By Lindsay Slogrove
If you think 2020 has all been too grim to raise a smile, chuckle, wry grin or grimace, you can’t overlook this beloved staple of South African humour and satire.
It bites, too.
Progressing from late last year – think the Springboks’ World Cup euphoria – and a brief pre-Covid couple of months (remember those?) then being very much stuck in lockdown, Stephen Francis and Rico nail the last 12 months as they always do.
Eskom takes many hefty hits. Blackouts and bailouts feature prominently, as does the utility’s “wet coal” defence. The reaction to and of its then newly appointed chief executive, Andre de Ruyter, was one of my favourites.
The duo pokes plenty of sharp sticks at the adventures of Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu, from firing guns to VBS to Gucci lifestyles. EFF is collateral damage.
Jacob Zuma, the Zondo Commission and political corruption are regular subjects, with much mirth about sick notes and legal shenanigans.
Donald Trump is also a target, and if you don’t smirk at the South African version of the cognitive test he claimed to have “aced”, you need a sense-of-humour reboot.
But, as the name suggests, it’s the lockdown that garners most of the giggles.
The booze ban seriously hurts Gogo Anderson and her gin and tonics, and derision is heaped on the absurdity of some of the “criming” the alcohol and tobacco bans inspired. Eve develops her own delivery system to keep socially distant, and gives up her ironing board napping spot for a much quieter socially-distant hideaway. She also has moments of fondness for Eskom’s blackouts.
Thandi and Gogo go head-to-head when they try out the whole home-schooling thing. Madam Gwen is in constant despair at the limits on her suburban lifestyle and trying to keep the peace between Thandi and Gogo.
The family has a new outlook on the mielie lady and the hadedas, well, at least as long as lockdown lasts, and even the regular armed robbers face restrictions.
WIN WIN WIN
Three lucky readers will win a copy of “Days of our Lockdown Lives” by Stephen Francis & Rico. To enter, SMS TIOSBook followed by your name and surname to 33258 (SMSes charged at R1.50). Competition ends at 9am on Tuesday, December 15. Terms and conditions apply. Winners will be informed telephonically.
The Independent on Saturday