Actually it was hours, not years, but that would have made a kak-lame heading and you might not have rushed over to read about it.
Kai Reitz once made the mistake – no, bold decision – to put the Lloyd cousin in charge of The Bend while he went off to murder sundry buffaloes and bambis in the Zimbabwean bushveld near Mana Pools.
I joined Lloyd on The Bend one weekend. As an adviser.
Things did not go exactly according to a Reitz-like plan. Nor did things run like a well-oiled machine. It was more like a military operation.
Lloyd had managed to get the Chev pickup stuck between two gears. So when I got there it was parked in the lands. Immobile. I don’t remember how I got there, but it wasn’t with my own transport.
Some parts of the farm did run flawlessly, it must be said: Balekile did sterling work in the kitchen, making great big piles of delicious veggies. Lloyd had run out of meat and I had not brought any, only liquid refreshment, and as we were now stranded for transport it was a healthy vegetarian diet for us.
Then Lloyd found Kai’s old .22 rifle and we went hunting for the pot, bravely. If Kai could do it, so could we. We strode out boldly, fearlessly, onto the lawn. The Zunckel walking with that action he got from Mad magazine’s Don Martin, taking exaggerated stalking strides with his toes hanging downwards. Great sense of the ridiculous had Lloyd. He was playing great white hunter in Africa. I was his gun-bearer, just not bearing his gun.
Ten metres from the house, high up in a pine tree a poor little dove was romantically asking “How’s father? How’s father?” or telling us to “Work Harder. Work Harder” and Lloyd drilled him. SHPLORT! If you weren’t a Mad Magazine fan, that was a Don Martin-type sound of a Cape Turtle Dove hitting the ground, morsdood.
The next meal Balekile cooked had all the veggies, PLUS – a big meat dish covered with a lid. We opened the lid with a flourish, then peered closely before we spotted it – it looked like a plucked mossie had crash-landed in the middle of an empty swimming pool.
Next mishap: The big truck was accidentally reversed over a stack of irrigation pipes. That was not good. I saw big $$ signs, but when Kai got back he set about fixing them himself, cutting off the flattened sections, hammering thin pipes through them, then thicker ones until he had restored them to size, then welding them together again! They looked like they had cellulite, but they worked.
I’m sure we didn’t run out of beer though, so we weren’t completely disorganised.
morsdood – stone dead, but implying a messy death
mossie – sparrow, but maybe a tink-tinkie
tink-tinkie – makes a mossie look like a rainbow chicken