Day: October 2, 2013

Guide to Everything – Part 2 Section A

 

Section A Unit 4

 

At some point, if you want a man badly enough, you will have to engage him in conversation. Remember that, compared to you, a man is considerably less impressed by the first words. A man will not remember what you are wearing when you come up to him in a bar or restaurant or on the beach or in the parking lot of the magistrate’s court. Ask him to repeat your first words ten minutes after meeting him and he will scratch his head (actually, it’s more likely that he will scratch his crotch), and say, “Didn’t I make the first move?”

And while a woman approached by a man will make lightning-fast calculations based on body language, clothing, facial hair and shoes to determine her response, a man will react on a far more visceral level by watching her face.

This is why it is so important for you to make sure your face is doing the right things when you go up to a man with the express intention of getting him to fall in love with you.

A friend’s niece, Sandy, was telling me the other day how she had sidled up to a bronzed slab of man lying on the beach at Camps Bay and asked him for the time. She said he sat up and looked terribly guilty. He apologised profusely before hanging his head in shame and digging his toes into the sand. She reached out to touch him lightly on the shoulder as a way of thanking him for his trouble, but he recoiled as if she were about to strike him. I tried to make light of it and said that he was obviously batting for the other side, but it is far more likely that Sandy was wearing her Scary Face when she spoke to him. Sandy thinks she might have forgotten to change her face after the incident with the Joburg driver.

Men are extremely sensitive to what a woman’s face is doing when it is pointed towards them. For centuries, men have been trying to fathom out “the look”.

The ability of a woman to use her eyebrows and the corners of her mouth in such an infinite number of combinations to express such an endless range of emotions remains one of the most enduring mysteries of evolution. In terms of guerrilla warfare, a woman’s face is the tripwire and her voice the splinter grenade.

You need not even worry about matching your face to your words. Go up to a man in a bar and say, “You remind me of a lizard in a leather coat”, but say it in a low purr with a mysterious smile and one eyebrow raised. Guaranteed, he will wag his tail and lick your hand.

 

Chapter 2 Verse 11

 

Once he has swallowed your hook all you have to do is reel him in. But do not dawdle because the waters are full of meat-eaters who will try to nibble at your catch. Women find men with other women very attractive. It is almost as if by having a partner they acquire some kind of secret stamp of approval.

The first date is when you will start getting to know what type of man he is. A lot of men would rather you skip this part and go straight to bed.

In the minds of modern men, courting is an outdated and expensively circuitous route to a destination that you are both likely to arrive at regardless of how much time and money is wasted on the exercise.

Unhappily for modern men, the minds of modern women have not developed along similar lines. They want the whole deal. Flowers (not from the garage), phone calls (plenty), late-night text messages (romantic), movies (sexy), more flowers (not from the garage), dinner (expensive) and so on.

You may be one of those women with a less traditional approach, in which case skip this chapter and proceed straight to Sub-Section 23c. However, the odds are that you are a sloppy romantic. This is an essentially feminine trait, although more and more men can be found surreptitiously sniffing flowers and crying in the movies. Hopefully you will not want one of these men to fall in love with you. Believe me, it starts with the flowers and ends with the gold lamè bodysuit and feathered mask at the pride parade.

Determining where you go on your first date will largely be dictated by the type of man he is. Don’t be influenced by your addiction to sucking on oysters and quaffing fine champagne. Let him decide on the restaurant. But before you get to this point, it is important to ascertain certain things.

 

Book IV 2nd Floor

Certain Important Things To Ascertain

 

Gender

You may think this is a no-brainer but I can assure you that there is many a slip twixt gangplank and ship. I live in Cape Town, the African equivalent of San Francisco with fewer steep hills but just as many cross-dressing deviants and a whole pack of dangerous goat-like creatures that are taking over Table Mountain.

The stories I have heard are frightening. Lucy, a good-looking brunette friend of some guy with a beard that I met briefly on the corner of Main and Beach, was taken out on a first date by a tall, good-looking pastor with the eyes of a poet and the hands of a steelworker. Perfect, she thought, and went on to have a romantic dinner where the sparkling conversation and fine wine flowed freely.

By the time Lucy kissed him goodnight at her front door (she’s very old-fashioned), she was well on her way to falling in love. That was until she accidentally brushed her hand across his crotch and there was nothing there. Nothing at all, she said, not even the slightest hint of convexity. In the absence of tumescence, Lucy fled into her building. I asked her if he was not perhaps possessed of a very small willy, as some Catholic men are, but she laughed harshly and said he was clearly a she out for a walk on the wild side. I have no reason not to believe her. So be careful. There’s a lot of dog-collar fraud out there.

Breeding

Women are more inclined towards genetic snobbery than men. They expect their males to have a certain pedigree. If they had the self-restraint of men, they would publicly feel our biceps and peel our lips back to check our teeth. Even women of dubious bloodlines look for men of good stock. It is all about wanting to have children that do not grow up into thieving, murdering bastards. South African women have a particularly low strike rate in this department.

Race

There is so much interracial fraternisation going on these days that it is becoming increasingly difficult to gauge a man’s race with any real certainty. I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. It is just a thing.

The waters have been further muddied by black people using skin-lighteners and white people using tanning beds.

If you have met a man and you want to know which race he belongs to before you go on a first date, I suggest you pick a fight with him and then take some of his hair or skin from under your fingernails to a biologist and ask for a DNA test. This may be quite costly but at least you will be spared the surprise of finding out that your first child is the colour of an Easter egg. Or even the Easter Bunny, for that matter.

Marital status

Another tricky area. It is not uncommon for men to slip their engagement or wedding rings into their pockets when they are out on the town. This is a despicable habit heavy with symbolism that far outweighs the simplicity of the act. And yet, why should you care? If this is the man who you want to fall in love with you, it doesn’t matter how many wives he has. Deal with them later. But if you were brought up by jackals in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and are meeting men for the first time, you will probably be concerned about these things.

In this case, check his finger for the telltale white band left by a freshly removed ring. But don’t jump to conclusions. It may be that he is recently divorced. Ask him. Asking doesn’t hurt. In this case, however, asking should hurt. Whatever he says, keep telling him that he is lying. If he really is married, it won’t be long before he cracks under pressure and tells the truth. Even if he is not married, he will admit to lying about something else, if only to stop the questions.

Now that you have broken him down, you can start building him up again. This time, according to your blueprint. However, it may be that you are simply toying with him. This is acceptable sport for a Friday night but should not become a habit. Men can only take so much badgering before they go gay or go away.

Religion

Having counseled thousands of troubled couples over the past three weeks that I have been in the self-help business, I have to say that more and more women are looking for men who are completely without religion. They find it only gets in the way of good, guilt-free sex as god meant it to be.

Creed

I don’t know what this means, but some people find it important. If you are one of them, I suggest you keep it to yourself. Nobody like a smartarse.

Nationality

This is only important if you discover that the man you have your eye on is an Afghan on the run from Guantanamo Bay. Even though you are drowning helplessly in his big brown eyes, you do not want your name on any list that is being circulated inside the Pentagon. Stay well clear of men who are more interested in your passport than your pussy.

Sexual orientation

You are looking for a well-rounded man who knows what he is and what he wants. You do not want someone who has never made it out of the psycho-anal stage of his development. Nor do you want someone who would rather watch television than watch you strip. Be careful of any man who remarks on your shoes and hums Black Sabbath’s Changes (“I’m going through changes…”).

 

To be continued …

Maritzburg Mayhem

Pietermaritzburg, that burnished pearl of the midlands, introduced parking meters in the city last year. The idea was to free up bays occupied by motorists who ended up in the local mental asylum after forgetting where they had parked.

It’s not working. I am still suffering from post-traumatic stress after driving into the middle of Maritzburg at 5pm on a Friday. The city’s brilliant parking project is about as successful as a two-legged mouse in the hurdles at the Mouse Olympics, scheduled for Zurich next April.

Parking wasn’t an issue because the maelstrom of traffic made it impossible to get anywhere near the parking bays. From what I could make out, the lane alongside the parking bays was also being used for parking. Most of the time I had trouble ascertaining whether traffic was at a standstill or if everyone had simply stopped their cars and gone off shopping, drinking or murdering.

The entire population of a million people was on the streets. Well, apart from the twelve white residents up on the hillside who hadn’t been able to emigrate because they couldn’t find a way through the impenetrable snarl of cars, buses and taxis. One family had missed more than 1 600 flights since 1994.

I felt their eyes on me. Perhaps watching through a pair of World War II binoculars.

What the hell is he doing? Sheila! Come and look at this! There is a white man driving in the city!”

Sheila’s hand would fly to her mouth. “The poor devil! It’s Friday!” she would cry. “He doesn’t stand a chance. Go and help him, Gerald!”

Gerald would lower the binoculars and glower at her. If he were wearing a monocle, it would scrunch deeper into his eye socket. “I fought the Zulus in 1873. I’m not doing it again.”

A sob would burst from Sheila’s heaving yet dispassionate chest. “But, Gerald, he is a white man! He is one of us!”

Gerald would harrumph. “Probably a Boer. I fought those bastards, too, you know.”

I wanted to get to the far side but the city wouldn’t let me out. Every intersection was gridlocked. I began passing the same buildings I had seen half an hour earlier. I started to feel like that explorer who, coming upon his own tracks after walking for a month, went mad and started eating himself. I couldn’t do that. People would come up to me at the robots and ask for a piece.

Desperate for a beer, or any kind of sedative, really, I looked for a restaurant or a bar. A pavement café. A hotel. Anything. There was nothing. Just endless stretches of furniture shops, pharmacies and used car dealerships. Parts of the city were like the seventh circle of Dante’s Inferno.

But that was then and this is now. Businesses and government departments were hoping for free parking. They may as well have been hoping for the city to be restored to its former glory, not that it ever really had much to start with. A city hall made of red bricks. I mean, really. What were they thinking?

When it comes to gouging the citizenry for every cent they have, the council is at the top of its game. And they know, better than most, that you can’t give anything away for free in Africa unless you’re backed by a platoon of United Nations troops trained in crowd control.

Kwenza Khumalo, who works in the municipality’s safety and security department, said the entire parking meter project would collapse if exemptions were made. And the council would lose the staggering sum of R50 000 a month. This is what the meters generate for the city. I know car guards who earn that in a morning. Okay, so they’re not just watching cars. But still.

Khumalo said complaints over paying for parking would “die a natural death”. This is the philosophy that underpins our civil service. Ignore them and they will go away. It’s a remarkably effective strategy, especially in a country where the average attention span is three minutes.

And if the complaints don’t die a natural death, it could always be arranged that the complainants themselves die an unnatural death. This is, after all, a region in which hit men are cheap as chips and thick on the ground.

Pietermaritzburg is not a capital city – it’s a capital offence.

 

Bring on the superheroes

With a general election only months away, the African National Congress is once again beginning the astonishing process of metamorphosing from a slumber party into a superparty.

Sound the trumpets for the heroes of the downtrodden! Defenders of the poor! Guardians of the revolution! Watch a miracle unfold as ministers go from consorting with kings to mixing with mortals in just a few short weeks!

But how can you have a superparty if your leader isn’t a superhero with superpowers? Hold on. What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Superzoooma!

Man of Steal.

Born on the planet Inkandla, he was rocketed into power moments before Inkandla was plunged into poverty. He was discovered by a family of businessmen who raised him as one of their own. After disabling Superzoooma’s moral compass, the Shaiks sent him off to Pretoria to make his fortune. And theirs.

His superpowers are legendary. With X-ray vision, Superzoooma can see right through the most Machiavellian of schemes to unseat him. And, thanks to his super-hearing, he can listen in on private telephone conversations and use that information to save himself from the most precarious of situations.

Also, he can fly. Whenever and wherever he wants. This superpower kicks in when he utters the magic words, “Take me to Waterkloof.”

And he can move at super-speed, although, to conserve energy, he reserves this superpower for when he has to call his lawyer.

Superzoooma’s archenemy is the ambitious Godzille, a medium-sized dancing lizard who will stop at nothing to steal his superpowers, even if it means visiting townships and speaking in tongues other than her own. These lifelong foes are masters of deception.

Vulnerable to subpoenas, Superzoooma has the ability to fly below the radar at the speed of sound. Prolonged exposure to media fall-out from planet Nkandla and the arms deal has the capacity to severely limit his powers. The only thing on Earth that can protect him is the NPA, a shadowy entity that only wakes up when it has to defend itself in court.

Superzoooma’s faithful factotum is Spider-Mac. Capable of spinning a web of lies in the twitch of an eyelid, Spider-Mac lives only to ensure his master’s enemies never get the upper hand. Truth being the upper hand. A superhero in his own right, Spider-Mac was bitten by a radioactive spider when he was young. That’s what he says, anyway.

His superpowers include perfect balance, enabling him to walk a fine line between fact and fiction. He also has an uncanny ability to cling to his story, even when artificial edifices are crumbling around him. Spider-Mac’s enemies are independent journalists. And he fears, more than anything, the sound of his phone ringing.

Kgalema Motlanthe is Wonder Man. His ability to do nothing and say nothing has the nation wondering what he does all day. His superpower is inscrutability. And while we wonder where he is and what he is thinking, he makes his move. But nobody ever knows what it is. Not even him. Devilishly cunning.

Bratman is the secret identity of a misunderstood man-child called Julius Malema. Unlike most superheroes, he does not have any superpowers. Together with his sidekick, Robbin’ the Poor, Bratman’s fight against injustice often means he has to break the law himself.

The guiding principle in his fight against corruption is, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Bratman drove the Bratmobile before it was repossessed. He lives in a secret location after the Taxman attached the Bratcave and put it on public auction. The Taxman is Bratman’s nemesis. A terrifying creature, he has the power the make money disappear from personal bank accounts and reappear in state coffers to be misspent or stolen.

Dressing as a bat in Polokwane, or eGothami City, as he calls it, Bratman knows he runs the risk of being hunted down and burnt to death by superstitious locals. Word on the street is that he is creating a new costume. Depending on who you talk to, it’s either a suit made from old dishcloths or a lion with the legs of a rhino, the face of an elephant and the wings of a buffalo.

When Bratman’s presence is required in court, the police activate a searchlight with a brat-shaped insignia over the lens which shines into the night sky … no, wait, that’s not right. The Prosecutor, a superhero who frequently lets his adversaries off the hook through sheer incompetence, sends him a subpoena. To the wrong address, probably.

Bratman has denied rumours that he is gay. “Robbin’ the Poor is nothing more than a good comrade,” he said. “Vote for me.”