Jess and her Tummy Mummy

Jessica & ThembiJessie’s Tummy Mummy Thembi became a good friend thanks to Aitch and her conscientious follow-up and ‘adoption’ of Thembi.

Aitch nurtured her and encouraged and empowered her. She arranged classes such as computer and sewing courses; she had her teeth seen to and hugely improved by the state orthodontists at Addington and King Edward hospitals.

Once a month she would take Jessie – and me and Tom sometimes – to meet for lunch with Thembi when we would also take her supplies and goods to sell; Jessie loved those lunches. She and Thembi would gossip and giggle and point at people walking past commenting on their looks, dress, gait, whatever. Scandalous! They loved it!

Once we took her back to Port Shepstone so she could show her Mom and Gran that Jess was fine.

Thembi's Mom and Gran
Thembi’s Mom and Gran seated

Thembi met a guy who was very good to her and was very happy but tragically she then contracted AIDS; Aitch pitched right in and arranged to meet the lady doctor in charge at King Edward and saw to it that Thembi got her treatment on time. She sickened rather quickly though, and grew weak.

Jess wrote to her when I visited her in Addington:

Thembi card frm Jess Jan2010

She died in Addington hospital. I took her boyfriend and brother Dumi in the kombi to buy a coffin and then to fetch her body; then arranged for them to get her remains – and themselves – to Port Shepstone.

 

 

Honeysucker to the Rescue

* updated *

Dad! Who farted!? exclaims Jess this morning, wrinkling up her nose.

Not me! Not me! Not me! say all three of us, each suspecting that someone is holding back. Or not holding back?

Soon the mystery is solved as we hear a rumbling in the road at the bottom of our garden. Someone must have been full of shit and the honeysucker has come to the rescue. It’s slurping up the neighbours’ overflow, as it were. Just as well. We don’t want to become known as an effluent suburb!

Sewer Honeysucker Truck

Ours was a boring municipal truck, white and blue, this one from Hillcrest looks better: A pink honeysucker, YAY!!

Oklahoma Mountain Oyster Fry

Back when I was seventeen or eighteen I became an American farmer – a certified Future Farmer of America and I can still hear how Mr. Schneeburger would say EFFIFFAY in Ag Shop class. In Ag Shop I craftily constructed a rotating cattle feeder made of a 55gal drum, mounted on a wheelrim on an axle that would always turn away from the wind thanks to an angled weather vane on top. Thus keeping the cattle feed dry in all weather. Clever, hey!? Trouble was my birdshit welding, so it fell over in the first little breeze. Still, the thought was there and I was – maybe – on my way to greater things.

I went to hog shows – where the winner wouldn’t be looking quite so pleased with himself if he read what his mistress had planned for him on the placard:

I planted peanuts in Fort Cobb – well, watched some Mexican fellas do it anyhow. I sprayed something on Jim’s lands. I drove in Walter & Pug Hrbacek’s – or was it Gene & Odie Mindemann’s? – airconditioned cab of their big combine harvester or tractor (yeah, a farmer should remember which it was!) with an eight-track tape sound system overhead. Remember them?

okla 8-track tape

My farming career peaked when I took part in the big annual roundup, catching, de-horning, castrating, branding and inoculating the bull calves.

Then we went home to wash up and joined up again to eat the produce and wash it down with beer. It was my first ‘mountain oyster fry’. It was like this, but in Walter’s barn, not at a church, and not in Texas:

Ball with Jesus_Testicle

They’re delicious, and they smell good – unlike the smell of burning cowhide from the branding! – but I found them best fried and covered in batter. You don’t really want to see them, especially not raw. I only ate the well-battered ones. They also get better with each ice-cold beer!

Okla testicles fried

Recently I found out they do it better in Montana where they add a competitive eating of bull balls, or “Rocky Mountain oysters” and they throw in women’s hot oil wrestling, a women’s wet-T-shirt event, and a men’s “big ball” competition – basically a men’s “wet thin white underwear show”. Sounds like fun, huh?!

They make good products too, good merchandise: One for an insecure man, and how useful is this one for a lady who has a dick of a boss?

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Geographical Catastrophe

Jonathan something Taylor studied geography. I’ve forgotten his middle name but it’s one of those Scottish throat-clearing exercises: MacLachlan, Kindrochart, Och Aye, MacKechnie, Donnach, Ag Man, Neachdainn, Murderdoch, something.

None of us had studied geography, so trustingly, we bowed to his superior knowledge and would leave all matters geographical in his capable hands and would even ask him “what rocks are those?” and other searching questions from time to time.

Until the night he organised the Night Of The Full Moon. Apparently (I wasn’t subjected to this faux pas) much was made of being in the right place at the right time: A restaurant with a raised perch and a view due east where the magnificent spectacle of the shining (reflecting, not glowing, remember?) orb rising above the horizon as the sun set in the west would be seen by his awe-struck companions. A table at the window. Don’t be late!

Well, this happened:

no moon rise

The light you see on the water is the restaurant’s lights. The only moon that night was under the Scotsman’s kilt!

 

Not a Millionaire

As you take a picture of the kids they say “LEMMESEE” and look at the photo of themselves on your phone, then say ooh! or ugh!

In 1944 a three year old girl apparently said that to her Dad and he had to explain the film would first have to be sent away to the lab when they got back home from their holiday and then the lab would develop it and send it back to them and only THEN could she see the pic he had taken of her. She thought that completely unreasonable and so her Dad set to work and in 1948 the first Land Polaroid cameras went on sale. His name was Edwin Land and his Polaroid Corporation became very famous indeed. Instant pictures in 1948 looked like a miracle, like the fax did forty years later.

Some of you will remember those cameras:

Polaroid Land camera
Edwin Land and a surprised codger

I first got to use a Polaroid camera in 1973 when – in my quest to do as little schoolwork as possible – I was kindly allowed onto the Annual Staff of Apache High School where our job was to be amateur reporters and amateur fund-raisers and to cobble together this school annual under the wonderful friendly guidance of our teacher Virginia Darnell.

 

We had old cameras with bellows and a newer version.

So why am I not a millionaire? Because everyone knows Polaroid went bust as newer technology came out and nowadays there’s absolutely no need for paper photos when you have all your digital photos instantly viewable and always available on your camera. Everyone KNOWS that.

Except – – – this:

Polaroid new camera
2017 Polaroid cameras

Seems kids still want to hold a paper copy of their image in their hand. Last year Polaroid launched new instant cameras which look very retro-similar to the ‘new’ ones we used in the seventies!  My predictions on new stuff that eventually ‘went viral’ has usually been ‘hmph! that’ll never take off!’

Time will tell if paper photos make a comeback.

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Thanks to fellow optometrist Ann Elsner, Professor of Optometry at Indiana University for a lovely article on Polaroid’s 70th anniversary 1948 – 2018.

 

My Famous Friends – #1

** this blog is mainly after I got married in 1988; my other blog vrystaatconfessions.com is essentially pre-marriage; sometimes things don’t fit neatly into one or the other – they overlap; so occasionally I copy and paste **

Tuffy has hit the bright lights. School friend and class mate Mariette van Wyk edits a lovely magazine Atlantic Gull down in the Dryest Fairest Cape.

Mariette vWyk's Atlantic Gull

She got the fascinating life story (well actually, snippets of it!) of Irené John Joubert out of him recently.

Tuffy Famous

Fascinating thing is, Tuffy DID this stuff, Chuck Norris acts it out. Here’s an eyewitness account of his famous plummet from a helicopter.

Here he is in those far-off days when you could see his chin and not his forehead:

Pierre Tuffy 95 Sturat St
Pierre duP and Tuffy

Tuffy’s older brother Etienne remembers him getting his nickname like this: In the very English environment of the Methodist church some soutie made the mistake of calling the French masculine name Irené the English feminine name ‘Irene’ in Sunday school and promptly got dondered right then and there by said Irené. And hence the nickname Tuffy was born.

I see Tuffy says he has no trouble in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Congo as “with my honest face, people just love me”. What I want to know is: How do they see his face?

Well, now that his cover is bust, his anonymity lost, learn more about Tuffy being a domkrag and then tackling an unsuspecting ox here

and head-on colliding with a hill here

and streaking and under-age drinking here

and how he practiced going on long journeys before he went to Afghanistan here

and purloining illicit swag here

and he played rugby for a little dorp and beat Grey College here .

harrismith-rugby-1967-u13

Chuck’s going to have to lift his game. Also, and anyway, America can forget toughness, Harrismith also had another Chuck Norris.

Thanks Mariette for the article! See: http://atlanticgull.com/chuck-norris/

Added: And how Tuffy tricked me here.