Like any self respecting kook it’s important to respect the send, almost more than anything else. In that spirit, here’s a little respect the send compilation, chronicling my seemingly chronic foot in mouth syndrome. As an entrée, we’ll start you off with the story of when I nearly died jumping from my ego to IQ.
Be a young lad (lass, or whatever the fuck you wanna be.) Young and certain of everything, so early teens. On the incline to the top of Joburg’s snowless sledding slope. The thing about being 13 and having a counter culture upbringing, is that it tends to make you a rebel without a cause. So I was very angry at everything; Thanks to Al Gore, the state of the environment; Thanks to Fight Club, the state of society’s seeming apathy to things actually important; Thanks to George Orwell, pigs and cameras. But above all else, specialising in things that don’t concern or affect me in the slightest.
Anyway, so standing in line, chatting to my estranged younger sister. She, on the border between single/double digit-hood, needless to say well impressionable. As any good bigot and self-righteous citizen, impress upon her my beliefs was exactly what I set out to do. Speaking of, let’s add the splash of vanity that marked my coming to selfhood.
Here we are, yo booi, (thats me) encountered his first Orthodox jews. Now, they have a particular way of wearing their hair. The old curly reigns. For those of you unfamiliar, no problem, its just that in my young mind this seemed to me to be the next fad in abhor-ably fashionable head dress, coming right off Bieber’s mega-quiff. In my oh-so-ever humble opinion, this seemed fucking ridiculous. But today, today I was empowered and thus would be dammed if I wasn’t going to let the world know what FOOLS these boys were for adopting such a ridiculous haircut.
Now I can’t be certain what was said, but Im sure you’ve managed to piece together that it’s intention was to be known. Something along the lines of…“What in the ever-loving [blasphemy/cuss] is this [cuss/ string thereof]’ing [cuss]? Do these guys not know how stupid they look?”
The irony, not yet invisibly mounting. Anyways, these poor passive boys, much to their credit, simply flinched and held their ground. VICTORY, my pre-teen self managed to make his dent upon the world and make it a better happier place, for all. Viva la revolution.
It’s only later when relaying the story of modern heroics to my mother, did I learn that this stock of faith exists. And that perhaps, I ruined their day. Luckily time heals all, and I doubt they think about the incident as much as I do nowadays.
Sorbet of self awareness. And I know I’m talking quite an amount of shit about myself here, but it’s hard not to flinch at running my mouth like I’m hot shit or something. Let’s be real, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, then do we actually deserve to laugh at anything else? Charity isn’t the only thing that begins at home.
The main course. Today we will be serving a dish of sautéed ambition, on a bed of social ineptitude, drizzled with a reduction of naivety.
Ok, ok, ok, again, be a relative youngin, about college going age. Move from a small town to the big city, the mother city as it’s known here. Also, be very ready to take on the world and make my life what I want it to be. At this specific point, thanks in part to the counterculture upbringing and slightly anti-social nature, it revolves around focusing on making friends and ‘finding my people,’ as the cliché goes.
First day at school, always a seminal one. Making moves to making mates. Got one in the bag and between him and I, we decide to screen as many of our classmates as possible for prospective crew, we were commerce kids after-all, efficiency our last surviving deity.
Unfortunately, the first set doesn’t impress. Which is fine and good and that’s where it shoulda ended.
By virtue of this being a story, you can imagine that no, this is not where it ended. See, I spot friend number one in the distance. Eager on the debriefing, shout something along the lines of “Those ous (a South Africanism for, people/guys/dudes/…) were poes (a South Africanism for, very, amongst other things) lame” across the room to him. The very moment after, make strong eye contact with one of those discribed. Disaster.
The boy is absolutely seething. Which makes sense, most would most certainly be.
Voila, my very first enemy, not even a full day into my big city debut.
It’s taken a-lot of concerted effort since then, four years ago, to reduce the feeling from utter hatred, to mere resentment all the way down to simple animosity. (Fun fact, since writing this story, I seem to have admitted to the piece in an attempt to make amends. Which, apparently was somewhat successful.) Turns out we’re relatively similar.
Where to next? Ah, but the desert of course. Short, sweet and lingering.
Camping in the middle of fuck-off nowhere with my once-upon-a-time-love. Strike up a chat with a slightly inebriated but otherwise lovely fellow. After a few minutes of cordial conversation. The man opens his heart and shares that “I recently lost my wife.”
To which this, albeit well intentioned, bright spark replies. “Oh shit, where? Can we help you look?” Completely missing the euphemism.
Queue two second awkward pause followed by “Oh no! I’m so sorry man.”
Yeah, I can still taste that one. As it goes, people fuck up.