Well, I must say
LAST night I saw on the dish scratchy old photographs of the Impressionist painter Degas, endlessly, endlessly and alone walking the streets of Paris in his seventies, with the TV man saying what a strange and purposeless thing this was for an old toppie to do. Well, maybe I’m strange and purposeless too, because that’s what I do around Durbs, and a damn sight more purposeful than sitting like Renoir with a brush strapped to his ancient arthritic fist and somebody at hand to stick a cigarette in his mouth, painting endlessly great bulbous nude girls with tiny little heads and teenage breasts, pink and orange and red flesh like crustaceans dipped alive in boiling water. Except these loll about thereafter on banks of soft grass or wash their clothing in rivers, fat, rustic, mindless. One wonders how he made such breathtaking art about young people in the early fresh days of Impressionism.
Anyway, I’ll tell you a great way to roam your city if you are so inclined: set off in a random direction, and when you come to a random busstop catch that bus to wherever it’s going and walk home. A surprise hike, and you’d be surprised whom you meet. At a stop somewhere in Umbilo, I come across this strickenlooking gent with a little crocheted thingummy on his head, lolling on the bench there. Howzit, man, say I, are you all right? Why shouldn’t I be all right? he replies. Well, you look sort of sleepy, say I. Tired, ah tired, says he. I slept not a wink last night and now I must get through a day’s work. He tells me his sorrowful story. Geoffrey Chaucer should have had him amongst the Pilgrims.
The Mussalman’s Tale: I saw on the Internet a certain email order form, says he, placed there by a firm in Burbank Califoria that produces customdesigned composite aerodynamicallyformed sails for oceanracing yachts, plus a whole range of hitech fixtures and plastic accoutrements. Amongst these numbered also a very realistic pneumatic woman, anatomically correct in every detail, including internal stiffening of the limbs to take the place of bones, so that the arms and legs should articulate naturalistically as required, and not merely bend like Vienna sausages. Assuming these ladies to be designed for the comfort of solo roundtheworld sailors, I ordered one from the catalogue, auburnhaired, out of maritime curiosity. But when She arrived I found no lowpressure pump as listed, and eager to find what cultural purpose sailors might have for Her, started to blow her up by mouth at about 8 pm. But by 10 pm, I was so exhausted as to have lost all cultural interest.
Suddenly awaking at 11 pm, I realised I might take Her to a fillingstation, there to make use of their free air service, and hastily donning dressing gown and slippers I placed Her in the 4x4 and took Her to the Shell pumps down King Dinizulu Road. But alas, whilst struggling to fit nozzle to an unmatched valve on Her left big toe a Gauteng family pulled in behind me, making an early overnight start for home after a beach holiday with the children. All 10 eyes fixed appalled on this sunken old lady with bright ginger hair in the back of the 4x4, naked, and me doing unnatural things with her feet, in my dressing gown. There and then I went across to the Shell allnight superette and purchased a maid’s overall in green and clad Her in this before moving the 4x4 to a convenient shadow and soldiering on with the inflation problem. But suddenly highpressure nozzle and bigtoevalve matched and out of control She puffed up to the proportions of an obese middleaged matron — and exactly at that point the police arrived with weapons drawn. Well, I must say they were not as brutal as they are accused of being, but I felt there was no need for their silly giggling nor advice from a mere 18yearold that I should see if they also sell panties at the superette, says Pilgrim.
A brief silence ensues. Maybe, say I to Pilgrim, you should buy a blowup bloke for your missus. Convex, so to speak, for roundtheworld solo lady sailors. Then you could do inflations companionably at home with an inflatablemattress lowpressure foot pump from a camping shop. Do not talk in that cheap manner about my wife’s sexuality, says he. She is a deeply religious woman who has never looked upon a naked living man, let alone a plastic idol. Not even you? say I. I always switch off the lights, says he, and wear some item of clothing. Like your socks? say I. Maybe if you switch on the lights and try a bit of zizipompom without socks you won’t need Her, hey?
A bus arrives. He boards with no word of farewell. I decide to walk a bit further, randomly. MOTORISTS caught driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances must have their driver’s licences cancelled. To reclaim them, they should have to go to a reputable driving school and then take the test again. This is the only way to stop this drunken road carnage. And those who have not paid traffic fines must not be allowed to renew their vehicle registration.
The transport department needs to stop beating about the bush and take drastic action.