Of sex and Home Affairs purgatory

2008-04-09 00:00

I was looking for my ID book not, as some of you may think, so that I could prove to the bartender that I was old enough to drink, but so that I could go to the bank and prove that it really was me who was stupid enough to keep doing business with them.

I searched the house and found nothing. Well, I found a room containing two large metal boxes with round windows and a bunch of buttons, probably useless Korean-manufactured time machines that Brenda bought on eBay, but no ID book.

I went so far as to accuse Kwaai Lappies of pilfering it. “Kwaai Lappies,” I said sternly, “have you stolen my ID book?” It is important to be forthright with these people. It’s the only language they understand. Had I to ask her if she had seen my ID book, I would be bogged down in a confusing maze of primitive metaphysical reasoning. As it turned out she simply said “no”, and continued ironing.

When Brenda got home from work, or wherever it is that she goes during the day, I asked her to give Kwaai Lappies a full body search. “Rendition is also an option,” I said.

A strange look passed across Brenda’s face. One that I hadn’t seen before. I moved in with the speed of a striking cobra and began gnawing on the back of her neck. She broke my hold with an elbow to the epiglottis and said, “I put your ID through the wash.”

The full horror of the situation struck me. Home Affairs. Riots. Mayhem. People dying of starvation right there in the queue. I broke down and wept.

“How could you?” I shouted. Instead of falling to her knees and performing hasty amends, she said: “Any more of that and you can do your own laundry.”

The heartless cow relented and said that since she had to renew her driver’s licence, we could go to the traffic department in Grabouw and Home Affairs in Caledon where there would be no queues.

As some sort of concession, Brenda let me drive. I proceeded to do so, fast and recklessly.

By the time we reached Grabouw my testosterone levels were so deep into the red that I could have killed a small buck with my bare hands and drunk its blood and worn its skin.

But Grabouw is not ready for this even though the town is known only for its boerewors.

The traffic department looks like a police charge office with better security. Thick glass partitions prevent you from grabbing the clerk by the throat.

I discovered that my driving licence had also expired. I try to avoid eye tests. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but my vision is afflicted with pterygiums, an astigmatism and a red/green colour blindness which makes every traffic light a potential death trap. The examiner passed me and I tripped over her seeing-eye dog on the way out.

With our hands stinking of fingerprint ink and industrial solvent, we pulled in at the Home Affairs office in Caledon. It shares a wall with a butchery which is handy if you are taken with the urge to gnaw on the hindquarters of a lamb while waiting to be attended to by one of the four women who

studiously avoid the public, the ringing telephones and the inexorable passage of time.

I began to get an understanding of what it must be like to be Captain Invisible. I performed an impromptu limbo dance, but still the purgatorial gatekeepers ignored us.

I left when Brenda started shouting and swearing. On my way out I passed a box of government-issue condoms at the door. How clever of them. All thoughts of homicide turned instantly to thoughts of sex. I no longer cared about my ID book. All I wanted to do was ravage Brenda right there in the parking lot. I even blew up a bunch of them to make the moment more romantic.

Of course it never worked. Mixing sport and politics never does.

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