The Tiger Listens To 5FM, Gets Scarred For Life

blow-torch_01For about three years, maybe more, I flat out refused to listen to commercial radio in South Africa and my rationale was pretty simple.

I don’t listen to the songs I like five times a day, so hearing music that infuriates me on infinite repeat was about as fun as shaving my balls with a blowtorch.

Recently though, maybe because I’m getting old or because my fighting spirit has been broken, I’ve been listening to 5FM in the mornings because sometimes I get a chuckle out of it, with the exception of this morning when a woman phoned in and scarred me FOR LIFE.

It started out innocently enough – a woman who sounds like she’s in her 40s calls the station to tell Gareth this ambling story about how she wished she’d gotten through for some competition or other about things you’ve fixed (or something like that, I’ll be honest, at this point I wasn’t paying much attention, the conversation was pretty boring).



Gareth asked her if she enters a lot of competitions because she sounded like one of those creepy serial competition-entering types and she said no, her job doesn’t really allow for that.

“Why?” asked Gareth, “Do you work in a sweatshop or something?”

“No,” she replied, “I work in the morgue.”

Just wait, it gets better / worse.

“Oh wow, that’s pretty hectic,” Gareth said, “what do you do there?”

And I shit you not, her reply (which is still echoing in my head) made me feel intensely uncomfortable.

“I put humpty dumpty back together again,” she said, as the whole of South Africa whispered “what the… fuck…?” in morning traffic.



No one in the studio seemed particularly distressed by this news at that point and started firing all these questions at the woman during the course of which another two nuggets of disturbing shit dropped out (wonderful mental picture right there):

1. She works exclusively on CHILDREN
2. She will sometimes work on as many as 9 A WEEK!

They asked her if she gets to see a psychologist as part of the job, to which she replied “No, I don’t.”

Now, I don’t want you guys to get the wrong idea here, what she does is a necessary service, and one that probably makes it easier for grieving parents and families to say goodbye, but still, it gave me the willies man!

“I put Humpty Dumpty back together again…”



And just like that, the nursery-rhyme analogy makes perfect sense.

Because it’s children…

If anyone needs me, I’ll be staring unresponsively off into space, probably until Monday…

Have a… killer weekend? Disappointed smile


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