I’ve just got back from a night away. It’s late, and it’s been a long day. I don’t have a post in me today.
I started this blog out of envy. Both my wife and I work in books, so naturally over the years we’ve both toyed with the idea of writing something, but something always got in the way. And then she did it. She just sat down one day and started a blog. A proper one, too, about a grownup subject (history) that required knowledge and research. Naturally, as these things go, I had to start one too (charitable people would call it inspiration). It could not, however, involve knowledge or research. I don’t know much and I’m lazy.
So I decided to do the news. No particular aspect of it, just whatever catches my eye. What usually catches my eye is the absurd, so I was devastated when a man was headbutted by a giraffe before I even had a chance to start. If you’re commenting on the news, you have to stay current, so I could never go back to that. I’d missed a golden opportunity. Then a baboon was found in a Durban morgue. In a coffin marked “Swine-flu. Do not open.” Swedish filmmakers were involved. And I’d missed it. Again.
Yesterday, though, my faith in the world was restored. Two men robbed a scrap dealer in Krugersdorp. They took R100 000 and some cellphones. They were dressed as policemen. But they weren’t real policemen. No. They were real acting magistrates. And real partners in a Roodepoort law firm. They even had the grace to be picked up in a stolen car! It’s all too beautiful.
This can’t be about money. I can, at a stretch, imagine some circumstances in which people as well paid as lawyers or magistrates may desperately need some cash, but cellphones? Surely something else is at work here. I can just picture the two of them, sitting outside having a smoke after a wonderful day of being law guys:
Number one: “You know, number two, I love the law.”
Number two: “I know what you mean, number one. Me too.”
Number one: “No, number two, I don’t think you do. I really, really love the law. And I feel we’re missing out here.”
Number two: “What do you mean?”
Number one: “Well, we’re lawyers, right?”
Number two: “Right.”
Number one: “And we’re magistrates.”
Number two: “Right.”
Number one: “But we’re missing out. The police are monopolising a whole area of the law we have no access to. It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Number two: “Hang on a second! A friend of mine can organise us a couple of police uniforms. We can take a day off tomorrow and spend it seeing how the other half lives!”
Number one: “Brilliant, number two, brilliant! Then the only experience of the law we’ll be missing out on will be the criminal one!”
Number two: “……”
Number one: “…….”
Number two: “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
The story only broke yesterday, and it all seems too strange to be true. But I hope it is. Please let it be true. And please let them go to jail. Just imagine. Here will be a pair of guys who have been lawyers, judges, policemen, accused criminals, and convicted criminals. Let’s not stop there. When they come out, let’s get them jobs as prison warders while they campaign to become members of parliament. Then, once they have enjoyed the experience of making the law for a while, we will have no choice but to make them Supreme Court judges. Because no-one will know our legal system better than them.