Have you ever cornered someone and rambled on about the topic of your obsession?
Are you unaware that their eyes are glazing over while staring into the distance?
If (s)he manage to make a getaway, do you follow them or target the next unsuspecting individual?
My guests, exhausted after an 18 hour flight and studying the pizza menu were subjected to Ralf as soon as he made his entrance.
His passion was Saving the Rhino.
While some people couldn't care less, most of us are appalled by the torture ignorant and greedy savages inflict on the rhino which are being hunted to extinction.
While we admire the dedication and determination to stop this barbarism, Ralf drove my hapless guests batty.
As they were from Asia and had difficulty communicating in English, Ralf's questions and comments left them bored and bewildered.
"Do you know that Mozambican poachers have killed the last remaining rhino in the entire country?"
"According to eastern medicine their horns are believed to be a cure for cancer. Can you believe that? Also, as a hangover cure and an aphrodisiac in Asia. People are so stupid over there."
"Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material as human hair and finger nails. So why slaughter them?"
The rhino horn is more expensive than cocaine, gold and platinum at over R600 000 per kilogram."
"Would you be willing to give a donation to save these magnificent creatures?"
As the guests left the room, Ralf followed them and continued with a theatrical rendering of the sounds of the adult rhinos and then those of their babies as he explained each in turn.
Ralf then subjected the Asians to an African general knowledge quiz: "Are there tigers in Africa?" and, "Do you know what a warthog is?"
"Some people are so thick." Ralf told me later.
I then told him that I needed to sleep as the guests were leaving at 4am for a flight to Cape Town.
"Why?" he asked, "I am far from finished. We can continue this conversation tomorrow. I only have a flight at midnight."
When Ralf heard the guests leaving, he jumped out of bed nearly knocking them over to hand out magazines entitled: The Plight of the Rhino.
I had to strictly enforce the 10am check-out time to save my sanity. As Ralf was walking away the rhino sounds reached fever pitch.
My gardener asked me if 'that man was mad?'
Later that evening another group decided to braai in the backyard.
Aaron ran out of his room as though it was on fire: "Terry, Terry, I smell smoke. Is there a bush fire nearby? I wanted to speak to you. I heard that they kill rhino in your Kruger Park. Is this open to the public?"
"No, " I replied.
"A pity," said Aaron, "then I came here all for nothing."
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