I was an Umkomaas Canoe Marathon Official once. Kakhuis Field Marshall for the start of one Umko. Appointed by the uber-command of KCC, it was my job to reduce the toilet-paper-in-the-bush syndrome around the start near the Hella Hella bridge. (I had relayed farmer Barry Porter’s unhappiness at the phenomenon to the heavies, they were of course aware of the issue, so they roped me in to help solve it!).
Lines of green mobile flush toilets were stationed at the start, and for kilometres before the bridge (starting up at the bend that drops you down into the valley proper) I lined the road with large neat signs exhorting paddlers to “Go Now”, “Use the toilets as soon as you get to the start”, “Avoid the rush”, “Don’t do it in the bush” and other thoughtful and helpful suggestions.
Mindful of Umko Master Charlie Mason’s wise and thoughtful maxim, “There’s no better laxative than a full Umkomaas” my signs got more urgent the nearer you got to the bridge.
But I was handicapped.
Firstly, my request for a suitable uniform and hat befitting my high station had been turned down.
Secondly, my request to have full access to the public address system was denied. Would they hand me the microphone? No.
I was going to say:
“Attention please, Aandag asseblief! Especially you Vaalies and Dabulamanzi ous: KAK NOU!!”