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October 20, 2005

Pranking, Confrontation and Driving

Last night I took part in a prank on a famous personality for Laugh Out Loud. It was a lot of fun and great for meeting people in an industry that I have little or nothing to do with normally. The prank went well and in the end everyone was all smiles and happiness. I, on the other hand, was not so happy inside. One thing you should realise about me is that I hate confrontation. In all ways, shapes and forms.

One would then ask the question, “So why do you do stand up comedy?” The way I do my stand up doesn’t involve being a confrontational person. I just stand up there and wax lyrical about things I’ve seen and the thoughts I’ve had. The only time a situation is likely to occur is when some Mongoloid takes offence to the truth I just unloaded on him or her. Real life is way different. I have no control over the situation. When I’m on stage, I’m on an elevated platform, all attention is on me and I have a microphone. Not so when you’re in a tense social situation. For example, if I see a fight break out and I know the people involved, or if they’re my friends, I get physically ill. I don’t like the sight of blood, especially my own. So needless to say, pulling this prank put me right in the firing line, the celebrity we pranked later admitting to me that had the “press cameras” not been there, he would’ve slugged me. Fun! Unfortunately, I can’t disclose any other details of the prank as yet because the show hasn’t aired yet. I’ll keep you posted on when it’ll be shown and hopefully, when you see it you can all go, ”Ooh, aah, that’s nice!”

Now, moving on. The Minister of Transport has decreed that today, the 20th of October 2005 is National Car Free Day where all citizens are asked to leave their cars at home and encouraged to use all forms of public transport available for one day. A nice idea I think, considering they’re using this as an early stage test for our readiness when the Soccer World Cup comes here in 2010. But I’m not so sure about the execution of it. Firstly, something you have to realise about Johannesburg if you don’t live or work here is that it’s a long way to anywhere. Statistics I’ve read state that on average, every Johannesburg commuter will spend at least 72 minutes in traffic each day. (Source: some in-flight magazine I read on a flight to Durban about a year and a half ago.) Its here I agree with the car manufacturers. If you spend that long on the road, you want to be comfortable. A taxi isn’t comfortable. Period. I’ve used one of these fine, high-speed steel coffins and I can say that its not the most pleasant experience. Regardless of what the Proudly South African Yes-men will tell you, taxis are unpleasant regardless of where in the world you go.

One thing I’m rather keen to see is the populace of the affluent Northern Suburbs abandoning their Volvos in favour of the Metro Rail.
“Will you be taking the Bentley today sir?”
“Not today Jeeves, I’ll take the graffiti riddled Metro Train instead, I’m feeling lucky.”
“Excellent choice, milord.”
Somehow… I just don’t see it happening. Face facts. The C.E.O. of a major company doesn’t arrive at work in the same taxi his staff arrives in or at all. Period.

Another problem I have with this idea is rather simple. Everyone will be leaving their cars at home for the day… the perfect temptation for any long fingered mullet wishing to liberate my car for his own personal use. Face it folks. That many people leaving their cars at home in one day? In the car theft world, that’s referred to as jubilee celebration time. I also wonder about all those Mercedes Benz driving members of parliament leaving their luxury sedans behind for the day. I’d love to see it happen. So far, the Minister of Transport is the only one leading by example. Why am I not surprised? I guess all I actually want to see is President Thabo Mbeki trading in his jet for a taxi for a day. I think, to his surprise he’ll soon discover that taxis too are capable of low-level flight.

Anyway, that’s about it from me for now. Sorry about the ridiculously long delay between articles but writers block can be a royal pain. Be well y’all. See you at a comedy gig soon I hope. Peace.

Posted by vittorio at October 20, 2005 12:42 PM

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