John Wayne and the Sidewalk Showdown

John Wayne ain’t got nothing on me. I had to go to gynae (shudder here with horror) yesterday. Of course I didn’t phone before I go there and some woman chose my appointment to go into labour. Honestly, how selfish is that! So the horror was postponed a few hours much to my relief. The good news is I don’t have cancer and am revoltingly fertile. I don’t whether to be proud of my body’s biological imperative to breed or mildly ashamed. Regardless I am glad my spouse agreed to be snipped. Not that it was without its challenges.

Spouse: “But, you can’t serious, it’s so invasive!”
Me: “You want invasive!” voice now tinged with hysteria, “You want invasive? Try natural childbirth three times and I’ll give you @#$%* invasive!”

The bad news is that my uber-fertile ovaries have mass produced ova and refuse to suck them back again so I have a bleeding cyst on one – the source of the acute pain that led me to the Sunninghill ER in my pantoffels during the Royal Wedding. And now for the really bad news, I have to face the doc again in 6 weeks! Horror.

Admittedly, Dr Mseleku at the Parklane is a dream of a gynae. She is beautiful, well spoken and… how can I put this without sounding sexist… um, I can’t… she a woman. My previous one was the very same who delivered me unto this world almost 35 years ago. He has an eye that doesn’t work, so it stares unblinking and blindly at you while he performs mediaeval torture with a pair of braai tongs down below. Also I think he is the far side of 80. Malepule didn’t try to book me a Caesar to fit in her golf game when I was pregnant and gave me an enormous amount of support in my desire to have home births. Basically she tries to make the whole procedure as comfortable as possible, which let’s face it isn’t.

Today’s challenge: Buy soccer boots, shin pads, school socks and assorted soccer gear and deliver to Small boy aged 9 before match. It was a mad whirlwind rush and as usual me in a sports shop fills me with dread. I know people can see the neon sign on my head saying, “Sportphobe!” I feel more out of place in the Adidas store than in Builders Warehouse. That’s saying something. And yes, I went to Adidas because it is in the Mall and close to work. The shoes are divine – called Predators! Awesome, they should give my chap some confidence.

Next stop was the school swap shop run by scary PTA mothers. Of course I couldn’t escape with just the socks. Oh no, that would be too easy! I had to agree to scarves too and narrowly avoided having to purchase braai tongs with a built in torch and a toolkit. It was worse than going for a facial. By the time I rushed through hallowed halls of learning in search of my son I was retail wreck. Do you know they lock the little buggers up in there? Do they think they’ll riot or try to escape? I have no idea, but it makes finding your son in that warren an absolute nightmare. Still Small boy will be kitted out in time for his match against KES. I just hope mhe makes it home alive, I’ve heard things about KES boys.

It occurred to us as parental providers of exorbitant school fees this morning that we could hire a fulltime teacher to educate our children at home to the UK syllabus with individual attention for less than we pay now. Private schooling here in sunny South Africa, is not a luxury it is an absolute necessity. The fact that no government minister would send their child to a public school says it all. They educate to the lowest common denominator. So as parent you just have to find a way to afford education even to the point of funding Olympic size water polo pools.

I have a theory about all this. I think our new government has learnt from the old Apartheid Boys. Education gets people thinking. Thinking leads to questions. And no-one wants to answer those. So while the elite get fatter and richer, the poor get leaner and poorer with no way out. Let’s face it they want everyone to believe the blither and blather they spout as Gospel truth. Our President tells them that voting for him will get them into heaven! What has he got an All Access Pass to the Great Almighty? Then again they planed acres of porcelain loos across the fields so maybe he has a dedicated line to the Pearly Gates.

I almost forgot my morning’s most exciting episode, which given the state of my life is not saying much. Sitting in the morning traffic at the corner of Glenhove and Oxford Road I was just puffing away on my smoke, chatting to the newspaper seller and bopping a bit to Kid Rock when all of sudden… bah, bah BAH!

Two men one with a half brick and one with a bit of pipe launched into the traffic. As this took place directly in front of my car I had a ring side view of the action. Brick Man was livid with rage and determined to beat the hell of Pipe Man. Pipe Man was perfectly happy to oblige.

Pipe Man’s Sidekick tried to defuse the situation and managed to get Pipe Man to turn back to the sidewalk. Brick Man cracked and let fly the half brick. I followed the trajectory with slow motion tracking as it narrowly missed my windshield and paintjob. It nailed Pipe Man right on the noggin. Once he had regained his footing, Pipe Man was ready to unleash the monster within.

For a moment, a split second, I debated getting out the car and telling everyone to chill out and have a smoke. Then I realised it was stupid white girl thing to do. By the time I got round the corner the little melee had attracted quite a crowd, taxi drivers and their passengers, the entire construction crew of the Gautrain station and other odd passers by. No-one seemed inclined to interfere much, so I let them get on with it and went to work.

After that work seemed positively normal.

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