Of all the ways we're ripped off as South African middle-class citizens - insurance, bank charges and the like - home security is waaaay up there.
Private security companies take full advantage of the horrendous state of crime in our country and totally coin it. They hardly need to spend anything on marketing either, one only has to read the papers or go to a dinner party with friends to get enough motivation to spend heaps of cash on beams and bars and electric fencing.
My brother-in-law's house was recently burgled in the middle of the day. Their bars and security gates and Doberman posed no hindrance to the determined thieves, and without a house alarm to betray their presence the bastards clearly spent a long time picking and choosing their loot (the doggie was completely unscathed and untraumatised by the way, she probably welcomed the company and no doubt got a big juicy bone too!).
My mother-in-law, understandably rattled by her eldest son's loss, turned to her religion to make sense of it all, saying that it was only due to God's mercy that he and his wife weren't at home at the time. I don't usually credit that fictional being with having a hand in these things but I have to say if I did, in this case I'd say god was with the burglars, they should be on their knees in gratitude that my brother-in-law, a big angry man who carries a weapon, didn't come home to find them there.
Anyway the result is that even that big angry pistol-packing man is freaked out, and looking to improve his home security. Quotes he's currently receiving to install a home alarm system are in some cases in excess of R40 000.00. Forty thousand rand to sleep better at night. What the actual fuck?
Which brings me, finally, to the inspiration for this post. This crude sign I photographed outside a house this morning.
A desperate, innovative, much more affordable and extremely indicative of how we're all feeling, approach to the constant threat to our possessions and well-being.
How long until the unlucky testicles of those who don't heed this sign (or can't read) are displayed along this wall as a real warning ... ?