Thursday, December 23, 2010

i babysit too...

I’m starting to wonder if I’m one of those people that look incredibly gullible.  Perhaps, I have “Pick on me – I’m a sucker” tattooed in indelible ink on my forehead, visible only to con men and the likes.  Perhaps, on the other hand, I just look like a desperate mother (but all the time???!!!) that wants to get rid of her kids.

After I’ve taken Rainman and Too-fast-too-furious surfing, we have to stop and have snacks and hot chocolates to the value of a small holiday home. It’s a great little joint which has recently acquired a new waitress.  Now just to clarify, I have nothing against waitresses.  I too have waitressed.  Also, I have nothing against tattoos. I too have some. Same goes for piercings.

We pull up a perch. The new waitress comes over.  She launches right in.  ‘So, what do people do with their kids over New Year?’  Ah, I think to myself, she’s looking at me thinking “whoa, what a party animal, I'll bet she really wants to cut loose on New Year.’  Then I reconsider, having just remembered that I don’t look like a party animal at all.  I just look like a mother.  Mmm, perhaps she’s just making polite conversation (a.k.a I’d like a big fat tip for being chatty). 

‘Oh’, I say, ‘since we've had kids we kind of hang at home, have one or two beers, shoot the breeze, maybe cut some rug on the kitchen dance-floor’.  ‘Well’, she says, ‘I’m kind of over the whole drink-till-you-fall-down thing and thought I’d offer babysitting at my house for parents who’d like to go out and party.’ I nearly blurt out, “you have a house and not a caravan?” but catch myself just in time.

I’m trying to hide my “are-you-effing-insane  face” and am fighting the urge to say, ‘Ja, for sure and totally man.  I’m definitely going to leave my kid on New Years Eve with a broke, tattooed waitress, whom I hasten to add, is also a stranger. Not only that, but I’m gonna tell my mates to do it too, you bleeding eejit!’

Instead I say, ‘the tricky part might be when the intoxicated parents have to come and pick up their kids and see them to bed.  I don’t think Goodfellows are game for that kind of thing.’  I consider suggesting that it might, in fact, be more lucrative if she ran  “hangover sitting” for the morning after, but decide against it.  I’m also bewildered as to why she hasn’t clocked the part about me saying that we normally stay home.

I think it’s important to mention that at no stage has she bothered to engage her potential clients. The actual kids. Not even a “Hi guys, how was the surf? Cowabunga dude”. 

What’s more, I have to tell you, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me.  When shortie Jnr. was a baby, I was walking down the street when a transvestite asked me for a cigarette.  After explaining that I didn’t smoke, s/he said that s/he’d be equally happy with some cash or some wine.  I explained that I didn’t have any of those either. Her/his parting shot (as though we were old family friends) was “I also do babysitting hey”. WTF!!! Do I look like I’d hand my baby over to you??!?!

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I think it’s fairly safe to judge them by their impossibly short skirt. And, just as a word of advice to all would-be babysitters - have you ever seen an airhostess that looks like a member of hells angels?  Nope. So if you want the job, for Gods sake dress the part and cover up those dang tattoos, just till you've got the job.  And please also remember, not being a total stranger normally counts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

screw the two front teeth...

Christmas is looming and this year I’m just not in the mood. The whole dang year I wasn’t in the mood.

I know I’m going to sound like The Grinch, but really, the smell of burning plastic is not one of my favorites.  Especially as most of the purchasing that’s been going down is for really bloody boring, obligatory stuff that has been bought under extreme pressure. Did I hear organic-luxury-exfoliating soap on a rope? It would’ve be much more fun if the Kardashian family had lent me their credit cards because then I could buy things that people would actually get excited about …  a Ferrari for Mr. Professor Pants (I’ll look after it till he’s 18), a surf-holiday for Best Kisser (because unlike me he can actually surf), and a flame thrower for Oli (just for the hell of it). Come to think of it, Oli would probably quite like to own a tattoo parlour aswell. Heaven knows, the Kardashians don’t need any more shit. Truly.  

What really concerns me the most this year is what’s on my kid’s wish list to Santa.  Weapons.  This is not a very Christmassy theme I think.  I’ve already had to eat huge helpings of humble pie for saying (pre-kids, of course) that my kids would never eat sweets. Pwaaahhahahah. As if.  I’ve had to double that humble pie helping for saying “my kids will never own toy guns”.  Clearly, they must have the same relationship to weaponry as I have to carbs.  The minute you deny yourself, you just want it more. Out of principal. 

The no gun law stood unbroken for all of about 24 hours. I had to relent. The little buggers were fashioning dangerous looking guns (think rifles with bayonets – where did they even see those????) out of pieces of wood. Pointy kindling and such. Not very sanitary, especially if, say, it pokes in your brothers eye. Or breaks his skin and actually draws blood.

So, I tried the overkill approach and bought them an entire arsenal.  It worked. They very quickly tired of playing with their guns, except when friends who aren’t allowed guns came to play.  Then they played with them a lot. More than once I've had to literally wrestle the weapon away from a visiting kid because they became like Gollum  - huddled in a dark corner and calling the gun "my precioussssssss" and what have you. Frightening stuff, really.

Anyway, since Rainman’s recent fascination with James Bond (again with the inappropriateness… ) their romance with weapons – namely handguns are the fetish – has been rekindled.  I try to tell myself that someone has to be defenders of the law.  And has to work for MI5. And has to join the army (somewhere, just not here). Not all gun owners are gangsters. And not all gangsters have guns; they have other things with sharp ends. And I’ve decided that a fascination with knives would be much more dangerous. So, I’ll take my chances with a toy gun thanks.

P.s. An aside. Don’t try drinking lots of Espresso to help you through Christmas shopping.  I’ve tried. I can never go back to that mall now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

hot and furry...

It’s not often that I upload image heavy blog entries (blinking SA bandwidth being what it is) but with Christmas round the corner I thought everyone deserved a treat.  I remembered an exciting book (gift ideas you see) that I once borrowed from my friend Heidi.  Now, I’ve heard the joy of giving is that much greater if you’ve put a lot of effort into the gift. Imagine the overwhelming giving-satisfaction if you’ve gone to the trouble of actually making something with your own bare hand? So, here are some stunning Christmas idea’s that I know will just blow your socks off.  To entice you to read further I’ll even give you the title of the book …. Wild Knitting. 

WTF!!  Knitting, so help me Christmas, has never, ever been a wild activity.

With all the bad publicity that furs get, PETA will be glad to know that the best big thing in warm-wear isn't mink at all.  No, no, it's armadillo. Crusty, you might be thinking. Ah ha, but not if it's knitted...

  This devastatingly sexy, knitted (strike 1) jumpsuit (strike 2) will be just the jolly thing to get everyone in the festive know, laughing, cheering, laughing... 

 For all those flat-dwellers out there who long for their own little patch of garden... A fully knitted garden! The bricks are especially practical.  No lugging heavy decor-paving around, no siree. No watering required either, just a quick hoover every now and then (plastic flowers optional).

And, if you're looking for something stylish and unique for a table setting... knitted fruit!

 Been wondering how you'll keep your fine form over the festive season? The solution lies before you...knitted ice-creams.  An added bonus is that it could quite possibly double up as a teeth-cleaning exercise (think floss and fuzzy type of toothbrush).

... no melting in the sun either...

What could be more fetching than a knitted bikini?  Not only that, but imagine ...
a) how well this weathers in the water; and 
b) how it must itch the living hell out of your private parts. As if beach sand wasn't enough.

When Emirates Airlines gets a hold of this image, by jove they will change their air hostess uniforms! These are made especially nice by the wonderful, romantic light that has made the images all furry.  No wait, that's a lint halo. Strike 1..Pastels.  Strike wing sleeves

It's not so much about the outfits as it is about the whole picture. Knitwear on the beach?  Must be Brighton. The stylist took an especially long time to style the lady on the right's hair. At a second glance, she must have taken equally as long on the other woman's hair. 

Is the man in your life an outdoorsy type? Show him you love him by knitting him a pastoral pully.  The ensamble would not be complete without the bobble hat to round off the theme.  Note the blue (sky) with white (clouds) and yellow pompom (sun). Take me to bed baby...  

For those out there who needed a closeup of the design...

Finding the perfect office Christmas party dress is always such a bind.  Look no further. Not only that, but if you look carefully you'll see the fake, knitted cigarette in her hand.  Getting in early on those New Years resolutions we are ... (NOTE: the foldover boob is not included in the pattern.)

Last, but by no means least, some very cunning fancy dress ideas for that New Year's eve party you always have to dicky yourself up for.  These are totally re-usable anytime, anywhere...You know, kike that 70's theme bridesmaid dress you'e been able to wear over and 
over and over again.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

inappropriately fine, er, thanks...

There really are loads things that irk me about being a parent, but seriously, one of my pet hates has to be when people get preachy. And one of my pet preachy words that I love to hate is the word “inappropriate”.  Preachy parents in particular over-use it like a Navy man’s wanking hand.  They seem to forget that the word “appropriate”, by it’s very nature, has an elastic quality to it.

For instance, I think it’s wildly inappropriate to wear stilettos in a nightclub.  Why?  Because if I did I would wipeout within about 10 seconds.  However, for someone more accustomed to these high hells, it would be deemed essential. Depending, of course on their urgency to look hot and bag some fresh meat. (Apropos stilettos: made more for lying down then for walking around and dare I say dancing, if you feel me.)

Here’s another example.  In South Africa, it’s considered “inappropriate” (aaargh, even writing the word just bores me to tears) to greet your dinner guests in your slippers, and even more inappropriate to ask them to remove their shoes. However, in some parts of Europe (maybe all parts, who the hell knows) and in places like Japan, it’s not only appropriate to receive guests in your “house shoes” (a.k.a. slippers), but you are also perfectly within your rights to ask them to take off their “outside” shoes before you’ll allow them in.  See what I mean?

I’m hoping (for your sake) that you’re not closely acquainted with anyone who uses the word “inappropriate”.  But if a friend of yours does let is slip (for real, out in the open, not under their breath) here’s how you might handle it. Pretend  you didn’t hear them or sniff loudly and look away.  Letting out an exasperated sounding sigh or mumbling something under your breath (“eejit” normally works well) can sometimes stop their preachy train of thought. Watch out for the “lemon lips” look though.  Preachy people are very, very good at pulling sour faces. Apparently flipping the middle finger is considered excessive so save this for when you really need it (e.g. shopping centers, road rage, parking lots).

In a nutshell, unless you find me or my offspring doing something truly, universally inappropriate (batting off in public, reading porn on the train, eating boogers) then save your energy.  If you don’t, you’re just going to come across as poncy.  Trust me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oy, Mary...

It’s that time of year when nativity plays abound.  I don’t often get schmoozy and schmaltzy about how cute kids are, but honestly, little kids plays just do it for me.  Laughing and crying at the same time I tell ya.
Anyhow, it got me thinking about how inaccurate the plays are.  I mean for starters, I don’t know who wrote “The Little Drummer Boy” but I’ll tell you  one thing, the ox and lamb definitely do NOT keep time.  And, although I’m a big fan of percussion, if I’d just given birth, there’s no way in hell I’d want a noisy drummer boy around. How selfish, can’t he see there’s a newborn trying to sleep? 
Back to the inaccuracies. I propose it’s time someone wrote a more accurate script because I have a feeling this is how it really rolled…
Mary:  Whaaaat the…. Who are you? Or should I say, what are you?
Gabriel: (Loudly and very formally) I am Archangel Gabriel and I would have thought my wings would have given you a clue.
Mary:  Right. No need to speak so loudly, I’m right here next to you. Um, sorry, but if it’s not too much trouble, could you stop waving those wings around.  You’re dangerously close to the new urn I just bought.  It’s not just decorative you know. I actually have to fetch water in it.
Gabriel:  Oh hel…um, oh shoot. Sorry, I get a bit carried away.
Mary:  What can I do for you today?
Gabriel: (under his breath…As if!  Did she not just hear me say I am an ANGEL?)  Well, Mary (condescending tone), I am actually here to do something for you today. Soon, you will have a baby. Well not soon, in about 9 months time. And you will call him Jesus and he will be our Saviour.
Mary:  There must be some mistake. I don’t know how to say this, but, I can’t be pregnant. I’m, um…. a virgin. (softly)
Gabriel:  Sorry, I didn’t get that.  You’re a what?
Mary: A virgin alright, a virgin (much louder)
Gabriel: Oh! Oh, how foolish of me. I left out the important part. You’ve got an immaculate contraption.
Mary: A what?
Gabriel: Dang, I think I said that wrong… what’s it called again.  Oh yes, you’ve had an Immaculate Conception. You are able to bear a child without first having to….
Mary:  OK, OK, I get the idea.  Lucky me.  How do you expect me to explain this to Joseph?  I am married you know, this isn’t just about me.
Gabriel: Shoot, yes.  Well, you look like a bright girl, I’m sure you’ll think of something. Um, perhaps I could leave you a feather from my wing.  You know, as proof that I’ve been here and all.
Mary: Looks very similar to a pigeon feather but whatever.
Gabriel:  Righto then, my work here is done for now.  Good luck with the whole pregnancy thing and don’t worry about the puffy ankles. They eventually go down.
Mary:  (under her breath) How would you know, eejit. 
(Louder) One question  though.  Do I really have to name him Jesus?  It’s just that Joseph was at school with a guy called Jesus and I tell you, he was a real arseho… um, sorry, not a cool guy.  He’s not going to like naming our son that one bit.
Gabriel: (sighing)  Mary.  I’m the messenger and I think you have a fair idea of who sent me.  He gave clear instructions and I wouldn’t suggest messing with him.  Know what I mean?
Mary: You know what? Whatever.  Its not like I’ve had any say thus far so thanks for the awesome news but I’d like to finish my scroll before my ankles start to swell. 
Levi: Ish! Hey Ishmael, check out that star dude.  It’s moving closer and getting bigger.
Ishmael: Dude, you been smoking that pipe of yours again?  You’ve got to stay off the strong stuff; it’s starting to mess with your head.
Levi:  Ish, don’t be an arsehole, just listen to me. I swear, that star is moving and getting bigger and closer.
Ishmael:  By Jove!  Whaaat the?
Gabriel (under his breath) Always the same blinking response! Uneducated Philistines, don’t they know an angel when they see one?  
Jove:  (sounding sleepy) Did someone call me?  Whaaaat the?
Gabriel: (under his breath) Again with the “whaaat the!”  
(Loudly) Um, as you can see, gentlemen (as if). I am an angel.  Archangel Gabriel to be exact, and I’m here to tell you that your Saviour that has been born this very night in Bethlehem.  You will find him in a stable…
Levi and Ishmael: Dude, no need to be so loud.  The sheep are sleeping man. Who was born in a what?
Gabriel: A Saviour. Sa vior.  In a stable. Sta ble. You know, where they keep livestock.
Jove:  What the heck is our Saviour doing in a stable?
Gabriel:  All the inns were full.  I know you types don’t pay much attention to current affairs but its there’s that whole tax and be counted thing going on right now, so they had to make do.
Ishmael: (under his breath to the others) Poor woman who had to give birth in a stable. 
Jove: (under his breath) No shit dude.  That’s barbaric!
Gabriel:  Righto then, if you’re all clear on this then I’ll be off.  Think you can find your way there? 
Levi:  With all due respect dude, I know you’re like an angel and we’re just mere mortals but we’re like shepherds. We know how to mission.
Gaspar:  Good move Balty.  Now I’m going to kick your derriere!
Bathasar:  You havn’t beaten me in backgammon since the last plague old chap.  Don’t see it happening today.
Melchior: Childish banter. Can’t you two just play like civilized adults? We’re wise men, godammit. Magi, not schoolboys!
Gaspar: Mel, don’t be such an old fart.  I’m over this whole being wise the whole dang time.  When we’re alone it’s cool just to shoot the breeze.  You know, decompress a little.
Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior:  Whaaaat the….?
Gabriel: (under his breath) I’d have thought this lot would have inkling. But nooooo.  (Sighs loudly and speaks in a bored voice) I am angel Gabriel and I bring you good news.
Bathasar: My horse won the race? Powerpocket boys, told you that horse is headed for big things.
Gabriel: No no NO!  This is bigger than winning the races.  This is about your Saviour, who has been born this very night in Bethlehem.  
Melchior: Bethlehem?  Isn’t that were that whole tax and be counted thing is happening?  Bit of an inconvenient  time and place don’t you think?
Gabriel: (condescending) Some people are above inconvenient times and places. Did you not hear me say the word “Saviour”?
Bathasar:  Alright, alright.  No need to be snippy about it. What would you have us do?
Gabriel: (getting impatient) Go and see him of course.  Saviour, Saviour, I said Saviour.  What’s wrong with you people?  Don’t you want to be the first people to meet your Saviour?
Melchior:  Alright, alright.  I suppose you have a point old chap.  Well leave shortly.  
Gabriel: See that you do.  And be sure to bring some pressies.  I can’t imagine the shepherds thought to take anything for the family. A home cooked meal might be nice.
Gaspar:  Not really our thing you know, we’re wise men, not chefs. 
Gabriel:  What e ver.  Just make it count ok.  It’s unlikely you’re going to get another shot at this whole being saved thing in a hurry.
Gaspar:  Jolly good show.  I wonder old chap, don’t suppose you know what your wingspan is?  Might be useful to know that.
Gabriel: (very condescending) I’d have thought, old chap, that the size of my wingspan pales in comparison to the news I’ve just brought you. Good day to you all. (DEPARTS)
Melchior:  Bit of a scratchy fellow, don’t you think? Not really what I imagined. He’s obviously chosen the austere formal approach over kind, cute and lovable.
Gaspar: Mel, you’re such an idiot! The kind, cute and lovable ones are the cherubs.
Melchior: (under his breath) Wise arse.
Gabriel: (whilst flying back to heaven) Pfffft! Barbaric Philistines, the whole lot of them. 
(IN CHORUS) And so concludes our real rendition, we hope you’ve enjoyed our play.  We saved you the birthing scene for sure, but at Easter we’ll have our say.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

if leggings could talk...

Today’s tale is a cautionary one.  Now I’m not proud to say this, but it’s a habit of mine to go grocery shopping directly from the gym.  It’s about saving time and also let’s face it, I’m unlikely to bump into Ryk Neethling or Gerard Pique at the mall, so I really don’t see the need to primp and preen too much. A recent(ish) set of circumstances, however, has made me reconsider my policy on appropriate shopping attire.

Around a year ago, I was mooching round the condiment section in Pick ‘n Pay, when a youngish chap in a wheelchair approached me. He was maybe in his mid 20’s, seemed friendly and his big blue eyes were like the ones belonging to that cute cat in Shrek. You know… kind of sad, kind of beautiful, kind of you-can’t-ignore me eyes.

He told me how he not only worked at Pick ‘n Pay, but also ran five of his own (yes five) businesses simultaneously, and was managing to squeeze in some studying. 

What are you studying, I ask? Fashion Design. For obvious reasons, most people would have smelt a rat, but I was so busy berating myself for being such a slacker compared to this bewheeled chap that I was completely taken off guard when he made his request.  He asked if I perhaps knew of anyone - perhaps even someone like me - who would be willing to donate a second-hand pair of Lycra leggings to him. He was insistent that they be secondhand. His fashion project challenge, you see, was to create something new out of something old.  The project was due right away, no time to spare, need them this week, sure to flunk without them. 

"Of course" I say, I definitely have an old pair and if he could give me his name I’d leave them at the courtesy desk the following day. NO, he says (a little too loudly, I thought).  Don’t leave them at the desk.  It’s happened before and another thieving staff member has stolen them. 

This, of course, was a second opportunity for me to smell a rat.  "It’s happened before?" Should have been my first question, if only to myself. "Why would another person want a smelly old pair of leggings?"  Should have been my second question, if only to myself.  I turned down his offer of personally fetching them at my home. I didn’t want to seem cruel but had to point out that we have 70 stairs up to our front door. I kept them in my car for a couple of weeks, thinking I’d be sure to bump into him again.

Fast forward to just before Christmas. I’m back at Pick ‘n Pay.  Again, directly from the gym, again in my leggings.  Before I know it, wheelchair-boy is alongside me.  He’s looking unshaven and disheveled and says that he tried to top himself on the weekend.  Oh no! Why? I cry. (Again, I didn’t want to seem heartless by saying; Dude, I totally understand. I mean you’re in a bloody wheelchair, right?) Well, he says, not only is he working at Pick ‘n Pay, but he also is running five (yes, five) of his own businesses simultaneously, and to make matters worse, he has a fashion project due the very next day that he has been unable to complete due to not having the right materials and do I by any chance know someone who would be willing to give him a second-hand pair of leggings?  OK, now I smell the rat and realize the rat is uncomfortably at crotch level. I am seriously un-nerved.  What kind of warped MOFO would want my smelly old leggings???!!!  I mumble some excuse about recently having given all my second-hand leggings to the shelter and shift off as quickly as possible.

Nine blinking months later, I’m cruising the mall (again, I confess, the gym leggings feature) when I hear a squeaky, wheely noise following me.  Oh crap, I think to myself and quicken my pace.  Squeaky, wheely noise speeds up aswell (how can I compete with wheels, I mean really) and before I know it wheelchair-boy is alongside me. He dives right in.  '"You know what I hate", he says.  People who won’t give you their leggings, I think to myself.  "School", he says (obviously, cueing me to ask "which school and why").  I manage to mumble something like “yes, you and many other scholars feel the same”. I’m now quite breathless from trying to get him off my tail and can't come up with anything more punchy to deter him.

Then begins our game of cat and mouse, with me stopping at random shops, jumping from aisle to aisle like Mrs. Smith and in general trying to get wheelchair-boy off my tail.  The wylie bugger catches up with me in the fresh produce section and tells me EXACTLY THE SAME BLOODY STORY!!!!    By now I’m equally creeped out and peeved because he doesn’t even recognize that I’m THE SAME CHICK HE KEEPS HARASSING!!!!  Dude, I eventually say.  You’re in such luck.  Leggings are seriously in fashion, I’ve just seen loads at Woolies for like 80 bux a pair and your lecturers will never know the difference.  NO, he says. They’ll know. His voice is very throaty and his eyes are glinting, as he adds (a little too loudly, I thought) NO, THEY HAVE TO BE SECOND-HAND.

Now, everyone I’ve told this story to has their own theory as to why wheelchair-boy wants my smelly old leggings but I’ll tell you this much.  I’ll wear them till I see him again, then I’m gonna say to him, “You. Me. Coffee. And you’re going to tell me what in God's name you’re doing with all these leggings.”  And when I find out, I’ll tell you. But for now, any theories are welcome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pass the smack...

There comes a time in every person’s life when you consider drugs.  Now I’m not talking hardcore shit; like smack, tik, crack or any other monosyllabic substance that could cause irreversible brain damage– just maybe a little something to enhance your 3D and, er... 4D experience.

Though I wish I could indulge you with some wild gossip about the concoction of Prozac, Paxil and Valium that I’m on, I must be honest. Other than my brief foray with an anticonvulsant - which I’ve been assured I actually needed - the only other drug I think I could have a successful long lasting relationship with, is sports stimulants.

A few months ago, a couple of friends of mine consulted with a woman who used to be a body builder and is now just your regular perfectly sculpted pain in the arse.  Including her advice on eating portions that are not larger than a thimble, she handed over a bottle (each) of “natural stimulants” which, supposedly, was to enhance their training. The next day, I read on facebook (the oracle of all personal revelations) how one of the girls in question had lost her mind after taking the “natural stimulant” and was still (24hrs later) crawling round on the floor trying to find it. The other reported that post dosage; her heart had actually popped out her chest and had offered to brew a cup of chamomile.  To this day I often find her mumbling the words to "pump up the jam".  Of course, she offered the rest of the offending bottle of drugs to me and I was keen to try it. Mostly because I’m curious, but also because I’m known to err on the side of recklessness.

I don’t take painkillers often, but when I do I like it to be a sure thing and pretty much triple the recommended dose. I also never bother with naff stuff like Panado and always reach for the drug with the biggest possible kick.  Pain isn’t one of those things I’m prepared to cock around with.  I had my doubts as to whether these “natural stimulants” would do anything for me at all. 30 min before my training routine, I popped one and waited 10 minutes.  Nothing.  Of course it doesn’t bloody work, I thought to myself. Was I actually expecting to morph into Jane Fonda immediately?  I chased the administered drug with my normal cup of coffee, thinking this might chivvy things along. Nope. Still nothing.

Having accepting that no transformation was imminent – I trudged off to the gym. Holy crap, then it happened. 10 minutes into my workout, the drug finally kicked in.  Before I knew it, I was snorting like a racehorse and was able to perform feats that havn’t yet been invented.  I think people around me were making the circle bigger for fear of me karate kicking the living daylights out of them.  Who knows what I sounded like; my heart was now firmly lodged in my eardrums so I had to turn my iPod up super-loud. I was focused, fierce, subtle and meant business. If I’d been brave enough to look in the mirror, I’m sure I would have seen my skin turn that extreme blotchy red that is not only fetching, but also wickedly sexy. I felt exceptionally light and then realized, there’s nothing natural about these drugs.  No siree. 

They must have had some vicious chemical in them, like a bad boyfriend who makes you feel horribly good for a while, then horribly bad for a longer while.  When I finally finished teaching those medicine balls a lesson, I floated to my car and took a look at my eyes in the rear-view mirror.  Pinpricks. Consider yourself warned. Beware of thermogenics, they’re not what they say they are…but boy they can make you dance.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

gggggggupcha, ggella gggella....

I’m sure my fans (like Jesus when he first started out, I have a small but devoted following of around 12 people) were wildly disappointed when I missed last week’s blog post.  I was airborne in more than one sense and unable to write.  Flying over the North Pole didn’t make me feel as high as you’d expect (blasted cloud cover) but I daresay the concoction of Excedrin, Neurofen, Antihistamine and several Bloody Mary’s did. God love Emirates Airlines and the near sexual favours I had to perform to secure my emergency exit seat. Verbal striptease I like to call it.

Because there really is a God out there, I was able to rest up my puffy airline ankles (where did my leg end and the foot begin?) overnight in Dubai.  But I need to start with my moment of arrival. After 17 hours of flying - sitting next to a woman from Iran whom I might add, was clearly competing with me for all the vodka and whiskey on the trolley - I was relieved to land on terra firma. Sitting stationary for an eternity left me unsure of whether my wobbly legs were very light, or very heavy.  Gravity I tell you. Gets me every time.

As we queued in the arrivals hall, I gazed round in wonder.  This, I decided, is what heaven must be like.  Every single surface has a sheen to it, the smell of expensive perfume permeated the air and the upright pillars that supported the well-lit ceiling were (I shit you not) white, with sparkly bits in the mix.  It was as if Dubai’s architectural sultan said “find me every shiny, twinkly surface that has ever been made and bring it hither for my construction”. Wait, was that violins I heard? A “NO CAMPING” sign would have completed the illusion for me.

But for the bad publicity that Islam has suffered over the last 9 years, the immigration officials looked almost angelic in their white Thobes and Ghutra’s.  I felt the effect would have been complete if they could have chosen garlands instead of black igals to hold their ghutras in place. I know black and white is classic but the contrast was all too harsh darling, all too harsh.

If French is the language of love, Italian the language of food and Afrikaans the language of clearing-your-throat, then surely Arabic is the language of cussing.  Why do they sound so pissed off the whole time? The noises they make are akin to someone’s last words as they are being garroted. Ggggggupcha gggella gggella gaaaaaa. Their much shaking of hands, heads and fingers reinforces my assumption.  I prayed they wouldn’t find a stray poppy seed from my breakfast roll amongst my clothes. I can’t imagine what they would sound like if they really were pissed off. 

I reflect on the graffiti that someone scratched onto the elevator door.  Aladdin. I wonder how many there are here? I consider scratching “open sesame” alongside but decide against it - hidden cameras are forever on my mind and I'm pretty sure the UAE has a zero tolerance attitude towards vandalism. I get to my room and flick the light switch.  Nothing.  I immediately assume that this is how they enforce “night-time is bed-time”.  After going through a series of stretching exercises that involve keeping the door open with my toe (picture a small shaft of corridor light) and feeling up every wall surface within reach, I eventually find a nifty little box that says “place card here”. Bingo, but how the hell am I supposed to find the dang box in the dark? Now I'm convinced that there are hidden cameras filming me and I am the butt end of some arabic joke. I'm impressed however, that they are realistic about the heat here. The windows don’t open at all. 

En route to the dining hall I stop at the hotel curio shop.  As you may know, permitted images on decor are limited and there's a lot of geometric shit going down on wall hangings and such, though they clearly have no problem with camels. Apparently, when it comes to Dubai men’s fashion, nothing goes better with metallic than metallic. I spot a leather jacket with fur trim for sale and have to wonder WTF? Do locals turn up the aircon full tilt just so they can have a chance to wear winter fashions? Also, from what I’ve seen on TV here so far, I can only say that costume design in Arabic countries must be a very dull career choice indeed. 

I will end my report on Dubai by saying this; they clearly pay no attention to time – 3am is no different to 3pm for them, their toilets have dangerously high water levels (maybe to encourage bidet use?), and if you want to see crushing crowds – go to the 18carrat section at the airport Gold shop. Oh, and perhaps steer away from anything that says "minced meat".  I don't doubt it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

real rack

Obviously, as I arrived in the USA this week, I have stumbled upon a myriad of hot topics for blogging. Probably enough to fuel a lifetime of writing, such is the funniness of the American nation.  That might be a bit unfair really, because truth be told I find lots of things funny about lots of foreign nations.  

OK, so after we’ve gone for a powerful power walk, spotted a dolphin, chatted about crap and had a fiercely frozen smoothie, we end up in Belmont Shore.  At least I think it’s where we were. I’ve been very confused since arriving in California because all the neighbourhoods look so similar to me - probably because they are so similar. Even though I am still wearing my sporty “Wheelchair-man Fetish” lycra leggings (which trust me, is a frightening story for another day), we feel smart enough to cruise the shops and check out what’s happenin’ stateside in the fashion world.  After trawling a few costume shops - remember Halloween is round the corner - and pondering the appropriateness of some costumes (Sexy Harem Girl, Hospital Scrubs Girl and Wicked Nurse Knockout spring to mind) we find a really cool boutique called Saga.  
The clothes were great, but what really got my attention was a screen in the shop. Not so discreetly tucked away, it was playing an advertorial on a loop for a product called Pick-Me-Up breast lift tape.  It starts with showing a woman’s breasts, naked as the day they reached puberty. One is covered by something I later found out is called a “Smooth’em Nipple Concealer”,  which actually looks much, much more tragic than it sounds.  At first I thought it was plastic surgery gone wrong.  You know, like they mislaid the poor woman’s nipple during the procedure and decided to put a piece of flat pinkish fabric there instead, hoping of course that she’d never notice.  Then you see a finely groomed woman’s hand niftily placing a oblong shaped, transparent sticker thing over the other breast.  
The finely groomed hand first attaches it along the bottom of the breast, just below the remaining nipple, hikes the breast up and sticks it to the flesh just under the collarbone. Now, although there is a great improvement in breast perkiness, I have to say that it looks like a bad joke waiting to happen. What happens if you are a sweaty person (everyone is in a nightclub, aren’t they?) and this causes the adhesive to become unstuck.  I can just see the scene unfolding.  Guy notices girl in bar.  Guy goes over to chat her up. Guy notices incredibly perky breasts. Girl notices guy noticing incredibly perky breasts. Girl gets all sweaty and nervous because she knows perkiness is fake. Sweat causes adhesive to stop working. Guy notices one breast dropping down un-nervingly quickly to less perkiness. Guy withdraws offer to buy girl a drink. Girl is so embarrassed that she never regains her normal skin tone.  Really, it’s just to horrific to think about. 
Me being the weirdo I am, I quickly write down the www address and vow to look up this product as soon as we’re home.  The site is called but it should be called Here, very briefly, are some of the products you can purchase. Bump and Jump-a-cup (bigger - always bigger - with more cleavage), Bump-a-Booty (pads to sculpt and shape the derrière - because butts always need more padding, right?), Cover-a-cup (who knows) Gather-the-girls (to gather together wayward tits that are holidaying under your armpits) and of course my all time favorites - Smooth ‘em Non or fully Adhesive’s (to squish and cover nipples).
I cannot imagine a guys disappointment, and a girl’s embarrassment, when they finally get into the sack.  Her spell on him will be broken the minute he discovers that not only are her breasts saggy and wayward, but her bum ain’t nothing butt.  It’s like lying about being clever.  Sooner or later you’re just going to sound dumb.

Friday, October 1, 2010

doesn't taste like chicken...

We went camping this past weekend.  Normally, coming from me, that would be enough said. But camping is a can of worms for another day.  One of the shorties that came on the trip was sick.  He announced it quite loudly when he arrived so I made my kids eat two oranges in quick succession to be on the safe side.  I also threatened them with a fierce lashing if they shared the sick shortie’s bowl, glass or general breathing space. My oldest son got the rotor virus on our first camping trip (who takes a one year old camping? Duh!) and it kind of tainted the whole outdoorsy experience for me.  Again I digress; this is about kids and medicine.

Why do kids need drugs in the first place? Because they get sick. If ever there was a mammoth design flaw, it would be that kids have to get sick at all. Until you’re old enough to read a novel, watch 5 DVD’s back to back and - dare I say - embrace drugs wholeheartedly, you shouldn’t get sick. It should just be a universal truth. Like you can’t get knocked up before puberty.  You know, that kind of a rule.

I feel there’s a big market out there for something like fake medicine for kids.  Something that tastes sort of like medicine, but much, much nicer. The rationale behind my thinking is that by the time the little blighters actually fall ill, taking medicine is old hat. 

The main thing about kid’s medicine is the taste. It seems to be impossibly tricky to make medicine that doesn’t taste like toilet cleaner. Said sick camper confirmed this. He wouldn’t even touch the stuff he normally likes, never mind wolf down the chalky, banana flavoured anti-biotics his poor mother was trying to administer. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure bananas should be banana flavoured. And as for the whole chalky consistency… not really one of the winning textures for oral consumption. Apropos antibiotics, I’ve had a strong feeling for quite some time that they should be made in suppository form. Now that would be a solution. Psst, slip ‘em one while they’re sleeping.  In fact ALL kid’s medicine should be in suppository form. 
As for Buscopan, supposedly for stomach cramps, I have a theory. It tastes so vile that it makes you puke your guts out, so the cramps go away. It’s a no gut no cramp theory. I just know it’s manufactured in Lucifer’s Laboratory and the year it was invented it won the “Most Disgusting Medicine Award”. How they expect anyone to get that stuff down, let alone keep it down, I have no idea. 

And lastly, a word of warning; whatever you do, don’t try Omega 3 in syrup form. It seems like a cunningly good idea but know that it tastes like you’ve’ given a dodgy salmon a blowjob. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

what's in a name...

I have to give my friend Sean credit for this blog idea. I wish I had thought of it first, but I didn’t and it was simply too good to pass up. His mail to me (concisely put I thought) said quite simply, ‘Jamie Oliver has named his latest kid Buddy Bear. (Ok, he actually said brat, but he doesn’t mean it like that. He’s evil but delightful.) The others are called Petal Blossom Rainbow, Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey. After you have finished vomiting, perhaps there is a future article in this.’

Why in the name of God would you set up your own flesh and blood for such ridicule? I remember thinking when Poppy Honey was born that the name was quite cute. You know, because he is a cook and all and doesn’t like to stray too far from foodie words.

But Buddy Bear? Cheese, that’s going to sit really well with him when he’s a strapping teenager. Let’s not even mention that his poor girlfriend/wife/lover will have to call out “Oh Buddy Bear” in the throes of passion. Yup, that’s sexy right there folks. Poor bloke, he’s going to have to introduce himself as “Hi, I’m Jamie Oliver’s son” for the rest of his life. As for Petal Blossom (because we didn’t quite catch the flower theme on the first name) Rainbow (implying rainbow coloured florals?)  and Daisy (again with the garden talk) Boo (Boo, gave you a fright? Boo Hoo? Boo Radley? Boo is close to Pooh?) Quite frankly, there are no words.

It’s not only celebrities who come up with joke-worthy names for their kids. Why, in my very own Grandmothers family, all nine sisters were all called a different version of Sue.  Sue, Soekie, Susanna, Ou Soes, Soesie and who knows what the feck else. It’s like those redneck brothers in that TV show from the eighties.  You know, Newheart…. "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.  

I suppose I should be grateful for parents who are creative when they decide on names for their children.  A popular inspiration, I’m sure you’ll agree, is when parent’s combine their names to create a wholly new name. Or they combine two names they do like to create one name that neither of them like. Just Google “combining names” and see just how many people out there think this a cunning idea. As one site puts it; There are no wrong names. (Er, I beg to differ) Combining parts of Mom and Dad are what makes this baby special in the first place. (Riiiight.) Still, you have to marvel; Petronella comes from Peter and Ronelle.  Fredella comes from Fred and Ella. Vanessa and Lisette make a stunning Vannette, and joining Jessica and Faye means you get to be… Jessaye.*  Who can guess where names like Shanaaz, Hilette and Denvey originate from.  I’m only grateful Victoria and David Beckham didn’t decide to do this.  Brooklyn (TMI to know where you were conceived BTW) could have been Vivid, and Romeo might have been Davoria.

Needless to say, I knew a girl who changed her name when she was in her twenties.  I wondered why and secretly hoped I’d finally met someone who was on the run from the law.  She wasn’t, poor girl. It was because her parents had named her Griekie.

To end off, just because I’m so fond of poking fun at celebrities and all, I’ve made a list of some of some of my favorites:

Zuma – son to Gwen Stefani. Clearly. Because he’s such a great role model.
Kal-el – son to Nicholas Cage. Because Arabic names are so hip right now.  Let’s not forget the Kal-el was also Superman’s birth name.
Coco – daughter to Courtney Cox.  Very original.  We’d never have guessed.
Peaches Honeyblossom – daughter to Bob Geldof.  Never too far from the hippie era.
Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily – daughter to Michael Hutchence.  An obviously choice because it just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?
Teddy Jo, Speck Wildhorse and Hud – sons of John Cougar Mellencamp.  Understandable I suppose. I mean if you voluntarily adopted the middle name Cougar for yourself.  Also, it ain’t southern if it ain’t two names or single syllable.
Apple and Moses – offspring of Gwyneth Paltrow. Ok, I get it. Your names Gwyneth. You wanted to keep it simple.
Zahara Marley, Maddox Chivan, Siloh Nouvel, Pax Thien – football team belonging to Brad and Angelina. We’re so cool, so rich and co good looking we can name our kids whatever we want.
Sparrow. Genderless offspring to Nicole Ritchie. Mmmm. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest?
Hopper – son to Sean Penn – not a lot I can say about this one.
Kyd – son to David Duchovny – very short sighted. Kyd for short time, adult for longer.
Last but not least…
Jermajesty – son to Jermaine Jackson.  Not at all because he was trying to outdo brother MJ’s Prince Michael 1, Prince Michael 2 and Paris Michael.

*I shit you not.  These are real combinations that I found on the web. Frightening.

Friday, September 17, 2010

allies unite...

I know why wrinklies, specifically grandparents, get along so well with kids - they have so much in common.  True, there are some oldies out there (Grumpy Old Farts - a.k.a GOF’s) who don’t want to ackowledge  the similarity but my advice to them is: make allies where you can. In order to demonstrate my theory, I’ve made a list of  the similarities between wrinklies and kids. This is well researched and written whilst sober. More or less.

They have to wear flat, sensible shoes with non-slip soles. They have to eat food that’s easy to chew and even easier to digest. Under no circumstances serve them spicy food. Upsets their mind before it upsets their stomach. They miss the point. They take a long time to get to the point. They very often can’t see the point at all, even after it’s pointed out. They think they know everything. They pretend to know everything. They’ll tell you everything they think you ought to know.

They have a flexible approach when it comes to time-keeping. No wait, make that a complete disregard for time-keeping. They get cranky in restaurants when the waiter doesn’t come quickly with their food.  They get cranky about quite a lot of things, most of which are things you can do absolutely nothing about.

They make funny noises when they eat. They pee in their pants. Strike that and make it, they struggle to keep many of their bodily fluids where they belong. They don’t always realise when there is food stuck on  their face.  

They are prone to dawdling. They walk slowly on purpose, just to irritate you.  They walk slowly unintentionally, but it still irritates you. They repeat themselves. A lot. They repeat their jokes. A lot. They can make you contemplate pouring your evening drink a little early. They take a really long time to tell a really short story.

They dress themselves in weird clothes then comment on the clothes that other people are wearing. They stare at strangers. They point at strangers. They (seemingly) don’t really care what people think of them. 

They steal shiny things. They lie about their age. They forget their age. They’re quite nosy. They’re petulant when they don’t get their own way. They swear under their breath. They swear out loud at inopportune moments.  They talk to themselves. They’re frightened by loud noises, unless that is, they’re making it themselves. They’re not big on compromise and though they’re actually quite adaptable, they’d rather inconvenience you than inconvenience themselves.  I think perhaps the only thing (other than having a good memory, that is) that they don’t have in common is a blue-rinse. But I’ll bet if you asked a kid, well hell, they'd be all for it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

don't, it'll break..

I think we can all agree that the people who invented pop-up books may not actually have real, live children.
Most pop-up books carry a “not suitable for children under 36 months warning”, but there is always some eejit who gives it as a gift when the kid’s like, a year old. I’m not even sure kids have got the hang of page turning by 36 months, but hey, who am I to say. Perhaps my kids are unreasonably cack-handed, but even by the time they’d reached 5 ½ they’d still not mastered the art of pop-up books. 
And there’s good reason for this.  The pop-up parts are made of cardboard.  Kids hands seem to be, on the whole, kind of wet. Clammy, if you like. This is another mystery; I put it down to body fluids. But is there an endless supply of body fluids that can emanate from them?  I think not.  Maybe they’re, um, what’s the word… ah yes, hygroscopic.  Yes, like coffee or sugar or at the coast. As Wikipedia defines it: they have the ability to attract water molecules from the surrounding environment. Impressive, I’d say. If it wasn’t so bloody dodgy. Needless to say, cardboard plus clammy equals a soggy kind of wetboard - not very poppy-uppy at all.  If, by the grace of God, the pop-up bits manage to stay dry, there is the maneuverability factor.  
Now believe it or not, cardboard isn’t as slidey or poppy-uppy as one would think. Granted, it may have to do with who is charged with operating the moving bits. I now understand why moving parts on the whole, are made out of metal with a touch of grease.  Some clever sciency type must have figured out that cardboard - surprise-surprise - does not cut the mustard when it comes to durability. Why the hell didn’t they didn’t tap into this pearl of wisdom when they invented pop-up books? And if metal isn’t an option for book construction (i.e. too heavy; could be used as a weapon) surely we could recycle all the rogue plastic in the world to make slick, maneuverable pop-up books instead of these iffy cardboard ones that stay intact for all of 12 hours? I mean I really thought that this was the era of seriously innovative shit.
And another thing.  The title for every pop-up book may as well be “Don’t touch or it’ll break”.  Because that is what you have to say every time you turn the page.  It really becomes very boring. 
And why is this pop-up book business such a ball ache to me?  Because of the Oscar winning drama that ensues when the kid who broke it finds out that not only is the book broken, but also pretty much unfixable.  Mostly, the offending, stuffed-up book gets tossed across the room (either by me or by the home-wrecker in question), which renders it (with any luck) completely unsalvageable. No wonder TV is such a hit with families. They’re much, much harder to break. Well, mostly.