Sunday, August 30, 2009

Being an Afrikaner on the first day of September

The first day of September used to hold great memories for me growing up as a child. When I was in primary school (age 7-13) it was the one day we were allowed to wear "siwwies" otherwise known as casual clothes freeing us from our hideous, warm and contraceptive uniform (no one would touch you when you were wearing that thing). We would all go to the school hall where we would sing songs in Afrikaans and about being an Afrikaner and we would lock arms and sway to the rhythm of the old piano on the left side of the stage. Good times.

When I went to high school that was the one day I was really looking forward to (my birthday and Christmas were during the holidays so they don't count), but to my utter dismay the first day of spring came and gone as unnoticed as a streaker at a nudist camp.
When I asked my mom about it that day she just gave me her usual children should be seen and not heard response which meant I'd either have to wait and ask her about it when I was considered an adult (I'm still waiting for that day to come) or I could go ask Pule our gardener that had been mowing our lawn with me holding the electric chord behind him all the way and teaching me how to trim roses since I could remember.

I could never tell how old Pule actually was. He had too many wrinkles to determine an accurate age.

It's suffice to say that he wasn't 21 anymore.

To me he was the wisest man on this side of the world because obviously Einstein or Goethe already claimed that role in the northern hemisphere. Pule had little posessions, but it never seemed to bother him. Nothing could break his slow, steady stride and come to think of it: I had never seen that man run. Ever. Not even the time when he found a beehive in the wall below the bathroom window. I, on the other hand, would've given Forest a bloody run for his money that day, so to speak.

Now, Pule was black. With post-apartheid or post-segregation still in diapers people felt the way someone feels when he spots a spider (that he is weary and kinda afraid of) in the bathroom while taking a wee and he watches the spider not knowing what to expect: is the spider going to jump him and bite his weener leading to infection and having to get it amputated? Or is the spider going to move retreat down the basin into the drain and allow the man to run to his phone and call Pest Control? You get the picture.

But I didn't really know all about these things. All that mattered to me at fourteen were shoes called Jelly Babies, the latest Roxette cassette (or what we used to call "tapes") and trying not to push the pimples on my face whilst strapping my emerging boobs down with bandages. I had early onset cupsize-syndrome: when my friends were still as flat as an ironing board, my chest area looked like molehills.

The infamous Jelly Babies. They may not seem that fabulous NOW, but ten years ago they were like Jimmy Choos to teenagers here. Upon finding an image of these shoes, they called them "vintage." I am oficially old. Shit.

I asked Pule if he knew why we never sang our traditional Afrikaner songs at school that day.

Pule took a puff from his pipe, tucked on his old Northern Transvaal cap(these days know as the Blue Bulls rugbyside: the best in the country by far and even winning the Super 16 twice now thus being the only South African side able to accomplish that) and then he said:

"If you came to my house and we only spoke Sesotho (which I didn't understand back then), would you feel comfortable?"

What was he going on about? Of course not. The only thing I could say in Sesotho back then was what way is the police station? and I doubt that phrase would have been appreciated at Pule's place.

I just shook my head.

"How many black children are there in your school now?" Pule asked.

An image of me and my brother playing that video game Othello came to mind.

I was always white (repeat after me class: white equals good) which meant my brother had to be the black side (repeat after me class: black equals bad). I kicked his lily ass in that game time after time; I could always feel victory approach as my white dots slowly but surely turned his black dots over to my color until the board looked like evenly spread out snowflakes followed by me rubbing salt in his wounds and then having to run as fast as I could from objects coming my way at amazing speeds. His aim was usually fairly true.

Schools during the nineties seemed a lot like that Othello board with about 90 percent white kids and the rest consisting of black, brown or Indian children.

"The black kids in your school grew up hating Afrikaans. Some of their brothers and sisters died for standing up against that language. Do you think they would be happy if they had to sing songs about spring and the Afrikaner in that language with those memories in their hearts?"

The famous picture of the dying Hector Peterson in the arms of a friend with his sister running beside them.

I remember that conversation to this day. Especially after the whole District 9 movie that'd been released worldwide recently. The movie is set in that very place where Hector Peterson lost his life in 1976 when a nervous, young white policeman accidentally pulled off a shot when the children came too close. The children were toi toing (protesting) against the fact that their primary language in school would be Afrikaans which they couldn't even understand, let alone speak.

District 9 is about the recent Xenophobia-episode we had here in South Africa and it's about apartheid (segregation) and how the oppressed eventually had enough and rebelled against the government. I have mixed feelings about this film because it brings back those old grudges and the bitterness and the unforgiving hatred of losing a child, a husband, a mother, a loved one.

I have mixed feelings because I'm tired of saying I'm sorry for something I had no part in.
I'm tired of feeling guilty for something I didn't do, but which the color of my skin ties me to.

I'm tired of feeling angry because the language I dream in, the language I pray in, the language of my soul must now be taken away and killed like a rabid dog.
This country drenched in blood is the only home I know; where would I go if I had to leave? Where could I feel the sun on my skin every day even when it's winter, where I can see the Big Five wander about their daily routine less than ten metres away from where I'm sitting (in a Land Rover with a guy holding a f*cking HUGE gun), where I could eat biltong (almost like beef jerky), pap en vleis (porridge and meat from a BBQ), drink mampoer (think the strongest drink you've ever had and multiply it by 400: hello hangover my old friend) and tell a joke about Koos van der Merwe in Afrikaans? I have been abroad and I just never had the same feeling than when I'm here in the land of the sun. Times are uncertain and they're are pretty tough now in South Africa, but this place is under our skin and in our hearts. Maybe it's the contaminated water we drink that make us this crazy by wanting to stay here.

So happy first of September wherever you are: be it the beginning of autumn with the promise of cooler days and fireplace-nights, or the beginning of spring with the promise of new blossoms and sweaty sheets. At least now people can have sex again on top of the covers without freezing the passion off ' their arses.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's all about Meme, Michael Jackson and cocktails with awards

It's time to dish out some awards from the Truth Side. Don't worry; it's not as gloomy or evil (unfortunately) as the Dark Side, but certainly not as bloody boring as the Goody Two Shoes Side either. Some people don't like these awards. I'm not one of them. I get tired of blowing my own horn sometimes so when someone else does it for me, I'm grateful.

First: a word of thanks to otherworldlyone for giving me this beauty :) I've always wanted a Michael Jackson staring at me with those adoring eyes. Not many can pull of the "white glove" without ending up just looking stupid. Michael did white glove and creepy: a combination only he could master.

Moving on. The first award being dished out is the premium Meme award from Matthew at Resurrected Ramblings all the way from the land down under. Thanks to Shane Warne and George Gregan I have never really been fond of Australians, but this point of view is slowly changing thanks to our rugby team currently being the best in the world and Super 16 winners AGAIN great bloggers exploding from the kangaroo's sack, so to speak ;)

Anyway, this award requires the recipient to "list 7 personality traits exhibited by their writing." Here goes nothing:

1. My writing is always personal. And yes, I know everyone's usually is but they haven't claimed that one yet so it's mine now. There's a piece of me in every post I write, be it good or bad and I think it's the closest thing (except for my dogs of course) to a baby I'll ever have. I like to tell stories about the Willy Wonkas I meet, the people claiming to be my family and the rest of my encounters with people resembling all walks of life. Not only do they make for interesting posts, but lasting memories I could look back on and laugh my last breath out when thinking about them.

2. Speaking about laughter: I'm a Patch Adams at heart. I'm just not a doctor and I resent the fact that he dresses up like a clown because there are other ways to spread the funny without freaking your already damaged patients the hell out. And I'm cuter than Robin Williams. Okay, maybe Patch Adams was a bad example, but I believe that laughter is the answer to World Peace (I just solved the biggest problem in your life, beauty contestants). It's like what Morgan Freeman said in the movie Feast of love:
"There is a story about the Greek Gods: they were bored so they invented human beings. But they were still bored so they invented love. Then the weren't bored any longer. So they decided to try love for themselves. And finally they invented laughter: so they could stand it."

The point is: if you can't laugh about is, someone else sure will.

3. My writing is always long and elaborate to say the least. I think I have yet to write a short post which irritates me at times and I'm sure the reader as well having to concentrate and sit still for two minutes. I especially feel for the ADD ones.

4. I can't seem to stick to the point. It's like that in my everyday life as well. Luckily I don't work in the military because sticking to the mission would've been torture for me. Now I just torture readers with my long posts. At least this way there will be no physical damage except maybe getting some cellulite from sitting on your butt for long periods of time reading and writing comments. As for the psychological damage from these posts? Don't look at me! Go see a shrink. It helped Tony Soprano and he killed people for a living.

5. I don't believe in happy endings hence the whole happily AFTER ever because no one ever seems to bother making a movie about what happens three years after the seemingly elated and I-want-to-tear-your-clothes-off-after-attempting-to-carry-your-fat-ass-across-the-threshold-newly married couple closes the door behind them only to reveal two and a half screaming kids and a colic baby with bills piling up on the kitchen counter four years later with the crazy sex being nonexistent or mediocre and bad. At varsity I used to kill at least one character in the stories I had to write for class. And that was on a good day. Don't worry, I'm not mental: just realistic and sober (tonight).

6. I like sarcasm. Too much at times since it got me into trouble way too often at my old job as a teacher. You'd be amazed at how serious fourteen and fifteen year olds are at times. And what ever happened to teenagers not telling their parents anything after their 12th birthday?

"Where do we have to draw a line, Miss?" little Mary asks after I'd already given that specific instruction for the umpteenth time that same period.

"Preferably at 'take off your clothes and dance on the table so I can tape you and post it on Youtube, baby.' Otherwise you could just draw it right underneath the date, Dipsy."

Puzzled look from Mary.

The next day I got called to the Principal's office for a spanking sit down with Mary's mother wanting to know why I'm teaching sex ed in my language class.

"It's called integration, Mrs. Mary, which it's part of the new syllabus. And I'm actually giving you more value for your hard earned money you need to plow back into your ungrateful child's education by teaching two subjects at once."

Mary's mom shook my hand and asked the principal to give me a raise.

7. What you see is pretty much what you get. I won't seduce you with big, I-have-to-look-that-one-up-in-the-dictionary-words and beautifully constructed, eloquent sentences. This is me. I'm not perfect all the time, but at least you won't catch me wearing green and red at the same time. Some days you'll have me at my best, most of them at my worst but at least you know what to expect. Just don't compare me to that old, trusty dog you had once or I'll high five your face, jackass.

I'd like to pass this award on to the following people for various reasons:

Why, how and other abstract questions


a day in the life

Advice and humor from Mr. Condescending

Mo "Mad Dog" Stoneskin

JennyMac and Judearoo: you have already been tagged, but you know you would've made "The List." ;)

I'm really looking forward to read about the 7 personality traits in your writing, so get busy already.

The next award is from Jennymac currently enjoying some time back in her hometown of Seattle. The only thing I know about Seattle is Grey's Anatomy and if I were to have my appendix removed while being in Seattle, I would love to have McDreamy get his hands on me. A girl can dream, okay!

This award has the following rules:

"Make a cocktail, pick out some of your favorite bloggers. Send this award to 4 of them. Tell them why you think they give good blog."

Cocktail: check. I just made myself a white Russian.

This is the tough part for me because I hate singling out only a few people for awards. It's like going to try outs for cheerleaders or the football team or the play and you give your darn best by almost breaking a leg/arm/vocal chord and leave it all on the stage. When you hear the announcement that the results are up on the board next to the hall, you dash there during break time and search frantically for your name. I hate that feeling of suspense, but I can only give this one to 4 bloggers. I'm just going to bite the bullet:

otherworldlyone: she never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think I can't laugh any louder, I can't read any faster to see what she'd been up to, I can't scroll down frantically enough, I do. Her stories are straight from her big heart (and what a wild one it is) and although I think she'd crack me for saying this, she's like Dr. Phil in the sense that she always tells it like it is. Reading her blog is having dessert for breakfast: awesome and something that just never gets old.

Matthew: when I first started reading this man's blog I felt the way a football scout probably feels when he discovers the next John Terry slash Didier Drogba or when a talent scout discovers the next Janis Joplin. He actually reminds me of Dave Matthews back in the day when he was just "the guy singing in that pub." We used to drive up to see some friends in Johannesburg who loved going to this pub where Dave always played. Nobody knew who he was or where he came from; all that mattered was the music. And it was good. It's only years later that our friend recognised his voice on the radio and found out "the guy singing in the pub" has become pretty famous since then. Dave can't go to our little pub anymore without having lingerie or socks or condoms thrown on stage (don't worry: they haven't been used yet, Matthew).

Anyway, in Matthew's quiet way he won me over after reading the first post and since then I've never been disappointed. I assure you: neither will you.

Eric: this anything but boring guy was the first blog I started following. I found him by clicking "next blog" on the top menu bar and since then he's been my "THE blog." Eric is from the South, but his passion is all things Italian and he makes carving marble seem like the sensual journey of discovering a woman's body (don't blush now, Eric) and now even I am interested in it. His blog is informative without being "teachery" while he still manages to throw in a little humor that's like the olive in my martini. This modest gentleman's writing is like a drug of which you will soon become a full blown junky.

The girl with the pink teacup: she is probably like the Mona Lisa of the blogworld or the Tony Soprano of New Jersey. She is known and loved by all because she not only writes about blow jobs in a way it feels like having a slice of death by chocolate being licked off your fingers by Jensen Ackles, but because she takes time to leave long and sincere comments on your blog making you feel like you didn't write that piece for nothing. She has that rare gift of mesmerising you with her words and taking you on a journey to worlds still undiscovered. You meet writers like her once in a lifetime, if you're lucky enough.
Tennyson: I know I'm only allowed 4, but since crossing paths with this drummer, I have to bend the rules just a little bit. He gives you the impression of being just another average Joe, but his writing begs to differ. I especially liked the post he wrote about how Lady Hem proposed to him. His blog gives me a sense of comfort and after reading it I usually have a smile on my face. Through his writing I know he's a loyal friend and if he's music is anything like his writing, he must be pretty kick ass.
Judearoo: I know I'm pushing it now, but this girl is worth it. At times she reminds me of Dill from "To kill a mockingbird" when he says to Jem and Scout: "I'm little, but I'm old." Judearoo's writing delivers a little bit of everything: sometimes playful, sometimes sweet, sometimes as beautiful as a sunset in Paris and sometimes all these things combined. Definitely worth checking out.
Have fun with these awards, kids, and spread it like the legs of a lady of the night. I'm going to cool my typing-tired fingers around another cocktail; have a good week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A dog with issues and the human pain-in-the-ass

I had to take my dog to the doggy parlor yesterday. He hasn't been for a haircut in four months and since people were stopping me in the street trying to take pictures of my "mini sheep" I knew it was time.

This is him trying to hide from me even when he was a puppy and we had to go to the parlor. He's not a big fan of scissors after watching Edward Scissorhands 400 times with Mommy.

I've been going to the same parlor for the past year now. The previous one I went to left my dog with little customer satisfaction after he had to deal with Mommy holding a teabag on his eye for four hours with five minute intervals after getting yanked by some scissors which ended up bursting a vain. He was not a happy chappy after that episode. Neither was Mommy after the vet's account.

Since then we've moved to The Blunt Scissors Puppy Friendly Parlor or just Designer Paws for short and we've been much happier. The owner even has a chair for me to sit and wait in while I hawk eye them clipping away at my dog-child. Here in Africa we don't abandon our offspring, even if they're hairy with four legs and a dominating personality.

I always have three books in my bag (no wonder it's so heavy, I always thought it was the brick in there, but Tolstoy can be a serious weapon any day of the week) so I make myself as comfortable as possible whilst listening to barking that even gives Rage Against the Machine a run for their money noise wise, when this lady walks in with her Yorkshire Terrier. I love touching dogs because I'm a dog person and thus dogs let me touch them because they love the love I pet them with. But not this Yorkie. Oh no. Nor the owner. Bigger oh no. I could sense from the way they approached the counter they were not what-a-cute-dog-let-me-mush-his-little-face-while-I-make-coo-sounds-people.

The owner turns to me and asks in quite a rude tone:

"Where's the owner?"

Are you blind, woman? Am I wearing a pink flowery apron with gloves and when talking to you, trying to get rid of all the excess dog hair I had just been shedding by spitting it out the side of my mouth like Clint Eastwood chewing tobacco?


But I did know the answer because the owner and I are good friends (dog people flock together, or is it howl-together?) and he always tells me where he's going when he leaves. He could be my parlor-husband in a sense.

"He just had to drop off the dogs from this morning and pick up the ones who have appointments for this afternoon. He'll be back in no time. What a cute dog you have there," I said with a smile anyway because my mother drilled manners into me the hard way: no Dallas unless I gave back the money I took from church in that little sack they send around after service for donations. It was an honest mistake as I thought it was a gift from the congregation because my dad always said "he who gives, shall receive" and I thought it was high time for the receiving-part after months of giving and don't dare judge me about Dallas; JR was my hero when I was seven.

"I phoned Deon (the owner) yesterday and he said he'd be here," she was telling someone who really didn't care, "and the only reason I came today was because my neigbour said he has a great feel for dogs. Like some kind of dog whisperer."

Wrong again, lady. That's Cesar Milan and he lives in M e x i c o. You know that place somewhere abroad? She should really get out more and mingle with dog people, the poor recluse.

I explained again and as a good friend tried to defend the owner as he's only been really good to my dog-kids. He even sows and then puts the little bandana he just made on my Jack Russell and these funny bows in my Maltese's ears. How he gets those bows in without being ripped to pieces by the Furious one, I honestly don't know.

It might say Prince Charming on his jersey, but his middle name is Hitler and this is what he likes to call the Are you looking at me, boay?-stare.

The lady then starts telling me her dog's life story about how he turned into a different animal all together after his teeth got pulled out while not completely sedated. I just thought to myself: I would also be a different person if that were to happen to me; it's a toss up between turning into the Hulk and Dracula, but I guess the Hulk would win as he doesn't actually need his teeth to get even with a dentist sucking at his job.

According to the lady the dog now has an ulcer and coughs up blood whenever stressed.

See, its even trained to say "aaaaahhhhhh" at the snap of the fingers. This dog could be on a toothpaste commercial if it didn't have the whole fobia-thing going on.

Apparently the dog experiences stress whenever the lady isn't around. That's why she wants to stand there with the dog while its being bathed and having the hair cut.

When she saw my dog getting his coat trimmed off by one of the workers, she was upset. Again.

"I thought the owner cuts the dogs' hair. That's what I heard."

I wasn't having a great day and this lady was seriously getting on my nerves. First of all she was interrupting my time with Tolstoy and then when I glanced over at her I thought for a second she was going to suggest I bath and tame that crazy, blood coughing dog's hair.

Just then my parlor-husband returns (right on time, dear) and faces the wrath of the Stressor. I do actually think she might not be the main cause for this dog's anxiety, but she sure is contributing to it because, according to Cesar, dog's need rehabilitation and humans need training for we mess up our dogs with our 'wrong energy.'

If you're not a dog person I probably sound like that boring bitch with the three children talking to a person who's still screwing every guy that has good hair and a car. It's annoying, I know.

My Maltese now resembles the rat in a sugar cane field licking his exposed little balls the whole time and my Jack Russell looks as though she's lost a few pounds as well. I wish I looked that great after a "trim."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sure I can be Arnold Schwarzenegger!

I am not my mother's daughter anymore. I am now my mother's Muscle. Yes, Muscle with a capital M to make me seem more threatening and important because it's like a title. Without the title of king Henry the VIII seems like a pervert shagging anything wearing a dress.

My mom is 61 now; an age where she is perfectly capable of doing things herself. I still go shopping with my mom all the time, but this week I have been a bit preoccupied with the netball as one of the girls broke her arm during practice and I felt responsible and terrible. I am officially the worst non-parent in the world therefore I locked myself in the house and was confined to my uncomfortable-yet-stylish living room couch watching horror films and eating lots of carrot cake with terribly zesty icing which just made my glands swell up and itch by merely glancing at that cake. All it ended up doing was giving me stomach cramps and making me feel like a fat faced pumpkin.

But I digress, because my mom got mugged this week. Well, kind of. She went into the store to buy a plastic bucket for some obscure reason and when she got back to her car, two men approached her in a ungentlemanly fashion as one tried to grab her handbag.

Now, my mom unfortunately has this terrible saving-habit. She finally got the car of her dreams after driving one messed up canary yellow two door piece of crap which only purpose was to embarrass me at school when she dropped me off. I once asked her to drop me off on the corner and let me walk the rest of the way with the excuse that I needed all the exercise I could get growing up and all, but she insisted it wasn't safe and let me get out in front of my class room. And that was even before Columbine, people! I feel sorry for my nieces and their popularity taking a dive before it even had a chance to bloom.

Back to the saving. Her new car has air conditioner and all the lovely perks that you bloody well pay for when buying the car of your dreams. But my mother does not use her air conditioner.

"It just eats up the gas. And gas is really expensive these days, love. We have to save every penny we can."

Yes, mother; there is a tiny rat named Tim sucking up all the gas in your tank and getting high on the fumes at the gas station. What can you do?

So my mother was hot from bothering all the shop assistants in her search for the right bucket ... eh ... I mean shopping and although it's winter, she popped her window down. Just what the two thugs were hoping for. According to Mom they appeared out of nowhere.

"Like real ninjas, I tell you!"

Because the car has a central locking system, Jackie Chan just popped up the lock which allowed Jet Lee access to the passenger side where my mom's purse was.

Now, the ladies will get it when I say your whole life can pretty much be found in your purse. In my mom's case, anyway: credit cards, debit cards, shopping cards, gift vouchers, driver's licence, pictures of the family just in case you bump into an old enemy you want to impress with rubbing your beautiful children and grandchildren's smiling faces under her nose, house keys, car keys, the safe's keys, lipstick, another set of earrings in case you lose one whilst shopping like last time and end up looking like an idiot with one earring or a trashy tart wearing none (that's Mom's opinion, not mine), you get the idea. Would you just let your precious life slip into the uncaring hands of a street thug who's about to go on the shopping spree of his life?

Neither did my mom.

She apparently yelled some things even I cannot repeat in this post and was able to grab a hold of the purse's sling. The adrenaline storm kicked in and she said she felt like Samson with the Philistine about to cause her great discomfort canceling credit cards and standing in queues longer than the audition phase in So you think you can dance. I guess it'll be more like Get in line if you've been robbed from all the crap you carry around weighing your shoulder down and giving you early onset arthritis. I'm sure it would be an instant hit. The part where you're supposed to dance for your life would probably be the re-enactment of how you were robbed. I'd pay money to see Mom do that.

The thugs evidently noticed my mom was stronger than she looked, that she in fact has the strength of 300 Spartans hidden in her matured body from gardening and picking up whining grand kids and they took off without the purse and three black eyes. She at least got some punches in, she said proud.

Mom was still pretty shaken up behind her kick-ass exterior though, and so I assigned myself to the Muscle position. I may be little, but I am strong and there is, after all, strength in numbers. Four fists are better than two? Take into account my screeching ability and awesome aerobic high kicks and we're a fierce team, Mom and I.

Being a Muscle I get free lunches and clothing items whilst doing my job escorting Mom to all the good shops in the Mall. It's not that bad at all, really. I might just quit my day job for this and who knows? Maybe I'll run for governor someday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Gene Simmons is a bad influence and giving away an award

Let me introduce you to my friend Michael. This is the best way of summing him up:

I recall my first time with a condom; I was 16 or so.

I went in to buy a packet of condoms at the pharmacy. There was this beautiful woman assistant behind the counter, and she could see that I was new at it. She handed me the package and asked if I knew how to wear one.

I honestly answered: 'No, this is my first time.'

So she unwrapped the package, took one out and slipped it over her thumb. She cautioned me to make sure it was on tight and secure. I apparently still looked confused. So she looked all around the store to see if it was empty. It was empty.

'Just a minute,' she said and walked to the door and locked it.

Taking my hand, she led me into the back room, unbuttoned her blouse and removed it. She unhooked her bra and laid it aside.

'Do these excite you?' she asked.

Well, I was so dumb-struck that all I could do was nod my head. She then said it was time to slip the condom on. As I was slipping it on, she dropped her skirt, removed her panties and lay down on a desk.

'Well, come on,' she said, 'we don't have much time.'

So I climbed on her. It was so wonderful that, unfortunately, I could no longer hold back and KAPOW! I was done within a few minutes. She looked at me with a bit of a frown.

Did you put that condom on?' she asked.

"I sure did," I said and held up my thumb to show her.

She fainted.

Michael is a thirty three year old male in desperate need of a vasectomy. From my point of view of course, not his.

He got a girl pregnant when he was seventeen. The girl was twenty four. I know, I know: when he says you're his first, he might just mean it. But give credit where credit's due because Michael is a great dad. He is there for his son's rugby matches and end of the year play, giving him just enough pocket money to not buy cigarettes and a coke, spending time with him jamming it out on Guitar Hero.

Michael adores Gene Simmons (just like me!) from KISS and clings to Gene's philosophy on marriage like crabs to ball hair. My friend is more than happy to be the bachelor with the flat screen TV, the sea of clothes around the washing basket, the three day old chips layered all over the living room table.

Michael became a daddy for the second time (that we know of) with a different girl this March. I think he has a problem, but according to him he's not it. The girl moved in with him so he can "keep an eye on them." Yeah, right.

"I couldn't help it; the condom broke."
How about using one you bought at a store that day and not the old ones you got for free at a varsity party nine years ago in the drawer in the first place?

"It's not my fault she's not on the Pill."
Would it kill you to ask first?

Last week a "long lost love" called him anxiously, wanting to meet.

"Jeez, Michael!" I scolded him like an old mother. "Who the hell in this world haven't you slept with? A nun?"

When he gave me a sheepish grin, I wanted to vomit in my mouth. He has no standards, I swear. And he wonders why I won't introduce him to my girlfriends.

Michael is not a bad guy. He is a gentleman in every other way and not a stingy one at that. He's funny, handsome if you're into tall, blond guys and likes to have a good time without even touching a drink. He just loves the idea of love and being in love. Unfortunately when the feeling disappears, so does he.

Maybe if he resembled this chap, things would be a lot different.

The Long Lost Love was fearing pregnancy as she was very late, but too scared to see a doctor. Because he's still my friend and I know a little something about the deceitful ways of women I told him he'd better get her to a doctor and if there is another delivery from the stork on the way, he should insist on a paternity test as soon as he sees those little pink feet.

He came over today wanting to go for a drink to celebrate his 'hit and miss' (one less future-Michael to worry about) when I told him to grow the hell up. Was he ever planning on settling down someday, I asked.

"I'll get married when my children insist on it," and that coming from a preacher's son.

As I mentioned in my previous post, otherwordlyone from Calling people names (you'd better been at her blog already!) awarded me for always having something to say. I'd like to pass this on to the following people:

Matthew: he always makes me feel like the true lady I am (I'm vain, okay! get over it) with his comments and his writing is like having a cup of hot chocolate in the arms of a beloved in front of a fireplace on a cold winter's night. Did that sound poetic or just marvellous? Then yes, that's Matthew for you.

Thegirlwiththepinkteacup: even though not blogging as frequently as all her friends and followers would hope, she still goes through the trouble of leaving long and sincere comments which just proves why she is so popular and loved.

Gorilla Bananas: for a gorilla he is actually pretty talented and he never holds back on the verbal.
Judearoo: for always seeing my point of view and loving it (praise is always welcome here)

Organic Meatbag: he's always honest and true with a dash of humour whenever writing a comment on anyone's blog. You've got to love that in a guy!

Tennyson: he says what he wants to and needs to but in such a way that you end up agreeing with him. He's like the pied piper with an Aussie hat :)

Mo Stoneskin: Monday's with Mo is what I like to call it these days; something to look forward to on one of the dreariest days of the week. In his comments he always relates what you have said back to something in his life; a big plus in my book.

JennyMac: she likes keeping it short and sweet whilst managing to be entertaining at the same time

mysterg: although a Portsmouth fan, he can still leave a comment that manages to make me smile. Maybe I smile because of the fact that he's a Portsmouth fan?! Just kidding, mysterg ;)

Dave King: his comments are always reflective of him being a true gentleman; something money can't buy. Sometimes I don't know how he can stand reading my blog ;)

Eric, I would've nominated you, my dear Italian-speaking-genius-with-marble-annoyingly-talented friend, but otherworldlyone has done it already and rightly so. The same goes for you Sally-Sal, my very first commenter in the dry times and one of my favorite bloggers :)

Thank you all for taking the time and always commenting on what is written here. It's a nice feeling opening my blog in the middle of the day and seeing your name with a comment on my post. My self esteem is like a deflatable mattress sometimes and your comment is like the air pumping it to its proper size.

And thus with my best Elvis impersonation: Thank you; thank you very much!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The letter in the aisle and another award

I was sitting at a table in my favorite restaurant waiting for my friend - who is always late - to join me She's not fashionably late: she is inconsiderately late at times. I swear she'll be late for her own funeral someday.

Anyway, while I was waiting as usual, I saw a piece of paper in the aisle next to my table. It had been torn a bit from hurried waiter-feet and I could see something had been written on it. It was too big to be an order and it also didn't qualify as a menu. I like picking things up, much to my mother's dismay. I always pick pennies up that are lying in streets, seemingly abandoned by a wallet; I like to pick up shiny things because you never know when you might hit the jackpot in it being a diamond! And yes, I have been fooled by the occasional glued-to-the-ground-penny after which I tried to walk away as gracefully as an idiot possibly can.

So true to my nature, I leaned over and snatched up the piece of paper. Much to my delight it seemed to be a letter addressed to a "Raynard" from, I assume, a lady with the initials PB. Immediately scenes from Message in a Bottle flashed before my romantic eyes and I could already imagine me reuniting the two lovers and stand back with a sigh of happy jealousy at the sight of such sickening true love.

Anyway, the "letter" was written in a neat, firm handwriting and read as follows:

"My Raynard

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love does not mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises;
and you begin to accept defeats with your head up and your eyes forward with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans and the future have a way of falling down in mid flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth.
And you learn
and you learn
and with every good bye
you learn.


Okay, maybe I should hold off on the whole happy ending part. And suddenly I felt like an intruder. And I felt a bit sad. So sad in fact that I got up and left the restaurant to go to my favorite place to "think" (which is just my word for crying a little in privacy because I'm absolutely hideous with my puffy cry-eyes) while I phoned my friend to cancel lunch.

I hate it when things don't work out the way they're supposed to. Or the way you hoped they would. It reminds me of granny Lil's story with her John.

She was married to a Hollander. His parents moved to South Africa years ago thanks to his mother's asthma and he never could get used to our culture. The two met through mutual friends and he pursued her like a dog on heat.

"I suppose it's because I wouldn't give him the one thing he got from every girl he looked at or touched," she smiled.

He wasn't an attractive man with his thick glasses and crooked nose, but there was something about the way he handled himself in the presence of women: a kind of nonchalance that drove them to the brink of … eh … tears ;)

They had two children together (two girls) and everything seemed fine on the surface. She was a brought up in a Calvinistic way: she loved her husband and God, was faithful to them both, treasured her family and was a good mother until the day her husband died. It was then that she found out he had been cheating on her for more than thirty years. He even had another family in Holland which he was supporting by sending them money she had to do without thanks to his "non-spending" nature.

"How naïve I was. My life was a lie. Everything I believed in was one big sham. I felt like I had woken up from a dream into a nightmare existence when I discovered the contents of his locked drawer. We hadn't shared the same bed in years, but I thought it was because of his bad back. Maybe I didn't want to see what was happening? I don't really know. All I DO know is that I wish he was alive so I could kill him myself."

Good thing he died in his sleep, the old bugger.

She kept their father's "betrayal" from her daughters (one disappointed bitter woman in the family was enough) who paid more and more worried visits to their mother.

"They wanted me to go see a shrink so I said I'll do that if they bought me another bottle of gin from the liquor store on the corner. They left shocked and pale, poor things. I never had a drink in my prissy life before that."

She takes a good long sip of her gin.

"I started painting again. Most of the first attempts found their last resting place in the dustbin and I eventually got so frustrated I decided to get someone to guide me to the path of enlightenment again," and she waved her hand in a dramatic gesture through the air. "That's how I met John."

John was her art teacher, you could say, and old enough to be her son. Good thing he wasn't because that would just be incest considering what they did every Monday and Thursday afternoon after the lesson at her house. Granny Lil may be old, but she proved that she was far from cold. She was no cougar (way too classy and old school for that) but she still had a firm arse.

If he looked anything like Kirby from Lipstick Jungle: hell, bring on gravity if older women is his thing.

"My paint strokes improved dramatically," she remembers with a far off look in her old blue eyes, "I felt inspired and alive again. He made me feel wanted, intelligent, beautiful. I became a woman again under his trained hands."

He was on his way to Johannesburg to an exhibition when he was hijacked and killed.

"Story of my life," granny Lil smiled with me clutching an already wet tissue in my fist. Anger just makes you strong and at her age all she wants to do is die with the memories of her one "sinful" act still in tact.

"I'm sure God has a sense of humor; why else would he have created a thing like love? I just hope that's as far as His sense of humor goes, because I don't want to live to be 200. Unless he sends me another John to pass the time with," she winked at me before taking another long sip from her glass of gin.

Righto, Otto, that's that. Otherworldlyone from Calling people names thought me worthy of an award and coming from her (my blogsister in crime) I consider it a huge honour. If you haven't read her blog, you have a gap in your upbringing, trust me. I got this award thanks to my comments I irritate her with ever so often. I will gladly pass this award along, just not today. Today is not a good day for me. And considering tomorrow being Monday, it won't be a good one either. But I'll report back for duty soon enough with an award up my sleeve.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to kill love

I was walking in the Mall yesterday afternoon after netball practice, just minding my own business, touching clothes adoringly and walking away fast from ugly babies when a hand grabs me from behind.

Now with recent reports in newspapers about robbers targeting malls specifically these past 2 months in what seems like a bad episode of a series that would be called "The Debt Collector" giving my credit card swipe-withdrawal symptoms, every opportunity seems like a golden opportunity to try out the lessons learned in the expensive self defense classes a couple of friends and I attended a while back. As a reflex I pulled my elbow back so far that it hit the person in the nose resulting in some blood loss any baby vampire dreams of at night.

Like this, but without the bad hair and a loud "Aijaaaaaahhhhh" true Jackie Chan-style

The unfortunate person on the receiving end of the move that I like to call rearrange your face was a girl I knew from varsity.

She had a tragic story back then already and here I was as sensitive as always with my elbow in her nose. Coffee/soda and cake was the least I could offer her (especially since I was craving the coffee shop's chocolate caramel cake anyway). For the sake of this post let's call her Juno.

Juno was a year ahead of me which made her my senior in the hostel (hostel, dorm, pretty much all the same). She wasn't like all the other seniors though as she didn't make us leopard crawl the hallway in our panties whilst having to dodge water balloons every time we heard "Incoming!" No wonder some of those retards are still trying to get their degrees four years later.

She wasn't part of that crowd because she was never there. When it was me and my roommate's turn to wake her up the one morning, we stood there for half an hour knocking, more like gently caressing the door as some of the seniors got pretty pissed off being woken up by a banging noise which would later result in a new "game" consisting of more target practice involving eggs. All these "games" would actually make a darn good post someday. But not today. Today is Juno's day.

There were always rumors as to where Juno was. Obviously most of them involved a boy and well, doing something naughty. It was the source of many discussions in my room late at night when we were still busy learning the seniors' names and titles. Titles like Palesimomedante and Baritokwarskawa and Leilolopantstai. I know: what the hell, right?

I sometimes saw Juno in my building on campus as it turned out she was studying Afrikaans literature as well. She noticed me once because I was wearing the required hostel uniform on a Monday (no one could miss what looked like a red thumb walking the campus) and we started talking. We went to lunch that day and every Monday after that.

One day I saw her with a tall, dark man wearing a blue jacket, jeans and expensive shoes. He had an arrogance about him; that type of arrogance that comes from knowing one's power over the opposite sex thanks to good looks and money. Later I discovered he was a professor lecturing foreign languages in our department.

Of course you put one and one together already: she had an affair with the man, the Dark One. But he was married. And somehow his wife found out about the whole thing, one thing lead to another and the rector of the varsity called him in giving him two options: resign and leave the varsity with his reputation in tact or be publicly humiliated and lose everything. Of course he chose the first option. Juno was approached as well and her silence bought with a bursary covering any and all expenses. Only one problem: yep, she was pregnant.

I never knew girls could be so cruel. That whole sticking together-thing? Big myth that year. Word spread like fire in a dry forest and before she knew it, she was known as That Girl thanks to every sentence starting with:

"That Girl was so shameless! How could prof. R fall for her?"
You're just jealous that he was tapping your fat ass, Hippo.

"That Girl with the bun in the oven? Yeah, I know her. She's in my hostel. Real slut, if you ask me."
Takes one to know one, Hooters.

"That Girl got what she deserved. She should have known better."
I bet your grandmother is Judge Judy, Dorothy.

Now I know she was stupid to fall for his lies about him leaving the wife because she doesn't look at him the same anymore or make him feel worthy blah blah blah, but people make mistakes and who am I after all to judge?

I've never been one to go with the crowd, so I still had my Monday -lunch with Juno. I could see her cringe under all the malicious eyes every time we would look for a table.

"You know what? Ever since I've been hanging out with you, I'm a bloody celebrity! Look at all the attention I'm getting," I waved my spoon in the direction of a girl whispering something to her friend whilst glancing over at our table constantly and accidentally hit her full on the boobs with my chip-and-dip.

Try and dry-clean that, bitch.

"I just wish I didn't love him so much," Juno said in a tiny voice. For the first time I saw a twenty year old terrified, heartbroken, used girl sitting in front of me. "How do I stop loving him?"

"I can't speak from experience, but I can tell you what my friend granny Lil said to me way back when about love."

I took the last sip of my ice tea and aimed the can at a nearby dustbin.

"She said you can't kill love like you can kill an animal, a pestering insect or another human being. Not with a gun or a knife. Love is tougher than flesh and blood and it's way stronger than death. It burns like a flame from hell and not even all the water from all the oceans can cool it down or extinguish it. You can try and get rid of it by starving it until it dies. Starving it by never seeing that person ever again. The rest is up to time."

And now she is sitting in front of me again, but it's a different woman this time. Her eyes have a straight look about them, her posture is upright and proud, her mouth is gentle, but firm. She isn't That Girl anymore. She is The Woman now, happily married to The Stockbroker and her six year old son has the most serious brown eyes I have ever seen.

"I never thanked you for the advice you gave me that one Monday. It has taken me quite some time to heal and the scars are still there, but I don't look at them every single day anymore. And I never thanked you for being my friend when I had no one."

When we got up, I threw my empty ice tea-can in the nearest dustbin. I still wonder if that whispering-wimp got the miracle sauce out of her white sweater.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My friend the witness and my first award

My friend Graham popped over today to say goodbye before he went back to Cape Town. He'd been staying here with his parents during the course of his exams and now that all of its finished: he's off to our version of the Windy City. But not before he shared some of the funny that always seem to follow him around.

"I'm a witness to a crime," is the first thing he says to me after my dog Rupert allowed him to speak. He takes the whole watchdog-thing very seriously, bless his fluffy heart.

"What like a hijacking! A stab-and-grab! Oooh, oooh, or a muuuuuurder?!"
You have to drag the u out to make it seem more ominous.

And don't judge! This is our daily lingo here, so just take a chill pill and get over it.

"Well, it was an almost-murder. Does that count?" he asks puzzled while eating most of my popcorn I just made for my movie Becoming Jane. I adore James Mcavoy when he tries to act all Fight Club and gets his ass kicked all the way back to Glasgow in the process. Not many men can take a defeat like that and still look alright enough to drag to bed. It's an art.

See! Just look at this pose! It must have taken two and half seconds to perfect!
Sheer genius ... sigh ...

What happened was this:

When an exam paper states three hours to complete, Graham will sit and write the damn thing for the whole 180 minutes. I know! Pretty frustrating for the invigilators, right? Wrong. The old lady who's always there watching the students with a Nazi-eye adores Graham. Everyone has to arrive fifteen minutes before the session starts so they can take their seat and begin sweating in angst all by their lonesome self. If you they are late, she makes them stand in front while she hands out all the papers to the rest of the already seated early-nerds, but not before she gives the "naughty ones" a good scolding on bad manners. Not Graham though. She even gives him his paper first even though he's late and when he leaves, she always says:

"See you on Monday (or Tuesday or whatever day his next paper is scheduled for) and enjoy studying!"

She's almost like a stalker, but the worst thing that'll happen to Graham is probably getting a hickey from her toothless mouth. Thluck, thluck. So sexy.

It's just Graham and another student when the Harmless Stalker announces there is an hour left for the three hour paper and the two hour paper-people need to hand in their answering sheets. The student writing the two hour paper appeals and says she's not finished yet as she thought it was actually a three hour one. The Harmless Stalker checks on her own schedule and then walks to the student's desk to check on her actual exam paper to see what the time is on there. As the student lifts up her paper, all her crib notes fall to the floor.

The Harmless Stalker innocently picks them up when she sees the desperate scribbling of a cheater on them and looks at the student in utter shock.

"What are these, Miss?"

Seriously? Is that the most intelligent thing she could come up with in this exciting soapie-like episode? Why not:

"Do you need a lesson in hiding your crib notes, you dumb, cheating donkey?"

Or how about:

"Back in my day we actually made an attempt at writing all things legibly especially when we were planning on cheating. You should really be better prepared, you disgrace of a human fart!"

The student denies everything, but to no avail. You can't cheat an old cheater and when the Harmless Stalker turns around to write the student's name and student number down for her report what does the student do?

She shoves the pages in her mouth and starts chewing like a cow on crack. Chew, chew, chew and swallow

"What do you think you're doing!" yells the Harmless Stalker. "Did you just eat all your crib notes?!" Graham says the Harmless Stalker was as red as a beet and looked like she was going to wring that girl's neck like wet washing.

"What crib notes?" the student asks sarcastically. "No evidence, no crime, biatch!" The student clearly watches too much CSI. And From a G to a Gent with that language.

Graham now has to testify at the hearing. It sounds like a lot of fun.


On to lighter things. I've been awarded! I think this is what it feels like when a guy gets luckily unexpectedly. It's nice getting some good attention for a change; lately I've only been on the receiving end of unpleasant surprises. So thank you, Missy from Life in the left field (which you should please check out as she does wonders with a sewing machine).

I'm not sure what the etiquette is with this sort of thing, but I've never been one for etiquette so I'll be posting it on my sidebar and staring at it all day until my big head pops from too much self-love :)

I am sure though, that many of you mature bloggers have received this award in your younger posts and know what it entails.

"In order to be considered for the award it must be be relatively new, say with in the last 6 months or so and must evoke some kind of response."

I'm going to bend the rules just a little bit and not only pass it on to blogs six months old or less, but also to people with not enough followers while they have amazing writing abilities and lovely personalities.

We all know the feeling of writing a post and checking it every hour and three seconds to see if someone left a comment and the disappointment that follows when you discover the opposite, right? So please pay these people a visit, who knows: maybe you'll find something you never knew you were actually looking for ...

andywarhol goes shopping: you'll immediately fall in love with this sincere drummer from Australia (Tennyson, I haven't seen this award on your blog yet, but if you do have it, just humor me and accept it anyway!)

Different wiredly: she specializes in describing something in such a way that you can taste, feel, touch and hear it by just using your eyes.

The Caped Tirader: I've only been reading his blog for a while now and already I'm a fan of his wit.

Blogged down at the moment: Mariann knows her stuff and she'll entertain you like a good wine at an expensive restaurant.

Dipso Chronicles: Andy provides a little bit of everything whilst educating you in a non-educational way

Lola Lakely: with her honest style she has given me many good chuckles in a short period of time

Meditations on an emergency: mysterg has cutting-edge sharp humor and won't ever leave you disappointed

This is why your hold time is so long: do yourself a favor and go have a look at Jeff's monsters

Stumbling, falling, dreaming, flying: I've stumbled across this blog, fell in love with it immediately and now dream of reading it every night. Please read the post touch; trust me, you'll think about it every time a moment of touch presents itself!

Resurrected Ramblings: Matthew always leaves me with a feeling of envy because I know I will never be able to write like him. It's better than poetry after sex.

see foxes!: because she's a fellow Army Wives-watcher and we are far and few in between!

If you already have this award remember: there's nothing wrong with collecting and showing off twice, people.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seeking advice

(This is the real reason Ronaldo left Man Utd)

I've had a pretty decent week so far bragging and rubbing salt in all the Man Utd wounds I could possibly find thus making me one happy chappy.

That was until this evening: when I heard about the cheating.

So we've all probably cheated at one time or the other in our wandering-eye lives. I have no problem with cheaters, I even consider it comedy hour when I watch the show Cheaters on television, but it becomes an issue when my friend is the one being cheated on. It's like the Sopranos: your friends become like your extended family and if someone messes with the family? Let's just say you better have a good plastic surgeon on speed dial.

Just kidding, relax! I've just always wanted to say that and be all mob-like and wicked cool and … ok … I'll stop right there.

The whole thing started when some of the guys came over to my house on Sunday to watch Chelsea destroy, uh, beat Man Utd in penalties in such a way even their mothers were ashamed to be associated with them. Did I mention I like rubbing salt in wounds?

Anyway, this one friend of mine comes along all merrily to watch the game, totally ignorant of the fact that I haven't seen him or heard from him in about six months, but still feels himself worthy to drink my liquor and eat my biltong (biltong being like beef jerky but just WAY better my Yankee friends tell me). I don't like having this friend around because he takes talking smack to a whole other level: the level which usually ends up with a fist in the face, but we didn't want to ruin the excitement that comes with the start of the new season of premiership football and thus nobody bothered listening to him. For the purpose of this post, let's just call this friend Smack.

After the game we had a BBQ and just a good catching-up session with most of the guys leaving at a respectable eleven o' clock. Except Smack. Because he wanted to talk more smack, but I really wasn't in the mood so I made a mistake … sorry … arrangement that I would meet him for coffee or a drink after netball practise today. What did he want to talk about, you may ask at this point urging me to actually just get to the point which is:

Smack has/had a new "girlfriend" which is just his term for the screw in his overactive screwdriver as he can't even keep a conversation going, let alone an attempt at a relationship and if I'm playing judge on this one you better know it's bad. He goes through girls quicker than a roll of toilet paper. It's just nasty.

More to just let him talk and not expect a response from my side, I ask him to describe her to me which he unfortunately did in every last gross detail. When I asked him if this seemingly painted lady had a name, I spilled half a glass of Jack D which made me even angrier. Turns out it's Chris's girlfriend and my (ex) friend. Just read all about the history on this link if you haven't seen it or merely need to refresh your memory.

Let's just call her Z: not for Zorro (I love that masked Spanish man too much to humiliate him like that), but Z for Zero as in she is dead to me.

I felt like Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer as I assumed the roll of interrogator without Smack suspecting anything (she's really good at asking questions, that chick).

"Smack, that is truly an amazing story. The way you describe it makes it sound like true love?"
This is me puking in my hand.

"Nah, love is just a four letter word. You of all people should know that."
At least he can spell. Thank gawd for small mercies.

"True, true. Is that why we haven't seen you around? You've missed out on a few good Fridays, my friend."
Whatever. The only thing he missed was us ignoring him making a drunken fool out of himself.

"Nah, that was like last week. But she got all clingy and stuff and I told her like chill, cheapy, I don't need no complications, you know? And she got all like tissue on me who just messed up my like Hang Ten jacket and I just didn't need that in my life right now, you know?"
When I said he can spell, I meant it's as far as his language education goes. And he went to an English private school. Sad, I know.

"I feel so sorry for that (bitch) girl, Smack. You should seriously learn how to treat women better. How many times have we talked about respect?"

"Respect? Nah, I just respect you, baby," whilst giving what was probably an attempt at a sexy smile, but all I could see was Gollum wanting me to make out with him. Yuggy.

"So sorry to be rude, but I have to get up early tomorrow to go to … eh … gym. Thanks for the drink. Keep well!"
Luckily he's so self-centered he never realizes when people actually lie to him. Poor bastard.

Z was/is/has been/had been cheating on my best friend. How do I handle this situation? I don't want to be the "friend" that told him his girlfriend was fooling around with Smack of all people! Chris acts all macho and boys-don't-cry, but it won't be the best feeling hearing from someone your girlfriend went to seek greener (more like heavily armed with aftershave) pastures? And he obviously doesn't know because he was there on Sunday with the rest of the guys cheering by my side for our favorite football team.

And don't tell me he's into "Sharing with Smack." That's just wrong on so many levels. He's not really good at hiding his feelings; I can tell he's lying just by looking at his mouth. Don't ask me why or how, I just know. It's like I have a supersniffer when it comes to Chris telling lies. He hasn't figured out my secret tell though. Hehe.

But what to do? Maybe I should confront her? Yes! Then I can try that new combo of Superman I've been practicing on Mortal Kombat vs. DC. I love hearing "Finish him!"

I don't have a problem; I just mix fantasy with reality sometimes like all you people who watch and read Harry Potter, okay!

Let's not digress anymore as I know I have to do something, but I'm just not sure what and how cause I'll be damned it that girl gets away with breaking my best friend's heart. Until I come up with a solution, I will be busy perfecting my move non-stop, so don't be frightened or worried when you stumble across an article in our local newspaper about a homeless man getting kung fu'd by a blonde lady claiming to be Clark Kent in disguise. It's all in the name of friendship.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The constant knock on the front door

Neighbors: everyone has them. Sometimes they're like the part of the family you tell your friends you don't have and sometimes they become more than your family could ever be.

My neighbors fall in the first category.

I have a few of them I would like to introduce you to because I'm all for sharing pain and suffering.

I'll start with the neighbors on the side of my backyard. I call them the Knockers. See, they have three children who just love playing sport, cricket being their favorite. And all that jazz about it being the "gentleman's" game? You haven't seen these kids play then. There is a constant yelling going on due to broken windows, dented car doors, miaowing cats fleeing for their lives no thanks to the dubious batting skills of these kids. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the ball constantly landing in my backyard. You can probably guess what follows next.

Knock on my front door.

"Ma'am, sorry to bother you, but my brother hit the ball in your backyard (AGAIN) so could you please just throw it back over?"

He can't merely climb over the wall because I live in a security complex and our fences have electric wiring. Another problem occurs when I can't find the ball, because by the time I get home in the afternoon, one of my dogs either buried it or chewed it to pieces. If there's no ball, I can't throw it back over.

Knock on the front door.

"Ma'am, sorry to bother you, but have you thrown the ball over yet cause we can't find it."

Instead of just speaking to me from their side of the wall, they always walk around the block to knock on the front door. Kids have so much energy.

Moving on to the Beggars. They are my neighbors looking out from my front door's side. Now before I moved into my house, I had a wall built around it for my dogs. That cost about an arm and half a leg. Then, one night as I was watching Criminal Minds, I heard a knock on the front door. The conversation went something like this:

Neighbor: "Hi, I'm Peter. We live across from you."

Me: "Hi, nice to meet you."
Even though I've been staying here for two months now, but hey, maybe you're a late riser. And thanks for asking my name, by the way.

Neighbor: "So, I see you put a wall up?"

Me:"Eh, yes."
He's a real bright one, this guy. So perceptive.

Neighbor: "The thing is: we want to put a wall up too and we want you to pay R8000, 00 because it's for the sake of your privacy as well."
R8000,00 is about $980.

Me: "You know what: I just paid at least twice that amount for my own wall and your house is across the street so I don't really see how that affects my privacy. But thanks for stopping by. Oh, and by the way, my name is Mariska. Good night."

Front door closing in his greedy face.

Damn upper-class bum.

The neighbors on my left hand side I like to call the Bucketlisters, for obvious reasons. Imagine one of your wildest parties where someone set fire to the tablecloth whilst doing a flaming sambuka shot and the pool being full of that red liquid that tells you when someone was too lazy to get out of the water to take a pee and a real life Fifty Cent music video with music pumping from every corner of the room? Now multiply that by three hundred and you have the Bucketlisters.

These are old people having the blasting time of their lives. Unfortunately they blast it at my bedroom window even on a weeknight because they're obviously on pension and can sleep the hangover off every day of the week. They are living the good life. Retired bastards.

My favorite is of course the neighbor right in front of my side door. I was tanning (topless) one day when one of my dogs started sniffing at the wall. When I turned my head to see what it was, I caught a glimpse of a boy with eyes the size of an owl on ecstasy trying to hide behind a bush on the other side of the wall whilst peeking to his hormone's delight. Turns out I wasn't the only one to catch the peeking pervert as I heard his grandmother scold him all the way to the bathroom to go "clean his pants from the stains of sin." Never mind Big Brother watching you; it's the sixteen-year-old's you need to watch.

(maybe not an owl, but close to the freaky-enough)

Needless to say the grandmother never really talked to or greeted me when I walked my dogs past her house until the day I heard a terrible, urging scream from her house. I rushed over and discovered her friend propped up against one of the couches with a kind of bluish ring around her mouth, eyes looking like Droopy's and the left side of her face starting to sag. First thing I thought was stroke so I phoned an ambulance and ordered my neighbor to get her friend some water as I tried to keep the old lady awake and talking. It's all I could remember from when Chris's dad had a stroke: that the person should not fall asleep and be kept as comfortable as possible.
We waited and waited and waited for the ambulance to come while the old lady was getting bluer and her face starting to look like a mediocre version of Scar Face, so I ran back to my house, got my car where we put the seat down all the way and took her to the hospital ourselves. The doctor in the ER said we probably saved her life bringing her in so quick cause, as it turns out, she did have a stroke. And the ambulance? Oh, they rocked up at nine o' clock that night. The whole street could hear my neighbor giving them a piece of her mind. I think they had to go to the bathroom afterwards as well to wash off their "guilt that should stick to them like semen-sin for taking so long to rescue and old lady." She's a real class act, my neighbor.
The next day I had a knock on my front door. It was my old lady-neighbor with a basket full of chocolate chip cookies and a big apology for being so rude to me when Tommy was so "naughty invading my privacy."

Neighbors: sometimes you should really just ignore the knock on the front door and sometimes they save you a trip to the store by bringing over snacks :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I have found the answer!

Is shopping a real drag sometimes? Do you want to run away when you see the long line at the cash register and all you want to buy is a carton of milk and a few bars of candy? I have discovered the quick and simple solution to long queues and impatient queuers and cue dramatic drum roll: a pregnant woman.

Pregnant women are the best. I never knew shopping could be so easy until I went with my pregnant sister-in-law. It's like having a VIP pass to all your favorite shops. Jip, just get a pregnant woman to escort you for a day and all your shopping worries are a thing of the past.

Upon receiving the great news of a new arrival to our family a few months ago, my sister-in-law decided to put things in first gear and just take it slow for a bit as she's a financial adviser which means her day is usually spent trying to fix all kinds of intricate money problems and the people that come with it. Really tiresome. Especially the people-part. So she took the afternoon off yesterday and asked if I wanted to go shopping with her. Hmf, what a silly, breath-wasting question. Anything with the letters s h o p in it (and in that order) equals a happy, kind, loving, agile me. It's very peculiar: when I have to run on a treadmill, I barely last five minutes; when it comes to shopping, I give the energizer bunny a run for its money and can last up to five days longer. I love shopping :)

We went to the bank first. I tried to warn her about going to a bank over lunch time: it's about as pleasant as sticking your head in a beehive, but she just smiled and said:

"Just watch and learn," was all she said.

We got to the queue and I was already irritated with the soft music which probably tries to be soothing, but actually just awakes the serial killer in people; you know, like the Manchurian Candidate. But then something strange happened. As soon as people saw my sister-in-law with her pregnant belly, it was like the Red Sea parting for us to go to the promised Front of the Line. It was amazing. I could almost hear the angels singing "haaaaaaa" but unfortunately I'm still waiting for the white light. It was as though someone yelled:

"Preeeeeegnant lady walking, preeeeeeeeegnant lady walking," like the guy in The Green Mile but instead of meeting Sparky, we met the friendly teller called Belinda who just adores babies and puppies and – unfortunately – talking. There's always a price attached to everything, I guess.

I looked at my sister-in-law in absolute awe.

"The belly has powers," I said astonished.

"Yes, pregnancy has its advantages," she smiled.

The bank was only the beginning.

Our next stop and my favorite place: the Mall. While we were walking in the Mall people looked at us differently, like they were almost smiling. Now, I always smile because my dad say it releases stress hormones (like I need it) and makes you feel better after doing so. It's like giving someone a present just because it's Thursday.

But people don't always smile back. Especially the old ones. They look at you suspiciously and grab a tight hold of their walking frame for in case you want to run away with it. Or maybe they just think you're high because what reason could there be for an unmarried twenty five year old blond lady to smile about? I even tried putting a lucky packet ring on my left ring finger once, but I still got the same reaction from the old ladies, only this time they looked at me with pity as if wanting to say: "You can't fool an old dog, little lady; we can sniff the singleness and loneliness on you."

Anyway, people made way for us to walk in the middle of the isle. Maybe they were just afraid to bump into my sister-in-law's big belly and having a law suit on their hands, but it was still nice having some breathing space in the usually busy lunch hour with people pushing up against you and especially horny guys grabbing your butt thinking they can use the close proximity as an excuse. I wasn't born yesterday, you pervert!

The same thing happened at every shop we went to as in the bank: we were immediately promoted to the front of the queue (maybe my sister-in-law could bring the belly to my job and get me promoted as well? Note to self: ask her next time we get together) and because of this we finished our shopping rather quickly so we even had time for a long lunch. But that's where the big belly became a problem.

The tables in the coffee shop were arranged quite close together and it being lunch hour and all, the shop was packed. The only open spot was in the outside section, but in order for us to get there we had to make our way through numerous tables.

Another thing I learned today was that a pregnant woman can't suck her belly in. The guy who ended up getting squeezed between his table and my sister-in-law's belly also learned that. The lady whose coffee ended up all over her pretty floral dress also learned that and the little baby's mother trying to feed him with a spoon when she only ended up stuffing her face with baby food unfortunately also learned that. I can go on and tell you about the milkshake the belly accidentally bumped off a waiter's tray and I can tell you about the credit card machine ending up in a lady's salad, but I think if I say any more about the lunch, my sister-in-law might just get upset and a pregnant woman cannot be upset. By anyone. There's an unwritten law about it apparently.

The food was actually good and aside the fact that my sister-in-law had to get up ever so often and visit the bathroom which made the rest of the customers cringe and duck it was a pretty nice day.

Looking at her I feel so privileged being able to experience the pregnancy from the sideline, like feeling the baby kick, seeing all the sonars (I invited myself several times to see the real deal up close and personal), reading the baby magazines with her, shopping for the most adorable and small booties and clothes. A pregnant woman is a beautiful thing; my sister-in-law sometimes just gives a small smile stroking her belly and I think it's because she hears something only pregnant woman are allowed to hear or feel something only they can feel: the bond between an unborn child and its mother. Like my bond with my dog, Rupert, that people don't really get.

I myself can't stop touching her belly; it's like Humpty Dumpty is right within my reach. I asked if I can paint a little face on it and she looked at me and then asked:

"Can I die your dog black and blue?"
I never dared asking her such a stupid question again.

The before

The after