Monday, March 27, 2017

Drugs in the village

I am outraged. The local rag has published a story about a drug den in our neighbourhood. Hello - everyone in our suburb knows that the local drug dealers hang out in the broken railway carriages.
My domestic -  Everjoy - a reliable source, has told me that they sell dagga in bank bags I mean, I'm not really sure what all the fuss is these days. It's practically a legal medicine except for a few formalities.
Personally until all the fuss dies down I prefer to get mine from the pharmacy. 

If the newspaper headline screams - Drug Den exposed! One immediately thinks of those terrible Joburg drugs like cocaine and heroin - God forbid. 
I know we have dozens of illegal Zimbabweans in Hilton. It's practically little Zim here as the Zimbabweans have flocked to the last outpost for work. But I am sure I have never heard a Nigerian accent in the village.

Mercia encourages me to write a letter to the newspaper protesting. She is involved with the Crime Protection Forum and she feels strongly about it.

She is not inclined to have her name printed in the local rag. She comes from a highbrow family and it would not do to be associated with a scandal. I assume that she thinks because I am from Joburg I am the right person to write about drugs.

Our little rag is fast becoming desperate as readership declines. Ever since they culled the gardening and birding columns, and the cryptic crossword, the newspaper has gone to the dogs. 
Ethelie Ramsbottom, the local gossip and manager of the coffee shop -says the paper makes its money on the sex adverts in the classifieds. 
Ethelie is a fountain of information. She was the first to know all about Rachel Brink’s nervous breakdown before anyone else.

Remember Rachel the monkey poison scandal - Apparently poor Rachel has checked into the elite Cornfield Institute for a bit of "R&R".
 Ethelie says the banana incident was very upsetting for Rachel and the final straw for her was her discovery, a fortnight ago, that her husband was having an affair with his secretary.

“NO!” I said

“Yes!” she said.

“It was that prim little coloured girl called Vergenia, who always answered the phone so nicely. You could never tell that she came from the Cape Flats,” hissed Ethelie.
“Rachel caught them in the act, bonking on his desk at the office. It has hit her hard, poor thing.”

Oh dear poor Rachel - her husband Johnny Brink is a bastard and now he is a cheating one as well. 
The problem is that divorcing Johnny will be like declaring the third world war and Rachel will emerge from the protracted divorce battle penniless and emotionally eviscerated.

The best thing she can do is stay married and find ways to make Johnny suffer. Feed him some bananas!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Visiting the ex

Neville - the ex - has phoned to invite the children to stay with him and the new wife over the upcoming school holidays. They have a glam new house on a fancy security estate on the North Coast.
I am grateful for the opportunity to get rid of the children for a week or two ... I know I'm a bad mother - slap, slap!
But it is more of a punishment for the children who detest the new wife. I am caught between the two warring parties.
His new wife (the dog trainer aka slutty bitch from hell) her name is Frieda, has never had children. God forbid she should ruin her size 8 figure. Of course she says its all about the dreadful state of the universe ... "How can anyone breed when we live in such chaos?"
So she has single-handedly saved the planet from overpopulation. She has no clue when it comes to kids - she expects mine to behave like her prize Weimaraners.
Her dogs are the most spoiled dogs south of the equator. Designer beds, special pet food.
Hers sit, eat, lie down on instruction. My children have a will of their own and I suspect a rebellious streak when it comes to her.
In addition she is a vegan - I apologise to normal vegans. But she is actually an anorexic posing as a vegan. She is obsessive about every morsel that goes in her mouth ... well that's not quite true . I assume Neville's penis makes the odd entrance. Yes ...  I know I am a bitch!
But when it comes to food she is not quite so passionate.  She examines every mouthful and acts as if it is torture. She has decided I am the mother from hell and tries to turn my children into  healthier version of themselves.
I will admit on the odd occasion two minute noodles full of MSG pass for dinner at my house. But I balance this out with fish fingers and mash. They haven't died from kwashiorkor ... yet!
I notice Neville has slimmed down quite a bit, thanks to her ministrations. But  I on the other hand have ballooned like a puffer fish. The only slim things are my ankles and this I suspect is from restless leg syndrome preventing me from a good night's sleep.
It is not good for my ego to look like a blob when the new wife looks like a stick insect.
I tell the kids they are going to stay with their father and I get an outcry. Greg says he is going to investigate rights for children. He googles on how to divorce your parents.
Cheri wails and says: "Mom I'm going to die of starvation."
I think she will probably survive for two weeks on green juices and steamed vegetables. In fact it might make her appreciate my own home menus.
There is one advantage to sending the children to Neville and Rieta. They are both such brand label snobs and having the children drag around them in clothes from Mr Price just does not look cool.
So invariably the kids come back with a new set of clothes.
Of course when they return I get the lecture ... how they should be doing better at school, how they should be learning a musical instrument, how they should be eating properly.
I have learnt how to stop this diatribe in its tracks ... "I know" I say "You guys would do a much better job. Why don't you take them?"
This causes a desperate back pedalling and Rieta  gives Neville the stare of death.
Neville has noticed that I have not been nagging him for maintenance, thanks to my secret porn script income. Thank God this tit-bit (lovely word) has not found its way to his ears.
He asks casually: "So how are you coping financially?"
"Oh I'm doing a bit of this and that ... you know," I say vaguely.
I hope he thinks I'm dealing in drugs or selling my body ... well that's a bit farfetched. But good to keep him guessing.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lottery win

I am truly a lucky person – I have won the lottery several times in recent months. I know I really should not be telling you this and should be keeping this tremendously good news to myself.

 I will have SARS after me and friends and neighbours will be knocking on my door asking for loans, and I fear I shall discover some long-lost relatives.

I have been told numerous times in the last few months how I have won various lotteries inside the country and outside the country. These benevolent e-mails have flooded my inbox with glad tidings and have told me to contact the relevant organisations to collect my fortunes. 

One e-mail told me how I had been selected from a shortlist of worthy individuals because of my selfless behaviour and noble intentions (yes – definitely me!) for a bequest from a wealthy individual. Who am I to argue!

I was a little puzzled as to why the European Lottery Commission had a Yahoo e-mail address, but I presumed they had also suffered with the recession and had to cut back.

It is a pity that I once researched the odds of actually winning the lottery ... the commonest design is a choice of six numbers from a pool of 49. If all six numbers on the player’s ticket match those drawn, then the player is a winner. In such a lottery, the chance of being a jackpot winner is 1 in 13,983,816.

I am an optimist by nature but I am afraid that I have given up on the lottery. I’ll take my chances of being hit by lightning.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Swallowing my apology - literally

I make Mercia a lemon meringue pie to apologise for offending her.
But my apology backfires. 
Mercia is now on a strict diet because of my tactless remarks. No sugar, no carbs ... no lemon meringue.  I eat the lemon meringue pie. 

Tv fame calls

My neighbour Mercia Botha has decided to enter the national television talent show. She believes that her tap-dance and animal act will thrust her into the spotlight and her obese pooches will be famous. 
Personally I think she is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and I try to express my doubts in the nicest possible way. However, she ignores my tactful suggestions and advice.
She takes enormous offence when I casually ask if she will be wearing a support garment under her silver leotard.
I notice her lips are pinched and her nostrils are now flaring. Oops – I have clearly said the wrong thing. She leaves in a hurry. 
I will have to make it up to Mercia later in the week and bring her some of my lemon meringue pie.
I wonder how Fred her hubby is taking this transformation of his wife. Possibly, he is relieved, because she is no longer force-feeding him Master Chef recipes as she is fully focused on her act.
I confess I overheard them rowing the other night. I was crouching next to the wall at 9pm just by chance.
One has to investigate all strange noises these days.
I overheard boring Fred using some very descriptive words. The source of the row was that Mercia had made him pack up his model train sets so she can use the garage for dance practice.
I have hardly ever heard Fred mutter a word, so it was quite hilarious to hear him call his zealous wife a “Fucktard !”
 I think that her effort to star big in the local talent show is certainly an indication of a hormonal imbalance.
The only good thing that can come of this - is that her dogs lose weight during the rehearsals. Porky little beasts.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Domestic dress code

Everjoy, our domestic worker, is a godsend. I know I do not pay her what she is worth because to me she is priceless. I am not a domestic goddess, I hate housework. I am so grateful I was born in the era of female emancipation, so that I can escape from most of the routine chores that would have governed my life in a different generation.

Everjoy wafts into the house and when I return from work it looks like a tsunami of household chemical smells and orderliness has descended on a home that had been almost teetering on the brink of chaos.

I am probably not a good “madam” because I cannot be bothered to go around with a white glove inspecting windowsills and the corner of cupboards for dust.  She does her work and I love what she does ... most of the time.

There is a small problem in our working relationship – she speaks minimal English and I speak almost no Zulu. Her English is improving, thanks to television, but on the whole our conversations are a bit hit and miss.

Everjoy, who washes and irons and stows away the clothes, has a strange sense of humour when it comes to putting them away.

First Cheri bursts into my room with a raised eyebrow. “Mom, I do not want your dresses in my cupboard.” Then, minutes later, Greg comes in with his sister’s brassiere tied around on his head, saying: “I found this in my drawer.”

I decide that I will navigate this small laundry hiccup with some tact and put labels on the drawers and shelves for each item – socks, underwear, T-shirts, etc. They will be in English, because everyone reads English … of course. 

There is a measure of success, as clearly Everjoy realises something is up and starts to sort things out a bit better. But my daughter’s T-shirts still appear in my cupboard, my son’s tracksuit in his sister’s wardrobe and the laundry merry-go-round merely continues – except for school clothes, as the uniforms are always distributed perfectly. Aiming for perfection, I proceed to add Zulu words to the labels. It is foolproof, surely.

“Mom! These are disgusting!” yells Greg, holding my very own Bridget Jones knickers aloft. Sexy beige granny brooks that fail in every respect to squeeze bulges into curves.“Eeuw,” he says. “I found these in with my underpants. Gross.”

Greg is right. I need to invest in some decent lingerie. But the cross-cultural language experiment is not working and I decide that some things are just not worth hassling about, although I did deduce a few things from the experiment.

A. We have too many clothes.
B. Everjoy does not see us often enough to know who wears what.

C. My labelling exercise was politically incorrect.

D. Everjoy wants my son to become a cross-dresser.

E. Zulu people are more relaxed about dress codes.