Archive for the ‘Weekend’ Category

guys.jpgTen things I learnt/observed (not necessarily first hand) in a sports bar while watching South Africa beat Whales over the weekend. In no particular order…

    1. When your team plays rugby, do not invent a drinking game that is based on the number of points they score. 34 -12 is not necessarily a good score.
    2. There is nothing romantic about drunk dialing at 1:30 on a Sunday morning, especially not when your mates are yelling “he tried to pick up a hooker” in the background. Don’t ever say the words “I just wanted to know how you are.” Trust me, don’t. Not at 1:30 am.
    3. Cheap is just unforgivable. If you claim to have left your wallet at home when it is your turn to pay, then you are a cheapskate and you are stupid! I can handle stupid when I’m forced to. Cheap? No!!
    4. Life is often like a staged play. Masks and make-up and shadow puppets, and then some. Never buy a drink for a guy who says he went to school with older brother, and when probed about it ten minutes later, can’t remember your brother’s name.
    5. Factoid: A two at ten is a ten at two. When your mate says, “Hey, you want to meet a hot chick?”, do not try to convince him that she’s not. Let him wake up next to her the next morning and find out the hard truth for himself.
    6. There is no such thing as public indecency at 2 am on a Sunday morning. The cops may disagree, but they have to be around to catch you in the act.
    7. When a girl wears a green t-shirt that says “I’m a keeper”, it usually means that she is not, unless it refers to the fact that she can “keep” her liquor down better than you can.
    8. When your team scores a try, do not throw your hands in the air and jump up out of your chair at the same time. There is no dignity in falling backwards and landing on your arse. Not even when you are drunk.
    9. When a guy throws a shitfit about a decision the referee made, let him be. He is bigger than you are and will pound you into the ground with one swing of his giant fist. Nobody’s perfect. Accept it.
    10. It is indeed possible for your hair to hurt when you are hung-over. (I learnt this the next day.)

Ain’t life grand?


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Fish in a barrel

WaiterBeing the miserable sod that I am, I am quite happy to bring someone down to my misery level, especially when that person is primary the source of my woes.

Question: Why is it that when you want to have a quiet and serious conversation with one of your friends, your waiter is the quirkiest person on the face of the planet?

There you are going through an account of how a new job offer flushed your precious holiday plans down the toilet (or how you just got dumped++) when your waiter has clearly swallowed the Energiser bunny in the kitchen before coming out.
He’ll start out by saying something like, “Good morning, folks and what can I do for you today? You’re at the (Insert Restaurant Name), the happiest place on earth next to Hooters!”
Fuck… you… sparky. I was going to have the mixed seafood platter, but now I’ll just have the chicken salad. And leave the dressing on the side. (I did not say it out loud, but my body language probably communicated that I was irritated)
Now I know what you are thinking. I am unreasonable and the guy is merely doing his job in being friendly and welcoming. And you may be right for thinking so. There is a no way he could have known that I wanted him to tone it down and be less of an intrusion, unless I told him so. If I were a woman, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “Diva!”.
Having admitted to being a bit of a douchebag, I do however believe that a good waiter should be able to read his patrons and adjust his attitude accordingly.
I was all set to make up for my insolent behaviour, when he did something that really pissed me off. It took twenty minutes for him to arrive with the drinks order!
When they finally arrived and while he was busy putting the drinks down on the table , I leaned in and asked politely, “I know you have a sign that says, We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone!, but is the lack of service your subtle way of telling us to piss off?”
Clearly taken aback by this precious ounce of respect, he blushed and rambled off an excuse of why it took so long for him to get around to us. His excuse may have been perfectly valid, had it not been that the place was basically empty and that he had only two other tables to see to.
I made a mental note to tip him in small coins.
(++No worries, I was not dumped)

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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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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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Another long weekend has come and gone. And not a day too soon.
How are we expected to be productive when the working week is either 3 or 4 days long? Not that I’m complaining. I’ll take as many holidays as I can get. Pity there is that other little thing about earning your keep and meeting your project deadlines. Pfft!
This weekend I got together with the gf, her sister and the sister’s bf to watch some DVD’s. Riveting company, the likes of which you do not get to experience every day.
And no, I will not divulge which movies we watched. If I did, your hard-earned respect for me would plummet and it would seriously diminish the manly ruggedness I try and portray in my posts.
You may even feel obliged to leave a mildly insulting comment on this post. And we can’t have that happening, can we? Not since we are all required to play nicely with the other kids and engage in mutual backslapping here in “blogland”.
Ok… let’s get back to the movie marathon, shall we?
Right from the onset it was made perfectly clear that I should stay away from the remote control. Honestly! You have one little minor incident where you just happened to play and rewind a particular scene in the movie “Prates of the Caribbean” 6 or 7 times (okay, maybe 8 or 9) and people get all paranoid and shit.
I have opposable thumbs. I know how to operate a remote control. I am old enough to drive a car down the highway, impregnate a woman, hold down a job and make my own decisions. Why can’t I operate the damned remote?
I forked out the dosh for the pizzas and the beer and it is only fair that I get to drive the remote, don’t you agree? I’m not going to harp on this topic for very long, but just so you know… it irked the shit out of me. Irked me, it did!
We were halfway through the first movie when I asked them to pause it so that I could briefly use the little boy’s room. It is a fair request. No one wants to come back from the loo and have to ask people what happened while they were gone. That would irritate just the crap out of me.
[S]’s sister’s boyfriend was put in charge of the remote. My remote, I might add. Did he pause the DVD like he was supposed to? No no no. That would have been far too simple. Instead, he hit the rewind button and then quickly followed this up by pressing the fast-forward button.
He then spent the next minute trying to figure out how to stop the DVD from fast-forwarding. Coincidentally, this was also the same amount of time needed for the DVD to fast-forward to the very end of the movie. Who knew? Next thing you know… the fucking end credits!
Then he started pressing down several buttons at the same time while mumbling things like “Aww jeez”, “Oops, sorry” and “What the …?”
Finally, he ejected the DVD. Way to go… genius!
Then he looked at me said, “I think your DVD player is on the blink”.
There is nothing wrong with my DVD player you fool; you just don’t know how to operate such a high tech piece of modern equipment. It is sensitive and temperamental and you need to treat it like you are making love to woman. Push the right buttons and she’ll moan and purr for you like a kitten that’s been given a bowl of warm milk.
This is was also the point at which I started to massage my temples while my face politely feigned indifference.
“Give me remote, will you?” I said calmly. He looked at my girlfriend as if I had just asked permission to go down on him. Apparently I needed the gf’s approval to do simple tasks. I thought we had crossed that bridge the moment he ejected the DVD.
This was only the first movie and already it felt like I had been at a Scientology convention.
Anyway, I got the movie playing again and got us back to the scene we were at before the interruption. Who da man?!!
The moral of the story. Never get between a man and his remote. Secondly: Never let a novice do the job when a professional gadget freak is in the house.
I plan on growing up some day… just not anytime soon.

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The mind boggles

Silly puppyFive things I did this weekend and instantly regretted:

    Taking a sip from the carton of milk that’s been standing in my fridge for over a week… just to make sure that it’s really off. That weird sound it made when I shook the carton should have been a dead give-away.
    Agreeing to teach my nephew how to drive. Now I know what it is like to break out in cold sweats and burn up with rage at the same time. Driving schools are there for reason. I should have known that.
    Agreeing to do something I really did not want to do. Like accepting an invitation to play a round of golf on a Sunday morning when you’re nursing the mother of all hangovers.
    Feeling adventurous and telling the hairdresser that I wanted a new look. Walking out an hour later looking like I should be in an MTV music video. If anyone tells me I look fabulous, I will slap that smirk right off their face.
    Telling my gf that I’d look after her cat when she goes away on business, even though I cannot stand the animal. When she returns, it will either be dead or an entirely different species of animal. I’ve got my money on the latter.

I should have learned by now that no one will hate me if I say no.

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Lucky Luke?

Call me!I don’t have anything significant to blog about, but I feel compelled to post something. Well, actually I do… I could do the “8 things about me” meme I got tagged with, or do a follow up on Saturday’s funeral, but I don’t I am too lazy to do that.
Instead I will share with you a strange episode that happened on the weekend.
My long-time mate, Luke invited me to have brunch with him at a trendy little restaurant on Sunday. Luke and I have been mates since university and had remained good friends ever since.
Brunch was not my idea of hanging out, but he insisted that we meet. We had not touched base in over 3 months and he’d be leaving for a 2-month stint in the Saudi Arabia soon. Seeing as I had nothing better to do, I agreed. He also said he would pay and it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. (He he… does it make me cheap?)
The restaurant was only half-filled to capacity, which was a blessing. I don’t like crowded restaurants. It is my experience that service levels and the collective intelligence of the staff is inversely proportional to the number of people present.
By the looks of things most of the patrons were hung-over, but let me not me judgmental. Just because I stayed in on Saturday night, it is no reason to be nasty… let alone jealous!
We had placed our order with our waiter who was a young guy and kinda chatty. He was a nice enough guy as far as waiters go, but Luke and I just wanted to hang out and shoot the shit by ourselves without him hovering over us.
To keep him busy and away from us, I ordered a glass of Chardonnay. Those who know me will know that I don’t like Chardonnay, but a Vodka Martini at 11 AM on a Sunday morning somehow seemed somewhat indecent. Not that I actually cared… I just wanted to make it seem that I had a measure of decorum. I also ordered a bottle of sparkling water just in case I could not bring myself to actually down the Chardonnay.
He finally left and brought our food. He came back a few moments later to make sure everything was good, as a good waiter should, especially when he expects a good tip.
“Well if you need me I’ll be in the back having a cappuccino, he said as he walked away. Then he did the oddest thing. He winked at Luke and lightly placed his hand on his shoulder.
“Did he just come on to me?” Luke asked as soon as he was out of earshot.
“I’m not sure”, I said. “It seemed like it, but then again, he could just be working his way up to a good tip”
I changed the subject and we settled into eating our meals. I was not going to spend the morning discussion the sexual orientation of our waiter, so I launched right into, “so what’s happening with you over the next few months?”
We caught up on old times and what been happening over the past months. It was pleasant means to spend the morning. Just sitting there and catching up on good times, past and present. One seldom realises how much you miss out on and how important it is to keep in touch with your friends.
After two hours of laughter and taking the piss, we called the waiter over to settle the bill and leave the restaurant. The waiter walked us to the front door (odd again) and just as we passed thought it, he handed Luke a piece of scrap paper and said, “Call me”.
Ba-boom! The balls on this guy! I dunno who was more surprised… Luke or me. Luke took the paper from him and we waked away without talking. He crumpled the paper in his fist and dropped it on the ground.
When we got to our cars, I looked over to Luke and said casually…. “So, I guess your social calendar just filled up?”
“Yeah, I guess so”, he shot back and with that we packed out laughing. We laughed so much that both of us ended up sitting on the tarmac. We eventually said our good-byes and drive off.
This incident made me wonder; what made the waiter think it was ok to approach Luke (the consequences could be dire!), and could it be considered harassment if a waiter, male or female, comes on to a patron at a restaurant?
I also realised that I am somewhat of a bigot. Had it been a cute waitress, I probably would have high-fived Luke with an enthusiastic “Attaboy!”, instead of laughing about it hysterically.
It is rare (strange?) that you come across someone you like who actually has the balls to let you know that they like you, even more so when that person is of the same sex.
Perhaps, I need to recalibrate my moral compass? It is something to ponder, don’t you think?

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