Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

An open letter to the dooses of South Africa

Dear Dooses

You know who you are. This guy is a doos. So is this one, and this one, and these cops, these nurses, this teacher, this radio DJ, this spokesman and this pastor. At least two of our neighbouring countries are run by dooses of awe-inspiring dimensions. Noseweek should be retitled “Doos Monthly”.

There are, in short, a hell of a lot of dooses out there. So don’t feel picked on. I’m sure there’s a support group you can join.

Doos is a lovely word, don’t you think? So proudly South African. We should celebrate it more. Traditionally it has been used for white men, but I think it has much wider application. After all, dooses come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and all colours, of all incomes and all social classes. In that sense doosdom is both democratic and ecumenical, embracing all who hold true to its basic tenets.

If you’re still not sure you’re a doos, it’s a relatively simple matter to tell. I’ve bullet-pointed the signs for ease of reference:
• You abuse whatever power you have.
• You enjoy humiliating and belittling others.
• You’re bigoted, lifting your leg on standards of common decency at every opportunity.
• You’re profoundly self-centred.

Sound familiar? We all have dooses in our lives. And, sadly, most of us look the other way and put up with you lot, either because we agree with you (which makes us dooses too) or we’re too polite or too cowardly to say anything.

Here is my plea to you, the dooses. Bugger off. Please. If you don’t know how to behave, if you can’t treat others with a modicum of respect and decency, then take yourself and your personality disorders and go somewhere else. Siberia would make a good start (lots of space), as would Iran, Afghanistan or Syria. Equitorial Guinea is a fun spot, I hear (Simon Mann, a doos par excellence, would know). Australia has been suggested, but it’s home to enough dooses already, and should I ride the ferry to Mosman again, I’d prefer not to encounter any more of you. Actually, I’m leaning towards Canada, specifically the tar sands of Alberta. In the wake of their recent conservatism and their middle finger to environmental issues, I think they deserve you. Pack lots of warm clothing, and don’t let the door slam behind you on the way out.

In conclusion, this is also an open letter to all of us who aren’t dooses. After all, dooses thrive in our midst because we allow them to. It’s about time we excluded them from the circle of trust around the braai. Enough already.

Yours in anticipation of being rid of you once and for all,

etc etc

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