A water buffalo cools off in the heat near the Phabeni Gate at the Kruger National Park. Picture Ian Landsberg. African News Agency (ANA).
A water buffalo cools off in the heat near the Phabeni Gate at the Kruger National Park. Picture Ian Landsberg. African News Agency (ANA).

Hot, grumpy dagga cow living in sweaty fear

By Lindsay Slogrove Time of article published Apr 17, 2021

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Confession time: I’m a dagga boy.

No, really: grumpy, achy, hot, over the bother and stress of the daily scuffles of life and grumpy. Times two.

Dagga (pronounced dagger, not like the weed, and meaning mud) boys are those old buffalo bulls who are no longer interested in competing for dominance or the females or the best grub. Not even too worried about lions anymore, even though they are easier targets for the cats. They just want to be left alone, or with some quiet fellow oldies for a bit of silent companionship, to do their job of cutting the grass and chew the cud near a water source they can lie in to cool off and mud wallow to clear the bugs.

The only credentials I lack to join this herd is bugs. And I’m clearly not a bull. More cow-ish.

But I do know about the grumpy.

And the need to cool off. Really, someone ought to be reminded to flip the bloody summer switch off.

We’re supposed to be in autumn, dear season managers. Cool, you know.

It may have been mentioned here before, but there are nests of between four and five fans around the couch/office and the bed. Including two industrial fans that blow things around the house and are deafening and make the granny flat resident think it is raining (I promise: a night-time tracking of the sound of rain when there was no water led to the bedroom window). Two (smaller ones) in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. Some much-needed coolth.

In load shedding, I don’t care much about fridges, kettles, cooking things, the TV. Having no wi-fi is a bit of a pain in the rear. But I live in sweaty terror of having no fans.

It is partly an age thing, hence the comparison to dagga boys. As menopause bit, the thermometer broke. Countless times, while shopping in an air-conditioned shop, I have been asked by concerned people whether I am okay as sweat streams down my face. I have bought so many packs of kitchen towel in desperation, tearing the packaging open in the aisle to mop up. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing. Fake hormones only help a drop.

The fans have made lockdown bearable, and eliminated many drives in a hot car. But this week I had to actually go somewhere, in what I’d call an emergency, to a place that’s far away and well out of my little suburban home range.

All the way to a proper, big city shopping mall. And a car park from hell.

The fuel gauge dropped by half just trying to find the way out. It was dark, hot, with little pavementy things lying in wait to puncture tyres or damage rims, and ceiling beams of cement that only revealed a teeny little arrow to show you where you should be going when you were already past the “junction”. And thousands of large, well-posted no-entry signs.

We eventually escaped, but it was another level of Hades. I take pride in the fact that we only caused two people to hoot at us and one severe light-flashing.

So I’m staying here with my herd and my nests. Feel free to send in the lions.

  • Lindsay Slogrove is the news editor

The Independent on Saturday

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