Fewer roadblocks would also see a dramatic decrease in our drunk driving stats.
Just as I am about to give up on South Africa, the government holds a press conference to let us know that there are areas in which we are improving. Not everything is on a downward spiral. Murder, for instance, is up. So are home robberies. And we’re still doing very well in hijackings. It’s too early to break out the champagne, but the latest crime statistics do at least provide an indication that we aren’t failing at absolutely everything we turn our hands to.
A full seventy per cent of murders are committed over weekends. South Africans really are special. We complain about having to go to work, then Friday comes around and it’s, “Woo! Gonna put on my murdering boots!”
Disappointingly, there wasn’t a single bank robbery in the past year. If nobody gets hurt, I think bank robberies are pretty awesome in an old-school kind of way. When it comes to wrist-slashingly depressing places, banks are right up there. I can think of nothing better to liven up proceedings than a couple of guys in balaclavas shouting at everyone to lie down. The robbers get what they came for, the bank gets the money back from the insurance company and you have a great story to tell your family. Assuming they haven’t been butchered while you’re at the bank.
Stock theft is up, which is good news for farm animals who enjoy visiting new places. This applies more to goats than sheep or cows. Goats love to travel. And chickens are always up for a change of scenery.
Drunk driving is on the increase, although it’s not really. What’s happening here is that roadblocks are on the increase. Fewer roadblocks would see a dramatic decrease in this statistic.
We need to be prepared to fight crime on our own. The police are clearly busy with other things. Ever since I saw Charles Bronson in Death Wish, I’ve been a big fan of vigilantism. But it’s not for everyone.
The least popular way to fight crime is to become a police reservist. Reservists are only called in when the situation is hopelessly out of control. So by the time you do get the call, you have put on 30kgs and can barely get out of a chair, let alone stem the tsunami of savagery that threatens to engulf your suburb. According to the application form, reservists must have no mental defects. Considering that reservists don’t get paid, I would have thought that merely applying would be a worrying sign in itself.
You also need to complete psychometric tests, be of good character, have your matric and be able to speak, read and write English. If only the regular police had such high standards. Among those not permitted to become reservists are people with criminal records and full-time journalists. So that’s me out on all counts.
You could also get a dog to fight crime for you. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be doing their bit, too. Big dogs are the infantry in this war. They are the first line of defence against those who would take our lives and our stuff.
Little dogs are the signallers. They form part of an early warning system and should be scattered about the property. Their job is to alert the big dogs that something might need checking out.
It is also useful to keep a supply of miniature breeds inside your house. If a burglar does gain entrance, one of the more effective methods of slowing him down is to throw them at him. Do not waste your dogs. Use them wisely. If you have done your job properly, your handheld dogs will have been trained to bite on impact. No burglar would feel comfortable robbing you with a couple of Chihuahuas and a pug hanging from his face.
German Shepherds make the best guard dogs. Originally bred as all-purpose working dogs, they have a proud history of keeping darkies out of white areas. They are handsome hounds, even if a bit right-wing, and you will have to watch out for those neighbourhood bitches slipping in for a quickie while your dog is meant to be working.
If you are in the market for an Alsatian, pop in to your local police station and see if there are any on special. Try to get one from the drug squad. That way, the days of misplacing your stash will be over.
Alsatians have their own governing body called the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde. Being German, the dogs understand what this means but they are often reluctant to talk about it. Perhaps it is like belonging to the Freemasons.
Bull terriers would make ideal guard dogs if you could only get them to open their jaws and let go. Nobody wants to pay top dollar for a pedigree and then have to cut its head off so the burglar can be thrown into a police car/mortuary van/hole in your back yard.
Whippets are faster than cheetahs in built-up areas. However, when it comes to protecting your house, the whippet isn’t much good. Nobody is deterred by the sight of its tiny head, huge chest and ridiculous prancing gait. That its tail is wedged permanently between its skinny legs is also less than intimidating.
A whippet, like a Labrador, will only care about whether the man climbing over your wall has any food in his pockets. Look at him in a friendly fashion and he will grin gratefully, roll over onto his back and open his legs. If I ever get a chance to dabble in genetics, I am going to cross a whippet with a woman. Your whippet really only comes into his own when the burglar tries to flee. To see some real sport, tie something soft and furry (a pair of bunny slippers would work) to the burglar’s ankles and give him a head start.
Dachshunds are a bit of a gamble insofar as security is concerned. If the burglar doesn’t trip over him or incapacitate himself with laughter, you might want to have a back-up plan.
Zulu hunting dogs only work if the intruder is a Zulu.
A lion, if you can get your hands on one, is an unusual weapon in that he operates completely independently of you. If you hear a noise outside, you don’t even have to get out of bed and shout at him to go and investigate. Your lion will take care of everything. The only drawback is that when he does catch someone, the sound of crunching and sucking will keep you awake all night.
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