Parents Wot Curse

28 11 08

Fellow readers

My good buddy Black Dog, aka a certain metallic coloured canine, has requested help in resolving the matter outlined below. Now, I want thoughtful responses please. None of this “respect your parents, they know best” tripe. We all know where THAT gets you…on blind dates with men who no-one else will have.

Ahem, anyway…

Dear DBAWIW,
 
Greetings from Hermanus, home to many enormous creatures, dedicated to no higher pursuit than eating as much as possible and lolling around Walker Bay, doing nothing at all for days at a time. And the whales too.
 
Despite approaching the fine age of 30, I find myself on holiday with my two parents, in their early 60s. This is mainly because I have not yet managed to find a man to marry to me, due to my unattractive man-hating whims such as earning money and not having a baby. The poor fellows don’t stand a chance. Plaiting my arm pit hair and waxing my moustache can’t be far off.
 
Anyhow – to the matter at hand. As Hermanus becomes pretty sleepy after sunset at 8pm, my parents have taken the chance to catch up on some “must see” television series from the last year or too. They have devoured “House” and “Dexter”, and next on the list is the HBO series “Deadwood”, set in the wild west. This lavish drama is impressive in its historical accuracy and opulent recreation of life in the lawless west, where cowboys and indians murdered each other on a daily basis, everyone was an alcoholic, and rape was as common as taking a slash. Every episode someone gets murdered in gruesome style, and soon one learns to expect the unexpected.
 
Part and parcel of “Deadwood” is the profane language of the frontier. Being a non-swearer myself, I am naturally appalled at the free and liberal use of the words “fuck” and “cocksucker” in every scene. So you can imagine my horror upon hearing my 63 year old mother telling me “I can’t park the car until this cocksucker has moved out of the way”, or my father saying “Now where are those goddamn cocksucking whales?”
 
This extended, later in the day, to my mother sympathetically rubbing my back and saying that my employers were “Cocksuckers, hey?” and my father saying “Would you like a cup of cocksucking tea?”
 
What do you suggest I do DBAWIW?? Is this the evil influence of television??? Should I burp loudly every time a swearword is used in the television show?? How do I reverse this terrible trend?
 
Fond regards,
Black Dog
.

What should Black Dog do, people? Should she take up swearing for the sake of promoting familial harmony? Should she belch everytime the word “cocksucker” escapes her 63-year old mother’s lips? Does her father have a right to compare the wondrous mammals of the sea to a fellatio-provider? Is it fitting to drink tea after such an image has been burnt on her brain? Should she request that her parents replace the term “cocksucker” with “spunky fucking tit-arsing monkey?”

Her fate is in your hands. Please respond.


I’m a Solitaire and I’m O.K

27 11 08

In my previous post, I failed to mention that I meandered my way to New York and London in between rescuing the downtrodden. In a lovely, affirming coincidence, I came across this article in New York Magazine, which expressed so brilliantly one of the overriding thoughts that remained with me throughout my travels in that unique city: young Manhattanites appear to me to be far more comfortable doing recreational activities by themselves than similar South Africans.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not lonely at times, or wish that they could be sitting at a Starbucks with another human being rather than with their computers. Then again, it might signify that they ARE entirely satisfied with their single lifestyles; that they love being able to chat to people online while knocking back a grande, no-fat hot chocolate; or that for them, the idea of wandering around an art gallery or sitting on a park bench alone is just invigorating and uplifting. All it means is that perhaps there are lonelier people than those who choose to live alone and have fewer community ties.

I suppose why this struck me so is that it seems to me that this still remains something at which people raise their eyebrows in South Africa. I need to stress here that I am speaking only of my experiences (duh!) Maybe it’s not fair to judge South Africans strictly in terms of these standards – perhaps we believe that there is safety in numbers, here. I am sure that there are many S.Africans who haven’t found themselves reluctant to be in a public space alone. However, I am also keenly aware of the ‘pity factor’ that comes into play; the ‘ag shame, she’s all alone with her spaghetti Bolognese’ look that people may not even be aware they’re casting.

I struggle to eat alone – a cup of coffee or a take away is tolerable but anything that actually requires walking into a restaurant in plain view of smug couples and groups is a bit beyond my nerve, I’m afraid. Not because I’m lonely, but because the glaring nakedness of being ALONE and OK does not seem to be something many of my fellow citizens can accept.

Anyway, this is a tad unrelated to this article, in which the author quoted a statistic that one out of every two Manhattan apartments is occupied by only one individual; and that some sociologists maintain that living alone is “a crucial rite of passage into adulthood, a sign of economic achievement and a form of self-cultivation and living authentically.”

Perhaps.

It is true that I, as a ‘Solitaire’, have “a permanent and ambient sense of the world beyond [my] living room and a fluid sense of when to join it and when to retreat.” However, it’s not that easy. In suburban South Africa, the possibility of exiting my home on foot and running into strangers and ‘weak ties’ while moseying about is absurdly low. We are far to suspicious for that, on the whole. I have the profound luxury of owning a car to take me where I want to go, whenever – something I’m very aware others in my country do not have. It must therefore be more valid to compare the lifestyles of single people living in London or Sydney or Melbourne or Paris or Barcelona, to those in Manhattan.

There’s no doubt that I get lonely. This article is not about denying loneliness, nor does it conclude that if one is young and single and lives in Manhattan, one will be entirely fulfilled. However, it’s fascinating to finally have someone write that a) loneliness not predominantly and overwhelmingly a disease of single people, and b) more people actually CHOOSE to be single, rather than having to defend this ‘shame’ that is their life.


Off I Go

08 11 08

Alrighty.

The time has arrived for me to fly off to a far away land, in order to indebt myself and forget about work for two blissful weeks.

For the next fortnight, you will not be able to read my rantings about my colleagues, my neighbours, advertising, poor service delivery, and the general, random and bizarre musings. Poor you, hey? Fear not, though. I shall return with tales of international poor service, idiotic advertising and irritating strangers.

A wee joke to leave you with:

A man gets onto an El Al flight. At some point, the flight attendant asks him if he would like beef for supper.

He asks, “is that my only choice?”

The flight attendant replies, ” No. You can take it or leave it.”

.newyorkerairplanecartoon1

Have a good couple of weeks y’all.


Blisslessness

05 11 08

Last week, in an attempt to find an English word containing the greatest number of ‘S’es, my quiz team, The Cosmpolitans, conceived and consecrated the word ‘Blisslessness’.

This, my friends, is more than a simple word. The term Blisslessness is not far from the Oxford Dictionary, I maintain. This celebration of sibilance will soon become the term people use to describe the how they feel as a result of being in the office, as opposed to being on one’s bed/the beach/the movie theatre/the couch.

A typical conversation might unfold as such:

Person A: How’s your day?

Person B: *sigh* So much of blisslessness.

Person A: *knowing nod* Ah, yes, I understand.

You just can’t buy that kind of meaningful interaction, and I chalk it up to use of this magnificent word.

This week has been full of blisslessness, apart from a little treasure delivered to me courtesy of my buddy Silver Schnauzer – Summer Heights High.

An Australian ‘mockumentary’ by Auzzie Chris Lilley, Summer Heights High focus on the lives of three individuals at an average public school. Mr G, the revolting drama teacher; Ja’mie, the spoilt and bitchy private school girl who is spending a term at Summer Heights High; and Jonah, a sociopathic 13-year old. Lilley plays all the parts.

This is the funniest shit I’ve seen since 30 Rock.

(Ja’mie) There are so many ugly annoying asians at my school!
(Bec) But i’m asian
(Ja’mie) Yeah but you’re hot asian

(Johah) Have you got your period or what miss?

(Mr G) We used to have bushes here, but a girl got raped behind them so we took them away, yep no more bushes…

(Ja’mie) I think what happens is, like, out in the outer suburbs, like, ugly people breed with other ugly people, right. So you end with really fugly kids. So that’s why you look around a public school and on average, like no offence, but people are more fugly. Whereas in a private school area, in a rich school area… (shut up, let me explain), in a rich area, like, hotter people breed with hot people and have hotter kids.

(Ja’mie) Wife beaters and rapists are nearly all public-school educated. Sorry, no offence, but it’s true.

So, in short, I recommend it! 🙂


It’s My Choice

03 11 08

The pals and I had a delicious lunch and the very beautiful Casalinga in Muldersdrift ( I think…or somewhere near there) on Saturday. A gorgeous place with the most succulent steak I’ve tasted in a good while. After consuming enough to feed 10 small children in Sudan, we requested the bill. Barring a charge for an incorrect starter, the bill was in order. When I mentioned to the waiter that he’d charged me for the wrong starter, he looked extremely surprised but said he would check it out and if there were a price difference we would take it from there.

On his return, the waiter then announced the following: “It’s your choice.”

I looked at him, admittedly a little blankly. “Er, what is?”

Waiter: “The started on the bill cost R70. The one you ate cost R40. So it’s your choice what you want to pay.”

Me **quite bemused at this stage**: “Well, I think I’ll pay for the starter I ate because… I ate that starter.”

Waiter: Ok

Me: **looking around for hidden cameras**: Ok.

It’s nice to have options in life, don’t you think?

In other news, the dreaded neighbour children in my complex are again trying to befriend me. One of them showed up at my door on Friday afternoon, and I made the mistake of opening the door when I heard a knock, believing it was my sister. The child berated me for ‘always being busy’ and for not having a cat. Earlier in the week she’d banged on my door, enquiring if I owned white nail polish. I told her I nail polish was for whores. I also told her I was an unrepentant paedophile, as per mauve Maltese’s suggestion.

In workplace news, my colleague found her cellphone in a dustbin in the basement parking lot this morning. It seems she threw it away last night. This is not unusual behaviour for said colleague.

Finally, the sign below has caused much mirth in Wales, and around the world I’m sure. Although the English is clear enough to truck drivers, the Welsh reads “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.” 

Nice!