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Mzanzania | Debbie

by Tom Eaton, illustration by Alastair Laird / 25.03.2011

The story so far… Debbie, a housewife invisible in a conurbation of identical Tuscan facades, has been medicating on sex with the gardener, Luscious. The afternoon is hot, the Weed-Eater lies next to the skimmed pool; Winnie the black labrador is asleep under the ornamental palm…


Look how big my hips look. I am a monster. I saw Kyle’s history project on the table. I am that fat chick in the statue, the one the cavemen worshipped. Why did I put that mirror there? Although if the cavemen worshipped her…or were they just fattening her up so they could eat her? I must ask Kyle.
Luscious smells good, a bit like a railway track. Like that black stuff they paint on wood, what’s it? Creo-something. It’s black. Flip, why do I keep noticing that things are black? Black like Luscious? Am I racist even if I’m doing the wild monkey dance with – aah! Why did I pick ‘wild monkey dance’, of all the words for sex? What would Madiba say? He’d say, ‘Make love’, because Madiba believes in love, and if he was having sex with Luscious he would be loving, not racist like me. I’m so…fat.
“Jesus, Luscious, don’t call me madam when we’re doing this, OK? It’s such a turn-off. Call me Debbie or ‘my dirty dirty kitty’!”
“My dirty dirty kitty, I must catch my taxi at half six.”
Creosote! Sote! Is that S-O-T-E or S-O-A-T? I’ll ask Garry when he gets home. Garry, I’ll say, I was riding Luscious today in our bedroom and he smelled like Creosote and I was just wondering how you spell it. That’ll get his attention.
I want to call Luscious something filthy. A…a…I wish I knew filthy words. Animal! I could call him a filthy animal! Luscious, you sex-hog! You lust-monk – again with with monkey, Jesus, Debs, what is wrong with you, girl? Madiba, think of Madiba. Rainbow nation. Hmm, creosote.
“Yes… the dirty cat?”
“Dirty kitten.”
“If I said you were a filthy animal, because it makes me horny, would that be hate speech against your people?”
He’s not responding. He’s hot when he’s all impassive. Like a granite sculpture. Black shiny granite.
“I could call you a vibrant and unique empowered African, but that’s not so hot.” Ugh, ‘vibrant’ sounds like ‘vibrate’ and that’s so Desperate Housewives and I’m not a desperate housewife because Garry can go to hell, I’m making love to the gardener who is a –
“You pitch black stallion, you! Oh Luscious!”
“Do you want me to talk like that to you?”
He’s so considerate!
“Must I call you, eh, ‘white bitch’?”
Jesus, he’s fucking Idi Amin. You think you know someone.
“No, Luscious, I don’t want that, because that’s hate speech and it’s insensitive to me as a woman.”
I wonder if this is how the coloured people got made. I think Marc Lottering said that in his show at Monte Cassino. He was so funny, with the hair and that.
“Luscious, I must take you to see Marc Lottering one day. He’s so funny. I’ll pay because it’s very expensive.”
“Luscious, I don’t like that tone, OK? I do pay you more than minimum wage.”
“And that’s another thing: you people always say ‘OK’ like it’s not OK, like you’re being sarcastic.”
You people. I’m such a racist. I’m sorry, Luscious. I would apologize but it doesn’t feel quite right now.
“I must catch my taxi at half six.”
“Just a bit longer, Luscious. Almost there.”
Almost there.


*Tune in next week for Mzanzania episode 3 and meet Father Gary and Imam Yusuf, at an interdenominational retreat in the Drakensberg, seeking dialogue and reconciliation – except neither of them like Jews.

**Read Mzanzania part 1 here.

***Illustrations © Alastair Laird.

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