SA Road Trippin’ Tricks & Truths

  • If it looks like a long way on the map, then on the actual road it is bloody far … as in … to hell and gone.
  • If you’ve ever thought yourself dedicated to a cause, you can still learn from the traffic departments in the Western Cape. Their dedication to photography is nothing short of astounding.
  • The Western Cape also possibly has the world’s largest collection of completely unnecessary traffic lights.
  • If we had as much tar to fill potholes as we have for building speed bumps, our roads would be a pleasure.
  • Keep your cell connected to the car charger. That way you can carefully pull it back from wherever it has flown to, if you recover from hitting that speed bump in what you thought was a 120km/h zone.
  • If your phone is not connected to the charger, keep it under your left thigh. That way it won’t fly anywhere, you’ll know where it is and it’s especially effective in curbing the desire to check it every 5 minutes.
  • Pairing a new Bluetooth headset to your phone while driving can easily take 150kms.
  • Don’t move your lip balm from its original location. Looking for it while driving is frustrating and can easily take three hours.
  • There is nothing as disheartening on the open road as patiently waiting for a safe spot to overtake an enormous truck only to see the next truck a few hundred meters away. Damn!
  • If you have driven for several hours getting stuck behind several vehicles travelling at way below the speed limit, you’ll eventually start understanding that a lack of speed can be as deadly as an excess.
  • There really should be a minimum speed limit on national roads as well. The person driving 160 in the 120 zone is really much less of a bother than the person driving 60 in the 120 zone.
  • Frustration and impatience kill more people than speed – try to not be the person causing the frustration.
  • Drive as if you are going somewhere – if you want to admire the scenery, do so while someone else is driving.
  • Even if you have waited 30 minutes for a safe place to overtake the first truck, that same truck will try to overtake you and the next truck while you again wait patiently for a safe place to overtake.
  • Most trucks think they’re invincible and will easily overtake you on a double lined double blind … You, however, are not invincible.
  • If someone has caught up to you from behind while you are not caught up behind traffic yourself, it means that they are travelling faster than you and you should allow them to overtake you. If you cannot understand this simple principle, you are too stupid to operate a vehicle.
  • While driving you are supposed to be aware of all the surrounding traffic, including vehicles behind you. If you wait for the car behind to reach you and slow down before giving way, don’t be surprised if the guy overtaking you isn’t overly grateful. Your lack of awareness causes a waste of time and fuel for others.
  • Also if it takes you that long to notice a car behind you, your responses are too slow to drive safely.
  • I like to drive after dark, but if you don’t know exactly where you’re going darkness is a bugger.
  • Road signs are generally useless: They only indicate where you could possibly end up and give you no idea of where the hell you are.
  • After 12am road rules are soft – if you see any cops rushing in your direction, don’t worry. They’re on their way to the accident you passed a few minutes ago.
  • Of all the scary things on South African roads, nothing is quite as shocking as the price of petrol.
  • If you approach Joubertina from the Oudtshoorn side at any time from Friday to Sunday you are in the zone where you are most likely to hit a drunk pedestrian. Be careful.
  • Finally, there comes a time in a person’s life when you feel as if you should risk your life for the sake of your sanity. Don’t let that urge get you while driving. Skydiving is a much better option.

Outlandish Multiple Choice Ideas for How the Oscar saga will end

Oscar Pistorius … the options

A.

After a condemning case by the state Oscar cries like a baby during his testimony (the advice of his media consultant). His testimony drags on for days – the court has to adjourn often to find more tissues.

Oscar is found guilty. The defence try their best to argue in favour of house arrest, but Oscar is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Oscar takes his case to the constitutional court: South African prisons don’t have sufficient facilities for the disabled.

Afrikaans singer Matthys Roets, who has been in a wheelchair since a car accident, is widely quoted in the media: “Legs aren’t necessary for jail”.

The appeal process takes two years, but finally the international media show up to film Oscar walking into prison.

Then …

Option 1:

Precisely nine months after starting his sentence the Beeld runs a story about Angus Buchan visiting Oscar in prison. You Magazine breaks the story of Oscar’s conversion to being a “born again Christian”.

After 2 years Oscar is released on bail. The international media show up for his post release press conference and he talks about his new found faith. After a few months Oscar and Angus start publishing the first of many religious books: “Faith like a legless man”, followed by “From Pistols to Preaching” and “Belief Beyond the Bathroom door.” Later they meet David Wilkerson and together they publish “The Cross and the Blade Runner”.

Angus and Oscar become wealthy international evangelists.

 

Option 2:

Oscar is released on medical parole after 9 months. He sells his gun collection on EBay based in the UK and makes a fortune. Now and then the Sunday Times publishes photographs of Oscar playing golf with Schabir Shaik, who claims to now really be on his last legs.

Option 3:

Oscar is released on medical parole after 9 months and elopes to the USA. There he becomes the new nationwide ambassador for the American Rifle Association. They launch a campaign called: You have the right to bear arms, even if you don’t have a leg to stand on.

The campaign is largely a success within its target market since Oscar is introduced as “a former Olympic athlete” and the average American knows no more detail about him.

 

Option 4:

Oscar doesn’t show up to start serving his sentence. International media headlines include: “Blade runner, Blade gunner, Blade goner”, “The blade escape” , “Run Oscar Run” , “Runner, Gunner, Runner”,  “Once a runner, always a runner … sometimes a gunner” and “Legless Olympian outruns long arm of the law”. Stephan Francis & Rico publish a new Madam & Eve collection called “The Blades are Restless”, but change the name to “The Blades of our Lives” after being threatened with copyright violation by Gary Larson’s publisher.

Then …

4.1

A few months later Oscar is arrested in Russia for illegal gun trading. For the rest of his life he shares a Russian jail cell with South African child rape convict Dirk Prinsloo. Later Rapport newspaper publishes a story in which Oscar claims that he is constantly the victim of indecent assaults by Dirk. Nobody really cares.

4.2

Fugitive Oscar joins a Somali group of pirates who cause havoc all the way from the East Coast of Africa to Indonesia. He gains international notoriety as “the legless pirate assassin” and is especially known for shooting his victims through their cabin doors. Around a decade later the group’s ship disappears during a storm. A Hollywood film called “The Legend of the Legless Pirate” is an international hit.

4.3

Oscar joins Al Qaida. Al Jazeera broadcasts a video in which Oscar claims he killed Reeva because she made anti-Islamic comments. Jonathan Shapiro publishes a selection of his cartoons entitled “The Bathroom Door Verses”. Nobody bothers to sue him, but Al Qaida declares him an enemy of Islam and claims that Oscar will be sent to shoot him and that there is no door behind which he could hide.

4.4

Oscar gets special permission to take his blades to jail in order to increase his safety in jail through mobility. Apparently he “tip-toes” around during shower-hour “to stay fit”. Within three weeks he is attacked in the bathroom by an unknown prisoner. Oscar dies in hospital as a result of internal injuries. A week later You Magazine, usually branded as family reading material, makes history by selling the issue of their magazine containing the “inside story” covered in a plastic wrapper. The article claims one of Oscar’s blades had to be surgically removed and shows gory graphic depictions of the injuries as well as a map of the prison block and bathroom. The unknown culprit is never apprehended, but in an anonymous letter to the media originating from the prison, someone claims to have mistaken Oscar for an intruder. 

B.

In a shocking turn of events Oscar’s defence claim in court that he is a sleepwalker. He was not awake at the time he shot Reeva and can therefore not be held liable. Two high school hostel mates testify that Oscar often walked in his sleep during exam times. University of the Free State psychology professor Dup Louw testifies that sleepwalkers often react violently when disturbed, without waking up.

Desperate to save their case the state claim a person cannot possibly be a “sleepwalker” if he has no legs, but Oscar is discharged on all counts. He starts his own charity called The International Association of Legless Sleepwalkers, but can find neither other members nor donations.  He tries to return to running, but since hotels now refuse to house him because of safety concerns, he is unable to compete at any events not within driving distance of his house.

"We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns" Counting Crows