Hands up

2007-12-29 00:00

God knows I’m no psychologist, but something tells me that most of my neighbours are suffering from an advanced and expensive form of anxiety. Nothing else can explain the armed response warnings all over their properties and the rabid hyaenas that lope unrestrained through their park-like gardens. Not only that, but a considerable number of them have replaced their sleek sportscars, sleeker limos and gratuitously muddy 4x4s with elderly Toyotas all in a vain attempt to avoid hijacking and its associated discontents.

Can’t say I like this trend; nor the conversion of peaceful homes into armed fortresses. Instead, I’ve decided to follow a more psychological approach in my pursuit of domestic security. I’m going to spook the crooks by using black magic to play on their fears and superstitions.

The idea, like so many good ideas, comes from Cuba. I once reviewed a book of Cuban Posters which included a truly grisly message to potential thieves. Beneath the heading “Thieves suffer”, was a pair of hyper-realistically illustrated, chopped-off human hands, nailed through the wrists, to a garden fence.

Problem number one was where to get fresh or even used human hands. The usual channels of inquiry lead nowhere, so I decided to substitute monkey hands instead. Vervet monkeys are common as rats in this city and although much smaller than humans, their little black hands are extremely similar to ours. I figured, since they were so much smaller, I would need a lot more of them to achieve the same effect. About a dozen say, or maybe 14. I seemed to remember that they came only in matched pairs. The SPCA was curiously unhelpful. So too was the Council for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow), and Beauty Without Cruelty totally failed to understand the subtlety of my idea.

And then it hit me. Muti shops! You want little pieces of dead animals, preferably those facing extinction? Find a muti shop and browse to your heart’s content. In a little alley off the former Queen Street, I entered the first shop on my tour. “Got monkey hands?” I asked the assistant. She backed off suspiciously, and served someone else. I tried another helper and got the same treatment. Perhaps they thought I was a Parks Board spy or an Interpol cop trying to enforce all the Cites bans.

“Look,” I said to a third person behind the counter. “I need some monkey hands. I am not a cop. I want a dozen, maybe 14. This is really urgent.” Then I added conspiratorially, “It’s for me and me alone.”

This little speech had some effect on my listener, who disappeared into a back office only to return with the inyanga himself, dressed in a white coat. I introduced myself. We shook hands as friends and brother professionals. I told him what I wanted, namely a nice batch of preferably matched, fresh or pickled, monkey hands.

“Monkey hands are very expensive,” he replied. “Why do you need so many? May I suggest,” he added, in his best counterside manner, “that patients such as yourself would probably get all the results you require from merely half a dozen?”

Funny, I thought. I haven’t told him why I want these things.

“In fact,” he said, “seeing you are likely to become a regular customer, please take these two monkey hands as a free sample. Do you know how to use them?”

I gaped at him, wondering what the hell he was talking about.

“Just apply each monkey hand to the affected part,” he said. “And in no time at all, your erections will be back to normal.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.