Tiger Tiger

I have not been posting on my blog nearly as often as I did in my post a day phase, but I have not been completely idle. I have been posting the odd article on a local news site, to try and get myself a bit more exposure. I haven’t reposted any of those on my blog, since they are filled with personalities, places, and incidents which would be instantly recognisable to fellow South Africans, but would require several thousand words of explanation for everyone else. And they have no pictures.

I wrote one this morning, though, that doesn’t need any explanation at all, so here it is;

The Tiger Tiger Shooting

I had an interesting experience with my kids yesterday morning. I had decided to take them to Fourways Mall for breakfast, but when we got there, the gate to the parking lot was closed. No big deal; we just went round to another entrance, and then circled back to park as close as possible to our bacon.

We needn’t have bothered. The door to the Mall was closed, too. It was, as I was told, being cleaned. I found it only mildly odd that it was being cleaned by what was clearly a bunch of plain-clothed policemen, and was turning to go to another entrance when my son shouted out “Dad! Dad! The door is full of bullet-holes!”

And it was. Well, it wasn’t exactly full; there were four of them. But that’s quite a lot for the door of a busy mall. I asked about them, but the policeman just shrugged and claimed there had been “a bit of an incident” at the Tiger Tiger nightclub that morning.

It was only later that I learned what qualified as “a bit of an incident”. A man had gone out the previous evening with two girls. As one does. Later on, he discovered that one of the girls had gone missing, and became upset. As one does. Apparently he didn’t want to break up the set.

He, and a group of his friends, went looking for her. They found her in the parking lot, with another group of men. Things got a bit awkward. One of the groups pulled out knives. The other group ran off to call security.

And then things went to hell. One of the men in the parking lot pulled a gun and started shooting. He hit a security guard in the stomach, and another in the ankle. And then he hit his own brother. And killed him.

And that was Saturday night. Two men in hospital. One young man gone forever, at the hand of his own brother. And one young man on the run; his life in tatters, knowing that nothing is ever going to be the same again.

Which brings me to the point of this article. I’m handing out some free advice to young men.

If, as you pull on your favourite tight t-shirt, splash on a dab of aftershave, and ladle some sort of shiny goop into your hair in anticipation for a fun night out on the town, you find yourself slipping a knife or gun into your pocket, you need to pause, look yourself in the eye, and slowly repeat the phrase “You’re a dick” until it sinks in and you put your toy away. If that doesn’t work, allow me to help you think this through.

If you take a knife or gun to a nightclub, one of two things will happen.

It might stay in your pocket. You will have a few drinks, enjoy a shouted conversation or two with your friends, do some dancing, and maybe even meet a girl who makes you happy, for a night, or a month, or the rest of your life. Super. And you didn’t need the weapon.

Or the weapon might come out of your pocket. Then one of two things will happen. You might wave it around a little bit, ranting and raving like a testosterone-raddled arsehole. Everyone will look at you like some sort of frightening but pitiful zoo exhibit. You will, at the very least, be ejected from the club, and your party will be over. If any girl comes home with you after that, she is likely to steal your wallet and give you a communicable disease.

Or you will use the weapon. Then one of three things will happen. You will go to jail, you will go to the hospital, or you will go to the morgue. Only one of these options has any chance of sparking a romantic encounter, and in that scenario, you will be the girl.

That all sounds a little trite. But it’s not. I’m simply pointing out that there is no prize here. There is nothing to win. In your very best case scenario, you are simply in the same situation as all those happy people who didn’t think being armed to the teeth was a necessary part of a fun night out.

There is, however, a great deal to lose. You might just find yourself driving out into the cold light of a new day, hands locked on the steering wheel and foot jammed down on the accelerator, as you try desperately to think of somewhere to go to wash off the blood of your brother that is slowly drying on your shirt. And that is a little bit too late to understand that your gun did not make you a man, and some kinds of blood never wash off.

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38 thoughts on “Tiger Tiger

  1. Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. Lyn says:

    We have this happen all the time in the south western suburbs of Sydney where there is a major population of a certain ethnic group. People are being shot dead in their homes, streets, driveways, even in front of their little children. Then a family member will take revenge and come after someone in the shooter’s family. The NSW police even have a special division set up to deal with them.

  3. Buzzwordz says:

    Bravo! Well said. Too bad none of the dicks you speak of have the ability to read big words like the ones written here, or they might see themselves and re-think their dickness!

  4. Wow. Crazy stuff. It’s amazing how quickly things can degrade. People want their weapons, especially their guns. They give a feeling of pseudo power but for some that is the only power they can exercise. But so many times power backfires and bites you back. Thanks for sharing. Hope your day finds you well with no more bullet holes in doors.

    • 23thorns says:

      We seem to have two groups here; there are the criminals, for whom guns are merely tools of their trade, and sadly to whom they give genuine and terrifying power.
      And there are these guys. It’s a pity those penis enlargement pills they advertise on the internet don’t work, because if they did, there would be far fewer of them around.

  5. duncanr says:

    well said !

    sadly, folk carrying guns and knives is all too common in parts of the world other than S. Africa

  6. Briliant, spot on and as always, well written. It is a shame that those most likely to arm up when they dress up are unlikely to read it. Maybe their friends or work colleagues or parents will.
    We have a simliar probem with knives here in Australia. It’s such a bloody waste, bloody stupid and to be honest, a man with a knife in hand is not in the least bit sexy uness it’s his steak knife cutting up his dinner.

  7. mariekeates says:

    Well said. There is way too much carrying of weapons going on, even here in the UK, although, thankfully, not so much guns. 🙂

    • 23thorns says:

      There are far too many of those round here. And when some drunken, raging arsehole pulls one out, everyone in his line of sight, whether friend, foe, or passer-by, is suddenly in mortal danger.

  8. Sadly, this is every night in America. And yes, the phrase “testosterone crazed arsholes” certainly applies.

  9. narf77 says:

    You forgot one thing Mr 23Thorns, and I think it is important that you remember…most of the young men who head out the door with a bevy of “chicks” and the modern day equivalent of a cutless in their waistband (ask Mrs 23Thorns, she will know what I mean) can’t read. Your thoughtful words won’t penetrate the unpenetratable.

  10. KokkieH says:

    Brilliantly phrased advice.

    Request: can’t you create a page with links to your news articles? That way us South Africans who will know what you’re talking about won’t miss them.

  11. Rachael says:

    The real weapon is the intent to harm (violence), and the trigger is the idea that women are male property.

    • 23thorns says:

      These sorts of things certainly do spring from a skewed idea of manhood, but the real weapon here is a gun. One stupid hothead who might have thrown a few punches with exactly the same intent was able to put three (there was another victim, apparently) people in intensive care and take another mans life.

  12. You said, “I have been posting the odd article on a local news site, to try and get myself a bit more exposure.”

    That’s awesome! A smart place to start. Good luck with it!!!

  13. rayjamieson says:

    Man, this needs to be posted in every neighbourhood centre on the planet, every drop-in joint, cafe and supermarket notice board… Love your work, I feel where you are coming from… Good luck and let’s hope your message touches at least one idiot and gives him/her a smartening up pill!
    Ray

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