Based on a true story
After many decades of connubial blisters, I’ve lost my status. But, being a glutton for punishment, I want it returned to me. This is an appeal to News24 readers to help me get back on the straight and narrow path of matrimonial misery before it is too late.
It all started when I heard that you could verify your marital status on the *Department of Home Affairs’ website. All you had to do was to enter your ID number into a little block and click on the “Verify” button. I entered the number and clicked. Once.
“SINGLE” (as if ZION was answering my query), the screen screamed!
I tried it a few more times – but ZION just kept on screaming: “SINGLE.”
Now, flustered beyond repair, I decided (for the first time in my life) to break the law.
I ignored Home Affairs’ warning message: “This service is intended for use by individuals to verify their own marital status only. Any attempt(s) to verify the marital status of others or to use or access the service in any way other than described above is expressly prohibited. Trespassers will be penalised and circumnavigated by a traditional healer.”
But what the Hell! My life was over anyway. So I typed in my wife’s ID number.
“MARRIED!” ZION shouted back.
My world collapsed! My wife is married – and I’m single! The unfaithful Hussy! My life flashed before my eyes in slow-mo, High-definition Blue-ray, with Dolby surround sound.
My two kids, my granddaughters, my cat, my guitar: Who do they belong to now? Can I still sleep with the woman I’ve come to regard as my spouse? Will the children still call me: “Dad,” and “Granddad?”
If I go hunting, fishing, or drinking with my buddies; do I still have to tell my so-called “other half?”
If I flirt with other women; is my “wife” still allowed to slap me around and make me sleep in the garage?
Who is going to mow the lawn, repair the plumbing, and change the light bulbs? Who killed Cock Robin? All these terrible questions flashed before my eyes. Luckily, the flashing stopped for a moment – as they went to a commercial break.
I decided not to tell the married woman in my house about my new-found status and went off to the Department’s head office, in Pretoria.
After standing in the queue long enough to get to know all my fellow queue-standees, planning a reunion, exchanging phone numbers and e-mail addresses with most of them, and sending out for take-aways twice, I got to the front of the line.
The fat lady (behind the counter) removed her finger from her right nostril, stared at it in contemplation, and, like an Oracle of Yore, spoke: “Bring your wife and marriage certificate, plus two reliable witnesses, a bishop – or if one is not available – at least three cardinals or the Pope, and to come back on the 30th of February 2017.”
I tried to explain that I no longer had a wife – according to their website.
“Then you must get a wife as soon possible and make sure that she was BBBEE compliant. Also, you have to complete Form DHA-1763 (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage); customary marriages are registered by completing BI-1699 and paying the required fees. An acknowledgement of receipt BI-1700 will then be issued by the Department,” she replied.
I must have collapsed because when I came to; some of my new-found friends were crying and trying to resuscitate my abused life-support system, gall bladder, and other essential organs.
I got in the car and drove to the place I used to call “home.”
So there you have it. I am not going to tell anyone of my “status” until I hear from the News24 readers what I’m supposed to do next.
But please hurry – I want to go fishing!
*Department of Home Affairs - http://www.dha.gov.za/marital_status.asp