Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last Comic Standing

Its 12:15am and I should be out like lightbulb during an Eskom power outage.
I should be getting some sleep before my 7:15am tee-of later this morning.
But damn this PVR and all the episodes of my favourite show... Last Comic Standing.

Im not going to lie to you... most people watch the show for a few laughs. I watch the show to see who I think I could beat in a comedy showdown.

This season has some really special talent. Louis Ramey is slick. He's my pick as the winner.

Some day I will get up on that stage and do a live performance.
Oh yes I will.

You know its time to go to bed when Miley Cirus comes on the telly.
Even if youre not tired.
Even if its the middle of the afternoon.
I have Miley on my iPod just for those nights when insomnia visits.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Week That Was

This feels so foreign and strange. There was a time when I would write a note almost once a week!
So im dusting off the cobwebs and hoping that I still have some of that writing touch in me.

This past week was all the inspiration I needed to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard.
Somebody once told me that its funny how weird things always seem to happen in my presence. This is true. So hopefully i'll get to share these weekly events with you.

On Tuesday I was called out to one of the buildings I maintain.
The tenants had a problem with the only elevator in the place and we immediately cordoned the area off.
We had the elevator opened on the Ground Floor and my team got to work.
About an hour later, this guy comes up to me and says "Oh I see you guys are working on the lift." Nothing gets by Captain Obvious, evidently!
He asked me how long my guys would be working on the elevator, and I said it should be operational after lunch. His next line had me laughing so hard, he never bothered sticking around for a reply...
He asked "Ok so can I use the lift on the 2nd floor in the meanwhile?"

Thursday and im at the timber yard looking for material for a loft im building.
The owner of the yard, a big grizzly bear looking guy named Rocky, comes over and proceeds to help me choose some wood.
One of his guys accidently spills his cola on a plank of timber laying nearby.
Rocky goes ballistic and screams at the guy, "What the hells the matter with you? Timber doesnt grow on trees you know!"
Some of this stuff you cant even make up if you tried!

A friend of mine who happens to be a building contractor called me in a panic on Friday. His client is out of town for 2 weeks, and needed him to renovate the spare bathroom.
He took his team over to the job site and showed them the main bathroom; then told them he needed the spare bathroom to be stripped and remodelled to look exactly as the main bathroom does.

They began stripping the bathroom on Wednesday. By Friday they were done and ready to begin the remodelling process.
He went over to have a look and thats when all hell broke loose.
It seems the guys had stripped the wrong bathroom!
He called me in a panic.
Client arrives in a week and the poor guy doesnt have a clue how he's going to get not one, but two bathrooms done in that time.

I have a sneaky suspicioun next week may be even more eventful!
Watch this space..

15 Books & A Partridge In A Pear Tree

His rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note - upper right hand side. If you don't have a "notes" tab, click on the big '+' in your Profile menu and add Notes.)

1) The Broken Wings : Kahlil Gibran. Opened my eyes to true love.
2) Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less: Fascinated & moulded me.
3) The Life Of Pi : Got me hooked on storytelling.
4) The Story Of O: Never judge a book by its cover.
5) Losing My Virginity : Branson inspires me not to be a virgin ;p
6) The Quran : True north in the absence of a compass,& in the presence of one too.
7) Kringe In n' Bos: Always reminds me of my Afrikaans teachers boobs.
8) The Merchant Of Venice : Always reminds me of my English teachers legs.
9) Buffetology : Warren Buffet is my mentor.
10) The Three Bears : Reminds me what happens when u leave your porridge unattended in South Africa.
11) Jock Of The Bushveld: First book that had me crying over a dog.
12) A Time To Kill : The more things change, the more they remain the same.
13) And The Truth Shall Set You Free : David Icke still confuses the heck out of me!
14) An Equal Music : Wow!
15) A Twist In The Tale: Coz Jeffrey Archer is a legend.


There is absolutely nothing as majestic to wake up to on a Saturday morning than the african sun filtering its warm glow through your partly drawn curtains, casting slithers of light on your outstretched limbs. Such was my awakening this weekend past. Its usually followed by a long lazy breakfast at Woolies or Mugg & Bean, but having started the month-long fast on the very same Saturday, the options were void of food venues.

So it was that I decided to spend my day car-shopping. I'd been to a few dealerships and test-driven a range of vehicles by the time i'd arrived at Bruma Nissan in Bedfordview. Now for anyone who knows Bruma Nissan and Thriftys Car Sales right next to it, they would know that both dealerships are situated pretty much inside the parking area of the mall, Park Meadows I think its called.
I spent about three quarters of an hour viewing the vehicles on display when i decided to head back home. Strolling back to my car I noticed an elderly gentleman peering through the window of a shiny black Mercedes Benz parked nearby. He did the usual buyers inspection of checking the bodywork, tapping the doors with his knuckles and kicking the tyres. Im never sure what the last is supposed to verify, but nonetheless he seemed a keen buyer and since the dealership was already closed for business by this time, I suspected he would have to satisfy himself with mere window-shopping.
Next he tried opening the drivers side door, which activated the vehicles alarm system, even though the door remained locked. He looked around for assistance, and I was about to head his way when suddenly out of left field, barreling toward him, was a rather burly looking guy pushing a shopping trolley and barking out "What the hell are you doing by my car?"
Turns out the lonely old car shopper hadn't realised the car he was inspecting was not for sale, but simply parked in the lot.

Earlier that morning i'd been out on a test-drive with Michael from Honda Melrose.
Now there's two vehicles i'm looking to purchase; one being a suitable luxury vehicle for myself, and the other being an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) for the missus. She likes the B-Class Merc, while I prefer the sensible and reliable Honda FRV for her.
Nevertheless, there I am cruising down the highway with Michael riding shotgun, doing the usual buyer-seller chit-chat. Being that I love observing peoples reactions especially when they're taken off-guard, I asked him "So Michael, how fast do you reckon we could take this baby on the highway?"
These salesmen are so easily rattled, but he came through like a real trooper. The white knuckles and slight whiff of old cheese were the only indication that he had panicked.

Golf today was always going to be a challenge. Walking 7km's is tiring, but doing it while fasting is another matter altogether. I was fortunate though to have been partnered with Dean sombebody. He was such an incessant complainer, it made me forget the rumbling of my empty stomach.
He swore at every shot he played, and even some shots he hadn't played.
He swore more than a drunk sailor who's just found out that the girl he made out with was in fact Larry King.
He swore more than the guy who got all the right Lotto numbers to win the jackpot, only to realise his wife's run off with his best friend and taken the ticket with her.
But the highlight for me was not so much all his cussing.
The highlight for me was when he said he hated the people he worked with, all 12 of them, because all they ever did all day was complain!!
He mentioned his wife between the 13th and 14th hole (not as kinky as it sounds, trust me!), and I asked what she did.
"Oh she's a psychologist", he replied.
Talk about charity beginning at home!

Its now Sunday afternoon, and with still half the day left before the weekend is officially over, I suspect there is yet more excitement lurking.
Watch this space!

Heres To Us

Here's to us!!!!

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us,


To Those of Us Born
1930 - 1979
At the end of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno.. If you don't read anything else, please read what he said.
Very well stated, Mr. Leno.
1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight.. WHY?
Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on..
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us...go ahead and delete this.

For the rest of us…pass this on

A Day In The Life

Dawn had just broken when I recieved a call from my Project Manager informing me that he had arranged for us to meet two friends of his with the potential of acquiring some tenders from the Department of Housing. With the recession a constant monkey on our backs, I no longer go through my standard list of 20 questions before ascertaining the worthiness of these kind of meetings. I've become somewhat of a Meeting Slut, attending any even if it results in nothing more than changing the lock on the janitors door.
By 7:30am i'd already donned my favourite blue suit and polished my shiny Ferregamo shoes. I informed Livingstone (my Project Manager) that we should meet at Picollo Mondo at the Michaelangelo for breakfast, being my watering hole of choice to impress potential clients and people of importance. He's response told me he'd never dined there before, which really gave me no cause for concern.
I arrived just as the Saturday morning herd began occupying the limited seating and secured myself a table for four. A few minutes later and Livingstone arrived, suitably impressed with the location but not without a disconcerting look of anxiety. I was about to ask why he looked so nervous when I spotted through the corner of my eye what can best be described as "Casual Labour Gone Wrong" walk through the doors.
It turns out that the two people he intended introducing me to were simply labourers who worked for the consultant who had the tender. They expected to meet me before introducing me to said consultant on another occassion!
If the blue overalls they wore were out of place in Picollo Mondo, their dirty work boots stood out like the sugar-allergic kid at a birthday party! I dashed over to them faster than George Michael out of the mensroom when the cops come knocking, yanked them by the arms and had them follow me all the way to my car.
The waiter cast me a wry smile as I moved the venue to MacDonalds, where it dawned on me that suddenly I was the one inappropriately dressed.
This wasnt even 8am and already my day was looking challenging!

I spent the afternoon on my golf lessons, since nothing calms me down better than some quality green. An hour into the lesson and my instructor asked why I keep pulling my ball. "I think your grip on the shaft is too tight" he suggested. Im not sure if the lady behind me has stopped laughing, but I didnt stick around to find out.

I decided that some Prawn Chow Mein and Hot & Sour Soup would be the perfect ending to a rather forgetful day, and headed to an old favourite haunt in Cyrildene. I've always felt right at home in Chinatown, but the place had changed so much since i'd last been there. The Chinese have always fascinated me with their tight family units, and their beautiful waitresses with even tighter buns. How do they get their hair to stay so nicely rolled up with just 2 chopsticks? ;p
So there I am at Fong Mei Dragon Restaurant, tucking into my sizzling prawns and sipping on my green tea, when Lucy Liu's prettier sister siddles up to my table with an enchanting smile and asks "Evlything all light Sir?"
I started unbuttoning my shirt before I realised she was enquiring about the food, and hadnt in fact said "Damn boy youre hot! Lets go out back and you can grill some Pecking Duck!"
The bill arrived an hour later, and I wondered if the restaurants in Cyrildene all gave you a hand-written tab with not a word of English on it, making the only decipherable scribble the total amount due?
It really could have read "This is how much you owe me for staring at my teenage daughter, you dirty bastard!" and I wouldnt have known any better.
No point enquiring or asking for a translation, lest her brother came out the back with a Hatori Hanso sword and they started playing the soundtrack to Bruce Lee's "Enter The Dragon", so I politely paid and said my goodbyes.

I turned the radio on during my drive back home, and they were playing "I Will Survive".
I certainly hope tomorrow I will, for another day like today I could do without...

To Be 6 Again

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday.

'I'd like to be six again', she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day!

He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park.
Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favourite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure!

Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being six again?'

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. 'I meant my dress size, you retard!!!!'

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is going to get it wrong

Hope Like Ice-Cream

I met a guy today called Hendry who is a courtesy driver for a car dealership I send my vehicle to for servicing. As is always the case when I meet people for the first time, I dive straight into the depths of who they are and what they're all about. Its almost become a passion of mine to garner as much information as I can about strangers I meet; almost as though I were compiling a top secret database on the human race. In truth some people I have met really didn't belong in the category "The Human Race", but thats an entirely different story altogether.

So Hendry and I got to chatting about the sandwich of life and everything in between that we call filling. He spends almost every waking hour behind the wheel of whatever courtesy vehicle the dealership designates to him, ferrying people to and from the workplace he never gets to call home; to the point that his lunch hour is spent somewhere en-route to a clients home or office.
So I asked him about the worst client he ever had the displeasure of meeting. I love these extreme questions with their fascinating answers.
Hendry relates to me the day he took a client to her workplace at a foreign embassy in Pretoria. The drive took no more than 30 minutes, but in that time she fired off so many instructions to him, he felt like a human filofax. Most of the instructions really didnt pertain to him or his duty as a courtesy driver, but he listened nonetheless. The rest of the time she spent on her mobile or laptop, giving him the impression that she was a high-powered executive at the embassy.
At the end of the day upon being informed that her vehicle was ready for collection, she advised Hendry that she was too busy to accompany him to the dealership to collect the vehicle, and would send her assistant instead. Hendry was to meet said assistant at the waiting-zone outside the embassy.

Peak hour traffic begins at 4:30pm, and he arrived at 4p allowing him sufficient time to get back to the dealership and miss the snarl of cars crawling along the highways.
As he pulled up at the embassy, he was waved down at the waiting-zone by a smartly dressed and equally high-powered looking blonde female. Sure her hair colour shouldnt be of any consequence to Hendry's tale, but im simply relaying it as it was relayed to me.
Without a response to his greeting, she continues to chat on her phone while simultaneously operating her laptop, never once looking up.

A half-hour later and punctual to the minute, our man Hendry arrives at the dealership and politely disembarks to open the door for the client, who at this point has closed her laptop and tucked away her mobile. With a quizzical look around, she turns to Hendry and snaps "This doesnt look like the airport!"

Turns out she was neither the clients assistant nor knew who the client was.
She was simply waiting for the shuttle service which took embassy members to the airport!
Hendry, with an equally shocked look on his face, now realised that there was an assistant waiting to be collected at the embassy, and another staff member needing to get to the airport, all this in peak hour traffic. Knowing full well that this day had no hope of a happy ending,Hendry decided to take some time out to allow the gravity of the situation to fully soak in, while having an ice-cream.

Gone Too Soon

Billy Jean.
The very first time I snuck into a club at the age of 12, this was the song thumping its beat on the dance-floor. I'd say it was the tender age of 12, but character witness's at the time would testify otherwise.
I remember the day like I remember the faces of the clubbers like I remember what I wore that very first time; but most of all I remember the beat pulsing through me and making my body move in ways I thought only water was allowed to flow. That day defined for me the power and ability of music.

Last week when I heard Michael Jackson had died, a part of me I reserved solely for visits of nostalgia died a sudden death too. Almost every song he ever sang reminded me of a time and a place I could plot as a beacon on the chart of my youth. No doubt this is the very reason so many across the world felt a personal loss at his passing.

The red jacket with 20 zippers and no pockets that I begged my mom to buy for me to wear to a friends house party; I refused to go without it, and she never did buy it for me. Her version of a win-win situation.
Sure in retrospect I may be glad I hadnt got the jacket after all, since joy is momentary but pictures last a lifetime, but I recall the moment thanks to Michael like it was just last night.
Having my ears boxed for attempting the moonwalk after coming back from a Sunday soccer game, still wearing my dirty boots, still trying valiantly even after the wooden floor had been visibly scratched after just being polished that morning. My sister laughed with glee; at first I thought it was due to my having accomplished said moonwalk, only to painfully realise it was due to my mom going back to the kitchen to change the feather-duster for a rolling pin as her weapon of choice. Fight!
Watching the look on my grans face turn from delight to horror as I mimicked Michaels crotch-grabbing dance move. She laughed and clapped and clutched her hands with delight and heaved her bosom in laughter until I grabbed my crotch and gyrated less than 3 feet in front of her. I never did see it coming. Sure I saw the look of horror, but I just assumed she'd swallowed her dentures from all the laughing and giggling. She gave me a back-hand Serena Williams would be so proud of. As I lay there crumpled in a heap of pain, my mom walked in wondering why "The Way You MaKe Me Feel" was playing in the background while her son clutched his crotch and groaned while Gran stood towering above him, shaking violently. You try explaining that one!
Or the time Mrs Pather, our english grammar teacher, gave us the task of writing a speech on any song we chose. Why we liked it, why it inspired us, why it lifted our spirits... you know, the usual personal motivation mamjo-jambo. So I chose "Dirty Diana". In hindsight I think it would be beneficial if one studied the lyrics before embarking on such a task, else you could find yourself defending your position that the song was written for Lady Diana who was dirty in the most royal sense of the word, No disrespect to either Diana Ross or Lady Di. My defence is simply the innocence/ ignorance of youth.

This evening Princess Sabreen and I were watching Michaels "Keep It In The Closet" video when it dawned on me that she would never be so lucky to see the greatest showman perform live on stage, ever. It saddened me that I would never have the opportunity to take her to her first Michael Jackson concert, something I just imagined would always be a possibility even if I lived to be 100.
I must surely have been born in the most memorable and exciting generation, to have witnessed all that I have, and lived through all that I did.

I havent the faintest clue what the future holds, neither for me nor the generations that follow, but the end of Michael Jackson is undoubtably the end of a magical era.

Your music will have my feet tapping for many years to come, and the memories they invoke will be eternal.
Thank you for "Heal The World"... thank you for "Rock With You"... thank you for "Beat It"...

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Thank you Michael, wherever you are.

Transcripts 2

This was a call I got from Desai earlier today, upset and having just fired his gardener/ driver/ accountant. (They're all the same person, in case you were wondering.)

D : Kaloo?
Me : What? Make it quick, im about to have lunch.
D : Oh. Ok. What do you know about Labour Law?
Me : Dude, I said make it quick.
D : Ok ok, I fired Livingstone.
Me : You did what?! Nevermind. Why?
D : He saw me in a compromising position, and im afraid he may tell on me.
Me : And you think firing him is gonna solve your problem?
D : It was either that, or give him an increase!
Me : Im afraid to ask what this compromising position was.... do I know her?
D : Sort of.
Me : How do I "sort of" know somebody? I either do, or I dont! Thats like almost being pregnant... come on, im hungry and youre wasting my time...
D : Well we werent really doing anything. I just hugged her, and he walked past the window while mowing the lawn.
Me : Sounds to me like you're over-reacting. If anyone asks, she was your cousin.
D : Can I say she was YOUR cousin?
Me : Why must she be my cousin?
D : Dont you think people will get suspicious if they know I was hugging MY naked cousin?
Me : Oh.. and they wont get suspicious if you were hugging MY naked cousin?
D : Fuck. Good point.

* click *


Transcript of a phone-call I recieved last night, just before the 7pm news on eTV to be precise.

Desai : Bastards have come back?
Me : Who has?
Desai : Those forward bastards have come back and taken my garden furniture!
Me : Have you spoken to your insurance yet?
Desai: They want me to write.
Me : Write what?
Desai : Write whats left.
Me : Whats left? Dont you mean whats gone?
Desai : No. Whats left. Theres more gone than whats left, which leaves more to write about.
Me : Thats not right. Nobody ever sends a claim form in with whats left, thats not right!
Desai : I have bigger problems.
Me : *tense pause* What now?
Desai : Its the missus. She left. *another tense pause, this time by the both of us*
And yes I know you going to tell me thats not right, but she left.
Me : Are you sure she's not just out shopping, or at her moms?
Desai : Her mother died 7 years ago, and some days I wish she did leave to be with her mother, but today isnt one of them. She didnt say a word. Looks like she just packed in a hurry and left.
Me : That doesnt sound like something she would do.
Desai : Yes yes... I think its too stressful for her, all this.
First the car, now the house.
She must have grabbed what she could and left. The place is in a mess Kaloo...
* silence *
Me : Wait...Let me get this straight.
You havent spoken to her yet; you came home and found your garden furniture stolen; you walked into the house and it was in a mess; the missus cupboards are empty; and you think its 2 separate events which took place at your house?
* more silence *
Desai : Good Lord Kaloo! You think she took my garden furniture too?!!


The Insurance Claim

I have to make this quick, as i've got dinner plans tonight, so please excuse the pace if it permeates through the note. I just had to cleanse myself of what transpired today before I went out; so in essence you the reader will be my bathtub :)
Sit back, relax, enjoy, and when youre done dont forget to pull the plug and turn the lights out.

I was invited to Desai's home for lunch today, and informed him that I would only grace his hovel with the pleasure of my company if his wife cooked one of my favourite indian curry's, Butter Chicken.
I got there and was introduced to his nephew who's boarding with him. The kid couldnt have been a day older than 16, and if his adolescent pimples werent a dead give-away, the overpowering smell of Brut aftershave certainly was. Thankfully I was seated at the other end of the table, for I fear the combination of Butter Chicken and Brut on my nasal sensors may have given me a migraine!

Anyways, I transgress and I really do need to hurry this up...
It turns out that Desai had convinced his missus to prepare an elaborate lunch only because the insurance assessor from Santam was going to come over to discuss an event which had transpired, and I at the time was not privy to.
The week prior he had, fortunately or unfortunately (depending entirely on your taste in vehicles) his vehicle stolen from his yard.
The best way I could describe the perimeter to his home is to have you imagine an Alcatraz facebrick wall, with razor wire along the top, and electric fencing above the wall, with cameras strategically mounted upon all of the above.
His driveway gate is a standard swing gate about waist high, with a rusty "Beware Of The Dog" sign affixed to the centre. On it is a picture of a rather mean looking rottweiler, not to be confused with the wedding pic of Mrs Desai which is on their fridge. Rumour has it she could afford the services of her friend Francois who was a professional groomer, and the fact that he worked in a doggy-parlour didnt seem to matter at the time. Thats an entirely new story, and one we shall delve into further at a later stage....
You're wondering now why Desai had Fort Knox built and then instaled the kind of rickety main entrance you would expect in a John Wayne western bar-scene.
Well, he only really undertook to renovate and improve his home after having won some money at the casino, and since he was never one for planning or thinking ahead, he blwe the whole lot on the wall and fence and electrics only to realise he was back to being broke by the time he needed a new gate installed. So there you have it. The gate was literally waist high, with no locking mechanism and only tied together by an old rubber hose. The wall on the other hand, was 3 metres high at its lowest point!

Anyways, just as I sat down to lunch, the doorbell rang, the nephew scuttled off to answer the door, and soon returned with a burly Afrikaaner guy who looked like he was pissed off that De Klerk had lost the 1994 election and he was here to set things right!
Now im not one to make fun of white folk or Indian folk or black folk, but a white guy who can get sunburned walking 20m from his car to the doorstep, go red in the face and sweat like his having a stroke, and pant like 2 rhinos having a shag under the african sun, deserves to be made fun of! All this before he's even started eating Mrs Desais colon-clearing fiery Butter Chicken with green chilli dip!
This day was turning out splendidly, and it was only 1pm :)

Now I know most cultures would find it slightly odd, bordering on suspicious, but Indians by nature would find any excuse to prepare a meal and turn the moment into an eating extravaganza. Somebody could knock on the door asking for directions, and 2 hours later with a belly full of roti and vegetable curry he would be back on his way.
This particular meal was in honour of Santam.
Mr Van Tonder was the guest of honour.
I later learned I was only there for moral support.
Young Gopal Desai was a key witness to the events.
And the Desai couple were of course, the unfortunate victims.

I love the way insurance folk always have to revert to an official opening of a meeting, even if they've been in your company for almost 30 minutes already.

Here is a brief transcript of events as they unfolded, now that the stage has been set.

Mr Van Tonder : VT
Young Gopal Desai : GD
Desai : D
Mrs Desai : MD

VT : Sir and Madam, I are from Santam and I are Mr Van Tonder. You can call me Mr Van Tonder. I have wif me the forrims (his pronunciation, not mine) which you faxed, claiming for the ve-hicle. Are this correct?
D : Yes
VT: A 1982 Datsun Pulsar, dark brown wif a cream coloured boot, and original hub caps. Are this correct?
D : Yes.
VT : Now are this the young chappie who witnessed the events? *points to Gopal*
D : Yes
VT : How old is this lighty.. man.. sir.. I apologise. How old are you young man?
GD : 16 years and 3 months.
VT : ahem.. *clears throat* the mumfs only count when you under 3 ne'. *winks at GP*
Please tell me what you saw on the night in detail.
GD : Ok. There were these 3 ouens right....
D : There were 4... not 3, 4.
GD : Oh shit ya! There were these 4 ouens right... and they were scaling the wall in front..,.
VT : Wait. They were coming over the wall you mean?
GD : Ya.
VT : All 4 at the same time?
GD : uhm... ya. And they had balac... uhm... balacav... blacala... oh they were wearing black caps, right...
VT : Wait wait.. what about the electric fence and the razor wire?
GD : The fence wasnt working...
D : No No, the fence was working, but that night I think Eskom was having power problems again..
VT : Ok, continue...
GD : Ya so anyway, I saw them jump the wall and my uncle and auntie here were at the bioscope...
VT : The what?
GD : The bioscope..
VT : The bioscope?
GD : Ya man.. the movies..
VT : Oh, ok. Yes, and then...
GD : Ya so I called my bra Bobby Naidoo from the 2's and tjoened him to came-way and bring the gonies coz these jumpas want to dalla with my connections wheels.
GD : My bra Bobby Naidoo, from the council houses, you know.. the 2 rooms... i tjoened him to bring his knife coz these ouens were looking for trouble.
VT : So they were in the yard, trying to steal the ve-hicle?
GD : Ya, and Bobby Naidoo was still filling juice in his tymas car, so he was late.
D : uhm.. no, Bobby came walking, REMEMBER! His fathers car was in an accident last year!
GD : Oh.. ya.. he ran here. Then he opened the gate and saw the 3 jumpas.
D : 4!! There were 4! Not 3!
GD : Sorry uncle. Ya the 4 jumpas.
VT : Wait.. he opened the gate?
GD : uhm... ya, he opened it.
VT : Ok. *Furiously making notes*
GD : and I dont remember much after that, but when we all came way home from the bioscope, the wheels were gone!
D: Ayoh Ram!
MD : Tea anyone?
D : Fareed! You just going to sit there and not say anything?
Myself : uhm.. 2 sugars please?

Something tells me im not getting invited over to Desai's for Butter Chicken for a while.
Im not sure if they plan on paying his claim, but this evening I saw them fitting a more respectable gate on.

Right... gotta go...

Womans Diary vs Mans Diary

WOMAN'S DIARY - 12 July 2008 Saturday

Saw him in the evening and he was acting really strangely. I'd been shopping in the afternoon with the girls and was a bit late meeting him, thought it might be that. The bar was really crowded and loud, so I suggested we go somewhere quieter to talk. He was still very subdued and distracted so I suggested we went somewhere nice to eat. All through dinner he just didn't seem himself - he hardly laughed and
didn't seem to be paying any attention to me or to what I was saying, I just knew that something was wrong.

He dropped me back home and I wondered if he was going to come in, He hesitated but followed. I asked him what was wrong, but he just half shook his head and turned the television on. After about ten minutes of silence I said that I was going upstairs to bed, I put my arms around him and told him that I loved him deeply, He just gave a sigh and a sad sort of smile. He didn't follow me up immediately but came up later and, to my surprise, we made love - but he still seemed distant and a bit cold.

I cried myself to sleep - I think he's planning to leave me - maybe he's found someone else.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MAN"S DIARY - Saturday 16 May

Liverpool lost the league!

Got a pomp though.

Patience Is A Virtue

The most amazing days always seem to start off rather uneventfully. Today was no exception. By 9am I had already mapped out the course of events I expected to unfold and the tasks needing completion, and without any hiccups I expected to be snug in front of my fireplace by 6pm.

I had no sooner tucked into a breakfast of champions when my mobile rang, and Patience from some or other call-centre tried valiantly to sell me a funeral policy. I never slam the phone down on these bottom-feeders as I understand they're merely doing a job and trying to earn an honest days pay. I do however tend to humour them and pass the time in nonsensical banter, never failing to exasperate them in my endeavour to see who puts the phone down first in annoyance. I'm undefeated in this challenge, might I add.

So there we were, Patience who lived up to her name, and I with a mouthful of toast and a fully charged battery. The stage was set, and an epic battle was about to be played out.

Her first attempt was a feeble one at best. I think she knew this before she even completed her opening sentence. She informed me that I had been specially chosen to recieve a promotional once-in-a-lifetime offer of a discounted funeral policy, which benefit I undoubtably would be grateful for upon my death.
I informed her that I was a devout member of the Everlasting Church of Skywalker.
She took the bait like a new fish in an old pond, and asked me what in heavens name that meant.
I asked her if she had 5 minutes to spare, since she expected no less from me. A brief silence, a feeble sigh, and she said yes.
So the Everlasting Church of Skywalker is based on the principles of Darth, our Vader, who art from another galaxy. The belief has been passed down through eons by neurons and followed devoutly by morons.
The crux of the belief system is that we never die; we simply morph into fees.
Hence, funeral policies for our members would be like insuring Kenny Rogers against turning black. The opposite cannot be held unfathomable since Michael Jackson tested the Black-to-White theory and proved it possible, even though he made millions singing that it didnt matter.

At this point, Patience must have realised that she was out of her depth, and her training manual didnt cover the eventuality of speaking to Fareed Kaloo.

She asked politely if she could call me back, and I said im cleaning the mothership until after lunch. Its past dinner time and I haven't heard from her yet.
Ah well, theres always tomorrow to look forward to.

Dog Vader


One of my favourite restaurants beckoned this evening. There was a time back in college when we'd spend lazy Friday afternoons having lunches that lasted until just before the last bus left homeward bound; a time when 8 hungry students could do justice to the salad bar,a justice so heaped on a single plate an Ethiopian could open a supermarket just from its contents. Those were the days when carefree wasn't simply a word,it was a way of life; a religion to some!

Tonite however,the appeal of Spur was quite simply the spare ribs. Now I'm never one to dwell too long on either the subject or the consumption of food. I follow the same train of thought as I do were I filling fuel in my car; stop, fill, and hit the road asap!
Not an option when you're presented with spare rib so juicy and succulent, if you were a bull you'd want to put a dress on it and shag it! Its become a ritual of mine to enjoy the spare rib of awesomeness at least once a month. I make an evening out of the adventure, putting in some serious effort to make sure the production is worth a standing ovation at least. I have on occassion even showered and splashed on some Old Spice in anticipation of my date with the dinner of destiny.
I must admit that the restaurant raised the bar tonite; that platter of soft and tender meat had me moaning like Hugh Hefner on his birthday! I'd say it was delicious, but in honesty it would be a disservice to the cow. I am in awe of that cow. It was born to end up on my plate, and that's some honour right there! I don't just dive right in like the fat kid at the dessert buffet. I wine,dine and romance my spare rib. I have the staff put on some Babyface, dim the lights, get the juices and marinade flowing, lick my lips as I tenderly raise the bone to my waiting mouth, savour the delicious aroma of grilled perfection, and then, ever so slowly, envelope the object of my desire with tiny nibbles like Liberace playing Lady In Red with his fingertips on your back!

Anyways, so I went to Spur and had spare rib and it was lekker and now I'm vrot uitgevreet!

The Village Bicycle

One of my clients owns a rather successful chain of bicycle stores,and I happened to be there earlier today. While my team were installing a new suspended ceiling in the store, I had the opportunity to browse around & annoy the salespeople by fiddling with the bikes. One of the guys happened to be testing & tweaking a bike that had just come in, and noticing my curiosity asked if I'd like to take it for a spin. Ten minutes later and panting like Bill Clinton running from a DNA test, I finally hit the brakes and hopped off.
'How was it?'he asked.
'Reminds me of my 1st BMX' I replied.
'Oh! Your first BMX cost R90 000, did it?' he growled back.
These cycling types can get rather touchy about their sport, it seems. I tried humouring the situation by asking if it came in an executive model, still shocked that somebody would drop just shy of R100 000 on a bike.
'For R15 000 extra, I could install premium shocks'. He didn't even blink.
'How much for a bread basket in the front?' This time, I didn't even blink!
Seriously though, do folks realy spend that much on a weekend hobby toy, or am I being obtuse?

Tonight I plan on attempting sleep at 10pm. For most people this wouldn't seem like a challenge at all. For someone like myself, who usualy turns in at around 2am, 4 hours early is like camping outside the dentists rooms from the night before a root canal.
The last time I went to bed this early, I tried counting sheep. By 1am I'd reached 1.3 trillion and started running out of sheep!

I had a chat with a friend of mine the other day, and we were discussing life-altering moments. She said her life-altering moment happened at the age of 3. Wow! I can't remember a highlight prior to turning 18! Okay, maybe a couple, but nothing I could write about for fear of kids reading this note.

I attended a wedding in Durban this weekend, and boy do Indians know how to lay out a spread! I didn't know where the starters ended and the main course began! There was so much good food at the function, Weigh-Less sponsored a table near the desserts!
You know you're at an Indian wedding when absolutely nobody remembers what the bride or groom wore, but everybody can tell you what was on the menu!

Anyways, my soccers about to start, and I need to teach Princess Sabreen the rest of the words to Glory Glory Man United!

Words Of Mass Destruction

I read a note today by my friend Samantha Jagger, wherein she mentions her 'Word Of The Day' : Nonversation. Essentially its supposed to mean a conversation about nothing, having no substance whatsoever.
It intrigued me because I suddenly realised how many Nonversations I've had. Just today, for example, I had a 20 minute conversation on the side of the road which would be your classic case of Nonversation. I don't recall a thing the guy said to me,& even while he spoke I vaguely remember reruns of Seinfeld playing in my head. The last thing I recall as I pulled off was a blue light on his dashboard and a fine for speeding in my hand. What a Nonversation that was!

Then there was the time I was waiting in line to board my flight to Cape Town. She couldn't have been a day older than 18, and the fact that she carried a filofax under her arm indicated to me that she had brains too. That was until her mobile rang, & Hanah Montana belched out a screech as her ringtone. 5 minutes later,& prompted only by my question of whether she had anything beside Hanah as a ringtone, she went into a relentless monotribe about how important music was in her life, punctuated by the odd giggle. I bit my tongue and tolerated the nonversation until just before we stepped into the plane. I remember it being that exact moment because the engine on the wing stood just behind her,and it seemed like the perfect place to shove her ditzy blonde head into as she started playing Britney Spears.
I'm not too sure what happened next, but I don't recall seeing Table Mountain on that particular trip to Cape Town.

I've learnt a nifty trick though, for when you're caught in a Nonversation. I simply nod and smile. Don't respond, just nod and smile. Save your energy for twisting the cap off the juice bottle during lunch. It freaks them out even more when you keep nodding and smiling long after they've spoken! Try it sometime. It works even better if you combine silence, nodding & smiling, with fidgeting with both hands in your pocket! That's straight out of Psychology 101!

You ever get so lost in your own Nonversation you forget what your point was halfway through? Happened to me on the odd occassion, usualy in a club. You halfway through saying something, your head is like 'What? That doesn't even make sense to ME,& I'm the one processing all these words!'... Next your lips realise your brains killed the teleprompter,so now you got lips on auto-pilot and its pitch dark and stormy! So you start making up an ending as you go along, hoping she won't recognise what a complete imbecile you are. Almost like going in to collect a prize you won, only to realise it was a lotto ticket and suddenly your chances were 1 in 65 million!
Next thing you know, she's looking at you, nodding and smiling.

You know you're in a Nonversation when you say something completely bizarre, and the other person doesn't flinch or bat an eyelid. A party favourite realy, when you want to know if anyone listens or cares to what you're saying. My favourite line is 'I'm the King of my tribe back home in Africa,and I'm only here to find a sacrificial virgin. Nod and smile if you are one.'

Hootie & The Blowfish

The title has absolutely nothing to do with the content of this note. I use it simply as a marketing ploy, the way Chinese tyre manufacturers use Charlize Theron without her permission to sell tyres, or the way Sanex uses Jacque Kallis to promote bodywash (with his permission nogal!)

I havent written in months, having gone through writers block more extreme than the kind of block you'd expect to get after having had a roadside sheesh kebab in Bombay.

It's been an interesting 3 months in more ways than one.
I've been toiling real hard at improving my golf game, and it's paying off handsomely.
I used to measure my game by the number of balls I lost, fellow golfers i'd injured, and names i'd been called.
Now I simply count my score like every other golfer would; take the total number of shots played and keep deducting randomly until your scorecard looks respectable.

On the workfront things have been busier than a Chinese whorehouse during the Beijing Olympics.
It seems we may be headed toward resort & golf course developement soon, but for right now im quite content with speeding down the construction superhighway in my little truck.

Princess Sabreen has been taken out of Montessori and begins Crawford soon.
Im not sure what to make of Montessori's. In my experience they have some great qualities, and others which are sadly lacking. I love the fact that kids are allowed to be kids, and grow at their own pace in the environment. I'm just not sure that I want Princess Sabreen growing up thinking homework is an option and not a task.
The day I finally decided to remove her was a Friday morning. Possibly the best day to undertake the removing of your child from her favourite environment. She knows the weekends coming up, which makes Saturday and Sunday a breeze. By Monday she thinks the weekends dragging on a bit. By Tuesday she assumes we've forgotten to take her to school, and by Wednesday she realises Cartoon Network is more fun than anything she could be doing at Montessori.
Short-term memory at age 3 is a parents greatest tool! Use it wisely!

I hadnt realy intended the decision to be so sudden, but hey, nobody tells you on your first day at work that you gonna have to pay taxes come month end! These things just kinda sneak up on you!
So i'd gone in to the Principals office, and for some reason I wore 2 pairs of boxers that morning. Actualy I know now why I wore those 2 pairs of boxers.
Going into the Principals office always ended up in me getting a spanking; at least in my youth.
I guess I just never outlived the natural progression of things.
So there I am, in my 2 pairs of boxers, secretly hoping.... I transgress.
My intention was simply to enquire about Princess Sabreens progress at the school.
After some english tea and scones (I kid you not) I was presented a graph.
Yes, a graph.
Complete with X-axis and Y-axis.
Here's the thing. Montessori doesnt give you a report card with numbers and percentages on it.
They simply give you a page full of commentary and remarks.
If you want clearly defined progress or failures, they give you a presentation with graphs and pie-charts!

Im a businessman. Speak to me in numbers.
Dont tell me my little girl fell of the chart at point X, but got back on the pony and is now riding on the Y-axis like Little Red Riding Hood!
The more I demanded clearly defined values and percentages, the more she tried to swamp me with graphs and charts.
Her funeral leaves Sunday, 11am. X will mark the spot.
Maybe I over-reacted, I dont know.

The house is starting to take shape nicely.
Xena the Siberian Husky has jumped every fence i've raised in the yard, and now thinks its a game.
Im tempted to put barbed-wire on the next fence, but she may just assume we're trying an extreme sport now.
The pool finally got to looking as blue as those ads on tv say it should.
One more week and I swear I would have called Plascon in to paint my water!
I've learnt some life lessons along the way.
Pools,as with wives and kids, requires much patience and much more funds than the average guy assumes.

Well, thats about as much as I have right now.
The spells been broken!
Lock up your women and kids, for I may just be writing more regularly from now on.

The BBC List Of 100 Books

The BBC thinks that most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here!


) Look at the list and put an 'X' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.
5) Tag some friends and see what they've read.

- - - - -

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings -
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee- x
6 The Bible -
7 Wuthering Heights –
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell-
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott-X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas HARDY
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (many of) -X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien -
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulkner-
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger –X+
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell -
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald *
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams- x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck *
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame –
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini *
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne –X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X+
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez-*
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins -
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery -
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - X
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding –
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel X+
52 Dune - Frank Herbert -
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth – (i read about 2 pages. i must assume that doesnt count) X
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez – X
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck – X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov -
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold -
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker –
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce X
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath -
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens -
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X+
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White-
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - X+
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton- X
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl-
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo x

Hhmm... 28. Thats shockingly low, considering the quality of the rest of the list I have not read!

My Song Playlist On My "iPod Favourites"

Secret Rendezvous - Karyn White
Stand By Me - Ben E King
River Of Dreams - Billy Joel
Uptown Girl - Billy Ocean
Sorry - Blue & Elton John
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
End Of The Road - Boys To Men
Summer of 69' - Bryan Adams
Lady Soul - Commodores
Heartbreaker - Dionne Warwick
Hotel California - Eagles
Kiling Me Softly - Fugees
Kisses In The Moonlight - George Benson
Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel
Imagine - John Lennon
Rock Me Baby - Johnny Nash
Lady - Kenny Rogers
More Than I Can Say - Leo Sayer
Superwoman - Karyn White
Get Down On It - Kool & The Gang
Penny Lover - Lionel Ritchie
Honey You - Manhattans
I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden
Just Another Sad Love Song - Toni Braxton
Dance lil Lady Dance
Funky Town
Get Along Without You
Just An Illusion
Kalimba Party
Lets Just Kiss & Say Goodbye
Me & Mrs Jones
Rivers Of Babylon
Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
Life Story - Angie Stone
Wish I Didnt Miss You - Angie Stone
Immortality - Celine Dion (Hey! Im allowed at least 1 Canadian artist!)
Return To Innocence - Enigma
Lost In Space - Lighthouse Family
Santa Baby - Macy Gray
I Try - Macy Gray
My All - Mariah Carey
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Rhythm Of Romance - Randy Crawford
You Might Need Somebody - Randy Crawford
I Dont Wanna Talk About It - Rod Steward
First Cut Is The Deepest - Rod Steward
Fields Of Gold - Sting
Roxanne - The Police
Come Softly To Me - Percy Sledge
Cover Me - Percy Sledge

Whats playing on your iPod favourites list?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Tale Of Two Friends

I knew as soon as I laid eyes on him that he wasnt going to be spending the 8-count flat on his back, panting and in pain, while the school-bully hovered over him.
I've always been a supporter of the underdog. That's why I could never gamble on sport.
I guess it comes from having been an underdog for most of my life. We tend to seek each other out, finding solace in the company of those society has written off as outsiders.

There he stood, with his hand-me-down school uniform, his tattered yet polished black shoes, his oversized white shirt threadbare from years of being handwashed, and the poor mans signature haircut: A crewcut front to back like they give to prisoners.
The glint in his eye told me this boy had fire burning inside of him. A fire born of passion and determination. A fire that no mortal could douse. A fire I recognised as having been burning inside of me for more years than I cared to remember.

He'd been beaten down twice by the time I got to the school parking lot.
I had'nt intended to stop and watch, but being a hot Friday afternoon and the long trudge home looming large before me, I figured some weekend entertainment starting this soon would be a welcome change.
Kelvin always chose the parking lot as the venue for his bouts of bravado. The prettiest girls seemed to arrive and depart by car, and what better place to have his ego inflated and his showmanship displayed than the parking lot.
Nobody ever knew what criteria he used to choose his Friday victim, but there were always two certainties.
No Friday would pass without a fight.
No fight would end until Kelvin was summoned to Principal Mashers office.

Shaff was the new kid on the block. Maybe that's why he was picked out on the day.
Maybe it was that he looked hopeless and alone.
Maybe it was that Kelvin sensed an outsider.
Whatever the reason, nobody in the parking lot on that hot Friday afternoon expected Shaff to get up after hitting the tarmac for the second time.
I did.
I knew this kid had fight in him.
I knew that quitting and being beaten wasnt an option for him.
I knew that it was more than pride at stake here; he was fighting the good fight for every underdog that ever set foot in Model Primary School.
Grade 7 can be such a tough place for an unpopular kid.

Years later he would ask me what inspired me to drop my bag and help him beat the snot out of Kelvin.
My answer was a simple smile. A knowing smile. One he knew never needed words to define it.

We'd been friends ever since.
The kind that would drift apart for months, and then suddenly collide into each others lives like rainfall on a golfing sunday. Very much welcome, and causing no change or deviation to the days plan.
We'd chat once a month, sometimes less, sometimes more often, but never lose touch with the other.
Neither of us were afforded the opportunity of a tertiary education; a luxury always relegated to insignificance when the urgent need to earn a living is ever present.
We chose instead to go into business at the first opportunity.
Shaff joined his uncle in the family butchery; I joined my grandad in the family supermarket.

Ten years later, with the fires of passion and determination raging like a violent volcano within us both, and having graduated to heading our own rather successful business's, we decided to travel to London to further our interests
Shaff had never been on a plane before.
His sister however, worked for British Airways.
The day we left can best be compared to a kids first day at school, when his folks see him off as he nervously embarks on a new chapter in his life.
Shaff had his entire family at the airport.
He came prepared, down to the lunchbox with his sandwiches and snacks neatly packed inside.
He flew First Class, a gift from his sister.
I flew economy.
But he spent the entire flight constantly visiting me in my tiny hovel to share with utter glee the joys of First Class Travel.
He was like a kid in a candy store, literally.
It was only when his prawn cocktail starter was served that he finally accepted this to be the way the rich travelled.

We spent many afternoons in his pizza shop, one of many business's he owned by then, chatting about everything and nothing. Most of it involved plans to take over the world.
Two years ago, we discussed starting our own charity organisation.
He left for India not long afterward,and I had just moved back from Dubai.

I called him 3 weeks ago to invite him over to my new home, and tell him about my latest money-making idea.
He never answered my call, and I left a message on his answering machine telling him I never believed the day would come when we would be too busy to take each others calls.
He never did return my call.
I guess I was too busy to try calling him again. Besides, thats the kind of friends we were. I figured we'd make contact again sooner or later.

Little did I realise it would neither be sooner, nor later.
Shaff passed away in a motorcycle accident 2 days before I had called him.
He couldnt answer my call.
He never will, ever again.

I'd love to tell you what an amazing soul he was; how enriched I feel for having met him and known him.
I'd love to look him in the eyes one last time, just to thank him for being my truest friend.
I'd love to sit him down, and answer the question he always asked.
Why did I drop my bag that day and save him from Kelvin?
Shaff, that day, it was you saving me, friend.
It was the day you made me believe we could overcome, and we did.

I know youre looking down on me right now and laughing that hearty laugh of yours.
I know youre shaking your head at the tears streaming down my face as I write this.
But do you know how much I miss you?

We'll meet again some day.
I'll keep fighting the good fight, knowing youre right beside me, spurring me on.

Take care old friend.
Your spirit lives on.

Shaff & I outside Equinox, London

Conversations In B-Minor

This note was supposed to have been titled "The Journey Of A Slave", but at 45 minutes past midnight I coudnt find one.
A journey, I mean.
Not a slave.
You ever tried looking for a journey?
Not as easy as it sounds.

I once spent 2 weeks looking for an opportunity.
Someone on a bus told me it was all around.
Two weeks I spent looking for one.
All I found was a half eaten bag of chips and an old gym sock.
Ah well, thats what you get for listening to retired bus drivers now working the carousel at Gold Reef City.

I've made a shortlist of the things I hope to achieve before 2009 is over.
Almost like a sequel to my New Years Resolution list.
But since im writing it before New Year eve, I guess you could call it a prequel.
Which makes this, in effect, the prequel to a sequel.

Ps: You will soon realise that the level of sense in this note is directly proportional to the time. The later it gets, the less sense this note will make.

Moving on.
I want to be a Chicago Gangster.
Not the type you see on old episodes of Sewende Laan or Egoli.
I want to be a real kick-ass mean mofo!
I want to make promises to beautiful women while hiding a tommy-gun behind my back, assuring them that I will meet them for dinner at Fat Franks Diner at 5pm, knowing full well that at 4:45pm i'll still be giving Donny One-Ear a knuckle-sandwich.
I want to do million dollar deals over alfredo pasta, no ham, extra mushroom.
I want to be able to use more oil on my head than I do in my rusty old 87' Ford Cortina, and still look cool.
But if all this is impossible, at least i'd like to be able to kill mosquitos with the flick of my hand... or maybe pay a Zimbabwean 500 million Zim Dollahs to kill them for me.

I want to act in a black-and-white movie.
I dont care what the movies about.
It must just be black-and-white, and it must have me in it.
They could catch me on the evening news robbing a bank, as long as when they play the clip, they do so in black-and-white. That would do. I dont care about the substance o the subject matter.

I want to finish my book.
So badly.
Right now I have 7 Chapters.
3 if you remove all the pictures.
I just need to be inspired.

I want to be able to stay awake long enough to finish this note.
Not do another 1000 words.
Just long enough so that I can work toward an endizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..................


There's probably a few hundred milion websites on the Internet.
I dont bother visiting more than 10 on any given day, and half of those are news and finance related. These are the things which interest me. Current affairs and the economy.
Im glad I dont have the desire or inclination to explore further than that which im already comfortable with, as far as the internet is concerned at least.

Heres an excerpt from News24 regarding interest rates in South Africa :
"There have even been official hints that an easing is not far off - for example, in Governor Mboweni's 28 November annus horribilis speech."
Thats it, word for word.
No its not a misprint.
Yes it is really called an annus horribilis speech.
Im not sure if theres a relationship between high interest rates and heamorhoids, though I can see why there should be.

One cant help but giggle at the phrases and words people use to describe events and whotnots.
Take my little girl for example.
She's only two, but never ceases to amaze me when it comes to her grasp of the English language, and sentence construction.
This afternoon I spied her following a bug in the garden.
Suddenly and with no warning, she stood up and stepped on the little critter!
She caught me staring gobsmacked at what she had just done.
Without skipping a beat, she looked down at the squishy blotch, tapped it with the toe of her shoe, looked back up at me, and said "Its not working anymore!"

The other night we had some friends over for sheesha and drinks (hubbly-bubbly for the less well informed).
We got to chatting about fantasy lovers. You know, how each person is allowed to have one person thay fantasize about, and be given a greencard to seduce, provided that person is way beyond any reasonable chance of ever even knowing of your existence. Thats why its fantasy.
I've always been intrigued by Asian women, and everyone that knows me, knows this about me. However, when it comes to my fantasy lover, I chose Ashley Judd in a heartbeat. The thinking mans pin-up.
Of course as far as the ladies were concerned, the usual names popped up. George Clooney, Will Smith, Woody Allen (some had smoked more sheesha than others by this point), and finally, Johnny Depp.
At the mention of Johnny's name, I imagined him in Pirates Of The Carribean and asked "With that beard, isnt he a bit rough?"
The response: "I like it rough!"
I spilt my kola tonic and lemonade, and went back to discussing interest rates and the economy!

I have a Bangladeshi national who rents one of my properties, and is reliaby and consistently late with his rent payments.
I've heard every excuse in the book, and some that hadnt even been written yet.
Lately he's resorted to sending me excuses for late payment via sms.
With his english worse than my daughters or Arnold Schwarzenegars, reading his text messages and making sense of them is a linguistic challenge of the highest order.
Its like buying a Korean made dvd recorder and figuring out how it works by reading the manual!
Last week, he sent me a text message saying, and I quote, "Sir Fareed, I am no choys. I think and think and dont no. Sumwun o me muny, and he gon i can not find. I hart sor. I even wun do soo syt."
Between watching Manchester United vs Blackburn and munching on my Nando's half-chicken meal, I now had to try and decipher this coded text message.
The only bit that made sense was that someone owed him money. The rest was a maze.
An hour later I called him and said until they made Bangladeshi an official language, could he please lay off butchering the queens english!
Turns out he was trying to tell me, in his own special way, that he was contemplating suicide because of his financial burdens!
Of course I suggested he pay his rent to at least get that worry off his mind, and hopefully be less stressed. I offered free counselling, and suggested he stay away from sharp pointy objects in the meantime. Then I took the keys for the fire-escape, which leads to the roof, away from him.
These are the issues I have to contend with on an average day.
Its no easy task, but evidently I take a well-balanced approach to these matters.


It was a dark and stormy night.
Outside, an eerie calmness had enveloped the place, like giant snow-petals in an old black-and-white movie.
The thunder and lightning, while deafening and violent, all seemed to play out inside my head. Its one thing to avoid the storm when you're outside, at the mercy of the elements; completely another to avoid when the storm is within you.

So it was that I found myself seeking shelter from myself; a destructive force seeking shelter from the destruction. I remember my karate sensei once telling me that mans greatest enemy lies within, a heartbeat away from Gods angels. I always thought it was all the dope he smoked that made him talk crazy. Years later I literally bumped into him as he staggered out of a popular sports bar. He said the greatest enemy had won that battle.
We spoke until just before sunrise on that Sunday morning. It just wouldnt have felt right telling people that I had watched the sunrise with a drunken senei. It would be like Karate Kid meets Brokeback Mountain.
Somewhere between the Jack Daniels and Smirnoff monologues, I heard a bit of Rumi. Not much, but enough to make me smile at this odd threesome of bedfellows.

I asked him what he had meant when he once told me about mans greatest enemy and Gods angels. I couldnt imagine two more polarised beings living a heartbeat away.
He told me to recall from experience or movie, a time of immense heartbreak and anguish. An emotional break-up, the death of a loved one, anything that would cause absolute grief.
I mentioned an earlier break-up.
The first emotion I experienced was anger. An almost uncontrollable state of anger. Wave upon wave of frothing anger.
Two days later, the object of my desire and I had made up.
The feeling of love and contentment I basked in at the moment of the make-up was so intense, you could have launched a Space Shuttle from my arse. An odd metaphor, but you get the essence of the emotion.
I got the point he was making.

Tonight I pondered that sunrise, and all that transpired from it.
I contemplated a lengthy note about everything and anything, a cleansing ritual that would expunge the demons and angels at war inside of me.

Then my ipod plays this song.
And captures all I want to say.
Waves of emotion carry me along.
And takes my breath away.

"I cant stand to fly
Im not that naive
Im just out to find
The better part of me

Im more than a bird...Im more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
Its not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Ill never see

It may sound absurd...but dont be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wont you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Its not easy to be me

Up, up and away...away from me
Its all can all sleep sound tonight
Im not crazy...or anything...

I cant stand to fly
Im not that naive
Men werent meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

Im only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Inside me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me

Im only a man
In a funny red sheet
Im only a man
Looking for a dream

Im only a man
In a funny red sheet
And its not easy, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm...

Its not easy to be me"

by Five For Fighting

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Liberation Of The Techno-Slave

There are very few mornings that afford me the pleasure of waking up with nothing planned for the day. At the best of times, my average weekday can best be described as frantically manic. At the worst of times, I resemble a heroine addict who just had Red Bull and Speed for breakfast, with a radioactively dangerous vindaloo curry the night before.

By noon on most days, i've answered no less than 25 calls and responded to an endless stream of emails and sms's. This would seem otherwise normal if I worked in a call-centre, or in the trauma unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. The fact that I do all this and remain on-call 24/7 in the capitalist pursuit of wealth affords me no pity. I am, unashamedly, the poster boy for a Jozi Boy.
The kind your mother warned you about.
The kind that would have charged an entrance fee for all who stepped on The Ark, and double-fare for an Ocean View room.
The kind that would have given Baby Jesus a credit card and then sold him a Playstation.
I've been known to answer business calls, important or otherwise, in the middle of dinner, a movie, a funeral, and even sex.
In short, I am the Alpha Male, tearing down the deal-making superhighway, pedal to the metal with the devil screaming behind me to slow down.

So imagine my surprise when my morning alarm was void of an incessantly ringing cellphone.
It felt like the most unnatural sensation imaginable.
I got out of the shower and instinctively checked my mailwhile waiting for my tea to brew. Nothing!
Not even spam! Not even some online chinese company addressing me by my first name while offering me cheap viaggra!
I felt so unloved. So forgotten. Almost invisible!

By 10am my cellphone hadnt rang once, and I was torn between relaxing and enjoying the silence, and sheer panic that the world no longer needed me!
An hour later and the little seed planted in my head which said there may be a problem with my phone, had sprouted and transformed into a raging Amazonian jungle! Quick as a flash, I whipped out the back-up cellphone. (Right, like any Metro male worth his weight in spit doesnt carry a second phone!)
I dialled my number with nervous fingers.
I listened intently.
"The subscriber you have dialled is unavailable at present."
I was right here!
How could I be unavailable when all I ever am, all that defines me, is available!!?

So I called my service provider (once again, what would this world come to if it werent for back-up cellphones).
Turns out there was a technical glitch on my line and it would be restored by 2pm.
That was 3 hours away. 3 hours of silence. 3 hours of being uncontactable. 3 hours of being unavailable. The best part was that it was through no fault of my own. It wasnt as though I had intentionally turned the phone off. It was an event totally out of my hands, but one which afforded me 3 hours of techno-free bliss.

I felt emancipated! I truly did!
I felt like the shackles which had held me prisoner for so long had finally been broken.
I felt like Kunta Kintei.
I felt like Barack Obama.
I felt like Nelson Mandela.
I felt like Martin Luther King.
And I was having a dream.
Until my back-up phone rang and Vodacom apologised for the inconvenience, and informed me that my number was now active again.

So for 3 hours today, I experienced Nirvana.
I basked in the glory of being far removed from the rest of the planet.
And its a feeling, strange at first, but one that I think I could get used to.

I decided then, that as insurmountable an ambition it may seem, for at least 3 hours each day, I shall turn my cellphone off.

Starting tonite.
At 11pm.

Wish me luck.

Music That Moves Me

It's almost midnight and I still havent tired of the playlist on my iPod.
I spent this past week channel-hoping through every radio station in town, and concluded that while each has bits and blobs of interest, those bits and blobs are scattered as scarcely as virgins in Sandton.

The iPod wins the choice awards.
They dont make good music like they used to in the old days.
Twenty years ago, this is exactly what my mom said when she endured Run DMC's "My Adidas" rocking the walls of my room.
I'd hazhard a guess and say that twenty years prior to that, my grandparents were probably lamenting the death of good music when mom played her Engelbert Humperdink and Ike & Tina LP's.

I remember going to my Matric Ball years back, dancing to Eddie Vedder's "Mercy Mercy Me", and telling my mom when I went back home just how awesome this song was! Of course when she laughed and said it was an old song that she had heard before, I figured dad was right about her having lost her mind years before. Imagine my surprise when a dusty old vinyl placed on a hardly-used record player crackled alive with the sounds of Marvin Gaye, singing "Mercy Mercy Me" like it were the only song in the world that mattered right then and there!

My school years were spent clubbing to music my mind refused to register as enjoyable.
It was only in my years at college that I decided that dancing to a different beat need'nt be a secret lived out behind bedroom doors.
Of course my choice of musical geniuses only ever made sense to me, just like they only really sang to me when I listened to them.

In the hope that Princess Sabreen grows up knowing the difference between Guns & Roses doing "Knocking On Heavens Door", and Bob Dylan's version, or thinking Rihanna's "Umbrella" is amazing without having heard the Manic Street Preachers do the original, i've begun compiling music from my generation i'd like her to listen to some day.

My selection of personal greats will need constant updating, so for those of you who appreciate my list and choice, i'd love nothing more than for you to add either songs or artists, or both, to what I hope will be a kaleidoscope of memorable tunes.

Im starting with :
Aretha Franklin (Legends seldom need single songs to make them great)
Randy Crawford (my all time favourite female artist)
Rod Steward ( my all time favourite male artist)
Babyface (too many classics to remember)
Air Supply (All Out Of Love still a classic)
Angie Stone ("Wish I Didnt Miss You" is just awesome!)
Barbra Streisand (Too many to mention, but Woman In Love still gives me goosebumps)
Chris De Burgh (Lonely Sky belted out as you drive alone at night on the highway is almost religious)
Creedance Clearwater Revival (I Heard It Through The Grapevine... wow.. thats all... wow!)
Diana Ross (Pick one.. any one.. and its a classic)
Dionne Warwick (Heartbreaker.. I'll Never Love This Way Again..Walk Away... the list is endless)
Eagles (Hotel California.. no list is complete without this one)
Franki Valli (Cant Take My Eyes Off You... I dare you not to sing along!)
George Benson (Kisses In The Moonlight... first song I ever danced to with a girl :) )
James Ingram (Come To Me... toe tapping stuff)
Kool & The Gang (Get Down On It reminds me of sneaking the car out the driveway on Saturday nights)
Sade (By Your Side was the first song dedicated to me .. aah sweet memories )
Stevie Wonder (I Just Called To Say I Love You , & Part Time Lover.. On almost every 80's Love Album)
Sting (Fields Of Gold never moved out of my Top 5 songs, ever!)

So there you have it.
A snapshot of the album i'd like to compile and dedicate to Princess Sabreen and all little girls, before they get brainwashed by Britney and , Lord forbid, Whinehouse.

Market Therapy

The clanging of polished steel milkpots as they ride 2-per-handlebar on the brightly decorated bicycle was never meant to be my alarm clock. That first rude awakening in Hotel Bangkok Inn (snickering at names in Bangkok seems almost mandatory) was in stark contrast to the amazing fiery orange sunlight framed by the smoky haze of old town.

It took me three days before I braved the walk down the dragon-adorned cherrywood staircase to search and destroy the source of this early morning racket. At 5am, and clad only in my boxers and a silk green robe with gold embroidery bought the evening before from a roadside stall, my eyes hadnt yet fully adusted to the brightness that greeted me as I stepped outside.

What greeted me can best be described as a cacophony of sounds, scents and sights.
It turns out that for 3 hours ech morning, from 5am to 8am, the road outside Hotel Bangkok Inn is transformed into the most boisterous fresh produce market in Asia.

I hardly recognised the grey cobblestone underneath my hideously thin-soled velvet slippers. It took me the better part of 5 minutes to decide which of my senses to adjust first, and im glad I settled on my hearing, or else I could easily have been plastered to the floor when the orange-cart whizzed by. The aisles between stalls were barely wide enough for 2 people walking side-by-side, let alone to accomodate bicycles, scooters, inquisitive scraggly dogs and little Thai kids running around in diapers and not much else.

The fact that nobody batted an eyelid in my direction as I lazied my way toward the sound of a sizzling grill, was testament to the fact that my scantily clad torso ranked low in interest when compared to the locals need for produce.

Pineapples in every shade of yellow, each larger than my head; coconuts split open to expose the polished marble sweetness inside; grapefruit so deeply red and tempting, the thickly cut slice offered to me burst with colour on my tongue before the bitterness hit my tastebuds; banana's which seemed to be complete meals on their own, meaty almost; melons so completely filled with sweet nectar, I scoffed at the traders suggestion that I drink the goodness straight out of the hole he had roughly chiselled on it. My smirk completely lost when the bountiful juice ran down my chin and spilt all over me like a can of paint splashed across a canvas.
I was tempted to end my morning cullinary excursion with the rich and creamy glass of milk being offered to me by an equally creamy Thai beauty, but the cow lingering not 10 feet away (truelly, an animal, not said beauty's mom) just kind of put me off the udder-shake.

I dont recall much else from my trip to the east, but that particular morning will forever have a special place on the mantlepiece of my senses.

Pick & Pays produce section just doesnt have the same memorable effect on my shopping outting.

Gobsmacked By Confessions

I must have a face of a Pastor, or the voice of a Priest in a confessional booth.
What is it about guys that they suddenly have this burning desire to confess and expose their skeletons (thankfully not in a kinky way!) to each other when you least expect it? Worse still, it's usually the guy's you've just met and of course, by default, hardly know well enough to share a bottle of coke with, let alone deep dark secrets best left in deep dark closets.

Here's what happened.
I'm on my way to a clients place, having just picked up a painter i'd contracted to assist my team on site.
Not 10 minutes into the 30 minute drive, he starts thanking me profusely for giving him a job, and bemoaning the state of the economy and the unemployment rate, locally and internationaly!
Good Lord! He's a darn painter for crying out loud! Not that they're any less human, but they sure as shit arent Finance Ministers or Treasury Secretaries!
I swear it was like sitting next to Trevor Manuel (Minister of Finance, for those even thinking of asking "Who?" ).
So there I am, sitting next to the contractors Finance Minister, who oddly, smells like a mixture of turpentine and lamb chops. Or maybe it was baked beans? I couldnt really be sure. The smell of turpentine threw my sense of smell off. The fact that he was wearing a Hawaii-styled shirt 2 sizes too big was'nt helping. In retrospect, he looked like a mix between Trevor Manuel and Robert Mugabe, with the odd smell as a bonus.

Anyways, im digressing.
So he's done telling me about the state of the economy and how it affects the price of eggs, and suddenly takes a verbal sharp left and goes into a confessional rhetoric.
At first I just nod politely, not wanting to seem rude. Which im not. Usually.
At one point I caught myself wondering how strong these seatbelts really are, and would he really fly through the windscreen like they do in the movies if I hit the stationary bus in front of me.
It's only when his story started taking on an X-Files theme that I started really listening.
It's not every day that a guy tells you he cant recall his first marriage simply because he was so high on drugs during the ceremony, when the Priest asked "Do you take this woman blah blah...", his response was "Ja ok. I really need to pee now."
Im not making any of this up, just in case you're wondering.
Besides, when a story is this far-fetched, even my vivid imagination has difficulty grasping it's fictional value!

Between staring at him in disbelief and swerving to avoid oncoming cars , I asked him when he changed his life around; turned over a new leaf; gave his past a fresh coat of paint.
He said it was some time after his second marriage.
Apparenty the second didnt start much better than the first.
He was scheduled to tie the knot on a Sunday afternoon.
The Saturday night before, his crew decided to take him out on his last night as a bachelor, and unfortunately the festivities proceeded until just about an hour before he was due to wed.
Talk about a boys night out going into extra-time!
Turns out he was so drunk when he walked toward the aisle toward his beautiful beaming bride, they had to bring a chair and have him sit down for the proceedings.
If his answer to "Do you have the ring?" was "Oh F%*K! i knew I forgot something!" , im not even going to relay what his response was to "Do you take this woman...blah blah.."

The point of his entire confessional was simply to tell me how much he had changed, and how grateful he was for second chances.
I honestly didnt have a response.
I really didnt.
What could I possibly say that would sound even remotely reassuring to him?
So I said the first thing that came to mind.
"Is that baked beans I smell?"

Things That Make Me Go AAARRGGHH!!

If I really put my mind to it, this note could turn into a novel.
So i'll keep it brief.
Being a Monday, and seeing that the beginning of the week always leaves me with plenty to vent about, im not even going to mention the usual suspects: Telkom, Licencing Departments and Metro Police.

When your day starts with a 6am call from some moronic tele-sales retard telling you that you've just been randomly selected from 68 million people in the country to win a shiny new Porsche, while she casually flips through a mountain of every copy of Telkom telephone directories ever printed, you know you're off to a blistering start. I especially love how peppy they sound at that ungodly hour!
Oh to be chosen from 68 million people!
How lucky can one guy still wearing his snoopy pyjama's, whilst contemplating having cocoa pops with water coz the milk is finished, really get?
So I get out of bed, put my mobile on speaker phone, and proceed to brush my teeth and go through the rest of my very audible morning routine, all while said moronic telewaawaa drones on and on about the tiny little details they require from me before I can realise my luck and they can deliver my win.
So halfway through a gargle and flush cycle, I interrupt her to ask "Ok.. lemme get this straight. I get a shiny new Porsche, and all I have to do is buy some crappy timeshare I wouldnt send my neighbours dog to, and some non-stick stainless steel pots I could get for a quarter of the price at Makro?"
Sounds like a fair deal to me.
Of course by this point im now fully awake, and already sipping on my first of many Rooibos tea's for the day.
Im alert.
Sharp as a tack.
All brain cells fired up and revving to go.
Ready to take on the slickest of salespeople, and still walk away with my wallet intact.
So I slam the phone down.
Of course she phones back, thinking we got cut off.
She's a moron, remember.

You ever hear a voice so annoying, it makes you want to punch the lil kids crossing the road dragging their Superman and Spiderman schoolbags behind them?
Me neither.
Moving on.

So it turns out they got my name from a "survey" I had taken, unknown to me, some months back.
I asked where the survey was taken.
She says at a shopping mall.
I say my religion doesnt allow me to go to shopping malls. (tsk tsk.. i always love the pause after i give them this line)
She says she's not sure where exactly it was.
I say my previous girlfriend worked for a company that did surveys, and committed suicide from the stress. Hence, I dont take part in surveys, out of respect for the dearly departed.
She waits nervously for me to giggle. I dont.
She apologises for my loss, and stammers something about the Porsche.
Finally I tell her that im surprised to have won a car, especially after my licence was revoked for drunk driving and joy riding with the wonderful kids from Bible-Study that fateful Sunday afternoon, and im not even Christian! "Imagine that!", I tell her.
Her long silence told me that her training had'nt prepared her well enough for Fareed Kaloo.
It's when I asked for her private number that the phone line went dead.
Im still not sure if we just got cut off, or if she slammed the phone down on me?

I arrive at my building site (being a contractor, for those that did'nt know) at around 9am.
The scene is straight out of "National Geographic MegaStructures".
Tons of rubble to the left.
Zinc toolsheds and structures to the right.
Behind me, my clients constructive declaration to the world that he's not impotent; 12 foot water-feature and all!
Grinding its way around the only bend, on the only road, on the only side of the lake where any construction in any form is taking place, on the only Golf Estate in the town, is a 6 ton truck heading my way with an already overdue delivery of bricks.
Moron-school must be on summer break, and all its learners must think im giving out free ice-cream today!
Mr Driver pulls up next to me, rolls down his window, and asks "Are these bricks for you?", as he wipes his sweaty forehead onto an already filthy shirt sleeve.
"No. Didnt your office call you? I changed my mind. We're using cardboard instead."
At least his passenger had a sense of humour.

At 1pm my team broke for lunch, and I headed to the nearest KFC to buy them lunch.
I pulled up at the drive-thru window, thinking it would be infinitely quicker and less painful an experience.
"15 Burger Meals, all with cokes please."
"To go?" she asks?
"No, I always take the drive-thru when I intend sitting inside. Must be the scenery that helps me work up an appetite." Some days, I hold back on the barbed rhetoric. Other days, its just too easy.

At 5pm I begin my solitary journey home.
This is "me" time.
Man, Machine, and 5fm with DJ Fresh for company.
It's kick back time and I while away the minutes until I get home to Princess Sabreen with "The Afternoon Drive"... my highlight being the callers phoning in with whatevers on their minds.
Like the guy who called in today to say how blessed he must be, for not getting caught canoodling with his girlfriends best friend on the weekend.
So he got away with it.
And he feels supremely lucky (and blessed too!)..
And what better way to rejoice in his stroke of luck...
Than to announce it on national radio?
Do these morons really believe that nobody could make out their voices on radio?
And even if his girlfriend were'nt listening, surey at least one friend of hers is?

Sometimes I wonder if people really are that dumb, or is it just an act?
Like George Bush.
Ok, bad example.

Well im home now, and it's a comforting thought to know that come the morning, todays morons will seem like tomorrows geniuses.
There's always something to make me laugh; always a reason to unleash my acidic sarcasm; and always the memories of the day to reflect on and make me go AARRGHH all over again.