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Archive for September, 2007

Train trackIn the line at the cafeteria…

Girl: I’m reading a very interesting book on male/female sexuality right now.
Guy (obviously bored): Uh-huh…
Girl: Anyway… the author says that the chemical make-up of the male brain is totally different from that of the female brain, and that a woman’s brain contains about 10 times more white matter related to general intelligence than a man’s…. [stops talking]
(Annoyed) You know, I don’t think you’ve listened to a word I’ve said in the last two minutes. You are probably only thinking about the beer in your fridge and some girl you met in a bar last week whom you want to have sex with.
Guy: Huh? All I heard was beer and sex.… the rest flew past me like fire engines on their way to a crash site.
Girl (perplexed): Yeah, I can hear the echo of their sirens bouncing around in your skull.
Guy: Are you saying I have a one-track mind?
Girl: Yes, and there are 2 only stops… Beerville and Sextopia.

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Grilled BBQ SteaksYesterday, the 24th of September 2007 was a public holiday. Heritage Day. Heritage Day is a day on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their cultural heritage and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. Sounds good doesn’t it?
In 2005, a media campaign sought to “re-brand” the holiday as “National Braai Day” (translated National BBQ Day), and encouraged all South Africans to get friends and family together and to cook up a storm in true South African style and celebrate. How wonderfully patriotic we are!
Our company decided to get in on the festivities and we were all invited to attend a BBQ at an outdoor venue in Johannesburg. My scepticism aside about how much CO2 we’d be sending into the atmosphere and how many animals we’d be consuming, I was surprised at how well organised the event was.
As a rule I shy away from socialising with my colleagues on what I deem as my time, but [S] reckoned it was better than spending the day by ourselves. Who am I to disagree and stand up a chance to play with the other kids?
I had been forewarned about what NOT to say, or mention, etc. It’s a thorny issue as I tend to make weird statements that have no bearing on what is being discussed, but the better half resided over my behaviour (and she was sitting right next to me).
So I told the odd joke, ate food in the appropriate fashion (small bites and chewing with my mouth closed), listened to jazz, talked about sports, the state of affairs in Africa, laughed and smiled at comments, flirted politely and made appropriate statements like “cool” and “wow”. I even called my boss dude.
I was trapped in a Jane Austin set novel in the 21st century, eating the gorgeously cooked food, drinking the carefully chosen wine and making sure that my underwear did not show above waistband of my fashionably distressed jeans.
I was so charming and fitted in so well, I wanted to have sex with myself, in a non-sleazy kind of way.
I did however slip up at one point when I got asked a particular question about my food. “So, how would you like your meat?”
“I’ve not touched the vodka, so for now I’d like it to stay in my pants”
At which point, red wine flew out of my boss’s nostrils and [S] gave me a look that was so dirty, the white T-shirt I had on turned decidedly gray.
“Just kidding”, I said laughingly, “dead and well cooked with a generous helping of soot”.
Everyone giggled. The jury is till out on whether they laughed with me or at me.
Old habits are so hard to break… and so apparently is my ability to stay in line! Bugger.

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Clapping monkey with cymbalsWe have a temp in the office at the moment. A pretty young girl. She’s one of those women you want to (without meaning to) undress mentally and can imagine yourself getting naked with. (I am a guy… bear with me!)
It is very distracting and I have made a mental note to avoid her company as much as I possibly can.
I am however convinced that she has some kind of mental problem. She cannot finish a sentence without giggling or laughing like you had just told her a brilliant joke.
Every time I run into her and she does that I find myself thinking:

You were damn cute when I passed you in the corridor this morning. Why do you feel the need to open your mouth to speak to me? Please, just smile at me and let my imagination do the rest.

Being in a conversation with her is like being on the set of a sitcom, except there are no funny one-liners and no live studio audience. There is only the laughter track and for some reason it is out of sync with what is being said.
I know they say that laughter is the best medicine, but this is like being having an enema shoved up your backside. She is not spreading happiness. She is like that battery operated clapping monkey. Annoying! All the fake laughter makes it impossible for you to believe that anything she does in genuine and more importantly, it will totally spoil the effect when I eventually tell her one of my brilliant jokes.
Take yesterday afternoon.
“Can you get in touch with (inset name) at the research agency? I urgently need the results of the consumer placement tests that were done last month for tomorrow morning’s meeting. Please can you give it top priority?”
“I’ll get right on it”, she said with a smile. “Hahahahahah.”
“I am sure you will! Hahahahahah!” I chortled, while looking at her suspiciously. I struggled to see what was so “funny” about my request.
Isn’t it strange how a flaw in someone’s personality can totally distract from that person’s positive qualities? Damn!!

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Bros hanging outGrowing up, every guy out there has heard about or practiced The Bros before Hos rule. It is only the number 1 rule in The Guy Rulebook!
It actually sounds worse than it is. Especially the “Ho” part. Tee-hee!
The rule doesn’t advise spending every second with the guys without a thought for your girlfriend… it’s about maintaining balance.
However, as you grow older and settle into a relationship it gets harder to enforce this rule, especially when the opposition in many cases is the one who can and will withhold sex.
It is easy to push aside the guys who were there when you were single as you embark on a new and exciting relationship, but it is also wrong.
I am not talking of totally neglecting your girl in favour of your friends or asking her to play second fiddle to them. Who would want to? Especially since she plays the (your?) fiddle so well, if you know what I mean.
No, I am talking about becoming so consumed by your new flame (relationship) that all your time is spent with her (and her friends) and your calendar is booked weeks in advance with shared plans. When your personality and individuality wanes and you start referring to yourself in terms of “we”.
You have no time for your friends and when they make plans to hang out with you, it becomes a case of “Sorry dudes, I have to check with there gf if we have anything on the weekend” or “Dude, I know we’re supposed to watch the game tonight, but she really wants to go look at new wallpaper for the bathroom.” Gah!
Why am I bringing this up? Well as you know, we are in the midst of the Rugby World Cup. (I won’t even mention the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup).
In South Africa, being the rugby nation that it is, this means less time spent with [S] and more time spent in front of the telly or the local sport’s bar with the mates.
It puts an enormous strain on the relationship and I constantly find myself defending myself for not “spending enough time with her”. To avoid this fate, I try and ensure that I have enough one-on-one time with her. I re-arrange my schedule and make time for her when the teams I support are not playing. That way I am able to keep my appointments with bros and with [S].
It is a battle getting the extra time from your girl, but it’s worth it. It is not about attending all the crazy nights out. The real depth of friendship comes from a beer and game of pool or watching a game with the mates.
If you start canceling plans, you’ll quickly find that there’s never a good time to hang out. Sometimes a girl will want to monopolize all your time and attention. Other times, she’ll want to split the last bond to the single life… your bros. What gives, I say? If you made plans with the guys, you have to stick to them, reminding her that the two of you can do things together the next day or the day after.
Life with a girlfriend and no guys would be a sad existence. So would plenty of bros, but no woman. There’s room for both. Deep down, you should remember one truth: It’s more likely your bros will help you when she breaks your heart, than her helping you when all your friends take off.
And open and honest relationship can only exist when there is compromise and when people in it are allowed to retain some individuality and independence.
[Note: BIG game tonight. South Africa vs England. Time to make us some potpourri!]

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Handful of sand

I grabbed a pile of dust, and holding it up, foolishly asked for as many birthdays as the grains of dust, I forgot to ask that they be years of youth. (~Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Book 14, lines 131-153 as paraphrased by Matt Damon in The Good Shepherd)

Two posts in three weeks! Does not bode well for the blog, does it? In spite of it being spring, I’ve been kinda(?) lazy as well as low on inspiration and will power.
The birthday was last week Friday and hence the quote. Of course it coincided with the start of the Rugby World Cup which culminated in a drunken debauchery of epic proportions. The less I say… the better. And the less I have to force myself to remember.

If there is one thing that drives me insane, it is when married friends have a joint email address and they don’t tell you about it!
I sent an e-mail to a married friend a couple of days ago to bring him up to speed on a few intimate details of my life. We’ve been best mates since primary school.
Imagine my surprise when he called back a day later and not only shared with me his view on some of the issues raised, but also that of his wife.
“You told your wife what I wrote in the e-mail?”, I asked.
“No. We have a joint e-mail account and she read it when she checked the account for messages”

I felt like he had just slapped me! Why would she read an e-mail when it was not addressed to her? And even after she had opened it, why did she not close it when she realised that it was of a personal nature? I don’t want him to put me before his wife, just my right to privacy.
Now I know some people see this whole “there is no secrets between us” as a gesture of their undying love and commitment, especially when they are newly married. But does sharing necessarily mean you have to include your friend’s secrets?
To me personally it screams of a lack of individuality and some form of over-possessiveness. Being in a relationship (marriage) does require that you share some details of your life with someone else, but does it have to be every detail?
Right at the heart of the matter, is the fact that my mate did not tell me that the e-mail addy was for a joint account. It is a big deal to me and although I am not going to launch a formal protest… but I don’t like it one bit. Not one bit!
To me it is akin to pillow talk. Laying there, completely relaxed with someone you’re starting to trust entirely (or just had sex with), it’s easy to find yourself passing on secret hopes and fears… as well as the secrets of your friends that they would prefer kept hidden.
Personal, embarrassing, humiliating or harmful secrets about your bros are best kept between the two of you. In revealing these, you’re trusting someone else equally or perhaps more than your closest friend. And perhaps you do.
It’s however doubtful that he’d be happy if I aired his dirty laundry to his wife, nor would I tell my girlfriend’s secrets to him.
People!

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HidingDuring our lunch break yesterday, a close colleague and I went to the mall to get something to eat. WE stopped of at one of those fast-food joints that has a take-away section, but also has a sit-down area where you can eat your food, should you feel like it.
We were almost at the front of the queue, when he unexpectedly freaked out.

HE (covering the one side of his face): Oh shit… oh shit… oh shit!!
ME (alarmed): What’s the matter? Did we forget something?
HE: That girl sitting over there. I don’t want her to see me.
ME (doing some serious rubbernecking): Which one? Where?
HE: The blond sitting over there in the corner… with the red blouse on.
ME: I see her. How do you know her?
HE: I kinda tried to pick her up in a bar last week. Things went really well, she gave me her phone number and I promised to call.
ME: So what’s the problem?
HE: I never called.
ME (smiling): Why not? She‘s really hot.
HE: Uh, yeah… there’s a slight problem. I already have a girlfriend.
ME (amused): Ouch! I forgot about that. You should’ve just told her the truth.
HE: I know that now. (Insert gf’s name) had a major fallout earlier that week. I truly believed we were over. I was feeling kinda low and I enjoyed the attention. It’s nice to be desired. The next day (insert name of gf) and I sorted things out. Calling back seemed wrong. What would I have said to her?
ME: Erm… “I had good time last night, but I am not ready to get involved”
HE: Wise ass! I know… I’ll put my glasses on so she won’t recognise me.
[He puts the glasses on]
ME: So… what… you’re like Clark Kent now?
HE (anxious): Shut up and walk. Let’s just get out of here.
ME (disappointed): But what about the food? I am friggin hungry, dammit!
HE: I’ll stick you for a proper lunch tomorrow.
Me (giggling): Dude, you are seriously messed up. I was so looking forward to seeing you squirm.
Can I use this to blackmail you next time I need a favour?

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