Such a simple word but from whichever angle it is viewed, there lies a wealth of meanings!
Growing up, a process which most of us fellas find never ending, we used to visit the local rubbish dump in search of useful stuff of which others had exhausted their usefulness. The official name for this often producer of classic finds was the Tip! In fact I think dad found my first bicycle at the tip in Wellington’s southern hills. 1 But your Honour, I only gave the man a tip!
If a customer ever offered us a tip for a job well done, our response was always: “No worries mate, I’m just doing my job”! That is until I arrived in Africa where the process of reward and disguised payments for what would be someone just doing her / his job was tipping. Although foreign to some of us, tipping is a necessary part of Africa’s remuneration system. Even the new generation traffic cop reckons that the bribe she / he accepts is to be regarded as a tip! We are just helping each other out!
Recently a short video made it’s rounds on the cell phone circuit: A hapless worker is wheeling a heavily laden trolley toward the edge of a truck’s loading bay. Sadly for this worker, who should have waited on the lift until it was lowered to ground level, she / he pushed the trolley over the edge of the lift where it tipped with such force it threw the worker over the top, to land heavily on the warehouse floor! That was tipping at it’s worst!
One Saturday morning leading into afternoon, I spent a few hours playing snooker at my friend / neighbour’s house with associated Ricard Pastis and ice to help with our accuracy. My friend / neighbour realising that Dan was a little tipsy called Linda saying: “I think you had better prepare a sandwich, we are coming over for food”! Not as tall as me in stature, he had to virtually carry me over the street to our house, where I promptly tipped over backwards into the garden, just missing the water filled fountain!
Sadly for my reputation, my sister in law and a co-examinator, up from Durban to mark Matric exam papers, were visiting our house for the day. I woke up sitting, in a chair, at the table on the stoep with an untouched glass of milk and a dagwood sandwich staring at me! 4 Hello you!
When The Titanic hit that huge block of floating ice way back in the Twenties, and sank with massive loss of life, visible was just the tip of the iceberg, deep below the surface were far more dangerous implications! 5 What dangers lurk beneath that tip?
My workshop landlord was busy giving me advice with regard to rent payments the other day. I had a modern hi tech motor car connected to the diagnostic computer to set the steering centre, and thought I might ease the subject away from the rent! I mentioned to the gentleman concerned, who owns a number of tyre fitment centres, how important such equipment was when setting the wheel alignment. “We have our own diagnostic computer “! He spat back at me, he wasn’t interested in my tip, just the rent. 6 In the auto industry this setting is called the Clear View, and modern motor cars rely on this setting being spot on!
That same day one of my gentleman co-workers was busy with the drilling machine, and from the screeching sound I could hear that, either he had the drill turning backwards, or the tip of the drill needed sharpening! In either case I had to anyway sharpen the tip of that drill. Thank goodness for my Dad’s tips and those practical classes at Polytech! 7 The cutting and clearance angles on the drill tip must be machined correctly to ensure a good drill!
My tip for South Africans from all walks of life is not to listen to the Black Eyed Peas and spare not your vocal chords fighting for your Country! Get rid of the buffoon and get Pravin back, for his patriotism is obvious and he will surely be instrumental in protecting Your Country from the cadres’ illegal deals, nepotism and general looting of Your Funds! Sadly much has been lost already! Herman Mashaba for President ASAP:
St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen: http://www.stvincentschool.org.za/
Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf: http://www.fulton.org.za/
Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work: http://abrahamkriel.org/
The Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped was opened in 1970, and for the amazing work they do for the less fortunate they deserve great accolades: http://www.avril.org.za/