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Guide to Everything – Part 2 Section C


How to make a man fall in love with you


The first date


Now that you have your man codified and assigned and you know precisely what you are dealing with, it is time for the first date.

Let him decide where to go. This will create the illusion that he is in charge and will save you a lot of trouble further down the line. However, if you have had to do all the work up to this point, then you will probably have to set up the date as well. Take the initiative.

Some men are slower than others and you may well have landed yourself one of those indecisive types who find it almost impossible to take a decision without some kind of divine guidance. If you are one of those women, leave immediately and don’t look back. I have seen relationships where nobody can take a decision and, “I dunno… what do you think?” can only be taken so far before the entire shebang collapses in on itself.

There are many places you can take a man on a first date, but avoid taking him to the one place that he really wants to go. Your place. Sooner or later someone will cough at the copy machine and you will think she said “slut” and you won’t be able to stop yourself from gouging her eyes out with the office stapler. Instead, try going to a place where other, more normal people might be gathering.

Restaurants are generally a safe bet. They also give you a valuable opportunity to see if he knows his wine and his way around the cutlery.

He will also be watching you closely and, since you are hoping that he will have fallen in love with you by the time desert arrives, it is best that you do not embarrass him with an epileptic fit after the first hit of wine.

Men are impressed by women who eat heartily. Unless, of course, you happen to be a big fat pig, in which case devouring plates of food can be decidedly unattractive. But tucking into your meal with gusto will send a subliminal message that you have a healthy appetite for all things hedonistic.

If your meal arrives first, wait for his to get there before laying into it. Starting without him sends disturbing signals on all levels, although men are increasingly open to playing from a handicap.

When it comes to ordering something to drink, take your cue from him. If he orders a beer, try to refrain from ordering a triple Mai Tai with two flaming Drambuies on the side. You will come across as high maintenance and maybe a little mad. Instead, have a beer with him. Even if you have to go and throw up afterwards, it will have been worth it. Half the battle will be won. But don’t keep on ordering beers, even if he does. He will start picturing you with a boep and once that happens you may as well put down your knife and fork and walk right out of there. However, you should at least try to keep up with his pace. No man wants to be ordering his seventh drink while the woman is still nursing her first glass of watered-down wine. It makes him feel like an alcoholic, and even if he is one it is important to remember that alcoholics in particular resent being made to look like alcoholics simply because they can’t stop drinking. So try to keep up without looking like a complete boozehound. Men have a curious respect for women who can hold their liquor without turning violent.

Don’t hog the conversation. Even though most men prefer silence to conversation of any kind, this does not mean that they have nothing at all to say. Very few men are sparkling conversationalists, but most manage to hold their own if they are given enough time and alcohol.

Early on in the date, make gentle enquiries about his education. You do not want a situation arising where you say between mouthfuls, “So, do you think Noam Chomsky was right when he said children are born with an inherent knowledge of the structure of language?” only to be met with the response, “I don’t believe in gnomes.” If this does happen, try not to fall off your chair laughing. Men enjoy being made to feel stupid marginally less than they enjoy having their testicles crushed in a metalworker’s vice.

When it comes time to leave the restaurant, let him call for the bill. If you do it, there is always the chance that the waiter will hand it to you. You do not want the bill. But nor can you hand it to him without him asking for it. If he has not noticed that you have the bill, slide it very slowly across the table using a napkin as cover. Distract him and remove the napkin. He will spot the bill and start fumbling for his wallet. This is your cue to start fumbling with your bag.

“No, no. I’ll get it,” he will say. “At least let me get half,” you will say. At this point, most men will insist that dinner is on them. Even if they have just blown half their monthly salary, most men do not have it in them to allow the woman to pay her share, let alone the entire bill. Like rape, this has nothing to do with money and everything to do with power. Indulge him. But don’t sleep with him yet. Unless you really want to.


The sex


Paulo, a Brazilian kickboxer who goes out with my neighbour’s third cousin on his father’s side, said that he once had a girlfriend who was so bad in bed that he used their intimate moments together to work on his hip action for the next fight. He said she never seemed to notice, but I find that hard to believe.

A man will have sex standing up, sitting down, crouching, standing on his head, standing on your head, driving, in his sleep and in the middle of Christmas dinner. You only have to say the words: “Do you want to have…” and he will be on you like a cane rat on a baby dove.

Sex is about the most dangerous and intensely personal thing that two people can do together. That, and sharing the same bank account. But even though most men are aware of the emotional significance of an inaugural coupling, they do not award it the same level of importance that a woman does.

While you are more likely to be worrying about whether you should be taking such a big step, he will be praying to all manner of gods that the dreaded attention deficit disorder does not strike him in the nether regions. He will also be worrying about the size of his willy, thanks to the endless articles in women’s magazines telling him that there is nothing to worry about.


To be continued …

A-Z of Travel in Africa

A is for Anopheles, a murderous little bastard who drinks your blood and thanks you for it by infecting you with malaria. Also for Adoption, which gives African orphans the chance to be exposed to a life of isolation and domestic discord. Also for Amputees. Thanks to the gentleman who invented the land mine, Africa will always be strongly represented at the Paralympics.

B is for Beer, a liquid asset that is used everywhere for Bartering, Bribing and all matters Bibulous. Also for Borders, the crossing of which involves grovelling for the privilege of bringing foreign currency into an impoverished country.

C is for Coconuts, a hardy thug of a fruit that launches aerial attacks with lethal consequences. Also for Crayfish, Chickens, Cashews and Cassava. In Africa, it is safe to eat anything that starts with a C, except Children, who are full of bones. Also for Colonialism, a superb system that gave Africans the chance to learn French, Portuguese and English for free.

D is for Darkies. Africa is full of them and members of white supremacist groups are advised to take their holidays elsewhere. Scandinavia, perhaps. Also for Deportation, a useful way of getting home when the money runs out.

E is for Elephants, a large mammal that is kept alive to protect the salaries of endangered white people employed by the World Wildlife Fund. Also for Ebola, a delightful virus that puts a damper on your trip by leaving you bleeding from every orifice.

F is for Fish, Faeces and Fornication, of which there is a healthy abundance in Africa, although Fish comes with fewer consequences.

G is for Goat, an unofficial currency with a good exchange rate. Notoriously difficult to fold up and slip into the back pocket.

H is for Hut, a popular form of housing that comes out well in photographs but less so in hurricanes. Also for Hitchhiking, a method of travel that entails standing on the side of the road until your visa expires. Also for Haggling, a way of supporting local craftsmen while simultaneously destroying race relations.

I is for Instinct, to be used when a red-eyed man wearing little more than a blunt machete invites you to walk with him through the bush to a disused mine where, for the price of a beer, there are emeralds the size of a baby’s head.

J is for Jack, a mechanical device that makes it easier for someone to remove your CD player while you are busy changing the wheel. Also for Jungle Fever, a syndrome that causes unattractive European women to engage the services of lithe Rastafarian lads for the duration of their stay.

K is for Kalashnikov, a Russian whose creation, the AK-47, has gone a long way towards bringing peace and stability to the African continent.

L is for Lesbians, usually spotted at luxury lodges eating their way through the buffet and each other.

M is for Morphine, a medicinal herb from the Morph bush that dulls the pain of a severed limb while enhancing full moons and sunsets. Also for Markets, places of trade that serve as China’s entry point to Africa and your handbag’s departure point.

N is for No, usually accompanied by “thank you” or a sharp blow to the kidneys, depending on the curio sellers’ persistence.

O is for Off-road, a means of getting from point A to point B using endangered species for traction. Also for Organ donation, which, if done voluntarily, can pay for boat trips to Offshore islands.

P is for Police (see Beer).

Q is for Queue, a Western concept rejected by indigenous proponents of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

R is for Rebels, Riots and Revolution. A lot of fun if you have the right T-shirt.

S is for Sunburn, nature’s way of reminding white people that they are not African.

T is for Tipping. After ordering a meal – if paramedics have not arrived to treat you for malnutrition by the time it arrives – it is courteous to give your waiter something. In most cases, suggesting a career working with animals would be considered a good tip. Also for Time and Toilets, neither of which should ever be taken for granted.

U is for Umbrella, a British invention that is used to protect yourself from rain, sun and small boys trying to sell you cowrie shell bracelets. Also for Ululating, a sound made by rapidly vibrating your tongue against the roof of a Swedish girl’s mouth.

V is for Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese chef who introduced flame-grilled chicken to many parts of Africa.

W is for Weapons. No need to bring one from home. Africa is full of them. Impress your lover by taking her down to the beach in a Soviet tank, available at most village markets (see Haggling).

X is for Xylophone, a harmonious traditional instrument that makes a flat, lifeless sound the moment you get it back home.

Y is for Y the hell am I suffocating in the middle of this godforsaken shit-hole when I could be at home eating Chinese takeaways and watching The Simpsons.

Z is for Zirconia, deal-of-a-lifetime “diamonds” that were meant to take care of your retirement but instead left you divorced and homeless.