Wordzzle #232  

Posted by Smoke in , ,

What ever happened to Monroe? Well, he is back. And the adventure continues.
Let me not keep you...

10-word challenge:
wishing well, truck, chicken, coaster, flowering tree, bacteria, matches, colorful, port

And for the mini:
swirl, bear with me, stretcher, muffin, gratitude

..."bear with me Tony, it is a colorful tree that i am after, not necessarily a flowering tree".
As if I, haven't explained this at least a dozen times to the poor man.
" look carefully at the two images in front of you".
"What do you mean, you don't have the photos with you?"
"OK, run to your office, and collect them, and then call me back."
"Yes Tony, "
"because you cant call me back, if you don't put the phone down."
"OK, now go".

Why should it be so hard, getting the right, color-scape, wall paper in an office. Trees with different shades of green and orange and brown and red, is not remotely the same as a deep purple Bougain Villa, but it probably is my own fault. I did say i wanted to be reminded of the island life. It is a shame he was thinking of Hawaii.

I suppose you want to know why i am hanging Wall paper. and why I am not, say, chasing after the next sale, selling air conditioning to the Arctic, or fighting off ruthless rivals. Well after my island ordeal, I returned back to the office, and for a couple of weeks, all was fine. But then it started creeping back to me, the island was calling me, luring me back. It was as if some strange, native bacteria, off the island, had crept under my flesh, and the whole of me, body and mind, was reaching back there.

I took it upon myself to bring two palm trees into my cubicle, and I would sleep there, during the day, on a stretcher. Some mornings, someone would offer me a muffin or a bagel, then I would just shrug, and raise my machete and live chicken.

When I stopped being productive, and my colleagues started complaining about the smell, the Boss had no choice, but to call me in.

"Is everything OK, Monroe?" He asks with genuine concern. "I passed a wishing well on my way to work this morning, Sir". Being very careful, as one tends to be around the deranged, "yes Monroe? Did you make a wish?" "I stopped and peered into it, Sir. and then it chucked coins at me". "That is worrying, my dear Monroe," "The palm trees was laughing at me, Sir". I could tell, that caught him. "Right, Monroe, I have been worried lately, since your rescue from the Island, you haven't been yourself, and I think the company, Me really should express my gratitude towards you for everything you have done for us, and the lengths you have gone to." At that point, he had my attention, like a ship moored at port.

Can you believe it, I have been made VP of Executive Liaison, and yes, that post is as big a truck load of bovine excrement, as the delusional state I was in.

"VP of Execut... oh, Tony, so you have the images?"
"Right, and you can see, there is not really any flowers involved?"
"That is the ticket, son"
"So what do you think? the linear motion or the swirl effect?"
" I couldn't have said it better myself, now get it done."

Only one small issue to sort out, and i will be in Career bliss. I head up to Mr bean counter's office, and Walk in without knocking, my box of matches in hand. " So Kent, what is this I hear about the spending on my work place therapy?" I draw one match from the box, one handed and Kent's eyes doesn't move from it. "It is just to expensive, and any way, since your farce of a promotion, Monroe, you seem to be doing a lot better." I stare at him and say. " Are those wasps I hear? Only one way to get rid of them, you know." Still one handed, I strike the match and numbing fear lights up in Mr Kent's eyes. "That is Mr Monroe to you. or have you forgotten your place?" Kent reaches for his desktop fone, and dials for a line.
" Janette, please get a copy of the roof-top-roller-coaster-proposal down to consignment, with my approval on it."
"I know what I said, but this is what I am saying now."
"This is not the time, woman"
"You and my wife both say so, but you both come back for more."
"No, we will discuss it over drinks."

"Oh Kent, seems your in the double dog house tonight" I wink at him. "Any thing else Mon.. Mr Monroe?"
 " You learn fast Kent, now sit! beg! Just kidding, but I have your number, if anything comes up" I say, as I close the door, to the shutter of cheap porcelain on wood.

A series of unfortunate events  

Posted by Smoke

" His blog was mediocre, and not very funny at best.  he had only nine followers. (And they were payed to read it). But then he disappeared. Some thought he published, others said he went to the moon, but he was in.... A Coma.

This summer, he is back and he has a sharp pencil and still only his dull wit, but he is back to blog it.

(Now go back And read it again as if it is the naration of n blockbuster movie trailer.)

Yes, I am back, again, and too much has happened for me to try and catch up. So this will be my official account of what happened.

Shortly after posting my last entry, events unfurled that ended with me , in a Coma for 16 months.

I was driving one day, heading to work, I was late so naturally I was speeding. My phone then started ringing and as I tried to answer it, I dropped it, I reached down to get it, and just as I took my eyes off the road, and only for a moment, I jumped a stop sign and went straight through the crossing.

The next moment, I just saw blue..
Yes, a traffic cop was on my tail and signaled me to pull over. I was lucky to get away with only A warning.

I arrived at work and I was late, fortunately, the boss was in an early meeting So it went unnoticed. I went to my office and found that my office floor was completely covered in water, apparently, a major storm raged the previous evening, and the water got in under neath the door.

I switch the light on, but nothing happens, I realised that the circuit breaker popped. I know this because the power cable of my office computer  has a patch where a rat chewed it. I go to breaker to switch it on and as I flip the switch, it just kicks out again. One of my colleagues then arrives and I explain to him what is happening, So he advises me to first unplug the computer in my office, as this is the cause of the short circuit.

I walk into my water logged office and realise how dangerous it is, but knowing the power is out, I feel I am safe, or So I thought.

Now while all this was happening, another colleague of mine, found that it was in fact his radio on his desk that tripped the power. And not knowing that I was standing in a puddle of death, he head to the circuit breaker. The next thing I see is this flash of light, as my office light comes on, my colleague,  not knowing my situation, had turned the breaker on, after unplugging his radio.

Needless to say, I was fine, the power cable of my computer was high and dry, switched off. So I grabbed a mop and after an hour and a half, I had my floor dry.

The day progressed slowly, I struggled to stay focused on the job. Outside, work men were busy cutting down trees damaged by the storm. The din from the chainsaws was intensifying an already throbbing head ache. I took a chance and went out to tell them that due to strict health and safety regulations, they must take an hour long break. I walked out and under the tree and this loud crack shook me, the next moment, a huge branch, freshly cut, came falling down, by the time I looked up, it was too late, the branch had fallen on top of someone else's car. Lucky for me, the tree I was standing under neath had been trimmed earlier, and I was three trees away from the current job site.

The rest of the day progressed slowly and rather uneventful, until shortly after I left work. Unknowing to me, my life was about to change drastically....

While at the supermarket,  after work to buy groceries, I decided to purchase a lottery ticket, as I sometimes do, and there was a hefty jackpot to be won that night. I finished up my shopping and headed home.

The evening was fairly peacefull, spending time with my wife and sons. After the kids was bathed and put to bed, my wife and I stayed up to watch the lottery draw.

The show started and as I used a combination of our birth dates I knew the lottery ticket number, the announcer started with the first number, and it was a miss, the second number, I had right, third number was right as well. It went on like that and in the end, I had three correct numbers. Not bad, as I had won enough to repay the ticket and still have a few bucks left.

The next day, I went to the local shop to claim my ticket. I handed it the cashier to put it through the machine, she gave me a strange look and called for her manager. They had a whispered  conversation for a few minutes and then he left to a back office. After another few minutes, he returned. I asked him what is going on and he told me that due to the amount that i have won, they can't make the pay out and that I had to contact the regional offices for the lottery board to collect my winnings. I then ask him how much I have won,
So he told me.

Due to my own error, while marking off numbers on the lotto ticket, I accidentally choose the winning numbers, and I was now the winner of the R47 million Rand jackpot. It took me about five minutes to realise that this was happening. I then made it known that I knew what was happening. This celebration lasted exactly 43 seconds. It was abruptly ended with the feel of cold steel on my neck and the click of a gun being cocked.

A sad young man, who was having the worst year of his life, was out that day to rob the shop and make a break to a different town, and restart his life. He happened to figure out what was happening to me, and took his chance.

He told me to hand over the ticket or else I wouldn't walk out the shop. I couldn't see him, as he was behind me. In that moment, I had the most conflicting argument with myself, in the end I gave it up. I handed him the ticket and all went black. I didn't even hear the gunshot.

I woke up to confusion, everything blurted, sounds deep, hollow,  words inaudible. I close my eyes.

Someone was calling my name. Straggle to open eyes. Bright light, close eyes.

This is what went down. After taking my ticket, the young man panicked and pistol whipped me, he then ran away. A short while later, an ambulance and police arrived and I was revived.

Three weeks later, the young man was arrested at the lottery regional offices, and was charged with armed robbery. See, back in the shop, the manager had already given my information through as the ticket holder, the lottery board was also informed of the robbery and after receiving a call from the young criminal claiming his ticket, a trap was setup by police and he was nabbed.

I recieved my winning and together with my family, booked a 16 month vacation in a coma.

Addendum:  due to a terrible spellchecker and autocorrect, every time I type foreign parts, it gets changed to A coma.
Please reread my post with this in mind.

When the shoe is on the other foot...  

Posted by Wonko

...Kick with it!

Hell yeah. I often frequent my local KFC drive thru, and I have more often then not had a problem with the service. Usually it is in the line of their debit card terminal is not online, and them only telling me this after I have ordered and having no cash on me. This results in one of two things.

1. I go into the branch, place a new order and pay electronicly inside, or..

2. I drive out and don't buy anything.

I ALMOST always complain, to such an extent that I now have the personal number of their regional manager on speed dial. But when I complain, it is always the same thing. '' sorry, it was a mistake''. Jip, no complamentary shake or pops, just sorry. Now because this is a regular problem, that Im sure many people experience, I have come to understand that when you give your order at the window, the only put it through to the kitchen, after you have paid.

So the other day, I again went there, with my wife and lucky for us, the drive thru was empty. Not good lucky, bad lucky.. We were struggling to get hold of her brother, to take his order, as we were buying lunch. So we hang back from the order window till we have his order, when this KFC employee comes up to the car window and ask if he can take our order. I tell we are not ready yet, as we are trying to reach my B.I.L to get his order, so the guy backs off. Now there is no cars behind us, so we are not holding up anyone. The guy then comes back and asks for our order, so I give him, my wife and my order because he won't yet give it at the window yet. After a few minutes a car pulls in behind us, so I decide to circle the drive thru to give them a chance, wich means I am now third in the que.

While waiting, my wife reaches her brother and gets his order. Now her comes a tricky bit for us. My wife has gotten pay but I haven't, so she has money, only it is in her bank and she doesn't have her card with her, wich means she must transfer some cash to my account, because I have my card, and this she can do on her mobile and its emediate. She then asks me how much cash I have and I tell her I only have R100 in cash and I know that is not enough for the meal. So get to the order window, and again place an order. I my wife for the difference and she says she didn't hear me say how much I had, so I ask her to transfer the rest to my card and I can pay that way, to which she says her phone is dead because of the battery. So I get a bit upset and drive out of the drive thru again to leave.

When we get out of the premises my wife manages to transfer the money somehow, and I get back in line. When I get to the window, I again place an order and then finally pay. I then drive up to the next window to collect my order. So I see the guy at the window is the shift manager, by his name tag, he then says, and I quote : ''I want to complain'' so I am shocked, here I am the customer, ney, PAYING customer who expects service and is backed by the new consumer protection act, and this guy wants to complain to me, about me. So he says something in the lines of..

''...We have now made your order three times and now is the first time you actually pay, and twice now you have just left'' so I say, '' you usually only place the order after we pay so I don't see the problem'' to wich he replys that they now have three of the same order. So I did the right thing and made right with them.

I said to him...'' sorry, it was a mistake''

You know what the worst of all was, when I asked for my order, he said I had to wait 5 minutes as it wasn't ready.

... Even if he is already stuck.

This is a Letter written by Gareth Cliff, addressed to Government. Gareth is a Radio DJ and Television personality in South Africa. He is also the big mouth everyone loves to hate. For more of his wisdom go check out Chronicles of Cliff

Dear Government

26th October, 2010

Dear Government

OK, I get it, the President isn't the only one in charge. The ANC believes in "collective responsibility" (So that nobody has to get blamed when things get screwed up), so I address this to everyone in government - the whole lot of you - good, bad and ugly (That's you, Blade).

We were all so pleased with your renewed promises to deliver services (we'll forgive the fact that in some places people are worse off than in 1994); to root out corruption (so far your record is worse than under Mbeki, Mandela or the Apartheid regime - what with family members becoming overnight millionaires); and build infrastructure (State tenders going disgustingly awry and pretty stadia standing empty notwithstanding) - and with the good job you did when FIFA were telling you what to do for a few months this year. Give yourselves half a pat on the back. Since President Sepp went off with his billions I'm afraid we have less to be proud of - Public Servants Strikes, more Presidential bastard children, increasing unemployment and a lack of leadership that allowed the Unions to make the elected government it's bitch. You should be more than a little worried - but you're not. Hence my letter. Here are some things that might have passed you by:

1. You have to stop corruption. Don't stop it because rich people moan about it and because it makes poor people feel that you are self-enriching parasites of state resources, but because it is a disease that will kill us all. It's simple - there is only so much money left to be plundered. When that money runs out, the plunderers will raise taxes, chase and drain all the remaining cash out of the country and be left with nothing but the rotting remains of what could have been the greatest success story of post-colonial Africa. It's called corruption because it decomposes the fabric of society. When someone is found guilty of corruption, don't go near them - it's catchy. Making yourself rich at the country's expense is what colonialists do.

2. Stop complaining about the media. You're only complaining about them because they show you up for how little you really do or care. If you were trying really hard, and you didn't drive the most expensive car in the land, or have a nephew who suddenly went from modesty to ostentatious opulence, we'd have only positive things to report. Think of Jay Naidoo, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi and Zwelinzima Vavi - they come under a lot of fire, but it's never embarrassing - always about their ideas, their positions, and is perfectly acceptable criticism for people in power to put up with. When the media go after Blade Nzimande, Siphiwe Nyanda and the President, they say we need a new piece of legislation to "make the media responsible". That's because they're being humiliated by the facts we uncover about them daily, not because there is an agenda in some newsroom. If there had been a free press during the reigns of Henry VIII, Idi Amin or Hitler, their regimes might just have been kept a little less destructive, and certainly would have been less brazen and unchecked.

3. Education is a disaster. We're the least literate and numerate country in Africa. Zimbabwe produces better school results and turns out smarter kids than we do. Our youth aren't usemployed, they're unemployable. Outcomes-based-education, Teachers' Unions and an attitude of mediocrity that discourages excellence have reduced us to a laughing stock. Our learners can't spell, read, add or subtract. What are all these people going to do? Become President? There's only one job like that. We need clever people, not average or stupid ones. the failure of the Education Department happened under your watch. Someone who writes Matric now hadn't even started school under the Apartheid regime, so you cannot blame anyone but yourselves for this colossal cock-up. Fix it before three-quarters of our matrics end up begging on Oxford Road. Reward schools and teachers who deliver great pass rates and clever students into the system. Fire the teachers who march and neglect their classrooms.

4. Give up on BEE. It isn't working. Free shares for new black partnerships in old white companies has made everyone poorer except for Tokyo Sexwale. Giving people control of existing business won't make more jobs either. In fact, big companies aren't growing, they're reducing staff and costs. The key is entrepreneurship. People with initiative, creative ideas and small companies must be given tax breaks and assistance. Young black professionals must be encouraged to start their own businesses rather than join a big corporation's board as their token black shareholder or director. Government must also stop thinking that state employment is a way to decrease unemployment - it isn't - it's a tax burden. India and China are churning out new, brilliant, qualified people at a rate that makes us look like losers. South Africa has a proud history of innovation, pioneering and genius. This is the only way we can advance our society and economy beyond merely coping.

5. Stop squabbling over power. Offices are not there for you to occupy (or be deployed to) and aggrandize yourself. Offices in government are there to provide a service. If you think outrageous salaries, big German cars, first-class travel and state housing are the reasons to aspire to leadership, you're in the wrong business - you should be working for a dysfunctional, tumbledown parastatal (or Glenn Agliotti). We don't care who the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces is if we don't have running water, electricity, schools and clean streets. You work for us. Do your job, don't imagine you ARE your job.

6. Stop renaming things. Build new things to name. If I live in a street down which the sewage runs, I don't care if it's called Hans Strijdom or Malibongwe. Calling it something nice and new won't make it smell nice and new. Re-branding is something Cell C do with Trevor Noah, not something you can whitewash your lack of delivery with.

7. Don't think you'll be in power forever. People aren't as stupid as you think we are. We know you sit around laughing about how much you get away with. We'll take you down, either at the polls - or if it comes down to the wire - by revolution (Yes, Julius, the real kind, not the one you imagine happened in 2008). Careless, wasteful and wanton government is a thing of the past. The days of thin propaganda and idealized struggle are over. The people put you in power - they will take you out of it. Africa is tired of tin-pot dictators, one-party states and banana republics. We know who we are now, we care about our future - and so should you.


These are very real issues in South Africa and I am glad it was voice non-governmental.

(No permission was received to publish this article but in the spirit of the cause, I am sure Mr. Cliff won't mind)

Here to stay... or do I speak to soon?  

Posted by Smoke

On Monday we get a call about a swarm of bees at the primary school. We go there and find them in a clamp, on a tree branch. So we get a box under them and give em a good shake, and they drop into the box. Those that were left, were scooped up into a plastic bag and was brought home.

We got them all into one temporary/catcher hive and stuck a queen guard to the front of it to keep the queen in. If she goes, then the whole swarm goes.

Day two, The bees are happily buzzing about and enjoying them self and only two or three died during the night.

Day three. We find that the bees are all gathering on the front of the hive and by that I mean from top to bottom, I first think that maybe they can't get in as we were worried that the gaps in the queen guard was to small, then we read that if it gets to stuffy inside, the drones (male bees that can't sting and is the breeders), who are bigger than the females, are sent outside as they don't have a continuous function. But the bees outside, are all the smaller bees. And the drones can't get through the queen guard.

First let me remind you that we try to work with the bees later in the day when it is cooler, as this calms them down. So at about four o' clock, we suit up and go to an old "windpomp"(wind powered water pump) that doesn't work anymore. The windpomp is about 400 meters away from our home and has over the last few months become the home of a swarm of bees. We can't extract the swarm, because they are in the borehole, and we have to smoke them from beneath.

Now these bees have become a nuisance and we fear they might become a problem later on when we start processing the honey. There for we have to get rid of them, by either catching them, or by chasing them away. We might be able to save the wax(wax can be expensive and also, it takes the bees the same amount of time to make four kilograms of honey, as it takes them to make one kilogram of wax).

We decide on about four o' clock as this was a good time when we previously went there, only we didn't recon it would be warmer.

So the smokers are on and we are suited up. The plan is to attach a piece of garden hose, about two meter long, to the one smoker and then lower it past the wax combs to the bottom of the hive, this way, if we pump smoke in, the bees will come out.

My brother in law opens the end cap of the well and then states in no uncertain terms that there is trouble, even though I am standing a good ten meters away, stoking the smoker, I get pelted by bees, yes, pelted, it feels as if someone is throwing pebbles at me. I an not alarmed, as I have my bee suit on and I start blowing some smoke at the bees at which moment the smoker dies and I feel the bees being real close to me, as if they were walking on me inside my suit,but I am not worried...

...then I see three bees walking across the visor INSIDE my suit, so I worry a bit and decide to calm down as they may sting me if threatened. I start walking away calmly to get away from their "attack zone". I then realize that a bee has started to explore my ear and fails to get inside my ear, I am still calm and keep walking, this bee then moves to my earlobe and I know then that I am going to get stung. By this time there is about five bees inside my suit and in my face and as I start to panic( when a bee stings you, it leaves behind a pheromone that attracts other bees to sting in the same spot). I grab a hand full of long dry grass, as I have drop the useless smoker by now, and then remember that my father in law has my zippo, as he was lighting the other smoker. So smoke is out of the question.

Then I got Stung, on the earlobe, and the little blighter wasn't even trying to get away, I felt it sitting there waiting to die. This whole time I was moving away and found that the bees on then outside had left me and there were only two left inside. Prompted by my father in law, I unzipped my hood, took of my cloves and got out of the suit. I honestly now appreciate the proverbs "to have a bee in your bonnet" and "to make a bee line". So we left it as an unsuccessful day and thought to come back the next day. I found out that the bees entered my suit through the smallest hole in my suit, at the zipper.

Today.My father in law was up at about three this morning and was reading about bees. He later went and removed the the queen guard from the hive, and now the bees seem to bee happy, I think they are settled and they were seen today flying in and out probably to collect food. As soon as they start carrying pollen to the hive, we can move them to their own hive.

Busy busy, So I am of to the windpomp again, this time the holes are patched.
Until next time.

ps: sorry that there aren't pictures today.

Gone baby gone  

Posted by Smoke in ,

Ah, Beekeeping. Relaxing, therapeutic, not to mention the money you can make.

Only, you need bees. So on Saturday we got more equipment, hives, stands,etc. The catchers we put up produced no bees as the swarm we targeted upped and left. Not surprising as it is the worst month for beekeeping. So we place some catcher hives on the shed roof, and placed one hive next to the yard. But Monday was a whole different story.
At about nine o'clock we were greeted by this..


Unfortunately, the camera I used couldn't capture what the eye was seeing. Because the hives was standing outside, seven of them, bees came streaming in. And it seemed like about five hives were being occupied. I was super stoked, and didn't want to go back to work (as I had quickly slipped home to see what was happening). They were all over the place and it looked promising.

I got on the phone and started calling around and organizing some spots to place our soon to be filled hives. Little did I know...
By the time I got home at four, the bees were gone. Only a few remained in one hive and they didn't look very busy. By this morning, there were none.


Well, it is just one of those things. But at least we will get there. Till next time, a few more pics.


Honey is the BUZZ word  

Posted by Smoke in ,

I fear I don't have enough life to live. Meaning, I have so many ambitions, that I don't think I can ever get to them all.

One of these ambitions was to be a bee keeper and honey farmer, just one of many "it would be nice to do" things, not really having any way of getting started, until last year.
My Mother-in-law left her job to be a full time baby minder for my wife and my son. So she thought of ways to have an income while being at home, and one of these were honey. So earlier this year, my Father-in-law lost his job due to unforeseen reasons, and the need for an income intensified.

So with the help of my Father, I found an old beekeeper, and not only did he offer to sell us an all you need, beekeeping "stater kit" but was also willing to share his fifty odd years of beekeeping knowledge and experience,only, the price tag was way more than all of us had to spend.So with the help of my wife's accountant uncle, we managed to get financing from my M-I-L's brother and F-I-L's cousin, who both saw the golden opportunity. Golden opportunity you ask? Well, The greatest part of honey in South Africa, is imported, as there are only a few large scale honey producers in the country, therefor it is a viable market.

This all took a few months to work out as there were traveling up and down and meetings with our would be supplier and then finally, about a month ago, payments were made. And today, some of the equipment was fetched. In fact, we now have eleven catcher hives, two protective veils, two smokers, a hive brush, and a hive tool. The rest is on its way. We also have the location of two bee colonies, and will be placing a catcher hive tomorrow to get our first colony.



We are getting our hives soon and we have all ready scouted a few locations to place them, but are still looking for more. Specifically areas with Eucalyptus trees, as this is an all year round supplier, and Aloes, as it is also a recurring food source for bees, and also Aloe honey can be marketed for medicinal use.


Making honey is an all year procedure, except for June, as this is the worst month for honey in South Africa. The rest of the year is broken up into short seasons which will require moving hives around for different food sources according to different plants' flowering period.

We will be starting out with 12 hives to get the feeling for it, and then, hopefully, by the end of the year expand to twenty hive, which will incrementally rise in hive number. And soon, who knows? you might one day find some of our honey on the shelves of your local store. But let me not get ahead of myself.

Until then, I will keep you updated


The spreading of the gospel