roaming around in the streets like zombies. Slack jaws, moaning as they walk, Springbok jerseys all dirty and ragged, Springbok beanies all unraveling, Springbok scarves dragging in the slush behind them.

“The local kids throw them with rocks. Dogs rip off their jean-pants. It’s horrible.”

Brad Brad-Bradley, who decided to take a gap year in London with his friend and wrestling partner Chad Chadley-Chadford after they graduated from Michaelhouse with distinctions in suppressed masculine rage, said he would not be voting on April 22 as he would be at the South African embassy applying for economic refugee status.
“Bru, we’re so stoked about going home and that, but we sold our Bok puffer jackets and Bok jerseys so we’d totally freeze to death before we made it to Heathrow,” he explained.

He said getting on a South African Airways flight was easy as one only needed to offer the cabin crew some hard drugs.
“The problem is that me and Chad ate our drugs last night, with the last of the rat. It was so cold, and our teeth are starting to get loose in our gums, and he had this brick of skunk, so we fried it in diesel oil and shredded the last of the rat-leg into it.

“It tasted lank k*k but what can you do in these times?”

Of course, it’s obviously made up. The flats are in Putney, not Shepherd’s Bush.

* Cut & Paste a bit of it into google. Hit Enter key.

Friday morning

ADVERT: Don’t forget to nominate 6000 miles… in the 2009 SA Blog Awards. Thank you.

They say that Friday is the best day of the week. Of course, “they” say a lot of things which are untrue, poorly thought-out or just plain silly:
“This won’t hurt a bit”, “Let’s play cricket in Pakistan” or “Jacob Zuma – now there’s a bloke I’d trust”.

In all honesty, Friday started badly.
It’s not that I don’t like to hear from my kids – of course I do. I just don’t want to hear from them at 3:15am. Unless it’s really urgent. And little 7-month old K-pu – who last week looked as cute as a button with her rusk – demonstrating her new found ability to “sing” doesn’t quite make it into the really urgent bracket.

I tried to break this fact to her gently and without swearing, but she refused to listen and broke into something that sounded concerningly like Lily Allen. It was at that point that I realised that the use verbal force in order to halt the noise was entirely justified. So I used it, in a kind of hushed, trying-not-to-wake-the-rest-of-the-family way. That sort of verbal force takes a lot of practice and tightly gritted teeth. Fortunately, I have plenty of teeth to grit and have had the opportunity to practice at great length on many occasions and thus I am an expert at being loud, softly.

The Lily Allen stopped. 
K-pu blinked.
And then began with her vintage Coldplay selection…

I was momentarily caught off guard by Yellow.
“That’s actually pretty good,” I remember thinking, before the realisation hit me that it was twenty past three and I wanted to be back asleep in the arms of Claudia Schiffer my wife.

And here I must pause to tell the world what a great wife I have. A wife who brings football boots to important football matches when her half-crazed husband leaves home without them and then flies into a flat panic 20 minutes before kick off. That’s quite cool.  

OK, she’s gone now. Grovelling sycophancy completed and I’ll remind you that I am in the nursery in the early hours listening to Chris Martin Jnr belting out the classics while not wandering along a wet beach in an anorak.

In Science, if you want to know what effect something has, you change that something. For example, if I want to know what effect oxygen has on a hamster, I take two hamsters and I remove oxygen from one of them. 
Mr Oxygen Hamster wees in the corner of his cage. Mr NoOxygen Hamster is still and stiff in the corner of his.
Thus, having considered the results and put almost 20 years of education, training and experience to use, I conclude that oxygen makes floppy hamsters wee.

It would be nice to know why K-pu wakes up in the middle of the night and launches into Britpop. That way, we could perhaps prevent it happening. The trouble is, there are just too many variables (oxygen is not one of the ones I am willing to try). Is she too hot, too cold (not likely), hungry, thirsty, does she have tummy ache, earache (maybe due to the Lily Allen), is it a dirty nappy, a bad dream, was there a noise that woke her or does she maybe just like Coldplay?
But changing one of these variables each night is virtually impossible. And even if it were possible, you know that it would be the last one that you try which will make the difference. And that’s two sleepless weeks. Try it. You might like it. Not.

Fortunately, there is a little-known company called Nestlé out there that makes something called formula. Formula is a cure-all when it comes to halting episodes of Baby Idols in the early hours. Sure – it doesn’t sort out smelly nappies or earache, but it does make baby forget about them for a few hours. Much like the effect of brandy on an adult.  

Two minutes of contented sucking later (and no, this isn’t a reference to the Joost video) – beautiful silence.
Gently place happy child back in her cot.
Leave room quietly humming Trouble and climb back into bed next to wonderful boot-bringing wife.

Bliss.

Until, about a minute later, a remarkably accurate version of Travis’ 1999 hit Driftwood pipes up from K-pu’s room…

Sentence review

Remember this?

The story of the Labour peer and the waitress?
Both of whom used mobile phones to send text messages while driving.
Both of whom killed innocent individuals by ploughing into the back of their stationary vehicles.

One of whom was given 21 months in prison, the other 12 weeks.

It all seemed a bit unfair, so I was hugely delighted to see the headline on the BBC News Website:

Phone crash sentence under review

In big writing, just like that.

But, guess which one the Solicitor General thinks may be “unduly lenient“…

Thinned Quota Sunsets

No time, no time. And off to play football, so a quick pair of South African sunsets: one from the parkade at Cape Town International Airport and the other from the veld in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province, both thinned down for your delectation (and so my sidebar doesn’t go AWOL).

Same sun, same country; but a world apart, I’m sure you’ll agree.

tss1
South West [bigger]

tss2
North West [bigger]

Ideally, I would have lined them up so that the suns were directly in line. But I didn’t. And now I don’t have time. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. As long as you haven’t been looking directly at the sun.

SA Blog Awards 2009

Nominations for the 2009 SA Blog Awards are now open (until 14th March) and we at 6000 miles… would appreciate your assistance in nominating this blog by clicking on the rather natty blue dog-tag thing below and following the simple instructions thereafter.


nominate this blog

You will then be asked to cast your vote – preferably for us again, please – sometime between the 14th March and the 1st April (no joking) in what could be the biggest poll that South Africa will see this year*.

We’ve done our best to keep you amused, updated, entertained and informed over the past 12 months, never shying away from big issues like Politics, Cyclists, Keith LedgerXenophobia, Brussel Sprouts, Julius Malema, Killer Viruses and Mystery Statues

You don’t have to be in South Africa to vote, unlike some elections we could mention, so please – make your mark for democracy and decent blogging by making 6000 miles… your blog of choice.

Thank you.

EDIT: Check out my annoying arrow in the sidebar. It’s annoying isn’t it?

* Terms and conditions apply.