What’s in a name?

I need to pee. Which isn’t great as opening lines go. I was just about to launch into a self-involved tirade about how terrible my day was and then heap scorn on those who vexed me (Maersk) while simultaneously drenching myself in a good, solid dollop of self pity (my affluent life is so difficult). But now my bladder has laid waste to my machinations and I am forced to tack against the wind. Please standby.


I used a sailing metaphor. And likely used it incorrectly. But this is my blog and if I want to use an obtuse nonsensical analogy that is my right, as granted to me by Matt Mullenweg and the power of Greyskull. Slash WordPress.

Maersk: ‘Hi Jo. here is your statement for S900, please settle immediately, since this account is overdue’.

Jo: ‘Um… can you send me a copy of the invoice, I’m not entirely sure what this is about’

Maersk: ‘Here you go’

Jo: ‘Um… this Invoice says, Port of lading, Jawaharlal Nehru, India. Port of discharge, Santos, Brazil’.

Maersk: ‘Yeah, so’.

Jo: ‘Well… The first problem is that I’m Johannesburg, South Africa. I think you’ve misallocated the invoice to the wrong customer.

Maersk (Copy and pasted) : ‘Hi Jo. Thanks for your reply, please advise to whom these charges need to be billed? We would need written confirmation from new payer in order to move charges’

Jo: (wondering if they’re messing with me) Um… I have no idea?

Maersk (four hours later) : ‘Hi Jo. Please find attached a copy of your invoice’.

Jo: (its the same invoice) Oh my fuck!

This upsets at least three quarters of my mongrel genealogy. The one quarter nominal Dane is embarrassed by his countrymen. The half German is feeling somewhat smug, but also keeping one eye on that suspicious looking Syrian and the quarter Pole doesn’t care because he’s more interested in holocaust denialism and smuggling cigarettes.

Is it satire or sarcasm that’s the lowest form of wit? I can’t remember. I’m guessing sarcasm, but don’t they broadly mean the same thing? I feel I should probably know this. (I have huges gaps in my tuition) My eighth grade English teacher, a diminutive (but violent) nun called Sister Mary-Joseph used to punch me because I couldn’t identify clauses or the conjunction that joined them. I remember taking a beating in front of the blackboard once because, identified as an English language malingerer, I would randomly point to non specific part of the sentence in the hope that I had guessed correctly and could sit back down. Unfortunately for me Sister Mary-Joseph recognized my duplicity and negatively reinforced me accordingly (with her fists).

Good times.

Still not as bad as Khewzi who was ratted out by Sister Mary-Joseph to Mr. Collier a fearsome, bull of man and deputy headmaster, for some or other undesirable behaviour during Religious Education. (I think he was playing with a condom) Mr. Collier burst into our classroom during mathematics and smacked Khewzi down something fierce in front of the stunned class. I’m talking full on football hooligan type violence. This was the tail end of apartheid and while I imagine that sort of behaviour today would have elicited (in the very least) some serious charges, a black kid back then had no recourse and zero hope for justice. To be fair Khewzi wasn’t a particularly nice kid (he cut my silkworms in half with a pair of scissors) and I don’t think he picked up a beating because he was black but that incident left me pretty rattled. Both parties involved were eventually quietly ushered out of the school and like the crusades, violence of action became a Catholic past tense (mostly).

Interestingly years later I played chess against Khewzi in an inter-school tournament and he trounced me. He seemed to have turned out alright. He certainly wasn’t brain damaged.

It dawns on me that I haven’t seen the the Basset hound in a while. I find him curled up on the recliner in the nursery using the feeding pillow as a cushion. I poke him with my big toe, ‘Oi’, he glares at me.


I apologize and shuffle off. Basset hounds know psychology. The German Shepherd lives to please, but a Basset understands and works the slave-master mentality. ‘Scratch my neck vagina human’.

He’s getting on a bit. (turning 11 this year) In a morbid bout of fatalism we have started bandying about names for next basset. So far Montgomery Burns leads the short-list. Followed by Elvis Houndsly.

Anyways, I’m tired, so here endeth the blog. More exciting tales of dashing and daring (courageous and caring) will likely follow on the morrow. Or whenever.

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