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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

People think Africa is the doomed continent. They are wrong.

I am struggling to build up a good head of outrage. Everything I read seems unpleasantly familiar. Cops are crooked, tenders are rigged, men are shot, women are raped, the capitalists are winning, the Sharks are losing …

Perhaps I should pack it all in and begin a new life. Get a proper job, drink light beer, take up jogging, go out for family pizza night, recycle my rubbish, wear V-neck sweaters, take an interest in sport, vote for the DA and, most important of all, stop reading newspapers.

While trying to decide which would be less painful – changing my lifestyle or shooting myself in the face – a headline caught my attention: “Bong sale calms Dutch market.”

I imagined the market was in uproar because Israel’s nuclear weapons programme was making the oil-producing countries jumpy and driving up the price of fuel, which, in turn, drove up the price of cheese, eels and poffertjes, which can’t possibly be as gay as they sound.

The Dutch aren’t big on rampaging, so the market probably ground to a standstill as shoppers gathered in small, tidy groups to mutter darkly and shake their heads. In Holland, this is the equivalent of a full-blown riot.

Then, moments before a policeman arrived, a hemp-coated hippie set up a table and began selling bongs for 80% off. People crowded around, laughing and chatting and stocking up on hubbly-bubblies ahead of the cruel European winter.

Apparently I misread the headline: “Bond sale calms Dutch market.”

The story was full of weasel words like “budget limit” and “savings package” and “deficit target”.

The crisis was caused when Geert Wilders pulled his Freedom Party out of the government because he was no longer willing to be dictated to by Brussels, whatever the hell that means.

Wilders looks like the result of an experiment that went awry in one of Josef Mengele’s racial purification projects. He is over three metres tall, with platinum hair that is styled in a wind tunnel driven by solar power or, on overcast days, 28 Arab refugees on bicycles. In terms of Freedom Party policies, these are the only immigrants who should be allowed to live in Holland.

People think Africa is the doomed continent. They are wrong. Europe is the new title-holder. While the rich dig their moats, making sure the drawbridge man is on speed-dial, the wretched refuse are abandoning their teeming shores like the rats they are.

 

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