Category “English – Nonsense Novels”


Saturday, 19 February, 2011

By PG Jonker

[Published in Leisure Wheels, March 2011] 

It’s always nice going back on your old tracks.  One weekend we decide to follow my wife’s old tracks where they used to camp as kids at Tieties Bay.  When they were small, long before the world discovered Tieties Bay, they used to camp there every summer holiday.

It is nice drive with the dirt road from Stompneus Bay to Paternoster.  Paternoster used to be one of those secluded spots you would visit to get away from everyone.  These days when you get there everyone is there already. 

Downtown Paternoster is busy.  Before you get the Paternoster hotel you drive  past Oep vi Koep (Open for buy)


As expected, the local courtesy befalls us:  any vehicle with a non-local registration number invariably gets an invitation along the lines of “Die Larnie willie ‘n kriefie koepie?”   (Does the larnie want to buy a crayfish) Such a transactionwould, of course, be illegal.  The appearance of a law enforcer evokes a quick recovery:  “Nei, die Lanie niem net ‘n sneppie, nuh?” (No, the larnie is just taking a photo).

Downtown Paternoster is too busy for our liking.  It is outside holiday season, so Tieties Bay should be deserted, guaranteed to render the expected splendour and quietness that we seek today. 

Not so.  Today Tieties Bay is just as busy as Paternoster itself.  Some Inter Corporate Challenge sporting event is in full swing.  Colour coded teams participate against each other.  Rowing, cycling, that kind of stuff.  We drive past all the action to where it is indeed quiet.  We park the bakkie and walk off, away from the hustle and bustle.

My wife wants to go show me a cave where they used to play as kids.  She relives the memories of big crayfish, waves and rocky pools to play in.  She remembers this big pool where she used to swim as a four-year old.  We find the pool.  It is now 3 feet deep and 5 feet long.  Maybe things look a bit bigger when you’re only 4 years old.  My wife also shows me where the older girls would tan topless, and where the dudes would then peep over the rocks to watch the sun set.

Before we can reach the cave a guy with a huge camera comes running past us from behind.  Then a whole team of participants in the Corporate Challenge also comes running past. 

The next thing a chopper appears, with another camera man hanging out of the helicopter.  Suddenly we find ourselves in something that feels like a reality show. 

My cell pone rings.  I answer, but cannot hear a thing.  The rotor of the chopper makes one heck of a noise.  Dust and foam from the water twirl up in the air. 

Eventually things become quiet again.  We reach the cave.  The cave also turns out to be not as big as it used to be when my wife was 4 years old.  In fact, it’s not really a cave, but rather a rocky overhang.  Someone had a braai there recently.  They did not clean up when they were done. 

We can see that Jordan was there.  As were Del and Carien.  And Angel digs Reija, the grafitti on the rock confirms. 

We sit down on a rock and enjoy the quiet. 

Later we drive back.  As one drive away from the sea you see the hill with the rock in the middle form which Tieties Bay got his name.  It looks like a woman’s breast. 

However, someone was not quite satisfied with mother nature’s endeavours, and decided to spice it up with something that makes the ‘nipple’ stand out more prominently.

Maybe it’s a good thing that the koppie was there before they built the lighthouse.  The name might have been totally different then.

Paternoster’s beach remains a wonderful …

The saving of Sam

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

By Johnie Jonker

Sam was my 8-year old medium-sized cross-breed dog which was given to me by my future wife a few months into our relationship.

A mostly black – with tan details – superbly intelligent, enthusiastic, energetic, loyal family dog. Endless entertainment for my two young sons. In fact, we seem to recall that my oldest son – almost 5 at the time of the events described below – Jacobus’ first words were not Mamma or Pappa, but Saaa..!, Saaa…!, toddling around the yard looking for the dog. His next word was Tee….taa! (tea-time – this he learnt from his grandfather) when he was thirsty. But I digress.

Prior to leaving for Norway as technical support for a tracking camera system used at the speed-skating and ski-jumping venues of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, the sliding gate at home packed up and was stuck in the open position. Sam was standing inside the drive-way, when the neighbour from across the street’s Staffordshire terrier managed to slip out their gate, came over and attacked him, in the process breaking both bones of his left front lower leg.

We had spent quite a bit of money on vet bills – reasonably beyond the point where most people would have had their pet put down – trying to get the leg fixed, but Sam kept on eating the plaster-of-Paris off in order to get to the itch. We had given up hope on the leg healing due to the persistent infection, and were considering whether the leg should be amputated or perhaps even the dog put down as a cheaper option. These were some of the thoughts I left home with.

Back to Norway. On the days when there were no speed-skating events in Hamar, we were free to travel on the official buses which continuously commuted between the various Olympic villages from 4 am to 12pm daily. In this way we (the rest of the UK/American camera crew and me) got to do quite a bit of sightseeing in terms of events. Our accreditation IDs – hanging around our necks – allowed access to all the other venues. As Lillehammer was the main village, and also where the company – Aerial Camera Systems – which contracted my services were stationed, I went there a number of times.

On one of these occasions I was up at the ski-jumping arena, where the opening ceremony also took place and where rehearsals for the closing ceremony were presently under way. One of the events were going to be the entry of the Olympic mascots – two kids named Haakon and Kristin, doll-children from Norwegian folklore – on a sled pulled by a team of huskies.

The dogs were quite unruly and keen to run, almost to the point of destruction, and were howling away, tugging at the reins. As I stood there watching this I suddenly burst out crying uncontrollably. At first I thought maybe I was just homesick – I had been away for three weeks now, and it would take another three weeks before I got back – but once I could think clearly, I realized what it was.

That evening when I got back to Hamar – normally I’m too stingy to phone, I rather write emails – I phoned my wife and told her that whatever the cost, we must save Sam’s leg.

She wanted to know how I came to this decision. I said:”The huskies told me”.


Hundred Million Rands

Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

But for you, my friend, we make it Pounds Sterling

By JJ Jonker

Yes, that would be my net worth if I claimed some of the lottery wins of which I have been notified during the month of August. Being from a Calvinistic background however, I knew that all this money would corrupt me, and therefore opted out. It is however fascinating how widely one can amass money without even entering a lottery. All you need to do is send an email. This automatically enters you for the draw.

Exactly the opposite of the faithful Christian, who one day started complaining bitterly to God that in his experience, the power of prayer is a myth. This because he had been faithfully praying every night – since it’s inception – to win the Lotto. But to date, he has not even won any of the smaller, “3-correct number” prizes.  A voice from above then responded as follows: “Please help me out here and at least buy a ticket”.

To prove that I am not making this up, I attach a summary of (some) of my winnings for August:

I can declare solidarity with those intrepid astronomers of way back when they first realised the earth was not flat or that it was not the centre of the universe. Should they tell anyone?

The above results – multiple lottery wins on the same day, TWICE in one month – proves beyond a single thread of doubt that statistics and probabilities as we know it today, is complete hogwash.

In addition to the above wins, I have also been named the beneficiary of – amongst others – a USD4.5 million estate, should I claim to be the relative of one “Mr Andre Deek, who died in a terrible hot air balloon crash that also took the lives of two other innocent souls”. Barrister Ben Mnpapati from the Eenin Republic (could not find this on Google) goes on to say that: “All I require is your honest co-operation ….”

By these persistent attempts to separate me – and no doubt many others – from my money, I question the truth of the saying: “There’s a sucker born every minute”. No, it has to be more frequent than this, say every 5 seconds?

The background to these scams is usually well researched, and built around commonly known facts, e.g. the existence of the organization allocating/enquiring about any issue. Below is such an example, banking on the greed and gullibility of the human species. The highlighting indicating the hooks and their explanation is mine.

This is a confidential message (there we go, I am the only person to receive this) from IEFM Private Equity and financial Consultants.

We are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of HSBC private bank (Yes, I’ve heard of them, they also sponsor Gran Prix motor racing), the private banking arm of the international banking conglomerate (Right again. Their head office is in Canada).

This investigation involves a client who shares the same surname (what a coincidence!) with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at HSBC Private.

The client died in intestate (ag shame) and nominated no successor in title over the investments made with the bank. The essence of this communication with you is to request you (to) provide us (with) information/comments (sure, what harm can this do?) on any or all of the issues:

1-Are you aware of any relative/relation who shares your same name who’s last known contact address was Madrid, Spain?

2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the Private Banking Division of HSBC Bank PLC?

3-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of successor (my goodness, what a stroke of luck!) in title to the deceased?

It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are


Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

By Johnie Jonker

Electro-Magnetic Compatibility, or rather, in this case, Incompatibility.

Well, what does this mean? Ever notice the CE, GS, TUV or any of a host of other markings on amongst other, portable electronic devices? It’s on your laptop power supply, your cell-phone charger, the food mixer, etc. These are international safety standards to which the various devices comply and (should) have been tested to, which means, amongst others, that when turning on one device, it will not electronically interfere with another, being compatible with it.

So if your wife switches on her hair drier, the TV picture does not go skew. Or Uncle Phil’s cardioverter-defibrillator (ok then, pacemaker) does not attack him. A necessary safe-guard, it would seem.

Of course cars, also being highly electronicised these days, have to comply with similar requirements. However…

Regular exercisers will be familiar with heart rate monitors, such as the Polar 610i.

These HRMs work in conjunction with a chest strap, transmitting the wearer’s heart rate at periodic intervals. The signal is of an electromagnetic nature and picked up by the wrist receiver or gym treadmill. The data can then be displayed and/or recorded in real time for an instant indication of effort, and also allow PC download and analysis at a later stage.

The basic formula for maximum heart rate is calculated by the HRM as 220 minus your age, so in my case a heart rate of 168 beats per minute should be achievable prior to being carried out on a stretcher.

I have however found a way to achieve even better heart rates without going to the gym at all. How, you may well ask – by sitting in my car. And no, not road-rage related.

Getting into the car with a heart rate of sub – 60 bpm, the moment the ignition is switched on, the indication revs up to 210 – 230 bpm, the abundance of electromagnetic interference flying around in the cabin totally swamping the Wearlink signal.

Now, if the over-reading was just a bit more realistic, say 85% of the max heart rate, one could (ab?)use it to effortlessly exercise and earn points through Vitality. “I’m going to the gym, dear”, would take on a whole new meaning: sitting in your car in the garage at home for 30 minutes, listening to some relaxing music, having a beer and a really good chill. But no, trust the car manufacturer to go and completely overdo it!

I am sure that at least some readers would agree that the above type of exercising may actually prove to be more beneficial to their health than a strenuous work-out at the gym. Yes?….No?

But back to matters automotive: If a local motoring magazine were to publish this information, I guess it would be under their “Leisure Heels” section.

This may also well be a world first and the dawn of a new era in terms of automotive advertising: “Go Green! Buy our new model, and communicate with the dolphins and whales!

Being bombarded with such an unseen force from within, I have become wary about possible, even bigger, forces from without. So when I’m on my way to the gym wearing the HRM, one of my “pre-flight” checks prior to departing from home, is to ensure that the sunroof is CLOSED, for fear of being beamed up by Scotty.


Are you ready, Steve?

Monday, 1 November, 2010

One day, I want to play in a band.  It only need to be once.  But I want to be the guy with the microphone.  And there must be a guy in the band whose name is “Steve”.  See, I want to call over my shoulder:  “Are you ready, Steve?”

In the seventies my brother had an LP (for the X-generation: a Long Player, a vinyl, a record;  that funny round black thing that you put a needle on and turn it around and then it makes music, OK?).  On this LP there was this song that started like that.  I can’t remember the song, really, only the intro.  But it fascinated me.  The leader of the band calls over his shoulder to Steve.  But Steve does not talk.  He just goes crazy with a drum roll.  And then the next thing, you had the music.  Cool, man. 

It’s one of those iconic moments for me.  You know, similar to where Clint Eastwood says:  “Do it, make my day,” in the movie Sudden Impact.  Or Clark Gable’s “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,”  in Gone with the Wind.  I’ve always been looking for a good opportunity to use these two phrases, but I’m rather careful how to use it, you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, back to Steve.  I was too young to know who the band was.  But bro’ Johnie  is 5 years older and a bit of a music nut.  It was The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, he advises.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard ol’ Steve.  Time for a bit of fresh inspiration, methinks.



Monday, 1 November, 2010

By PG Jonker

Thomas* came from Zimbabwe.  There was a time when his fortunes were better.  He had his own karate dojo in Harare.  But if people don’t have money for food, they don’t exercise that much, nor do they pay their fees.  So Thomas became one of the millions of Zimbaweans to come in search of a better future here in Africa’s land of milk and honey.

The road down to Cape Town runs through Johannesburg.  So Thomas found himself in downtown Johannesburg with one bag of luggage, on his way to go look for the end of the rainbow in Cape Town. 

Johannesburg can be a cruel place, Thomas was about to find out.  Three gentlemen approached him, indicating that they will happily relieve him of his luggage.  Finding Thomas not to be excessively amenable to this transaction, they exercised some duress.  One with a pistol, the other with a knife, and the last one with a screw driver.

By that time  a simple obliging gesture from Thomas was not enough any more.  The smell of blood was in the air and had to be taken to the next level, as the bad guys in the movies would say.

Now, in spite of Thomas’s 66kg frame he can pretty much fight any guy.   And in the ring he can stand 60 one-minute fights with no breather in between without appearing to be unduly tired at the end.   However, his adversaries’ armaments, more in particular the pistol, poses a bit of a problem.

By the time Thomas went down to the ground he already had two gashing wounds on his upper right arm, courtesy of the knife and the screw driver respectively.  However, as he looked up he saw that there was no magazine in the pistol.  There might have been a round in the chamber, but it was worth taking the risk.

Getting up from the ground and hitting the guy with the pistol was one movement.  In spite of Thomas’s (lack of body) weight, years of training and skill, combined with that weight,  can have  the same effect than the kick of a mule.  The guy with the pistol hit the ground not even knowing where the blow came from.

His two side-kicks quickly re-assessed their position, and in spite of their numbers and the fact that they were armed, decided to perform the ultimate maneuvre of self defence and to run away.  A flash of wisdom must have hit the chap with the pistol too, as he then decided to join his to fleeing friends.

And as the dust literally settled down, the two policieman who were watching the fracas from a safe distance approached Thomas to ask whether he is OK.  He was, thank you.


The theory of evolution

Thursday, 21 October, 2010

The origin of buildings

[It’s just a theory, really….]

By JJ Jonker

Many years ago, just about right after the coming into existence of man – as in Homo Sapiens – the requirements for survival were very basic. This was well summed up by Maslow (a while later) as depicted graphically below:

Back then, man was mucking about pretty much at the bottom of this hierarchy, slowly progressing to Level 2, where as part of Safety and Security, shelter became an important issue. Primarily from the elements, but also from wild animals and later – following Cain’s poor example – against the attack of other groups wanting his possessions. The last parameter had not changed much over time and we still have the same problem today.

Now, as the anthropologists have discovered, man at the time was a hunter/gatherer. The men hunted, the women gathered. He lived in a cave which gave good shelter against the elements, but  was pretty much a sitting duck once trapped there by the Tsotsis of that time.

This was a major drawback, as he only became aware of any threat once it was upon him, and this was the main reason why a lifestyle change took place – moving into a more open environment. The challenge was now to design and put up a free-standing structure of some sort to provide the required shelter – this in itself being quite an evolution. Lateral thinking, we would call it today.

Once he had cleared the area – so he could see sufficiently into the distance – man reasoned that seeing as he now has this piece of bare level ground, he may as well plant something there. This would reduce his risk in getting killed during a hunting expedition and also extend significantly the time he could sit in the shade of a tree and drink beer.

He started cultivating the soil ploughing with some antelope which he captured and domesticated. Soon he was farming comfortably. Thus it came to be that all the activities on the lowest level of Maslow’s triangle had been accomplished, and it was now time to progress to the next level – shelter.

So he planted some posts interconnected with an inner and outer lattice of green boughs, filling the cavity with rocks. This worked really well in summer, due to the excellent ventilation and flow-through of air promoted by the gaps between these rocks.

During winter however, it was a very different story. The wind came right through these same gaps, and man realized that he needed to update his design in order to eliminate this problem. What to do, what to do …..

Then it hit him. Cowpats. Just pick them up from behind the plough and plaster the gaps between the rocks shut. And it worked real fine. Bear in mind that this came way before the invention of the wheel, so rates as a major discovery.

Seeing as man had used mostly bull dung for this plastering purpose and that the word “house” did not exist yet, he would at the end of a hard day’s ploughing announce: I’m going bulldung now”. Which meant that he was going home to have a beer.

Of course all this happened before man could even write, so this story was told around the fire, generation after generation, and by the time that it was actually recorded in writing, the term “bulldung” had become somewhat corrupted.

This was mainly due to ancient man’s migration downwards through Africa, and the way the colloquial pronunciation varied the further south he went. This is a natural phenomenon and still the case today, e.g. in Gauteng (north) the second vowel is pronounced ê, and in the Western Cape (south) as è. In the same way, “uh” changed to “ih”, and bulldung became bullding).

Through the next couple of millennia …

Carbon Tax

Thursday, 21 October, 2010

By Johnie Jonker

A report from the Nordic website of ICE News stated the following:

Denmark wants to tax cow farts

The latest climate-friendly tax being proposed in the Danish parliament focuses on the methane emissions that come from cattle when they break wind. The agricultural methane tax is certainly one of the more controversial measures currently being considered by the government.

The Tax Commission, which is behind the measure, estimates that each cow releases around four tonnes of methane each year simply by passing gas. In comparison, the average car emits just 2.7 tonnes of unwelcome emissions per year. Naturally, the Agriculture Council and many other groups have been lobbying hard against the new proposal. For the full report visit:

This goes a long way to explaining why the implementation of carbon tax on motor vehicles worldwide – and recently also here – has been based on a complete misunderstanding, and should be abolished immediately.

The trouble started due to the different ways in which various regions pronounce the same word, e.g. the fact that although still classified as English, the Queen’s version differs considerably from that of the American and Australian versions, to name but two.

The actual event was a speech made by Bruce Wallaby from PATROL (People Against Taxation, Randomly or Otherwise of Litres) – litres of course referring to the displacement of car engines – in the Australian Outback. For those who are not familiar with this organization, they were previously known as FLOB (Four Litres Or Bust), but once again due to their colloquial pronunciation of this acronym in English, this sounded too much like an unsuccessful venture, hence the renaming.

There is also the theory that the new name was chosen because of the organization’s modus operandi.  Small communities in the Outback were targeted initially with their cause. Due to the absence of soapboxes at these venues (all burnt up for fire-wood) Bruce had nothing to stand on to elevate him somewhat above his audience during these speeches, so he stood on the roof-rack of his 1960s vintage large Nissan SUV.

One of these events was attended by a journalist commissioned by the EU – which has its headquarters in Brussels – on a fact-finding mission regarding pollution causes. This is how it came about that while Bruce was emphasizing exactly what the newspaper report above stated – that pollution caused by COWS is a much bigger problem than that of motor vehicles – Roel Aerts (the Belgian journalist) was jotting down what he heard.

Now, prior to coming out to Australia, Roel had studied some of the pronunciation differences pointed out above, and also some key words. For instance, being from the Flemish part of Belgium, a motor vehicle was known to him as a “wagen”, but he knew that Down Under they would use the word “car” instead.

What he also picked up – sharp guy! – was that the Australians tend to not pronounce the “r” at the end of some words, and also stretch short vowels, so when Bruce mentioned the word “Cows”, Roel heard “Caaes” and translated this to mean “Cars”.

Back home, Roel reported his findings to the EU, resulting in – straight away – carbon tax being slapped on motor vehicles throughout Europe, from where it spread worldwide.

So in fact – and actually what Bruce had said – it’s the COWS and not the CARS that is responsible for the major portion of the world’s pollution.


On Wings of a Trike

Thursday, 14 October, 2010

By Johnie Jonker

During every holiday, in addition to caravans, a good number of cars tow trailers with motorcycles, quad bikes and boats, to be used at the holiday destination. Not seen recently though, is someone towing a micro-light aircraft.

The one time I do remember noticing one, was when it was behind my car on the way to De Put, my friend Charl’s farm in the Karoo.  De Put is located distance-wise just about dead-centre between Aberdeen, Murraysburg and Nelspoort. This was the first time I had towed over such a distance, but as the trike is designed to fold up compactly, and due to it weighing less than 150kg, quite an easy tow.

First we had to attend to a make-shift landing strip on a salt-pan (32°18’58.2”S, 23°32’53.72”E). 


The trike in the background belonged to a neighbouring farmer. It shared the hangar with an owl, which regularly plastered the wing. 

Oh, the pumpkin? Well, yes. The wind started blowing very strongly in the afternoon, and the upwind wingtip needed to be tied down to prevent the trike from being flipped upside down. The neighbour’s wing we could peg down with a piece of fencing post that was on the back of the bakkie, but all that was left for ZS-WGR, was the pumpkin. It worked just fine.

Some of the farm labourers had flattened the bushes,  although calling the bushes dead sticks, would be more accurate. Taxiing out the farm gate from the garden, was quite a novel experience.  I mean, picture this:  “Please open the gate, son. I’m going for my daily water-point inspection”.

Take-off on the road at the homestead was possible, but landing at the same location not, in spite of Charl having graded the road with a blade attached to his tractor to rid it of loose stones. The Class-C road was just too narrow, with a converging telephone line, middelmannetjie and flood-humps to boot;  the least amount of cross-wind pushed the trike off track when power was taken off during the flare. This possibility fortunately occurred to us prior to the maiden take-off, and the alternative landing spot was prepared the previous day.

Now might be a good time to mention that I have a bit of a reputation. 

Nothing serious, really.  In any event, in spite of my reputation  I had passengers for every flight. As reward, the guys that prepared the runway were offered a flip, but only one accepted. So up we went, with an intercom connection in the helmets to enable pilot and passenger to communicate with each other.  Via the intercom I pointed out the familiar features that my passenger knew from ground level.  However, my headset remained deathly silent. My enquiry whether he could hear me eventually elicited a very high-pitched “yes?”,  squeaked by my witlessly scared passenger.  I realised that the tallest perspective he had ever experienced to date was standing on top of a windpomp platform, hanging on for dear life, looking for missing sheep.

Realising the state of my passenger I returned to base.  Upon being asked by Charl how it was, my passenger very politely, though unconvincingly, responded that it was “good”. When pushed for an answer which spot he liked most, the response was a rather more accurate: “Right here where I’m standing now, sir”.…


Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

Following my previous posting “Trust me on the sunscreen”  [] a few people made the connection between that speech and the poem Desiderate, written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.

Now to be honest, I’ve never heard of Max Ehrman or Desiderata before.   So I went looking for it, and yes, the tone seems rather similar.  Below the poem as I got it from


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.