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Excerpts

Dedication

This Book
Is dedicated to
THE YOUTH
In the hope that they will reject
The crappy values of their parents.

A Loving Family

When Matthew Dreyer started life as a baby he was one of those mewling and puking types: somewhat sickly and runtish. In fact, during one of their frequent, verbally abusive altercations, his father Bruce had suggested to his mother Trudy that the infant was suffering from foetal alcohol syndrome. On account of all that wine and gin and tonic she had insisted on drinking during her pregnancy, little Matt would grow up stunted in stature and intellectually subnormal. It was a foul thing to say to a mother; just a cheap gibe with little to substantiate it. It had the desired effect though, which was to cause nagging guilt, mental anguish and emotional torment.

A Posh School

Matt was enrolled at the best of schools. It was one of those museum institutions that should have died out as a despicable anachronism once the sun had set on the British Empire. It was based on the English Public School model, and was steeped in all sorts of bizarre and archaic traditions that one would have thought had no place in the 20th century, let alone the 21st. But the wealthy elite who prosper at the expense of the stinking masses seem determined to have their offspring educated in just such old-fashioned bastions of privilege. Certainly the Dreyers did.

Toughening Up

“You see, darling,” she said, “it’s most important not to appear
weak in any way.”
    “Like how?” Matt wanted to know.
    “Well, for example, they’ll offer you a cigarette and closely watch your response. If you refuse, or start coughing and spluttering, or don’t know how to inhale, you’ll be an object of ridicule. I’m afraid they’ll see it as a chink in your armour, my dear. Then they’ll look for other ways to test you and before you know it you’ll be a laughing stock and fair game for the bullies.”
    Matt had stopped eating and was looking anxious.
    “But don’t you worry, my darling,” she went on. “We’re going to give you lots of training over the next month. And it’s not that complicated, really. You’ve just got to be able to smoke, hold your liquor, and do drugs. Also you must know about sex.”

A Real Lady

His feelings for his mother were more complex. He knew she was a typical rich bitch, through and through – loud, domineering, incredibly rude to domestic staff and shop assistants, dishonest in word and deed, foul-mouthed, lazy, quick to complain, callous, sexually promiscuous, badly educated, opinionated, bigoted, pompous, pretentious and, above all, supercilious. In short: a real Constantia matron.

Worse Than Rats

 “But there’s another reason why we find them so fucking obscene; a psychological reason. When we see a rat and shudder in revulsion it’s partly a feeling of disgust for ourselves. Our base impulses, our revolting habits, our treacherous nature, our murderous inclinations, and our systematic degradation of everything we touch. The rat is our nemesis: a reproach and a reminder of how vile we really are.”

Stupid Religion

“But after all the persecution Jews have suffered you can’t blame them for wanting their own homeland.”
    “Ah, kak man.” Horry didn’t agree. “Look, what makes a Jew a Jew? You can’t tell me it’s genetic – that’s the Nazi way of thinking. No, it’s the fucking stupid religion that makes a Jew a Jew. The same with Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. God, or the belief in a God, or in any supernatural power, has failed the world. For there to be any hope for the future the eradication of religion should be tackled on a global scale, the way one would fight AIDS, or avian flu, or malaria.”

Tshabalala

Suddenly Horry sat up straight, as if he’d been yanked upright by some invisible rope tied to his neck. His eyes burst into flaming enthusiasm as inspiration exploded somewhere in the cerebral background. He snapped his fingers to show he’d just had a eureka moment.
    “Tshabalala!” he shouted, causing everyone in the coffee shop to turn their heads. “Dr Godknows Tshabalala: that’s who you must see. The best sangoma in Cape Town.”

In The Ghetto

It wasn’t far from the highway, but it felt like the hinterland of darkest Africa. The potholed track led into a jungle of shacks and took a turn. He was immediately engulfed by walls of wood, iron, cardboard and plastic. Most of the hovels were closed up, the residents away at work or school, or off foraging for firewood, or scavenging for bits of rubbish that might be of some use, or out and about breaking into houses and stealing washing from clotheslines, or off to town to do a little shoplifting and begging. He saw a woman, some small children in rags, an old man. A skinny dog barked a warning: if he stopped it would piss on at least one of his wheels. Some chickens; a goat. Everywhere the smell of human excrement.

Modern Culture

The shock Matt’s in for revolves around a certain cultural phenomenon. We all know what culture is, don’t we? Anyway, the culture Matt was familiar with was largely worthless culture of the West, heavily loaded with influences from the US of A. Some call it postmodern culture, or post-postmodern culture. Whatever. The main feature of this culture is its worthlessness.

Not For Art's Sake

Anorexic Prostitute with Baboon Foetus. All this pseudo aesthetic refinement and sensitivity. When just beneath the surface they were gross materialists. It was a con, this display of Art objects. They weren’t interested in the art at all. Money and status – that’s what it was about. Like that bloody William Kentridge on the wall over there. How many hundred thousand had they paid? Christ! Klipdrift and Chocolate Kotched on Canvas.

The Dark Foe

Matt peeped into the room. Claude was in his chair behind the desk where he’d been told to sit. The burglar stood facing him, his back to the door. He was examining one of Claude’s guns prior to firing it.
    The thieving black bastard. Dormant hatred erupted in him. Coal black, actually. Ebony black. Must be an Angolan, or Congolese, or something. Xenophobia and righteous indignation were injected into the engine of rage. These foreign black bastards were stealing and raping right here in Constantia under the very noses of the black bastards whose birthright it was to steal from the white trash and rape the white bitches.

G-town

It was a scruffy little town built on a narrow plain and radiating into the surrounding hills. Most of the buildings were old and in need of maintenance. This must be British colonial architecture, he thought. Not like the Cape Dutch style of Stellenbosch, which he remembered as having a much more vibrant and prosperous feel to it. There was refuse in the storm water channels, and groups of shabbily dressed darkies were already gathering under trees or on street corners, having despaired of finding work for the day.

A Normal Kid

She did most of the things her friends did. She went to the parties, and danced, and popped pills, and drank vodka and cream soda, and even sucked a cock or two. But that was it.

Offensive

“Members of the Foundation are encouraged to take a pledge,” he said. “It goes like this: ‘I vow to use every opportunity that comes my way to defecate on the altar of religious conviction, and wipe my arse on the flag of national pride.’ Offensive, hey?”

The Ghost of Bruce

It was in Godknows Tshabalala’s back room, the one where he practiced traditional medicine. They were squatting on low bankies either side of the fire burning on the earth floor in the middle of the room. Both were squinting into the thick acrid smoke. It plumed up from the coals where the doctor had just thrown some handfuls of dried and powdered goeters. Matt was battling to make out the shape of his father’s spirit, but the doctor, with all his years of experience, could see it plainly, as if he was wearing night vision goggles.

Drink Up, or Else

Somewhat surprisingly, his drinking habits weren’t a problem, even when he stank of booze and slurred his words in tutorials. In fact, it seemed that drunkenness was actively encouraged on campus. He spoke to Ed about this.
    “Yes,” said Ed, “it’s a cultural tradition at Rhodes, reinforced by the growing use of alcohol and drugs by schoolchildren. It’s a weird kind of conformity to inverted values. I hardly drank at all before I arrived here, and I don’t see why I should start if I don’t feel the need. But the warden has spoken to me on two occasions already, urging me to get pissed like the other students. He’s even threatened me with psychological counselling to help me with my problem. Incredible hey?”

Greedy and Selfish

“Jesus, Ed,” he said, “you’re painting a horribly bleak picture. No wonder you say we’ve been robbed of a future. I suppose we can only blame human nature for this. I mean, if we’re atheists we can’t even blame God or the Devil.”
    “No,” said Ed, grinning. “But we can blame previous generations; especially our parents’ generation.” A cold, ruthless look came into his eyes. “We might be rather fond of Mummy and Daddy, but they’ve got a lot to answer for. They’ve been very greedy and selfish. They’ve recklessly and negligently gone and fucked up their children’s future. Let’s just hope they don’t expect us to pamper them in their old age. No, I’m afraid we’re going to have to euthanize whole multitudes of them in order to gain some breathing space.”

Conformity

“It really is strange,” he said. “This is supposed to be a fucking university, and yet ninety percent of the students have a phobia-like aversion to anything remotely intellectual. Rather than discuss or even contemplate a mental abstraction, they prefer to dwell vicariously on stuff like sport, Hollywood movies, cars, trendy gadgets, and other people’s sex lives. But to hell with them; what were we saying before that oaf knocked on the door?”

Falling Apart

Matt had never been what’s known as ‘a ray of sunshine’. But now he entered an introverted state of brooding sullenness. He began to miss lectures and spent more and more time lying in bed staring at the ceiling. Or sitting at his desk watching movies on his laptop, a bottle of gin and a litre of tonic to hand. Or aiming his firearm at the bastards on the wall.
    His personal hygiene suffered, too. He would wear his clothes until they began to stink, then he would change into dirty clothes that had been hanging on the back of a chair. He stopped shaving. Also, he took to pissing in the hand basin in the corner. Who was he trying to impress, anyway? Fuck the world. But he never neglected to go to rifle practice. That was what made him feel calm and strengthened his resolve.

Old Toppie

In the morning all three of them woke up feeling a bit babalas and lacking in a sense of purpose. After two cups of coffee Gilbert went to get the car out. The old toppie was pottering about in his garden, surrounded by a collection of disgusting Disney-style gnomes made of concrete and painted in bright colours with alkali-resistant acrylic.
    “You know,” said the old toppie, “there was a surfer got washed up on the beach in the night. Had his leg and his head bitten off by the sharks. Now that’s a sign of the times.”
    “Yah?” said Gilbert, wondering what the old cunt meant by this stupid statement, and wishing he didn’t have to engage in this pointless social ritual.
    “Yah,” said the old toppie. “All the fish in the sea has been fished out and now the sharks are hungry. They got to eat something, you know.”

Restroom Wanker

Just then the main door opened and the attendant marched in. He stopped in his tracks, listened for a moment, and then hurried over to one of the toilet cubicles and hammered on the door.
    “Hey you!” he shouted. “Stop that! Hou op met daai fokken draadtrek! Only shitting, only shitting!” He turned away muttering, a look of disgust contorting his face. “I’m the one who has to clean up. Fokken animal.”
    Stealth, cunning, furtiveness, guilt and shame all mingled together to produce a suffocating silence.

Better Times

“Jesus,” said Matt. “This is a fucking time warp. This is AWB country. This is the Boeremag.”
    And indeed it was a flashback to the old South Africa. These people cooking their suppers on open fires, trying to hold on to a time when things were better, far better. Times when you could treat a kaffir like a kaffir and everyone knew where they stood. Not like now, when white people are being murdered and raped all over the republic, systematically, like it was ANC strategy.

Power

“Rose?”
    She glanced up. Ah! There it was. Her charcoal eyes were filled with fear. Would you believe it? Rose was quivering with terror, not knowing what he, Matt Arsehole Dreyer, was going to do next.

Of No Consequence

“Why did you have to kill them like that?” she asked.
    “The monkeys?” He was taken aback. He’d already forgotten about the monkeys. But why had he killed them? “They were messing up the car,” he said, knowing that this didn’t in any way explain his behaviour. What the hell. It was of no consequence and he felt no remorse. These monkeys were vermin, anyway, just like humans. In a million years time they would have evolved into some abominable species to take the place of humans, who’d be long extinct. Then they too would go about fucking up the planet.

Eternal Darkness

He was in a hurry but now he must calm down, savour the moment. He stood with his toes over the edge and looked down. This was pathetic. Sixty-five metres down to the riverbed. Bloukranz was more than three times this. Oh well, fuck all of humanity, and fuck this lousy life. He slowly let himself lean and then fall forward.
    At the critical moment of no return he expected to feel terror. Instead he felt the detached objectivity of an observer. The wind was in his face and the rocks rushed up to meet him. In place of the jerk on the harness he would have preferred the extra metres of free fall and the exquisite intensity of that last moment before his stupid existence was plunged into eternal darkness.

Typical Cops

One of them broke open the door, which was unnecessary because it wasn’t locked. They entered the shop and immediately began messing up the crime scene by doing things they’d been specifically trained not to do. Like moving the bodies and handling the murder weapons and leaving their sweaty fingerprints on everything.

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