Traffic meets evolution


Traffic meets evolution

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Can it be that January is already done? It seems like only yesterday that we gave 2009 a send-off of note, not the same note, or even adjacent keys of a similar song, but a rousing farewell nevertheless. It feels like time is definitely speeding up.

That is, of course, unless you’re stuck in a roadblock. Then time (and traffic) seems to slow to the speed of stupid. Yes, I know it’s about fighting crime, but I wonder why the fight is taking so long when the metro cops have such a weight advantage. I waited, frustrated but marvelling at the way the fabric of those brown combat trousers can inflate, beyond even the limits of the Zimbabwean dollar, under the strain of one giant buttock. Camera footage of a roadblock could be used to make an action movie called “The Fat and The Furious”. Yet I remember a time that doesn’t feel so long ago when I wanted to be a traffic officer. It was the late 70’s and as a kid I regularly watched the TV programme CHIPS. Jon and Ponch inspired a generation of kids. I wonder if anyone would be inspired by a local series, perhaps called SLAP CHIPS.

It’s not just city driving that brings out the worst in people. On a recent coastal holiday, we walked along a beach, waved to a pair of friendly fishermen and then drove slowly away down the gravel road. Suddenly, a bakkie zoomed up behind us. It was the no-longer-relaxed fishermen, hooting, swerving and generally having road rage apoplexy. Unfortunately, the track wasn’t wide enough for me to pull over. Shouting something about how I should get out of their town, they muscled past, roared off for about 500m and then stopped for ages at a 4-way intersection, just staring at the road signs. I never figured out why. The whole episode made them look nonplussed like Coelocanths who had escaped the sea and stolen a bakkie in an attempt to fast track their evolution.

Speaking of evolution, we also took some overseas visitors and their children to see Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind. I thought kids loved dinosaurs. No, it turns out they love dinosaurs that turn into houses and fly space motorbikes with lasers. But I learned something.

Apparently, about 3 million years ago, when Madonna was just starting her career, dinosaurs had already disappeared, but one of our ancestors called Little Foot McDonald roamed the savannah. I’m sure her surname was McDonald, because, to a sabre toothed leopard our ancestors were just fast food. Unfortunately she fell into a cave, became fossilised and is now being chipped out of the rock. And her slow journey through time made me think about roadblocks and the speed of evolution and the futility of telling people to get out of “our” town. See, if they ever do distribute South African land fairly amongst the original inhabitants, Little Foot will get the lot. She’d recognise us too, because when it comes to searching for primitive humanoids in hot, dusty Joburg, we can just look around in traffic. We’re all still here.

About Al:
Al Prodgers is a proudly South African stand-up comic and experienced corporate MC. His mission is to get us to Lighten Up for a Change by focussing on the powerful potential that we all have for making a positive difference in the world.
Al was a finalist in the prestigious international comedy competition, the Yuk Yuks Great Canadian Laugh Off, but his great love is touring throughout South Africa performing in English and Afrikaans.
Al is a truly abysmal golfer.
TV work includes Isidingo, Zooming in on Men as well as the MNet Africa series, Stand Up Zambia and Stand Up Uganda.

In January and February he can be seen at the following venues:

Thurs 28 Jan – News Café (Faerie Glen), Pretoria

Sun 31 Jan – Champions Pub (Silver Lakes) Pretoria

Fri 05 Feb – Carnival City Sports Bar, Brakpan

Sat 06 Feb – Carnival City Sports Bar, Brakpan

To read more of his musings or book Al for your function follow the links alongside.

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