A birth­day bash only Par­lia­ment can pro­vide

CityPress - - Voices - Paddy Harper voices@city­press.co.za

Tues­day. I’m stoked. My di­ary is done for the week. The bosses are in con­fer­ence, so I have a cou­ple of hours to my­self.

It’s a glo­ri­ous day. Dur­ban has ei­ther ig­nored the memo that win­ter is half­way here or has not re­ceived it yet.

The world is look­ing rosy. The Goon­ers have pulled off sec­ond in the English league, even if Arsène Wenger is still run­ning the show.

Diego Sime­one’s Atletico Madrid war­riors are still in the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League, even if they screwed things up in La Liga at the last minute. Maybe we will get lucky and Cholo, as Sime­one is known, will land at the Emi­rates next sea­son.

Closer to home, I try not to think about the Buc­ca­neers’ dis­mal league form this sea­son and fo­cus on my other rea­sons to be cheer­ful, given that it is my birth­day. I have some­how man­aged to make the ripe old age of 51, de­spite three and a half decades of burn­ing the can­dle at both ends, some se­ri­ously im­paired de­ci­sion-mak­ing when it comes to women and pol­i­tics, and a gen­eral in­abil­ity to wind my neck in, pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally. Not bad. If I’ve man­aged to pull off more than half a cen­tury with­out hav­ing to grow up and get a proper job, I guess I will never have to.

I head for the beach and a quick swim. The light re­flect­ing off the swell at North Beach is golden. The waves are bang­ing – glassy, about a me­tre and a half, with a lovely lit­tle left break­ing to­wards the pier.

I drop my jeans and step into my bag­gies, hop­ing that I don’t get nailed by the cops. There is a new city by­law that levies a R15 000 fine for ex­pos­ing one’s gen­i­talia – the ANC coun­cil­lors pushed it through with­out read­ing it and are now try­ing to find a way to stop the cops en­forc­ing it.

I hit the wa­ter. For 60 min­utes there are no dead­lines, no bills, no politi­cians; just sweet rides. I feel clean.

Then re­al­ity kicks in. I am late for ques­tion time in the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Maybe the com­man­der in chief – Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma – is go­ing to give me a birth­day present and pay back the money. That would be nice.

There is no time to get home or to the of­fice, so I head for the bar at the Pa­rade Ho­tel. Robert McBride blew it up a few years back, be­fore the pres­i­dent de­cided to screw him. I ar­rive in time to see a man in a white shirt kick­ing a fe­male Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers MP in the head.

Pay­back, but not the money.

I ar­rive in time to see a man in a white shirt kick­ing a fe­male EFF MP in the head

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