No sleep on Guy Fawkes, plus Kulula loos, Mavericks, mopane worms and more...

2012-11-06 19:38

03:00 am and some idjit is out there blowing things up in the name of Guy Fawkes. Explosions punctuate the night even though the pyrotechnics were banned from local beaches this year, on account of noise, mess, traffic congestion, and no doubt one too many injuries to animals. One too many cases of a cracker tied to a cat's tail, or a rocket pushed up a dog's bum, as sadly, torturing animals is traditionally a favourite trick on this night of mayhem. My pets are safe. The cat is licking and lapping on the bed. The dog is locked downstairs.

At three in the morning random thoughts pop in and out of my head. Kulula’s recent editorial on their ablutions system, a recipe for mopane worms offered to me by a security guard, my daughter’s curiosity about strippers. My head’s on speed, I need sleep to bring me down, bring relief, but sleep is elusive.

Apparently mopane worms fried up with diced onion, green pepper, seasoning and fish oil are delicious. Kinda cruchy, kinda soft, an infusion of protein. Ja, but you just have to watch 'Master Chef SA' to see distorted whitey faces biting down on the wurmpies, cooked at the larval stage of the Emperor moth, to put you off. No way José.

And did I hear right today when one of my daughters mentioned that a dancer at Mavericks, the gentleman’s club, can earn something like sixty thou a month? ‘It’s objectification of women,’ I remember saying. And now, in the dark, I’m coming up with all sorts of retorts as to why it’s really not a good idea for a young woman to get a job peeling off her clothes, getting on her knees, wiggling her arse at men’s faces: ‘Men your father’s age ogling at your bits and pieces, no my darling, where’s the dignity in that?’ ‘What happens when a sixty-year old dude with his boep hanging over his pants and his erection sticking up like a tent pole wants a lap dance? You can’t say you don’t wanna give it.’ I put the pillow over my head.

I’m lying here, at three in the morning, mining words like diamonds, in the dark. Boep. What a typically perfect South African word. Says it all, the syllable is round and fat. ‘It’s horrible having a boep. It doesn’t feel attractive. I feel like a pregnant woman. And I can’t see my dick.’ (See, this is what men are like.)

More dialogue glints in my head:

‘For the rest of these people’s lives these guys will never be trusted again. Are they mad, man?’

‘Look I said to them this is going to cause unholy s**t.’

‘...I said there is no way in the f***ing world this could be true. This is a gangster who has murdered people, how can we give him a suspended sentence? You know what message we send to the criminals?’

‘One day when I have a drink with you and really get drunk I’ll sit down and f***ing talk about this...’

Is this an extract from a good thriller? No! These are lines from the Spy Tapes published in the Sunday Times. Headline: Tape no 2572, September 27 2007, 09.56. Heck. Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange and ex-head of the Scorpions Leonard McCarthy, in convo, is good copy. Best seller stuff! Immediate, riveting, revealing, and I’m enthralled in a way I haven’t been for a long time, reading the dry news.

I resolve to jot my fleeting reflections in my notebook. I turn on the light. The ball ‘n chain groans. ‘Go to sleep, babe!’

‘I’m a writer!’ I mumble, complaining. ‘I have to get my thoughts down.’

‘One trip to Joburg to give a book talk and you think you’re Nadine Gordimer!’

The light’s off, I’m tossing and turning, I’m back on the bumpy flight from Jozi. I have said Sunday Times to distract me, plus the Kulula in-flight mag. The editorial compares ‘water and gravity flushing’ to the vacuum method. With a sharp swish sound waste is sucked down the silver in-flight toilet bowls into a holding tank to be cleared on landing. No worries, the tank can only be opened from outside the plane so no poor grounded sod will ever suffer ‘deposits’ landing on his head. I check out the up-beat emergency pamphlet, wonder if going down will be the party Kulula jokes about...

Heck, a real-life bumpy flight is bad enough. I don’t need to re-live it in my sleep. I get up. Splash my face with cold water. Back in bed I mash the pillow in place over my head. Try again to switch off.

It’s too quiet out there. Guy Fawkes at last is over. Not even the wind for noise now. I toss and turn. The white of dawn begins to light the room.

Hubby groans, ‘We have to get up.’ He asks if I’m going to bath.

A joke pops into my head:

Goeie more, kan ek met Zola praat?

Zola Budd?

Ag jammer, ek sal later bel.

Thank god daybreak brings relief from crazy meanders.

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