…testing…testing…one-two…one-two…is this thing on?
Ah. Great. There you are. Seems to be working.
Greetings one and all from a very sunny and warm Cape Town. Hugh is taking a well-deserved break this week, leaving the roundup in my (barely) capable hands – so, you can expect all the usual features of a Saturday roundup minus the wit and intelligence (although I do hope to retain some level of profanity).
Before those of you currently mid-wintered start sharpening your pitchforks in response to my sunny and warm statement I should perhaps provide some context. Cape Town is currently in the grip of the worst drought in its history and, thanks to politics, corruption, mismanagement and a host of other local and national factors we are projected to run out of water entirely in mid-April. If day zero hits we will be the first major city in the world to achieve this feat. From the 1st February, and for 150 days thereafter, each resident of Cape Town is being asked to use only 50 litres of potable water per day or face huge punitive charges. They assume a family of 4 people and so 200 litres per household per day. Sounds like a lot but trust me when I say it isn’t. On Monday, we will receive notification of where our nearest day zero water collection will be situated so that we know where to queue every day for our 25 litre ration.
At time of writing, over 60% of residents are ignoring the request to use less than 87 litres per person per day and I think it’s unlikely that these selfish pricks will change their habits whatever the requested limit.
So, with that in mind, my comment about it being sunny and warm was reflective of a dire situation. What makes it worse is that when the water runs out, we won’t be able to flush any toilets – thus proving the mentally unstable fuckwit who purports to be the leader of the free world to be correct in labeling us a shithole.
It is, in short, a fuck up.
But…when life gives you lemons crack open the tequila and bring out the salt I say. Nothing like a crisis to stimulate comedy and opportunity – it’s all about the way you view the world.
An entrepreneur for example would look at this and already be stockpiling 25l plastic containers, offering queuing services for those too busy to collect their ration and setting up an internet app to locate your nearest single-occupancy home where you can go for a shower in the meantime.
I’m not an entrepreneur, but I am a storyteller so already I’m sketching out dystopian fiction in my mind. Shadowy figures with AK-47s patrolling the water points, people dying from drinking chemical-filled swimming pool water, gangs controlling the slopes of Table Mountain to profit from access to the streams…
Storytellers see stories. That’s what we do. Ideas are everywhere, all the time. Only a fraction ever make it into an idea and even less get written down but that still equates to thousands if not millions of stories being created, tweaked and reworked every single day. And of those myriad tales…we bring you five of the best.
Week 157 was awash with new faces – and so we give a sunny and warm welcome to Tom Baragwanath, Pete Able, Michael D. Durkota and Seth Pilevsky who all made their debuts on LS this week. May their well of stories never run dry (and I hope we can draw from them often).
“Fred is the crack cocaine of writers. I reckon I am addicted.”
“His words, style and stories just engulf you.”
“…he mixes reality and fantasy and mystery into a wonderful brew.”
Tom followed on Tuesday with his beautifully told, Where Our Lives Come From.
“I liked how understated this was regarding all the hardship…all the trauma that he had seen”
“This had a wonderful sad charm to it.”
“The atmosphere of quiet acceptance was something that we should rail against but somehow the story stills that emotion.”
Wednesday was the turn of Pete and his unusual mix of parrot, quinoa and isolation, Hugo And Me On The Moon.
“Quirky…I actually felt quite sad when this ended!”
“Amusing and the ending was very poignant.”
“There’s no stuffing – although I suppose he could use the quinoa…”
Michael changed the pace entirely on Thursday with his atmospheric, open-ended, Games With Guns.
“chilling – good atmosphere.”
“I really like the flashback comparison and the construct of it.”
“I did enjoy that a lot was left up to the reader…”
And finally to Friday where Seth closed out the week in fine style by giving a familiar road a new direction in his tale, The Umbrella Man.
“…a novel twist…”
“…the request was a clever ruse…”
“…the idea of redemption being undo-able is rather thought provoking.”
That wraps it up for another week. Thanks once again to all those who contribute to our little corner of the internet – keep the stories coming as without you we are (Literally) nothing.