Encore “Summer holiday…”

Encore “Summer holiday…”

By Rafiek Mammon

It’s that time of year again – the holidays or the holy days? Shopping, more shopping, booking holiday destinations and shopping some more…Eating, of course. More eating, of course. And lastly, just a smidgen of eating. And then there is of course the drinking. Aah, there’s the rub…

I was listening to Cape Talk on Tuesday when they were talking about the drinking-and-driving phenomenon that has been in the news of late. Particularly an incident whereby a drunken driver who drove into something (can’t remember the details) was not tested or arrested by police officers – when the lookers on could clearly see the man was drenched up to his nipples in alcohol.

I remember some time ago listeners thought naming-and-shaming of drivers who drive drunk, was a croc. I don’t think so. I think if it will deter people from drinking and driving then it is a good thing. Thing is, people want to have their cake and eat it…or in this case, have their drink and drink it. It is just not responsible behaviour, full stop.

Like most things in life, it takes some planning. Plan when you are going out…know who will be the designated driver and who the drinkers are going to be. No wonder we are sitting with so many unwanted children…many of them were conceived because of the famous last words “we were drunk” says a billboard on the M5 at the Kenilworth turn-off. What kind of people are we to think that it is okay for us to drive drunk, or to text on our cell phones while driving? I said this before – we all want the conveniences of the first world but unfortunately most of us have third world mentalities.

The education that comes with the first world technology just isn’t there, or is just not enough. Give, give and give the people more choice and more variety but don’t teach the responsibilities that come with it…Condoms to teenagers…what happens when there is not condom in sight?

Jaywalking was another topic discussed on radio. Again – it is holiday time. There are more pedestrians – from other provinces as well. More people are frantically taking to the streets, and heaven help us! Where I used to live, in Claremont, the jaywalking phenomenon is the worst. The Main Road is packed with people too lazy to walk to either of the pedestrian crossings at the traffic lights and there are two lanes on either side with taxis hooting… often it looks like Cairo on a bad day. This is a disaster waiting to happen…

I drive there often still. Sometimes one wants to overtake, and as one is just about to, one has to stop in a hurry because a pedestrian also needs to be negotiated. Where are the traffic police? Make some noise about it. Fine the jaywalkers if we need to. But then I remember we are in South Africa – we have to wait until a few people are killed before we might do something about it. We are too busy taking off flags that “offend” us and with changing the names of our streets. That is of high priority, you see.

Cape Talk is also punting their Lead SA campaign with the drug scourge being the focus at the moment. Love the campaign. Take control. Make a quantifiable difference. At last someone is making the right noises and in the right direction. And I have said this before also: people need recipes, formulae as to how to go forward to help make this place a better one for all its people.

Holidays should be holy days. Just wondering…where do you like to go for a holiday? For some “getting away from it all”? Roughing it? I’m too old (and too fat) for that. Sleeping in a tent where any bug or, (heaven forbid) a snake can crawl into uninvited nogal and bite me without taking me out for a drink first, is not my idea of fun. I’m what you might call a snobbish holidaymaker. Sue me, but I like ‘em comforts of da home, if you get my drift…

Others of course “get away from it all” by taking it all with them – they pack the entire family that drove them nuts in the first place, and they pack everything, including the kitchen sink. Me, I like going where there isn’t much family, but where there is a fitted kitchen with a sink…and preferably not too many (even zero) children that annoy…
rafiek@mweb.co.za