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COVID Christmas: We Must Survive It Too

One avid reader of this column asked me to pen a column about a Covid Christmas and how to survive it.

When you are a columnist people think you are some kind of Superman. I have been called an agony aunt. I have been called a life coach. I have been called to get a bewildered cat out of a tree.  Except for the latter I don’t know how my competence was earned and established. One inebriated friend who really should not be out on his own without any parental supervision ascribed it to this column. We are still friends though I no longer solicit any advice from him.

The village is the favourite destination and that is where most of us will be headed. For those that do not manage to get to the village covid provides the perfect excuse. Some of us will be banking on the Covid task Team to close the zones just so we do not have to justify to anyone the reason why we have not been able to make it to the village. Telling people you do not have money to go to the village during the Christmas holidays is just not a part of the script.

The village is a pressure cooker of sorts. Let me break this down a bit. First you have to ensure that your wheels are snazzy and at the right level of fitness.

 It is mighty embarrassing to get to the village in your vehicle that has been procured from the western peripheries of the city only for it to break down after 2 days. That is enough to take the wind out of your sails and haemorrhage your ego quite badly. You see in the village Keeping Up Appearances is not just a TV series but a real life drama in which the guys from the city are actors.

When you do manage to get to the village in your wheels you now have to drive it round the village in order to announce your presence. The village must know that the city guys have arrived. Obviously this has a bearing on some very tight village romances.

The village pub is where most of the action takes place and 125% of people’s time in the village is spent here.

If temptation happens to wrestle your rational sense into the mud it would help to have an impregnable toolkit that can insulate the contents of

your wallet. For instance you should have a plan of dealing with the village mandatory welcoming committee which usually sets up its traps around the pub.  You have a choice to buy drinks for half the village or act all ‘snobbish’ and buy exclusively for yourself - the latter a more sensible but less popular option. Social always trumps financial.

The village welcoming committee is a band of village residents that you went to primary school with, but because PSL exams are envious of people it put the skids on their education.

They have, however, during the time you were pursuing your degree developed a very admirable sense of poetry and just know to lay it on thick enough for you to loosen the purse strings.

The title ‘lekgoa’ features heavily in these praise poems.  All this results in a very vicious assault on your covid-ravaged bank balance!

But you must somehow ‘silver-line’ these moments. Those hangers-on at the pub must know how great a life you are living in the city. The rule of thumb is to pull out names that they do not know like O’Hagans, Wimpy- names that hardly ever featured in the primary school syllabus, names that are much harder to pronounce like Motimalenyora, Arebonwe, Emarenwe and Ngalaotlaaboa which are the standard names of village bars. You can also pad up your position at work.

If you are an office clerk at the village you tell them you are an office manager. If you are a gardener then you can trade by the name landscape therapist (or some complex nomenclature like that). If you deliver pizza on a scooter it is safe to say you are a Pizza Shipper Fleet Manager.

You might well take a chance and just go to town and enjoy your money to the fullest. Entertaining friends, throwing a do for the relatives and generally maintaining a January-be-damned attitude. If you do, just ensure that your payment advice slip is safely tucked away for that inevitable and constitutional January machonisa visit.

Well, this manual as you might have realised, due to your deep analytical sense, is not for tenderpreneurs, corrupreneurs and that type of preneur. This is essentially for the downtrodden masses, the type that order cheeseburger without cheese in January!

(For comments, feedback and insults email 

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