The boys are lined up outside the tote on the roof of our shopping centre. There’s horseracing at Kenilworth and they have a sure thing running and they can’t miss this opportunity to make an investment and win big and be able to treat the family. Maybe to a treat like getting home early?
Every day there’s races. If not at Kenilworth then at Greyville, Scottsville, Turffontein, The Vaal and elsewhere. Also overseas. In fact there’s hardly an hour when some horse isn’t pointlessly beating another horse somewhere in the world, so there’s always a good reason to be on top of the roof in Montclair rather than at home with all the kak you get that side. At home you say something and they tell you don’t talk kak. Here you say something and the boys say ‘Really!? You Swear!? Don’t choon me man, that’s kif!’ then they have their turn to tell a lie.
There’s a bar in the tote but hey man, bar prices are a squeeze man, also they charge you just for a single and what good’s a single I ask you? So there’s constant movement in and out of the tote to the cars parked just outside with their boots open. Small drinks are bought now and then and fortified with dop from the bottle in the boot. Polystyrene cups if you’re avoiding the bar altogether.
Then disaster strikes! The tote closes down! What to do now? Still they meet and still they drink and still they talk. But its not the same and it starts dwindling. Fewer and fewer cars arrive until its only the real stalwarts, the die-hards. The ous who will listen to your stories as long as you listen to theirs.
Maybe also the ous who never really were betting on the horses anyway?
Hats off to Alan Turing and his memory and his legacy. We call ourselves civilised but we commit heinous crimes against those who serve humanity well and decently and beyond the call of duty. We have made some progress on the LGBTQ front but we are still far from achieving the right to call ourselves civilised. We are still often ignorant, fearful, hateful and bigoted. We still too often use our prejudices as weapons to divide people and to punish people for being different. We think we have changed since 1954, but right now we are persecuting Chelsea Manning for being brave and principled and serving her country well. And for being different.
Alan Turing was a genius who helped the Allies win WW2, but he had a boyfriend, so he was hauled into court, publicly shamed and ordered to undergo chemical castration – a pointless process administered in utter fucked-up medical ignorance, driven by ignorant fear.
He committed suicide at age 41.
Genius? Mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist, Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
We stamped out his life sixty five years ago today. Because he was different.
epilogue paraphrased from AKALib on dailykos – thanks!
Stefanus wrote about a new thing. I paraphrased it:
What a bloody stupid idea. The ‘Key Fob’ or ‘Keyless Start’ or ‘Keyless Go’ or ‘Proximity Key’. I have always thought it was a stupid idea but I wasn’t sure why. Tonight I found out why.
Our friend John gets home with his wife after several stops, including our place for a while. Cannot find his ‘fob’; realises the car might have started because his wife had the other fob in her handbag. Panics.
After much driving around and searching in various places, including our place, it ‘turns up’ under his drivers seat where he insists he had searched several times. But ‘it had gone into a crevice.’
Steve expostulates: It’s a lousy idea! You could leave your key fob behind and drive 300 km without knowing you don’t have it, because the car opens and starts with the proximity of the duplicate ‘fob’ in your wife’s handbag. Frikkin stupid, really. Although in hindsight he could have narrowed the search by checking to see if the car would start without his wife’s keys being nearby . . .
going to ask them to implant mine in a crevice so I can never lose
I won’t let them fob me off.
– yes. Ask my older brother.
Ja, but how will you avoid forgetting the rest of your keys – the ones that are attached to the – er – transponder? Having your own practice I am pretty sure you have a bunch of keys like a prison guard anyway.
am lucky enough to have an “Open Sesame” lifestyle. The practice
is always open when I get there at a leisurely hour, and my home is
always open. Overrun with bloody kids who all know the 1299# that
opens the gate from outside. Me and security are strangers.
goodness for Raksha and the keys at work and Cecelia and the no keys
Sadly, I do have to carry the one single key for the 2007 Ford 4X2 3litre diesel double cab bakkie. White. I lost the canopy key so now it doesn’t lock. Help yourself to my toolbox back there. At times I do spend some time looking for the damn thing on the odd occasions when I put it in a clever place instead of the usual on the kitchen counter. For some reason my Ford key says ‘Mazda.’
I should have realised I was speaking to the wrong person. We tend to lock stuff by and large. Someone came and had an overnight scratch around Wendy’s unlocked car a while ago. Front door gets locked at night or if we are not around. We regularly get wide-eyed warnings from the neighbours about dodgy people seen snooping around the street.
Office keys: I am the first to arrive by a half an hour (OCD) so key needed.
am weird that way. Partly slackness, partly – slackness. Been very
lucky and fully aware that could change.
1984 – Marriott road flat – nothing. No incidents.
1989 – 7 River Drive Westville – pre-kids. Zanele said she saw an umfaan in our room and she said ‘Hey! Wenzani?’ and he scuttled off through the burglar bars, which were big enough for him to get through.
Years later Aitch found her Zeiss binocs were missing. ‘Stolen!’ she announced. I thought no, ‘Misplaced.’ She thought ‘Poephol, stolen!’ Two years later we found them in the socks drawer.
post-kids I got hijacked and taken off in a friend’s car. That wasn’t
2003 – 10 Windsor Avenue Westville – Break and enter while we were out and Aitch’s binocs WERE taken. Also her wedding ring. She replaced only the binocs with a shiny newer model – insurance. I still have the new ones.
2005 – 10 Elston Place Westville – nothing.
The reason I have a keypad at the gate where friends just enter the last four digits of their cell number and Open Sesame is I hate closed gates. I once – ca1982 – waited on the pavement in Argyle road outside the palatial home of one of Barks’ friends, ringing the doorbell in vain. Party inside, so they couldn’t hear. Pre-cellphone days. Eventually went home and resolved never to live in a fuckin prison. Still don’t.
‘Please call the police; my friends are fighting and I’m very worried.’
The sound of a young woman’s voice early Saturday morning on my gate intercom. Luckily the intercom was in one of its working phases. They’d had a party, she said. Funny, I hadn’t heard anything. Sometimes the parties are really loud. I dialed 10111, explained, gave my name and address and the man said ‘I’ll send the police there’ which I found re-assuring. He said ‘I’ll send them’ not ‘I’ll tell them.’
Later the same lovely voice very politely checking ‘Did you phone the police? I’m so worried!’ I asked Are You Safe? Do you want to come in? To be behind the gate? ‘No, I think I’m safe,’ she replied, which I didn’t find overly re-assuring.
A short while later the gate again, ‘Thank you so much, they’re here,’ followed by three more Thank You So Much-es.
As far as I can recall, that’s the first time I have ever called the cops!
I must have called them back ca.2004 when we had our only robbery – in 10 Windsor Avenue while we were out. Aitch’s Zeiss 8X32 binoculars and her wedding and engagement rings were gone. Typical Aitch, she replaced the binocs only.
Hereditary traits can be passed on so strongly. And then sometimes not at all. Take my daughter Jessie. In some ways she’s the spitting image of her Dear Dad: She’s kind, she’s funny, she’s thoughtful, she can crack me up with some of her observations on life. I love the way she teases me – gentle and just a few repeated themes which are well-known, thoroughly old and reduce us both to weak laughter. She especially loves the ones that sometimes catch me off-guard and get a rise out of me. ‘Dad, can we get a kitten?’ occasionally elicits my knee-jerk response Never Jess. They Eat My Birds! instead of the correct response Sure My Love, But You have To Get Six Of Them, Otherwise They Get Lonely.
But in other ways I don’t know WHERE she gets things from.
Like tonight she came to me and said ‘Dad, getting drunk is such fun!’ I mean, from where . . . I almost gave her a lecture but I was too busy hosing meself. So much so that she said ‘Dad! What’s so funny!?’
I reminded her about the time – not so long ago – when she asked the out-of-the-blue curveball ‘Dad, Why does tequila make you vomit?’