Everybody knows that I love dogs. What’s not to love? They never dig holes. They don’t even think about burying bones. They never bark at shadows. And they’re not at all obsessed about balls being thrown for them. Especially not my two Jack Russells, the Scrapster and Dodney Doodlebug. Very low maintenance.
Unlike cats. Don’t trust them. Sneaky sorts. Kill birds. And like to stick their derrieres in your face to prove some stupid point about them once being idolised by the ancient Egyptians. Those Egyptians may have been quite handy at building pointy-topped buildings but they have a lot to answer for. No, cats are for lonely spinsters of a certain age and certainly not for me.
OK. So that was a preamble. Or, in the case of cats, a premince. What I am trying to get around to showing you is this…
Everybody say "Aaaaah"... and I'll say that dogs are in a different class. Sorry.
How’s that little Rottie on the far side? How cute is that, hey? He’ll have a sore neck after that “Don’t Dig” class is done. I know. Because I was always told to sit in the front row of desks at school where the teacher could keep an eye on me. Actually, I had my own spot directly under the blackboard. It was called “being put in isolation”. My neck’s never been the same since. Thanks a lot, Miss van Rooyen. Silly old bint. Wow. I do feel a lot better after getting that out.
Anyway, you don’t have to fear that this blog might turn into one of those sites that only post naff pics of animals doing cutesy-wutesy stuff. They may get an insanely massive amount of hits but I won’t resort to that to raise my views. No, I won’t. Definitely not. Unless you want me to, of course. Because as you well know, my dear Hatpeople, I’ll do anything for you. Just like my dogs do for me.
And, if I find a pic of a whole bunch of cats paying rapt attention in a “Don’t Kill Birds” class, I’ll definitely post that here for your delectation. Bird murderers! All of them. Off with their heads, I say!
Some people are of the opinion that the only good crocodile is a monster croc that’s eaten a few Australians. And then survives the ensuing terrible tummy bug to chomp on a few more.
But I think that’s very unkind and would never condone such cruelty. Cruelty to animals is just not my bag. So I’m appalled to learn that a giant crocodile measuring a stunning 6.5m (that’s about 22 feet from snout to tip of tail) was murdered in cold blood in Manangoora, up in the remote Northern Territory of Australia, after a few locals reported that some distant cousins had become even more distant. As in not seen by anybody since “Croc-zilla” moved into the area.
Shame. Shame on the Aussie nation for wasting such a beautiful specimen. The late and great Steve Irwin must be writhing in his grave. At a missed opportunity to engage in some riverine WWF with a croc of this magnitude.
Let’s have a look at this beast…
Nice. A young Australian girl is taught the valuable life lesson that trucks are of far more value to Aussie society than its indigenous wildlife.
That there is one gorgeous crocodile, is it not? And one very dead one. It’s crime? To nibble on a few Outbackers and get so big that it was terrifying the life out of the livestock that Manangoora farmers use to make a living. So somebody killed it. Sis. It is clear that the technique of darting wild animals and moving them to a place of safety, employed almost on a worldwide basis, hasn’t yet reached Manangoora.
Outrageous. Manangoorans are clearly a bunch of wusses. If we happened across a stunning croc such as this one here in Stanford, we’d just ask Oom Jan to show it who’s boss by giving it a light smack on the ear, sufficiently hard to stun it for 20 minutes, stick it on the back of his Land Rover and plonk it in a nice enclosure on his farm.
And then turn our “Croc-zilla” into another on our ridiculously long list of tourist attractions. Ja, that’s just how we roll here in South Africa. We like to keep the “life” in “wildlife”.
* Dear Hatpeople, if you scroll up to your right on this page, you’ll see a big fat badge saying something about the 2010 South African Blog Awards. I’ve entered your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog into three categories: Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog and The Kulula Best Travel Blog. I wouldn’t be at all offended if you clicked on that there badge and nominated http://www.fredhatman.co.za in any of these categories (be sure to type in your e-mail address on the blog awards site for your nomination to be registered). In fact, were I to amaze all of us by winning something, the Birkenhead is on me – but not for Australians – down the Stanford Arms! Cheers!
So you think that living in the country is easy? That all we do is plough a few furrows before parking the Massey Ferguson under a tree, haul out the old Blackberry and get on to Facebook to sow our oats in Farmville?
Well, yes, that’s exactly what most of us do. That’s how we roll out here in Stanford. But not every day. Take Wednesdays. I have to come over all corporate on Humpday. And what a hump. I can barely get my tractor over it.
I had two meetings today. Two. This entails me getting out of my Barney pyjamas at 2pm, washing my hair front and back of my bald Karoo (sounds better than Sahara) and going down the pub. That’s where we have our “informal tourism group” meetings. Informal being the operative word. No tie required. I was going to say “No Jacket Required” but that’s the name of an album by my least favourite musician of all time.
Not entirely the vibe we have going at our Stanford informal tourism group meetings
The cool thing about meetings at the pub (Stanford only does “meetings” in the pub) is that a certain amount of alcohol is required before any ideas remotely worthy of discussion are issued forth. And, boy, do we have ideas. Let’s just say that you are going to be gagging to get over to Stanford soon enough.
Moving swiftly alo… what? You want minutes? We don’t take minutes. We take hours. And you’ll have to ask the ridiculously effervescent and clever Janet Marshall of Stanford Info for the attendance register. I’m not saying who was there in case they were actually meant to be doing some work. We’re protective of each other out here in the wilderness. Reminds me of a saying I came up with a couple of months back… “One for all and all for one”. I should have patented that. It encapsulates our vibe.
So it was home to feed the dogs and the cat and neck a couple of Milk Thistles before rushing back (I was thirsty) to the Stanford Arms for the Rotary weekly meeting. This was even more exciting than usual because four young people from Knoxville, Tennessee (I love how that sounds) were there.
Now I might be breaking new territory here but I fully believe that “kids” today are nicer, better-looking and more intelligent than when I was their age. And more responsible. It’s like they looked at my generation, thought about it for two seconds, held a global conference and unanimously passed a motion to be far cooler than we were.
Erin, Stephanie, Connor and Sam are seriously nice kids. Not only have they been busy helping out with upliftment projects around Stanford but then they come to our meeting and tell us how wonderful our country is, how warm and friendly South Africans are and generally how blown away they have been by their African experience. We liked that.
I mean, we South Africans got a lot of that during our beautiful World Cup, right? But keep it coming is what I say! And now The Knoxville Four are going home to try to raise funds to improve conditions for the disadvantaged people in our area. Like I said, seriously cool kids.
Now I must iron my Barney jim-jams and bomb into bed. It’s been a tough Humpday in the corporate world. And I need to be ploughing my fields in Farmville before midday tomorrow. Yee-ha.