Last week he hit me with a corker just as I was putting my shoes back on to leave. Actually he had said something similar to me before, but not quite so bluntly:
"I'm not surprised so many South Africans leave, don't you guys have another Mugabe in power now?"
How. To answer that question. In the 30 seconds it would take me to put on my shoes.
That is not a light parting question. That question deserves a good answer, that question is a startling and misguided one. I can't leave my chiropractor thinking like that, even if he doesn't really care and it makes no difference to his life whatsoever.
This is a highly educated man. He knows more about South Africa than almost any other Brit I have met, and trust me, Brits are more clued up about South Africa than most nationalities. At least they don't usually argue with you as to the existence of your home country.
If he thinks this, then what do other people here think?
I tried, in my 30 seconds, to give the best answer I could, but I think I probably just made things worse in his mind.
Poor Zuma. I mean I am not exactly running up and down outside his house with pom-poms and a skimpy skirt, (I am not a fan of his anti-gay views at all, and certain other views on various things) but how can he be another Mugabe? He has not even been in power a single year. Mugabe spent years perfecting his unique brand of megalomanic madness.
My chiropractor seemed to think that land reform in South Africa had followed Zimbabwe. Now as far as I know there was a controversial land reform bill created before Zuma's time, which was then shelved. It has now been taken up again for review. This is an ANC thing, not just a Zuma thing, as far as I can see. But you try saying all that and more in 30 seconds.
That conversation made me sad. I wanted him to understand, to not say misguided things about my country. To know some context at least. But 30 seconds is not enough. And you know what, the stuff he said is coming from other South Africans who he knows, not from him.
We need to stick to discussing the weather from now on. Or God. I don't care if he is not really interested in my views about God, but damnit, don't ask me about the Zunami unless you really want to hear all about him, and his little machine gun too.
Thank godfrey my chiropractor has not yet heard of Malema.