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Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sipho meets his match

I received the following in an email a few years ago and completely forgot about it - until one of the contributors at I Luv SA posted it on their blog. Now you have to understand the attitude of taxi drivers in South Africa to really appreciate the post. I’ll try and summarize in one sentence - total disregard for anything that looks, sounds and smells like traffic signals, road signs and markings, flashing lights and sirens on emergency vehicles, highway code - I think you get the idea. Now imagine having this attitude (calling it lawless behaviour isn’t appropriate, as they couldn’t give a rat’s bum about being fined or locked up) whilst driving a vehicle designed for 15 passengers maximum with at least 25 on board (not including those sitting on the laps of others), the condition of the vehicle such that the average breaker yard in the first world wouldn’t want the vehicle for free, as no body panels or components would be recoverable from it.

t3This morning, yours truly, decided to sneak in a pinch of top-secret and highly professional canoe training at Emmerentia dam, before the first farts of the sparrows could escape their imprisoning sphincters, and even before the glories-of-mornings of most non-gay South African men could rise to view the possible prospects of “before work” swims.

Yep, I was up and onto that little patch of water before sunrise, tearing around it at record-breaking pace, sneaking in a wee bit of pre-Duzi training in order to wrestle the crown away from the well slow and soft Martin Dreyer (present Duzi champion, for those of you not in the intellectual canoe mix) next time around.

Anyway, the details of my incredible canoe talent are not up for discussion here, but rather what happened on my drive home after the session, in rush hour traffic and, in particular, on Jan Smuts Avenue near to the Old Parktonian Sports Club around 8am.

I was happily chilling in my car, cruising along at about 60kph, in pretty much bumper-to-bumper traffic, with nobody going anywhere any faster; it was simply not an option. Well, not an option for anyone with a brain, with an ounce of logic within their crania, with a drop of sense inside the membranes of their cerebral hemispheres. You’d think that a creature without a brain would equate to a fly or less, a category that includes mosquitoes, stones, anvils and……taxi drivers.

Yep, enter Sipho “I’m a d—head without a brain cell” Ndlovo, driver of a Toyota Hi-Ace with 4 wheels, 1 brake pad, no lights, half a steering wheel, about 30 people inside and 3 masking-taped windows, standard issue for a South African taxi driver. He had more than likely participated in the demonstration march last month with hundreds of other taxi driver idiots protesting about having had their ‘vehicles’ impounded for not being roadworthy. The rocket-scientists couldn’t understand what wasn’t roadworthy about a taxi with a bobejaan spanner (monkey wrench) for a steering wheel, or one without brakes (they reckon a handbrake is just as good as the foot brake pedal).

Anyway, my mate Sipho decided things weren’t flowing fast enough for him so started weaving in and out of the traffic, arm hanging out of his window like a baboon’s tail hanging from its ring piece. I heard this aeronautical engineer-like taxi driver coming from about 5 cars back, because everyone was hooting and slamming on brakes to avoid the accident that he was trying his damndest to cause.

After he narrowly missed the back of my canoe, as he swerved in behind me, I made a stubborn little vow that he definitely wouldn’t be cutting in front of me like that, and so began the fun and games. The bum-wart first tried the standard tactic of intimidation, just gradually cutting me off, in the typical “you’d better slow down and let me in, or I’ll crash into you” method. Well, I used the typical “Screw you faeces-brain” tactic, with one hand on the hooter, the other flipping the bird at him, with my foot firmly on the accelerator, until he backed down like Mike Catt had done in 1995 when Jonah Lomu ran straight over him (Rugby World Cup).

This had a snowball effect, which had me chuckling the whole way back to my humble abode. Syphilis-face then decided to put all his well acquired driving skill to the test and adopted the smartest technique of them all, the “Eish, I weel ovah-take on the wrong side” method, one that sadly has caused numerous accidents in the past, including the untimely death of one of our awesome mates a year ago. This made old Maccatini madder than a spitting cobra with a red hot cactus lodged up its rectum.

No skin off the taxi drivers nose, he just accelerated more, and tried to cut in front of the double-cab in front of me, this after he had hooted at me and showed me a middle finger accompanied with a few swear words, something that made me want to beat him harder than Campbell hit the gay boy who stabbed him repeatedly with a pen all those years ago!

Well, the fella in front of me had obviously also been observing the proceedings, and likewise refused to let Sipho Ndhlovo in so the acceleration by the monkey continued, while he tried his hardest to outstare the double-cab driver. Sadly for the nuclear physicist the emergency lane was shortly going to end, with a solid stone pavement to mark its ending. More sadly for him was the fact that he, and his 30-odd passengers were all trying their damndest to “intimidate by staring” myself and the double-cab man, instead of watching the road ahead, something that most brain-owners do when driving. I saw it coming, and was smiling my full-tusk smile even before they hit!! Anal-bum-wart hit that pavement at about 70kph, 31 passengers bumped their heads on the roof of the Hi-Ace in poetic unison, adding an extra 31 dents to the already f—ed minibus, and the two front wheels were ripped off the chassis as the bus slid to a delightful halt. Thankfully no passengers were hurt, which made it the most fantastic thing to witness. Sadly though, Sipho, arm still hanging out of the window, was also unscathed.

However, his car was more screwed than that prostitute at PE harbour named Deloris, and his mood was somewhat down-trodden. I hooted and made sure he got the full-frontal of my biggest ever super smile, as did the driver of the double-cab, and then to my absolute joy, looked in my mirror to see every driver behind me doing exactly the same! The brain-cell-lacker had received his well earned treatment! I was happier than the Proteas when they beat the Aussies, or at least as happy!! So folks, what a peachy morning it has been so far. The sun is shining, it’s Friday, I’ve done my training. There will be a lot of thirst quenched this weekend, and Sipho “faeces-face” Ndlovo is one minibus short of a taxi!

Now that is justice….!

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