... 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



Posted by Smoke in ,

IF this was a perfect world, and I was the writer I dream to be, you all would be jumping up, screaming and giving all round high fives. Yes The saga of mister Monroe continues...

Another Wordzzle (HERE are the rules) and these are the words.

(5 word): gone gravity, variable, swinging on a star, gardening, trombone

(10 word challenge): carpenter ants, freak, good as new, jelly beans, olive oil, scamper, champion, goose egg, pizza, ceiling fan

...This is the story so far... Mr Monroe, An avid salesman, though he hates it, has been stranded on a deserted island for a few months, after being chucked off a cruise ship by his rival, over a certain seven figure contract. The story continues, with our hapless hero starting to enjoy the island life.... a bit to much.

"gone gravity, gone" he yells out as he dives off the cliff. Care free and unrestrained, Monroe plummets to the surface of the rock pool he found a couple of days after landing on the island. It was by accident, as a few hours earlier he found a shrub with fruit, about the size of a goose egg. After tasting it, he swore that it had the same flavor and texture as jelly beans. Little did he know that these particular berries, contain hallucinogens and before Monroe knew it, he was swinging on a star, floating across the island, when he went over the cliff, and ended up in the pond. From then on, it became his bathtub.

He entered the water like a brick at the Olympics, and still scored himself a 9,6. "I am still the diving champion on this island" he cried out. The sun was steadily rising through the trees as he had to scamper out onto the small beach, he grabbed his, by now, sleeveless shirt and ran off through the jungle to Landing beach. He had started building a raft one day, with no help from the Jelly bean fruit. He would later on in life have sworn that he did it with the help from a platoon of carpenter ants and various pieces of wood. He later discovered to his dismay, that the ants was only good for feasting on his home-made gardening tools and that none of the materials used for the raft actually floated as the steel-like wood was to heavy.

He did how ever find that the raft made quite a good signal fire when one day he dropped a bottle of olive oil, that he had made himself ("well it looks like olives, and it tastes like olives. hey!! is that a trombone I hear playing 'Smoke on the water? Dammit, Jelly beans all over again') on the raft. At that very moment, by some freak accident, lightning struck some where in the middle of the island.

The next day though, he went down to the raft and lit it with a torch from his home fire he had made on day two. Now Monroe was heading there to place more green foliage on it to get his daily smoke signal. He nearly attracted a ship once, or should I say, he once, attracted nearly a ship. It was in fact a flotilla of debris, doing its world tour.

But not today, for some reason Monroe felt lucky today. Firstly, he found some berries that actually didn't have a mind altering affect. Secondly, his new home made tools actually survived the ants for once, and thirdly, there was no rain last night, so fixing the signal fire only required adding a few pieces of the flotilla, (which he swam out to and retrieved) and new greenery, and light it. He had to feel lucky because he just used the last of his "olive oil" which actually burned like jet fuel. ("heck, if I had wheels and variable speed gearbox, I could set up a world Island speed record") And it would take at least two more weeks before his new batch was ready.

When the fire stack was as good as new, he lit the "fuel" and the fire roared into life. A few minutes later, white smoke was billowing up as if a new Pope was elected, And Monroe felt strangely at ease. To no one in particular he said, " today, I am getting of this Island. And the first thing I will do, Is have a Pepperoni Pizza, with extra cheese, thank you." Monroe then lay back, and stared off into the distance. He enjoyed this part of the day most. Watching pods of dolphins galloping by, or to see the occasional Humpback, breach on the horizon, which was exactly what he was now looking at. From the distance, he saw an unknown seabird, fly from the direction of the whale and he could almost imagine it to have taken off from the whale. itself.

He did this for a couple more minutes, then got up and walked off into the forest to look for something to eat. He picked what was probably totally harmless berries and plopped a handful into his mouth. And then the sound struck him. It sounded as if an over sized ceiling fan got loose and was now hunting for dust bunnies. Monroe frantically started scurrying for the berry bush. "Did I just eat the orange berries with the blue flowers again?" He panicked, as he was sure it was an early onset of the 'Full Metal Jacket' trip again. "WHOP WHOP WHOP WHOP" sounded the military choppers, at least no gun fire, yet. "MONROE!" "Oh crap, Charly is onto me" Monroe headed to the beach, " How did they find out my name?" "Monroe, Are you in there? We saw the smoke. Come out".

As Monroe stepped out, of the jungle path, he first saw the red and green Helicopter, and on it something resembling the company Logo. And walking towards him, dressed in a garish avocado green safari suit, was the Boss himself. He held onto his wide brim straw hat, as the blades ripped at it. "Thank god we Found you Monroe, come on, the boat is waiting out there" he was pointing towards the whale. "Is this real sir, only, I have been having bad luck with the local cuisine." At that moment, Mr Kent was heading towards him from the Bell 407, sporting his usual cheap cut gray suite. " Thank heavens your alive, why didn't you get the contract?" " I guess I am not hallucinating, but just to be sure", Monroe punched Mr Kent in the nose. "Whad da fug wad dat for?Did dew thee dat Bob?" "just a reality check Kent, lets get you out of here Monroe". "Just a moment sir, just want to get my bag".

Monroe headed up to the edge of the jungle where his make shift shelter was and grabbed his bag, which contained about a pound of "olives" and three jars of fermented "olive oil" ( the jars were in the bottom of the crate that landed on the island with Monroe) "just a few items to remind me of the home I had here sir" (and a nice pension plan, if I hand it over to my R & D buddy at that fuel company, along with the co-ordinates of the island) " You don't happen to have the position of this here Island sir?" well of course Monroe, but I don't think any of us has reason ever to return here?" "No sir, this place is as barren as a mule sir".

Unity, Blue, Ubuntu  

Posted by Smoke

In South Africa we have two major sports codes. Soccer (football for non South Africans) and Rugby union, or just plain rugby. Soccer is traditionally a black sport and finds its home grounds in places such as Mmamelodi and SOWETO which is the biggest location in our country. Professional Soccer matches are often played on Rugby fields such as Loftus and Ellis Park.

Rugby on the other hand is mostly a white sport and has never been seen played professionally on any Soccer field such as Orlando Stadium.... until two weeks ago.

2010 is a spectacular year for South Africa, as we are hosting the FIFA Football World cup, the first for the continent. As this is such a huge event, nine new stadiums has been built to accommodate the matches, and others has been upgraded. Because of this, Some Rugby Stadiums will be used for the World cup, one of which is Loftus Versfeldt in Pretoria. Loftus is home to the Blue Bulls franchise which is the Provincial side "the Blue Bulls" and the Super 14 side "The Vodacom Bulls".

For those who don't know, the Super 14 is an international contest between Provincial teams from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. And from next year it will be Known as the Super 15, as a team from Argentina will also compete.

Now back to the matter. As Loftus is one of the World Cup venues, The Bulls had two years ago agreed that if it should happen that they had a Home semi final and or home final this year, they would use another stadium as home base, as the dates would conflict with the handing over of Loftus to FIFA. Many different venues were scouted but for some reason one and only one made perfect sense. ORLANDO Stadium.. Home to local Soccer Powerhouse, Orlando Pirates.

Orlando Stadium is located smack in the middle of Soweto and about a Kilometer down the road from Soccer City, Bafana Bafana (South African National Soccer team) home ground. As the Bulls had secured a home semi final, Afrikanerdom was heading to Valakazi street Soweto.

Please note, the greater part of Bulls supporters are white Afrikaans males, the same guys whose fathers and grandfathers created Apartheid and places like Soweto and some of these guys last set foot in this township armed with assault rifles and in military vehicles. The truth is 85% of white South Africans feel that they will be

a. Robbed
b. Raped
c. Murdered
d. All of the above
if they set foot in Soweto.

So amazed was the country when on semi final Saturday none of this happened, in fact the Monday newspapers were stacked with photos of blue clad whites drinking beer in tin shacks along with their black brothers, side by side. I was elated to see it as I then thought that this is the real beginning of the change.

And low and behold, the next week was the final, again at Orlando, and Bulls supporters was welcomed by the locals like old friends. And Bulls were grateful to be allowed to return.

This is just the beginning of a great wave, set in motion in 1995 by Nelson Mandela, as can be seen in the movie INVICTUS.

Today I am not just a proud Bulls fan, but a Proud South African

I found the missing kruger pounds...  

Posted by Smoke in , , ,

...I hope that will draw attention to my blog. Anyway, I have been AWOL since the beginning of the year. here follows the reason/excuse and what happened since then.

As I didn't have an anti-virus (I know and I have rectified) my laptop got over infected with viruses, and the punk who sent them apparently lay awake for days waiting for me to reconnect so they could continue helping themselves to my data. After about a month, I finally got everything right.

Further, my baby boy was born and that took up a lot of time. Then my Jack Russel had puppies, my father in law then got accused of being Lex Luther, mother in law left work, brother in law got retrenched. I studied up and became an expert on the validity of the polygraph. Wife got flu, Baby got flu, then I got flu. A black dumb ass tried to whip up a white massacre, then the great white jack ass got killed in his bed, with his pants down, then everyone started the blame game.

Then the dumb ass stooped even lower to abolish the free press, and another white jack ass failed to handle the free press. all the time planet earth are trying to shake us monkeys off her back, but still we don't get the hint. On that, Doesn't any one else find it strange, all these natural disasters we are having?

This all happened, the truth is, I have been getting home late for the past few months and were to tired to blog, But now I am back.


Posted by Smoke in

Another wordzzle. For more info, visit the raven's nest. Here goes..

(10 word challenge): alternate reality, shadows, frantic, tomatoes, field, lilies, DVD, snow mobile, aggravation, music

(5 word): grounds for divorce, pink panther, salutations, wavering, lasagne

...I find myself on a desert Island, and to no fault of my own, let me tell you. In an alternate reality, there would probably be some maidens trooping around here somewhere, hiding up a palm tree, or spying on me from the nearby, jungle shadows.

The meaning of this you ask? Well, last Tuesday, Wendy, the bosses Secretary has me on the line and informs me that the boss will grant me a short meeting. something is up, as I never requested any such thing. Immediately, the theme music for the Pink Panther starts playing in my head as I suspect a plot is about to thicken. So I head up to the penthouse office. "He will see you now" Wendy spiels. The oblong framed glasses, tightly buned hair, impaled by Chinese cutlery, and of course the suite. I am sure here apartment has an assortment of Inquisitional devices, and none of them are for the aesthetics. I give a short rap on a slab of what I suspect to be a two thousand year old red wood, and then enter. I am almost disappointed when the door doesn't creek ominously.

"Sit down Mr Monroe, You will have My full attention in a moment." Amazing how he can verbalise a capital. "I believe you know Mr Kent?" I think of the little script I have running on the finance server named DUNE, and I am almost frantic with fear until I remember a certain DVD, containing explicit images that would certainly be grounds for divorce, If the wife of our head of accounting ever saw it. "Of course sir, How is the wife and kids these days? Janette informs me the books keep you in the office, into the wee hours" That should drive it home. "ah.. uhm.. ahum.. Yes, yes, well we tend to keep busy, and my P.A is such a necessity at those times." Janette: aka P.A aka DVD subject #2. "I believe you wanted to see me sir" the sound of honey. " Mr. Kent here was just telling me about the marvelous job you have done over in the east." " An asset to the company,Bob, Was my words." gibbering git. " That will be all Kent, don't let me Detain you." Ten bucks says he is off to security to remove any evidence.

" So Monroe, I seldom do, but I must agree with Kent, Equipping the Sheik's Private hospital, even after the whole Bin Laden debacle, is quite amazing." "Harder than driving a snow mobile out of a viper pit, let me tell you Sir, but not impossible." " Yes, yes. I do believe you have a way with the impossible..." Hold plot over medium heat and stir, and you will see it thicken. "... That is why I want to send you on a two week cruise in the Caribbean, As a gesture of thanks." I look up and wonder If I can see the puppeteer. "Will this trip be business or pleasure, Sir?" " No, pleasure, definitely... But. well, I so happen to be Tee mates with the ship's captain, and he agreed to seat you at his table for the trip, so If you happen to meet, oh, I don't know, The Medical head of the liner, You might have a proposition for him?" And then I was off on my cruise.

Aggravation can only lightly describe what I am feeling. Mr Yeng, my prospective client, has been wavering in his resolve, on and off since I introduced him to Our marvelous range in "mednology" and I suspect other agents are afoot, so I take a chance. "Lets be honest Mr Yeng, I know about the other offer that has been presented to you. I just want to know who they sent." thumbs crossed." Look, Mr. James said I shouldn't let you know about his involvement, but..." Aha! So MEDPRO QS is involved, I thought I spotted James on the Lido deck last night. "Listen to me Yeng, if you look closely at the strawberry field he is offering you, you will in fact find tomatoes. Don't get me wrong, nothing better than tomatoes, same nutritional value as strawberries, but look, passengers come aboard your fleet and expect Strawberries and cream, tomatoes they can have at home." And that was that.

Or so I thought..

Out on the deck, no one in sight, enjoying an after supper smoke. "Salutations Monroe" dripping smugness. "James." I offer in response. "Not the supper I expected on a cruise like this, but I suppose the budget is going elsewhere. Those tomatoes were ghastly, don't you think?" The ball drops. " Look James, Business is business, and I very well enjoyed the lasagne." " I am sure you have, but true, business is etcetera. I will be off then, only, tell me. White or yellow?" " I don't quite Understand?" The lilies I should send for your memorial, enjoy your trip."accompanied by a sudden shove "Huh?" and then I was falling.

Two days later, I washed up on this Island with, ironically, a case of strawberries and no maidens to share it with. Maybe I can build a coconut phone.


Posted by Smoke

This is my first attempt at a WORDZZLE so please bare with me. If you want to join in, these are this weeks words. For those of you new to the game please visit the ever wonderful Raven at http://ravensviews.blogspot.com/

(10 word challenge) space cadet, silver lining, wood, turtle soup, minaret, ice, grease, sales, mandala, mug

(5 word) broken bones, slide rule, garbage, Chinese, sanguine

I barely know what country I am in these days. I have been plane hopping since six months ago and I am beginning to think that getting into sales was not such a create idea. "Go to interesting places, meet interesting people", heck, if I had joined the Army, I would at least have the option to kill them. And the desert countries are the worst. Sand, wind, sun, it is no day at the beach, let me tell you. And I often wonder what a huge chunk of ice would do for this place. I heard they now have an indoor ski resort.The food is the worst. Last night I had what I thought to be Turtle soup, only, I suspect they made it with something out a garbage bin or tortoise, as this is a desert. Also, it went through the system very slowly. I am one who enjoys recognising my food at face value

At least I was set up in a nice hotel. At this point I should mention a certain desert state building shaped like a boat's sail, yes in deed, I could see it all the way from my room's window. At least the Shaik was interested in item #119 LIVER PRO DI-AL 411 a piece of medical equipment so robust, you could install and use it in a cave.

In the here and now, I suspect I am somewhere in the east, well, more east. it seems there is a Minaret spiralling up around every corner from where someone is singing an invite to prayer. Personally, I prefer the Buddhists. A lovely crafted Mandala has always given me that feeling of tranquility and peace. I unload another few units at a government hospital, and head of to my next destination, somewhere Chinese I think, damn.

The problem is this. A year ago I was A tele-sales rep for an art supply company, it didn't end well. Artist are not easy people, especially a space cadet who takes Mary Jane on an Acid trip as a muse,neither are management. My very last call, on my very last day at the company,after only a week, went something like this:
"..Garrett & Wood, purveyors of fine art supplies, how may I help you today?"
"..yes sir, oils, water colours, oil pastels.."
".. definitely sir, framed as well as unframed, fitted to you specification."
"..all colours of course.."
".. jade? Isn't that a kind of green.."
".. but when it comes down to it, it is green.."
"..look, I am new here.."
".. well that may be true.."
".. sure you are, but as I see it, amber and ivory are basically just yellow.."
".. well in fact I don't call it sanguine.."
".. maybe because red doesn't sound like an illness.."

The silver lining came only a few months later with a sales job entailing luxurious international travel, and a mug with a company logo, not bad since the other side reads.. " you dont have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!!.."

I don't think the Chinese take to modern medical equipment to well or anything modern really, well, mostly in the rural country side. their answer to the computer, pocket calculator and slide rule, are all - the abacus. But still they have clients to our company. Even though they mend broken bones with a mixture of yak butter, axle grease and rice stalks, they still need item #316 C.T.H.R.U anti-GAMMA bone density VISTA to locate the fracture.

After a month of sales, I ponder on the advantages of an exotic vacation, some place foreign. My own home should do.

Bobby Danger And the incredible ass hole  

Posted by Smoke in , ,

Now imagine being surounded by the pitch black of night, and the only light visible is a stabbing shaft from above. Now imagine the warm and musty air that reeks of frightened, slightly confused animals. And all this while not wearing any trousers. Im getting ahead of myself, lets go back to the beginning of this day.

I am on my way to work, but not before I drop my car off for some body work. As I check my rear view mirror, I glimps this head disappear behind a bush. I drive futher and spot a different donkey starring at me untill he realises Im looking, he swings around and starts reading a news paper, upside down. So as I approch the entrance to the repair shop, I have to hit the brakes. One of the amizingly suspicious donkeys of the area is crouched down low awaitng my arrival. Im not fazed as I have training for these situations, see, I am...


So I slam the car into reverse and head for the other entrance, only to find three donkeys waiting for me, wearing black berrets and dark glasses. Thats when I start to regret my choices.

None of this was unprovoked see. A few weeks ago the Inspector comes to me and says," Robert, youz know all doze casings of beers we have standing in the back, the ones we get from da raids on the elegal taverns?" the ones I 'disposed' of at my friend Patience's establishment. " Yes sir, what about them?" " Well we just gets some new ones in, so take da lot of thems and go pours them down the drain.." new stock, ka ching "...and I will come checking in on you, so no funny business, Robert" screwed by the man "yes sir, on my way, just one question sir? Does the drain not run out into an open stream where all kinds of animals can access it?" "Dont youz warry bout that my boy, it is only dumb donkeys" And that was the famous last word, long story short, the donkeys took a liking to the booze and when it ran out, they started hassling the locals for more until it got out of hand and some guy got injured, and the donkey become dog food. since then I have been a marked man, as donkeys dont listen to reasoning. Back to today...

At work the boss man informs me of a ring of live stock thefts that has been happening in other policing areas and the suspects has been traced to our area and its for me to find them, or as the Inspector said it.. "you Robert, you must goes and find eiver the thiefs or da animals" and then I was off.

Our information lead me into the nearby mountains, and I have to abandon my vehicle as I can only drive through trees while in a drug altered state of mind, wich is not the current situation. I walk for what feel like miles, which is fine, as I am an outdoors person. I feel as if Bear Grylls is my mentor and I go nowhere without my Zippo or Leatherman. So I am walking when... nothing, well, atleast that is what is underneath my feet, so I drop, down, dow... stop. I find myself hanging upside down, my belt hooked on a branch. I see the ground and it is about four feet down. I undo me belt and I drop again, as I land, I roll and drop again.... Lucky I land on something soft. Well atleast I found the live stock, damn irony.

So here I am, in the present, down a twenty five foot hole. surrounded by about thirty donkeys. Lucky they are not local, wich means my status to them is neutral, or so I thought. I reach for my Zippo, look up, and see it and my leatherman glinting down at me. My thoughts move to Mr. Grylls and realise I cant make a fire using a rock and a donkey, no matter how hard you hit it. And then my world goes black....

I wake up what feels like hours later and find myself at Patience's place. I touch my fore head and it stings, I feel again and find a hoove shaped welt. Apparently, I found the "stolen" donkeys and they were actually an Ass militia rounded up to get me, well now they are fido's lunch. Then Patience found me, and brought me back here. Only one thing left to do...
"Patience, Get the truck, I have some 'disposal of exhibits' to get to."

The spreading of the gospel