As a youngster I was besotted with American Westerns, like cowboys and crooks, screened at the local bughouse. Although my heroes were Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger, and Gene Autrey sitting astride his bronco singing Don't fence me in after being seduced by a blonde farming gal, two characters in particular had my pre-pubescence attention; the thought of girls only simmering.
The one was the editor of the local newspaper, inevitably Dry Gulch Gazette, who set the text by hand with loose type and laboriously ran off copies on a manual press. He was depicted as a cynical and cantankerous individual who fearlessly editorialised the bad happenings in town. Never a popular individual, but respected by a motley community.
You must wonder how come I chose a newspaper career with such a character in mind. At one time I played that role, probably hoping to emulate the one in my youthful imaginings.
The other individual who had me glued to the rickety screen was the Bounty Hunter. Tall, with a long smile-less jawline and dressed entirely in a black rig-out including a long coat and high boots. A wide-brimmed Stetson hid his features. He was on the lookout for big rewards offered by banks for missing crooks who had made off with the loot and were hiding in some distant town where they were considered an asset for spreading their wealth and therefore protected against the sheriff's posse. Bounty hunters were more effective as they surreptitiously entered a town and ferreted out the crooks.
They were paid handsomely for bringing back the loot.
Fast forward. South Africa, aka Dry Gulch, because of its junk status, has been robbed by influential and sneaky brothers Gupta who in one foul swoop hijacked the country.
I say, call in the bounty hunters, provide them with false passports (easy through Home Affairs – ask the Guptas), send them with jets from Voortrekkerhoogte (where the covert drill is down to a fine art), to the countries where the elusive brothers are hiding. The bounty hunters, as is their wont, will intimidate and threaten the bank authorities into releasing the monies and telling where the boeties are holed up. No pussyfooting like our Hawks.
Then back to the jet and Voortrekkerhoogte with the trio in tow. Ratel-like transport to Pollsmoor idles alongside the aircraft.
The Guptas won't end up on Boot Hill, but a place far away from the Taj Mahal or Sandown shebeen. By then they'll likely meet up with Number One, their main conduit of old. Imagine the reunion: munching dry bread and downing brak water, Sun City and double weddings just memories.
Another scoop for Dry Gulch Gazette, and if the editor is anything like his Western namesake, he'll drop an advert to accommodate the story.
Oops, now I expect a call from the publisher to choose my weapon and face a duel at dawn. I'll have to do a Roy Rogers and ride into the sunset. Pronto.
* The opinions expressed are those of the writer, and not necessarily those of Group Editors, the publisher.
Posted on: 08:35 Mon, 07 December 2020
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Garden Route District: