Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

SABC bored, what about Honey Boo Boo?

South Africans, faced with rampant inflation and severe austerity measures, are once again bemoaning their fate, threatening emigration and promising politicians that there will be bedlam at the next elections instead of concentrating on producing those things that make this country great.


Take a step back and answer this question: When the Americans ran out of talent to whom did they turn to rake in billions of dollars?


Of course, it’s those reality shows where people like the Kardashians, who have less talent than the North Borneo hunting gnat, are able to fill out a bikini and then some or a bachelor who the producers would have us believe is sincere in his efforts to find his soul mate on national television, strut their stuff for the cameras. Mind you the dialogue in The Bachelor is breath-taking:

“Come here often.”

“Only in the mating season.”

What has this got to do with alleviating our suffering during these trying times?

Simple, we have to put on our own reality shows that will appeal to a worldwide audience.

If regard is had to the latest US smash hit — Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — then surely …

This is about a blonde, curly-haired obnoxious seven-year-old from the deep south, rural McIntyre, Georgia, whose family have to be seen to be believed. It’s like something out of Deliverance without the duelling banjos and what’s killing me is that we’ve got this kind of talent all over the country — places like “Pitsonderpitmaarwaterasdiemunsipaliteitditnieafsnynie”, population 12 465, surnames two — and yet we allow the Yanks to beat us to it!

This will never do.

What we need is to produce a reality show that strikes a chord with overseas audiences that have had the opportunity of either visiting our beautiful country or have watched us on their news.

In other words we need CANDID HOTEL CAMERA

Every week we feature a couple, preferably from Britain on account of their media trashing South Africa at every opportunity, who are staying at one of the luxury hotels. In their room the television does not tune in to the real news but “the news”, weather (this will be from the South African Weather Bureau, guests will marvel how each day the weather is the exact opposite of what they forecast … but I digress) and advertising produced by our crew and containing everything the couple would expect to find while they are down here.

We then have strategically placed cameras and mikes, borrowed from Big Brother, focusing on the pair because it is their reaction that is the highlight of our show. Producers will have to somehow find an ambulance — try calling one if you think it’s so easy — and a crowbar to prise their fingers from the headboard when it’s time for them to check out.


The trick is then to put on the news but ignore the sensational items that it’s covering:

“Good evening, we start in Daveyton where municipal officials have confirmed that henceforth pedestrians will be required to cross only at robots and then only when the little green man is displayed … (totally ignoring the police dragging an unfortunate taxi driver in the background) … police have confirmed that they will be particularly severe on tourists … ”

“Holy sh*t love did yer see that … ”

“ … this has been a bone of contention for a while now as the recent meeting between pedestrians and police at Marikana (showing in the background) clearly demonstrated … ”

“FFS … is that reception? Evening love could you book us on a flight to Mogadishu … sorry? … it’s not safe here … don’t you watch your news?”


“Hi Linda, have you seen the new Trellidor for bathrooms … ”
“No, when did it come out?”
“Last month — watch this (firing three 9mm rounds into the bathroom door) … ”
“Gee Gloria that is stunning … can you get it in different colours?”
“Of course … but the manufacturers say that at 3am in pitch darkness, colour is not really a concern … ”


“The Pretoria Zoo today confirmed the disappearance of a highly venomous black mamba. The snake was last seen disappearing into the foyer of (name hotel where the wenners are staying) at around 2pm this afternoon. Tourists are warned that any attempt to corner the snake may well prove fatal and that the best course of action is to run … sprint is better …to the hotel’s reception and demand that they allow you to take refuge in the safe with everyone else. Management has confirmed that while breathing in the vault may prove difficult anything has to be better than being bitten by that snake (video of Ebola victim in last throes in the background). The snake, known to reach speeds of 75m/h when irritated, was believed to have been pregnant and guests are urged to avoid the lifts. Snake curator Rusty Potgieter has urged guests to keep the lights on at all costs. He says the black mamba hunts at night and becomes highly aggressive in the dark.

“Alice we won’t be able to make that fecking flight … we’re doomed.”

“In other news regional power utility Eskom has confirmed that the country’s failure to meet their trillion rand budget could well result in power blacko … ”


Cut … package and export.

They’ll love it.

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    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      When the Americans ran out of credit they took the dollar off the gold standard, and it was no longer backed by the gold in Fort Knox, which was only a few decades ago. For thousands of years gold, silver and bronze was the standard for money. Americans have been living off ever increasing credit and National Debt for decades. As a liquidator I tracked it with fascination, expecting the bubble to burst some time, but not the rest of the world to be dumb enough to buy America debt (sub prime loans).

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      The present difference between America and China is that in the USA the state is bankrupt and heavily in debt and a small percentage of the population is mega-rich with most of the majority being middle class or poor; in China the state is wealthy and the majority of people are poor.

      In BOTH systems the politically connected are among the rich, including it appears in Cyprus where the SAVERS have had substantial deposited savings expropriated, while the BORROWERS who are politically connected have had millions in debt from banks written off.

    • bernpm

      @ lyndall: Some 20 odd years ago, the US owned the world, today the world owns the US.
      For more , google (and read) “positive money”.

      Other than that, the above show can be continued with a similar British couple on a stay in our Presidents amusement center in KZN

    • Ann

      We have a constant comedy show, just keep on watching state employees and rulers, Every thing they do is laughable. Have not seen any serious work being done yet. Guess that on the proverb “laughter is the best medicine” they keep the population happy and laughing.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      @ bernpm

      In the former Socialist State of SA we NEVER rescued the directors or shareholders of banks in trouble, like the ruling cliques in the West have done. A Curator (Liquidator) would be appointed by the courts and would fire directors and “sell” for a nominal amount the bank in trouble to another bank who could absorb the borrowers/mortgages and deposits/savers, and who got full control of all shares for their taking the risk of the bail out. This happened to Trust Bank, and Saambou and a few others.

      It seems to be a case of ruling cliques in both politics and business scratching each other’s backs in the “Capitalist West” which has become more of the “Wild West”.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      @ bernpm

      The Fundamentalist Communist East equally runs their counties for the benefit of “in house” business political groups. here is a quote from “Passionate Minds” by David Bodanis:

      “…the reason the King’s edicts were to be followed was because the Church decreed they were to be followed…Undercut the Church…and the whole chain might come undone.

      A similar concern is perhaps at the root of fundamentalist literalism in America, especially as it spread in the early twentieth century. In fast industrialising America, as well as in ancien regime France, turning back to the sources which once upheld old relations…seemed to be the sole way of keeping everything from dissolving. For a fresh take on the psychological assumptions behind this, see Arthur L Sinchcombe “When Formality Works: Authority and Abstraction in Law and Order”, A more recent example is the Chinese governments’s great efforts to block investigation of Mao’s career. If the foundations of China’s Communist Party were undercut, millions of careers would have to change.

      In the book “Wild Swans” the author also says the new rulers of China are still the old rulers, and names them.

      The same thing is being said about Putin’s Russia.

      In other words in house groups of politically connected everywhere looking after their own interests, not “the people”.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      The truth is is does not matter if the Directors do or don’t earn a fortune – what matters is who the shareholders/owners are and their bottom line, which could be profits, or state control etc etc. This applies whether the shareholders are state owned or private.

      In the beginning of Capitalism shareholders were known people or families with known codes of ethics – not any longer in most companies. Without laws protecting shareholders the idiots who run the Pension Fund Investments get taken for a ride and their pensioner investors with them.

      YOUR pension fund, if you are a Civil Servant, has been invested in E-Toll Roads Did you get asked your permission?

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      For example, in 1994 the ANC trusted Anglo American and De Beers because they trusted the Oppenheimers, the great “Liberals” who financed the Progressive Party and the Liberal English Press.

      But does it look to you like they trust Anglo American now that the Oppenheimers have sold out of control of Anglo American and the English Press?

    • Momma Cyndi

      That would beat the fat brat and her nutcase family every time – have you punted the show to Fox Network yet?