Seeking – Cheap, back-alley liposuction.

I am overweight by about 8kgs. It’s not a lot by some people’s reckoning, but it’s enough to cause me a healthy dose of self-loathing. I therefore want to be thinner. On the surface losing weight is simple – all a person needs to do is eat less, and move more. The equation is simple. The application is not.

A few years ago I went to a dietician to see what I was doing wrong, and get an idea of what I should be eating. What she told me was horrifying. Apparently a fistful of nuts is not just the name of my favourite adult video, but rather what one should eat six times a day. “Whenever you think of pizza, just eat another handful of polystyrene,” I seem to remember her saying, sometime after I decided to ignore her completely. What she was saying made no sense – if God had wanted us to eat fruit he would never have banished Adam & Eve for an apple.

It seems when people say, “be hungry”, what they mean is, “Be hungry all the time. If you aren’t constantly famished, you aren’t living your best life”.  A famous comedian once accurately said, “Losing weight is easy. Stop eating. There were no obese people in the concentration camps.” Sure, but then those people were also notoriously hungry. Not one person left Bergen-Belsen delighted with their figure, and determined to stick to the diet.

In short you need to be ravenous, and if you are ravenous you are grumpy. If your personality has begun to make you a victim of office politics, and your wife is secretly visiting a divorce lawyer to consider options, then congratulations, you are probably dieting correctly.

The second step to losing weight is to simply move faster. Apparently moving faster, and more often is the key to making my body look less like a bag of milk. I have tried it. It’s unpleasant. Water comes out of me and makes my shirt wet, I struggle to breathe and things start to hurt. Doing this once is awful, but people say I must do it every day.

Lifting up heavy things then putting them down again also works. Lifting things up, moving fast, then putting them down is the best way to lose weight. If you pick up something heavy, move it quickly to somewhere else, then put it down, and start to see bright lights flashing behind your eyeballs, then you are both succeeding at exercise and at not eating. Well done. This is what healthy feels like.

It would be much easier just to make excuses. “It’s baby weight.” I want to say to anyone who looks at me sideways. “My son isn’t even two. I have time to drop down to my pre-pregnancy weight.” But things are getting dire.  I recently told a friend it was puppy fat, and he asked me why I ate a puppy.  So next week if you see me, please understand why I look so sad. I am starving, and spending all my energy picking things up and putting them down again, all so the TV news won’t use a photo of me with my head cut off when they talk about the dangers of obesity.

Oh To Storm The Beach At Normandy

People don’t really ever think about the consequences of their actions. Every day all of us do things that may one day, unknown to us, cause untold misery to people of the future. For instance, did the neolithic cave person who first picked up a stick and started beating out the rhythm of a song ever consider that he was one day going to be responsible for Noot Vir Noot? Probably not.

Likewise did the first person who offered to carry something for someone else in exchange for one of his cabbages envisage the modern work environment of cramped desks, medical aid, and a 60 hour working week? If he did then I hope he is in the special hell alongside Judas, Gert Van Rooyen and Speckles from Pumpkin Patch.

In the end it was probably a few dozen of these well intentioned, but ultimately crushing decisions that lead to the world, and the lives, we now live, and it seems none of us want to go back despite being in a state of near constant misery propped up by anti-depression pills, alcohol and that “Britain’s Got Talent” video of the disabled woman getting a standing ovation.

We hate it so much that the way we relax is to connect to virtual realities where we imagine we live in a series of post apocalyptic nightmares. The deeper humanity finds themselves trapped by reality, the more popular entertainment centred on fantasy, and science fiction becomes. “The Walking Dead” isn’t a horror show it’s a vision board. We would rather spend our time pretending to wander a maze full of undead than face another day in our cubicle selling insurance, or connecting with loved ones over a lukewarm Woolworths lasagne.

Life is one long unskippable cut scene and the tedium is only relieved when we get home, switch on our alternate reality machines and pretend we are storming the beach at Normandy. What was once your grandfather’s greatest nightmare has become what we look forward to at the end of a long day. And why not? For the rest of the day we are just waiting for death by endlessly switching between the same three websites anyway. 

The best motivational speakers would end this piece by telling you, your chains are all of your own making, and that at any point you can throw them off and travel the world with nothing but an Instagram account, but then those guys are all in the only category of people capable of doing that – the mega rich, and I am not paid to make anyone think they can be their best selves. What I can do however is point you in the direction of the game Horizon Zero Dawn. As the lead character Aloy you get to be both primitive and live in a post-apocalyptic scenario. It’s basically our collective dream, and you almost never get stuck in traffic.

How To Judge A Parent

There is a new saying, that one should never judge another parent. The idea is that anyone with a small child, no matter how attentive, is likely to experience melt downs and moments of almost monumental shame for no reason while raising their young one. I say this is bullshit. Judge away. If my child is lying on the floor of a store thrashing his legs and arms, you would be only be right to judge me. If I don’t hear hear you whisper about what a bad parent I am, then at the very least I know you and I have nothing in common, cause that’s what I would be doing.

Probably the worst side-effect of being a parent is that one is forced into contact with other people’s children. My toddler and I like to go down to the park – he to run and climb, and me to be told to run and climb by him, like I am on boot camp and the drill sergeant calls me “daddy”.  Having a job done in odd hours, I often get to take him on week days when the park is silent, but when it isn’t I find we are often confronted with the worst specimens of childlike humanity. And on those days judgement comes in handy.

The other day a boy, who I was assured was five, but who looked as if his beard was coming through,  backed my son into a corner on a jungle gym to tell him a story. The tale went as follows, “And then the people died, and do you know what happened next?” he said. My kid, being 20 months old, polite, and having never heard a story of this kind before dutifully answered, “no” thereby encouraging young Shakespeare to continue.

“Blood came pouring out of their heads and they turned into bats, and do you know what happened next?” he asked, the gripping cliffhanger dangling in the air.

“No,” my son said again, not yet having learnt from his previous error. “They were made into stone, before exploding, and guts went everywhere. Do you know what happened next?” the elocutionist enquired, while I stood starring at him like shit smeared on a new rug.

At this stage the child’s mother must have finally noticed what was going on as she bustled over and told her young thought-leader that he probably shouldn’t be terrifying the baby. He drooled on his chin, screamed something nonsensical and dived head first down the slide. My son turned to me, shrugged and demanded I run to the swings.

I judged that mother that day. Her inattentiveness lead to a really awkward situation. What was I supposed to do? Remind her son he was speaking to a baby? Shout at him? Wade in and toe punt the hobbit over a swing set? Socially we are not allowed to do those things anymore, and so I judge. Giving some sense of shame to the parent is our last defence in the face of a badly behaved child, and if this bothers you, if you are worried that one day it could be you on the end of my glowering silence remember, “you will never experience a public tantrum if you just keep them locked in a cupboard at home.”

This Should Get Facebook To Notice Me

Facebook has been caught allowing third party apps to steal the personal details of 50-million of its subscribers and I have never been so moved to apathy before. British based Cambridge Analytica apparently managed to lure Facebook users into giving them access to their accounts in return for finding out which type of 80s TV character they are, and I say that’s a fair trade. Sure they got all my photos, and are allowed to do whatever they want with them, but at least I know I am Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote. I do however recognise that this may just be the beginning of a long downward spiral to an eventually Orwellian society, crushing suppression and an undignified death in a human meat abattoir.

Fortunately a comprehensive 2014 study found that Facebook is able to manipulate the emotions of its users dependent on what it puts in front of us. By constantly showing us happy posts they can subtly alter our emotions to make us more cheerful, and by showing us sad posts they can make us miserable. Just a few years of abused puppy articles and suicidal friend updates, and we will dance our way to becoming the next batch of Enterprise Polony. But look, as much as I like sausages, I am not sure this is a path I want humanity to be on.  There are a lot of steps between now, and us becoming willing sausage fodder, and not all of them will be as pleasant as the final result.

“Step One” is now, where each of us is connected via the comment thread to the very dumbest and most arrogant people our friends know. “I can’t believe tomorrow is Monday again” insists someone you have never met whose death as a sausage will only improve their IQ.  Already we can see the beginnings of “Step Two” in which watching a video, hating it, and scrolling away, results in that video playing loudly in the top corner of your screen until you throw your computer through a window. Turning off Facebook will soon be impossible. Expect “Step Three” to include a blend of steps one and two, in which Facebook gets an ignorant racist to follow you around and scream his opinions at you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but with a range of funky filters.

If you can believe it though, things are only getting worse from there. I am particularly not looking forward to the day when Mark Zuckerburg, drunk on power, slowly starts isolating individuals from their friends, removing photo tags, redirecting messages, blocking communication, and just when they feel that all hope is lost, showing up at their house with a black van, a role of tape and a gym bag stuffed with various home made saws.

We can pretend that we are going to post less, and add fewer photos from our most recent holidays, but it all seems rather futile. The truth is it’s too late. Google knows everything from where we are at any given minute to what we search for at 3am. Twitter’s algorithms can tell them who you are going to vote for, and what kinds of books you really read. And Facebook has used your webcam to watch you changing.  All that’s left is for us to do is accept, submit and try to stay off Mark Zuckerburg’s secret hit-list.  This column probably hasn’t helped.

What Happens Next Will Change Your Life

Do you remember the word “meh”? I do. I remember how much it annoyed me. It was the internet equivalent of a casual shrug, a roll of the eyes, the unimpressed utterance of a billionaire’s son who has just been told he is going skiing for Christmas again this year. It feels like we haven’t seen it in ages. And then just the other day, it came back with a vengeance, and just where you wouldn’t expect it.

This was our response to a story that emerged of a South African international triathlete who was out running at 3am, attacked, and dragged into bushes on the side of the road where his assailants tried to cut his legs off with a chainsaw. This story was the the very definition of horror. I mean who the hell goes running? And at 3am? If I am awake at the 3am the only thing I am running is my mouth. Making matters worse they tried to take his legs with a chainsaw. Put the assailants in clown costumes and it could actually be a Stephen King book, yet South Africans shrugged, muttered, “Polony is worse” and the story was relegated to page five by day two.

The Times had a quote that said, “He offered them his cellphone and wallet and they tried to take his legs”. How much more unenthusiastic could you get? And what does this say about the quality of our cellphone networks that robbers would rather take your legs than an expensive piece of tech? Even if you aren’t stealing it for the unreliable service, a single phone must be easier to dispose of than a pair of legs? Almost anyone will buy a cellphone, but I can think of only one person in the country who could use a pair of athletes legs – Oscar Pistorius. Case closed.

In a world where a lynch mob of thousands can be summoned up in a heartbeat on Twitter to rant about everything from an accidentally exposed nipple to a teenager who made a bad music video, one would think there was still some emotion saved up for a truly disturbing news story. Instead we saw the return of “meh”.

These days no experience is immune to being hyped up. In a world where everyone has an opinion, and a blog (NB Link) click-bait headlines have had to over promise to get the kind of simpletons who would otherwise be having a conversation with cutlery to follow the link. “You won’t believe what happened next”, “7 Weird Blogposts that will change your life forever”, “A South African housewife used this one weird trick…” and we as normal people have started doing it too.

Every one of life’s experiences on social media has now been overblown to the point of irrelevance. It seems a rare hero who can have a cup of coffee without photographing it for Instagram and uploading it with a description that makes it sound like he orgasmed on the spot in front of applauding shop assistants. No one goes to a concert anymore without telling their followers it had them gushing like a character on a yoghurt commercial who just tasted the new flavour, and, instead of being bait for people who spoon-fed themselves fertiliser at a young age, superhero films are now religious experiences that leave audiences weeping on their knees in the cinema. It makes us all seem delusional.

The flip-side is also true. No mishap is so small it can’t be made into a tragedy. Minor slights have become career ending slurs, unfunny jokes are now internet ammunition, callous behaviour inspires hashtags, and a sleeve brush makes Aussie cricket captains run crying to a match referee. There is a kind of person for whom this tragedy is sign that the times are changing. That we as humanity are sweeping out the old, and celebrating the new. Really? Are we? Then how come, despite all of this, we still haven’t used a catapult to fire Dan Roodt into a pit full of wild dogs?

So maybe I shouldn’t complain? Maybe the shrug of the shoulders Mhlengi Gwala got, was the best we could hope for – a genuine response in a sea of over indulgent trash, and false emotional epiphanies? Maybe when a story like Mhlengi’s comes along, and no one reacts, you should take a minute to appreciate the quiet, the tranquillity, the “meh”. Or maybe you could just accept the internet for what it is, and tell everyone this blog is the best thing you ever read, and that it made you feel like you touched the balls of God. I know that would at least make me have a real emotion for once.

How To Lie To Children

The average person lies 3000 times a day. It’s a fact. Well okay, it’s not a fact, it’s a lie, but, like with real columnists, I wanted you to think of me as an expert on the subject. What’s true is that according to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once, and that lying makes you appear at least 12% more interesting to members of the opposite sex. One of those two stats is also a lie.

The other day I told my 19 month old son a lie. I told him the lamps in the store were broken so we didn’t have to turn them on and off for the rest of the day, and so began my slide into the deluge of lies I will inevitably tell him over the course of his life. I am prepared for it. As a middle-aged man I have long ago grown comfortable with the fact that sometimes it’s better to tell a lie than to hurt someone’s feelings, or even just to perk up a boring conversation. I have also comforted myself with the fact that this is true because someone much smarter than me proved it is.

Immanuel Kant looked closely at society’s long-held moral principle that, “it is a duty to tell the truth” and suggested that it would, if taken unconditionally and singly, make any society impossible. To show this he created a scenario, in which he asks you, the reader, to imagine that you live in an isolated house in the woods. You are all alone, when you hear a loud knocking on the door one night, and you open the door. A terrified man (let’s call him Bakkies Botha) stumbles in, screaming that he is being chased by a murderer who is trying to kill him. “Hide me!” he sobs. So you do. You lock him in the basement and go back upstairs.

Later there’s another banging on the door. This time, when you open it, the murderer stands there with his weapon, angry and clearly intent on violence – for the sake of comedy, let’s assume he is beloved TV icon from the 80s, “Zet”. Zet describes Bakkies Botha in detail – Two metres tall, played for the Springboks, has the face of three day old road kill. “Do you know where that man is?” Zet asks. According to Kant, if we want to be truly moral, we have a duty to say “Yup, he’s in the basement”. You see Kant is arguing that in order for us to be good, decent people it is our duty to avoid moral ambiguity and to always tell the truth. Zet has the moral duty not to murder, and we are not responsible for what he does with the honest answer we give him. For Kant, lying really is black and white. Probably why they called him a Kant.

Since my son was born, I have thought about the concept of lying in some detail, and therefore feel no shame in the fact that I lied to a toddler simply to avoid switching a store lamp on and off, for hours on end, until the cashiers tossed us in the street. I have concluded that I am happy to use lying as a parental aid if it helps him to go through life a little less upset, or if it makes parenting fractionally easier.

It is, for instance, going to be much easier for me to say, “If you want to grow up big and strong, you have to eat your vegetables”, than what I really mean, which is, “your size is mostly genetically predetermined, as is much of your well-being. Eating your veggies is just one factor in a thousand unknowables that may affect health. The question of your mortality is highly arbitrary. You may never grow up at all, but eat your veggies because maybe they help, and they are a lot cheaper than the meat you like so much.”

When he catches me snacking, and asks what I am eating, I will always say, Brussel sprouts, Spur will only be open on his birthday, and “Barney the Dinosaur” definitely causes cancer.

I know that there are still parents out there determined to be totally honest with their children all of the time, never once deviating from the truth, and if they intend to be like that, I would urge them to remember some of these things:

“The dog went to go live on the farm” should be, “Bongo is dead and probably in a rubbish bin behind the vet”. “You are the most special, wonderful child in the world” is statistically unlikely. And instead of saying, “Mommy or daddy knows best”, just admit, “We haven’t a clue what we are doing, and don’t understand the long term consequences of most of what we say either”.

In the end I think it’s obvious that you too should lie to your kids. People who are lied to as children are more popular in the work environment when they grow up, earn more and live an average of 2.3 years longer. They don’t, or at least they might, but I have no proof for that, but then I think you get the point by now.

The One Thing Johannesburg Urgently Needs

After ten years of Jacob Zuma in charge and an economy that has decayed faster than the Protea’s one day batting skills, we finally have a new president. Cyril Ramaphosa is now tasked with not only undoing the damage of the predecessor, but also with setting the country on the right footing towards becoming a true global powerhouse. While his advisers have clearly got most aspects of this rejuvenation covered I would argue that there is one element he is totally forgetting – an abstract quality that defines every great country in the world, and one which South Africa finds itself sadly lacking in. While we as South Africans can happily state we are among the leaders of the world in political influence, resources, cuisine, history, culture and jaw dropping scenery, the one thing that this country has always been missing is a giant monster attack.

Anyone who pays attention to world history must know that all of the great countries have at some point, had their finest cities pillaged by some form of massive beast. New York was besieged by King Kong and The Beast from 20 000 fathoms. London has been beset by “Gorgo”. Tokyo has been ripped apart by “Godzilla” so many times, it has become a running joke. “Hong Kong” witnessed the fury of “The Peking Man” (Ironic now I know). “Ymir” destroyed Rome. Los Angeles, saw its end at the hands of “Them”. The documentaries “Colossal” and “The Host”, go into graphic detail on just two of the beasts that have curb-stomped Seoul. Bangkok got “Garuda” and even relatively insignificant Copenhagen was attacked by “Reptilicus”. To date the most horrifying movie monster this country has experienced is “Mr Bones“. How can Johannesburg call itself a “World Class African City” if it remains unscathed by massive beasts?

Johannesburg has two large problems when it comes to becoming a feast for a Kaiju. The first is that naturally it is lacking the skyline of those other more frequently attacked cities, while the second is its position as an in-land city. As such it has no easy monster spawning sites. Any monster that arises from the depths of an, as yet unknown, sea-trench would head straight for the easier, if totally unappetising snacks of Cape Town, Durban, or even, Port Elizabeth. Cape Town’s Clifton beach, Sea-point, and town centre, are begging to be ravaged, however the city provides nowhere at all for the beast to climb during the epic finale. It’s difficult enough to get a lost Spaniard off Table Mountain, let alone fight a 300 metre radioactive monster there.

Johannesburg does have the facilities. The glittering office towers of central Sandton provide a prime location for a monster of that magnitude, complete with taxi-drivers, who, for various reasons, are already running, and screaming in the streets. What more classic monster movie setting could we ask for, than for some mammoth beast to be clinging to the top of The Michaelangelo Tower swatting at a herd of social-media drones?

But where would this animal come from, and how would we lure it there in the first place? Certainly the few remaining mine-dumps, and their low level radiations, and poisons, do provide a birthing spot fit for a creature of that calibre, but the squat Tuscan-style complexes that surround the city like nervous policemen, aren’t exactly satisfying as monster fodder. What’s to stop our monster, who has spent aeons sleeping below the The Western Deep Level Mine, and finally burst to the surface, from simply turning around and going back into hibernation?

I think the mandate for Cyril and his team is clear: If we want our country to thrive, its most iconic city needs to do everything it can to lure a giant monster to the heart of Sandton, and capture that moment on film. What greater way could South Africa announce its presence on the world scene than by developing a series of glittering skyscrapers along all its major arterial routes, awakening some ancient horror and luring it to the business district, then letting it smash it all to pieces?

Apart from launching our country to the very head of the African economic table, this act would also have the added benefit of tearing down all the over-rated, terribly designed, glass monstrosities that are already in place in Sandton, and allow us to rebuild a CBD where neighbouring buildings take the appearance of the building next to them, and the lives of the people who live, and work in the city, into account. Right now Sandton looks like it was pieced together, by an angry, and uncaring ape with a CAD system, and a hammer, and I for one can think of no better way to fix this problem than to knock it all down.

Potty Training and The ANC

Waiting for the ANC to make a decision regarding Jacob Zuma is much like potty-training a toddler. You spend ages patiently watching a process you are mildly disgusted by, while the object of your attention vacillates wildly between whether or not he will just go. At least I think it is. My son is 19 months old now, and unlike Jacob Zuma, looking ever more like he wants to take charge of his own exits.

Judging by the TV adverts for Pampers in which a teenager can be seen toddling off into the garden in his own, “New, stretchier big boy nappies for kids between the ages of 12 and 15”, the nappy companies would like nothing more than for me to put these thoughts of potty-training out of my mind. Increasingly parents are being encouraged to leave teaching their kids about toilets until they have graduated, but I am not so sure I want that.

Reports suggest that in this modern, bustling world, the essential art of taking a poo, not in your pants, is being left more, and more, to nursery school teachers, and this is a mistake. Nursery schools are rarely anything other than a normal backyard, if it was painted by a disgruntled clown and dotted with instruments of toddler death, watched over by four ladies who have made a few terrible life choices. Expecting these already harassed individuals to take care of your child’s rear-end education is putting horror cream on an already overly-sweet anxiety cake. There is absolutely no way these people can be expected to have the necessary patience to guide your infant through one of the phases Freud suggested was most likely to leave a psychological stain.

Recently I met a woman at a party who does not have children. She very wittily suggested that toddlers must be dumber than dogs cause you can potty train a dog in just a few days. Sure Marion*, but the toddler would probably learn a lot quicker too if you were allowed to literally rub their noses in their mistakes. Marion is a nursery school teacher.

And with that we are back to Zuma, the toddler, who is unwilling to realise that people are sick and tired of his shitting all over the place. Jacob, if you wanted to exit without humiliation you would have done it a lot sooner. Now we have to hand you over to the nursery school teachers and they may just rub your nose in it.

 

*Not her name. I can’t remember her real name. I didn’t care to.

Death and the Middle Ages

At 37 I would most likely have been dead had I been born in the Middle Ages. At the very least my teeth would have rotted out, and I would have been immobile, smelling quite bad under a fur rug in a dark hovel I still shared with my wife, nine children, their children, eight dogs (all unfathomably called Lucy) and a sack of last autumn’s wheat. These days that was just the age at which I had my first child. I am told 37 is not unaccountably ancient to be spawning, but I am still sure that this relatively late age will either keep me young or make me very old, incredibly fast.

As a result I am now more aware of my health than at any point before. If my child is as tardy as I have been, I will have to make it to 74 just to see my grandson, and a near impossible 148 if I want to drool in the face of my great-great-grandson. Despite this, finding the inspiration to drop a few kilograms has been hard. Seventy-four seems so far away, and no one is saying I am not going to make it there if, instead of exercising, I sit on the couch and eat a loaf of bread in the dark.

There is one thing that could help though. When my son was born we put up a photo of him fresh from the womb, and probably feeling more than a little put out, onto Facebook where we told the world the date of his birth, his length and crucially his weight. Every year we celebrate the increasing years, and grandma’s doorway will eventually attest to his increasing height, but nowhere do we record ongoing weight for posterity. Why bother writing down the weight in the first place, if you have zero intention of mapping just how fat a person was each year, and most importantly at the moment of death?

As someone whose deeds are highly unlikely to go down in history, a gravestone that captured beginning and end weight would possibly provide the inspiration I need to let myself go a little less. Either that or give a hint as to why I died so young. And as with babies, relatives could gather around your freshly deceased, and naked corpse to capture pictures, gather likes on Facebook, and compare the state of you, with the ruin your other relatives made of themselves in life. Maybe if we did this it would galvanise us into looking after ourselves a little better, but more likely it would only make the indignity of a smelly, immobile death under a rug, in a dark hovel seem appealing. At least you could eat bread under there.

I Am A Victim

Me at a function of some kind

Recently Social media took to mocking former Bafana Bafana stalwart Mark Fish after he shared a picture he thought was him with Hugh Masekela, and was instead Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse. Much hilarity ensued as the entire country briefly forgot the fact that Zuma is still president (and that the amazing Hugh Masekela had died) and shared pictures of random people who looked loosely like, or shared a characteristic with, another celebrity. #MarkFishChallenge

I was at University when I was first accused of being Hollywood actor William H Macy. Mr Macy had recently been absolutely killing it in the movies with roles in Fargo, and something in which he played a fake superhero The Shoveller, so his face was pretty well known and inevitably some wit at my student job declared me to be his doppelgänger. I was flabbergasted. Mr Macy is a great actor, but he is also about as attractive as Donald Trump bending down to take his pants off. I, a debonair sophisticate, beloved by men and women alike, couldn’t possibly share a passing resemblance with this man, who in another age may have earned his coppers being paraded from town to town in a cage for the peasants to gawp at.

Since then others have remarked at our similarity, terrifyingly more often as I get older – and probably look more like Frank, his character in Shameless. It’s something I would like to pretend I am used to, and so when Mark Fish made his monumental Twitter cock up, I posted a picture of myself claiming a likeness to a man I hadn’t previously noticed was in fact a Hollywood heartthrob. That tweet was largely ignored – and I had specifically chosen a photo in which I thought I looked particularly Macyesque (E-Macy-ated?). Perhaps I don’t look that much like him after all?

The thought was just as sad as discovering I had looked like him in the first place. I realised with a sinking feeling that my retirement plan had been to claim to be him to gain entrance to funerals, and weddings, before shovelling free buffet in my sack.

Anyway I guess what I am saying is that Hugh Masekela is dead, and before now nobody knew that I was the main victim of that.