I’m taking the view here that, “maybe somewhere down the road aways, you’ll think of me and wonder where I am these days …”
In terms of upheaval, I now have a better understanding of how people must have felt during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. And if Obelix thought the Romans were crazy, his mind would have boggled at the Safricans.
There was a time (ah, fooled you; you thought I was going to quote Mr Cohen!) when humans were self-cleaning. They’d work hard enough for their own sweat to rinse them while they were working. But then marriage became popular, and a mother-in-law somewhere invented soap for the mouths of those who did not speak ill enough of the sons- or daughters-in-law. And the bad habit spread throughout mankind.
At some stage, Right Guard, Prep and OId Spice were all a man needed. But that was long ago; definitely before the sons of Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr, deemed it safe to intimate that it was all right riding around in the breeze, if you lived the life you please. So, mankind had to invent other olfactory remedies.
I was at peace with the world, minding my own Vetshop-produced biscuits, when the car stopped and a massive bowl was hauled out of it. I was trying to figure out whether it would be better to use it for dry food or for bones when the garden hose was put inside it. Not ideal, but I’m not averse to taking a drink now and again, and again, so I could still live with it. I did not understand why a bucket, which had clearly been filled from the hot water tap, also came into play. In mitigation, I can only offer the naivety of the truly innocent.
Because I was picked up bodily and dumped heartlessly into what I was to learn was not a container for biscuits, chunks or bones, but “my bath”. And when I use the b-word, don’t think Victorian, porcelain, curved legs, exotic maidens or the even more exotic fragrance of roast chicken; think common black plastic on the front lawn, in plain sight of all passers-by and old ladies with binoculars hiding behind lace curtains. Think F10 medicated shampoo … OK, so there was an issue of mange, but let’s not change the topic.
Afterwards, adding injustice to insult and injury, I had my entire, and I mean, e-n-t-i-r-e, body rubbed down with ancient Dutch yuck that had been designed to make the devil’s heart shrivel up. Again, let’s not change the focus to mange here. Because, and I can provide visual proof, my sensitive complexion had to endure other witches’ brews as well.
But … or perhaps I should say “butt”… the half-brothers Wilbury (Otis, specifically, if I remember correctly) cautioned that every day is judgement day. And, in my judgement, the very best place to rub an itchy, mangy, lotion-covered butt is a wall that had just been painted.
The greatest Briton ever (but he lived before Keith Richards picked up a guitar and before Liz Hurley showed up in that dress) apparently said that history is written by the victors. While we’re figuring out who the victors are, here at the southern tip of the Dark Continent, let me remind you that South Africa’s history used to start on 6 April 1652. Then it changed, and our history started before that, but our international sports records started some 340 years later. And we’re having general elections again later this year. Ex Africa, as the old Roman said …
I therefore claim poetic and driving license in hammering the stake of my existence into the ground on 3 December 2013. As Uncle Bob had it, ” ‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood …’ ”
A politician rescued me from a group of children who were trying to kill me. The story was covered in the local media. Thank you, JP Smith. The newspaper turned me into a celebrity. When I take him who answers to She Who Must Be Obeyed for a walk, people say, “Oh, you’ve got a new dog.” “Yes; it was rescued from a group of kids …” “Hang on; is this the dog that was in the newspaper?”
Cicely Bloomberg of Adopt-a-Pet found me a home while Christine Leonard and the others at Animal Welfare treated me like royalty; to quote the Nasal Prophet again, “I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form; ‘Come in,’ she said, ‘I’ll give you shelter from the storm …”
They gave me more than shelter; the top three items on the list were food, food and glorious food. I even had a psychologist. (What a shock when the receptionist at a private vet subsequently recorded me as “indigenous”! I mean, indigenous is the wild dagga against which I cock my leg in the garden …)
Then, on 14 December, I was collected by what was referred to as “a gentleman” in Table View. Some said the term was used in the polite, generic sense. He does have his moments, though; especially when he takes that brown plastic bowl into the garage, where that interesting red and yellow bag is kept.
This is what I looked like on 3 Dec 2013.