Bring your own water when you come for a haircut: CT has gone loony over water crisis

From hairdo to poo, the water crisis is changing conversations in the city- even for the chic

11 February 2018 - 00:00 By DAVE CHAMBERS

Water-cooler chatter has taken an odd turn in offices across Cape Town. First of all, there are no longer any water coolers, but apart from that office workers are talking (and there's no other way to say this) even more shit than usual.
Specifically, talk has turned to the tricky, sticky question of what to do with the stuff when the apocalypse (now? just now?) arrives, the shit hits the pan, and the pan is dry.
The troubling terms "sawdust layer", "urine separator" and "humanure" have entered common parlance and routine suburban one-upmanship has found poo ways of expressing itself.
"I have a composting toilet on my deck, it's so liberating," is the kind of boast it's hard to top, unless it's with: "Darling, armageddon out of here to our beach house in Hermanus."Life has already changed as Day Zero recedes into the distance with every announcement from the latest DA politician weirdly desperate to be in charge of inflicting misery and suffering on millions.
For example - and I am reliably informed this is The End of The World As We Know It - hairdressers will no longer wash your sun-kissed tresses unless you bring your own water. The style du jour is the "bowl cut" (that lavatorial preoccupation again) and the words "fix me a pixie" can be heard in salons across the city. And that's just the hipsters.
Serious issues aside, life has already fundamentally changed in the suburbs. Dinner parties have almost ground to a halt, unless you arrive with nine litres of water for a flush. BYOB has taken on an entirely different connotation. School swimming lessons are being held alongside the empty pool.
Slaapstad has become Werkstad (because if you're covertly filling 25-litre containers at the office, then schlepping them to your double-cab on P4 at 7.30pm, no one will see you. And you can still brag that your water meter at home is moving more slowly than the ANC dumping Zuma).
As for showers, forget it, unless you're one of the lucky poo who have snapped up a pressurised weed sprayer. Garden centres would have gone the way of every lawn across the city (except the ones that belong to the bastards with boreholes and no shame) if it wasn't for rocketing sales of sprayers. "My daughter and I both showered with two litres of water last night," said a colleague.
A BADGE OF HONOUR
We're all a bit smelly, of course, whether it's from not washing or from showering with the remnants of weedkiller. But it's a badge of honour, right? Helen Zille says so, and if she can stand in a skottel and scrape a rough waslap across her tannie stukkies, then so can we. Thankfully, most of us prefer not to live-tweet while we're doing it.Talking about madams, did you see there were fisticuffs the other day at a spring in Newlands? A bunch of "waterpreneurs" (previously known as car guards) mobbed a woman who pitched up in a 4x4, each eager to claim the anticipated large tip, and violence ensued.
This sets the scene nicely for Day Zero, when we can expect to see trophy wives sitting in their SUVs, engines running, aircon on, Facebook firing, while "their Malawians" or domestic workers swelter in the dusty water queue.
That's assuming they haven't abandoned the hired help and gone to gym, where the ogle factor has risen at the same rate as swimming pool levels have fallen. "It's funny to see these ripped men swimming in shallow water, and rather lovely when they stand up in what was once the deep end," said a female friend.
Naturally enough, there are those profiting from a city's suffering. Security companies - often to be found in the vanguard in these situations - must be salivating at the prospect of bad behaviour at water distribution points. More unusually, chiropractors and physiotherapists are reporting booming business as unfit people arrive in droves with nasty cases of "bucket back".
The rest of us can profit too, if we're smart about it. "Sorry I'm late for work, I'm stuck in the water queue," has great potential as a new line for malingerers.

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