[Fred] "Weapons of mass destruction, my eye," said Fred and followed this with a derisive expletive. My immediate thought was that he too had read a third page article that had announced that the Americans had "quietly ceased looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq". "Saxonwold..." he muttered. "Not Iraq!"
[Fred] "It is all to do with Archbishops, Popes and Devils," Fred said. Down the road we had both been delayed getting to the pub. The delay had been the result of a traffic jam caused by the gathering throng assembling for the annual Carols by Candlelight celebration. The barman had anticipated our arrival and Fred's Klippies and my Windhoek were produced in a flash.
[Fred] "We've gone soft on the commies," he grumbled into his Klippies and water, no ice. Fred was never one who sought a red under every bed, so this grumble concerned me. "It is this KGB stuff," he said patting his bush jacket pocket.
[Fred] "People expect magic, more and more," said Fred. "Wave a wand and you can transform anything. And you can get rich, quick." It became clear that the magic wand he was referring to came down to the "charterists" and "lobbyists" that, with increasing vehemence, are demanding their share of the black empowerment pie.
[Fred] "It makes my hair stand on end... a crime free South Africa?" said Fred as he swirled his Klippies and water, no ice, in its glass. Apparently the discussion at a recent industry gathering had to do with the hint of an impending ban on alcoholic beverage advertising.
[Fred] "They are like white ants... they will destroy everything in their path," said Fred as he tried to gain the attention of the barman to order our drinks. Given his obvious state of irritation, I was convinced that he had his metaphors thoroughly mixed.
[Fred] "Leadership is an amazing thing. The bottom line is that there are only two types", Fred said. Over our drinks, we had been bemoaning the outcome of the United States presidential circus and pondering the next four years with Bush as the supposed leader of the free world. We were (in a colloquial sense) "bush-whacked".
[Fred] The sub-headline of the advertisement was 'Women in Water Awards 2005'. "In the past, ads with subject matter like this would have been promoting wet T-shirt competitions, it has all changed," was Fred's considered and somewhat whimsical, comment. "Woman have come a long way."
[Fred] "Confusion reigns," Fred muttered. "What with the ACA, previously AAA, the MFSA, previously ASOM, it is all a matter of AAF, commonly known as Ass About Face!"
[Fred] Fred never really laughed. Rather, his copious belly would tremble, and then akin to an underground tremor, a rumble would emit. His beard softened the sound into a grumbling guffaw. He was in such a state when I arrived. "The electronic media market place is a mess", he said.