Trovato’s Swollen Gland

Trovato’s Swollen Gland

A Walk On The Wild Side, and Trovato’s Swollen Gland

 

I fell ill shortly before I went on holiday.

At first, I never realised I was sick. I thought I was merely hungover. The symptoms were the same. Dizzy, weeping sores, swollen groin glands. But nobody stays hung over for three days, not even after a binge registering nine on the open-ended Retchter Scale.

I don’t have a regular doctor. Most of them emigrated after seeing me. Choosing a doctor is not a question of simply opening the phone book, closing your eyes and slamming a steak knife into the page. Using that method, you are more likely to end up knocking on the wrong door. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter. Go inside and get a beer from their fridge. Lie on their couch and start describing your condition.

The gender of the doctor you choose is critical given that there will be a certain amount of lying down and a general loosening of clothing, often from the patient’s side. Would one rather have one’s willy inspected by a man or a lady doctor? Not that there was any need for a willy inspection in this case. However, an inordinate number of medical practitioners seem to think that all illnesses can be traced to the male member. You go in to have your pterygium tensioned up and the next thing you know, the ophthalmologist has his hand down your trousers and is asking you to cough.

I have never been completely at ease with strange men handling my privates, regardless of where they went to school. As it turned out, I chose a lady doctor because she was the only one who could fit me in before 2026.

“Will 3pm be okay?” said the receptionist.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Yes, you can choose between not seeing the doctor or dying.”

“Three will be fine.”

A doctors’ waiting room is my personal Room 101. Obscure Orwellian references aside, I have a powerful loathing for the places. Waiting is what other people do. I lack the temperament and humility to wait. If a queue is longer than two people, I walk away. As a result, I often go without food for days.

There was someone in there already. With a baby. The mother yakked, the doctor murmured, the baby did that terrible thing that babies do. By the time they finished, the baby was old enough to have children of its own.

“What ails thee, squire?” asked the doctor as I limped in. Oh my god. I had been in the waiting room for so long that everything had come full circle and we were back in the Elizabethan era.

“Physician, I fear ’tis a touch of the Bubonic plague,” I said, praying she would end this Shakespearean farce before bringing out the costumes and forcing me to reenact something disturbing from Macbeth.

She told me to hop up onto the bed. Had she not noticed that I was 1.94m tall? Were I to hop, I would smash through the dry wall and land in the corridor. I lowered myself onto the bed like a giraffe at a drinking hole and began undoing my pants.

“No need for that,” she said, her voice heavy with regret. However, she wasn’t going to let me escape without a fondle at the very least. Her hand disappeared up my shorts. Poking around in my groin, she looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s very big.” I blushed and turned away. “Why, thank you, doctor.”

She looked at me as if I were an imbecile. “Your gland is very swollen,” she said.

Then she asked me to do what all doctors ask, whether you are there for a flu jab or to have your face stitched back on. Wee in a cup. I went off and brought it back overflowing. Three drops, apparently, would have been sufficient.

Her litmus paper turned into a rainbow, then settled on the colour of a squashed tick. She shook her head. When doctors shake their heads right after conducting a test, you might as well kill yourself. I scanned her desk for a scalpel. Nothing. Maybe I could gouge my eyes out with the edge of her platinum picture frame. Maybe not. I doubted she could take much more of my vitreous humour. That’s a joke for the doctors. If you don’t get it, go to bloody university and get your MBChB, whatever the hell that is.

“It’s your kidneys,” she said. Oh dear. That meant I’d have to find someone to give me one of theirs. I’ve offended everyone I know. I was going to have to get in touch with someone who works for one of the organ-smuggling syndicates. That meant a visit to the local Chinese takeaway. Get one crispy duck with hoisin sauce and make a few discreet enquiries.

“An infection,” she said. “Nothing too serious.” She agreed that I probably picked it up surfing at one of our filthy ecoli-infested beaches.

“That’s good,” I said. “I bet people like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus get their kidney infections from doing far less wholesome things than surfing.”

She opened the door.

“Are you sure you don’t want to see my …”

“Goodbye,” she said. “You can pay on your way out.”

See you soon.

Ben Trovato

 

Trovato's Swollen Gland

Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.

Trovato on the White South African

Trovato takes on JBay…

Trovato takes on St Francis…

Trovato on drugs washing up in JBay

Trovato and surfer’s ear

A Walk On The Wild Side With Ben Trovato and some White South Africans

A Walk On The Wild Side With Ben Trovato and some White South Africans

Let’s go on another walk on the wild side with Ben Trovato, shall we?

White South Africans, much like white sharks, are one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. They have a reputation for unpredictable behaviour and non-Caucasians are often afraid to venture into their territory for fear of being attacked.

Some, however, are merely inquisitive and will circle warily before racing off in their Volvos. Others, perhaps sensing their way of life is under threat, might go on the offensive. A lot of the time, though, this will be nothing more serious than a mock charge. Stand your ground and they will more often than not back off.

White people, particularly alpha males, are easily enraged. They have been bumped from their slot at the top of the food chain and are struggling to adapt to their new position.

In many instances, they can be calmed down with offers of raw meat and brandy. There is nothing a white South African likes more than a chunk of charred cow and a bottle of cheap liquor. If he has just eaten and is already drunk, he might show no interest in your offer. This is when he is at his most dangerous.

The best way to ward off an attack, verbal or physical, is to threaten him with charges of racism. He will retreat faster than Khulubuse Zuma confronted with a salad.

When the EFF says whites need to come to the party or their land will be confiscated, they are forgetting one thing. White people don’t just rock up at a party. They need an invitation. They also need directions. And even then, they are going to want to know who else will be there. I think if the EFF had to put white people on the guest list and tell them there would be snacks, spare girls, a free shooter at the door and a DJ playing hits from the 80s, they would almost certainly come to the party. Unless it was raining, in which case they wouldn’t.

We already have a fairly good idea of what white people don’t like. In the interests of fostering better race relations, let’s take a look at some of the things they do like.

Queues

White people like nothing more than an orderly queue. There are two rules governing the queue: no eye contact and no talking. Do not be alarmed if you are standing somewhere with your hands in your pockets idly wondering what to do with your day and white people spontaneously begin forming a line behind you. They will be too polite to ask if you are in the queue and will happily stand there for hours waiting for some of whatever it is they think you are waiting for.

Hiking/jogging/cycling

Even though every white person owns at least three cars, a boat and a private plane, they rarely use them for transport, preferring instead to get something they call exercise. If you see a white person running, do not assume he has been hijacked. Your offer of a lift to the police station will be misconstrued and things could end badly.

4x4s

Now that sjambokking the staff is frowned upon, white people have to get their jollies elsewhere. Riding roughshod over the environment has become the new urban aphrodisiac. White people also enjoy taking their 4×4 to the carwash, even though the trophy wife has only ever used it to drop her Aryan offspring at the private school on the corner. Don’t bother asking for a lift. There is never room because the back seat is for the Borzois. You would be missing the point if you mentioned that the dogs aren’t even in the car.

Sea views

White people have such a yearning for sea views you could be forgiven for thinking that if some of them were a bit brighter, they could be related to dolphins. But with burglaries and rates and taxes on the increase, second homes at the coast are becoming, much like the South African passport, a crushing liability.

Classical music

Apart from sausages, Vienna – the home of classical music – has little in common with Africa. White people are drawn to classical music for two reasons. It places them above the middle class – who spend their evenings listening not so much to the sound of Mozart as they do to the sound of gunshots and screaming – and it places them under no pressure to get up and dance.

Horse riding

Although horses are useful only for transporting marijuana out of Lesotho, many white families keep race horses as a means of getting to the nearest airport in a hurry when the ANC Youth League take over the country and nationalise all private vehicles. In white culture, a pony for the youngest daughter is often a traditional gift. If you encounter a lady of the manor astride her mount down a leafy lane in, say, Noordhoek, doff your cap and fall to one knee. As they pass, you may want to whisper: “Neigh, my bru.” Unlike dogs, horses owned by white people have a fine sense of humour.

Wine

Wine was invented by white people for white people. They have much in common – both can be petulant, bitter and easily spoiled. And the cheap, nasty ones always worsen with age. If you find yourself at a wine-tasting on a farm in Franschhoek and a foreigner mistakes you for the sommelier, you might say: “I would recommend the Augusto Pinochet, madam.” Alternatively, you might want to say: “Go fuck yourself, madam.” Your call.

Complaining

We live in a country run by a government that makes it exceptionally difficult for those who don’t wish to complain. Over the past 25-odd years, complaining has developed into a lifestyle. White people love complaining almost as much as they love rugby and Woolworths. If you find yourself pinned down by a complainer, don’t be reckless and say something like, “So what are you doing to change the situation?” Rather smile, nod and back away slowly.

Weather

You might think they would be used to it by now, but white people spend much of their time talking about it. Being born in Africa with European genes plays havoc with their internal barometers. Deeply conflicted, they complain endlessly about the heat, the cold, the wet and the dry.

Pets

Because their families are frequently dysfunctional, white people collect cats and dogs and treat them as if they were the fruit of their own loins. Many white people even train their dogs not to attack strangers, but to rather sit at the table and eat with a spoon. Cats don’t care much for table manners, let alone white people, and they may well be the downfall of this great nation. If a white person’s dog goes for you in the street, tell him the animal has character and he might pay your medical bills.

Schedules

The only reason World War II was a success was because Germany invaded Poland on schedule. One of the reasons an African country has never tried to colonise the world is because most people don’t have watches and it would be impossible to coordinate anything. White people grow restless when things don’t happen on time, such as government programmes to house, educate and employ millions of people who might otherwise start blaming white people.

Minimalism

When Robert Browning wrote the immortal lines, “Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged” in his poem Andrea del Sarto, he wasn’t to know that 150 years later, pseudo-Italian architects with Arabian catamites and coke-encrusted nostrils would use it as a haute monde design philosophy. If you visit a white person’s home and they have very little in it, compliment them on their interesting use of space. If they say they have nothing because they’re poor, you should leave.

Antiques

White people like old things more than they like old people. They spend a fortune putting their parents in old age homes and then spend a bigger fortune putting old stuff in their houses. They think that having a 17th Century Parisian douche bag on a pedestal would be more rewarding than a father who can’t remember his name. If white people visit your home and take an interest in your furniture, tell them the chairs were carved by Taharka, King of Kush. They will probably think this is a drug reference and try to buy weed from you. Add on 25% and give them whatever they want.

Eating out

White people go to restaurants even when they have food in the house. This is because an entire generation of white mothers failed to teach their daughters to cook. The daughters don’t see this as a failure. They see it as a step towards the total emancipation of women. Really, darling? You won’t cook and you want to be free? Fine. See ya. Have a nice life. Hello, Mr Delivery?

—-

See you around

– Ben Trovato

• Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.

Trovato takes on JBay…

Trovato takes on St Francis…

Trovato on drugs washing up in JBay

Trovato and surfer’s ear

Ben Trovato on drugs washing up at the beach, and the police

Ben Trovato on drugs washing up at the beach, and the police

A Walk On The Wildside by Ben Trovato

So nearly 50kg of cocaine washed up at Supertubes the other day? I once dated a woman who weighed roughly the same, and now I can’t help picturing her made entirely of cocaine. She was quite a handful, but nothing on this scale.

Police said the stash was discovered by people “walking their dog” at around 5.30am. Anyone who is up at that time of day is obviously on drugs. I think they probably found it a week ago, took it home, got stuck into it and at some point realised there was just way too much. Suffering from a chronic lack of sleep, spiralling paranoia and perforated septums, they put it back where they found it.

The coke is currently locked away in a police evidence room, which means it will be back on the streets before New Year.

Much In Demand

Apart from cocaine being one of the six habits of highly successful people, it is much in demand at this time of year by young and old alike. With all the family reunions and dinners parties – fraught with potential for disaster – everyone is desperate for some sort of medication.

If you’re new at this, I recommend something from the benzodiazepine family. Xanax, Librium or Ativan will do nicely if all you need to do is get through Christmas lunch without ramming your fork into a sibling’s eye. If you’re afraid of losing control and exposing Uncle Pervy for the kiddie-fiddler that he is, you might need one of the neuroleptics. Thorazine works well, but get your timing right. You don’t want to be slack-jawed and drooling into the turkey with your paper hat over one eye while everyone else is pulling crackers.

Drugs brighten up a miserable day

Drugs are as popular in South Africa as anywhere else in the world. However, nobody here knows for sure why they are illegal. Drugs brighten up a miserable day and give your self-esteem a boost. Is that so terrible? In a free market system, adults should be permitted to sell drugs to other adults. Kids should have to get theirs from somewhere else.

Drug-taking definitely no longer has the stigma it once had. Drugs have become like, I don’t know, badminton. There was a time when you would avoid people who played badminton for the same reason you’d avoid people who used drugs. This is no longer the case.

Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research

These days you can fire up a joint in your garden without having a police dog turn up to chew your face off. A Lesotho start-up has become the first African cannabis-grower to win EU permission to export its product. Scientists from Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research have found that magic mushrooms are way more awesome than we thought. The fact that such a centre even exists tells you that change is afoot

What else have we been wrong about? Is crack actually good for your teeth? Is heroin the new miracle drug for acne?

Here are some examples of drugs and the effects they have on police officers:

Cocaine

Coke makes policemen very jumpy. Symptoms include an inability to sit still and relax. They become restless and fidgety. Often they will tell you to keep quiet and let them do all the talking. They will come up with lots of unrealistic notions and ideas, like sending you to jail for the rest of your life. Nod and smile. That’s all you can do, really, until they have got it out of their system.

MDMA

Induces a sense of hostility in policemen. Their eyes narrow and they tend to speak louder than normal. There is a strong possibility that they will turn violent for no apparent reason. Humour them. Play along. Resist stroking their faces. Never assume that they know what they are doing.

Tik (crystal meth)

Police become very self-assured when exposed to tik. They exude confidence. Their positive demeanour can lead to them slapping one another on the back and, in extreme cases, hugging. The comedown can be dramatic, especially when they spend two weeks testifying, only for the magistrate to throw the case out because the evidence has disappeared.

Acid (lysergic acid diethylamide)

LSD has a dangerously unpredictable effect on the police. Either they are happy with a couple of caps or they will tear your house apart in desperation to get their hands on more of the stuff. Even if you swear there is no more in the house, they will not believe you. These hallucinations are quite normal. Do not make any sudden moves. Their imaginations are already in overdrive and the last thing you want to do is startle them. When they fire irrational questions at you, reply in low, soothing tones. They will soon be back to normal. Well, as normal as any policeman ever can be.

See you soon

Ben

 

 

 

Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – Trouble Brewing In St Francis

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – Trouble Brewing In St Francis

I once rented a house in St Francis for a few months. Not on the canals, obviously. I didn’t want to be mistaken for one of those people. You know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you are one yourself, and you’ve never really thought about it. Well, think about it now, buddy.

I was opposite the police station, which didn’t make me feel any safer, but if I was attacked by someone from the St Francis Paddling Club ripped on cocaine and anabolic steroids so that he or she can keep jogging, canoeing, golfing, surfing and selling property without ever having to sleep, I’d at least be able to drag myself across the road and bribe a cop to help me.

The weird thing was, a rooster woke me one morning. Not, unfortunately, by bringing in a Bloody Mary and gently pecking my nethers until I opened my beer-encrusted eyes. It woke me by doing its cockadoodle routine somewhere nearby. The only chickens I’d seen so far were in the Spar, and they didn’t say much.

The woman next to me sat bolt upright in bed. “Did you hear that?” she whispered. “Yes,” I whispered back. “You know what this means, don’t you?” she whispered. Her eyes were big and full of fear.

I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it right away. If there was a chicken in the area, you could bet there’d be a darkie not far behind it. This village was jammed with God-fearing white folk, almost none of whom were gun-toting fundamentalists on a mission to keep the neighbourhood from falling into the clutches of Islam. Stopping the darkies from moving in, however, was another matter altogether.

Around here, nobody kept a chicken for a pet. Maybe in the ghetto, but that was a three-minute drive and a million light years away. Here, in Caucasian Central, chickens were for braaing, not for the reading of entrails or the making of friends. My parents bought one for me and my sister when we were kids. It would wait for us to come home from school, then rocket out of the azaleas and try to gouge our eyes out with its razor-sharp spurs. I think it was a Filipino fighting cock. Some pet. I can’t remember what happened to it, but I like to think it ended up in the oven where it belonged.

I subsequently discovered that the St Francis rooster was causing consternation throughout the village. I overheard two botoxed biddies in matching cashmere sweaters talking in an arts and crafts shop. I was in there looking for glue. To sniff, okay? I don’t do arts and crafts. Not yet. But when I do, you can be sure that I will use the plasticine, pipe cleaners and magnetic beads to make the most powerful bomb the world has ever seen. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

Anyway. These women were speaking in voices that only the very old or very rich think are hushed.

“I saw it for the first time this morning!”

“What was it like?”

“Not as big as you’d think.”

“Cocks are funny like that.”

Maybe they weren’t even talking about the rooster. It doesn’t matter. I left before the conversation could take a nasty turn.

 

See you all soon.

Ben

 

Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.

 

 

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – The Dog Snitches

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – The Dog Snitches

After a surf at Huletts the other day, I went to Bruces for brunch. I like both locations because whoever named them was disinclined to get the grammar right. Lifes too short to fanny about with apostrophes.

There were more dogs than people, which was fine with me. Some of my favourite people are dogs. Being locals, they were disdainful of my attempts to get to know them better. One deliberately wee’d against my car just because it was a Subaru.

I have often wondered who are the real snitches of the dog underworld. The informants. The impimpis and the impuppies. The dogs that feign loyalty and then turn on you when you least expect it. I am not talking about pit bulls, an unpretentious breed that is unashamedly candid about its predilection for tearing your throat out the moment you bend down to pat it. I am talking about dogs that collaborate with the police. Man’s worst enemy. The dogs, not the police. Although it can pretty much go either way in this country.

Police in the Western Cape are asking people to donate unwanted thoroughbreds to its K9 unit. K9 is code for Canine. Cunning. Not many could have worked that one out. This is probably classified information and I expect that by Wednesday I’ll be doing 15 years in Pollsmoor.

In their advertisement the police were generous enough to warn us which dogs cannot be trusted to keep a secret. Here they are: Border collies, German shepherds, Labradors, Belgian shepherds, bloodhounds and Rottweilers.

Labradors? Unless the criminal is smothered in Peck’s Anchovette Fish Paste, a Labrador won’t even bother getting up. I once owned two Labradors and both were far more interested in sniffing out potential food sources. In fact, considering how many times they raided my kitchen, they are the ones who should have been arrested. And Border collies only work properly if the crooks are behave like sheep.

The police’s criteria include that the dogs should be able to walk on a leash and not be afraid of people. What the hell kind of dog can’t walk on a leash? I suppose one with no legs might have trouble. And anything that isn’t scared of people is a damn fool. These dogs are going to meet gentlemen who will try to stab them in the kidneys and shoot them in the face. If they are not scared after that, they should be sent for psychiatric evaluation.

The dogs will be used in units that include patrol, narcotics, explosives, tracker, protected species, fire detection and search and rescue.

My dog Julius Seizure can do all of that stuff but I am not going to donate him to the police because his epileptic fits are more entertaining to watch than anything on television. The other dog is a girl. Her name changes on a daily basis depending on how much trouble she causes. She would make a fabulous narcotics dog if it weren’t for the fact that she has developed a fondness for certain pharmaceuticals.

I imagine all sniffer dogs develop a habit at some point and I don’t think she should be singled out and condemned for it. She also has a tendency to blow things up and start fires in the most unlikely of places. She can track a mongoose when she’s not high and loves making a show of rescuing people who don’t need it, although anyone who thinks they don’t need rescuing these days is clearly delusional and should be locked up for their own good.

The K9 unit is experiencing a shortage because they insist on accepting thoroughbred dogs only. The SAPS need to lower their standards on the canine front and rather give us a police force that accepts thoroughbred humans only.

See you all soon.

Ben

• Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.

 

A Walk On The Wild Side With Ben Trovato – Surfer’s Ear In St Francis

A Walk On The Wild Side With Ben Trovato – Surfer’s Ear In St Francis

Surfers Ear

Good surf, in this part of the world. It’s one of the reasons I visit so often. Okay, it’s the only reason. I recently surfed at Hulett’s for the first time. Weird break in the middle of the ocean. Grizzled longboarders behaving as if they own the spot. Which they probably do, going by the flashy SUVs in the parking lot.

I like the temperature of the sea. Feels like it’s not trying to murder you.

I like the temperature of the sea. Feels like it’s not trying to murder you. Too many years of Kommetjie’s 10°C water put me in hospital once. I had to have a unilateral osteoma removed. You probably know it by its street name – Surfer’s Ear. I also suffer from Surfer’s Aversion to Work, which is fortunately inoperable.

The doc said the inside of my ear looked like the north face of the Eiger and booked me in for an op right away. I wasn’t comfortable poncing about in a lilac frock with my bum hanging out. The nurse made me put it on. Dressing like that is asking for trouble, especially if you’re a single man in Cape Town. What could possibly go wrong in an operation to rebore my ear that the surgeon might need immediate, unobstructed access to my bottom?

I wasn’t comfortable poncing about in a lilac frock with my bum hanging out.

I was the only patient in a five-bed ward. If this was a state hospital, it would have been 15 to a bed with chickens roosting in the cupboards. With nothing better to do, nurses swarmed in to take my blood pressure, look up my skirt and pry into my personal life. Do I want to give the hospital permission to dispose of the remains? Excuse me? Who was treating me, Dr Kevorkian? Apparently they meant the remains of whatever came out of my ear. In that case, I said, I’ll take it home as a gift for my landlady. She likes that sort of thing.

One nurse stared blankly when I told her why I was there. My surprise at discovering that she had never heard of an exostosis was surpassed only by her shock at discovering that I was currently between religions. I was going to say atheist, but at best I would have had to spell it and at worst she would have pinned me down while the resident sangoma performed an emergency exorcism.

A bubbly blonde burst into the room and introduced herself as the anaesthetist. If I were dressed more appropriately, I might have run for the door. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate bubbly blondes as much as the next man. I’m just not sure I want them pumping me full of the stuff they use to execute murderers in Texas, especially not on a Monday morning when everyone is distracted by the perioperative staff swapping dirty weekend stories.

She asked if I wanted a pre-med to relax. This is where it starts. They slip you a couple of pills to loosen you up and the next thing you know, you’re unconscious and they’re swigging bottles of lightly wooded chardonnay and drawing a silly face on your willy. I took the pre-med. Let the girls have their fun.

“Surfer’s Ear,” I said, tapping the side of my head before jabbing myself in the eye.

Another victim was wheeled into the ward, his worried girlfriend at his side. “Surfer’s Ear,” I said, tapping the side of my head before jabbing myself in the eye. With the pre-med kicking in nicely, it probably sounded more like, “Zervazeer.”

An orderly with the rewarding job of wheeling patients between the wards and the butchery dragged me down a corridor and parked me in a corner next to a fridge. The last thing I remember was trying to see if there was beer in it.

I woke up ravenous, unhinged and savagely cotton-mouthed. I expect it was a huge party, with the anaesthetic being administered through a giant bong followed by hits of nitrous oxide for everyone. I checked my willy but they’d already scrubbed the face off.

A nurse said she’d bring me lunch. Since I was paying R35 000 for the day, I was looking forward to a bottle of Dom Perignon followed by a Javanese rhino carpaccio garnished with white truffles and slivers of coelacanth.

I was given a cheese and tomato sandwich and asked if I wouldn’t mind seeing myself out.

See you all soon

Ben Trovato

• Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.