This morning Fredo had a humbling experience when he travelled to the town of Stilbaai to buy his Sunday papers. These papers, and even the daily papers, are often not worth-while buying – compared to what we were offered some years ago.

They are as one would say “paper thin” and for most of Covid time the English Sunday papers and the weekly English papers were nowhere to be seen.

Fredo is a newspaper man and even when he was still at school in the Northern Cape, he would use his pocket money to buy the Sunday paper. It did not matter that the Sunday paper only arrived in his local town on Monday evening. He had to read the Sunday paper from front to back. For most of his life, Fredo has read three papers a day – regardless of the changes that television brought.

His philosophy is simple – read as much as you can! Only then can you form your own opinions of what is happening in the world around you.

So, this morning’s drive to town was a regular one – to get the Sunday papers to read what Squirrel and others have been up to.

To read about tomorrow’s election (local government elections – 1 November) is important. Here in the Southern Cape, in the absence of public meetings, you must judge the activities – and progress of the various parties by what you see on the posters on the lampposts.!

Judging from that, the DA and Vryheidsfront seemed to have the edge – they are just about everywhere and have been for some time. Squirrel and his party arrived here about two weeks ago – and Squirrel is smiling down on us. From the absence of any other of Squirrel’s comrades on these posters, one must conclude that that party has only one member.

Fredo reaches “gatvol” level

This morning Fredo immediately became “gatvol” when, as he turned on to the bridge over the Goukou River, he saw Julius staring at him. Fredo recently declared the interest of his own party – the Environmentally Friendly Fellows – in local politics. Fredo’s party stands for everything that protects our natural heritage.

Seeing Julius there sent the “gatvol” level soaring. As far as we know nobody in these parts have ever seen Julius or his mates, Floyd and the pretty boy Doctor. It is like the way John Vorster put it in the mid-seventies when he objected to the SABC news saying that the leader of the Opposition, that friendly and respected Sir, had visited him in office – “I have not laid eyes on him today (In Afrikaans that would be – “Ek het die man nog nie met ‘n oog gesien nie.” In those days men like BJ Vorster would only stare viciously at their foes across the floor of Parliament. They would not waste the time of day to speak personally to them.

You will therefore understand that Fredo was “gatvol” when Julius arrived in a single poster on our lampposts. How stupid does he think we are? Here we vote for those who spend a considerable time on our lampposts – and sometimes also visits us. We can teach Julius a few things about our place – and perhaps he can also taste our nice fresh fish. Then he may perhaps be welcome on our lampposts.

The Squirrel, as a senior citizen from Stilbaai calls the leader of the governing party, should also note that it means something for the locals that our municipality is amongst the five top administered municipalities in South Africa. We still remember the mess ten years ago when Squirrel and pals were supposed to look after our interests.

Fredo hopes that our country’s politicians will take a leaf out of the books of our local citizens. His mood changed shortly after seeing Julius on the lamppost!

After buying his papers and a nice milk tart at the local grocer, Fredo moved to the counter where he usually buys his Lotto and Powerball tickets. Fredo reckons that if others can win it, he also stands a chance. Over the years Fredo has contributed regularly to this “charity” which should also benefit good causes if the money does not also disappear into deep pockets.

On Friday he bought two tickets – but forgot them in his trolly when he left. “What if those were winning tickets,” Fredo thought. Not one to dwell much on lost opportunities, Fredo decided to buy a new ticket this morning. To his dismay, the lotto computers were down – like all our personal computers failing this week thanks to the Squirrel and his friends.

“Well, that’s that,” Fredo thought and left for his vehicle.

As he was preparing to drive off, the friendly grocer attendant came running out of the shop. “Sir, sir,” she shouted. “You always buy two lines for four draws, are these your tickets.” she asked. “You left them, in the trolley.”

Such kindness and honesty! The people of Stilbaai are special and great – and those who want to appear on our lampposts must take note. And remember, here the Environmentally Friendly Fellows rule.