Tag Archives: celebrities

Grumpy humour: A top 10

20 Feb

I’m a sucker for grumpy humour. Where most people stopped watching My Family when Nick disappeared, I happily carry on watching because of my favourite character – the universally disliked Ben Harper – is still there. A grumpy old dentist who basically hates his life and everything in it, he’s TV’s ultimate grumpy old man.

But this post is not about Ben Harper – it’s about a book that reads as if it was written by him: Is it just me, or is everything shit?

Ben Harper - the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

Ben Harper – the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

This book is not to be found on any current best seller list, and is probably not even easily available at the shops anymore. I found it at an Exclusive Books sale years ago, and rediscovered it this week.

Almost 300 pages of pure disgruntledness about, well, everything.It’s fabulous when you just hate the world and all its Polyannas. (It’s also the sort of thing the Erasmus and Snyman cousins find hilarious – so here’s to Carli, me, Iranda, Caroline and Lara. I’m not sure why we have such a sick sense of humour, but I love it.)

Allow me to share my personal Top 10 entries:

1. Unnecessary Greeting Cards

“For my wife…On Mother’s Day.” Such messages are presumably intended to carry the subtext “For my wife on Mother’s Day, because, as you know, I tend to think of you as my mother.”

“Congratulations on your divorce!” Presumably comes with the message: “Roses are red / Violets are blue / You didn’t get the house / But you did get the canoe!”

“Congratulations on your teeth whitening!”

2. The Markets’ Reaction

Whenever a new terrorist catastrophe hits a major Western city, the first thought on every citizen’s mind is: Hmm, I wonder how my shares are doing. Oh, that’s right, I don’t have any. Still, I wonder how other people’s shares are doing… This is why, after the 7/7 bombings, news networks speedily escorted viewers away from the sites of the atrocities and toward the City of London to discover how “the markets” might be affected. And what did our correspondents tell us? Stocks remained “resilient.” Thank G*d.

Rich douche

Rich douche

(As a personal side note – I’m writing this in a coffee shop in Johannesburg. Often work from here. Table next to me has 3 typical “big city” JHB idiots who probably DO consider the markets’ reaction before anything else. Don’t expect any less from people who spend coffee with friends bragging about their stock portfolios and bank balances. Groan.)

3. Paying off your mortgage in 2 years

Top tip to save money to do this: Kill yourself.

There’s no surer way to spend less than being dead. As a bonus, any insurance policies you hold will be paying out like a fruit machine with three triple bars on hold… Irony is free, so treat yourself to a highly poignant death by smashing your brains open against the window of your bank… Now, for insurance reasons, it needs to look like an accident. You’ll need a big run-up to get enough force to kill yourself, so start from the other side of the road while looking down the street and smiling and waving into the distance, as if you have just seen an old acquaintance and have become distracted. Just keep running until you hit the bank and hopefully die… Also remember, in the days leading up to killing yourself, that you can save money by not eating anything or turning on any lights.

4. Sex tips

Some people are so expert at sex that they become “sexperts”. Some of the most common sex tips include the following:

Breathe on each other. As one of you breathes in, the other breathes out, so you inhale each other’s breath. Breathing – it rocks!

Don’t underestimate the erotic power of the elbow. Find out what you can do with yours and before long your love buddy will be dragging you upstairs as soon as you walk in the door!



Lather up each other’s pubic regions with shampoo to make amusing shapes. Laughter is a great way of creating a sexy atmosphere!?!?

Stuff each other’s mouths full of cheese – then lick each other all over. You’ll be amazed at the new sensations you both experience!

5. Kitsch Knickknack shops

“Ooh”, people think, “a present shop. Maybe I can get a present in this shop for presents and thus satisfy my present-buying needs.” Then they go inside and remember it’s actually a festival of shit with price tags on. You can find:

George Bush fridge magnets – you can dress him up as either Shirley Temple or Wonder Woman

Numerous cards featuring a picture of a 1950s housewife and a rude slogan – something like, ON SUNDAYS, DOREEN ENJOYED NOTHING BETTER THAN A GOOD SPIT ROAST

1950's housewife

1950’s housewife

A monkey. With the head of a monkey.

Of course, no-one actually wants this crap. But they get it anyway…

6. Celebrity perfumes and product lines

Celebrity fragrances have rubbish names. There’s Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker; David Beckham’s Instinct; True Star Gold by Beyonce… Sean John’s scent is Unforgivable. By which we don’t mean that it’s unforgivable, although it probably is.

Pop sensation Usher has his own line of credit cards aimed at impressionable teenagers. Sort of like saying, “Hey kids, if you enjoyed my album Confessions, you’ll love a life of debt!”

7. Ads for credit cards

Your life is not exciting enough, quite simply, because you haven’t borrowed enough money. That much should be self-evident. Borrowing money may make you taller. You will have a nicer smile, and have read more books – while still finding time for that all-important Jet-skiing holiday.

8. Baby name books

Nobody has ever found a good name in a baby book because most of the entries are things like Hadrian, Dylis, Mortimer, and Binky. Oh yes, and Adolf.

The UK’s Collins Gem version genuinely point out that the name has never been popular and received a further setback with the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Setback? I’ll say.

9. Porsche SUV’s

Want an SUV so you can loom over other road users like the US Army? But also want something sporty to accelerate ludicrously away from the lights before suddenly braking at the next roundabout?

Then the Porsche Cayenne is the car for you: two utterly pointless vehicles in one. No-one likes you.

10. Yummy mommies

Don’t just lie there! It’s been two hours since you’ve given birth. Get on that treadmill now. Or you’re never going to “snap right back” by the end of the week. Society expects!

Naughty, naughty!

Naughty, naughty!

Also, if you don’t spend on your child in its first 3 months the same as a yearly wage, then your child will be ugly and stupid. And who wants that?


Absolutely loved this book – treat yourself and find it online. The authors are Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur and Brendan Hay.

Now Oscar’s just somebody that we used to know

17 Feb



I found myself crying about Reeva Steenkamp this morning. It happened when I saw a picture of her cat. “Reeva had a cat,” I thought, “She had something in common with me. And now she’s dead.”

It is none of my business to know what Reeva’s cat looks like. It is none of my business to know that her close friends called her “Alfi.” It is none of my business to know that she loved horses and was excited about Valentine’s Day.

Yet I know. We all know.

Bizarrely, Reeva’s death feels like the death of someone every South African knew and adored. Perhaps because we all felt like we knew her murderer, we had to get to know her, too.

(In case someone reading this has not seen, well, any newspaper in the world this week: Reeva Steenkamp was found dead in her boyfriend’s home on Valentine’s Day. She was shot 4 times. Her boyfriend happened to be South Africa’s golden boy – the internationally renowned athlete, Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius was the world’s first disabled runner to compete in both the Paralympics and Olympics last year. He was widely regarded as an inspiration and hero – after having his lower legs amputated as an infant, he overcame tremendous odds to become the world famous “Blade Runner”. The State is charging him with premeditated murder under schedule 6 of the Criminal Procedures Act. Crimes like this usually carry a life sentence, and it will be difficult even for bail to be granted as Pistorius awaits trial. Reeva was only 29.)

We all knew Oscar. Or at least, we thought we did. He was, I think it’s safe to say, a national hero. The boy who overcame so much, and whose handsome face has been everywhere since the Olympics. We felt like we knew him because we saw him every day. Perfect, inspirational Oscar smiling at us from another billboard. Playful Oscar jokingly advertising “Oscar month” in the run-up to the Academy Awards. Oscar and his little sister on the cover of Sarie. Oscar on the cover of GQ. It goes on and on.

The Oscar we used to know

The Oscar we used to know

The Oscar we knew is no murderer – it simply could not be.

When the news of Reeva’s death broke, I doubt that single South African did not believe that the story was a tragic accident. That she sneaked in to surprise him for Valentine’s Day, and was mistaken for an intruder before being killed. It’s plausible here – many of us sleep with firearms next to our beds because the possibility of violent criminals entering the home is very real. Without exception, I think we felt sorry for him.

Sadly, the developing story makes fools of us all. The Oscar we all thought we knew and were so very proud of is being exposed – bit by bit – as an egotistic narcissist with a history of aggression. The Oscar we all thought we knew now seems like an illusion. A personality created in order to cash in on athletic fame.

Oscar leaving the court. Bail proceedings have been postponed to Tuesday.

Oscar leaving the court. Bail proceedings have been postponed to Tuesday.

Sure – the papers are trying to fuel the controversy. This story has gripped the nation to a point of obsession, and that sells even better than sex. Be that as it may, I don’t get the sense that the media is grasping at straws to make Oscar look like the bad guy. On the contrary – the media started out on his side. It was practically assumed that he was without blame. Shamefully, we felt that he was even more of a victim than Reeva was. As one observer on Twitter noted – we were more concerned for poor Oscar and his career than we were about Reeva’s death and family.

By now, you all know the details that have emerged. All seem to point to cold blooded murder. Seems we didn’t know Oscar at all.


Reeva was never that well known. Now she’ll never have the chance.

Distastefully, the producers of a silly “treasure seeking” reality show she was part of has decided to air the drivel “especially for us to get to know the real Reeva”. That we’ll learn much watching her do obstacle courses and drink Tropica is doubtful.

All we really have are the memories of her friends and family, and the words and photographs of Reeva herself.

Today, the Sunday Times dedicated half a page to Reeva’s last Instagram pictures:

Reeva and Oscar on the beach. Reeva posing playfully in an animal suit. Reeva blowing out a birthday candle.

Reeva’s sleeping cat.