My mother was a regular Charlie Klopjag (a fictional detective from a satirical column in the Sunday Times Passing Show, written by editor Joel Mervis) by which I mean an armchair detective. There was not a crime or misdemeanour my mother could not solve from the Lazi-Boy with the newspaper clutched firmly in her hands.
Although my mother was pretty good at armchair detectoring, she fell into the trap of all armchair detectives in jumping to conclusions, flying off the bat and making suppositions based on the very little information provided in the paper media of the time. And naturally, real detectives paid little attention to their armchair counterparts, positively discouraging them from calling up the police station with their expert observations. More’s the pity, quite a few crimes might have been solved due to the intervention of curtain-twitchers and sundry other busybodies.
So this story is about a dog, a fictional dog to be sure, a dog that might have been but fortunately wasn’t due to the channelling of Charlie Klopjag.
This weekend, somebody posted a request on the town’s Facebook page for a dog to protect her family. Not just any dog mind, a pedigree puppy that would grow up to be a large dog. Unfortunately she did not have the money to buy said dog and was hoping one of the townspeople would take pity and provide aforesaid large pedigreed dog. Inevitably someone asked how she planned to feed the dog if she was not in possession of the money to buy a dog. The person immediately replied that she had the money to feed the dog, but was reluctant to buy a dog as she had done so before and it had died the next day.
Hmmmm, Charlie Klopjag’s ears started twitching. A pedigreed dog with all it’s special dietary requirements and expensive veterinary needs? Surely a good pavement special would be a far better choice. So he did what anybody would do and had a look at the Facebook page of the dog requester. And there it was. Another begging post, this time for information on how one would borrow money against a SASSA card.
OK so this is getting into sensitive territory now. A SASSA card is the card parents use to draw their children’s monthly social grants. It is illegal to lend money against a SASSA card, although this doesn’t stop unscrupulous lenders who invariably hold the SASSA card hostage until the money is returned. Pretty morally wrong if you ask me, but we mustn’t judge must we?
So Charlie Klopjag (ie, me) posted a comment that she should perhaps think twice about getting a large dog, as the dog would eat up the children’s entire social grant and most probably chew up the card itself.
This helpful advice resulted in a diatribe that would curdle milk, to whit “keep your nose out of my business”, “you’re not my mother” (shoo, dodged a bullet there). and …. and “stay out of my Facebook”.
Charlie Klopjag had no knowledge of Facebook, but as everyone knows, you can see other people’s Facebooks if they leave them on the Interweb-tube thingy for everyone to see. Unfortunately the encounter then degenerated into random allsorts of accusations and insults until the owner of the page took the entire sorry mess down.
Sorry not sorry. I don’t get involved in arguments with people I’ve never met on social media but I hope, with the assistance of the inimitable Charlie Klopjag, I have prevented a dog from ending up as a meal or a puppy manufacturing enterprise, or chained up in a backyard chewing it’s tail off in frustration.