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10 of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes

12 Mar Terry Pratchett 2

Terry PratchettI write this post through misty eyes.

One of my heroes has passed away, but through his books, Terry Pratchett will live on. In my sense of humour, in my literary frame of reference and in the way that I view the world, he will always be there.

Thank you Mr Pratchett, for giving me a reason to read.

To celebrate his life, I figured I would share some of my favourite Pratchett quotes. There are many, many more. For now however, in no particular order, here’s 10 of them:

  • “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”  [The Last Continent]
  • “Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.”
  • “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” [Reaper Man]
  • “I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.”
  • “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” [Hogfather]
  • “Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.” [Eric]
  • “The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.” [Monstrous Regiment]
  • “Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.”
  • “There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.”
  • “Just because you can explain it doesn’t mean it’s not still a miracle.” [Small Gods]

This is the part where I have to say something like “What is your favourite Pratchett quote?” or such to get you to comment. Honestly though, at this moment I am too damn sad to even care whether or not you even read this.
Rather read one of Terry Pratchett’s books, it’s better than my drivel.

My letter to Telkom

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Dear Telkom
This is just a quick note to say how much I abhor you.
I realise that, due to your seemingly infinite stupidity you might not understand the word abhor. Well, let me help you out with that…
Abhor: to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate.

Basically what it boils down to, is that I think you are almost like cancer, except for (I am glad to say) there IS hope for cancer sufferers.

“Why” would be a question you would very well have asked by now, had you not been a blithering idiot. I would then proceed to tell you exactly why.
I went in to a Telkom shop to relocate my line. See, I figured that actually going to you might make things a bit smoother. Eliminate one link in the chain of possible fuck ups.
What do you do? Make me call the Telkom help-line (help line, hahaha) from in-store.
Why the fuck do you even have staff in store, or for that matter, stores at all??

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Much to my surprise, I will gallantly admit, the call made was not complete torture. Without out too much brain damage I managed to convey to your seemingly semi-coherent phone-talker that I would like to relocate.
Procedures were followed, details were detailed and arrangements were made. Even some queries with regards to costing options and such relevant to the service I require (which, btw, is internet) happened.
After the call, I was happy. One less thing on my already swamped mind (if you have ever moved, you’ll know what I am talking about). On Tuesday (which is now today) Telkom will send me a tech dude to connect my line and make me internetactive again.
I even got an sms with a larney reference number and everything.

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Now Telkom, the slightly sharper pencils in the packet would have gotten where I am going to with this rant by now. Don’t worry, I’ll spell it our for you (just as soon as you wipe the drool off your chin.. There you go):
YOU FUCKED UP… AGAIN!

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Not only did today go by without any sign of your promised visitor, but when I called to enquire as to his whereabouts, I was told so many different stories that it could be published by Tolkien (don’t worry, I know you won’t get that reference).
First, there was no record of my relocation request. Then suddenly there was a record of my call, but nobody knew why.
Then, all of a sudden your one system said that yes, my line is to be relocated. But, and your helpline oxygen waster was very adamant about this, relocation is impossible BECAUSE THERE IS NO ADSL COVERAGE IN MY NEW AREA??! And all I have to do is understand that the other system did not agree with it and it must have been broken and… Blah blah blah.

Look, you need to understand one thing (and I realise it is difficult, but do try): I do not give a singly flying fuck about your internal workings (using the term working very loosely).
For all that I care you could have 17 tiny fairies running on treadmills while being milked for magical internet juice. I don’t give a fuck.
How you work is your problem. When your highly incompetent helpline operator started to try and explain why I am not getting the service I am paying you pathetic bunch of morons for, I just gave up.

And see, thus is the nature of your company. You make people give up. You, dear Telkom, are dream destroyers. You are nasty bullies on the play-ground of life.
You are the embodiment of everything that is wrong with this wonderful country of ours, and I passionately despise you with every part of my being.

I could go ahead and explain to you how and why and how much of an inconvenience this is. I could even ask you to refund me the money I now have to pay in order for me to get replacement internet. But you won’t give a shit. You never do.
I simply wrote this to vent my frustration.

May your empire burn to the ground amidst no tears whatsoever from me, or the countless others you have screwed over.

Sincerely, FUCK YOU

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How one kid saved the day… and South Africa’s future!

25 Nov Going Ape

I was fuming.

To understand what I am about to tell you, allow me to set the scene:

Kentucky_Fried_Chicken-pictreHungry. That was my primary emotion when I drove to KFC to buy myself and Martha (my household manager (you might call her a domestic worker (screw you, she manages my household and I am going to miss her dearly when I move))) some lunch.

Now, hungry -as far as emotions go- is a very basic, raw and primal urge. It leaves a lot of space for the modern man to experience other feelings and such too. It is important to note, that all these emotions that may be added on top of hungry, are still influenced by hungry, and are therefore going to have a much more pre-homo erectus feel to it. Basically, don’t expect any political correctness, undue niceness or unwarranted patience when cave man me go food find.

neanderthalCave-me bashed through the cement jungle on tar-laid paths to enter the common feeding ground where the chickens are harvested (or whatever it is that they do to turn our feathered friends into deliciousness). When suddenly, a wild asshole appears! Then another, and another.
By the time I turned my tamed bakkie into the drive-thru, I was swamped by creatures of slightly varying age, roughly between squeaky-voice and first beard all the way up to “If I studied harder I wouldn’t be sharing a classroom with my kids”.

The marauding pack of wild teenagers were loud, obnoxious, dirty and callous.  The noise I could handle, cave-me was a kid too (and kinda still is). It was the utter disregard for anything but themselves and the devices of varying technology held in their hands that got me. Empty packets were discarded along with (in my mind) empty futures on the ground. Then it happened. The proverbial excrement was flung accurately in the general direction of the hypothetical cooling apparatus, and struck mid spin.

Two of these careless wild beasts stomped around, shouting at each other (seeing as both had headphones stuffed too far up their ear canals, probably damaging whatever bit of grey matter they have so far developed), and promptly stomped a bit more, right in front of my now visibly frightened bakkie. She (my bakkie, not one of the mammals) let out a warning, a scream, a hoot if you will. The intention was to draw the attention of the strays, so as to avoid killing them.

Their reaction was not what one would expect from a subspecies whose life had just been saved by the kindness of an evolved being. No sudden jumps to get out of the way, no sheepish grins (which up until about 10 years ago was the universal indicator of admitting that you, the lesser being, screwed up). Nothing.
Nothing, except a dirty glance from the one beast, and then… gaze still fixed on its communication device, it did it. An arm lifted, hand visibly straining to be torn away from the piece of technology. From the balled fist, palm-area facing upward, extended a long, ugly middle finger.

go-back-guys-its-a-trapCave-me went wild. Cave-me jumped out and cracked skulls. Cave-me rampaged around, obliterating whatever specimens of these barely post-primordial-ooze individuals cave-me could find.
Luckily, cave-me was still held tight by Bakkie. Strapped in until modern-me got the overhand and started making decisions.

The rest of my hunt went well, and as I left behind me the herd of untamed future-destroyers, I could not help but wonder why we even bother.

Why do we bother to “leave a better South Africa”?
Why do we bother to educate, train and inspire?
Why do we bother to even think positively about our country, and indeed the world’s future?

Pushing a WheelchairThen I turned left, and saw a young man, of the same age and school as the previous miscreants, voluntarily running across the street to aid an older gentleman in a wheelchair. He helped the man to safely cross the street, and as I turned the next corner, my rear-view mirror showed the gratitude on the man’s face as the kid pushed him along the side-walk.

That is why we bother, and that why we must never stop.

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Note: I am moving house on the 1st of December. Martha’s travel arrangements unfortunately make that she can’t manage my new living space. If you, or anyone you know, need a trustworthy assistant in the house, and you live in/around the general Moot area in Pretoria, South Africa, please get in touch.

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