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Premature Detonation

Premature Detonation

by Max Sleaze, images by Jurie Senekal / 23.08.2010

I suppose there is no better way to get over that World Cup “come down” than “blowing some shit up”, as my editor so eloquently put it. And by the look of De Waal drive backed up and the crowds that came out on this typically grey, miserable morning, a large part of Cape Town agrees. Maybe a scheduled demolition once a month, at least until summer, will protect the city from the winter blues and keep the newspaper column inches away from those pesky service delivery protests.

Arriving early to position ourselves in the be-camerad throng it was quite social as we discussed the right angles, commented on the double parking and made the obligatory comment about Cape Town driving and the cost per vehicle to asshole parking ratio.

Then five minutes before scheduled time, just after noticing the similarity of the Athlone Towers to the Springfield Nuclear power station of Simpson’s fame, they fell. Not as we were promised, one after a controlled build up and then another a minute later, so that the anticipation would be rewarded with a suitable “double climax”, evenly spaced out. No they just fell, when most of us were adjusting our focus, calling our mates or generally just not looking, they well, just fell.

Was that it? Was the general consensus. All that press build up, all that hyped up foreplay and that is it! Well that was disappointing, almost embarrassing, in a, “is that the time, I really have to get home” kind of way. And home we all did, heading for our cars faster than you could say coitus interruptus.

Though the sudden mass departure meant a traffic backlog that Big Concerts would have been proud of. Pilling on the agony, we had to endure the wait, like a hapless suitor battling to find his pants to get the hell out of there; we sat awkward, self-conscious for the sad send off and maybe more than a little sheepish that we were all stupid enough to forego a long lie-in on a cold winter Sunday. All titillation with not tit, with very little bang and not even any buck for that matter.

And we were left to wonder why in a town where being late is a religion, “now” means later and “now now” is maybe, we have this one time come early to the party? Strange though that for over 100 years the noon gun goes off precisely at well, noon, six days a week without fail we can manage to get the time right, but come the much hyped televised spectacle and its oops.

Perhaps the Simpsons allusion was not amiss and letting our own Mayor Dan “why can’t they share toilets?” Plato stroke his own ego by doing the honours, was where it all went wrong,”
“Oh you said don’t press that button”. D’oh!
Next time unless they taking down Koeberg I am staying at home!

* Images © Jurie Senekal.

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  1. Sindy-Lou says:

    Love that Big Concerts traffic quip! From the rumours, I hear it was six mins premature and the sentimentalists wept when they missed it. Shame.

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  2. pastrami says:

    Ironic that you criticise the detonators for their apparent lack of accuracy while you’re struggling with basic differences between “off” and “of” in the English language.

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  3. G says:

    Nice piece. And I’m suitably pissed off as well. Two things though; Plato pressed a dummy switch – the “button” was pressed by the head of demolition on site. And a proofread would serve you well – riddled with errors.

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  4. Andy says:

    yes yes typos were my fault. should mostly be fixed now.

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  5. G says:

    I think you’ll find a couple remain, Andy. Anyway, I’m not gonna harp on about typos – the bigger fuckup is what matters – can’t believe how they managed to get it so wrong. Was cool nonetheless, well, the 2 seconds of it I managed to catch. Although, in all fairness, I had been distracted by a dog that’d just peed on a lady sitting on the banks at UCT.

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  6. Roger Young says:

    Poor demolition dude. Being from CT he probably had set his clock early to make up for his inevitable procrastinations. He probably thought he was late.

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  7. sleaze says:

    Sorry for the typos, was suffering from Post Demolition Stress Disorder, and my proof was on strike in sympathy for the public sector

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  8. joburg tom says:

    haha nice pun. “plato stroke his own ego” hehe. or is that freud…

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  9. Tomas says:


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  10. Grumpy Pants says:

    Jeez you guys pack a load of shit when you cover an event. Maybe it can be used for compost? Anyway great pics and I love you anyway.

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  11. Joe Public says:

    a big thank you to the guy at Middle Campus who did a good job sorting out the gridlocked traffic and getting it flowing in the absence of any UCT security or traffic cops.

    But why did the Volvo have to try run him over?

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