For seven years running, on the last Saturday of March, we celebrate the *WTF Earth Hour. Millions of people around the World will be switching off their lights for 60 minutes to show their commitment to taking positive actions for our planet.
Luckily, the people here in the good old Arse of South Africa (RSA), don’t have to do anything. Between Eskom, incompetent municipalities, and cable thieves, we have Hours of Darkness (or Duckness, as it is known in the vernacular), almost every day.
During yesterday’s Hours of Duckness, Sakkie and I pondered on many things – one of them being my son’s birthday on the 28th of March, every year. Let me tell you about it:
According to the Bible, Adam was the first man on Earth to knew. He knew Eve; she bare him sons, which he begat. (This is all theological jargon which I doubt that you will understand. I certainly don’t.)
Sometimes Adam knew Eve more than once (just for the fun of it) before he begat another son. And then that son would knew some nameless woman, and he would begat. And their sons would knew other women and they would begat. And so on. And so forth.
They knew and begatted a lot in the Old Testament.
Be that as it may, some 37 years and 9 months ago, I knew my wife, and I begat a son nine months later, in the Moedersbond Maternity Hospital, in Pretoria. The 28th of March 1977, was on a Monday – check it out – I was there.
My son was delivered by **cesarean section. It looked so painful, I cried because I knew my wife. But that’s another story.
On the following Sunday morning, my wife told me that she had behaved well, and that she was allowed to go home from hospital. I went to the reception to make arrangements for payment to the medical team, and hospital, for assisting with the begatting.
The old sourpuss in the nurse’s uniform insisted that she wanted the money, or a cheque, NOW. I told her that I didn’t have a cheque account or enough money with me, but that I would draw the funds from my banking account the next day, and pay for the whole begatting thing.
“In that case, young man,” said the old bitch with the ugly moustache, “you can take your wife home, but the baby stays right here until you make the payment!”
In those days I was not a nice guy.
“All right, tell you what,” I said. “You phone the cops so long, because I’m going to kick your hospital to pieces, and then I’m taking my wife home. Right now! And no one is going to stop me.”
I must have made an impression because she didn’t phone the cops. So I didn’t kick her hospital to pieces. I took the wife home, and paid the bill on the Monday. And that was that. Or so I thought.
Now here’s the thing:
According to the Zodiac Signs of the Horrorscope, Sagittarians are born between 23 November and 21 December. Capricorns are born between 22 December and 20 January.
Now here’s a question to ponder during the Hours of Duckness:
What if some poor boy, who by natural selection – destined to be a Capricorn – born on the 23rd of December – was prematurely yanked into life by cesarean section on the 20th of December – making him a Sagittarian?
At the moment of his birth, the Moon is behind Venus, instead behind Jupiter? And Pluto is running after Calypso, instead of Io?
Instead of becoming a great composer of classical music; a brilliant scientist; or a gifted neurosurgeon; the boy now becomes a corrupt politician serving in the ANC government?
Or instead of becoming a world-class Olympic champion marksman with his rifle – he ends up shooting at bathroom doors in the middle of the night?
(Yes, Sakkie, I know. My son turned out just fine. It’s in the genes – the ones he begat from me. But I’m just saying.)
I sometimes have second thoughts about taking my son home from the Maternity Hospital. Maybe I should have left him there and let them pay for his education, clothes, school, toys, pocket money, and sports equipment. Let them stay up nights to help care for him when he is sick. Let them console him when life got too much for his young shoulders to bear.
But then I would have missed out on our camping and hiking trips, our fishing expeditions, our motorbike rides, going sailing, sharing his first beer, our tennis and chess games, our days and hours and hours of pure fun and the enjoyment of life – as only a father and a begatted son can have.
Naaah. The old sourpuss in the nurse’s uniform had no chance – I made the right decision back in 1977.
Happy birthday, Des. Love you, son.
*WTF – I know, I know
**cesarean section – Do you know why they tie off the umbilical cord of a newborn? I’ll tell you: Just like a balloon that hasn’t been tied off after it has been inflated, a baby with an untied umbilical cord, will just: “Phhhirrrrrrrrttt!” fly all over the place when you let go of it. So make damn sure that the umbilical cord is ALWAYS properly tied off.