How to spank a soldier

How to spank a soldier

THINGS are not always what they seem. Take, for instance, the story of the owl. There was a time when it was the king of birds.
The source of its strength was the carefully cultivated myth that its long ears were in fact horns. And so for centuries the owl ruled its feathered folks with fear.

That era ended one day when woodpecker picked a fight with the owl. Other birds were trembling at the prospect of the mighty owl tearing little woodpecker to shreds with his horns.
But woodpecker was ready for a fight. He unleashed his beak on the owl’s horns. And boom, the owl’s ears flapped as he writhed in pain.
Helele! My comrades, the owl does not have horns. They are just feather ears,” woodpecker said as he went for the owl’s other ear. That is how the owl lost its kingship and became a reclusive bird that hunts at night.
Now let’s take that story to Makoanyane Barracks.

Ntate Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, banna ba h’eso, tlohong sakeng mona re ke re tl’o ja masapo a hlooho. Bring along Lieutenant Colonel Mashidi Mashidi to take notes on our tête-à-tête.
Major General Ramanka Mokaloba should be there as a witness.
Muckraker has called you to the kraal to discuss an event that embarrassed not only herself but also you as the army’s high-ups and the rest of the foot soldiers.

A few days ago Muckraker woke up to tickling news that two soldiers had been disarmed at Makoanyane Barracks. Muckraker will not seek details because you might tell her tall tales to save face.
She doesn’t care what the soldiers told you because it might be a fictitious story meant to cover up their bungling. The crux of the matter is that two soldiers were disarmed by some people.
And that, is what brings you to this kraal.

Muckraker has always thought that soldiers are tough guys.
You see this in the zest with which they flex their muscles in bars. Almost all soldiers have an arrogant bounce in their step. You know the step that says “this is me, what can you do to me?”

The step that adult baboons pick when they are approached by toddlers.
It has always been a notorious fact that soldiers are some of the most feared people in this country.
Their reputation speaks for itself. They have toppled governments and chased politicians.
They have beat and killed people who they describe mockingly as “civilians”.
At times they have killed and tortured their own.
Now imagine Muckraker’s horror when the army confirmed that two soldiers were disarmed.

In that instant she realised that all that she knew about the army was a lie.
It turns out that some of our soldiers are overrated security guards. Muckraker says this without the slightest intention to embarrass our esteemed security guards.
It is scandalous that people with military training could lose their guns.
Because the army’s statement on the event is emaciated, it is difficult to know exactly what happened.

We cannot expect them to give the nitty-gritties of that humiliating episode.
But given the little we now know Muckraker can imagine that their attackers were wielding Okapi knives or molamu. They were probably some petty thieves from Motimposo.
It’s possible they had no other physical training apart from what they gathered when they were carrying things nicked from houses.
They only know how to break windows and jump fences but could walk to a military barracks and wrestle guns from soldiers.
If Muckraker was one of the thieves she would have toyed with those soldiers. She would have made them roll in the mud, quack like ducks and jump like frogs.

Then she would order them to sing the national anthem in reverse. It will be fair because some of these soldiers think they are the best thing to happen after the two-ply tissue. After the song Muckraker would have forced them to kiss each other and call each other “babie”.
That too is fair because some of our soldiers are mean to civilians.

Muckraker does not have qualms with civil servants who sleep on duty. They are paid a pittance so their naps could be induced by hunger.
But the same cannot be said for soldiers, especially those on guard duty. They are some of the most pampered workers in this country. They get mountains of papa and huge chunks of meat to gobble.
Each is treated to a loaf of bread and a gallon of tea.

And that is what infuriates Muckraker as it should everyone with something substantial between their ears.
It is scandalous that soldiers we feed so well could be disarmed by civilians.
The solution is not to feed them at all. Maybe if they stand on the gates for the whole night while farting the gases of empty bellies they will be more vigilant.

Lt Gen Letsoela has to be told that some of his soldiers are just spoilt.
You see them jumping into army trucks to go to work. Real soldiers should run to work every morning.
They come to work wearing overcoats in winter when real soldiers should be clad in vests.
They are treated to three meals a day when they should eat once a week.
It is shameful that people trained to ignore and endure pain live in such opulence.

Little wonder they are now losing guns to civilians.
Henceforth, Muckraker will not tolerate anyone who gloats about being a soldier. We know some of them cannot keep guns.
Not even the guards who clutch pump action rifles at Chinese shops will be treated with such contempt. Muckraker sincerely hopes that their attackers gave them thundering slaps before fleeing. Pathetic!
Nyoe, nyoe, nyoe we are fighters. Blah, blah, blah, we protect you civilians. My foot!

Meanwhile tsotsis are now so brazen in their disrespect that they are coming for you at the barracks.
They will spank you and take your guns.
Lt Gen Letsoela, you see these people of yours! You see! Busy embarrassing you and the country by having their ears pinched by civilians. You see! These people of yours!

Now they are the butt of crèche jokes.
Little Khotso: Don’t bother me or I will report you to my soldier uncle.
Little Thabo: hahaha, you mean a soldier from Motimposo or Makoanyane.
Little Khotso: From Makoanyane.
Little Thabo: Kikikikikiki, Soka! I will bring my thief uncle and he can spank your soldier uncle in the barracks.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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