Border TOE!

(13 June 2015)

We were going to the Botswana border, but not as recces. In our minds, we were international superheroes. Our powers ranged from consuming copious amounts of tequila without spontaneous combustion; riding over thorn bushes without getting any pap wheels and hoarding off villains with venomous farts.

We started this adventure from Lichtenburg, the land of the Mielie!

But having slept outside, our horses were a bit unwilling to join us into the unknown.

We wafted nitrous-oxide in the direction of Brom and he finally got going.

The staple diet of all superheroes is grown on these flat Western Transvaal planes. Apparently heroes eat a lot of mielies, mielies and more mielies!

And then there was Deelpan, a place where gravity brings all heroes – even the flying ones, down to earth. We were close to breaking a speed record. Promise – we were!

Kraai went so fast, she had to wait for her cape to catch up.

On our way to Mareetsane, we had to make a pit-stop. Not all superheroes have optimal control over their bladder like I do. AND… yes… superheronettes stand and pee! (with the help of a FemmePlus of course)

Further down the road we found our first to-be-rescued victim. A donkey that had both front hooves chained together.

This was to stop her from wandering away. But looking around to the bokkerall that grew knee high for miles and miles around us – I think she got the wandering away thing under the knee.

We tried our lazer-eye-beams, but they must have used anti-lazerable metal.

If only we had any puncture repair tools with us (keep this in mind for the rest of the story), we could have probably snapped one of the chain links. We gave her a good scratch, a pat on the back and bade her farewell.

Our first night, we stayed at a farm near the border. The van Biljon family often open their doors to super-heroines like SkinnyWoman and KraaiGirl.

They took us for a run around the farm to see the wild beasts that rule this land.

Said ‘wild beasts’…

But with our trusty side-Jack, we kept them under control.

So the heroines set out on a mission. We didn’t really have one yet, but not to worry – we would find something to save. Suit up!

Our unicorns were saddled and the day still had more than enough rays left to set out and annoy someone.

There was a horse…

But he was more interested in the unicorns.

There was a big bird that couldn’t fly…

We tried to show him how to spread his wings, but his eyes were bigger than his brain so he kept looking at us like potential partners.

We left – quickly!

But superheroes get unfit if they don’t get enough practise on how to beat up a villain. So we wipped out or pienk-stok-sabres and started beating the seven shades of bruises out of each other. Luckily, we both have the power of quick healing. It’s called Disprin!

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem; it is generally employed only by small children and large nations."

— David Friedman

Part of training to be a hero is to know that running faster is more important than hitting hardest.

My flying powers seem to have diminished over the years. I had trouble getting up to cruising height. A few months back I could still get frequent-flyer rewards just for jumping over a geyser.

On our way back to base-camp Krypton, we had to test our pouting-powers. These powers come in handy when the evil Lord ‘No-You-Cannot’ swoops down on us. It annihilates him.

The next morning we set our radars on the Botswana / South African border. What better line of defense can a country have than some pouting, farting chickens?

It was not long or the Sandmonster started chasing us.

So we morphed our powers and became Stupendous-Sand-Slayers. Combined we had the most harregat and the most unwilling-to-give-up powers. Thundercats – HooOOOO!!!

No force field could keep us from our duty.

We finally found the fence that separate the two countries. The path next to the fence was a nearly deserted gravel road, covered in acacia thorns long enough to impale small people.

But it didn’t take too long before we had to pull over again. That bladder control thing… we really need to work on it Kraai!

The path got smaller, shallower and narrower… There was no cell phone reception, we had no puncture repair kit and the small lunch packs of cheese and tjoklits started melting. But being a hero entails being brave. Or… was that stupid? NEVER MIND!

What does it mean to be a superhero? We're all fighting for the better good. But, at the same time, I think what stands out is, as superheroes, you don't give up; you don't surrender. I think that's what makes a superhero.

-Ellen Wong-

Faster than a speeding bullet…

Higher than a rocket-ship…

…still lost!

Before long, the path evaded us. It was sneaky that way. It went completely missing. We found a dry river bed and we decided to follow it back in the direction of… of… were it came from. We went places no superhero has gone before… cause THEY normally asked for directions!

The further we went up stream the denser the jungle became. Kraai embraced her inner Tarzan and started to spoor-sny.

But Poison Ivy had her branches in for us. I got entangled in her poisonous leaves. The more I was fighting off her hold on me, the deeper I got pulled into her venomous web. There was no escape…

KraaiGirl to the rescue!

She swooped in with Kapow fitted with a top of the range weed eater. All you saw was blades, branches, string and the silent scream of a villain falling.

After hours and hours (okay… it wasn’t that long but bear with me) of bashing through SA bush, we found a tarred road again. By this time our super energy was running low and there was still no super juice in sight. Kraai was getting short tempered.

This is what happens when KraaiGirl stomps her feet…

We followed this road to a small town lost between a rusty railroad and a Café still selling Cabbage Patch Kids. We found a retired Hawkman at the last house at the end of the street. That would be the second one on the left. The years didn’t treat him well and we decided to leave before he lost his temper.

The road turned to gravel again, but with unnerving willpower we kept going. We eventually came to a gate, chained up. Before we could say ‘Flash Gordon’ we heard the roaring of a Massey Ferguson. Phineas and Philemon jumped into action and with one karate kick they opened the gate. We got the “Live Long and Prosper” salute as we enter yet another unknown universe.

And then – there is was. Standing glowing in the hot African sun – in all its splendorous glory.

The Fountain of Eternal Life!

Some people drink from this fountain, others just gargle. We decided to neither sip, swallow, or gargle. Life was the longest thing we ever intended to do.

We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

When I was little, we lived in a Town House complex. We were the last house on the left. One day I saw there were new people moving into the house opposite us. I was watching this spectacle peeping through the curtains of my mom’s naaldwerk kamer when I saw a little girl running between all the grown-ups. She had long brown hair all the way down to her bum. The next moment she came and knocked on our door. I was hiding behind my mom as the door opened.

The little girl asked, “Tannie, can I play with the little girl peeping through the curtains?”

From that day we were friends. The first night I stayed over at their house we watched this amazing movie of a man dressed in blue and red. He could run fast. He could fly. He was impossibly strong and he kept on saving all these silly people that needed saving. Every time I visited her, I demanded that we first watch this movie before we could go and play. I’ve probably seen this movie more than a 100 times. Every night I dream the same dream, and I would fall asleep with a smile on my face.

Now that I’m older and I sometimes struggle to fall asleep, I dream my special dream.


When you get depressed or sad, stop being depressed or sad – just be Superman!

*No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the cat next door that keep stealing my food off the kitchen table is living on borrowed time, let me tell you.*


Grammar and punctuation in above article is left as an exercise for the reader.

If you're familiar with the rural concept of the honesty bar, this honesty newsletter ain’t much different… I’m a completely un-paid journalist, relying instead on readers using the honour system. You read the newsletter and then leave an amount you see fit for the entertainment you’ve received.

If you're familiar with the rural concept of the honesty bar, this honesty newsletter ain't much different... I'm a completely un-paid journalist, relying instead on readers using the honour system. You read the newsletter and then leave an amount you see fit for the entertainment you've received.

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Skinny YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk