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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Let them eat crake

This is the fourth consecutive year in which I have neither killed nor raped anyone. I have refrained from hijacking cars and taking hostages. I have paid my taxes and some of my traffic fines. I continue to withdraw money from ATMs instead of blowing them up and I hardly ever shoplift.

And yet I have been overlooked for national honours once again. I don’t know how much longer I can maintain this aberrant lifestyle without some kind of acknowledgement from the government.

Any idiot can see I am more deserving than many of the recipients on this year’s list. I should at the very least have been given the Order of Mendi for Bravery.

Even though I failed to rescue anyone from drowning, which appears to be the criteria, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

I spent almost every day on the beach looking for people to save. Apart from two attention-seeking tail-gunners in Speedos pretending to drown, everyone swam about with no trouble at all. Damn their selfish eyes.

I even offered a farm boy R27 to allow me to carry him from the surf and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

There may have been a misunderstanding because he resisted fiercely when I moved in to deliver the kiss of life. An angry mob chased me off the beach as if I were little more than a common pervert.

I should also have been in line for the Order of Ikhamanga.

The government’s information website says: “The Ikhamanga (Strelitzia) plant symbolises the unique beauty of achievements by men and women who carry colourful South African [sic] aloft in the fields of creativity, arts, culture, music, journalism and sport.”

I would carry anyone aloft if it meant getting the recognition I deserve. Well, maybe not anyone. It would be a struggle to lift, say, Khulubuse Zuma without the help of a block and tackle.

But struggle is what these honours are all about. Johnny Clegg struggles to lift his foot above his head these days and Cheeky Watson struggles to keep his son, Luke, from vomiting on the Springbok jersey. That’s why they were both on the list.


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