The Wardrobe Malfunction

Office LIfe

The universe finds me incredibly difficult to communicate with.

There are people I know, to whom the universe speaks in gentle and subtle ways – and often – very very often.

Little white feathers from mange-ridden pigeons, personalised license plates that say things like ‘URFAB’.

I don’t get that type of message from the cosmos.

I think its ineffable workings are far too subtle for the likes of me.

I’m a billboard type person – I need it in very large type, in 5 words or less, with a clear call to action.

It seems the universe is upping its game.

I arrived at work yesterday after taking 2 hours to travel 100 metres.

I got my coffee and I went out to the sunny balcony and called my mother.

Then I dropped my pen.

I squatted down (very CrossFit) to pick it up and “RRRRRrrrrrIIIIiiiiPPPPP!”.

“What was that noise?” asked my mother.

“That was my pants,” I said.

“Your pants?”

“Yes. It appears that they have split right across the front bottom all the way to the back.”

There was a moment of silence and then, “HA, HA-HA-HA” etc.

No maternal sympathy there.

“Mom. Can you bring me a pair of pants?”

“No, I’m at church.”

“Really? You’re choosing your eternal life over your only daughter’s very real hell?”

A few quiet questions led to the entire agency becoming aware of my predicament. It also turns out that despite many of us having children, we’re not very good Stepford Wives and no one had a sewing kit.

When I had a moment I stood up from my chair, covered the offending area with a large shawl and popped out to the shops.

All of the omens, signs and portents the universe was sending my way I ignored.

I should’ve gone home.

I should’ve just gone home when I reached the traffic jam that morning.

I should never have gotten out of bed.

I maneuvered my VW bus into a parking space after spending 45 minutes traveling about 2 kms, and went in search of pants.

Only, I had parked in entirely the opposite direction and had to trek for miles in shoes that were not designed for walking.

20 long minutes later I limped into the store.

I grabbed pants willy-nilly and after taking my shoes off to try them on realised that I would rather cut my feet off than put them back in the high heels of torture.

So, I bought some new shoes.

They came neatly tacked in a pair by one of those plastic tag things you can’t break.

In two different sizes.

Sorting that out took some time, but eventually I made my way back to my beloved Bella (the VW).

Entering the raging furnace that my ride had become, I wound down the window. Then the car guard came. (If you’re not South African, watch this fabulous Santam ad for an explanation of car guards.

I forked over the requisite amount of cash and prepared to drive off.

About then, the car guard was overcome by a powerful, alcohol-induced, hallucinatory attraction and decided that it would be a good idea to grab the back of my head and try to tickle my tonsils.

Needless to say, I did not react as he expected by swooning in maidenly desire. Instead, I yanked my head back and put my foot down on the accelerator so that 2 tons of VW shot forward like a cannonball from a pirate ship.

I think I may have run over his foot, about which I feel not the slightest twinge of guilt.

(When I related this story to my mother she said, “What about all that kickboxing you did? Why didn’t you DO something?” I looked at her askance and replied, “Mom. What good does kickboxing do when you’re sitting down in a car?”)

officelife2By the time I arrived back at work with my new shoes and my new pants I was ready to curl up in a foetal position under my desk and spend what short time remained of the day whimpering and sucking my thumb.

Instead, I was greeted by chaos and lunacy.

And then for some unexplainable reason I found myself waking up today, getting dressed, sitting in the traffic and coming to work in a parody of Groundhog Day without the humour of Bill Murray.

Okay, so my pants haven’t split yet, so that’s already better than yesterday, but I still wish I’d listened harder to the universe in the beginning and just stayed in bed.



The Parrot

In today’s terribly politically correct world it is not good to be an –ist.

Any sort of –ist.

We’re very conscious of not judging people based on race, language, hair colour, sex – you name it.

The thing is though, that no matter how PC we try to be, every one has some sort of personal judgment criteria we use when deciding whether to like someone or not.

Darth VaderThe Husband uses the Star Wars criterion.

How many Star Wars movies are there?

The correct answer is 3 and those ‘other sci-fi movies’.

If your answer is any more than 3 you are dead to him.

polls_poll_xlargeMy father-in-law uses the age-old Beatles vs. Elvis criterion.

You can tell a lot about a person by their answer.

MontyPythonsFlyingCircusREB73MMy personal criterion is Monty Python.

If you do not know about the Trojan Rabbit or Flying Sheep you fall considerably in my esteem.

I acknowledge that these criteria are unfair and prejudiced, but so far one cannot be prosecuted for being Monty Pythonist.

No doubt that will change.

A week or so ago the Office Balcony Bunch were discussing this system of classification.

Yesterday, one of my colleagues admitted that he did not in fact know who or what Monty Python was and had to go home and Google it.

Myself and another MP classifier looked at him in horror.

Straight thereafter he proceeded to tell us that one of his pair of parrots has died.

This rendered myself and my fellow MP fan into hysterics – because – the Parrot Sketch!

“Was he pining for the fjords?” I gasped.1e5c104c2b9c95e0a9ec9318f86f4de0

“Maybe he was just stunned?” interjected the MP fan.

By now, we were weeping.

Another colleague looked at us in shock and sternly admonished us, “Isn’t it sad? It is terribly sad!”

“Oh yes,” I stumbled, hiding my mouth, “It’s very very sad.”

“What do you think he should do?” she demanded.

I racked my brain.

“Perhaps, he should get a mirror so the other one doesn’t feel lonely,” I answered.

“Don’t be fatuous,” was the reply.

“Um…” I thought harder, “Maybe he should get the dead one taxidermied and tie it to on the perch?”

Well, I thought that was a quite reasonable solution.

Apparently not.

Apparently, that was an inappropriate reaction in the face of all-consuming grief.

Except that the ex-parrot owner seemed to consider it and said, “I could’ve done that. Pity, I already threw the body in the trash.”

“The trash!” squeaked the admonisher, “You didn’t even give it a proper funeral?”

BrandSchool Africa Rocks

You know those annual performance appraisals at work you approach with a mix of dread and apprehension? Where you’re asked stuff like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.

I had mine recently and was gobsmacked when I found myself signed up for the course in Digital Marketing with @BRANDSCHOOLSA within hours. Huge thanks to Gerald Harvey, Craig Duff and Leigh-Anne Quinn at my amazing agency – Mortimer Harvey – for making this happen.

It’s been an amazing learning curve, meeting incredible people and engaging in a dynamic communication platform.

BrandSchool SA
BrandSchool SA

And it’s not done yet.

Yesterday we were asked to make a quick video advertising BrandSchool and track the clicks, likes and shares so here we go…

Don’t forget to check out this new blog – first dip into the ocean – The Digital Buzz 1.

Tick Tock


I’ve just had a meeting.

Not a creative brainstorm.

Not an exciting new brief.


It was about data mining.

I think.

sleep1giphyI don’t really know, because after watching the person opposite me lay her head down on the table and lapse into slumber I began to develop the symptoms of a zombie extra in the Walking Dead.

Seriously, at one point I was afraid I had started to drool.

On the occasions when I found myself jerking to awareness it was to the droning monotone of the presenter, which sent me straight back into a coma.

Eventually, I began to pinch the skin on my hands in the hope that the pain would startle me back into consciousness.

It didn’t.

It was like going back in time to Professor Something or other in 3rd-year varsity. I spent many hours asleep in his airless chamber as he droned about the homosexual in Shakespeare.

sleepgiphyAt least I was not alone in my agony.

By the time the meeting finally bone grindingly came to an end, only one person remained awake and her only because she was sitting in the front and had someone kicking her chair at intervals.

I am 60 minutes closer to death. 60 minutes I could’ve spent having sex, updating my Facebook status, and rearranging my sock drawer.


Back in the zone


The last time I left my comfort zone it ended in disaster.

When I was asked yesterday to venture forth once more I regarded my fate with ill-disguised revulsion.

I have to admit that the reason things go belly-up is usually my fault (except for the last time, which really had nothing to do with me at all).

The inner city of Johannesburg was once my teenage stamping ground.

I love that term, my mother always uses it and it describes just beautifully how I felt in my 16-hole steel-capped Docs. Maybe more of a stomping ground?

Well, when the directions I had carefully drawn from Google Maps and my colleagues let me down by being the site of an enormous pile-up, I veered off across the Queen Elizabeth bridge into Joburg Central.

With NO idea of how I was going find my way through the myriad random one-ways to my destination.

All I knew of my destination is that it was on the other side of town.

While I was fretting over my lack of direction and the fact that Google Maps on my mobile had no signal, I found myself driving directly into the parking lot of my destination.

It must have been subconscious muscle memory from all those late nights and early mornings between Alcatraz and The Doors. They stood me good stead.

My concern then peaked again as I realised I had to find my out of the labyrinth and the one-ways made it impossible to retrace my route.

A colleague very kindly explained the following: “Go straight down this road, okay? Through the robot (a traffic light), then there’s this lank dodgy slip road to the right.”

Armed with this knowledge I got in my little rental and made a mad dash down the road.

I almost missed the slip road.

Dodgy doesn’t describe this unmarked, potholed, dismal ramp that suddenly appeared between two derelict buildings and disappeared into nowhere.

I placed my trust in the hands of my somewhat vague colleague and prayed.

I got out in 10 minutes.

Turns out the rest of my party didn’t pay attention and ended up spending the next hour and a half of their lives in the late afternoon rush hour clomp pomp. (That’s Afrikaans for a cluster-f#$%).

Trust in your gut. That’s the lesson. That and sometimes leaving your comfort zone can be exhilarating.

So, I’m thinking about doing this now…

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Mr Congeniality. Buff and Fabulous.

Bourbon Parme Tiara (1919) by Chaumet 3

You know how sometimes you find yourself doing something that you never in a million years thought you’d do?

a_little_light_and_definition_1_20140131_1999865061This is me doing it.

I’m shamelessly plugging a man in a beauty pageant.

(OMG! I just read that. Let me think of another word – Promoting? That sounds like I’m a man pimp. Supporting? That sounds like a jock strap. Oh, never mind it’s a lost cause, moving on.)

He says it isn’t a beauty pageant. It’s much deeper than that.

You have to do stuff for charity and shit. You can’t just look cool. You have to want World Peace.

Apparently if he wins, he won’t get a tiara.

I think that pretty much sucks eggs.

Having read his little CV on the Mr. South Africa site and reducing most of the office to tears of laughter at the description of his GSOH, humble nature and shy demeanour, I have to make up for making him blush by getting him a couple of votes.

a_super_hero_in_all_of_us_1_20140131_1439613805Seriously, when you see these pictures do you even care about his sense of humour?

Please do me a favour and pop over to Mr SA and vote for Brett. Just give him a 5 star rating on his photos. Or you can ‘SMS MRSA 012’ to 47439.

He’s also got to raise R10 000 for charity and will welcome any creative (but not XXX rated) ideas.

He’s offered a topless car wash to the ladies.

Any bids on that?