Aunt Maggie Botha woke up with a start sometime after two in the morning from a racket somewhere in the house. Her blood ran cold when she realised Oom Danie wasn’t in bed. Expecting the worst, she silently approached the kitchen, clutching a pair of dressmaker scissors…
In the dark, wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a boshoed, Oom Danie was lying flat on his stomach on the kitchen floor. With his left hand, he was shining a penlight torch onto something tiny on the floor while holding his cellphone camera in the right. With a soft, but clear David Attenborough accented voice, he muttered: “The alpha female… of this clan… seems completely unperturbed by the relentless… raunchy advances… of the subordinate male mob…”
She flicked on the light switch.
“Daniel Petrus Johannes Botha! What the…”
“Nooo Margaret! You’ve chased them off now!”
“The cockroaches. I am making a wildlife doccie…”
Her silence was deafening.
At that moment Maggie Botha realised that she needed professional help. For weeks, Danie’s condition had been gradually worsening from what started as general restlessness and irritability to sudden, irrational outbursts of anxiety and long bouts of quiet melancholy. The previous week he started staying up all night watching reruns on Animal Planet, wreaking havoc with his sleeping patterns and getting him in trouble at work.
They say that if you want to convince yourself that you are indeed suffering from a terminal disease, you should Google your symptoms. Maggie was smarter than that, and posted her question on the local church sisters’ WhatsApp group. After a few hit-and-misses, she was referred to a specialist in Groenkloof, Pretoria who, according to Greta Malan, wrote the book on this sort of thing.
Years earlier, Dr Sibu “Bushy” Buthelezi had been researching hundreds of cases involving seemingly healthy people of all ages and cultures showing similar anomalous behavioural symptoms with no apparent infection, blood toxicity or chemical imbalances showing up on any of a battery of tests. He was entirely stumped until he started noticing a single common thread when having conversations with his patients about their lifestyles, loves and desires: every single one had a WildCard in their wallets or purses, usually stowed behind a photograph of a loved one.
The penny dropped.
Further consultations quickly connected the dots and Dr Buthelezi received international acclaim from the medical fraternities in Europe, North America and Asia – where similar cases had GPs, psychiatrists and psychologists scratching their heads for a century. He named the condition KRUGER DEFICIENCY DISORDER (now known as KDD) and described the symptoms, causes and recommended treatment, which incidentally proved simple to remedy.
Dr Bushy gave Oom Danie one look, Aunt Maggie one wink, instructed 7 days’ sick leave and wrote on his prescription pad:
“Bushveld Terrapy – 6 nights right at the Phalaborwa Gate”.