Death’s a blast. Go on try it, why don’t ya?

There are two radio adverts that I listen to every day while on my way to work, and I chuckle every time I hear them. And that’s not because they are amusing; but because they are so damn presumptuous about what people want or need.

Both are adverts for government agencies; one for the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and the other for the public broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Both exhort the public to shell out money for something that no sane person would ordinarily pay for. Both these agencies invite you to become an unwilling partner in what can only be described as a monstrous fraud scheme with the sole aim of aiding and abetting gross incompetence in the case of the SABC and legalised extortion in the case of SANRAL.

While the SABC tries to persuade you to pay your TV licence because apparently it’s the right thing to do, SANRAL on the other hand tries to convince you that the new roads they’re building is going to be so great for everyone (including the environment), you should gladly pay the exorbitant toll fees they’re proposing.

The SABC offers all of 3 television channels spewing forth some of the most pathetic rubbish, masquerading as entertainment, and probably just one decent radio channel. To top that they have some of the most incompetent people in management, and are constantly plagued by management upheavals, in-fighting and gross mismanagement of public funds. While SANRAL does offer some decent roads, the toll fees they’re asking of around 50 cents a kilometer is pure extortion. Why are we paying taxes and ridiculously inflated surcharges on petrol prices anyway? Shouldn’t that pay for the construction of roads? Or is that revenue just to keep our fat-arsed politicians forever pigging at the trough?

I wonder how the ad agencies who came up with those advertising gems approached their task? Being asked to come up with adverts for the SABC and SANRAL must surely be tantamount to getting a contract from a funeral parlour to dolly up their macabre service offerings which can only go along the lines of hurry up and die, our services are tuned for your demise, or our services are to die for.

Surely, the SABC and SANRAL don’t seriously think that we are all going to get a warm happy feeling after listening to those pathetic adverts and are going to pay with a smile? But then again, where government is involved, unadulterated stupidity is a given.

A tip for driving at night on our potholes…err, I mean roads

The project deadline is looming; just over 50 days to go. That means having to put in the extra hours. And that means leaving home very early in the morning and returning very late at night.

And now that winter is approaching, it’s very dark in the mornings and worse at night. Normally not a problem, if the roads are good and reasonably well-lit. Not so our roads, which look more like they have taken direct hits from mortar shells; and at night you can’t see them because the streetlights rarely function. On rainy days it’s worse; the potholes fill up with water, making it very hard to notice them easily.

But the bastards at the local municipalities have squandered our taxes on more pressing things like…lining their pockets and sending schoolboys on overseas soccer training camps, instead of fixing the potholes and maintaining functioning street lights. They take their cue from their political masters in the Provincial and National Governments, who set new benchmarks for atrocious administration, every week. Yes, hardly a week goes by without a new revelation of gross mismanagement of public funds and/or fraud, by public officials.

However, I digress – I get so carried away when discussing the shitheads in public office. Back to my tip for driving at night.

The trick is to ensure that there is a car in front of you at all times. His (or even her) tail-lights will provide you with sufficient light to see any potholes; but you need to keep a safe following distance, so that if he (or even her) does drive into one, you will have enough time to avoid it, while chuckling merrily at your formidable driving skills.

What if the other drivers have the same idea and don’t want to be in front? Well, that’s easy to overcome; you need to entice another driver to stay in front of you. When you get to a set of traffic lights and stop alongside another vehicle, rev your engine slightly and inch slowly forward while waiting for the lights to turn to green. The driver alongside you will sense that you are challenging him (or even her) to a race. When he (or even she) takes the bait and flies off the line, you ease off and settle nicely behind him (or even her). It rarely fails; South Africans can’t resist a challenge; unless they are wise to my wily scheme. Alternatively, move into the yellow barrier line area, pretending to be courteous, and allow another vehicle to pass you; whereupon you settle behind him (or even her) again. It’s much easier, but the former method is more fun, especially after that driver thinks he has beaten you in the challenge, and promptly hits a pothole.

Happy motoring; if you can still afford the gas and pay the taxes that keeps those assholes in power.