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Archive for September, 2006

The sexesMy buddy Brad fancies himself to be quite the quintessential modern man. As do I for that matter… although I am not sure what merit there is in being the quintessential modern man.
We had a discussion the other day about honesty and openness in a relationship. It all started with me telling him that I have done something… dodgy… and I thought that I should tell [S] about it. See, I ran into the girl I dated before [S] and I had lunch with her. Nothing happened… just a friendly get together and catching up on recent events.
Brad feels that although honesty is important in a relationship, some things are better not shared with your partner. His take is that whatever you say will be eventually be held against you, and says that even though [S} will appear to be ok with my indiscretion; she’ll be storing the details for future arguments.
Now I don’t normally take relationship advice from Brad. I have known him long enough to know that, despite all his good qualities, he is the king of dysfunctional relationships. Taking advice from him is akin to attending a Human Rights conference with Sadam Hussein, Hitler and Stalin as the keynote speakers. (Perhaps throw in GW for comic relief?)
In his defense, women are notorious for storing details. They are like supercomputers when it comes to recalling dates, the clothes you wore, things you said, the song that played on your first date, the number of glasses of wine you had and… what the bill came to.
I have actually been in a relationship where past transgressions seemingly surfaced without warning. Silly things such as what happened at a friend’s bachelor’s party or that summer holiday we spent as students in Plettenburg bay. Some how, it just does not come across quite as innocent as it was when you explain it to someone a few years later.
My view is that if you can’t be open with your partner, what is the point of being in an intimate relationship. I know enough not to talk about old flames, the drugs I’ve experimented with or the celebrities I fantasize about when I’m in the shower.
However, when something happens in your current relationship, it should be brought out into the open… shouldn’t it? Secrets have a nasty habit of revealing themselves and biting you in the arse when you least expect it. My rear-end looks like a right battlefield, given my reputation.
I loathe admitting it, but there is logic to Brad’s advice. Do I therefore apply a measure of moral flexibility and keep the incident to myself? It would actually be quite easy to do… deep down men are genetically to be liberal with the truth. (Evolution had to balance the scales)
It is a known fact that if you keep quiet about something for long enough, it will eventually be forgotten. Time has a strange way of making things pale in importance and significance.
It is a pity time travel has yet to be invented.

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female boxers
Woman1:  I am so tired of her negative comments and condescending attitude. She is without a doubt the nastiest person I know.
Woman 2: You should kick her in the ovaries!
Woman 1: I don’t think she has any.
Ouch… and I always thought men are the aggressive species. Guess I could be wrong.

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Licensed to cook

salmonThe cooking classes came to an end last weekend and I now have a brand new certificate to hang on my wall. The Chitster… culinary maestro extraordinaire.
I was also voted the guys least likely to become a restaurant chef by my fellow classmates. It means a lot to me that I made such a good impression. Really. I don’t mind. It does not mean I am a bad cook. I am just not chef material.
Admittedly, I was there more to have fun than seriously getting down to improving my gastronomic skills. I am at my best when I have the opportunity t interact with people. There were a few people in my group for whom learning to cook was a serious business. I can’t help but think that they lost out on the total experience. Competitiveness, a desire to succeed and be the best is important, but not at the expense of enjoying life. It is the time spent, the culinary mistakes made, the laughter and the camaraderie of your classmates that bring the certificate to life.
I can however prepare a 5-course meal, throw a splendid cocktail party and bake an assortment of pastries. Sounds girly when I put it like that, right?
I may not be the best cook there is, but I won’t be sending anyone to the trauma unit of the local hospital anytime soon. Not bad for a guy who a few weeks ago could do little more than BBQ meat and fry bacon and eggs for breakfast.
[S] beamed like a bride on her wedding day at the Diploma Ceremony. She had succeeded in turning me into a nancy boy… hehe. Does the fact that it only took 6 weeks to achieve say anything about my rugged manliness?
Screw that… I am ready to entertain!

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Playing in the traffic

trafficI was driving along the M2 north with my niece the other day when we passed one of those trucks that transports motorcars from one place to another. This one had about 10 cars on it. All of them brand new.

SHE (sighing): The poor cars…
ME (baffled): What is that [C]? Is everything ok?
SHE: I feel sorry for the cars.
ME: What cars, honey?
SHE: The ones on the truck next to us.
ME (at a total loss): Why is that? They look ok to me.
SHE (arms folded looking rather sad): Is not. That awful man grounded them and now they can’t play with the other cars on the road.

My brain froze for a millisecond as it absorbed her words.
I wanted to tell her the real reason why the cars were on the truck, but I was laughing so loudly, I could hardly speak.
Isn’t it amazing how kids view the every day things we take for granted? I doubt any of the adults on the road, me included, gave that truck a second thought.
As we drew ahead of the truck, she looked back at the driver, pulled a face and shook her finger at him. I could not contain myself.
(I am a little concerned that she thinks that the cars driving along the highway are playing some sort of a game. What does that say about our driving skills?)

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Last man standing is a woman

I read an interesting (in the gloomy sense) article in a magazine a while back. Basically it dealt with the demise of the Y-chromosome and the growing phenomenon amongst a certain group women authors that men are doomed to extinction and that women would be better off without them
My first reaction when I read the article was, “Surely these books are tongue-in-cheek and should not be taken seriously”, but as I read on, it became evident that to me that some of these women are deadly serious.

Men have their eviction notice from the planet, since geneticists agree that the Y-chromosome is melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West”, says Maureen Dowd, author of Are Men Necessary.

(Eina! So I bought the darn book and read it)
And as much as I would like to turn my nose up at her statement, she is not all that wrong. Geneticists have for years contended that the modern lifestyle, stress and increased level of sedentary activities have led to a serious decline in sperm levels and male potency. The Y-chromosome, the fingerprint of maleness, is weakening, being stripped of the genes defending it. Some scientists even go a far as saying that men today are technically just mutant women, that’s all, genetically modified women. We are in truth, a generation of girlie men… or manly women.
So even if men aren’t necessarily killed off by their female counterparts in a mass genocide, nature will do it for them. Already there is a steady decline in the world’s male population. On the plus side, we are talking of thousands of years before men actually become extinct. (Technically this means that I’ll be dead l-o-n-g before it happens, but I am on a roll here, so I’m just going to keep on going)
So, if men doomed to disappear, what would the alternatives be and how would women procreate and ensure the survival of their half of the species? Cloning? Asexuality? Artificial insemination with a few males kept around as semen slaves? Sperm banks with sperm that contain only X-chromosomes? Genetically-induced evolution of the female species? These could all become possible with the advances made in modern technology. Science already enables lesbian couples to experience parenthood by sperm implant.
I have noticed an underlying argument that runs through many books of this kind. The authors (as are countless women out there) of the books are seriously pissed off at men. It is not only an argument of whether men are necessary or even if they are expendable. It is that the world would be a better place without men. Male aggression is blamed for the destruction of the planet. Men are serial killers and tyrants who cause wars, genocide and are responsible for the breakdown of society. Mean, ignorant, violent, unemotional and abusive SOB’s! And as much as I hate to admit it… men have fucked up and they still do! To be fair, let me however also point out that not all men are like this and that there are many women out there, without whom the world would be a better place.
Personally I believe that many of these writers have not been on a date in a v-e-r-y long time or that they had been seriously wronged or mistreated by men in the past. But, that is just an opinion… he he.  Desperate and dateless, and of course, certifiably insane.
Does this however justify these authors to propose an all female society? Certainly not… notwithstanding the fact that I am a man and extremely loyal to the dysfunctional Y-chromosome!
What many of these writers do not seem to realise is that it is not simply a question of whether men are necessary survival of the species and about living in all female Utopia with no aggression or destruction. It is about what will really become of women in a society completely devoid of male counterparts. A world where the highest-evolved species on the planet do not have an opposite number. It is about how males and females interact and relate to one another on an emotional and spiritual level. It is about the diversity, creativity and the challenges men bring into society in their own unique way.
Could females live and adapt to a world without men? Sure they can, but would it be worth finding out? I have my doubts, much as I doubt that an all-male society would be sustainable… or desirable.
Men and women bring out the best (and the worst) in one another. They provide balance. Is that not what the Universe is all about… maintaining balance?There are so much more to having a fulfilled and happy life than merely eking out an existence. Like it or not, male-female interaction play a big part in making our existence on earth worthwhile.
Imagine for one moment, if you can, an entire planet dominated by clones of Condaleeza Rice, Margaret Thatcher, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Rosie O’Donald. Who’s going to provide the comic relief, I ask you? Ellen Degeneres and Courtney Love?
The world needs the likes of Robin Williams, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bill Gates, Tom Cruise and Dr Phil… and that guy who call himself Cedric the Entertainer.
Imagine a world that is devoid of xtreme sports, beer (haha) and male cynicisms, where women watch all-female soap operas and talk shows, buy shoes and have Tupperware parties. How bloody terrible would that be?!
And when there are no more men on earth, women would have very little to talk about. My take is that women would eventually devolve, wither, and die of boredom.
Excuse me while satisfy my sudden craving to bake cookies and surf the internet for pictures of the dodo.

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Time warp…

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once – Albert Einstein
Why is it when you are in a hurry to do something, someone else is there to slow you down or prevent you from doing what you want to do. It is as if the universe conspires against you in order to restore some sort of cosmic balance. Well if it is, I for one would like to give the universe the finger and say, “Take your cosmic balance and stick it up your aris!
Take last Friday, for instance. It is my lunch hour and I need money in a hurry. I owe someone at the office a few quid and I want to settle it before the weekend starts.
So I get in my car and rush off to the shopping mall to draw the required amount of money. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to the mall and find parking space, which leaves another 30 minutes to do my thing, and get back to the office. If I take any longer, I will be late for the meeting I have scheduled for 2pm, which would lead to yet another exchange of words with the boss. It is the last thing I want… not on a Friday afternoon!
I get to the only auto-teller machine and there is a young woman at the machine. Young professional, good-looking, smartly dressed. My lucky day! I can make it back to the office in time. I mean… how long can one person take to withdraw a few rand?
Much longer than you think, the gods decide. You are on our turf now and we want to have some fun!
They instruct Ms Young Professional to firstly draw two mini-statements on two different cards/accounts. She takes, what seems to me like a life-time, to enter her pin-code and follow the instructions on the screen… or perhaps she is just methodical… painstakingly methodical. Meanwhile, I am shifting my weight from left to right and boring holes into the back of her skull.
“Hurry up… please, hurry up”, I silently mouth to myself. It’s like having a big pee and all the stalls are engaged. I could easily challenge her, but I am really tired of being confrontational.
Upon receiving her mini-statements, she scrutinizes them with such intensity it seems she’s auditing the books of a small company. She does all of this, while standing in front of the machine. The machine has become part of her personal space.
I cough loudly to make my presence felt, but she gives me a fleeting glance and then proceeds to insert the first card back into the machine! She really is the poster girl for not “keeping all your eggs in one basket”, don’t you think?
I am craning my neck to look over her shoulder (and looking suspiciously like a thief) as if I could mentally enter her pin-code and complete the transaction for her. Ten minutes have passed and I can see my day heading south at lightening speed. I am as impotent as Hugh Heffner sans his Viagra and Father Time, in a cruel twist of fate, has decided to speed up the passing of time.
Finally, the machine spits out her money. All of 50 freaking bucks!! It took her all this time, to decide whether she wants to withdraw 50 Rand from one of her many accounts. Are you kidding me, grandma? 50 bucks should be a no-brainer… just draw the money and sort the budget out at home or away from the teller machine! How difficult could that be, I ask you?
As she takes the money and her statement and turns away, I rush forward and slot my card into the machine. She looks at me as if I am Satan’s spawn and mumbles something about “waiting your turn”. I could not be bothered. I have 15 minutes left to do my thing and I am pissed off. If I had my way, I would arrest people like her for stealing time. Even if I had not been in a hurry, this woman had just stolen 15 minutes of my day from me. Transactions like these should be conducted inside the bank… not at the auto-teller machine.
By the time I get back to the office, it is 10 minutes after 2. The meeting had already started and the boss throws a snide “glad you could finally join us, [K]” in my direction. I can feel my scrotum tighten as the anger wells up inside of me. I mumble my apologies and sit down. Where are the gods and their cosmic mumbo-jumbo now?
Some days just aren’t worth getting out of bed for.

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I love it when my boss calls me to his office to have a strategic conversation about the projects I am working on. He is s one of those people who have the uncanny ability to do both sides of a conversation… by himself.
You know the type. He would ask you a question in the middle of a conversation, pause, and then go ahead and answer it himself. It’s like I’m not even there in the office with him.
When he does that, it takes me back to my childhood. Whenever I did something wrong, my Dad would always say (with that little vein throbbing on the side of his head), “Just who do you think you are?”, and then he’d go ahead and tell me exactly who he thought I was. Ha ha… those were the good old days!
I am not the only person he (the boss) does this to. I‘ve seen him do it in conversation with other people as well. It actually creates the impression that he has thought it through and that he had considered all the angles. Very effective… if not, not extremely annoying.
He’d say things like “Do you know why I think we should take the risk?” or “Here’s why I think you should go ahead and do this”, and then he’d go on and spew forth a plethora of reasons. Of course this means that I basically stand there and nod my head in agreement.
It is like white noise. I find it very soothing in a depreciating kind of way.
Naturally, there is a small part of me that wants to rock the boat and go ahead and answer the question before he gets a chance to air his point of view. For no particular reason, but to interrupt his rhythm and because I can. I am well aware that the posing of the question is merely an academic exercise and that he does not expect me to have an answer. In fact, he is banking on me not to.
But I am still going to do it. For the sake of my own sanity, and because I can’t wait to see the look of surprise on his face when he realises that I can actually think for myself and that I have an opinion. The majority of which, I loathe admitting, could be considered arbitrary. My strategy could actually backfire and I may bite off more than I can chew, but then it is all about taking the risk and asserting myself. You could say I have “a bee in my bonnet” when it comes to these things.
I’d hate to think that I am nothing more than a sounding board for him and his ideas. Come to think of it… he probably does.

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