For the love of.
My dad’s pearls of manic eccentricity have manifested into weekly episodes.
With a genetic cocktail comprising his and my mother’s genes, quite frankly, I’m worried about my old age.
He wrote to the mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, as he does. He always CC’s me the emails, much like the weekly letters he sends to the Cape Argus, The Star and other editorial desks across the country.
Sometimes he’s complimentary: I just love the new motorbike lane you’ve added onto the top end of Bree Street, thanks a mil!
…and sometimes he’s not: I’ve had it with the municipal bin collectors. How many TIMES do I have to say it: do NOT drag my bin, as the wheels fall off. CARRY it to the trash truck when you empty it. ARE YOU DEAF?
He uses capital letters when he is upset.
This time I understand the gripe.
His primary complaint is about the street name changes across the country to suit more politically correct times. I get this, and my frustration is similarly compounded by the shelling out of millions of ronts-worth of taxpayer’s money to change a name that has undertones of the Old South Africa. I too get frustrated because this is essentially wiping out our history, however unsavoury. I too find it hard to understand why this money can’t go towards poverty eradication, something far more beneficial.
I am on his side. At least for the above reason.
Charming though, was the third paragraph, after he’d staked his complaint of the former:
I love Cape Town, and if Adderly Street changes its name, I’m out of here Helen. (May I call you Helen?)
I am considering a number of options in terms of PERMANENT immigration – and yes, this is a threat. [She’d better take this seriously. The country will quite clearly fall apart without Dad – Ed]
I will move to a place that sanctifies and holds it’s history dear – and that place is Île de Reunion, the island near Mauritius.
Not Australia, not Germany, and not England. The climate in Reunion is temperate and balmy all year round. [Did someone say balmy? – Ed]
Reunion, a province of France, which although thousands of miles from the Mother country, adopts the same, respectable practice of tradition: a country which boasts the most tourist arrivals in the world for this very reason: a respect of the past, tradition and constancy in this otherwise ever-changing world. [Coconuts and sugar cane? – Ed]
So perhaps, HELEN, you should start looking at the French as a good example of TRADITION.
I really hope you see this as the serious threat it is. Because I’ll take my mates along with me, and my daughter. [Hey, that’s me! – Ed].
This name-changing thing has gone too far.
Sincerely and angrily,
Monsieur Petits Pois Aux Pain-Grillé.
PS: My ex wife is French. Things ended badly some eight years ago, but I can’t disagree that the French have their heads screwed on properly. Do you think they’d change the name of the Eiffel Tower even though the architect was a Pole? No. I DON’T THINK SO.
I’m wondering whether this letter will make it into the government internal newsletter.
Well done Dad. That’ll show her.