THE TEXT

The Life of Henry Fuckit
(1950 - 2015)

 

29   A member of the upper class

Henry never ceased to be surprised at Mike de Jongh. He was bourgeois in almost every respect and he entertained the most boring aspirations. And yet he chose to live on in a house that was an anarchic hotbed of dangerous ideas, irreverence for convention and authority, immoral sexual practices, noisy revelry and, worst of all, unhygienic disorder. The son of a well-to-do General Practitioner from Upper Newlands he had attended, without a murmur, the Diocesan College (colloquially known as 'Bishops'). This was a school based on the British model as exemplified by the Seven Public Schools, Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Harrow, Rugby, Charterhouse and Shrewsbury. The boys attending this school were specially trained to feel superior. It went without saying that they were superior to people of colour and Jews, and of course they needed little encouragement in feeling superior to females. Where the special training came in was in the teaching of 'The English Social Class System'. Twice a week for twelve years it had been drummed into Mike that the powerful and the wealthy are genetically superior to the weak and the poor, and now it seemed that he believed in this without reservation.

"Look," he said to Henry one day, "You don't seem to understand the simple facts. Since the beginning of human history there have been the haves and the have-nots, the leaders and the followers. That's just how it is. You know, it's been proven that if you were to take all the wealth of the Upper Class and distribute it equally amongst them and the Lower Classes, after ten years the situation would be back to square one. You have to accept that most people just don't have the ability."

Henry looked at him blankly for a moment and then laughed loudly and unpleasantly. "Ex labia majora veritas dixit."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Ex labia majora veritas dixit. Didn't they teach you the Classics at that school you went to? It's a Latin tag: Spoken like a true cunt."

"Listen here, Fackit…" Mike de Jongh flushed hotly and half rose to his feet, aware that such an insult had to be dealt with without delay, or things would soon be getting out of control. If only he could lay his hand on a bull's pizzle, or something. But Henry hastened to make amends.

"No, no, no. Please. I apologize unconditionally. It won't happen again, I promise you. You can kick my arse if it does. You shouldn't take umbrage at my silly attempts at facetiousness."

Apart from having been educated to be superior, Mike had also received intensive training in weird and archaic forms of behaviour like Chivalry, Etiquette, Ballroom Dancing, Speech, Drama, Elocution and Public Speaking. As a result he was forever restlessly opening doors, standing aside and giving up his seat for women of suitable race and class. Although a non-smoker he carried a gold Ronson lighter and was lightning quick on the draw the moment any of the company produced a cigarette. He always spoke in an unusually loud voice, standing very erect, thrusting forth his freshly shaven jaw, trying to catch someone's eye in order to demonstrate the directness of his gaze, and flexing his right hand in anticipation of finding an opportunity to practise his firm and manly handshake. Most bizarre of all was his pathological obsession with the three noble sports, rugby, golf and cricket. On analysis Henry and Ivor concluded that this was a clear manifestation of latent homosexuality.

"Have you noticed how he and his buddies talk about women? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Schoolboy smut and nauseating innuendo. I'm sure they'd far rather jerk themselves off in front of a mirror than have some uninhibited girl bouncing up and down on them in ecstasy!"

Henry nodded. "I believe they thoroughly enjoy the showers after a hard physical game of rugger."

"It must be dreadful living in such a confined world." Ivor was better informed on this subject than Henry, having a cousin who had boarded at Michaelhouse in Natal, a similar institution to Bishop's. "To be raised as a gentleman in order to be part of the control clique is to grow up in a mental and emotional straitjacket. They're brought up cut off from the rest of the world, living by a book of rules that doesn't apply to most of human experience. That's why they prefer to herd together in clubs and boardrooms and residential enclaves. They even go on holiday together. Cold, alienated individuals unable to sympathize with riff-raff like you and me."

"So it seems. But what puzzles me is why Mike should persist in staying in the midst of us degenerates in this pestiferous slum. It's as if he is gripped by a morbid fascination."

"Ah, that's definitely the most perspicacious thing you've said today. I believe he hasn't lost his soul entirely. He isn't able to articulate it but he somehow senses there might be more to life than what's talked about at the golf club. I think it worth the irritation to help him get a proper education." Ivor scratched his balls thoughtfully. "And of course there's the Cedarberg."

"And he's got a car."

Ivor was referring to the De Jongh holiday farm in the Krom River Valley at the foot of Engelsmans Kloof, pathway to the magical mountains. Henry was referring to Mike's newish 1500cc white Volkswagen Beetle, capable, at a squeeze, of transporting five young men plus hiking paraphernalia unto said Cedarberg.

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