Dirk Lotriet
2 minute read
6 Jul 2018
8:15 am

Common sense isn’t very common in this country

Dirk Lotriet

We drive huge 4x4 vehicles on fragile city roads at a time when fuel prices are at record levels. We pollute, we waste, we abuse.

The mesmerising game of soccer has failed to charm my almost two-year-old, but Egg never misses a chance to sit and watch a World Cup game with me.

Mostly to laugh at my antics in front of the box when things get exciting, but I label it as valuable father and daughter time and appreciate it for what it is.

The lovely Snapdragon has even less appreciation for the sport. “You wanted to buy her a tiny Germany shirt,” she said last weekend. “It just shows you what you know about soccer.”

But this past week, she didn’t comment on her husband and daughter’s newfound love for the elegant game. She simply resorted to violent, silent cleaning – always a clear signal that an argument is about to ensue.

But I, the simple creature that I am, ignored the warning signs and rushed in where angels fear to tread.

“Do you have any idea where the broom is,” she asked, looking at the snack crumbs Egg and I have dropped on the floor.

“No,” I answered. “Where do you want to go?”

Dear reader, I often realise in hindsight that I should have used common sense, which is sadly not very common in the Lotriet residence.

In my own defence, it is not all that common in the rest of South Africa either. I see proof of it every day. In pubs, in government, on the sport field, on the road, in church, at work, on television.

Obviously there are bright, thinking people in this sorrowful place. Many of them women, but even a few men.

But the rest of us, we are not only the ones who wagered five crisp R100 notes on Germany to win the World Cup. (That’s exactly what someone in our house did. Snapdragon calls him an idiot.)

We are also the people who tolerated apartheid for many years. We are the ones who elected and re-elected Jacob Zuma as president.

We drive huge 4×4 vehicles on fragile city roads at a time when fuel prices are at record levels. We pollute, we waste, we abuse. Some of us even support the Blue Bulls.

Will the next generation laugh at our antics when they look back at our achievements, like Egg does when she giggles at my football appreciation? I very much doubt it.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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