Taking heart after surviving yet another doomsday forecast
LATE-NIGHT roadblocks around the city seem to be an increasing area of expertise of the metro police force.
I guess it’s a good thing, given that there are still a plethora of miscreants out there.
That is despite the odd parcels of hope that are still around. Oh, and of course, fine people like Makhosi Khoza, rock ‘n’ roll and beer.
It can be quite annoying to be pulled over and the prevalence of cops on our night-time streets has certainly put paid to our occasional week-ending “wine evenings”.
I was once stopped while being stonecold sober. I asked the rather officious officer that, hypothetically, if I had had a modest volume of Bacchus’s best (a glass and a half, say), and he detected a slight whiff on my breath while checking my licence, what would he do?
“You’d be pulled over and breathalysed straight away,” he replied tersely.
Well, talking of roadblocks, I again encountered one just before the entrance to Fountains Valley resort the other evening on my way home from work. Believe it or not, but I was listening to Led Zep playing that great song off the second album, Heartbreaker.
A far younger cousin of mine, Dawid, who is also a mean guitarist, recently had a heart flutter. He quipped at the time that he might have contracted some or other cardiac condition because he listened to said Heartbreaker too often; quite a few Zeppophiles in the family, I’m glad to say.
Cars were being pulled off at random into the side lanes. I was, of course, stone-cold sober and I was looking forward to dispensing some goodwill to the officers. But, I was simply waved on without anyone in the thin blue line affording me even an askance glance.
I had pushed the “pause” facility on the CD as I was approaching – I don’t think a dose of late-night Zep would tickle the fancy of a cop in the line of duty. I reactivated the CD as I roared off and Plant bellowed that great line “Well, it’s been 10 years and maybe more/since I first set eyes on you”.
Well, we had our first really serious electric storm at the weekend – and then some in the week. I quivered in awe as the lightning and thunder put on a meteorological display of some ferocity overhead.
Coming so soon after we survived what was supposed to be the non-existent Planet Nibiru wiping out Planet Earth, I reckon the gods just wanted to show who were calling the shots. In case you didn’t catch it, some crackpot end-of-time doomsayers had deduced from rolling the bones or reading the runes, that we would be obliterated on September 23.
Now I see there’s another geezer predicting that we’ll be a goner on October 21. I’d better stock up on cans of veg curry and assorted libations.
I think a far more credible threat to humankind is posed by the joint efforts of the bad-hair-day terrible twins of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un and their nuke posturing. More crackpot stuff, for sure, but pretty scary anyway.
Whenever I read or hear about their threats and counter-threats, I always recall Bob Dylan’s classic line “You play with my world/like it’s your little toy”. He wrote that in 1963. The song, as if you needed telling, is called Masters of War… it has a wonderful final verse which is worth checking out.
* It’s been a sad week for music indeed. First of all, that madman killed around 60 concertgoers in Las Vegas. And the following day, one of my all-time favourite musicians, Tom Petty, died of a heart attack.
I saw him and his band, The Heartbreakers, backing Bob Dylan in London in 1987. Also on the bill was Roger Mcguinn, of The Byrds, which made it one of the finest shows I ever saw.
So, RIP Mr Petty; go free fallin’ as you run down a dream. It’s sad that you won’t be coming round here no more… thanks for the music hey.