There’s a building across the road from where I work that is being demolished to make way for some new luxury hotel. All day the demolition crane has been banging away at the structure, which falls, bit by bit, in a steady rumble, punctuated now and again with a mighty thundering crash. People stop on the street to watch, and I have been fascinated myself on several smoke breaks already by watching a building disappear.
I wonder why it is that destruction is so much more interesting than construction. I mean, people don’t exactly stop to watch a building going up. And while some of us may enjoy watching a souffle rise more than eating the thing, there seems to be more satisfaction in taking something down. Wine-making is a fascinating process, but only because of what you get to consume at the end.
Still, the interest in the building across the road may be because its bricks are falling under the weight of both gravity and history. It used to be a synod for the Dutch Reformed Church, and though it hasn’t seen synod-action for some time, apparently some miraculous things used to happen there. From John Scott on IOL:
‘At lunch times hundreds of delegates would pour out of the building into the CBD.
Wherever you went, black and white figures popped out of nowhere, examining for themselves the sinfulness or otherwise of the city.
Yoga, karate and Zen Buddhism were all satanic, as was Scientology, until the Scientologists threatened to sue the church, at which point Scientology was taken off the satanic list.
Artificial insemination was approved, so long as the husband’s sperm was used and not that of a “third party”.
Koot Vorster, brother of prime minister John Vorster, was a long-time moderator of the synod.
Before retiring he boasted he had worn his wit strikkie for 45 years, even to rugby matches, because it warded off temptation, and he told the story of one particular dominee who was seen slipping into a pub.
“He wasn’t wearing a white tie,” Dr Koot declared.
“A white tie stops a person from doing such things.”
The highlight one year was when a Cape Times reporter sent to cover the synod had a conversion himself, and interrupted proceedings to announce he had given his heart to the Lord.
From being an objective observer, he had become the Main Event. Next day Die Burger reported that the Cape Times had at last seen the light.’
So now you know: if you want to avoid the falling bricks of a hangover, wear a white tie.