One Saturday in June last year, I decided to mow the lawn. It was partly due to the unhealthy length of the grass and partly because of all the leaves which had gathered on it from the cold front winds. I start mowing (yeah, with my electric 2500W machine, in your face Eksdom!) when suddenly the bucket is full. Now what? I have no bakkie to take it to the dump, I have no trailer, I have no more spare dog food bags to store it in, so I just chuck it at the back of the house – will deal with it later.
Summer came and went without me bothering about the growing pyramid of half grass, half compost behind the house. One day my wife asks me what I plan to do with “those plants” growing over the house. Obviously I reply that they are there for the shade when the next summer arrives, and they are trees – not plants. “No”, she says, “Those bright green stems with the white flowers and huge seed pods”. Flabbergasted I scramble around the house to be greeted by a few dozen ominous looking “malpit” weeds.
I call in the help of my trusted weed killer formula: diesel, and start drowning those buggers until the neighbour complains of his neighbour’s bakkie fumes. The next weekend I was glad to see all the vermin had deceased.
I decide to rent a trailer three weeks after that to haul away the stinking diesel / grass mountain to the dump. (Just think the points to score with the wife!) When I round the corner to start the load, millions of little malpit weeds anxiously await my approval of their brilliance at overcoming the diesel and migrating to the rest of the garden.
I ask around and get help, at the stop street. The moment I stop I am swamped with paint roller wielding hopefuls exclaiming that they have qualifications to fix the roof as well. Against my better knowledge I permit the most open faced one to grace the co-driver position. He tells me he is from Toti, has matric and picked up muscle, working at various building sites. I tell him that this is just a garden job at which he seems disgusted.
Getting home the boy eyes the rolling fields of malpitte and exclaims his knowledge of all other hallucinants, how to use them and that we can make money. I suddenly get this premonition of a young Zulu warrior standing over me with an assegai and wished I rather did this on my own, but common sense gets the better of me and I explain that the seed pods have to go into the bags whole.
Toti finishes up in no time. I let him go half day with full pay. I’m happy, wife’s happy, Toti’s happy. Good deal all round.
Rain hits a few weeks later and the garden flourishes. I get home from work the Thursday only to walk into a wife with a 10 bar lip problem. After doing some soul searching I assume it can only be another attention deficit bout from my side or the anniversary – no, that’s in December… She grabs me by the hand as if we were wandering through the Garden of Eden, alas – billions of little malpitte saw the light of day, lying dormant, awaiting the rain. I guess Toti saw the light of work for another day.
This is now my current project – ridding the garden of a ca-zillion weed plants. The project would probably run to the end of this year, no need to guess how much points I scored.
Now, as I rip the buggers out one-by-one, I discuss my failed stint with the other me, and realise how much of a parallel predicament our country is in regarding power, clean water, sewerage operations, general municipal service deliveries, road maintenance, government works, departments etc.
My advice to them is to do a bit of planning. That’s all, get some know-hows and pay the R400.00 per hour. It will be worth millions to us plebs paying for their Mercs.