September 2009 Archives

One of the few perks  The ONLY solitary perk about lugging extra weight around on one's rapidly ageing body is that the additional lard seems to fill up wrinkles, thereby creating the illusion that one is still in possession of a smooth, youthful skin.

At least, this is the thought I console myself with whenever another of my garments mysteriously shrinks overnight. (It's amazing, I seem to own the world's most Incredibly Shrinking Wardrobe.)

Luckily, I don't have the faintest idea what my padded body looks like. I haven't had a full-length mirror since the late 90's.

Of course, other people are also partly to blame for my blissful delusion. Recently, a guy I'd just met asked me: "So, Red, how old are you?" (These South African boys are SO rude!)

In response, I batted my lashes, giggled like a 15-year old and asked: "Just how old do you want me to be?"

Okay, not really. But before I could give him my standard reply ("I put the four in thirty-four!" Because yes, *sob, sob*, until recently I was still merely thirty-four), he cocked his head to the side, squinted at me and proceeded to deduct an ENTIRE NINE YEARS from my age!!! (Which prompted me to quickly uncheck the 'rude' box after his name. Apparently he did attend charm school after all.) 

Did I mention that it was really REALLY dark at the time?

So whenever another button pops, I try to suck in my stomach, gingerly insert a safety pin where said button used to be and place the button in a jar housing all the other popped buttons. That jar is labeled: "Payment For Lifetime Access To The Fountain Of Youth."

When I turned 35 at the end of August, I was far more upset about leaving the 18 - 34 group - that sprightly age demographic so revered by especially advertisers (and men) - than about the PHYSICAL implications of finding myself smack dab in the middle of my 30's.

But alas, even one's best delusions must eventually come to an awful end.

A few days ago, I popped into the newly opened beauty salon in my neighbourhood.

I'm still not really sure what had driven me to go in there. Normally I steer well clear of such places. I figure that beauty parlours are reserved exclusively for those who are already in possession of beauty, not for those of us who have a hard time unearthing even our alleged inner beauty!

As soon as I'd stepped into the lightly perfumed, clinically clean salon, I felt like a fish out of water. When I laid eyes on the receptionist - a model look-alike with perfectly sleeked back hair and cheekbones so sharp that it could easily poke an eye out - I felt like a clumsy elephant among delicate butterflies.

She was murmuring into the telephone when I walked in, so I had some time to let my inadequacy and out-of-place-ness thoroughly sink in. I stood around uncomfortably, nervously toying with the safety pin straining to hold my trousers together and hoping that it wasn't visible to Ms. Immaculately Put-Together.

She finally ended the call and looked up at me. (And the worm's eye view is DEFINITELY not my best angle! NOT that I even have a best one, but you know what I mean.) I could've sworn that I momentarily saw an incredulous expression flash across her face (which couldn't have been more flawless if it had been airbrushed), but it might have been my imagination after all, because when I looked again, her perfect, front-cover of Vogue-worthy face had rearranged itself into a look of consummate professionalism.

"May I help you?" she asked. I was almost waiting for her to add: "Not that I think we'd be able to help the likes of you!"

"Yes, please. I just want to know if you by any chance give laser treatment here?"

She scrutinised my face and then pointedly said: "No, but we do Botox!"

GAH!

Fat face, I can't believe you've decided to stop working at such a critical point in my life! You useless, chubby traitor you!

NOW what do I do?!? Shoot myself?

Or be shot choc-full of Botox?  

A few nights ago, while over at The Girl’s place, there was some urgent rapping at the door.

It was rather late, and since hers is the only apartment that faces the street without the added buffer of the gate that the rest of us have, our first reaction was a wee bit of alarm.

Before we could scream or react, we heard: “Sorry, it’s me, The Voice!” (No, of course he doesn’t refer to himself as The Voice, but with that amazing voice of his, he really ought to. So I shall take the liberty of calling him that from now on.)

We opened up, only to see him standing there, as white as a sheet and trembling. “I’m SO sorry to disturb,” he said, “But... oh, geez, this is embarrassing… There’s a spider in my room. But it’s HUGE and it’s right above my bed. I need your help! Please?”

The Voice was pleading! With us!  However there was no need for further explanation. We understood. Oh, how well we understood!

After establishing that I was the only person who owned a suitable weapon – no, NOT ten-inch stiletto’s (I am clumsy enough on my bare feet), but insect/arachnid spray very appropriately called “DOOM!” – we went in. Or rather, The Girl and I did. Okay, The Girl did. Because one glance at that monstrous thing – it was SO huge, every individual hair on its loathsome legs and hideous body was visible from the doorway; in fact, I am rather sure that it could probably be seen from the International Space Station – The Voice and I stood at a safe distance, outside the door, giggling hysterically and jumping from one foot to the other.

But really, the main reason why I acted like a complete sissy and didn’t go in there, was because of my other fear. Of heights. Because The Voice’s bed is located on a loft, and the only way one can get up there is by scaling a ladder. And the spider was up there, just below the ceiling above his bed. So since The Girl isn’t afraid of heights but I am, and since she is afraid of spiders and I am too, she had no choice but to assume the nasty business of launching The Attack.

So, DOOM! in hand, she began climbing the ladder, steadily advancing towards the enemy.

In the mean time, The Voice and I offered helpful advice from our safe vantage point outside the door. Like thusly: “You know, when you spray it the first time? You are REALLY going to make it angry. Like, REALLY AAAANGRRRRY.”

 Somehow she didn’t appear to appreciate our input.

PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I swear she emptied the can on that first spray.

And ooooh, were we ever right, The Voice and I! Remember? Earlier? When we so helpfully advised her?

 Because that spider was FURIOUS. All its legs sprang into motion at once. Those hairy black legs viciously struck the air in an attempt to ward off this toxic white powdery rain enveloping its entire body.

The now-completely-snow-white spider sprinted up towards the ceiling. We waited with baited breaths to see if it would suddenly succumb to the fumes and promptly die, but if anything, it was filled with renewed energy! And if that wasn’t heart-attack inducing enough for us, Spidey was scurrying across that ceiling - heading straight in our direction!!

The Voice nervously clutched his chest and hyper-ventilated. “Ohnoohnoohnoohnopleaseno…” he whimpered and hid behind me.

Meanwhile, The Girl had managed to miraculously squeeze out more DOOM! from the near-empty can. She was hanging from the ladder, spraying wildly at the spider still rushing across the ceiling. Suddenly, we noticed progress: Less and less of its legs began to touch the ceiling… until it dropped onto the floor. The Voice had propelled himself into my arms (okay, not really! But for a split second, he appeared poised to do just that) before Spidey had even made its graceless touchdown. But The Girl was ready. She sprayed and sprayed. She wasn’t going to wait and see if its violent plunge onto the tile floor was enough to finally kill it. Prevention being better than running away and all that.

Good foresight on her part. Because the fall didn’t end the spider’s seemingly endless collection of lives! Of course it didn’t!

After each spraying session, we held our collective breaths, hoping that the bloody spider would at last do the same – forever. Only for it to spring to life again with renewed vigour and fury, making all of us jump six metres into the air. It was like a scene from one of those thrillers in which the murderous villain had just been stabbed by the formerly helpless and so stupid that she walked alone through the deserted alley on her high heels and in her tight short skirt while all of us watching were screaming at her not to be so STUPID  because she knew full well that she had been stalked for weeks by this homicidal maniac but nooo of course she was going to walk alone at night and be all vulnerable and get home and undress in front of the open window and get in the shower with the front door still unlocked. Where was I? Oh, so yes, then, after the villain gets in and almost kills her in the shower, she suddenly turns heroic and stabs the bastard and just as she throws down the knife (within easy reach of his hands of course), she walks closer to investigate and his fingers twitch and then he reaches out with his bloody hand and GRABS her ankle with strength extremely unbefitting of a dying man! In pretty much the same way we were expecting the spider to do the same at any moment. That it would pretend to be dead, only for one of its many legs to shoot out and grab us by our trembling limbs.

So The Girl sprayed and sprayed… until the can was truly empty.

And that spider was still VERY MUCH ALIVE and crawling at great speed towards us. (Of course, I still maintain that all those legs gave it an unfair advantage over those of us who merely have two legs.) Suddenly, The Voice could take it no more. I think he temporarily lost his mind. Because in an amazing display of masculine agility, he jumped from outside his bedroom, OVER the spider, and landed right in front of his chest of drawers in the far corner of his room. Without ONCE touching the ground. He grabbed two things: a can of deodorant and a lighter.

“I’m gonna set this sucker on fire,” he said. The Girl and I stared at him, mouths agape with awe and wonder.

Axe effect people? Do I have a brilliant idea for your next ad! It’s all based on the truth, you see. Because the next minute, The Voice doused Spidey with his Axe deodorant. And then he flicked the lighter…

I could already envision the headlines: Talented Students And Their Strange, Elderly Neighbour Die In Freak Yet Pleasant Smelling Explosion. Spider Is Sole Survivor.

The wet trail of deodorant instantly caught fire across the tile floor and went WOOOOOOSH as it reached the spider.

Still, the spider DID NOT DIE! The only thing the fire seemed to have done to it was 1) Make it even angrier 2) More determined to live and fight, and 3) Blacker than it was before.

Luckily The Voice did not give up either. His fear had truly made him demented. And crazy people, for better or for worse, seem to be completely unafraid. He sprayed and flicked the lighter. Sprayed and flicked… until the spider FINALLY went up in a cloud of smoke.

From now on, whenever I walk by his window at night, I can’t resist the urge to sing: “Incy Wincy Spiiiiiider…” in a spooky voice.

By the way, we have since established that The Voice and The Girl’s victim was one of these...

Next time I'll tell you what our new neighbour (Mr. Sport Science) is keeping as a pet!

 

 

So my neighbour (no, not The Voice. I'm hereby delighted to introduce you to - since I clearly lack originality - The Girl) is over a few nights ago when a promo comes on television advertising the comedy line-up for the week. Since I don't have satellite TV, my pickings are rather slim. And that's putting it kindly. So I usually only get my TV fix when I go to my sister's. The rest of the time I mostly listen to the radio and only watch the news, movies and a few sitcoms now and then.

"Oooh," said I, when a particular promo flashed across the screen. "I like that show! Yes, so the jokes are somewhat predictable, but that boy always cracks me up."

She was fiddling with her phone at the time. One thing you should know about The Girl is that she's almost always fiddling with her phone, because her boyfriend, The Italian Stallion (hey, why break tradition and get original NOW?) lives annoyingly far away which means that they are stuck in a Long Distance Relationship. Truly, no pups in love should find themselves in such a precarious position.

Without looking up from her fiddling thumbs, but in order to still feign interest in whatever it is I'm on about at any given moment in time (a brilliant skill she has honed by learning to pick out select phrases or even individual words I've just used and turning it into a question), she asked: "Mmm? What show?"

"Three And A Half Men," I replied, while making our coffee.

Suddenly I noticed that an eerie silence had descended upon the room. It took me a second or two to realise that it was because the rapid-fire clickity-clacking of her thumbs whirring across her phone's keypad had suddenly stopped.

And then she burst out laughing. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... *drew a hasty breath*.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I looked at her, utterly perplexed but at the same time also rather thrilled that she at LAST seemed to find me funny. Then it occurred to me that I hadn't even tried to make a joke. "Um... why exactly are you laughing?" I asked, with a certain amount of caution.

My puzzlement seemed to set her off even more. "Three And A Half Men?" she asked, when she finally managed to get her breath back.

"Yes, you know, it's that sitcom about the two men and the boy. That whatitsface Sheen is in it."

"Yes, I know," she said. "So... THREE And A Half Men, Red?"

I was about to get all impatient and say something to the effect of: "Yes, that's what I said, why are you being all repetitive?" when I slowly recalculated. An exercise requiring that I counted on my fingers.

Kids, such blatant stupidity is what happens when you don't have Matric Maths. Yes, I went to high school during the Stone Ages, when we still had the option to drop Maths at the end of Standard 7. But I didn't drop it merely because I feared and therefore loathed Maths. I dropped it as a public service. You see, my teacher threatened that, if I wasn't going to quit the subject, she was going to have to quit teaching. And since good teachers were such scarce commodities back then, I felt it was my civic duty to drop it. 

Needless to say, that cheeky The Girl is STILL teasing me about my phantom third man. 


















about
is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)

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comments
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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