Let’s get one thing clear, Mr Miyagi: Juju is no white belt…

Dear Diary
RE: The Incredible Sulk
The editor shouted at me like he’s never shouted at me before – even more than when I accidentally defamed his wife. The rebuke had nothing to do with my copy. It was my black boots – they were scuffed and dirty. He said I was an embarrassment to journalism and ordered me to polish them. To make matters worse I received a one-word text from mother. “Sunblock.” What am I? A child? I went to sulk in the corner.

Dr Crane

Dr Crane

Dear Diary
RE: Wax-on, wax-off
I forgot to polish my shoes and the editor gave me another bollocking before telling me to write about the Twar (that’s a Twitter War, Diary. I also didn’t know) between Julius Malema and Fikile Mbalula in which the Sports Minister tweeted Juju: “Hey Karate Kid, don’t forget I’m Mr Miyagi to you.”  This is what I wrote:

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Twitter that he will take his arch nemesis Julius Malema under his wing and train him in the ancient skill of martial arts. Their first session got off to a rocky start because Mbalula wanted to train Juju in karate but Malema insisted on being schooled in Ju-Juitsu.  “You’re a white belt, Malema-san,” said Mbalula. Juju called the minister a racist and then said: ” White belt? Everyone knows I’m a Louis Vuitton.”
“Vuitton. Vuitoff,” said Mbalula. Matters got really ugly when the minster told Juju to wax his car and clean his house. “Wax your own car and get your own house in order,” Juju screamed.  Mbalula then handed Juju a pair of chopsticks. “No Nando’s for you, Malema-san, until you catch a fly with these chopsticks,” he said – at which point Malema lifted his leg and flapped his arms about. He was about to perform the crane-kick but Mbalula grabbed him in a headlock. “What do you think of my half-Nelson,” he asked.  “I think a half-Nelson is better than a fool Jacob,” said Juju.

I gave the story to the editor, who crumpled it up and tossed it in the bin, saying: “Put wax on our shoes, you chop.”

Dear Diary
RE: Son blocked
A guy from a courier company arrived at the newsroom with a parcel. The news editor pointed at me. I was so excited. My first freebie. Word is getting out that I’m an influential journalist and corporations want to woe me. I opened the parcel. It was a tub of sunblock sent by mother.  Well, a freebie is a freebie, I suppose. There’s been a spate of students at Afrikaans universities doing racist things and Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande is hosting a press conference on stamping out racism at universities. The editor has asked me to attend “but polish your damned shoes, boy”.  This could be my big break. I must just think of an intelligent question to ask – one that will get me noticed.

Dear Diary
RE: Redface
I woke up before sunrise to go to the press conference. I ate breakfast, brushed my teeth and gave my shoes the polishing of their life. The editor will be able to see his own reflection in them. As I was about to leave, though, my cellphone pinged with an SMS from mother. ” Sunblock! STOP. Urgent! STOP.” Mother thinks texts are like telegraphs – you pay per word. I was tempted to respond with my own message: “Stop STOP”, but it’s not a good idea to get on the wrong side of mother. The cellphone pinged again. It was mother. “Do it. STOP. Now!  STOP.” Okay, okay. Even though I was running late, I slathered on the sunblock. I made my way to the conference. It had already started so I sat in the back and listened to the minister’s speech. I was so pleased because I had thought of an extremely very clever question. When question time was announced I made my way onto the stage. I took the mic. I was about to launch into my question when I realised there was a stunned silence. People were staring at me. Blade gasped. A woman fainted. People started hissing. I didn’t know where to look so I looked at my shoes – and that’s when the blood drained from my face. You see, Diary, my shoes were covered in sunblock.


About Jonathan Ancer

I'm a journalist, cryptic crossword junkie, keen cyclist, Billy Bunter book collector and a Billy Bragg stalker. I love words and will post some of the columns I have written over the years on this blog. They include: View from the G-spot (my time as editor of a community newspaper in Grahamstown), Virgin Cyclist (the build up to my first Argus Cycle Tour), Pop psychology (my take on fatherhood) and Angry Utterances (10) (how crossword puzzles unlock the world's secrets and the meaning of life). Since leaving Independent Newspapers in September 2014 I have started freelancing and write a column for the Witness - The Diary of a Bumbling Hack. I've also become a podcast junkie and have produced a podcast biography series called Extraordinary Lives. Let me know what you think.
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