“May you live in interesting times”?

Sounds like something Confucius would say, or is this a Chinese curse?

This seems to be the case in South Africa at the moment. When we are not pummeled into mental submission by mass hysteria thanks to the SABC and related news agencies, we have politicians to prove them right. Yay. Not. I do suppose this puts everything else into perspective.

Like drivers who do not stop at stop streets. I have had the pleasure of at least one serious near-accident a week due to those OK-Bazaars-licence-wielding drivers who consider stop streets a decoration on our roads, and nothing more.

Take this afternoon for example. Fourway stop. I do the stupendously surprising thing.

I stop.

And the bakkie coming from the front? Well, with head swung to the left (this must be his excuse for not seeing the white line, or the big red and white sign with the letters “STOP”) the bakkie continues to vector on. No change. No slowing down. A proud illustration of how Newton’s Law does not apply in South Africa, as not even gravity seemed to influence the force on the vehicle, moving into my direction as my car was turning to the right.

I quickly arose to prove Newton’s claim, applying another force to my vehicle (via the break pedal) and with the help of “G” (gravity, for us who stopped Physics in Standard 7) and thereby avoiding yet another insurance claim. Maybe even saving my life insurance company some money.

I duly pointed out my dilemma by tapping the hooter on my vehicle in what I consider a fairly civil manner. Not a bombastic, long-winded blast of sound, but rather a double-tap, similar to the sound of your morning alarm (for those of us who don’t use cellphones and their ringtones for our alarms). And yes, I did receive a response from the offending party. An apology? (you gasp in wonder and amazement!)


A leer and, having acquired the skills of lip-reading Britney Spears (you know, to make sure that she is at least lip-syncing the right words to “You Drive me Crazy”) some choice words that would make a Cape fisherman blush – after he has had his Ol’ Brown Sherry.

So if some ludicrous politician isn’t out inciting racial divide, or storming out of a live news interview, or looking at collecting some R1billion profit from the World Bank, we at least know that he – or she (let us not be sexist) is not prowling around our decorated cities, jumping stop streets.

We know, of course, it would be their drivers.


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