I always approach New Year’s Eve with the same question, the question that haunts me at about this time of year. Like a moth to the flame I feel its desire (with apologies to Janet Jackson), its desire to be answered. Will 2009 be the year that alien life forms reveal themselves? Snigger if you will, but admit it, this question has haunted you too. And to whom will they show themselves, and what questions will they ask? Alien life forms have far too much sense to go the usual suspects — the Americans, Zuma, the Pope, the new Miss South Africa, national rugby coaches, Michael Jackson, the ANC NEC or the Shaik Brothers. Instead they will go to a real source of non-sensational information — that intrepid eTV journalist known as Perky Reporter.
It’s New Year’s Day on a Strandfontein beach near Cape Town. You know the scene, little gray bodies in various states of undress wading in the water. Little children, lost by the time we watch the 7pm news later that day, will stop their games, having felt the vibration in the water. The Perky Reporter will look into the middle distance and out of the heat, playing on the warm, shark-infested waters will come an alien life form. And her name will be Reddus Cabbagus, known to her friends as Charmaine Vester. Not having a vehicle at her disposal, with no arrangements having been made for her arrival, Charmaine will have to skollie a lift with Perky Reporter. The reporter will attempt wit and declare that the situation reminds her of the time Simphiwe Nyanda had to skollie a lift to the city after he canvassed for the ANC in Phillipi, and no arrangements were made for his return journey. Charmaine will declare Perky Reporter a wit, and demand that she answer the following questions.
1. Will Edith Venter forsake her life of society engagements and become a political analyst after having pronounced Helen Zille a transparent politician?
2. Will Helen Zille’s lips begin to resemble Angelina Jolie’s now that she has admitted to Botox treatments, and what that does this mean for Brad Pitt and South African politics?
3. Will Maria Ramos double barrel her surname?
4. Is OBE an Order of the British Empire or a failed state, and is the 97,01% IEB matric pass rate for real.
5. What kind of bald man can wear a yellow suit and still appear credible?
Perky Reporter will stop the car, and appear deep in thought. Is this an answer-to-the-universe question, she will muse. Mmmm. The course of human history may well depend on her. She asks for more clues. Charmaine will roll her fourth eye, apply pressure to her left nostril and the answer will appear — literally — in smoke. A man who can Cope can surely wear a yellow suit. Aaah, smiles Perky Reporter, Shilowa.
Charmaine will then make some astute observations and earth-shattering declarations. Perky Reporter will take furious notes and attempt to put together an editorial for the next eye witness news complete with CNN voice inflections, and controlled breathing in place, with enough head flicks to dislocate a vertebrae. Charmaine observes…
4. The ANC is in the habit of rewarding incompetence, and in this vein, Western Cape ANC provincial secretary Skwatsha will receive a diplomatic posting to … Charmaine will falter, but recovers … well enough to say… Libya.
5. Carl Niehaus will find the stench up his nose and relax his facial muscles enough to smell the heady perfume of rational thinking.
6. Allan Boesak will admit that leaving the church (for a second time) has less to do with homophobia and more to do with political ambition and finding a larger crowd to play to.
7. The Freedom Front Plus will receive an award for the most original political insult for 2008 – “Just as ‘Coke Light’ is still Coke, Mr [Terror] Lekota’s party is still the ANC,”.
8. Thabo Mbeki will arise from the ashes of Polokwane and … Charmaine will choke, splutter, clutching her throat … and Perky Reporter will give her a good thump on the back. Charmaine will recover enough to explain…no life form in the universe knows what TM’s next move is. “Really?” says the wide-eyed Perky Reporter. No, says Charmaine. We just know he is in talks with some people, who know some people, who are experts at exacting revenge.