Thursday, December 15, 2011

call of the wild... or ... the little trumper boy

The chap I'm about to introduce to you was probably writing in the womb.  I would happily trade my writing skills for his, but fear that along with it would come his devilishly dark, wicked way of seeing the world.  But when he's not devilishly dark he's witty and hilarious and also a member of the "WTF? Club of Parenthood".  Sean didn't have a photo to give me which makes me think he might also be a spy. A spy with a sense of humour - now there's a first. He's a parent of two and master of none - at least that's what he says...

I am reading my daughter a bed time story about forest faeries when this naked arse backs into her room and let’s rip before zooming off again. And it is not a pip squeak either. It’s a back-arching, leg-lifting rotter of a fart, all poise, elegance, and dare I say it, grace.

My son, I am not ashamed to admit, is no ordinary farter. He’s been trained. He knows all about things like angles, stance and delivery (and of course, that holy grail of showmen, timing). In short, he is a professional, and while it is true he possess an innate ability (inherited, paternal grandfathers side), I won’t sell him short with flippancy. What you experience when you hear Luc fart is hours of spontaneous practice. Just the other day we bought him a guitar and already it is gathering dust. Should have looked at the wind instruments. But even then, I doubt he would have played a bugle for long. He favours acoustic over electric and know he would have shunned any form of musical technology that strays from the raw power of his own bum cheeks.

Agreed, the appreciation of his talents is limited to a man’s world (like the drunken, back-slapping brotherhood of males around a late night camp fire), but this is not a bad thing. Is there not a certain mystique that bonds the farter with his listeners? A secret handshake, a sheepish look, a “God, my eyes are watering!” cry for help that separates the common house-farter from the true professional?

This is not a clarion call for farting to become mainstream, for farting is subversive by nature and always will be. Far better it remains an underground movement, a leftfield force ready to be unleashed in classrooms, trains, and for the truly daring, weddings.

Poems have been written about love, love lost and mornings which have broken. Alas, there is no ode to the true pleasure of working man: that first fart of the day.

Those in the know will understand . . . that morning stretch as you sleepily make your way to the bathroom . . . the first shift in your abdomen, (usually while making a pee) that alerts you to the fact that something special is about to happen . . . a change in stance and some fancy footwork, maybe? Perhaps a knee is slightly raised. We all have our special techniques. You can feel that trapped air shouldering its way, bit by bit, through your pipes, determined to exit. Nothing will stop it. It is a blast forged in the pits of hell.
Kisses may come from heaven, but a fart is the devils work.

And already, before its even over, you can hear her screams of disgust, “You f@#king   pig!”

Ah yes, morning has broken!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mug shot.... A story from the Argentinian Edge

Because it's the season to be jolly, and jolly funny, I've hustled together some of my favorite funny people to appear as guest bloggers.  Just my little way of spreading the Christmas Cheer. 
Chanelle is a would-be-country bumkin who, straight out of school, moved to the big city. As Cape Town became too small, she moved to another big city and currently lives in Buenos Aires.  When she's not making jokes, she's making people laugh and when she's not doing, that she's sleeping.

Introducing the fiercely funny Chanelle Le Roux with her tips on how to survive Big City Living...

Some might say it is luck that has resulted in me ´free from mug´ after 5 years of taking public transport and walking to work.  I myself put it down to some well thought out tips in order to scare off potential 9 to 5 muggers. So here it is:  10 top-to-toe tips on how to avoid the mug.

The ponytail – unless you are a gymnast who just can’t live without one - don’t do it! The ponytail is the handle to harassment. It is a lot easier to grab and pull a bopping ponytail than it is lose hair. On that note don’t be scared to wash your hair infrequently to get that grunge look. People tend not to approach dirty looking folk.

Make down – ease off on the make up when you are walking to and from work. This will make you look tired and if you are anything like me when you are tired, muggers will avoid coming even 5 metres close to you. Bags under your eyes are a great way to make people think you just might be on drugs and if you are, people will generally steer clear of you.

Under the hood – hoodys are a great way to scare off potential muggers. Not only do you feel as hard core as a gangster but you could look like one and if you look like one you might act like one and if you act like one the mugger might think you have some kind of gangster weapon you could bust out if he comes close.

The shoes – if you’re working at a fancy corporation where heels are required then you can probably afford a car anyway, but if you don’t, it’s all about the All Stars kicks. Semi-gangster shoes make you look the part of someone not to be fucked with AND they are easy to run in. If a mugger is surveying his potential mugees he will more than likely go for the Helen in heels who can’t run fast in her Jimmy Choos rather than the All Star Alison who can run away if need be.

Other goes-without-saying ‘get-up´; avoid girly handbags that are easy to rip off your shoulder. Rather wear a backpack and while you’re at it, throw some ‘gun range member’ patches on it.

The Limp – I was going to say the walk but the limp is more fitting. Seeing as you are not on a catwalk but rather more than likely on dirty city streets, it isn’t necessary to maintain a sexy strut on your way to work. Limp! Even if you feel ridiculous, do it!  I have perfected the limp over the years but in order to get you started remember: the limp is not 'I’ve just stubbed my toe'  limp but rather the ‘I’ve got something heavier in my left pocket than in my right pocket¨  limp. It is a difficult thing to master but when muggers see it they know that they may not be dealing with the defenceless beauty pageant contestant. Limp with confidence, don’t saunter and don’t look at the ground either. A tough looking hunch works well with the limp.

Drop some 50-cent – not the money because that is what you are trying to keep away from the mugger, but rather - the rapper. Listen to rap or rock for that matter.  It a good way to make you feel like you are angry with the world and if you can channel that into the vibe you put out then that’s just what the muggers will steer clear of. Don’t be scared to adopt a bitchy look on your face.

Props – a mugger is more than likely to stay away from someone
like Mary Poppins' who has an umbrella in her hand ready to use in the event that someone attacks her (don’t let her fool you, it’s not just used for flying). If you have something in your hand that you could potentially use as a weapon, muggers tend to stay away from you. If you don’t have anything and feel that someone is approaching you, fiddle in your pockets. They might think you are about to whip out some mad mace.

Get chatty  - no need to befriend your potential mugger but if you feel that you are being followed or about to be mugged make a hard 180, look right at your mugger and say something. Anything. Comment on the weather will usually do just fine. If you acknowledge the mugger he knows he has been seen and that makes it easier for you to identify him in a line up if he ever got caught.

Unleashing the loco – this is my favourite (mainly because my natural nature is ‘not all there’). It really does work. Whenever I have felt a mugger is not far behind and ready to attack I unleash the weirdest sounds combined with any kind of abnormal movement my body can make. I can guarantee you that if the mugee looks an ounce of crazy the mugger will stay away. It wouldn’t hurt to make the odd twitch while you walk too.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Look, I don’t know who invented advent calendars but truly, it’s just a horrible idea. 

My mom gave Mr. Professorpants his first ever advent calendar.  He was 3 at the time.  Now, I’m not sure what your adult willpower is like, but I’ll wager that a you can roughly halve that and then halve it again to estimate the willpower of a 3 year old.

My mom patiently explained to a 3 year old Mr. PP how it works. Feeling proud that she’d done a good job at clarifying Advent Calendars 101, she left the room.  Mistake number one, or should I say mistake number two.  Mistake number one was buying the bloody calendar in the first place. Things got real quiet in the room and 10 minutes later, Mr. PP came out with a chocolate moustache (and beard for that matter). Upon investigation, we saw that we were already on the 20th of December. 

Luckily, there weren’t actually 20 chocolates missing, but rather that only 5 had been consumed – just not in the correct date order you understand.  (Dates? Really? Dates for pre-schoolers?) For a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of parent like me, I considered it a triumph that there were any chocolates left at all.

My mom, on the other hand, was horrified.  Don’t your kids understand the virtue of delayed satisfaction, she asked? Um, that would be a definite no. I hung my head feigning shame, whilst wondering if I could nick a few choccies myself and blame it on the kid. Come to think of it, surely the whole phrase ‘delayed satisfaction’ is a bit of an oxymoron?

Perhaps I should point out at this stage that the date wasn’t even the first of December.  Its was mid November. I just knew that there was not a hope in hell of trying to stretch out this bloody calendar till the 25 December and wondered how many calendars we'd make our way through before Christmas day. 

Apparently, its a nutritional no-no to start the day with a sugar rush. My mom said that Mr.PP should have breakfast before attacking the calendar. Of course, I sagely agreed, wondering how on earth I’d prevent the Dawn-Chocolate-Attack (considering that Mr. PP is up and eating before I’ve had a chance to formally exit Lala-land.)

Eventually (grasping a straws now) I said to my mom, (in what I could only hope was an accusing tone) “Well what did you say to him? I mean how did you explain it?”

Then she said, “I told him that he must have one every day until they’re finished and then when they’re finished, it’ll be Christmas day”. You see, that’s where she went wrong.  He just thought that if he ate them quicker, then Christmas would come sooner. Mother of mother, I mean honestly, you'd think she’d know better.

P.S.  Consider this a warning, if you’re pre-menstrual, that advent calendar is toast.

P.S.S.  If you think the advent calendar thing went badly for Mr. PP, times that by 10 for TooFastTooFurious.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'll get a round toit

It’s a rainy day.  A perfect day to conquer a pile of paperwork. Mmm. I think that perhaps I should first start writing down ideas for my planned book: “Procrastination Techniques From Around The World” (ehem, while the ideas are still fresh).

Hold on. When last did I check the hair growth on my face?  I know it’s nearly Movember but even so. I’d better tweeze my chin.  I can’t be seen at home like this, really. Better to do it now incase more whiskers grow.

I really think that I’ll make some progress with that paperwork today. I’ve already prepared my brain to think laterally by spending a couple of hours looking at pictures of Heath Ledger, Javier Bardem and Gerard Pique online. This will stand me in good stead when it comes to using the net as a reference tool. I’ve also done my best to find interviews on YouTube where the interviewer doesn’t say more than the interviewee. There are none.

Has that pile of paperwork inflated in the last couple of minutes?  I could swear it looked smaller a moment a go. It’s definitely on the top of my to-do list but what kind of person would I be if I didn’t first update my social networking status and check for messages?  As it is, due to my twitter inertia I discovered too late that Ryk Neethling was on TV this morning. He was up early, I was up early, would could have shared a moment.

But I missed it, so to cheer me up I thought that I might start a bit of a conversation on Facebook with the status update of: Foolish Friday? Think of a song title then add "in my big pants" to the end and see how long you can keep a straight face. I'll go first. Smooth Criminal in my big pants.  Turns out only 4 people found it as hilarious as me.

I understand that before you start any paperwork, it’s important to exercise your brain with a bit of reading. So I’ve just dedicated some time to perusing a few dictionaries and thesauruses and have had quite a few revelations.  Napalm is not a moisturizer. Imagine my shock. Who would name something so nasty so nicely?  And apparently, angry and hungry are the only two words that end in ‘gry’.  But one will often lead to the other so I think that they need to include ‘hangry’ which is hungry and angry at the same time. I also wonder why the word reckless is reckless when it really should be reckmore?

Did I mention that there’s number work involved in this paperwork? Which brings me to the YouTube clip of ‘Miss USA 2011’ entrants who were asked if Math should be taught in Schools. Its not fair to ask a trick question like that.  I mean we all know that number-crunchers and Mathematicians are just rotten showoffs.

Before I get stuck into those figures, just remind me again what happens when the left and right column don’t balance?  Hang on.  Is that fluff I see on my keyboard?  I’d better go get the ear-buds.

Friday, October 21, 2011

horsing around...

Everybody knows at least one travel-wanker.  You know the type. They say Barthelona instead of Barcelona. Or yaaawts instead of yachts. Or kwa-soar instead of croissant. Or Paree instead of Paris. All of which are equally annoying. Even worse, they’re the kind of people who act blasé about travel but make sure that you overhear them say stuff like “I’m so over New York.  Really, I can’t be bothered to stop there unless it’s on my way to ski”. *  These are all reasons why I’m a bit reluctant to tell all about my recent travels. However, I feel it’s my duty to forewarn you about the perils of becoming a horseman.

Our visit to the Gaucho ranch had absolutely nothing to do with my cowboy-fetish or my weakness for farmhands with Spanish accents. We were excited to leave the city and see a bit of the country side  - though having flown over it only a few days before, pretty much knew that it was mostly just pampas, pampas and more pampas as far as the eye could see. I’m sure outdoorsy types would be able to tell me about the wealth of fauna and flora to be found there, but a simple girl like me? I just saw pampas grass.

Upon arrival, ranch-hands promptly plied us with red-wine and a “typical of Argentina” pie called an empanada.  Just as well, because booze before noon goes straight to my legs and I need something (like an empanada) to keep me vertical. Warning No.1: beware of the establishment that serves booze before noon. 

Little did I know, the wine was intended to give us courage for the horse-riding.  It’s no secret that I am no equestrian aficionado. Horses can sense my fear - though why a horse would be nervous of something that’s afraid of them I’ll never know. I mean really, what’s the point? Do they try and out-nervous you?

Due to my lingering in the background (hoping there wouldn’t be enough beasts to go round) I saw (mild panic setting in) that the best horses were already taken.  I was left with a choice between a mini-pony (pampas height) and a very wild looking horse (much, much taller than pampas height.)  Naturally, I chose the wild one. I never found out his real name, but lets call him “Bad Attitude”, or BA for short.

BA was grumpy that he had to stand next to the platform thingy so that I could get on.  He made a lot of sharp head movements and farting noises to express his disgust.  Clearly, he was the gaucho’s favorite and was used to a high level of equestrian excellence and was pissed off at being lumped with a novice rider like me. As BA and I left the corral, the turkeys made a lot of noise and I knew that they knew something about BA that I didn’t. How does that song go? Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry…

He kept pulling at the reigns in a very irritable fashion, strayed (deliberately, I think) from the herd and eventually ended up kicking another horse, who dared follow too closely. He also kept staring at me with mad eyes, which is probably exactly how mine looked to him.

By the end, my nerves were shot.  Big kisser and I almost had an argy-bargy because he rode up next to me and made that kck-kck noise with his mouth, which only encouraged BA’s bad behaviour.

I was never so relieved to touch terra firma.  With my dreams of becoming honorary gaucho-girl in ruins, all I could do was drink a lot of Argentinian beer chased by caffeine infused Yerba Mata (I don’t care what they say, that stuff is lethal.)

In future I shall stick to the tango.  At least I won’t have as far to fall.

* (True comment said by original travel-wanker).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

auditions being held today for kings of leon ...

While at the Coldplay concert this week (I know, I know…concert-wanker alert), I had a revelation. I think it’s common knowledge that the opening act has to audition in order to secure their spot in the limelight. Actually, I may have either made that up or heard it from an unreliable source.  Anyhow, it occurred to me that people who wish to attend a live concert, should not merely have the cash to do so, but should also go through a fairly stringent audition process aswell.

The thinking behind this, of course, is to group like-minded people together.  But isn’t that what ‘golden circle’, ‘standing’ and ‘seated’ already do, I hear you say?  No.  When golden circle and standing have sold out, then the only thing left is seated, even if you’re not really the sitting type.  I daresay, even golden circle and standing should be divided up.  Here are a few more realistic ways of grouping an audience:

There are always, always, ALWAYS people who whinge before, during or after a concert.  Sometimes, they do all three (if they’re really good at it). “Oh my god, the queue”, “stop pushing”, “the acoustics suck”, “you’ve just messed your beer on me”, “could you get off your boyfriend’s shoulder’s - I can’t see”, ”it took us 3 hours to get out of there”.  These are all typical (but not limited to) whinge-points aimed at friends or strangers.  

If they’re not brave enough to whinge to strangers, then they will find a way to ear-fuck you if they’re in your circle of friends: “Actually, I thought we were all going to stick together”, ”I can’t believe you just abandoned me”,  “I can’t believe some people come to a concert and get drunk”, “I can’t believe you are so drunk’, “‘I wish I was more drunk”. These are typical (but not limited to) whinge-points aimed at you by someone you know and (quite horrifically) chose to accompany to the concert.  These people will not even make the short-list in the audition. They will be sent straight home. Also, unfriend immediately and not only on Facebook.

I don’t like to be shortist, but this group often accidentally overlaps with the inclined-to-whinge group.  It’s long been an intention of mine to patent “blow up shoes” (sold at the “official merchandise” kiosk at the concert).  They would be slip on (like hotel slippers) and inflatable (like a lilo) and can be inflated to suit your needs (i.e. a lot of hot air if you are very short, not so much hot air if you are just a little bit short.)  I think that there will be a huge market for these.  But, if this doesn’t pan out, then surely (like in school photos – which I think work very well) short people should be sent to the front rows and should just have to make friends with other short people for the night.  Sorry, but you can’t hang with your tall friends and whinge. You have to choose.  Measure up and commit to the process in the audition and you’ll thank yourself later on.

These are the would-be-muso’s who are just too cool to clap or sing along.  At a glance it might even appear that they are so, so musical, that they are not enjoying the performance at all. 

It’s nasty Sods-Law that it’ll be one of these true concert-wankers who catch the drummer’s sticks, or the lead guitarists headband, or the vocalist’s underpants.  They don’t even like the band and know none of the lyrics but because it’s the cool thing to do, they will score golden circle tickets and be the original fake fan.  Sorry, but the audition process will make mincemeat out of you.  In order to attend a concert you have to be able to sing either one whole song from start to finish of said band or, you have to know at least 10 chorus’s (must be different chorus’s) of said band.

This is the most dangerous group of all.  They can audition and in theory could even attend the concert but must be limited to the very high seating where no-one wants to go.  The Mordor of seating, if you will.  There is often a very strong possibility that these people overlap with the “inclined to whinge” category.  If you’re anywhere near them, if you so much as think of standing up you will be met with a vicious glare and be told to ‘sit down, I can’t see’. The audition process for these people is more of a CT scan, to see if they are incapable of standing (understandable really, though the ‘unable-to-stand’ group is different to the ‘strictly-seated’ group and are often very happy to join the seated-but-want-to-stand group.)  The audition process will also clarify just how deep your grumpy affliction runs.  These people will generally NOT stand up to counteract your standing up.  It’s just the principle.  They’ve paid for seated not standing. Arsehole. Under no circumstances will you see these folk getting swept up in the moment. 

For all the poor folk who either couldn’t afford golden circle or standing, or booked too late to get the tickets they really wanted. These are the people rock-stars really want at their concert because they serve as the best performance barometer.  If the bands doing a good job at rocking the crowd, the seated-but-want-to-stand group will most certainly be jumping up (in excitement) and then back down again (trying to appease the ‘strictly-seated’s” around them).  The audition process is a series of jack-in-the-box squats coupled with a head-whip and a very insincere “sorry”.

These are in even more trouble than the seated-but-want-to-stand group. By the time they are up and dancing they really don’t give a tinker’s fart who can see and who can’t. And quite rightly so.  It’s shameful to go to a music event and not dance.  Embarrassing even.  Imagine the poor musician who has to perform to a stationary audience? How very awful.  The audition process for this group is all about personality.  They don’t care if you can’t dance, they don’t care if you’ve got no rhythm, you just have to put your back into it and show that you know how to have a good time.

Sorry Coldplay.  I did what I could.  You’ll know for next time to audition your audience.

Monday, September 5, 2011

say whaaa?

Last week was just one of those seriously disjointed ones, as I’m sure this post will reflect.  I must have a vital nerve pinched somewhere in my brain, one that’s supposed to help me process information and stuff, because I havn’t been able to accomplish shit.  Not only that but I think that the workmen we have on site have conspired to unravel me. As soon as I arrive back home from the hardware store, they send me back again to get something else. And then when I arrive back with something else, they tell me they need me to hire a machine of sorts.  And when I arrive back with the machine they tell me they need an extra long extension cord for it. Why, if they had it their way they would insist that I bring home the building materials stone by stone, grain of sand by grain of sand at a time, just for the sheer fun of it.

Due to this unraveling I realized that I’ve totally been cocking up a whole lot of words.  Like saying tenderhooks instead of tenterhooks. I see my error really.  When is a hook ever tender? Though, what the hell is a tenter hook anyway? Sounds like camping equipment (shudder). I also mixed up tectonic plates and titanium plates again.  My story kind of fell flat and I just got a lot of funny looks. 

To remedy this misfiring, a friend suggested I take more Omega 3 and then, quite fortuitously (we’re on a big savings drive due to the expensive workmen), I read on my hand wash bottle that it contains Omega 3 + 6. Pah, no need to buy the supplement then, right?  But they must be lying, there’s no way there’s Omega 3 in there. Have you seen how much those supplements cost? 

Perhaps due to the asynapsosis I’ve been suffering, I completely didn't notice that a friend had had Botox. I just thought she looked really calm.  Asynapsosis or not, I have a reputation of being fairly unaware when it comes to noticing odd things about people.  We’ve even had someone for dinner before who was on heroine at the time and I didn’t notice that either. He only told us afterwards.  I just thought that he looked really calm aswell. I need to remedy this unawareness because when my kids are older I’ll neither recognize if they’re on drugs or getting cosmetic procedures done on the sly.

Just to make me feel extra Not-at-my-Bestness, I saw in the local rag that tickets were on sale to watch the annual Mr. and Ms Physique that was on this weekend.  For the thousandth time, I entertained the thought of really trying to become a body builder. One day. You know, just to see if I could.  Then I pictured having to sit down at every meal and face things like boiled white meat and squeaky blanched string beans and for the thousandth time, I reconsidered.  What’s more, I’m pretty sure God meant for egg whites to be served as meringues.

To top off my cerebral misfiring,  Mr Professor Pants once again pressed me for details on how one contracts HIV. He’s paranoid about getting a dread disease. After talking through the whole “from someone else’s blood thing” I had to say (quite fast and under my breath) “and also from sexual intercourse”. What is that again mom? Umm. You know, the thing that moms and dads do when they are trying to make a baby?  What! You’re going to have another baby? 

By now Too Fast Too Furious (TFTF) had picked up on the conversation and wanted more specific details on the blood part. He asked how come he was covered in my blood when he was born but now he’s not allowed to touch my blood?  It became too tiresome to explain how in the interim, I could have contracted HIV (again from Professor Pants… But how would you have mom? Are you trying to have another baby?) Eventually, I just had to ask TFTF why he would want to touch my blood. The obvious 6 year old answer…Because I just want to. Bloody hell. Only a week and a half then I’m on holiday. Ba-ring it on.

Friday, August 26, 2011

about being out...

          (Note: if you want to hold kids attention on an outing, do NOT have them facing into the sun!)

Stay at home mothers volunteer for all kinds of shit.  Even if you’re a work-from-home-stay-at-home kind of mother, you still volunteer for all kinds of shit, mistakenly believing you can be in two places at once.  And so it was that I found myself giving lifts to a whole bunch of kids who were going on a school outing. 

This is my idea of hell.  Herding snails is easier than herding kids. Fortunately, I herded a car full of boys (no high pitched, screechy girls)  who are at the age when they try to make their voice sound deeper. There was mostly just a low murmur of dude this and dude that. 

What I discovered in the car ride, is that kids are a bit like old people.  They are able to have four completely independent conversations with four completely different topics.  It would seem that they’re not too bothered with appropriate responses or even giving the illusion that they are even listening to the other person. I want to be 10 again.

While we’re speaking of listening, it occurred to me that in order to get kids  to listen to you on an outing, you should ideally be, well, a bit entertaining.  The very nice gentleman from National Parks had a dry sense of humour, which sadly went right over all the kids’ heads.  He also had a little bit of what I call “outdoorsy snobbery”.  You know, like when he asked the group what kind of bird makes that ‘ka kaaa ka kaaa” noise and some poor child said ‘a dove’.  You just wait for that small snorting noise that the outdoorsy person does through their nose, which in outdoorsy speak means “As iiiffff”. 

I also had some insight as to why my kids keep saying that school is boring.  It is.  And quite frankly, the Cape Dune System can’t really compete in the interest stakes when compared with skateboarding or big wave surfing. It’s just the way it is. I realized that for kids, listening at school is like being stuck at a dinner party with the most boring person sitting next to you and demanding that you not only listen to them, but you also LOOK AT THEM while they’re talking.

The worst part is that the boring person doesn’t even realize that they’ve lost your attention.  They ignore the fidgeting and the whispering (if necessary, only to yourself) and pretty much carry on regardless.  Obviously, I hear you say, school isn’t entertainment, its education.  But so is the National Geographic channel and they manage to make the self-mating ritual of  and earthworm sound quite exciting.

Of course, Mr. Outdoorsy Pants didn’t really care if the kids were listening or not.  He passed grade 4 a long time ago.  He just wants to get through the outing unscathed and with his dunes intact. Not much hope of that I’m afraid, what with children unintentionally shedding things – jerseys, juice bottles, shoes. How can they not know that they have one shoe missing? Do you know how many one shoes I found? 

All I’m saying is that where kids and outings are concerned, you’d better have a plan of how you’re going to sound more exciting than what is in their lunchbox.

 Some parents went all healthy and packed liquid sustenance only...

Even though he was outdoorsy, the moms felt the french exchange student made the outing worthwhile...

Friday, August 19, 2011

I do...naaat...

This past week had lots of highlights.  I should start with our Neighbourhood Watch update.

“… there is a very strong chance that the toads will be on the move tomorrow evening.  
A contingent of over 20 males moved (what kind of moves?  Hip hop? Jazz?) in the rain last Thursday, ….  Some males have been heard calling (yo baby, kssk ksssk, you lookin’ for a good time?) from the ponds on the Clovelly Country club.  It is highly likely that the females will be on the march (hup two three four, keep it up two three four?) tomorrow … in search of partners and ponds (you call that a pond?  I call it a puddle!)….If you see a Toad on the Road please stop (I was gonna do it while my vehicle was moving? )and move it to the grass verge in the direction in which it was going (what if it’s facing the road?). If you see a lot of Toad activity (Activity? Toad tennis? Toad skating? Toad jogging?) please call… “

We did actually find one in our road.  He looked very cocky.  I’ll bet he got lucky…

Another highlight was the discovery that someone has published a book that is close to my heart…

Irreverent parenting, you godda to love it!
Then yesterday, I was lucky enough to be told I had nice buns. By a very old, homeless man who was most certainly drunk.  I know I should take it as a compliment, but I’m just not sure what kind of standards a drunk, homeless person has. At least he didn’t say that I had a nice bakery. Ouch.

Speaking of buns, I heard on Gareth Cliff’s show that Kim Kardashian is getting married this weekend. Apparently the wedding is costing around $10 million. That’s not shameful in the least, right? What with the horn of Africa starving and all. Perhaps they’re flying all their guests there. One person per jet? E! Channel will be airing the wedding (which Kim says will be bigger than Will and Kate’s) in a two part series.  Dear God, I can only hope it’s more interesting than their TV show because I know patches of lawn that live more entertaining lives than the Kardashians.

Which brings me to when Best-kisser and I surfed onto to E! Chanel (supposedly to entertain us), while we waited for our on-demand movie to load (blessed is the clever person who invented that). There was a True Hollywood Story on  - an oxymoron if ever there was. 

This particular THS was all about The Girls of the Playboy Mansion. HUH?!? A True Story about a reality show? I know, right.  Which one is lying? I thought the point behind a reality show was that it was real. Clearly not. 

After a whole 3 minutes of “true” story interviews, E! airs adverts of all the other reality shows that you can view there – sometimes INCLUDING the show that you are currently watching.  I have to wonder, is this for very stupid people who may have forgotten, in all of 5 seconds, which show they were watching? 

But hey, I’m all for some reality shows. Like Flying Wild Alaska.  Or the Deadliest Catch. Or Mark & Olly Living with the Tribes. You know, real people doing something useful with their lives.  Still, folk like Kimora Lee and the Kardashians do sometimes make us laugh.  Like when they say ‘I work really hard’. Um, at what exactly?

Shame on me, I shouldn’t mock the Kardashians. It’s hard to sound intelligent when you have a silver spoon dangling out of your mouth.

Friday, July 29, 2011

so you think you can...

So it’s finally cold in Cape Town and while I’m having coffee with my friend Good-Knitter this week, she’s bandying around these knitted glove thingies.  You know the no finger ones like Fagan wears in Oliver Twist? I think they’re very cunning. After all, it’s tricky to pick your nose, wipe your bum and do a whole bunch of stuff if you have fingers on your gloves.

Incase you’re wondering, Best Knitter is the friend who provided me with blog-fodder for my piece ‘Hot Fuzz’, which was based on the book ‘Wild Knitting’ that she loaned me.  Oh the excitement!

She kindly forwards me her monthly Knitting Newsletter, which is all about the latest patterns and has included in the past: miniature knitted Royal Families, knitted cars (life sized, go figure) and knitted cell phones (we’re all against radiation, right?)  The latest pattern was very useful. Knitted cups and saucers.  Riiiight.

Back to the gloves. In a patient voice she was explaining how the thumb part is created and though I was nodding knowingly, it sounded entirely unachievable as it goes waaaay beyond knit one pearl one. We decided that some people are just knitting-show offs and that there could be a show dedicated to this. So You Think You Can Knit. I daresay, it would have a wider following then you could ever imagine.  Do you know that there are actual knitting café’s around the world now? I’ll bet Gwyneth Paltrow owns one.

Contestants in SYTYCK would be given three balls of wool, two needles and limited amount of time to complete their piece. Kind of like Project Runway but without all the bitchy fashionistas.  Votes would be based on the most creative design (again, knit-one-pearl-one just won’t cut it here) and for interesting wool variations, perhaps incorporating things like your own hair. (And I know this can be done because Good Knitter actually knows someone who as a teddy bear knitted out of her chow’s fur.) There wouldn’t be enough chairs on stage for everyone and contestants would be plied with lots of booze.

To be fair, this idea isn’t totally original. Best Kisser (supported by the other men in the room at the time) already came up with an alternative show to  So You Think You Can Dance. The unanimous decision is that So You Think You Can F(beep)K is going to be the next big thing and given the drivel on TV, I don’t doubt the producers would have a stab at it, if you’ll excuse the pun. I mean apparently there’s a market out there for the Naked News. Which reminds me, which part do you take seriously, the news or the nakedness?

Here are some other ideas Fox dotcom might want to consider:

So You Think You Can Play Ping-Pong.  No fancy stuff with netherparts allowed.  Strictly bat and ball here folks.

So You Think You Can Get Married. Mormons have the edge on the rest of us here and are automatically disqualified.  Sharp objects must be left at home, including nail scissors (oh the shame of a bride who doesn’t have a French manicure!)

So You Think You Can Quarrel. People who have previously been on Jerry Springer won’t be allowed to compete as they’re already considered professionals.  Couples who’ve been married longer than 20 years also can’t compete because they don’t even realize that they’re quarreling anymore.

So You Think You Can Serve Me.  For all those annoying people who love to gripe in restaurants.  Camera ‘number two’ would show the behind-the-scenes shots of what servers do to your food to get their revenge.

So You Think You Can Walk Funny : no one legged contestants allowed (unfair advantage).  Props such as mechanical horses, g-strings, tight underpants, high-heels and chilli powder are allowed (to encourage diversity).

And finally,

So You Think You Can Sound Stupid.  OK, OK. I know that the Kardashians already have dibs on this slot but still, there are so many stupid people out there it seems a shame not to capitalize.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

tight spot...

It was with great excitement that I welcomed my little-big-sister to town a week ago.   For those who don’t know the family structure, she is 6 years my senior and for all that I am (um) big boned, tall and ungainly, she is petit, short and extremely agile.  So much so in fact, that I’ve actually seen her be in two places at once.  How we are from the same womb I will never know.

Bearing this in mind, I always make sure I’m feeling fit and have my game face on for some athletic type stuff when she’s around. It's fortuitous that I often mootch around in my gym stuff for the whole day - and so I was that I found myself scaling the mountain behind our house on the very afternoon that she arrived.

It was actually Mr. Professor-pants’ I idea so I sort of blame him and his recent fascination with Aron Ralstons’ story (a.k.a 127 Hours).  He initiated the adventure because naturally, when you see a movie about how someone survived being trapped in a canyon for 5 days, rehydrating on their own pee for the last three, you want to try it.   Despite the well-worn path to the beacon, the four of us decided to take the scenic route and boulder our way to the top.

I should point out that hiking with my kids is stressful.  Mr. Professor-pants has turned out to be a bit of a mountain goat and manages to get himself (alarmingly quickly) to heights that I couldn’t possibly rescue him from – not even if I had an IV of adrenalin attached to me.   Not only that, but Too-fast-too-furious has a nasty habit (still!) of finding random somethings en route to chew on. This could be a piece of plastic from a careless hiker’s drinking cap, a dead rock-climber’s old shoe, or a used band aid that has found renewed purpose in his mouth. Truly, I have given up on him giving up his oral fixation and plan on buying him cigars to chew on. George Burns at age 6.

I should also point out that my little-big-sister is a rock climber. A va-ery good one. One who has the ability to scale an entirely smooth surface like a hunted gecko. As we clamber away, she tries to assure me that I just need to get into the ‘zone’. WTF! What zone? The Zone Of Death? When I finally face the fact that my walrus attitude is not really working (apparently slithering is NOT very rock-climberish), I really put my back into finding this whole ‘zone’ thing.

At the time, I didn’t hear anything snap. There were no ripping noises and I didn’t accidentally break wind from physical strain. However, when I woke up the next morning, it was clear to me that I no longer had use of one of my legs. Which is a pity really, because I walk so much better with two. The pain emanated from my pubic bone (what? There’s a muscle there?) and stretched down to around my mid inner-thigh.  I quick self-diagnosis on the Internet (Doctors love it when we do that) revealed that I’d done something funny to my adductor muscle – most likely the adductor brevis or longus. Hard to tell really, because my thighs look absolutely nothing like those on the anatomical drawings.

Now what is an adductor brevis between legs, you might ask.  Well, you know how when you get into a car and require some enthusiastic muscle to bring the second leg in – that’s your adductors working. That and of course, it’s the muscle that helps you perform useful daily activities like split jumps, inline skating and just plain walking.

Suitably humbled, it turns out that fear isn’t enough of a motivating factor to give you instant climbing abilities. And just so you know, should you get grievous with your brevis, I can guarantee that having an ice pack on your pubic bone will not be the highlight of your year. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

very fitting...

Wow, such a myriad of blogging topics this week to decide on. I could tell you about the article I read which was headed “Planking fad won’t last” (nooooo, who would have said?)  Or, I could go on about the sure evidence (poop, gnawed on hanky, more poop) that we found regarding the invasion of mice in our house (apologies to my niece who was sure she heard scuttling – I didn’t mean to not believe you.)

I also considered the topic of how our washing machine became a fireworks display, forcing us to purchase a new one. The new washing machine came with an instruction pamphlet, which said under DRY: “When you are not remove a loaf (surely not? a loaf?) of clothes from the dryer as soon as it stops, wrinkles (on me?) can form”. I dearly, dearly hope that this is a bad typo because I can’t afford any more unwanted wrinkles.  Perhaps they meant the clothes.

However, the winning topic this week just had to be TA DAAAA… light fittings. Because we all know how very exciting light fittings are.

There comes a time in every renovators life when you are called upon to choose light fittings. It’s like a calling from Satan.  Warning:  Do NOT take any kids with you to make your selection.  They will deliberately try and break things just to hurry you out of the shop. This is almost kind of them -  in a twisted, expensive way - when you consider the fittings that you have to choose from.

When I was still in the fabric industry (they are called fabrics, dahlink, materials are something you build with) we were coached on a particular saying - incase we thought our clients didn’t like our new range.  We had to tell these offending clients that “there are some people who just don’t UNDERSTAND our range.”  (In other words …“you are a total peasant if you think our new range sucks.)  

Lighting sales people do not have the gaul to have such a cheeky saying, because no one understands their fittings.  They should hand you a pamphlet titled  “To Zeff or not To Zeff” to help you make your selection – just so you can be sure what kind of zeffness you are.

To make matters worse, our house is a complete mixture of styles.  Part country, part contemporary, part pirate-ship messy (a far cry from the Caribbean ship-lap style I’d hoped for - not to mention the Caribbean lifestyle).  Artsy people call it eclectic, which is a fancy way of saying we couldn’t stick to a theme.

So whereas our country, slanted ceilings call for farmhouse chandeliers, the contemporary lowness of the ceilings means that chandeliers are a no go – especially if you for instance value your head. I’m kind of relieved actually, because if we could make it country, Best Kisser might insist on a wagon wheel table and one of those antler chandeliers (they really exist, trust me). Sorry, but we all know that straight men are big on cowboy-type décor. And things with blue in them.

So basically, my question this week is who exactly, buys those seriously shiny light fittings with loads of bling on them?  I mean I get the whole “ it looks great when the lights are turned on thing”  but I’m struggling to UNDERSTAND those kind of fittings. I can’t picture the kind of home that would match all that chrome and diamante trim. Could Russians own it?  Or perhaps it’s made for a specific kind of entertainment?

And BTW, I’ll only know in 10 years time whether the ones we chose are classic or zeff.  Damn.

(p.s. I had to post proof... See, they do exist)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

big hair day...

This week was my second installment of Project get-your-game-face-on.  Quite frankly, I had to take the hint. I was receiving an unreasonable amount of mail (not spam mind you, from people who actually know me) regarding Brazilian Hair Treatments.  So, despite my fear (and part-loathing) of hairdressers, I went to Moments in Time.

I should start by saying that any Salon called Moments in Time is a little bit of a euphemism.  A block of chocolate is a moment in time, a glimpse of a good-looking bloke is a moment in time, hell, even taking a pee is a moment in time.  The salon should be called “Lifetime Commitment”, because that is roughly the amount of time that one needs to spend in there, in order for it to make a difference.  That and of course, it’s also roughly the amount of money that one needs to spend.

Sigh. What can I say; I was seduced by the words “Brazilian” and “Special”.  I have a special affinity (a.k.a weakness) for all things Brazilian. It started when my best friend and I travelled there in our 20’s. You can only imagine my utter joy when I discovered that Brazilian men love buxom butts.  Hooray, that would make it a whole ONE COUNTRY that digs chicks with generous butts – making Brazil, my own personal Mecca.  

We thought we’d totally blend in (me with said buxom butt plus ethno-curly hair, her generally gorgeous with olive skin).  We didn’t.  We stuck out like sore thumbs, which was actually a good thing in the end because we were broke and we needed all the favours that the locals could provide to unwitting foreigners. 

Even including the flasher on the beach (who does that kind of shit?) it was one of the best weeks of my life.  Lets also not forget about Brazil nuts and Brazilian soccer teams – just to re-enforce the love affair.

But back to Moments in Time.    After the inevitable “you’ve recently done your colour” question (emphasis on the YOU - Oh the SHAME!), the utterly adorable hairdresser sits down next to me to explain the procedure.  Procedure, I think to myself, that doesn’t sound very quick.  He goes between sounding boastful (as in, yeah baby, look at the schiz we accomplish here) and apologetic (as in, you fool, you didn’t really know what was entailed, did you?) 

First, he says, we wash your hair twice. (it looks that dirty, I wonder)? Then, we rough dry it. I warn him how frightening my hair is when rough dried (think Cameron Diaz’s hair in the movie “Being John Malkovich”). Then, he says, we apply the mixture.  What’s in it, I say hopefully, Brazil nuts?

It’s at this point that things get a bit vague.  There’s a bit of mumbling about how the “mixture” doesn’t contain formaldehyde anymore (oh yay), just a derivative thereof (um, riiiight). When they apply it, I notice that they’re not going right down to the scalp (where the offending frizz is born).  Why? I ask.  Again with the vagueness.  “It’s just not good for you.  And it reaches the root anyway when the heat is applied.”

Ah, the dreaded heat.  How hot? I ask.  Well, it has to be set at two thousand degrees Celsius (OK, that part is an exaggeration. But hot, like in the 200’s).  After they painted the stuff on, painstakingly section by section, I am put under the climatizer  which is very sci-fi and not Brazilian looking at all. I can’t help but feel that some Brazilian music at this point might be helpful. You know, to complete the illusion of this being a fun activity.  And finally, it has to be flat-ironed seven, yes only SEVEN, times.

What can I say?  Hairdressers are Extremely Patient, Extremely Dexterous, Extremely Entertaining and Extremely Good at getting us to enjoy what is technically, another barbaric treatment. 

I’m so having a word with Cleopatra when I get to wherever she’s gone.  What’s up with all this near death experience shit all in the name smooth hair and skin? Next week I’ll let you know how the whole bathing in milk thing went.

P.S.  It really is a fabulous salon!