October 2013 Last night, at 6 pm, my wife’s phone rang while I was doing a Pilates session (my wife is a Pilates instructor) in our living room wearing an old t-shirt and pajama pants. It was the lady that moved into our previous house just a few blocks away. “Are you OK?”,she asked my wife. “What’s going on in your street? The whole place is full of police”. I ran out into the street and she was right – there were police vans parked bumper to bumper from right in front of our house, right down to the end of the street and around the corner! A yellow police crime-scene ribbon was spun around our neighbouring 7 erf property, police standing almost shoulder to shoulder and people from the area streaming in to get their piece of the action.
Now this huge property’s been vacant and for sale for many years. It is slightly run down at the moment, and the cause of much concern for the neighbours. “What’s going on?”, I asked my other neighbour. Neighbour: “No one wants to say”. As I made my way through the crowd, I could see one policeman patrolling the crime scene with the help of his German Shepard. Being the direct neighbour to the property, I was directed to an inspector not dressed in police clothing. “There’s been a murder”, he said. “Goodness…” I replied. Inspector: “Yes, a man allegedly killed a child with a spade and buried him in a shallow grave”. “Goodness…” I replied. Me: “When did this happen?”. It sort of looked like he was getting irritated with me and he reluctantly replied: “Saturday”. As my mind started to add up a few things (thinking maybe this is where I should just keep silent and walk away), I asked the next question: “Where did he bury the child?” Inspector: “You see where the dog’s at? right there”. “OOOOPSSSS”, I replied, “that was me…” You see, on Saturday I had decided to build a sandpit for my 3 little ones to play in. The closest and most convenient place to get pure white sand from was under the grass of the vacant property right next to me. So I neatly removed blocks of grass with my spade (the size of, come to think of it now, a small grave) until the white sand was exposed.
I then dug a hole and transferred the sand to the sand pit on my property, replacing the sand with soil I dug up from the sand pit. Just before I started to close the 1.5 meter deep hole however, my 7-year-old son, Luca, jumped into the hole and covered himself with soil. I joined in the fun and continued to throw the rest of the soil on him until only his head stuck out. What we didn’t notice at that point was the shocked faces of a few boys from the neighbourhood passing on their bikes at that very moment…. What they didn’t see of course, was how Luca then wiggled his way out and I closed the hole and replaced the grass patches – very neatly so that no one could see I was there. These very upset children drove straight home telling the one kid’s mom that a guy with long blonde hair killed a boy with a spade and is busy burying him in a shallow grave, at the vacant property in Brand Street. Initially she brushed them off, but after a sleepless night with hysterical children, she decided to investigate – and discovered the suspicious shallow grave, just as they said. So she phoned the police who came out to the property and suddenly: CRIME SCENE… Policeman: “So you are the guy with the long blonde hair!”. I (still dressed in my pajama pants) confirmed the size of my son and he shouted to everyone: “Pack up guys, we found the suspect”. Don’t be surprised if my next wine is called “child killer” or “sandpit”.