“So Lance finally admitted.” Vetfaan sits back to survey the group at the counter. “That must have been very hard.”
Gertruida isn’t impressed at all. “The world thinks that’s big. Huge. But they are concentrating on sportsmen. That’s wrong.”
“Such are the wages of sin…” Servaas says with his holier-than-thou face. “He connived and crooked his way to the top. He tried to fool everybody. No, I’m not sorry for him. They should take away every medal he ever won – even as a child.”
“That’s harsh, Servaas.” Gertruida sits back to study the old man. He’s dressed in his black suit again, a sure sign that he is disgusted about something. Now the cause of his indignation is clear, she finds his argument one-sided and short-sighted. “Sure he did wrong. Every sports administrator and anybody-who’s-somebody in sport are up in arms, standing there with innocent faces and declaring what a terrible thing he did. I can understand that; and it’s right that people should demand drug-free competition. But…”
“Oh please, there are no buts, Gertruida! Wrong is wrong!” Even the bushy eyebrows tremble in righteous anger.
“That’s my point, Servaas.” Her tone is gentle, like when you explain something simple to a child. “If everybody gets on their high horses about this one, they should do it across the board with everybody who uses devious ways to attain a certain position in life. Now let’s see…”
What about politicians who use drugs? Huh, Servaas? Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barak Obama, New York Mayor – Michael Bloomberg? If they admitted to using drugs, must we strip them of their fame? Erase them from political history?
And what about the entertainers everybody loves so much? Michael Jackson and Elvis paid for their drug abuse with their lives, and still their records sell. Should we not stand back and tell ourselves that was wrong and stop listening to them?
And what about other means of fooling the masses? Broken campaign promises and corruption are much worse than somebody pedalling across the Alps faster than anybody else. Turning a blind eye to rhino poaching surely deserves a public outcry and the demand for whoever is responsible to be publicly shamed? I’m not talking about the guy who pulls the trigger – I’m talking about the officials who allow and encourage it.
Talking about fooling the masses – what about churches? Men of the frock with their little fetishes. Paedophile priests. Why don’t we see the same reaction across the globe when church leaders overstep the mark?
And finally, what about Robert Mugabe? Zuma? You think they lead spotless lives? They expelled Julius Malema, who said there were 700 charges of fraud and crime against Zuma. Do you think people care about that? It’s not just an African problem either – Italy, France, the World Bank…the list is endless.
“So, Servaas, I think you must be fair. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, my friend. Either we condemn drugs and crime in all cases, or we must crawl into a burrow somewhere and try to convince ourselves the world is a just and a fair place.”
By this time Servaas has cupped his head in his hands. It is just too much. His whisper is almost inaudible.