The Wild Life: Back from beyond

2013-11-20 06:00

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My increasingly wild life has led to an unseemly absence from my blog.

Liesl, the digital editor, has been very nice about it. I almost wish she’d been a cow from hell and told me to sort my s**t out. Almost.

A lot has happened since I last wrote. There was that group strategy meeting at City Press about which much has been written, but of which little was right.

My colleague and fellow blogger Paddy Harper announced that for once he’d shut up about something. As will I. Believe me, it doesn’t happen often.

But exactly as that was all going down, Attila the Horizontal became Attila the Very Horizontal. Or Attila the Horizontaller, but horizontaller is not a word.

Romantix (5) had put his father’s back out as he had hurtled into his arms after school one day.

I insisted that Attila was using his new-found backache as a handy vehicle to escape housework. He is Turkish after all, from a nation where “men don’t marry so they can wash dishes” and “laundry? what is wife for?”

So I accused him of faking it.

“Wallahi, Nicki, you are going hell.”

After his physiotherapist gave up on him, he went to an orthopaedic surgeon. An MRI scan confirmed he had a slipped disc.

“You see! Wallahi, Nicki you thought I was pretending. You are going to hell, really.”

He needed four injections into his spine as well as an epidural. This procedure takes a day in hospital.

“Wallahi, these South African hospitals just want to make money,” he ranted as a steady stream of allied medical professionals paraded through his ward.

The first was an ECG, to check his heart. This he derided as thoroughly unnecessary.

“What has my heart got to do with my back?”

Then: “Blood test? Why they want blood? Only my back sore, this is bullshits.”

After that, as a woman came in with a corset, or back brace, which his doctor prescribed, he ranted even more.

“Wallahi, this is bullshits, Nicki,” he railed. I giggled while the woman squinted past his abundant chest hair to fit what looked like a severe Victorian undergarment.

“I must wear this!?”

This was Attila’s first stay in a South African hospital and his first procedure under anaesthetic.

As a sergeant in the Turkish Army’s Special Forces unit, he had his nose smashed in by the lid of a tank, which one of his subordinates helpfully sprung open while his face was hovering above. They didn’t operate on him then and his nose remains skew to this day.

So, of course Attila did not feel the need for any anaesthetic now.

I was delighted when he was eventually anaesthetised because the whingeing stopped.

After that, it was three days of strict bed rest – heaven for Attila, who whiled away the hours catching up on a Turkish TV series on the iPad.

Not to be outdone, Dramatix (8) decided this was the right time to go off the rails.

She’d decided she’d had enough of all the school work her Grade 2 teacher was giving her and thought how wonderful it would be if her mother would write a letter of complaint.

As she sat at her desk she realised, correctly, that her mother would never conceive of writing such a letter. Ever.

So she decided to write one on my behalf, saying how “irated” she was at the excessive workload, that having to write “10 sentins, that’s bad” and “if this hapens agin I will send her out of this school”. Signed: “From Nicki”

The teacher, who knows my spelling to be only slightly better and my handwriting considerably worse, thought this was hilarious and responded in writing: “That’s fine then. I’ll just fail her if she doesn’t want to do any work.”

After Dramatix sent a note back saying, “YOU ARE A VERY BAD TECHER!!”, she was fined a packet of liquorice and a bottle of Tab for cheek.

Needless to say, Dramatix received a little lecture about what constitutes fraud.

Attila, who had finally made it out of the bed and back on to the couch, was horrified.

“Wallahi, this is embarrassing, you know what I mean,” he said.

Which is how I feel about having been away from my blog for so long.

Sorry y’all.

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