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Tuesday 21 October 2014
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Raising a stink

Shirley Hereford, Nov 14, 2012

He stood motionless with his bag of garbage, as if struck by lightning.

She was a phantom of delight …an apsara, with her squat but well endowed body undulating like a mirage in the distance. She was walking like a dancer towards some unseen spotlight.

I squinted at the sun to clear the sight, but she was as real as my dog pulling on its leash and reminding me of my purpose. Head angled to the right arms akimbo from the waist, her hands extended in some meaningful mudra, she rolled towards me.

 Something was dangling from one wrist, which swayed tantalisingly with each dainty step. Another tug from my dog, Rum, reminded me to keep my eyes fixed on the road which had art inspired mounds of garbage and doggy – do.

The apsara moved passed me and was poised to make a dramatic twirl. It suddenly struck me that this creature was adding to the stockpile of yesterday’s desires lying broken and rotten on the road. My civic sense roared into life as I shouted, “Stop!” and delivered my diatribe on educated people and civic sense.


Without a word, the mute goddess of garbage twirled again and disappeared into the sunset.

I was flying on my newly gained wings of virtuosity when a small blue car stopped a few metres from where Rum was marking his territory.  Something uncoiled itself from the small recesses of the car and stood upright. It was the nubile beauty’s paramour who walked round the hood to launch their stinking stockpile.

My mouth fell open… these mystical creatures from another neighbourhood were on a reconnaissance mission, reviewing possible sites to dump their garbage.

I went hammer and tongs at the tall lanky spindle who pompously declared, “I will throw my garbage where I want. This is not your property. It is a public zone”. Rum and I bristled at the tone as he drew himself even more upright and threw his line “Do you know who I am?”

Should I? He didn’t look like a celebrity from any angle, considering that he was all angles. So I tilted my head inquiringly and cocked my eyebrow. “I am the captain of a ship”.

I almost stood to attention and saluted him, then drew myself to my full height of 5 foot something and bellowed like a buccaneer, “Aye, aye captain! So throw your muck on your ship and keep my coast clear.” The captain was torpedoed by my remark; he volleyed “ My ship is spotless”.  I rallied, “Right! So you think you can pollute my backwaters? Let’s take this offshore captain and ask my uncle, Admiral so and so”. 

The captain looked like a man consigned to waking the plank, while I basked in the glory of newly discovered relations. He stood motionless with his bag of garbage, as if struck by lightning. While I was working on my next move should the captain decide to throw the missile my way, my mongrel tired of being reeled in, made his.

Walking up to the captain he raised his leg in canine effrontery and used the captain’s leg as his lamppost. The watered down sea hero admitted defeat, turned and slunk into the dark recesses of his man of war while I smiled and hummed, “ Ho! Ho! Ho! And a bottle of Rum!” The coast was clear again.

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