This is the week when people are starting to give other people presents. I panic when someone hands me a gift, and then asks me to open it while they are looking on. It’s stressful because there can only be one reaction. You are meant to go O WOW MAN THANK YOU! So moments before you rip the wrapping apart, you reach deep down to go and fetch that necessary reaction. And most of us are actually quite good at this. And then everything happens really quickly. DO YOU LIKE IT / O MY GOD I LOVE IT / YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE / DON’T BE SILLY / THIS GIFTWRAP IS GORGEOUS I DON’T WANT TO TEAR IT / I FEEL SO BAD I DIDN’T GET YOU ANYTHING / AG DON’T WIORRY! And the moment is over in under 4 minutes. Exhale. You were brilliant doll.
It’s a bit trickier when it’s a shitty gift though. Now don’t come at me with Marc there’s no such thing as a shitty gift. Ja jaaa, I know it’s the thought that counts but some gifts really make me question some people’s thoughts. I cannot tell you how many times people have given me baseball caps. I ask you with tears in my teargas eyes, onto what head am I going to squeeze that cap! No man! I know like I know that you dug that cap out from some goodie bag.
And when it comes to getting people gifts, I’m telling you vouchers is the way to go. (Ja I did think that that sentence should read vouchers are the way to go – but if you consider the giving of vouchers as a singular gesture then you can get away with: vouchers is the way to go). And your voucher can be big or small. Any amount that you can afford. And then let the people buy their own books, their own music, their own t-shirt. Dan is ammal happy. Even while I’m typing this I’m remembering that I still have a voucher somewhere at the bottom of my backpack. And the memory is making me smile and curl my big toes ever so slightly. These are good reactions.
Vouchers of te not, have a lovely little festive break. A strange festive season I know but make the best of it. It’s not all bad. You can now see only the people you’ve ever really wanted to see over the festive period. For the ones who you don’t want to see, simply say sorry man – I can’t see you’s – I’ve been exposed. Everyone’s been using that line lately. It’s very acceptable. And even while you’re reading this, you know that there are always people who you don’t want to see. Some of them are even related to you. Some of them distantly related. Aunty dinges’s husband’s son-in-law’s brother’s niece from Genadendal. I have nothing against Genadendal – it’s just a lekke word to use.
My point is, when visiting someone, you should always have something interesting to say. Make an effort. You came into their lounge. You can’t just sit there on the other side of the dining room table, dipping the crumbed chicken strips in spicy mayo, and not have a single word to say. I mean how difficult can it be. Pick a topic, any topic. Loadshedding. Omnicron. Zuma’s illusive illness. Anything. But no. Not a peep from some mense. These are the people who steal precious moments from you that you can never ever get back. You look at them and think yirre all I want to do right now is sit on my bed and watch netflix with a bowl of trifle –ma nou kyk ek in jou pudding gesig vas!
They are happy to just stare blankly. I have encountered many of them, younger and older. You just want to klap them twice with a stuk snoek to get some kind of reaction. But that wouldn’t be fair on the snoek.
But hey now – look at God – you don’t have to look at any of those faces this year – you’ve mos been exposed!
It’s quite terrible to live in a world where you desperately want to tell someone YOUR MOER but you can’t. And you can’t for various reasons. Maybe because it’s your boss. Maybe because it’s your teenage child. Maybe because it’s your neighbour. Or, as is the case with me, maybe because you know you will regret it when the sun comes up because you are actually just a nice person who does not want drama in his day, who does not want drama on any day, who does not want drama for the rest of his life.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term YOUR MOER, it’s a term easily heard during a heated argument in Cape Town. If you want me to get to the meaning really quickly, and please do forgive me for this if you are listening to this recording with your little darlings – actually close their ears quickly – I’ll count to six – 1 2 3 4 5 6 – for the rest of the world YOUR MOER means go fuck yourself – hello you can unblock your child’s ears now!
Social media has been my best teacher when it comes to getting me to exercise restraint. Just this morning I told someone that it is crucial that we all come to the realization that not everybody on social media has matric with exemption. And once you understand that the cousins of the three stooges are alive and well and eagerly ready to comment on your posts, you will be ok. But here’s the thing: don’t engage baby. I repeat DO NOT ENGAGE! Those people will be the reason for your arteries getting blocked.
On 3 occasions, I responded to shitty comments. They must have caught me on a Sauvignon Blanc day. Yirre. That’s the other thing man, I’ve said this a lot but I’m obviously not taking my own valuable advice, put your phone off if you move on to the second glass! Anyhoo, the point is that on all 3 occasions I felt really shit after responding. It’s mos human nature to want to “put somebody on her place”. As we so confidently boast in Cape Town – “o ek het nou lekke vir haar op haar plek gesit!”.
But the thing is that it’s often quite difficult to ignore the trolls. You have to be a well-balanced person who’s able to see the comment, quietly roll your teargas eyes and move on. Well that’s if you even READ the comments. Look, my other thing is that I actually seldom read comments for fear of stumbling upon the comment left by that one doos. Because that’s the comment that will stay in my head until maghrieb next Wednesday. Not the four hundred other nice comments, just that one. It’s the way I’m built. So to be safe and happy, I mostly don’t go through comments. My close friends know this about me so they will usually message me if they think there’s a troll comment that needs to removed.
This happened last week when someone said I was going to burn in hell because I live with Anwar. Now of course I know that’s not true, because everyone knows that gays don’t like being upstaged and Lucifer just brings wayyy too much heat. Nancy, Heaven with Aircon is more my vibe.
So of course I was asked to remove the comment after it had been sitting there for a good few hours. The beautiful thing was that she had been completely ignored by everyone else! Shame man. There’s nothing worse than being ignored, people go to therapy for stuff like that. Of course I didn’t immediately remove the comment and block her like the good Lord and all the Angels wanted me to. Instead, I had a moment of weakness and clicked on her profile. If I was a smoker, I would have at this point, sat back, lit a entjie, and slowly exhaled as I scrolled through her album, harshly criticizing every single pic of hers that I saw:
“your husband doesn’t smile on any of his pics – I also wouldn’t if I was in his shoes” / OR “jirre did you really wear that on your wedding day..shame..”…/ OR “thank goodness for facemasks – now we don’t have to look at your suur gevriet the whole day”…
Ag you know, all the normal things you say to yourself and don’t mean when people make you cross.
And they do make a person cross! Why are they making personal confrontational comments on a person’s page man, comments they would never make if they bumped into you in Shoprite. I mean seriously, there are certain things we only say to our friends in private, around the kitchen table, while putting brown sugar in the tea.
Yesterday afternoon at a coffee shop, I saw a lady at the next table with a dry hairstyle that looked like an upside down soup bowl. She was way too pretty for that do. All I wanted to do was go up to her, hug her, pay for her coffee and give her a lift to the nearest hairdresser, my treat. But I didn’t do that, because you can’t just do that because we are civilized human beings. Mind your own business and be nice, that’s all you need to do. ON AND OFF SOCIAL MEDIA!
So ja, back to my troll the other day. Eventually I took myself out of her profile, blocked her, prayed for her and more particularly for her husband, and carried on with my life.
By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be 5 minutes older. Or perhaps even 65 minutes older. Depending on how much you bunked English when you were at school.
We grow older by the second. All of us. It’s a fact. On Saturday 4 December I turned 54. I generally don’t do birthday bashes but I really wanted to share this one with friends because it’s been a kak time on the planet and in spite of the chaos I had a lot to be grateful for. The idea of drinks with friends was quickly shelved because of Aunty Omicron. So Anwar and I went out on our own.
Growing up, my parents never made a major fuss out of our birthdays. I think they were just too busy with the things of the Lord. So we would do amazing things like go to the Spur whenever we all had the time to. This was a good thing as I then never really had the urge to go all out with birthdays. To such an extent that it was not peculiar at all when I made it clear that I didn’t want a 21st birthday party. You know, that traditional one where a hall would be hired along with ten girls and ten boys, all in matching outfits, and a whole 21st march thingie with a 21st key, signaling the beginning of that new chapter in your life where you could do things that big people do. Ja. You had to be 21 back then. What a throwback. The digits are almost swopped around now.
Birthdays on social media can actually cause a great deal of anxiety. There’s a social media way in which birthdays are done. And I’ve noticed that different people play the game differently. Some give us a countdown. We all know one person like this. She usually posts “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! SIXTEEN DAYS TO GO!” Why are you doing this! There’s a lot going on in the world right now. We will wish you on your birthday but seriously, the countdown is bit much if you are not Desmond Tutu. Facebook will mos remind us on the morning that it’s your birthday.
And then the day after your birthday, you are required to post a THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MESSAGES thingie. I did that, I had to. Because I received the most beautiful wishes from so many people. But the THANK YOU post is also a decent way in which to get the slack people who forgot to wish you to wake the fudge up!🙂
But it doesn’t stop there for some. The IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH girl continues after her birthday with IT’S STILL MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I dunno hey. There’s a reason we call it a birthday. It happened on one day. Your brave mommy did not scream for 31 days.
Back to my birthday lunch on Saturday. So like the good responsible citizens that we are, Anwar and I decided to go on our own, lunch for 2, at La Perla in Sea Point. La Perla is one of those strange Cape Town restaurants that’s been around forever. It’s not cheap which is why it’s important to be seen there at least once every two years. We had the best time. I particularly enjoyed the random chat with 2 very entertaining chaps who were out celebrating because they had both finally decided to divorce their wives who happen to be sisters. Both gals are helluva annoying, we were told. The guys just could not decide who was actually married to the more annoying sister. (I quietly wondered if the sisters were out somewhere having celebratory tequila shots too!).
And so I wake up today, a remarkably sexy 54-year-old man, on a Monday morning after the weekend that was. And as usual I am flippin relieved that the actual birthday is over because now I can get on with life until 4 December next year, when everyone will again remind me that I am a year older. I wear my age with pride because I know that I’ve done a shit load of amazing things with my life up until now. The irritating thing is that when I announce my age for whatever reason (usually not prompted by me), there’s a pause from my younger friends. Quickly followed by YOH! It is that YOH that is loaded. It means one of two things – you’re old! – or my personal favourite: you look fukkin amazing! I prefer to go with the latter.
To the YOH people I say, get a perspective, bladdywill. We are all younger than somebody else. We are all older than somebody else. Somewhere in the world right now, there’s a 90 year old telling a 74 year old: enjoy your 70’s kiddo. So make every moment damn fabulous, because by the time your done saying YOH, you’re two seconds closer to dying. Live a little.
Yoh, over the past few days, South Africans were upset hey! Essentially for two reasons. That bladdy new Variant. And then the quick Travel Ban that followed. Yirre the memes made me laugh. Many locals were not impressed with our doctors for immediately telling the world that a new variant was discovered. One person on twitter: “COULDN’T YOU’S JUSS HOU YOUR BEK!” Lol. Shame man, don’t be so hard on the doctors. They were keen to let the world know that they have matric with exemption.
I was doing a gig two nights ago, where I said that the travel ban was a blessing in disguise for some, in that you now no longer need to see your family from the UK over the festive season – God works in mysterious ways! There was raucous laughter from the audience! Obviously then, I was not completely wrong!
The kakkest thing about the Travel Ban is that our Tourism Industry will once again be brought to its knees. For those of us who are able to, let’s make a concerted effort to do some local touristy things over the next while. And as you all know, it’s much better to make lurrrrrve when you’re not at home.
So when the overseas bosses barked TSAK YOU’S CAN’T COME HERE ANYMORE, I have to admit that my Cape Town kitchen floor was not drenched in tears. I do my fair share of traveling (some for work and some to keep the marriage going) – and I have to say that traveling is not my favourite sport. Let me soema use London as an example.
The flight over already, is as inconvenient as hell. Yes I’m talking about Economy Class. Even if you start out having Business Class fantasies, by the time you’re done with the maths, the conversation at home usually ends with “it’s fine man lets go economy, there’s a lot we can do with that extra 50 thousand”. And so you arrive at Departures, freshly showered and in a good economy mood. Three hours into the ten hour flight, reality kicks in. Who knew your legs were that long?! Six hours into the flight and everyone else’s movie seems a lot more interesting that yours. Dammit, you’re making terrible choices in the sky. But you keep watching because, if you stop watching your shit movie, you would have to realize that you need to use the toilet. The small one with the wet floor that everyone’s been using.
Heathrow finally. You uncomfortably make your way to the queue that says OTHER. Because you mos were not born in Europe, you are aware of the fact that Security is keeping an especially tight eye on the OTHER queue, cause obviously you want to try to get in illegally. Because obviously you are hiding tik in your hair. Because obviously you want to try overstay your welcome and chill in the UK for thirty years. Ummmm, actually…no. I definitely have plans of fleeing back to Cape Town, as per the Flight Centre arrangement.
The hotel room is small and it’s a not a cheap hotel. That’s just the way things are in that land. I do love roaming the streets of London though, it has a sexiness about it. As long as you don’t run out of money, which can happen in about 45 minutes if you don’t remember that you need to multiply everything by a million – in case you want to know what that one glass of wine is really costing you.
Anwar is an efficient traveler and drags me kicking and screaming from one touristy spot to the other, the whole day. It’s flippin exhausting. Don’t let me get to the business of having to speak slower to the locals because apparently not everybody understands YOU HAVEN’T MAYBE GOT A SPARE ENTJIE THERE. Ai jai jai. My preference then, if I had my way, is to find one very fabulous pavement café, where you can watch the world walk by, while nursing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. That sounds like a holiday to me, holidays are not meant to be exhausting.
And as the days zoom by, you realize that you are wearing the same clothing on several days because you mos packed lightly. This pisses me off, particularly when you see other people all around you looking lekke. I can also look lekke! But my stuff is all at home! I want to go home dammit!
And so the day arrives when you go back to the Mother City. Not a day too soon. You land around midday, which is just perfect because it’s daylight. I mean, nobody wants to land at night. In case there’s loadshedding. Oh South Africa, how I’ve missed you.
Even as youngster, those popular beach days never held much appeal for me. I must have enjoyed it until I was around 11. But not so much after that. As a kid, it was my job to make sure that the watermelon was kept safe and cold when we got to the beach. This essentially meant that one of the adults would find a little groove with water, under which the watermelon would rest. Some unfortunate laaitie would then be assigned the task of making sure that the watermelon did not go missing. I was often that unfortunate kid. And this is clearly the reason why I only learnt to swim when I was twelve. Watermelon caretaking duties took up much of my time.
And then you know those boys who can just energetically sprint into the water and take a duik. Now I wasn’t one of those boys. You know what I mean. It’s safe to say that I never really developed a love affair with the ocean.
I like winter because then I can wear jackets and coats and scarves and stuff. Like James Dean on that poster where he’s looking cool as hell, walking down some street in New York. Collar up. Entjie dangling. That poster.
But now summer does not allow me to look like James Dean. And those hot summer days are fast approaching. I know this because the gym is getting a lot busier. The gym bunnies are out in full force! It’s a Cape Town thing – getting that body toned for Clifton Beach. The time for the toned people is here, dullin.
I’m jealous of people who have toned bodies because I don’t have one. And I probably never will have one, it’s too late. Yes I do go to gym regularly but that’s essentially just to prevent myself from developing my daddy’s boep. A pregnant man is not a fabulous look. So for me, gym is just for general maintenance, if you like. And I should add that I like Burgers. And Slap Chips. And Ghostpops. And Bar One’s. I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never emerge from the water looking like Halle Berry in DIE ANOTHER DAY. And I most definitely will never have Daniel Craig’s chest.
Let me pause here quickly. Here by that “Halle Berry” moment. She was perfect when she came out of the water. That is what toned people look like when they slowly drift out of the water. The rest of us are sitting on the packed beach with ice cream and a fanta, hoping that the toned person will trip over something and fall face first into a sand castle. No we don’t really wish that. Because Chucky who built that sand castle would go bedonnered and wake us up from our naps. And we would ne napping. Because that mos wasn’t really fanta in the can.
Staying with the “Halle” moment. It’s a very stressful experience when all eyes are on you and you realize that the walk of shame is quite a lot longer one than you imagined it to be. And you have to do it without breathing because you are doing the utmost to keep the stomach looking flat for at least 4 minutes. Which starts to feel like eleven days. The traumatic moments are worsened when you slowly realize you are actually quite dizzy and unsteady from being klapped by that last big wave and you are somewhat confused as to where your spot on the beach was. But you still have to keep acting cool. Only uncool people look frantic when they are lost. Cool people look like they are calmly thinking about their vinyl collection. You are just about to turn navy blue and pass out from not breathing when you mercifully see your purple umbrella. Biggest relief, ever. Collapse into your floral towel. Annnnnnnnd exhale. Oh Hello Boep.
And this is why I have always made sure that wherever I live, the house comes with a swimming pool. My sensitive Lottering heart can’t deal with all that public stress. Don’t get me wrong, I do go to the beach – but I go like James Dean. On off-peak days and times. To walk the dog. To chill with a cappuccino. To stare out onto the majestic ocean, like a poet. And wonder about the people who simply never pee in the water, do they even know that they’re missing out on theee most amazing experience!?
And now I wonder if I would have felt differently if I had a Men’s Health chest? Perhaps. There’s a strong chance that I would have enjoyed “giving me out”. Nonchalantly posing my moer off. Heeldag op en af oppie beach. But then I more than likely would have had other problems because those people mos usually do. I’m not lying. Most of my perfect looking friends always tell me they have things like anxiety issues and all sorts of other trendy issues that pop up on instagram. I look into their perfect eyes while they share their heartfelt stories with me. And I just think ja, whatever, go have some more gluten free quinoa – you know you look lekke, anxiety and all.
I’ve started looking after my teeth, now only. Like, really looking after my teeth and by that, I don’t mean soaking dentures in a glass of water on my bedside table overnight. That could very easily have been the case though, given that much of my childhood was spent chewing on toffee apples, Wilson’s blocks and candy floss (or “Goema Hare”) as it was fondly referred to on the Cape Flats. Goema Hare is an Afrikaans term, very loosely meaning crazy hair. (I’m in no way linking my infatuation with candy floss back then, to my current sexy fro. There is no connection as far as I know).
The point is, I don’t remember much emphasis being placed on dental care during the primary and high school years. In fact, by the time I was 15 years old, some teenagers with street cred were encouraging me to have my front teeth extracted. My healthy front teeth, it was the cool thing to do. To this day still there are various riveting reasons as to why the “passion gap” was trending at the time. Be that as it may, my parents threatened to kill me if I came home minus the canines and that was that.
The dental gods have obviously been smiling down on me over all my carefree years of no flossing and zero visits to the dentist. And then for a cheek, my very wide smile has become my trademark. Now at some point I noticed a gap at the back of my mouth. At the bottom. On the right hand side. And being a sensitive human being just like you, I would zoom in on that gap whenever I spotted it in a pic. (Short rewind quickly. I’ve also now started visiting the Dentist more regularly like every adult should). I asked cute Doctor Jason to have a look at the gap that never gets shown on instagram. He referred me to Doctor Allie who this week very successfully inserted the screw into the gum, setting me on my journey to eventually have the tooth attached that will guarantee me more social media followers. Can I just at this point say that ALL of my friends have told me that they have no idea what gap I’m obsessing about. Whatever. I know there’s a gap. Jesus knows there’s a gap. That’s all that matters.
I will never really understand how Medical Aids actually work but I do know that my medical aid would not cover the procedure unless I got into a hospital bed. So I obviously exercised that option.
I check in at Harbour Bay Hospital in Simonstown. It’s lovely, I think to myself. Until I see that it’s right next door to a busy cemetery. Ok Marc, be strong. It’s not a feeder hospital, it’s just a co-incidence.
The nurses are friendly and efficient. One Nurse accompanies me to the Ward. I’m the only one in my Ward, it’s just her and I. Her hair is pulled back into a medical ponytail as she asks me to hand over my earring, my wedding ring, and my cellphone. I oblige, with one eye on the cemetery. Into a little plastic bag they go, like evidence at a crime scene after they find the body. I’m suddenly realising that I had never heard of this hospital before, what if it’s not real! What if Doctor Jason and Doctor Allie are both in on this and are being paid by the Gupta’s and I’m being trafficked minus all my organs! Where is Devi from Carte Blanche when I need her!
As the Nurse hands me the sexy strappy blue gown, she mentions that I will be heavily drugged and won’t remember a thing. She now instructs me to strip and change into the gown and pee in a cup in the bathroom. Oh my lawd. They are going to take my DNA from my pee and make another me, but it won’t really be me and nobody will know and everybody will just assume that I’ve become a really kak comedian. It’s just like in that movie Get Out!
I come out of the bathroom, get into the bed and two nurses wheel me away to the operating theatre. There’s now a hairnet thingie on my head. No earring. No wedding ring. No phone. Just the blue gown, with the straps at the back. That only the nurse has access to. All because of that one little gap at the back of my mouth that none of my friends have ever seen.
Handsome Doctor Allie says hello to me before I pass out. But I’m not sure if he’s saying “hello”, or “I’m sorry”. The Anaesthetist says ‘that’s a lovely vein” or maybe she said “ek is lekke vol wyn”. Not sure.
I wake up in the “wake-up room”. The operation was an award winning success, I’m told. I feel zero pain, with the right side of the mouth numb. I get wheeled back into my ward to chill. The Nurse says that before I’m allowed to leave, I have to eat custard, jelly or ice cream. And pee again. Only once those things are done, can I legally be discharged.
She also looks into my eyes tells me that she lives alone and puts her everything into her job. Everything. OK I made that up. But still, you’ve never seen anyone slurp custard over a numb bottom lip as fast as I did in Simonstown this week. I then pee’d like a racehorse, fumbled my way out of that Mc Steamy gown, took all the necessary selfies and planted myself at reception, ready for collection, screw firmly placed in gum.
I checked out, armed with the best painkillers everrr. I’m happy to report that I have had zero discomfort and am looking forward to having said tooth attached weeks from now.