Friday, November 4, 2011

Verbal Diarrhoea

There comes a time in every parents' life (of this I'm convinced) that one makes the discovery that there is only one way to cope. Two solitary words that, on any given day, have the power to cause mass joy to surge through the average woman's body. Two little words: red wine.

I know this because as I type, I have four bottles of the finest (cheapest - per kind understanding favour of The Incubator) dumped in a large vase, out of which stick a handful of left-over-from-The-Daughter's-birthday-party multi-coloured straws, through which I am guzzling the crimson stuff. The next best option, I fear, would be warm gin.

You see the thing that they don't tell you at ante-natal classes is that once the changing of nappies is over, and once the cracked nipples and breast dependency ceases, you'll be left with a human: one with a vocabulary, a will, a sense of humour (thankfully). One who likes to talk.

A lot.

It all started - the verbal diarrhoea, that is; not the talking - at 5.08 am on Monday morning. This troubles me especially since I have taken great pride in the fact that, up until Monday, The Daughter was a late riser. But it appears that, with the onset of the discovery that she is able to speak, at speed, without drawing breath for a good 120 minutes on the go, she no longer requires as much shut-eye. I'm shattered.

The Pant: (dreaming of interactions with Patrick Lambie - and not the verbal kind - begins to rouse. Her eyes flicker as consciousness ousts state of euphoria. Begins to open eyes and first sight is of five-year-old angel child but millimetres from her face, breathing the thickness of morning breath) Morning, my angel.

The Daughter: So-Mommy-you-know-I-haven't-stopped-thinking-about-the-hamster-at-Calvin's-house-and-I-really-want-a-hamster-and-actually-I-want-three-hamsters-and-I'm-going-to-call-them-Lily-and-she's-going-to-be-the-queen-and-then-Grace-that's-the-next-one-she's-going-to-be-a-baby-but-they're-all-going-to-be-babies-and-anyway-we're-just-going-to-pretend-so-Lily-can-be-the-queen-and-Grace-can-be-the-princess-and-ooooooo-I'm-going-to-dress-her-in-a-beautiful-pink-ball-gown-and-then-Max-is-going-to-be-the-prince-and-I'm-going-to-look-after-them-because-you-got-scared-when-we-were-at-Calvin's-party-do-you-remember-Mom-Mom-Mom-Mom-do-you?-do-you-remember?

I felt as though I'd been bludgeoned half to death by the power of word. Reeling, I made my way to the kitchen: breakfast, I thought, may cause momentary silence - provided, at least, by the swallowing of chocolate Wheetbix.

Not so.

The Daughter: (chew)and-Mom-you-don't-have-to-worry-about-a-thing-not-a-single(swallow)-little-thing-because-I'm-a-big-girl-because(chew)-I'm-five-which-is-the-same-as-five-and-a-half-and-at-my-next(swallow)-birthday-I'm-going-to-be-six-and-when-I'm-six-I'm-going-to-be-so-big-that-I'm-going-to-become-queen-and-then-I'll-feed-my-hamsters(chew)-and-I'll-bath-them-in-the-bath-with-me-is-that-okay-Mom-Mom-Mom-Mommy?-Is(swallow)-that-okay-to-you-know-bath-with-my-hamsters?Mom-is-it?-Can-I-can-I-can-I-PLEASE?

After answering fundamental questions regarding the correct methods for raising polite hamsters (including 1. Can hamsters go to boarding school like Cat when we go on holiday?; 2. How big are hamsters' toothbrushes because hamsters should brush their teeth because they are NOT going to be naughty like Cat who doesn't brush his teeth which is just scusting?; 3. Don't you just love hamsters?; and 4. Can we please get hamsters with babies in their tummies even the boys?), I decided to seek respite in the shower.

Because my me-time had been stolen by The Daughter's larynx, I chose to take my morning tea into the shower, and extend my allocated cleansing time just a smidgen.

With only the sound of drumming water, my brain began to acclimatise. I started thinking my normal 5-in-the-morning thoughts like, 'What am I going to wear today?'; 'What are The Daughter's after-school commitments?'; (brief visual of Jake Gyllenhall in most compromising position) 'What am I going to make for lunches?'; 'Is there bread?', when The Daughter opened the shower door enough to squish her face in to begin the verbal torrent again.

The Daughter: Is-today-a-hair-washing-day-for-you-Mom?-Mom?-Mom?-Is-it?-I-don't-like-washing-my-hair-in-the-shower-because-the-shampoo-goes-in-my-eyes-and-it-hurts-but-when-I'm-six-I-will-only-wash-my-hair-in-the-shower-because-that's-what-big-girls-do-and-Mom-Mom-Mom-can-I-wash-my-hamsters-hair?-Do-hamsters-even-have-hair?-Or-is-it-like-Cat's-hair-which-isn't-really-hair-it's-actually-called-fur-even-though-it-leaves-bits-of-hair-on-my-bed-when-he-sleeps-with-me? Oh-Mom-Mom-Mom-

Two hours later, we found ourselves securely strapped into Brumelda en route to school/school (as it happens to be).

The Pant: (turning the radio up to figure out if WeatherSA had been truthful about the day's weather, and whether or not there'd be any accidents on my drive)


The Daughter: So-Mom-do-you-think-my-hamsters-will-be-able-to-come-to-swimming-lessons-with-me-I'm-sure-Uncle-Swimming-Man-won't-mind-and-then-we-can-get-a-pool-and-our-hamsters-won't-drown.Oh-won't-it-be-lovely-when-we-have-a-pool.My-hamsters-are-so-cute-don't-you-think-Mom-Mom-Mom-Mom?

The hamsters we don't own? I feel I know them biblically.

And so I drink this wine without an iota of guilt. And for this I can be eternally grateful to The Daughter.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ballet: Porn For Rich People.

I like going to 'the ballet' (to be said by projecting voice through the top set of the teeth, with one's head tilted slightly up, whilst looking down on commoners) for three reasons:

1) It's an excellent reason to get tarted up as though one is going on a date, without having to actually go on a date (because going on dates often means spending the evening with turds who have more than likely not passed primary school);

2) It's really quite pretty.  Those chicks are amazing.  Seriously.  And if, I'm to be entirely honest with you, I did find myself having totally inappropriate thoughts about doing my own kind of pirouette with some of those male dancers, naked; and

3) I get to hang out with some gay love.

I have a knack, you see, of picking up a little bit of gay fluff wherever I go.  (I think I was born in the wrong body, to be honest.  Apart from the fact that I - unlike many women - really like my body (well, today anyway), I think I would suit being gay, and male.  At least then My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh may, in fact, want to caress it.  With his tongue.)  And let me tell you something, it's chicks and Marys at the ballet.  And straight guys who've cheated on their wives/girlfriends and paying big time for the crime.

In fact, within three minutes of arrival, had I no sooner acquired a gin (little big bottles of - such fun), was I whispering into Dear Gay's ear...

The Pant:  You naughty, naughty boy.  How dare you wear a tie to a function of this nature?

Dear Gay:  Why?  You said I should shave... I just thought I ought to look the part.  And look at you in that beautiful little (and he meant little) frock, you foxy minx-

TP:  Ooooo.  Say it again.

DG:  Little frock?

TP:  No.  The other bit.

DG:  Look at you.

TP:  Look at you?  No.  The other bit.

DG:  Foxy minx?

TP:  Well, yes.  But it's kind of lost its impotus.

DG:  So what's wrong with my tie?

TP:  You obviously don't know what I do to naughty little boys who wear ties.  Let's just say I hold the tie in a vice grip.

DG:  **blush** **fumble** **realise that, in fact, is not at all aroused by said image** **laugh like drain at my inappropriate behaviour.

The thing with ballet that does get me, though is a previous conversation I'd had with The Brother.  I was laughing at him - I think at this stage he was one of those whipped husbands who was forced to appreciate the arts with his (hussy, charlatan) wife.  He missed a very important rugby match for an outing to the ballet because "rugby is for the intelligentless masses".  (The witch also believed that my - or anyone's - avid consumption of tomato sauce was indicative of one's belonging to "the lower class".  I suffered my addiction to the righteous redness in silence.  It was only when I learnt, some years after her departure from the family, through Malcolm Gladwell's literature that tomato sauce is the most complex, yet perfectly balanced flavour on earth - in fact, it's the only perflectly balanced flavour in the world.  Low class, hmmmmmmm?)

The Pant: How was the ballet?

The Brother:  Not too bad, actually.

TP:  Who are you and what have you done with my brother?

TB:  Well, it's kind of like porn for rich people.  I haven't seen so much minge and cock in my life before.

I took The Brother's unsavoury description of the ballet as evidence of the fact that you can take the pleb out of the gutter but never the gutter out of the pleb.  Until I witnessed it first hand.

Don' get me wrong: I am actually one of those people who truly delights in the art of ballet.  But I did feel a little uncomfortable in a few of the scenes on Wednesday evening.  Particularly the one where the prima ballerina lifts her leg back, over her head, revealing her Russian McMuffin, and The Evil Genius the spends a good five minutes swivelling her aroud, ensuring that all audience members get a good look.  I blushed such a deep scarlet that I think I may have lit up, illuminating the man in a lace shirt beside me.

My enjoyment of ballet may be permanently hindered.  And The Daughter's dabbling in the dance may just about be over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boring People Who Don't Say 'Fuck'.

I'm entering Come Dine With Me SA.  I'm a little worried about this entry, particularly because I'm exceptionally worried that I will, in fact, be chosen to participate in said show, in which case I'll have to quickly learn to cook, start cleaning those forgotten nooks and crannies (like the dining room table, book shelf, piano stool, and under the very large wooden table in the lounge).  Plus I'll have to learn to be amiable.

I may have to take a refresher course on manners.

You see, I had a wee little think to myself the other day - as I'm wont to do - and realised that I'm seriously (no, like seriously) coming to grips with singledom.  And 'by coming to grips with', I'd prefer it if you read 'really fucking enjoying it'.  Seriously.

You see, the truth is - and it's a scary truth - that I've grown accustomed to having my own space, not sharing my bathroom, leaving my tampons in a bright pink box on the back of the toilet, leaving used strips of wax (that do not look dissimilar to neat little slivers of rodent fur) in the bathroom bin without a lid.  I've only myself to blame when the milk runs out, or there's not enough bread for The Daughter's sandwiches, or I've run out of dishwashing liquid. 

(That's not strictly true.  In fact, it's not true at all.  When I do realise that the dishwashing liquid has run out - which is not very often since am not all that keen on actual dish washing - I usually mutter something along the lines of, "Could kill that Armpit!!  What does she do with the stuff?  Drink it?  Crikey effing moses."  It's got me into hot water these little rants I have.  The Daughter has often greeted Armpit in the morning in manner of, "Morning Armpit, my mom's going to fire you because you drive her to drink," or, "Armpit, you mustn't drink my mom's imported tea, because it makes her red in the face and sweat from the sides of her head.")

I have also, since being on my own, learned that I am not all that fond of underwear.  Or clothes, for that matter.  And not in a I-sit-around-in-the-knick-cross-legged-while-watching-telly kind of way.  But I've employed an open-door policy in our house.  I'm regretting it now, of course, since there appears to be no hiding place.  When I was growing up my parents used to escape to the bathroom with their books for hours on end, while my brothers tried to kill each other with knives and I burned incense and felt moved by nature.  (God, I was an awkward teenager).  When I try that in our house, The Daughter is quite happy to camp beside me, begging to read Curious George on the kindle.

I can't imagine that the guests on Come Dine With Me SA would be all that charmed to round the corner, and find me perched upon the loo, in the knick.  Nor would they be pleased to find that there may, in fact, be a chocolate - no that's crazy, chocolate doesn't have a shelf life, since it cannot actually exist for longer than 40 seconds in The Liner Household - an apple, 100 days old, lodged between the trunk and the back of the couch.

I'd be especially upset, though, if I spent a whole week of my life dining with boring people who don't say 'fuck'.  I think that's my biggest fear in this whole debacle.  Yes.  It's boring people who don't say 'fuck'.

And any meal involving pork, bananas, tripe, kidney, rice pudding and sago.  And pro nutro.  Or anything that is similar in texture to male sexual expulsion.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Reality Check.

I lost my mind this past week.  I'm convinced of it.  You see, after poo-pooing liaisons with The Twenty Almost One Year Old Hottie Hot Pants on account of his a) age, b) inability to compose text messages that did not include "words" like 'nyc', 'joakin' (joking, I think),  'gna' (going to) and 'please call me', and;  d) job prospects (none), I seemed to have a complete change of heart, and decided to actually meet up with him for a drink.

I think I may have even fancied him.  Who could blame me?  The man is a good 8 years younger than me, and everyone wants  to have a brief affair with a much younger man, so I thought I ought to knuckle down sooner rather than later.  And, as God is my witness, I really tried quite hard.

I engaged in text message conversations:

Twenty Almost One Year Old Hottie Hot Pants:  Hey panty um is ur surname pervert?random bt curious (smiley face).

The Pant:  No.  Panty Pervert is another teacher.  I used to work with her.  I'm Panty Liner.

TAOYOHHP:  Haha u thnk?so it is pervert?

Now, forgive me for feeling a touch confused at this point - but how could the boy not get "I'm Panty Liner"?

And so I decided to ring him:

TAOYOHHP:  Hey Panty.  Look, I saw your picture in the newspaper and I know you're getting married soon so it's all good.

TP:  Pardon?

TAOYOHHP:  I saw your picture in the paper.  It said "Panty Pervert" "soon-to-be-married".

TP:  But I'm not Panty Pervert.

TAOYOHHP:  But you said you were.

TP:  I said "I'm Panty Liner".

TAOYOHHP:  I thought you were being sarcastic.

Um??  How?


TP:  No.  I was being perfectly serious.

TAOYOHHP:  Ok.  Cool.  So, you're not getting married?

TP:  Not as far as I know.

TAOYOHHP:  So can we like hook up and like stuff like?

TP:  (considering proposal, and considering the good it would do for my self-esteem, not to mention the street cred it would buy me at the next book club gathering) Ya!  I mean, hell yeah!  Big time.  Radness.

TAOYOHHP:  Radness?

TP:  Yes!  Radness.

TAOYOHHP:  What does that mean?

TP:  That will be nice?

TAOYOHHP:  Oh like, ama-zing?

TP:  Amazing?

TAOYOHHP:  Ama-zing is like amazing for old people.

To be quite honest, in spite of the fact that Twenty Almost One Year Old Hottie Hot Pants almost gave me cardiac arrest when he 'joaked' that he was seventeen to which I responded, "Good God!  Don't ever phone me again, Child.  I could get fired!  I could get arrested for even talking to you," I was really quite looking forward to meeting up with him at the infamous Pan & Kettle.

I was looking forward to going on a date and having complete confidence that the little mite would be totally taken by me because in his eyes, I am a cougar - several thousand times above anything that he would be able to pick up at a trance party in Lion's River.  Also, there wouldn't be those other normal considerations:

1)  Please let him have a decent surname in case I fall head over heels in love with him and end up marrying him;

2) I wonder if he breeds well;

3)  What the fuck am I going to wear to make me look as thin as possible?;

4)  I hope he doesn't have too much of a potty mouth for when I introduce my future husband to my parents - Father in particular.

You see the facts were:  He's a little hottie hot pants, and I aint never introducing him to anyone.

But by the time Friday evening rolled in, I'd fielded numerous calls:one from The Brother in which he openly mocked my cheap attempt to feel youthful;and one from Carlos in which he begged me to go out wearing nothing but a scarf as a skirt and a push-up bra to maximise the tot's street cred.  And then it happened: Reality Check of monu.emtal proportion.

The toll of spending an entire week working (sure, for a salary that, at least puts me in a position to have surplus two ply toilet rolls hidden beneath the bathroom sink -evidence of a real home) I lost my will to smash beer cans against my forehead and use words like 'ahwe'and 'ama-zing'.  And so I politely retracted agreement to meet for drimk optimg to rather sleep.

And here's the thing with the younger steed: 17 missed calls and 2 texts, one of which included phrases like "miss u"and "luv u".

Reality Check #2: it' really unfair to cougar little tots.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dr Dad.

My gran - the French Mauritian one - was a bit of a hypochondriac; a characteristic I think The Father has inherited.


Yesterday my head nearly exploded. I had a post holiday depression headache so sore that I could barely rest my glasses atop my head from the severe pain that surged through my body, driving me very close to a fresh bout of bumilia.  And so I phoned The Father for a little bit of sympathy.

The Father:  Hi, Pant.  Can I speak to The Daughter please?

The Pant: Um. I made the call, Dad.  How are you?

TF:  Fine thanks.  The Baby Girl?  Can I speak to her?

TP:  I'm not that well, Dad.  Worst headache - even worse than the hangover post Pan and Kettle.

TF:  You know what, Pant.  I once had a friend who had a headache-

TP: (Haven't we all?)  Ya?

TF:  And he took a few panados and went to bed and died that night because of a brain tumour the size of his fist.  Had a big hand too.  And you know what they say about guys with big hands?

TP:  Big brain tumours?

TF:  No.  Big fists.

TP:  Well, I did take some pills and then I fell asleep for two hours.  And I've just woken up and it's still sore.

TF:  Sounds like my big fisted friend.

TP:  You think I have a brain tumour?

TF:  It wouldn't be the first.

TP:  I've had a brain tumour before?

TF:  No.  My big fisted friend did.

TP:  Sheesh Dad.  I'm a little worried now.  What if I die?

TF:  Should I set my alarm clock for every five minutes tonight to phone and see if you're still alive?

TP:  We'll not get any sleep.

TF:  Probably best that you don't get any sleep.

TP:  I might just be coming down with flu.

TF:  Then you definitely mustn't sleep.

TP:  Why?

TF:  I once had a friend, who did a little bit of exercise when he had flu.  And he went for a lie down and had a heart attack and died.  Have you done any exercise today?

TP:  Well, I walked to my car twice-

TF:  That's enough to do it.  Go and buy yourself 8 Red Bulls and don't sleep.  Although, I read this newspaper article of this girl who had flu who drank Red Bull and died.

TP:  Dad, I'm shitting myself a bit here.  Do you think I'll be okay?

TF:  I'm really not sure, Pant.  The prognosis is not good.  Do you have any muscular pain?

TP:  Well, my one arm is a little sore.

TF:  You know, I once had a friend.  He had a sore arm and went for a swim in the ocean and it got bitten off by a shark.

TP:  You think I'm going to lose my arm?

TF:  All I'm saying is 'stay away from the beach'.  And don't sleep.  And don't drink Red Bull.  Don't close your eyes.  Don't move.

TP:  You're scaring me a bit.  Can I talk to Mom?

The Incubator:  Dad says you're not feeling well.  Got a bit of a headache?

TP:  Yes.  Do you think I'm going to die of a brain tumour/heart attack?

TI:  Have you been drinking water?

TP:  Yes

TI:  Have you made a poo today?

TP: (really?) No.

TI:  Well, there's your problem.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Having A Period Is Bad For You.

So, here's the deal, right?  Do not go tampon shopping when you actually have your period in the middle of the day. It's so bad for you, I expect that in the near future there will be pills that make this occasion more bearable.  Not only do you look and feel like shit (mainly because your tits are the size of melons and you forgot to wear a bra because you cannot be placed under any undue discomfort) but you will run into your ex-boyfriend's mother - the one with the really good skin - and she will stop to chat and even hug and kiss you.

I turned the corner on the tomato sauce aisle (an error, but fairly apt given my most horrendous state of womanliness) and committed to said aisle.  I was half way down, day dreaming about Jake Gyllenhall dressed in school uniform, when the breezy lady broze directly into my line of sight.

Shit.

Ex-Mother-In-Law:  Pant!  How lovely to see you.

The Pant: (As lovely as, say, world famine?)  You too!  (slightly overdone interest) How are things?

EMIL:  Oh they're good.  How's The Daughter?

TP:  She's fine thanks - big.  Just turned five.  Such a joyous little being.

EMIL:  Oh, how lovely.  Well, you know Geek Ex-Boyfriend With A Perm got married the other day.

TP:  I did know that (I took great delight in perusing his wedding photographs on Facebook and laughing at his great girth and her hideous hair do).  I saw it on Facebook.  It looked lovely.  Really (fucking ugly).

EMIL:  Ah it was.  So how's that man of yours in Jo'burg?

Really?  Am I seriously going to be characterised for the rest of my natural life by a relationship I had with Larry?

TP:  We split up (but I imagine you know this because you do seem to know far too much about my life without ever having contact with me).

EMIL:  (fake concern) Awww.  I'm so sorry, Pant-

TP:  Don't be.  I'm not.

EMIL:  Well, that's good.  Met anyone else?

What I couldn't tell the woman was that I'd been in the process of turning out the biggest bunch of weeds - not least of all The Biggest Cocksucker - to open up my diary for men with a more socially acceptable appeal.

TP:  Well, there's my twenty year old hottie hot pants.  But he's young.

EMIL:  Oh my!

TP:  And dirty.

What I refrained from telling her is that my twenty year old hottie hot pants has been in scant contact of late.  Apart from, of course, the dop n dial that I handed over to The Incubator to handle.  And the late night sms.  A "please call me".

I guess The Future Ex Mother In Law hasn't given him his pocket money this week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Not To Impress The Pant

I have done a little empirical research over the years - in the very scientific manner of gossiping with mates over countless bottles of wine - and it is official: I have endured the worst dates EVER. I mean I've had to sit by and watch a man with brown teeth and orange fingers leave a grand total tip of 50c - which he so proudly proffered with the words, "Please! Keep the change.". I've had to watch a man pray, on his knees, for close on three-quarters of an hour and with such vigour that there were people in Kimberly who could hear it. I've had to sit through dinners in which the man opposite me has droned on and on (and on) about what a bitch his ex-wife is and how wonderful the world would be if she, say, somehow disappeared.

I've had my fair share of charmers, let me assure you.

But my most recent date is one that I choose to immortalise in this forum as The Worst Date Of Living Breathing Independent Woman Ever. And I mean that: EVER.

Biggest Cocksucker (very briefly known as Mr Saturday) was most eloquent in ticking every box in The How Not To Impress The Pant information brochure. Truly, his skill is, if it wasn't so downright offence, something to behold.

So, here's a little guide on how not to impress The Pant.

1. Cock Up First Date In A Most Splendid Manner.

I probably should have gathered that a date set for moments after a Rugby World Cup match in which South Africa would be playing would not turn out to be the finest, but I figured that a guy who is supposedly chomping at the bit with eager anticipation could at very least try and remain sober. Even soberish. Not so.

Biggest Cocksucker was pretty inebriated a good two hours prior to date and thus began bargaining on venue for date, start time of date and, eventually, end time of date. It moved from meeting for a drink, to going to one of his mates' for a braai (um....?) to (and you'll love this), "I'm just going to stay over at yours. It'll be nice to cook you breakfast in bed."

Biggest Cocksucker, I don't do breakfast or bed with you. Ever.

And so I put the brakes on before ever having to clap eyes on him. This whole 'self-respect' thing seems to do a bit of governing.

But I felt guilty. The man evidently is not made of wood. His eyes are not painted on and as such could not really help his feelings or his lust and so I agreed to meet him. At a restaurant. His display of unrefined chauvinism and lack of, well, basic decency from the minute we met to the moment we parted was spectacular indeed.

2. Discourage The Pant From Eating

The Pant: Excuse me waiter, could I have a quick perusal of your menu. I am staaaaaaaaarving


Biggest Cocksucker: (addressing the waiter) Don't worry about it.

TP: (bemused). What? Have you already decided what I'm going to eat?

BC: (chuffed) No! I would never do that, Pant. I'm really not that kind of guy.

TP: (more bemused) Then why did you tell the waiter not to worry?

BC: I didn't want you to be embarrassed-

TP: How could I possibly be embarrassed?

BC: I figured you hadn't seen the time.

TP: (seriously confused) And so?

BC: It's after 8.

TP: (now worried that may have missed something big) Ya?

BC: You know if you eat after 8 it all turns to fat and you don't want that do you?

Really? I can't eat after 8? You've got to be fucking kidding me.

3. Offend The Pant

BC: So... Who's the guy that always writes on your wall about his vagina?

TP: Oh, that's My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire To Actually Caress My Inner Thigh.

BC: (visibly upset) But he doesn't have a vagina. Why does he talk like he does?

TP: All gay men have manginas.

BC: (face turning such a scarlet my lips by comparison appeared anaemic) HE'S GAY?!?!?

TP: (quite enjoying the discomfort of the old school rugger bugger, who was most definitely was so far out of his depths, he'd have lost his way trying to touch the sand, was displaying) Well, what do you mean by 'gay'?

BC: (still fuming) Like he digs other okes?

TP: Same as you? Yes, I suppose.

BC: (really effing angry now) I AM NOT GAY!!

TP: You play rugby. You like boys' weekends. I didn't say you were gay.

BC: Well, I don't shag boys.

TP: That's good to know.

BC: Gays are evil.


TP: I beg your pardon?

BC: The Bible says so.

TP: I'm sorry. Could we just back track a minute. Did you just say, 'Gays are evil'?

BC: Yes.

TP: And you've just said this to a person who would be hard pressed to list five straight friends?

BC: (incredulous) You hang out with gays?

TP: No, I hang out with people, my friends. Some of them prefer to involve themselves in same sex relationships.

BC: (confused, again): So do you hang out with gays or not?

TP: I'd really rather not have this conversation with you (under breath) you bigoted fuck stick.

4. Miss The Boat Completely

BC: So, you really want to go to India on your own?

TP: I really do. I want to do something for myself on my own.

BC: So, do you want to score Indians?

Really?

5. Not Pick Up On ANY Of The Signs At All.

We took our final drink outdoors, under an umbrella, while the rain pelted. This gave Biggest Cocksucker what he perceived to be a most opportune moment to cosy up to me offering warmth. I was thinking two things: 1) Thank God my brothers spent the majority of my youth standing by with stop watches as they forced me to down draught glasses of Oros to see if we could showcase a family boat race team; and 2) How very glad I was that the date was drawing to a close.

And then it happened: he lunged.

Seriously, pal? What the fucking fuck?

Now, I'm not talking about the-could-this-be-mistaken-for-a-peck-on-the-cheek-lunge, the man actually opened his mouth and dived mouth first in my direction, aiming for my own succulents apace - IN A PUBLIC PLACE. After he'd insulted gays, forbidden me from eating and suggested the only reason I'd go on an overseas holiday is to partake in some kind of fuck fest!

I counter-lunged, with speed, as though a rattle snake had struck. I actually recoiled and screamed, completely involuntarily, "Woooooaaaaah tiger" with my hands raised protectively.

TP: I'm sorry. I'm just not (attracted to you you homophobic chauvenistic pig) ready for a quick relationship. I need to take things slowly (so slowly, in fact, BC, that I'd like things to go in reverse, and undo this whole date altogether.)

BC: I wasn't trying to score you.

TP: Um... Yes you were.

BC: I just wanted to feel your lips against mine-

TP: And your tongue, in my mouth?

So here's the deal Biggest Cocksucker, my lips are reserved for men who can a) write in full sentences; and b) understand the etiquette of basic human interaction. You're so not that guy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quarts, Sambuca & A Twenty Year Old.

It's always a bit of a gamble when you've spent a good three months building up the reputation of a place to your friends, when you actually decide to take them to said place.  I've spent hours of break time explaining the ins and outs of the infamous Pan and Kettle to my colleagues.  I wasn't sure whether they believed the truth about its Madam, but I am no liar, and so was sticking to my guns.

It just so happened, however, that on Friday night I had the opportunity to share its glory with some of my friends.  Boy oh boy - do they believe me now.  And further, if there were any cobwebs cluttering our brains, they're well and truly blown away.

Girls' Night, we called it.  And 8 of the most mismatched women huddled around The Incubator's dining room table, fervently drinking red wine (the sole purpose of which was to stave away the cold) and eating homemade pies (my mother is, by all accounts, the most gifted chef in the world).  The plan was to move on to the dodgy pub with its toilet in a tent on the side of the road and a madam who thinks that the world 'class' refers to a room in which teaching takes place.

The wine lubricated quickly and within an hour of gathering, the word fuck was being bandied around with such ease that The Father - who hadn't cracked the nod but was rather required to mind The Daughter - was walking around with eyes like those of a deer caught in headlights.

And then we descended.

The women of Durban immediately began laughing.  Out loud.  A lot.  At everything.  Its decor (red and yellow balloons in the shape of little heads with ears), its clientelle (particularly the raggamuffin dressed in bona fida cargo trousers and a fawn checked shirt with... I think they were once sneakers), its musical accompaniment (a tone deaf stoner called Neil with a real Red Indian from Red India on the harmonica) and its owner-cum-barlady-cum-security-company.

This woman is to be admired, really.  I mean she built the bar herself (including the semi-permanent tent structure that houses the toilet on the side of the road), she lives inside the bar to protect it from criminals.  She hires noone to assist her.  Should a patron require a meal, she is more than prepared to duck out back to the garden, fire up a camping stove, and cook on the fire.

But her dress!  Good God, it felt like Back To The Future Into a Rick Ashley Music Video.  Short dress, (no bra - because bikini tops are far more supportive), fuck me boots, and wind swept hair.  Big time 80's style.  Like it stood out at least fifteen centimetres on the side.  Kind of like this:


but not as neat.  Ah she was a treat indeed.

Upon arrival, the one colleague insisted on standing outdoors for a cigarette.

The Pant:  Why are you standing out here in the freezing cold?

The Colleague:  Oh Pant, I'm just dying for a ciggie.  I'll be in in a sec.

TP:  Come on in, girlfriend.

TC:  But I'm smoking.

TP:  And you're expected to smoke indoors.

After our eyes had grown accustomed to all that surrounded us, The Girls and I took to the "dancefloor" - there was a floor, and the moves we made may have looked like dancing if you yourself had a sight impediment - to attempt to gyrate to hip current songs by The Doors and Eagle Eye Cherry (Oh, were we "save(ing) tonight" and "fight(ing) the break of dawn" like it was nobody's business) and whilst doing so, I happened to trip over a young boy child - all of twenty years old - attempting to rhytmically pound on a pair of bongo drums.  He was cute - I thought, although I cannot be held responsible for my thoughts after those icy quarts and delicious sambuca shots.

The Pant:  Why hello, little boy (I said this while bending down with hands on knees as though speaking to the dog of someone who is really into dogs)

Young Boy Child:  Hi!

Young Boy Child and I hit it off immediately.  I enquired about his general education (limited) and work prospects (none), but he was cute - in a Patrick Lambie kind of way - and he thought that he'd hit the jackpot for having found an older woman in possession of a car and more than R30 to her name.

And I've got to tell you, the attention did not go amiss.

Young Boy Child and I had a whale of a time, until some of the other patrons decided to kick in a panel of the neighbouring shop and jump on top of the basin in the ladies', causing The Madam to lose her sense of cool and threaten to destroy us each individually with blunt teaspoons and arsenic.  When that happened, The (sober) Incubator fished me out of the pub by the ear and promptly deposited me in the back of my car.  And drove me home.

But Young Boy Child had found love.  True love.  And so continued his quest to actualise said love per telephone.


Young Boy Child:  Hey babe.

(If you know me at all, you'll know that 'babe' aka 'pig in the city' is my least favourite term of endearment)

The Pant: It's Pant.

YBC:  I forgot your name (extended stoned laughter)

TP:  Well, it's Pant.  Same as it was at the pub.

YBC:  (extended stoned laughter)  So am I going to see you again?

TP:  I'm kind of busy for the next three to six months.

YBC:  Cool.  So can I see you then?

TP:  Did I say three to six months?  I meant years, Pet.

YBC:  And when you're free, are we gonna like, actually like hook up like?

TP:  Like what does hook up mean?

YBC:  Like you know like like like kiss and stuff?

TP:  Like, I'm not like sure that we're you know like destined to be together.  But we'll see.  In three to six years, of course.

YBC:  Uh...(stoner's tone) Where?

TP:  I'm not really sure.  It's still a while away.

YBC:  No like ahwe.

TP:  Huh?

YBC:  It means like I'm really happy like.  But you wouldn't know that because you're old.

TP:  Pardon?

YBC:  No.  You're not like old and wrinkly old you're like old and not young old.

TP:  I've got to go.

YBC:  My airtime's going to run out anyway.  But I'll call you this we----

Old?  Ahwe indeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Morning Mania.

I did not manage to sleep my full required 8 hours 45 minutes (plus 3 x 5 minutes snoozes) last night because a while back, in a fleeting moment of madness, I bought The Daughter a birthday present in shape, form and appetite of Cat.  And so while I was in the throes of having to choose between Ewan McGregor on the back of a motorcycle in deepest Africa or Jake Gyllenhall in a steamy tent in Antarctica (Discovery Channel has no idea what its new advert is doing to my blood pressure), Cat began rhythmically clawing at my face and meowing at a decibel above the music that plays inside nightclubs.  Of course, given my world-renowned penchant for sleep (so keenly developed that it has influenced The Daughter to rouse no earlier than a cool 8.45 on weekends), I attempted to swat Cat while simultaneously chastising him as though I were a sailor (Fuck off you stupid spawn of satan, were the words I used, if I remember correctly).

But Cat has an appetite that if mimicked by yours truly would require a full eight of exercise to dispel.  He needed food.  In a big way.  And so I was implored upon by his bordering-on-downright-violent behaviour that, if left too long, could have resulted in a genuine need for facial reconstructive surgery, to roll my body out of bed, land on hands and knees, spend a good three minutes attempting to straighten out and then totter through to the kitchen.

I'm a bit of a robot in the mornings.  Usually, after having hit snooze forty-seven times, I open my eyes, realise the time, say, "Oh fuck," roll out of bed, make for kitchen, trip over Cat, land head first on floor/bathroom door/cupboard door/dressing table (yelp, "Fuck,") stumble into kitchen, lift kettle, replace kettle, switch kettle on, prepare tea, sip tea, open eyes.  I do all of that without actually realising I'm awake.  So, when I found myself in kitchen at ungodly hour this morning, I can honestly admit to not having been in complete control of my body.

With the first sip of tea down, I was far more mentally able to assist Cat in desired consumption of food.  I also, found, however, that after having first sip of said tea, I was in no position to attempt re-enter arousing dream with Jake Gyllenhall and would rather make hay while the sun shone (or rain poured, as it was) and capitalise on some quiet Pant time.

I inserted Regina Spektor into the CD player, drew a dreamily deep hot bath.  I even shaved my legs (God alone knows what for - I'd grown quite attached to the winter coat and felt more naked than I've felt in ages as I emerged from bath).  And then I attempted to dress.

Good God.

Rain has stopped.  Must dress in outfit suitable for slightly warm but damp but may get warm but oh God what the sam hell am I going to wear?  Put black pants and white vest on.  Stand sideways.  Stomach protuding as though pregnant.  Derobe.  Dress in brown summery Grecian dress.  Have vest underneath.  Boobs look saggy (when did they get like this?).  Stomach looks a millimetre bigger.  Take off vest.  Put on bra.  Boobs look too big.  Take off bra and dress.  Redress in vest.  Put on white skinnys.  Arse looks enormous.  Take off white skinnys.  Decide will wear boots.  Dress in tights and boots and dress.  Arse sticks out like shelf and feet are so warm feel onset of menopausal flush.  Undress entirely.  Stand naked in front of cupboard and whinge aloud about not owning any clothes.  Attempt creativity and pull out vast array of dresses from three seasons ago.  Look fat/ugly/too thin (in the preggie one)/totally uncool/too teacherly in all.  Find black pants and white vest.  Think look fabulous.  Although stomach is protuding.  Don't care.  Check time.  Scream, 'Fuck.' 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Carlos Does Some Pimping.

My friends are in a state of frothy at the imminent date between (well, what I want to call him for the sake of continuity is 'Biggest Cocksucker' but given that Date Boy has apologised whole-heartedly for misdemeanours committed during first meeting, I think he should be aptly named Mr Saturday) myself and Mr Saturday.

They're all but rubbing themselves down in oil and chocolate and hitting very large pits designed for female wrestling such is their excitement at fact that I have actual date with a man who is not coasting dangerously close to decripitude.  I'm slightly more reserved in the whole shebang, but I have come to learn, of late, I am some kind of vicarious vessel through whom the majority of my friends live.

Carlos has always been a touch protective of me, you see.  I think this is mainly because he spent far too much valuable time making cups of tea and pouring gins and wines and little shots and buying chocolates and bringing tissues and allowing me to wipe my snotty nose on his sleeve, that he had kind of committed to not wanting to have anything to do with a possible suitor for fear of having to go through the whole motion again.

But then I think something snapped inside Carlos, a while back, at 40th of New Friend.  I haven't heard the full story but I am led to believe by Carlos's guilty looks that the interaction between Carlos and Mr Saturday went something like this:

Carlos:  Hey my guy/pal/tjom/buddy (I have no idea what men actually call each other when they're talking amongst themselves).

Mr Saturday:  Howzit.

Chat chat in manner most mundane probably about rugby and Patrick Lambie (but not how I would talk about Patrick Lambie as I don't imagine either of them actually admitted to "having deep desire to be motorboated by Lambie" - although am not really sure.)

Carlos:  So you see that chick over there?

Mr Saturday:  The one with massive boobs?

Carlos:  Those are totally fake.

Mr Saturday:  I don't mind.

Carlos:  No, like they're an illusion.  Good bra.  Small tits.

Mr Saturday:  Ya?

Carlos:  What do you think of her?

Mr Saturday:  She's alright, I suppose (You suppose???  Watch your mouth, chum...)

Carlos: The thing is, she's been on the shelf for the longest time... and I'm worried that she's approaching her sell-by date.  I mean the dust is starting to settle and I don't see anybody with a damp cloth approaching her, if yer know what I mean.

Mr Saturday:  Huh?

Carlos:  Listen buddy.  The wife and I are not safe.  She sits between us on the couch.  She has keys to the front door and if it's not her daughter, then it's her, barging in.  She's everywhere.  We need to get her off our hands.

Mr Saturday:  I'm kind of busy at the moment.

Carlos:  She used to be a lesbian!!

(I did not.  It's just Carlos's little pimping technique).

And so, friends, I have a date on Saturday.  My friends are so damn excited they've all but hacked my facebook messages and cellphone records and will probably arrive at date venue having booked the table next to ours, and also having ordered a crooning violinist to watch me blush.

They're a stellar bunch, are my friends.  Really effing wonderful.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eighteen Nineteen Twenty Twenty Twenty.

I lie about my age.  The Daughter thinks I'm 20 and therefore I have taken to telling everyone that I simply am, just that: 20.

Something slightly untoward happened today, and I didn't really have a retort.

I was in the process of teaching a poem to some youths:

The Pant:  So youths, listen up... I've got to get through this poem and we've only got three quarters of an hour.

A Youth In Sea of Youthful Faces:  Miss Liner?

TP:  Yes, Youth?

AYISOYF:  We have 55 minutes.

TP:  Thank you, Youth.  I am well aware of that.  (Now attempting to be stern) If you had just opened your ears you would have heard me say, "We've only got three quarters of an hour".  (Slight eye roll and tut tut Youth over fact that Youth has not, in fact, paid any attention.)

AYISOYF:  But Miss Liner?

TP:  Yes Youth?  (Now raising eyebrows - a technique I have realised has actually caused wrinkles... MUST stop doing it.)

AYISOYF:  We have 55 minutes.

TP:  Oh don't get me started.  We've got three quarters of an hour and now... now... now that you've been interrupting me I bet we've only got ... like not as much as that!  You're trying to distract me, aren't you?  Well, here's the lowdown kids:  you may not use calculators during English.  You may not use English-to-Afrikaans dictionaries.  And no, I have never used a dictaphone-

Another Youth In Sea of Youthful Faces:  Don't worry, Miss Liner.  We know you can't count beyond twenty!

TP:  I beg your pardon.  I took Ad Maths, I'll have you know!  All the way until Finals!  I can so count past twenty...  I even took quants at University.

AYISOYF:  Then how come you've been 20 for the past three years?

TP:                            

Youths: Far too lippy for my liking.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chastising The Armpit

After night two of irritating in-ear whinge, I decided to get my big girl panties on and have a word with The Armpit re the breeding of mosquitoes for what seems like commercial reasons.

The Pant: (on phone)  Armpit??!!??

The Armpit:  Yebo (far too sing-song for 06h50).

TP:  Where are you?  I'm waiting for you and I'm going to be late for work.

TA:  In the taxi!  I'm coooooooooooming.

TP:  You're coming?  In a taxi?  Good God.

TA:  I woke up late.  Sorrrrrryyyyyyyy.

Why she has to drawl her words out, I will never know.  This speech impediment of hers, I must say, does have an irritatingly passifying effect on me and I have thus, to date, not been able to chastise her.

TP:  Well, okay.  Just get here as quickly as you can.

When she pulled in a good twenty-five minutes late sipping on a piping take-away cappucino from Vida-e, without one for me, I was less than charmed.

The Pant: (Right.  Tell her what you think.  Don't let her take advantage of you.  And - whatever you do -DO NOT let her compliment you.  You know how that makes you weak.  Should not have worn this top... you know she likes it.  Dammit.) Armpit, I need to-

The Armpit:  Oooooh!  I love your top.  Makes you look so thin!

TP:  Thanks.  (Do not get taken in by her charm.  She is wily.  You know that.  But.... Does it really make me look that thin?)  Do you really think so?

TA:  Yes, Pant.  You look lovely.

TP:  (Right.  Now you've got to tell her.  Say to her, "Armpit, you cannot use my plant pots to breed mosquitoes.  I surely will get malaria and very sick and possibly end up in hospital and then what?  Say it say it.)  Would you like some tea?

TA:  No thanks.  I've got this cappucino.  Mmmmm hmmmm .  Except I'm going to put some more sugar in it.  They only had six sachets left at Vida and it's still bitter.

TP:  (So that's where all my sugar is going???  Get angry.  Tell her no.)  Oh, shame.  I hate bitter coffee.

TA:  Do you want some tea?

TP:  (Say, "No thanks I would like to talk to you about something very serious and it involves the health of yourself and The Daughter)  No thank-

TA:  You going to be late, ne?  Well, you better hurry.

TP:  (She's right.  I am going to be late.  Perhaps ask her to wait until later to talk.  Or can get one of Zulu teachers to draft sms.  Better idea.  No chance that she'll misunderstand.)  You're right.  See you later, okay?

TA:  No.  I won't be here when you get home.  I've got to go the ... um ... um ... clinic?

TP:  Oh.  (Yeah right.  Whatever!)  Alright.  I'll see you on Friday then?

TA:  Yes.  And don't forget to buy Tabard.  Your mozzies in your pot plants are driving me nuts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Bikini Ready.

Spring has hit Durban in such a huge way that I'm peeing myself with glee almost hourly.  I love this weather.  I love my city.  I love the beach.  And I love those nubile men that frequent the beach such that I'm welcoming lust-induced hot flushes like you cannot believe.

Only one small problem: the Winter covering.  Seriously.  I hit the beach last Sunday and spent so much time focusing on sucking my stomach in and taunting all muscles to prevent wobble that I almost didn't have enough brain capacity left to ogle the hottie-hot pantses with which Durban seems to find itself awash.  Almost.

You see, I love the beach.  So much. I love that a big pair of sunglasses can easily hide my lecherous eyes.  I love that the sun and the sweat can  mask the flushed cheeks that are often a result of imagined couplings with the fine pickings who taunt me by running their surfboard abs around in hot pursuit of rugby balls right in front of my very own eyes.  I love that I can make use of The Daughter to get a little closer to said specimens by nonchalantly kicking her ball in their direction, and then playing dutiful mother by running Baywatch-style into their games.  "So sorry guys," I say.

But at the moment, I'm deprived of said tactic because me, running would not look dissimilar to Ruby Wax on one of those vibrating machines.  (On the subject of those vibrating machines, I've been told they've got them in gyms and that women actually go on them.  Now, forgive me from being crude, but I've been on one of these machines.  I was accompanied by Cape Town Hairdresser and his then-boyfriend.  And after a few minutes of all over vibration, I had to ask the guys to give me a spot of privacy.  And people do this in public?  The mind boggles.)

So, this week I've embarked on some damage control.  I've purchased a skipping rope and dumbells (what I'm going to do with those I don't know) and I've started eating healthy.  I'm not sure it's going all that well.

Sunday Evening:  Go for cycle on promenade with Sil.  Am chuffed with self for exercising on Sunday evening.  Reward self with fried fish.

Monday:  Have planned ahead of time.  Reward self with large slice of cake at tea time.  Dress at work into running attire, collect Daughter from school, drive directly to beachfront and attempt to run beside cycling child.  Get the shits that child's ability to cycle at speed is diminished by what is essentially the thinnest pair of legs known to mankind.  Go to Mozart's order self two scoops of ice-cream.

Tuesday:  Wake up early to prepare self healthy lunch.  Cut up bits of cucumber, carrot, celery, pack baby tomatoes.  Make self guacomole with abundance of avos found in fridge.  Season with juice of half a lemon.  Decide that will be thrifty with lemon and reserve it for much needed gin and dry lemons when I return from work.  Make good on promise to self.

Wednesday:  Decide that the welcoming of period deserves to be celebrated with both food and wine.  Eat about 60 000 calories but remind self that Period endured without refined sugars and unhealthy fats may result in someone's murder.  Convince self that eating in abundance is an act of charity towards greater mankind.

Thursday:  Wake up feeling revolting.  Consider taking up anorexia to deal with guilt of previous day's overindulgence whilst munching on delicious muesli no doubt made with corn syrup.  Decide will continue to eat in gluttonous fashion but will make use of skipping rope.  Attempt to skip in work attire but find self splayed across bedroom floor one too many times.  Change into gym attire but feel slightly embarrassed that may be somewhat like 80's women who did aerobics in lounge.  Am thankful that am single and that all sets of keys to my house are in my possession.  Set alarm clock for 10 minutes.  Begin skipping.  Worry that may lose lung.  Continue skipping.  Wonder if boobs will droop.  Stop skipping.  Dress in sports' bra.  Continue skipping.  Realise that will not survive full ten minutes.  Begin drafting final letter to my loved ones in my head.  Finish 10 minutes.  Lie on floor panting like have just had session with Jake Gyllenhall.  Decide that only way to deal with post-exercise nausea is to do sit-ups.  Do twenty.  Realise have lost mind and must find it by drinking ice-cold beer.

Friday:  Eat healthy food in anticipation of large glass of wine that must be drunk with The Incubator as the world has problems and these need to be solved.  Get into world problem solving.  Forget to stop drinking wine.

Saturday:  Wake up feeling as though brain is swollen and that skull no longer fits.  Wonder if skull transplant is option.  Decide best way to deal with hangover is to immerse self entirely in bacon and egg fat.  Feel worse.  Realise have lunch plans with Uncle whose primary focus in life is cooking and liquor.  Eat fish in every form and drain many glasses of wine.  Leave glad at having worn flat shoes but with mammoth desire for Oreo McFlurry at 10pm.

Sunday:  Wake up and realise that brain has in fact put on weight and skull, like multitude of last season's clothes, is fitting a touch snugly.  Realise, also, that is Bok Day and thus throw self again headfirst into breakfast and team said breakfast with Castle Lite.  Sun is shining but make no attempt to go to beach.

Bikini body: easier said than done.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Birthday Party Blues

Just as one cannot walk past a Kauai without slipping in for a quick Lemon Breeze and then slurping it with such determined alacrity that one develops a brain freeze so intense that one wonders if one has not dislodged a massive growth in one's brain leaving one frantically googling 'brain surgeons in Durban with very short waiting lists'; one cannot celebrate one's ageing without throwing a mammoth birthday party.  I, for one, am a firm believer in this.

Birthday parties are special for those of non-drinking age and downright painful for everyone else.

And so it was that I threw myself into the meticulous planning of The Daughter's Birthday Party, and by 'meticulous planning', read 'sending out a few invitations, bolding my request for people to RSVP, and then forgetting when people did'.

As the day approached, I realised I was a little under prepared.

Sure I'd booked the 'walk on water balls' months before, but by the day before I hadn't actually received a) an email requesting immediate electronic funds transfer of half of hire cost to confirm booking; or b) telephone call advising me of the company's knowledge of my existence. 

As evening approached, so did the fact that I did not actually have telephone number of said company in possession to try and garner information about their commitment to my plight dawn on me.

I poured an extra-large glass of wine and sat down with The Incubator and The Sister-In-Law (henceforth simply referred to as 'Sil' since that is what I actually call her) to do a wee spot of damage control.

The Pant:  I'm screwed.

The Sil: You're not, my sil.  We'll just set them out on the grass and play all those traditional games.

TP:  Which traditional games?

Sil:  Like "pass the parcel" and "pin the tail on the donkey" and "musical statues".

TP:  Right.  Those games that one needs to have bought prizes for?

Sil:  You've got no prizes?

TP:  Nope.

We sat for a few minutes, me drinking with focus, The Incubator and The Sil quietly puzzling in their brains.

The Incubator:  I know!  Let's just use the party packs as prizes!

A solid idea, really.

TP:  I haven't organised party packs.

TI:  Right. (Think think). Well, how many children are coming?  Maybe we can load them up and take them to uShaka?

TP:  I forgot to keep a list.

TI and Sil (in unison):  You what?

TP:  I forgot, okay?  I thought I would remember but then I didn't because I was too busy remembering other things.

TI:  Like what?

TP:  Like... Like... Like my name for one!  It has two syllables.  And my ID number!  And...

TI:  You're screwed.

Sil:  I'm going to have to agree with The Incubator on this one.

I cannot tell you the sheer relief I felt when the doorbell rang and a slight Indian man with weathered skin advised that he was on site to set up the pool and balls.  I was so excited that I was almost tempted to open mouth kiss him but was prevented from doing so by the strongest scent of stale cigarette that seemed to have permeated right to the very core of his humanness.  His skin was thick.  You know the kind that would most certainly not be affected by the paper cut.  In fact, were said man in need of, say, surgery, I fear that the scalpel would need to be replaced by one with rotating blades, powered by electricity.  A jigsaw, perhaps.

With pool and balls erected betwixt bush (I just cannot avoid the sexual innuendo) I was more than happy to celebrate my fine event planning skills by draining the rest of my bottle of wine.  Seriously, I was so damn good, I'd all but resigned from my job and set up my own events company.  I thought I'd call it 'Party in my Pant(s)'.

I'd like to say that when the start time of the party came, I was as cool as a cucumber, sipping on a gin & dry lemon (excellent party day drink), welcoming guests with warmth, dressed in flowing whites with perfectly applied make-up and reeking of expensive perfume.  But I'm afraid I can't.  The first guests pulled in a good hour and seven minutes prior to the function's commencement - even before The Daughter had arrived from her morning engagement (The German Boyfriend's birthday party to which she went dressed as a vampire).  By the time she arrived - EARLY! - there were already six children scuttling around the show.

And, by Jove, did they not stop arriving.  By mid-afternoon I'd found two boys brushing their willies with The Daughter's toothbrush, one was found relieving himself in the corner of my kitchen, two had taken to playing the piano using suckers to pummel the keyboard.  They were in cupboards, under tables, crawling out of drainpipes.  They were in the balls, under the balls, diving headfirst into the sweets table.

And the parents!  My personal favourite is one whom we'll simply refer to ask Dark Haired One.  She was the one who spent the majority of last year's party angling to corner Larry - who, at the time, was faking it as my boyfriend - to stick her tongue so far down his throat that she'd end up licking his arse simultaneously.

Our initial greeting went something like this:

The Pant: (oh crap, her again) Hi Doll!  So glad you could make it.  Air kiss.  Air kiss.

The Dark Haired One:  Where's that h-h-h-hot man of yours?

TP:  You met Christmas?!?  And oh Lord, tell me about it, sister.  That beefy beef sticks... All. Over. My-  Hi, Dad.  This is The Dark Haired One.  Dark Haired One, this is my dad.

Chat chat.

TDHO:  No, wasn't his name Larry?

TP:  Who?  My dad?  No, no-

TDHO:  No, your boyfriend.

TP:  Oh, him?  No, he's long gone.

TDHO: (with feigned concern)  Why?

Oh shit.  I'd really not wanted to get into that.

TP:  (with the seriousness of priesthood) No, darling.  I've been emancipated!

TDHO:  Pardon?

TP: Sweetie darling!  Can't you tell?  I'm smiling again!  That ship has sailed.  And thank the good Lord too.  Couldn't imagine any more days of tirelessly working at a deflated self-esteem any more than I did.  Not to mention my own.

TDHO:  Well, do you have his number?

TP:  If I did Sweetie (I said as I stared at her teeth smeared in lipstick of an orange hue) you'd be the first person I'd give it to.

The Dark Haired One decided to dull her obvious pain by diving head first into the drinks and found by glass three, that she'd simply carry on.  My Sil, bless her soul, took The Dark Haired One for one of my dear friends and struck up an instant friendship.  Sadly, I didn't find the time to corner the sil and explain that this woman had about as much class as the back end of Belair and that if we encouraged her, we'd be in for some serious trouble.

However, by the time My Sil realised that The Dark Haired One was unable to converse in the socially accepted manner of you-speak-I-speak-you-speak, it was too late. (She prefers the I-speak-and-when-you-think-it's-your-turn-to-speak-I-shall-just-interrupt-you way of interacting.)  She'd already announced to the entire party that she now had another reason to come and live in Durban: The Budding Friendship between herself and The Dark Haired One. 

A good two and a half hours after the party, when my energy levels were so depleted I was on the verge of giving up my will to live, Dark Haired One removed herself from our company for a momentary bathroom break.

Sil: (with pronounced worry in her voice) She's nice.

The Pant:  What!?!

Sil:  Isn't she?

TP:  No!

Sil:  Have I got the whole thing wrong?

TP:  Yes.

I spent the next couple of hours trying to surgically remove The Dark Haired One from the Sil, with little satisfaction until The Husband of The Dark Haired One rang to insist that she'd perhaps overstayed her welcome.  I wanted to place the man on a pedastal and begin a mini-worship session.  But my elation was short-lived.  Because when she returned to her own home, with the express desire not to miss out on any fun had by those "new friends" she'd just acquired at the boozy birthday party of the 5 year old, she rang tirelessly to try and find an in into the inner-circle.

So, yes, my sil.  You did get that one wrong.  Big time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Ballet Mom.

I've been fulfilling the role of Mother in a big way since last I wrote. I don't know how it happened - well, I do know how it happened - but some huge change occurred the moment The Daughter turned five. The expectations! The demands! I haven't even had my obligatory afternoon nap since.

It started with The Ballet Show. I should have heeded when Precious Jo'burg Friend warned, "Dissuade her from ballet at all costs," but since I know - knew - everything, I soldiered forth, like a teenager learning to smoke, who continues to do so in spite of the vomitous taste and the disorientating head rushes.

I did not, in my hung over youth, dream of a time when I would be slave-driven and impoverished (oh the shoes that have gone unpurchased) by a ballet teacher (who, by the way, insists that children refer to her as 'The Ballet Queen' - talk about self-righteous). Especially not one who, at present, is about 160 in the shade, with acute halitosis to boot, a slight voice and a scant disregard for personal space. Honestly, the best thing about the woman having the gall to phone me at 6.45 am on a sleepy Sunday is the fact that I was not forced to have to endure the 27 minutes of wafting poo-breath in person. Seriously. It's a marvel that my interactions with her have not resulted in a solid six month bout of bulimia.

It started with the rehearsals - twelve freaking hours a week (for a FIVE YEAR OLD) - during which I had to busy myself with other ballet moms. There's only so much tea a person can drink! I've found myself so bonded with the inside of the local shopping centre that I could share, if I wanted, the gynaecological difficulties of the lady at the party shop particularly her difficulty in managing her post-partem hormonal imbalances; or the fact that the mechanic boyfriend of the CNA teller is a little too fond of the local pub and its regular good time girls.

Honestly, at twelve hours a week, I expected The Daughter to star as prima ballerina, wowing the audience with point work to rival Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

And let me not forget the costume fiasco. Fittings and measuring tapes and countless visits to the ballet outfitters for the right width and length and colour of elastics. I was raised by a woman (bless The Incubator) whom, I imagine, would have faced a dilemma as grave as attaching elastics to character (not ballet, mind you) shoes in a more practical though far less aesthetically pleasing manner. Something along the lines of winding duck tape securely around shoe and foot to ensure the shoe remains on foot for at least three-quarters of the required time. And colouring said duck tape in in the required colour. With a half-melted wax crayon.

But don't get me started on the shoes. Given, of course, that the original ballet shoes were not suitable for said show (because, in spite of the fact that I pay monthly through my nose for The Daughter's schooling in the finesse that is ballet, my expectation to see The Child of My Loins doing actual ballet in elusive Ballet Show was a far cry from reality. Because she would be dancing The Swiss National Dance and so needed character shoes.). Nothing charms a mother quite like bearing witness to her innocent five-year-old daughter clomping around the show in black high-heels. And not just one pair. (Oh no! That would have been almost affordable.). Two. Because at 12 hours of rehearsal a week, it's no wonder The Daughter danced two neat little holes the size of my face into each shoe not two days before Ballet Show. Honestly, I could have recycled those bags dogs into slightly too starched g-strings for the self. That is, of course, if I wanted a miniature heel popping out of crack. You never know, some people may fancy that look.

But I've done it all. I paid and paid and paid and took up a second job selling vital organs of which each person has two on the black market. And then I paid some more.

And then show day came. After weathering panicked phone calls and hushed breathy whispers from The Prima Donna one of which eluded to my general incompetency in the art that is tying The Daughter's hair in the bun, I found myself nervously chomping on fingernails and surrounding finger skin (a habit I kicked along with the dummy) in anxious anticipation for the grand entrance.

And then it happened: a few strained piano chords played over a loud speaker and The Daughter escaped from the curtains dressed like a garish Voortrekker wearing lipstick the colour of which would cause a coke can to appear pastel.

She tippy-toed on. She curtseyed. She looked left and pointed. Right and pointed. Left and pointed. And then she ran off.

Now don't get me wrong, she did the left-point-right-point-left-point-run with such aplomb that a fist-sized stone of emotion wedged itself quite neatly mid-throat causing an opening of the tear valves of pride. Really, she was the best little Swiss/1920 Settler you ever did see.

But at 12 hours a week! Twelve seconds on stage?

It was at that particular moment I had to have a stern word with self. You see, The Leopard Mum in me escaped. I was all but suing the woman for thwarting the chances of my uber-talented child genius ballerina from her rightful exposure in the realm of pre-school ballet concerts.

But the thing is, you see, my girl was the best little garish Voortrekker on that stage. And managed to steal the show in all four of her seconds of performance. Fact.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Toothless Wonder.

I've been keeping this gem under wraps for a couple days now for fear of soiling my name in the greater community, but then I realised that I'd already tarnished my reputation by dating a man with hideous teeth (seriously pal, they've made great advances in the field of dentistry - get in one of them mechanised chairs), so there was little more sullying I could do.

I'm now ready to share.

Lately I've been pretty lazy about packing lunch for myself. You see, I'm not much of a sandwich person (unless it's filled with salted egg mayo, and made by someone else) and since there've been insufficient leftovers from dinner to feed much more than an ant on weigh-less, I've had to resort to the lunch buying practice.

It just so happens, however, that on some days, like that fateful Wednesday, I don't find the time to buy anything. Which, ultimately, causes mixed emotions in the "Oh-Good-Lord-Could-Fucking-Eat-My-Shoes-And-Don't-You-Dare-Look-At-Me-Like-That-You-Who-Put-The-U-In-Cunt" cross "This-Is-The-Longest-I've-Been-Without-Food-In-My-Entire-Life-I-Must-Have-Lost-Weight-Pig-Squeal-Of-Excitement-Reeeeeee" kind of way.

By the time the bell sounded signalling my release from employment for the day, I was all but ready to ingest the goop that collects under The Daughter's car seat. I visualised getting home and diving into a bottle of aubergine and thyme slow-roasted cherry tomatoes - with the olive oil dribbling down my chin like the juice does on that chick in the Liqui-Fruit ad. (On the subject, I'm heartily off Liqui-Fruit at the minute, based solely on the fact that their ads suggest that a) fruit juice is sexy, and b) Liqui-Fruit is laced with acid and the consumption of a glass of mango and orange will assist in hallucination. Not true. I tried it. The best I got was a mental image of dry-humping Jake Gyllenhall, but I get those when drinking any beverage of all descriptions including my morning tea.)

So I was rav. In a could-eat-the-wet-fart-of-a-low-flying-seagull manner. And then it dawned on me: The Daughter had late ballet practice and I'd have to busy myself for an hour before collecting her.

I made a bee-line for the local Spar (evidently, it's not my Spar), bared my teeth and ordered a pie. Their selection was limited. I chose chicken and mushroom, in spite of the fact that I do not believe in teaming chicken with mushroom and I am quite capable of making a chicken pie that will evoke a jizz-in-the-rods reaction. But, for fear of fatal anorexia setting in, I was in no position to exercise my right to choice.

I was barely in my car, before I tore at the pie wrapper as though it were a connie in the heat of the moment. There was no time to eye this pie lovingly. I opened my mouth - a sizeable entity - and wrapped my lips around that bad dog as though it were attached to Jake Gyllenhall. I bit down with ferocity.

Initially, I didn't realise what had happened. It was only when I transferred the food to my molars that I discovered hard bits. Two of them.

In spite of the hunger, I forced myself to fish out the hard bits: a bone. And three-quarters of my front tooth cap (originally broken as a result of a bicycling accident aged six).

Fuck.

I lifted the visor to inspect the gnashers, and what met my anxious gaze in the mirror was nothing short of Bergie. I almost expected to see remaining teeth spaced unevenly in varying hues of orange, brown and blue black. I wanted to speak but was afraid I'd utter something along the lines of, "Jou ma se poes, bliksem! Faizel gonna poesklap me when he checks my bek."

Strangely, the sheer embarrassment I felt nullified the intense hunger I'd moments before felt with such intensity. I snapped the mouth shut like one of those archaic cellphones. And opened it again to check if what I'd seen was real.

Shit. Bugger.

I used my sizeable top lip to cover offending vacuum in mouth and proceeded to ring the dentist.

The Pant: I need an appointment. Immediately.

Dentist's Receptionist: I'm terribly sorry, Ms Liner, but we're fully booked until next month.

TP: I'm sorry, Dear, but I don't think you realise the gravity of my situation. I'm missing a tooth. An important one.

DR: Which tooth?

TP: Well, if I count from the front teeth to the left, I get to ONE!!!!

DR: Oh! Is the whole tooth gone?

TP: No.

DR: Well, that's a relief.

TP: Oh, is it? I'm glad you're relieved. I, however, am not. Because what is left is a sharpened caninish FANG!

DR: In the front?

TP: IN THE FRONT!So unless you can wangle me a doctor's note for the next month while I drink myself into a deep depression, as well as a bona fide man from The Cape Flats who is generally quite impressed by a lady having fewer than normal teeth, I would organise me an appointment.

DR: Well. Let's see. I suppose it is an emergency.

TP: You suppose?

DR: How about ten-thirty tomorrow?

TP: I could quite easily open mouth kiss you right now.

DR: Um...

TP: I suppose you'd prefer it if I waited until after the appointment?

With 18 hours to go, I had to excuse myself from work the following morning. Call me strange, but with my new-found tik-chic appearance, I was barely able to spend time with myself, let alone impressionable youths and colleagues.

I relayed the story to the boss lady.

Boss Lady: So, your appointment is at 1030. So you'll need to leave at about 1015?

The Pant: No, I'm missing a tooth.

BL: And?

TP: And, I'm not even going to speak to The Daughter until it is fixed let alone other people's children.

BL: Where is the tooth?

TP: Currently? Half in my mouth and the other half lying on the passenger seat in the tin casing from the pie.

BL: Well, where was the entire tooth before it broke?

TP: The front row.

BL: Okay. Compared with your front teeth?

TP: Next to those.

BL: Right. I'll see you when you've got a full head of teeth then.

TP: Thanks.

That night, I didn't, for the first time since I can remember, have my pre-bed bath. I couldn't stand the thought of being naked with a person with missing front teeth.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Daughter Ages.

The Daughter ages today. And so, I'm slightly stupefied today, not only at how old having a five-year-old human child whom I have both made, incubated and raised single-handedly (sometimes double-handedly, but both the hands belonged to me) makes me, but by the magnitude of love I feel for this human.

I'm also in awe at the following:

1). How effing long it takes to wrap presents compared with the speed at which it takes a small-size someone to unwrap them,

2). How sore one's back gets while wrapping said presents,

3). How, in spite of aforementioned pain, one continues to wrap and ribbon presents individually for the sole reason that one wishes to make one's child the happiest alive,

4). How one is able, on occasions such as this, to reflect on childbirth fondly, and,

5). How very proud I am to hear that little girl call me, 'Mom'.

Happy birthday Light of My Eyes,

Your kindness astounds me and inspires me to be a kinder individual. Your innocence delights me each and every day. Your sense of humour - so astute - has seen me keeled over on more occasions than I'm able to remember.

You're the greatest blessing to me, to your granny and grandpa, to Cat (even though you taunt him so).

My life is lovely because of you.

Each and every day spent with you is an honour for which I thank the Lord every day.

You are magnificent.

Thank you for defining my life; for giving me focus. Thank you for filling each day with bubbling joy. Thank you for being YOU - the best little girl in the world.

My love for you, my darling, is much bigger than what these arbitrary things called 'words' is capable of conveying.

xxx

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Brother Comes of Age.

When someone with whom one shares a very close relationship 'comes of age', it really is a special ocassion that can only be celebrated by earnest and sincere hugging (the type that lasts just a few seconds longer than The Greeting Hug and includes a few rubs to the back) and the uttering of the magnitude of one's pride in said person.

I remember when I got my first job, how The Parental Unit beamed with such pride - particularly The Father; his face almost cracked into two - at the realisation that I would be able to kind of take care of myself.  They held me in their embrace as though they really loved me and were no longer forced to act this way when outsiders were in the company of the family unit.

I felt similar on Sunday.  The Brother, you see, was down for the weekend and staying at mine.  I, of course, was away, making Heston Blumenthal's 'Eggs and Soldiers' with a less rugby-focussed, although equally liquor-focused crowd. 

Upon my returnal, I found The Brother dejected on the couch, wrapped up in my duvet, unable to open the gate to assist in my entering.

The Pant:  Shame, Uncle.  You look awful.  Are you okay?

The Brother:  No.  I am starting to worry that I might die.

TP:  Big night then?

TB:  Huge.

TP:  What's this? (Looking down to exceptionally impractical cream carpets and noticing several reddish brown footprints between lounge and bed, and bed and bathroom, and bathroom and kitchen.)

TB:  I cut my foot on a bottle last night.  I'm sorry, but I thought it had stopped bleeding and it hadn't and now there's blood all over your sheets and duvet cover.

Ah.  The "I'm-Sorry-I-Cut-My-Foot-Excuse".  He forgets, that I, too, have had to use similar excuses in my time.  The "Please-May-I-Go-To-The-Bathroom-Miss-So-And-So-I'm-Having-A-Nose-Bleed" excuse.  I wanted to reach out to him and tell him that it was alright and that it was something to be proud of.  He was, as The Incubator said on that fateful afternoon, now able to have babies.  Although, she, at the time, sternly interjected, that this was not an invitation for you to actually have babies.

It was later when I was showing off my domesticity and applying Vanish to the bloodied spots, that The Brother walked into the kitchen.

The Pant:  Should Aunty Pant-Pant make you a nice cup of tea?

The Brother:  Yes please.

TP:  Look.  I didn't think we'd ever have to have this conversation but I found these next to the couch (producing a box of 'Nurofen for Period Pain' tablets.)

TB:  I couldn't find any-

TP:  If you ever are in my house and you need sanitaryware-

TB:  Pant, I swear.  It's-

TP:  I'm your sister.  I know that this is scary for you but sisters stick together and I want you to know that I'm here for you-

TB:  I have a huge pain-

TP:  I know.  The first time is always sore.

TB:  It's not the first time-

TP:  You really need to learn how to deal with this time of the month-

TB:  I think you mean 'time of the weekend'.

TP:  Yes, your cycles may take a little time to sort themselves out.

TB:  Don't you have any Panado in this house?

TP:  I think Nurofen for Period Pains is the strongest stuff I've got for ... er... you know.  Your first period.

I looked at him lovingly for just a wee second.  I realised I'd just had my first practice round of the conversation that I will forever dread having with The Daughter.  And then he said:

TB:  Eff off.

And I realised that The Brother was definitely not The Sister.  Which is nice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toothpaste On Pimples.

I'm ever so grateful for Benefit's Boing today. A most sincere and humble gratitude indeed. Because when I washed my make-up off last night (I know! On a Sunday. I, too, feel like I don't know myself anymore), there perched dangerously close to suitably Roman-hooked nose, is the world's largest pimple. It's so big that I'm almost (almost, but not quite) not even embarrassed to be carrying around this shiny mammoth growth upon my face. I'm almost impressed. Almost.

But I blame the 40th. Liquor, it appears, does not do wonders for the skin.

It was a cold eve and I wasn't in the mood to get tarted up. But I've Mr Right to find - or even a hot enough Mr Right Now - so I pulled out the LBD that has worked such magic in the past, I stuffed the boob parts with a bra whose efficacy is mind-blowing (that's right, The Pant fake boobied it for the night). I made myself up. I chose a hot pair of heels. I even wore my Alexander McQueen Kingdom - a scent so effing hard to find, that I save it for special occasions.

The Pant: No, I'm not in the mood to drink. I feel like having an early night.

Both The BF and Carlos eyed me with scepticism when I ordered my third drink.

The Pant: I'll have a cane and creme soda, thanks. (Eyeballing The BF) A single. (Pause.) Oh. And a Jagermeister.

By the fifth round, I was wrapped in the warm fuzzy feeling that alcohol alone can bring and thus brave enough to remove my pashmina. Evidently, the decision to wear a bra that triples boob size while simultaneously creating a cleavage so vast that extreme sportsmen the world over would pay to abseil betwixt them puppies, was a hit. I got eyefucked. In a huge way. Even the biggest cocksucker - and only other single person at the function - approached me.

Biggest Cocksucker: I've seen you watching me.

The Pant: I beg your pardon?

BC: Look, you've been looking over here a lot and, well, I'm single, you're single, what do you say?

TP: I say: if you look behind you, you'll notice a very large screen onto which several thousand pictures of The Birthday Girl are being projected. And... How can you tell I'm single?

BC: Please! This is a 40th. You're not wearing a ring. You're single.

I hated his logic. I hated it, especially, because he was right. And nothing grates me more than having to cede to a giant fanny.

Biggest Cocksucker managed to get on my very sizeable tits in no time at all.

BC: So, baby. What d'ya say?

TP: Really, Fuckwit? I have come across sanitary towels with more sex appeal than you.

BC: So my number is 0 7 2-

TP: Don't waste your breath.

BC: blah blah blah-

TP: It's really okay, Anus-

BC: blah blah blah blah..

TP: I'm not going to call you.

BC: You know you want to.

TP: Not in this lifetime.

It was in exactly three shooters' time, while I was in the throes of thinking of something suitably clever to drunk text an ex-lover (schoolgirl error, thankfully avoided) that I, for a brief moment, wished I'd taken down Biggest Cocksucker's number. But fortunately I have The BF to act as my person rescue services.

The BF: Why is your phone out?

TP: (hiding phone between funbags) Huh?

TBF: Who are you phoning?

TP: I was texting My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire to Actually Caress My Inner Thigh.

(Not strictly a lie. I did text him. Two hours before.)

TBF: Well, I think it's time to go. The wives in there are going to get angry.

TP: Why?

TBF: Almost Hot Guy has been eyeballing you and now his wife's got her posse together and they're watching your every move.

TP: But this is my favourite song! I'm about to bust out some serious moves.

TBF: No, you're not. That puppy is about to become a victim of nip slip.

TP: And anyway. How can they hate me? I'm so not that chick.

TBF: I know that but they don't know.

TP: Well, tell them!

TBF: They won't believe me.

TP: Of course they'll believe you! You're the designated driver. You're sober.

TBF: Yes. And I'm telling you that I think we should go home.

TP: My feet are kind of killing me-

TBF: Get your handbag, Hussy.

TP: Not. Even. As. A. Joke.

I woke up after a solid six hours sleep, with my make-up washed off, in my own bed, with granny panties and a very old vest and I knew I was grateful to The BF. Because I didn't even have a real hangover.

So these are the things I've learnt since Friday:

1). Because I'm single, I'm a threat (even though other women's husbands really aren't my bag),

2). Stopping after drink five units is a good idea,

3). The BF often knows best (especially when sober),

4). Toothpaste on pimples is not just an old wives' tale, and,

5). I need to get twenty more of those bras.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ageing Gracelessly.

My brother has the worst cell-phone manners known to mankind.  They irritate the bejesus out of me.  He's quite happy to dump a call and then not effing return it.  There should be a little handbook on cellphone etiquette.  Rule one: For fuck sake's, phone your sister back.

So, when I phoned Precious Jo'burg Friend the other morning and she didn't phone me back, I was irritated.  Cross, I suppose.  But I forgot about it.  I was too busy having rad fun without her anyway. 

Then I sent out a broadcast message: The Daughter ages soon.  My heart may not cope.  Please come to her party so that you can support me by staying afterwards for some wine.

She responded, immediately, negatively.

That pissed me off further.

I phoned her.

She didn't answer.

I swore.  Loudly.

She phoned me back.

Precious Jo'burg Friend:  Hello my darling.

The Pant: Oh.  It's you.  Can I help?

PJF:  Sorry I didn't phone you back earlier.  I was at a children's party.  And I was bored but it would have been rude to scamper around speaking filth with you.

TP:  You were where?

PJF:  At a children's birthday party.

TP:  Oh.  That's right.  Go to another child's birthday party and not The Daughter's.  I see where your loyalties lie.

PJF:  It's that time of year, my darling.  I don't have two cents to rub together.  And little sense to boot.

TP:  Well, I need you.  I am freaking the sam hell out.

PJF:  Why?  What's up?

TP:  My child is turning 5.  Not only does that make me a mother of a five-year-old, but I also can't use the family parking bays at malls.

PJF:  Pffft.  My child just turned 8.  And I turn 30 next year.

TP:  Ah.  Thanks.  That made me feel better, because I will, always and forever, be younger than you.

PJF:  It won't matter when we're seventy.

TP:  Ah, but 'we' won't be seventy together.  Because you'll be seventy and I'll be sixty-nine.

PJF:  Shut up, you whore.

TP:  You're not allowed to call me a whore.  You didn't phone me back.

PJF:  Fine.  We're even then?

TP:  So, I think I'm like one hundred and fifty percent over Larry.

PJF:  Again?

TP:  I was only under him once!

PJF:  I thought you were over him months ago.

TP:  I was.  I have been.  It's just that because you don't answer my calls and don't phone me back I wasn't sure if I'd told you.

PJF:  Can I tell you something that'll get you over the fact that I didn't phone you back?

TP:  Please.

PJF:  I've gone grey.

TP:  It's about time too.  It's so the colour of the season, although you're so much older than me that you find out about trends when they're just expiring, not so?

PJF:  Not grey as in clothes.  Grey as in hair.

TP:  What the fuck for?  That'll make you look older.

PJF:  Not by choice.  My hair has, on its own accord, gone grey.

TP:  NO EFFING WAY!  Like how many greys?  One?  Two?

PJF:  Like forty.  Like my hairline is grey.

TP:  But it wasn't like that a month ago.

PJF:  I know!  And I've had a bad dye job so the greys look light brown and the brown bits look black.

TP:  I can cope with that.  It's better than grey.  I mean, apart from my parents and my brothers and Larry, I think you're the first person I know who has grey hair.  That's so taken my mind off the fact that I'm going to a 40th this weekend.  And it's not like one of my parents' friends - it's one of mine.

PJF:  You've got 40 year old friends?

TP:  I know!  But, before you judge, this chick is super effing rad.  She looks younger than me, is more fashionable and behaves equally if not slightly worse than I do.

PJF:  Ooooo.  Can I come?

TP:  And she's promised a bevy of single men.

PJF:  That's right, Pant.  Go for the old blokes again.  Didn't do your head in with boredom the last time?

TP:  Look.  The young ones are hot.  But I prefer them a little more mature-

PJF:  And by mature you mean wrinkled.

TP:  A little more distinguished-

PJF:  By 'distinguished' you mean grey-

TP:  Less physical more intellectual-

PJF:  With saggy nipples and crap in bed?

TP:  I like them to be a little more in touch with themselves.

PJF:  Wankers?

TP:  No, like, understanding.

PJF:  Right.  I got you.  Gay?