For those who have the same warped sense of humour this Letter can also be had in French.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Easter Lesson according to Jon
Dear Easter Bunny,
Where were you when you were needed
My brother Anthony and I
wanted your help to hand out Easter Eggs to the poor in Masiphumelele (see Cape Town's Tourist Dump), a Black township
not far from my home in CapeTown.
Entrance sign speaks volumes
The name means We will succeed in Xhosa. But sadly there’s not
much sign of that in this sprawling collection of run down houses and tin
shacks where 38 000people survive some how.
As you were nowhere to be found, the two of us
had to do it ourselves.
Were you testing us? In South Africa many Whites have never
been into a Black township for fear of not coming out again. They associate them
with thieves, rapists and murderers who are waiting to get their own back
on Whites for what they did to them under the all White apartheid
government that was replaced by a Black one 18 years ago.
We thought that one of your Black, floppy eared relatives would blend in far
better than two six foot, something Whities.
Anyway as it turned out it was fun
for us two fossils – to begin with anyway.
It didn’t take us long to learn that humans
behave very differently in a group compared to when they are on their own. And
the principle remains the same whether they are adults or little nippers just
starting out in life.
We had about 100 eggs to distribute
and the aim was to make them go as far as possible – in other words one each,
for small children only.
Driving through the narrow streets we stopped
here and there when we saw little ones by themselves or with a grown up
relative. That’s when we got a polite Thank you,
as we handed out the gifts through the window of my car.
But as soon as a crowd gathered it was every boy
and girl for himself with the biggest ones pushing to the front and returning
shortly afterwards to try and grab another egg. If there were any Thank yous us FairyGodfathers would not have been able to hear them above
Our first experience of this mob behaviour was
when we stopped outside a playground and the children initially lined up in an
orderly fashion. But that didn’t last long with arms coming from all directions
like a giant octopus doing its best to thwart our one per child policy. On this
occasion we had the steel boundary fence between us and the kids to help
maintain a vestige of order.
A few streets away another mass of pleading,
waving hands enveloped our car. Several children climbed half way into the open
window on my brother’s side and clung to the door as I started slowly driving
away. They gradually dropped off as we went a little further.
Having learnt our lesson we gave the rest of the Happy Eggs away to individuals whose friends had to be
disappointed if there was any sign of a group developing.
Surprise, surprise we left that Black township richer for the experience with our lives intact;
still in our own car and with our wallets and cell phones still on us.
Our relief was short lived however. I’m writing
this to you from Cape Town’s, Pollsmoor Maximum SecurityPrison. It’s
no picnic I can tell you. But if we live through it we’ll be able to say we
were in the jail where Nelson Mandela
was once incarcerated.
You see in this wicked world two
old codgers can’t be seen in a poor area handing out sweets to little children
without being paedophiles. That’s a given.
So Easter Bunny it
looks as though you’ll have to do the job yourself next year.
I hope this gets passed the prison censors.
Buy my book 'Where have all the children gone'on Amazon Kindle It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of Afrikaner/ English prejudice.