Sometimes muppets are useful in their uselessness

2013-03-11 12:19

As Wednesdays go, this one started out pretty normal. The usual stuff. Harassing government officials. Hassling politicians. General plotting, planning and skulduggery.

The Croc is in the Eastern Cape on another mission, so I’m flying solo. It’s boiling hot. I head to Battery Beach for a lunchtime swim. That’s one of the many reasons I live in Durban. Try bodysurfing the Jozi mine dumps. Not cool.

Out of nowhere this dodgy disc in my lower back pops. It’s the legacy of getting booted by some nutter at the Bean Bag a couple of years ago. And slipping and falling down the Ghenginator’s stairs in the rain.

I’m in instant agony. My spine locks. I’m listing towards starboard like the USS Cole. There’s pain shooting up my spine, across my back down into my butt. I’m bathed in sweat. I’m cursing, hobbling in circles. I’m trying to balance my laptop bag and beach gear, and find my phone. Everything hits the deck.

When this hits there’s only one treatment regime that works. Chiropractor and drugs. Strong drugs that make you numb all over. Drugs that make you drool from the corner of your mouth. Drugs to dull the torture that chiro is going to inflict getting the bastard of a disc back into place.

I call Basil, my usual tormentor. His phone’s on voicemail. I’m spitting and trying not to cry. I don’t dig pain.

I call a doctor friend. They recommend a chiro. Her name is Angela. I call her. She can fit me in. There’s no electricity and patients have cancelled. I thank Baby Jesus for making Eksdom and the City of Durban so inefficient. Sometimes muppets are useful in their uselessness.

I get a cab and a handful of painkillers en route. I hobble into Angela’s offices. There are prosthetic legs all over the reception. There’s a cat with his neck in a brace. Another with a blade like Oscar’s.

I’m nervous but I’m in too much pain to run.

The next thing, I’m on a table with a seven-and-a-half centimetre long needle stuck into each of my butt cheeks. And another eight shorter needles in my back with a whole lot of electrodes attached to a power supply pumping voltage through them.

Turns out Angela is into dry-needling, a kind of electronic acupuncture. This breaks down the toxins released by the torn muscles. It loosens them ahead of Angela jumping on my spine to force the disc back in again. Lovely. I’m lying there with this current pumping into my spasming back. It – and the drugs – works.

My mind starts wandering. It turns to Nathi Mthethwa. We were neighbours in Albert Park those days. When he used to wear T-shirts instead of suits. Before he got those lahnee Police shades. Those are bangin’. Gangster as hell.

Emmanuel (his slave name) might be a crap police minister, but you have to admire his balls. Think about it. Nathi gets married. He doesn’t invite his mum. Then he goes on an island honeymoon.

In the meantime, his beasts in blue are on the rampage. Again. While Nathi’s chilling with the new missus, his men are busy tanking the case against Oscar. Then they drag Mido Macia behind a cop van and finish him off (allegedly) at the Daveyton cop shop.

How does our man respond? Does he drop everything and come home to do his job? There’s no, “Sorry baby, but duty calls”, for Nkosinathi. No intervention. No long-distance interview. None of that.

Nyambose exercises real leadership. He stays put. He leaves his floundering commissioner and his invisible deputy to try (unsuccessfully) to clean up the mess.

It’s nice to see Nathi has his priorities right.

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