The Ban-ana Republic 🍌

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story about a meeting of a secret society.... view prompt

73 comments

Funny

Warning! This is the property of the South African government and has been classified Top Secret. If you do not have the requisite security clearance in accordance with the State Security Act (1978), Section 4, Subsection B, Paragraph 7, Article 13, Line 2, possession of this document is a criminal offense and you will be prosecuted. Unless you have family, friends, or passing acquaintances in the government, of course. Or unless you know who to bribe, blackmail, manipulate… In fact, don’t worry about it. You’re fine. Read on.



At the very bottom of the fabled dark continent, there lies a unique little country of singular natural beauty. Lying as it does at the southern-most reaches of Africa, the nation’s name perhaps suggests a lack of creative thinking, but South Africa, home to 60 million souls, has nevertheless repeatedly punched well above its weight on the world stage.

    The Rainbow Nation, much like the rest of the continent, tends to get things a little later than the developed world. Democracy, for example, only arrived at the back end of the last century, and electricity… well, they’re still working on that. It’s not surprising, therefore, that when the novel Coronavirus pandemic swept the globe at the start of 2020, it took its time making its way to African shores. When it finally announced itself, though, it did so with a force that more than made up for its tardiness.

    Realizing the looming health crisis represented the greatest threat the Republic had ever seen, the country’s leadership tried an innovative new idea in the face of the burgeoning catastrophe – being proactive. This caused much confusion at first and had many scrambling for their dictionaries to look up the meaning of the word. Thereafter, more head-scratching followed as they tried to figure out how exactly one went about being proactive.

    The president, who’d been rather scarce in his tenure to date, boldly addressed his people. His regular speeches made for gripping television viewing – far more dramatic than any soap opera on air – and his preferred salutation, ‘My fellow South Africans,’ would come to occasion an involuntary sphincter tightening among the general public. On hearing these words, the average citizen would mutter to themselves, “Oh fok, hier kom nou groot kak,” which loosely and politely translates as, “Good golly, here comes big trouble.”

    Behind the scenes of the circus that is the national government, it was decided, in typical bureaucratic tradition, that being proactive should involve the senseless formation of various committees. Thus, three new top-secret governing bodies were hastily formed – the Department of Enforcement and Action Facilitation, the Directorate of the Unilateral Mandate on Banning, and the Bipartisan Logistics and Implementation Navigation Division. And so it came to pass that, unbeknownst to the average Joe on the street, South Africa was being governed by the DEAF, the DUMB, and the BLIND in its hour of greatest need.

    Our tale concerns the second, and most important, of these secret governing bodies.




    The first sitting of the assembly of the DUMB committee was a tense affair. The country’s top medical and scientific experts were invited to the meeting and then locked outside lest anything so troublesome as logical reasoning intrude on the serious matter to be discussed: the matter of what was to be banned.

    The head of the committee was a formidable woman well-known in South African political circles for her ruthless approach. So well-known, in fact, that even in a classified document as this, it is perhaps safer to refer to her only by her nickname - DZ, as her friends call her. Or would, if she had any.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” DZ called the meeting to order, “we have been called on to act swiftly to save our great nation. As the Directorate of the Unilateral Mandate on Banning, we must not hesitate – “

    “Um, sorry ma'am, but what, exactly, is our purpose?” A brave woman at the back of the room asked.

    “Why, it’s banning things, of course. I’d’ve thought that obvious, given our name – “

    “Yes, but what are we hoping to achieve here?” The hapless individual had erred not just in interrupting the committee’s fearless leader a second time but, worse still, in voicing a question that sounded suspiciously logical. She was hastily removed.

    DZ continued, “Now, we have one job and one job only – deciding what is to be banned. I’ve already made a start.” She looked at her list. “Let’s see… I’ve got public gatherings, family visits, alcohol, obviously, and…” she trailed off as she scribbled down ‘tobacco products,’ grinning deviously as she did. “But we need more, people. We shall be judged on the effectiveness of our response solely by the number of things we ban. The more, the better. So, ideas, please.”

    None were forthcoming.

    “C’mon, work with me here,” DZ implored her colleagues. “Yes, you there, with your hand raised.”

    “I don’t have a suggestion exactly. More of a question. How do we decide what to ban?”

    “Ah, yes, excellent question. I’ll make it easy – anything fun, interesting, or in any way enjoyable, is to be outlawed. Okay? So, just think of all the things you like doing.”

    The ideas began to flow.

    “Restaurants!”

    “Cinemas!”

    “Nightclubs!”

    “Funerals!”

    “You enjoy funerals then, do you?” DZ asked menacingly of the individual who’d ventured that suggestion.

    “N-no, ma'am. I j-just… wakes are f-fun sometimes, y-you know?”

    “Good point. Thank you,” DZ said, adding funerals, weddings, baptisms and bar mitzvahs to the list. “We’re making progress here, but I need more.”

    “Sports events!”

    “Concerts!”

    “Churches!”

    “Hot food!”

    “Hot food? My god, that’s brilliant!” DZ exclaimed in delight. “Evil, but undeniably brilliant.” She cackled like a demented witch. “Now we’re cooking with gas, people. More!” She pointed to a man watering the pot plant in the far corner of the room. “What about you? You haven’t said anything yet. Any ideas?”

    “Who, me? I’m just the cleaner, ma'am. I’m not qualified – “

    “As if any of us are,” DZ laughed. “Don’t be daft, man. Your country needs you. What do you like doing in your spare time?”

    “Well, I like walking my dog.”

    “Perfect!” DZ could picture the press release already – There will be no dogs that will be walked. Only politicians could so butcher the English language and hope to get away with it. “What else?”

    “I like spending time with my family, of course. But I like having the house to myself when they’re away even more.”

    “You, sir, are brilliant!” DZ wrote everyone to work from home, schools to be banned on her list. “Pull up a chair.”

    Inspired, the others began throwing out more ideas.

    “Gyms! No, no, wait – all exercise!”

    “Art galleries!”

    “Museums!”

    “Libraries!”

    DZ took wrote them all down, urging her happy band of banners to continue.

    “Excuse me, ma'am,” the newly emboldened cleaner asked. “Wouldn’t it just be easier if we banned everything?

    Stunned silence filled the room.

    “Ban everything?” DZ furrowed her brow. What a bold idea. It would make their job much easier and greatly inconvenience the public at the same time. Killing two stones with one bird like that was the essence of unsuccessful governing. “Genius!” she exclaimed. “Quick, someone give this man a promotion.”

    “Um… there aren’t any vacancies in cabinet,” DZ’s assistant assisted.

    “Well, just make up a new position then! Do I have to do everything myself?” She then scrawled everything atop the list and moved to conclude the meeting. “So, in summary, I hereby declare everything officially banned.”

    The collective assembly murmured its consent.

    “Wait,” the cleaner spoke up again. “In banning everything, haven’t we banned banning things? That would invalidate our ban, wouldn’t it?”

    “Ah, I see what you mean. Okay, we’ll ban everything except for the ban on banning things,” DZ amended. “I think we’re finished – “

    “Hang on.” The cleaner was grinning broadly. “Banning things is fun, isn’t it?” Everyone nodded in enthusiastic agreement. “So, if we’re banning fun activities, banning should be banned then, not so?”

    “My god, you’re right,” DZ conceded. She couldn’t fault such convoluted thinking. “Okay, so we’ll ban everything, except for the ban on the ban that bans banning things. Follow?”

    No one did, but they held their silence as one.

    “We’re done here then. Thank you all for your time and – “

    “Hold up.” Mr. Cleaner was having a fine old time by now. “Haven’t we just banned banning things, thereby invalidating our banning of things, again?”

    “Yes, I suppose so,” DZ sighed. “We’ll have to ban everything, except for the ban that bans the ban on the ban banning the ban…”

    And on it went.




    Three days later…

    An exhausted, rather haggard-looking DZ looked down at her notes, cleared her throat, and attempted, yet again, to conclude the interminable meeting. “Now, to summarize, we’ve officially banned everything, except for the ban on the ban that bans the ban… (this continued for 37 minutes)… of the ban on the ban relating to the ban that bans the ban on banning things.” She slumped back in her seat. “I think we’re done – “

    Grinning wickedly, the cleaner just couldn’t help himself. “But, ma'am, haven’t we then just effectively banned…”

    Ad absurdum.




    During the course of the draconian lockdown, the South African government would be repeatedly asked to provide the scientific basis for the reasoning behind their banning of, well, pretty much everything. Their response was always the same: “That’s classified.” This translates loosely and politely as, If we don’t even know what we’re doing, how can we be expected to explain it to you? No one quite knew what was discussed in the fabled government policy deliberations, but given how lengthy they were, and how often they contradicted themselves, it was assumed to be sufficiently serious.     

    All good things must come to an end, however, and, happily, on August 18th, 2020 – five grueling months after the formation of the secret DUMB committee - the last of the illogical bans were finally lifted to the delight of the general public. Perhaps DZ had an attack of sound reasoning. More likely a certain ex-cleaner just got bored of his endless game of round and round the mulberry bush. Given his vital contribution in muddying the waters in so unprecedented a way, even for a politician, the man would surely have been knighted for his efforts had South Africa still been a colony. Instead, he was awarded the highest honor in the land: a government PPE tender contract. His wife was employed in the prestigious role of Minister in The Presidency. They lived happily ever after.

    While the Rainbow Nation returns to some semblance of normalcy and people get back to the enjoyable activities they once took for granted before they were suddenly and inexplicably removed, the painful memory of this fiasco will, hopefully, begin to fade. Time heals everything, after all, even an economy left in ruins. Who knows what the future holds? But, come what may, the average South African can rest easy in the knowledge that DZ and her DUMB cronies are waiting in the wings, ready to step in and 'save' the day once more if required.   

August 19, 2020 14:16

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73 comments

Jonathan Blaauw
14:23 Aug 19, 2020

Authors note: This story was written in celebration of the general unbanning of things that recently occurred in South Africa. It was cathartic and, therefore, necessary. While targeted mainly at a local audience, I think we’ve all had occasion to wonder what, if anything, our politicians are thinking recently, so hopefully it has some wider appeal. While the story is completely fictional, it was inspired by real events. Yes, the sale hot food really was briefly banned. Why? No one knows. It’s classified. Also, “There will be no dogs that...

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15:50 Aug 19, 2020

Haha. I'm glad things have been unbanned recently. I hope that you are staying safe, and I think most countries have quite a bit to make fun of. I know the U.S. does, especially right now! I really enjoyed the humor throughout your piece. Also, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

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14:08 Aug 22, 2020

A modern day Dr. Seuss for adults. This story reminded me of the butter battle book in it's irreverence, illogical logic and the full circle of it's conclusion. Sorry to hear that England sucks as hard as America does, I was rooting for you all. Go Greenland?

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Jonathan Blaauw
15:25 Aug 22, 2020

Antarctica is the place to be this year, I hear. Or the moon. I grew up with plenty Dr. Seuss (what a strange man, and not even a real doctor!), I think that's why I'm so strange. To quote the good doc: "You gotta be odd to be number 1." Thanks for commenting. When do we get a new one from you?

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16:27 Aug 22, 2020

Not sure. I actually wrote one for the secret prompt (all in a notebook), but got stuck working late and didn't get it submitted in time. Ha, that's like the third time that's happened. Oh well, it'll be a flurry eventually. No matter, YOU just keep writing, I look forward to your stuff every week!

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Pragya Rathore
18:44 Aug 19, 2020

Great story! I love the way you write, Jonathan. So funny! And the logic that you make your characters apply is so interesting to read. The ban on the ban.. A continuous cycle. You wrote amazingly well, and I really liked the cleaner. 'Do one did, but none dared admit as much.' Make that 'No'. And I think that it should be Mr. Cleaner, not cleaner. This was a really fun read, and I enjoyed myself. Awesome! Also, regarding the quote in your bio, how could AL have said that if the Internet hadn't been invented yet? Strange, right?

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:29 Aug 20, 2020

Thank you so much faithful, constant reader! Your comments always make me happy. And thanks for the fixing ideas, they have been fixed. As for the quote, I am absolutely, 100% certain that Lincoln said that very thing - I read it on the internet, so it must be true!

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Pragya Rathore
07:31 Aug 20, 2020

You're most welcome! Your sarcasm never ceases to amuse me :p

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08:05 Aug 26, 2020

Oh. My. GOD! This was awesome and so funny! Favorite line: 1. Killing two stones with one bird - Lol xD 😂🤣 Hats off to you man, hats off! You said "ban" so many times I forgot what ban meant! In short, this is what sums up your story: 😂🤣Lol XD Score: 4.9 out of 5 (The highest I've ever given!) PS. Could you check out any of my stories? Preferably The Crowned Virus, but whatever you really want!

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Thom Brodkin
16:35 Aug 20, 2020

I really wished you lived in Virginia because I really want to buy you a beer. This was again brilliant and funny. It was brilliantly funny. I think there might have been a smidgen of actual political commentary in there and to say the least, you sir got that right. I am not a professional editor, I don't even play one on tv, come to think of it I've also never stayed in a Holiday Inn Express but even if I was ir had or did I wouldn't be able to give you any stylistic feedback as I was laughing too hard to write anything down. Another w...

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Jonathan Blaauw
15:15 Aug 22, 2020

Doesn't the CIA also live in Virginia? Two reasons to visit, then! Your comments are always very much appreciated. If you ever see anything, please feel free to say, but just sharing your enjoyment is very rewarding. Thank you. As for your new story, it's only strengths. That alone makes your observations all the more meaningful.

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Deidra Lovegren
19:59 Aug 23, 2020

Hey, I’m a Virginian stuck in Florida. I’ll take that beer.

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Thom Brodkin
20:02 Aug 23, 2020

Stuck in Florida. You don’t hear that often. 😀 The beer is waiting.

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15:42 Aug 19, 2020

For the part where DZ implores the cleaner to give out ideas, she says, "what do like doing in your spare time?" Somehow the word 'you' is missing. # DZ says, "Okay, so we’ll ban everything, except for the ban on the ban that bans banning things. Follow?” The next line should be " no one did." You placed 'do' Now. Finally! This was hilarious. When I mean funny, I mean bone-cracking, cheek-breaking, tear-falling funny. Almost too good, honestly. I like DZ a lot but the cleaner? I really needed to meet him and slap him hard. Why couldn't h...

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:09 Aug 20, 2020

Thank you so much! Well spotted - any fixing suggestions are always welcome. I'm glad you liked DZ, but I think you're alone on that - she's quite possibly the most hated person in the country at the moment! I'm so happy you enjoyed the story and commented, thank you. It also reminds me to have a look at your new stories, so double bonus!

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Katy S.
04:42 Aug 30, 2020

This is HILARIOUS!

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:36 Aug 30, 2020

Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

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02:51 Aug 29, 2020

Hello! How are you? You may not recognize me because I am new to this website, and an 11 year old... Loved the story! ❤️ It was beautiful and detailed. Mind checking out a few of my stories?

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:38 Aug 30, 2020

Hello. I am fine, thank you. How are you? Look at us being all prim and proper on here, like civilized people :) Thanks for reading. I'll check yours out asap.

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Ahhhh this was so GOOD! Absolutely hilarious! I loved this line: ‘Yes, I suppose so,” DZ sighed. “We’ll have to ban everything, except for the ban that bans the ban on the ban banning the ban…”‘ HA! Awesome job!

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Pragya Rathore
12:21 Aug 26, 2020

Congrats on the shortlist, again! :)

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Jonathan Blaauw
14:10 Aug 26, 2020

Thanks :)

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23:15 Aug 25, 2020

P.S. Jonathan, would you mind checking out some of my stories and recents? Thanks!!! ...So we'll ban everything! Except for the ban that bans the banning things ...😂 Olodo🤣

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Jonathan Blaauw
13:34 Aug 26, 2020

Sure will

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23:08 Aug 25, 2020

😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 As an African, specifically, as a NIGERIAN (chai!) this hit me😂😂😂😂. I was silently wishing you did this on the Nigerian government instead, with high key tweaks to DANGEROUS😂😂 Oh God, this is so relatable i can't even focus on commending the write up itself but the plot. I'm still begging beyond belief that this is supposed to be written on a COMPLETELY different country🤣🤣 It makes too much sense: DEAF....DUMB....BLIND.. Sounds like the Nigerian government. Don't forget to add STUPID, with WITCH as a describing fac...

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Jonathan Blaauw
13:33 Aug 26, 2020

This comment is so sweet, thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s been such a crazy year that our leaders, worldwide, are easy targets. Almost too easy. So I’ll give ‘em a break. I love that, while this story was written from a South African perspective (obviously) it seems to have global appeal. And you’re in the right place – some of the most creative people in the world are coming out of Nigeria these days. Isn’t that where Chinua Chebe was from? Kamaru Usman and Isreal Adesanya too (I’m sure they’re national heroes, but look them up...

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15:24 Aug 26, 2020

I wholeheartedly agree with you Jonathan, You can name even more where they came from. Africa won't be so much of the 'dark continent' anymore now would it😎 The Wakandan evolution is taking its turn🙅👑 You are very welcome!!!

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Leya Newi
18:58 Aug 23, 2020

Jonathan, I always forget how funny and brilliant your writing is. You take everyday things (or at least now they are 🙄) and make them into such a great story, I suddenly feel as though governments do, in fact, know what they’re doing. One thing I noticed, was in the paragraph before ‘ad absurdism’ the cleaner says, “but, mam, haven’t we then just effectively banned ...” I believe that mam should actually be ma’am. Anyway, I think that this was funny and brilliant, and put a smile on my face, which I always appreciate. Keep writing!!

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Jonathan Blaauw
06:59 Aug 25, 2020

I believe you are correct, mam. Sorry, ma'am. Being rather clueless and all, I wrote the whole thing with 'mams' and, after Laura pointed it out to me, I went back and changed them all. Or almost all - some slipped under the radar, it seems. Thank you so much for reading, it's really helpful to get feedback from accomplished writers.

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Leya Newi
13:07 Aug 25, 2020

You’re welcome! I’m always happy to help a fellow writer, especially since they’re usually helping me in return and have pointed out clueless mistakes as well.

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12:04 Aug 22, 2020

few of my fav lines: lack of creative thinking-South Africa involuntary sphincter tightening Good golly here comes trouble Just make a new position then the ban on the ban on the ban.. This is so funny and so fitting, no matter what country you're in I believe. I think you basically just said, in a hilarious way, what every person has been thinking. I had to look up the word draconian. The only error I found, and I'm not even sure it is one, was the word mam , I think it's "ma'am" You should send this to Defenestration magazine. ...

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Jonathan Blaauw
15:09 Aug 22, 2020

You're so much like me - "This might be an error... but I might be wrong." You are correct, it is indeed ma'am (something new I learned). I went back to try change it, did I miss one? Highly likely. Oh well. I'm glad you learned a new word - after you taught me 'yurts' and a ton of bat facts it's about time I returned the favor. In a very strange way, it hasn't been all bad. Lockdown led me to Reedsy, afterall. It just proves that old saying - when life hands you lemons, you know a cold corona is coming next.

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Jonathan Blaauw
15:09 Aug 22, 2020

I need to stop making up saying/quotes/facts - one day someone is going to believe me!!

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Naomie K
07:46 Aug 24, 2020

Please don't....Never know one of your quotes might become famous...!

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02:47 Aug 22, 2020

Yaaa bow . Banning things is fun indeed 😆

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Jonathan Blaauw
04:33 Aug 22, 2020

So it would seem. But having things banned is a little less so. This is the profound realization that 2020 has provided so far. Also - don't eat bats. I think that was 2019 though. Technically.

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10:11 Aug 22, 2020

I went to South Africa for a few months a couple of years ago. Back packed from the different ports

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D.N Pendragon
15:03 Aug 21, 2020

" State Security Act (1978), Section 4, Subsection B, Paragraph 7, Article 13, Line 2" - So I'm an attorney by profession and this is 100% accurate, just bureaucracy wrapped in bureaucracy - unless you're connected with the government, then it means nothing... This was honestly brilliant satire, the worst part is that most people probably think the list of banned items was made up. Nope, hot food was banned, I even forgot about that! I genuinely believe you should try and find somewhere online where South African's can give this a re...

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Jonathan Blaauw
04:45 Aug 22, 2020

I saw you managed to squeak a new one in just in time. Good thing, too, cause it was great! That's a good idea about getting this story out there. I'll have a look into it but I think if I do I'll use a pen name. Just to be safe. Really appreciate the read and comment. Thanks!

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Bianka Nova
22:57 Aug 20, 2020

Political satire at its best! Jonathan strikes again! :))) I loooved this one! And you don't even have to know languages to see that the translation of the Africaans saying is a veeery "rough" one. I laughed out loud for real. Also, you can be sure that most of the world relates to your story (Here in Spain for example they are on a second wave of banning things).

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Jonathan Blaauw
15:23 Aug 22, 2020

Gracias, mademoiselle... That's all the Spanish I know. Pretty good though, right? To thank someone in Afrikaans, we say - Buy a donkey. Seriously! It's written 'baie dankie' but sounds just like you're telling someone to go purchase a farm animal. What a lovely language! Shame, I've seen it's getting bad in Spain again. And, even worse, Barca were humiliated in the champions league SF the other night. Let's hope 2021 is better. Baie dankie for reading and commenting, really appreciate it!

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Bianka Nova
16:17 Aug 22, 2020

Haha, from reading your work I understand you're intelligent enough to know that mademoiselle is French ;) Thanks for the lesson in Afrikaans though, that's some cool fun fact to use at parties or as an ice-breaker. I am kind of over Barça's performance this year. It has been steadily deteriorating even since before covid. I just hope that the right changes take place in order to build a stronger team for next year (and besides Madrid are not that much better right now, so it's a kind of solace). For a better 2021! Cheers!

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Deidra Lovegren
17:05 Aug 20, 2020

You are my new favorite. This is 1984 + Monty Python, or what we like to call in America "The Trump Administration". We should definitely write a collaborative piece...it would make no sense but be hilarious to only the two of us. LOLed: "DZ, as her friends call her. Or would, if she had any." ROFLMAOed: "Okay, so we’ll ban everything, except for the ban on the ban that bans banning things." And then I just laughed the rest of the way through.

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Jonathan Blaauw
04:48 Aug 22, 2020

That is a marvelous idea! If we don't blow the world away with our brilliance we'll baffle them with our bullshit! What could go wrong? I've seen at least two of your stories that I know I'm going to enjoy just from the titles (Last Supper and Greek Gods). They're very much on my to-read list.

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Deidra Lovegren
12:48 Aug 22, 2020

Greek Gods was probably written by you. I'm just your American incarnation.

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D. Holmes
04:32 Aug 20, 2020

Wow, another story! Lucky us. Let's add satire to the list of things you write brilliantly, shall we? Loved the paragraph that starts with "Three days later" and ends with "ad absurdum." Ban started looking very weird after this, haha.

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:16 Aug 20, 2020

Second stories are like second children – if at first you don’t succeed… 😊 It was a quick easy write, mainly because it was a venting of 5 agonizing months of frustration. Very therapeutic. I really appreciate your reading it, and I thoroughly enjoy your comments. Thanks.

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Elle Clark
18:46 Aug 19, 2020

Oh my god, this was scathing! It very much feels like you loathe the government (but not the country - your fondness for that comes through). I can relate. The British government can be held directly responsible for tens of thousands of deaths - I’m not Boris Johnson’s biggest fan. This was almost too real - it belongs in a broadsheet newspaper as a biting piece of satire. It is almost painfully clever and topical. There were a few typos (Mam should be ma’am unless that’s a dialect thing I missed/ Do one did / Mr. cleaner needs a cap...

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Deidra Lovegren
17:08 Aug 20, 2020

I'll take BOJO over the Orange Con Man any day of the week.     Bleed, bleed, poor country! Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure, For goodness dare not check thee.

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Elle Clark
17:57 Aug 20, 2020

Yeah, BoJo is better than the flaming bag of dog poo that America is currently saddled with but I do dread to think what damage Boris could do if set loose on somewhere as big as America. The whole Dominic Cummings thing effectively ended lockdown for us though as people who were previously obeying the rules religiously saw that he could do whatever he liked and did a collective shrug. People who, at the same time he was checking his eyesight with a half hour drive, were saying goodbye to their loved ones over FaceTime and missing funera...

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Deidra Lovegren
20:29 Aug 20, 2020

I miss the Age of Enlightenment (sob)

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Jonathan Blaauw
16:49 Aug 21, 2020

It's not a competition but, if it was, we'd win hands down. Mismanagement is one thing, robbing the poor to give to the already rich like a dyslexic Robbin Hood... Today on the radio they were asking people to call in and talk about the most expensive thing they've ever broken. One guy said a politician should call and say: the country! My view is shared by all here, it seems. Deidra, are quoting Shakespeare at us again? I also miss the age of enlightenment - few years ago we used to have lights all the time here. Now we're the most roman...

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Deidra Lovegren
16:55 Aug 21, 2020

Trump is just a very, very stupid and very, very lucky Macbeth. (And his Mail Order Lady Macbeth) Trust me, all of Dunsinane is ready to march. Lead on MacBiden...

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:04 Aug 20, 2020

Thanks. Your suggestions, as always, are spot on. I kind of had to rush this one through because we’re having power cuts here. The electricity bit I put in is really real! So, for the errors, I blame the government. Our seasons may be upside down but our maps are right side up, so you are correct. Technically, though, the convention of thinking of North as ‘up’ is just an accident of perception and one could argue any direction could be seen as ‘up.’ I’m not going to try talk myself out of this one, however. Tippity-top just sounded Dr.Se...

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Elle Clark
07:31 Aug 20, 2020

Baby is eating my leg so will respond properly in a bit but I did not realise that that was Afrikaans because it just read like ‘oh fuck, here comes now great cack’ in a South African accent. If that’s how you speak the language, I’ve actually got a shot at understanding this one!

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Elle Clark
08:33 Aug 20, 2020

Wow - I thought we had it bad here with Boris casually blaming care workers for the thousands of elderly people that he killed but at least we have electricity. Also, don’t get me started on Dominic Bloody Cummings. That man. No. I won’t. But I have opinions. It doesn’t surprise me that he made the news around the world though, the suppurating pustule of a human. Did you beat us at the rugby? I have to be honest, I’m used to our national teams getting trounced so we are used to the sting of defeat and shame. I think it’s karma for all th...

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Jonathan Blaauw
13:48 Aug 20, 2020

The way you started your second last comment there? Hang on to that for a story opening (Children of the Corn – the Teething). Very engaging for the reader 😊 It took me a second to realize it was not some advanced metaphor! And please don’t be too hard on Dominic, he had to test his eyes and what better way than a cross-country drive? I sympathize with the poor man. I’ve seen more of Boris this year (he needs a haircut) than my own pres because, wonder of wonders, we get BBC here! When we have electricity, that is. I’m familiar with th...

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Elle Clark
18:05 Aug 20, 2020

‘The baby was gnawing on my leg while I tried to respond. The second I pried her loose in an attempt to retain some skin integrity, she unhinged her jaw and let out a blood-cuddling shriek. Sighing in defeat, I allowed her to latch back onto my calf. The muscle would grow back, in time.”

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