Tom at the German Club

You can tan me hide when I’ve died, Clyde, and hang it up in the shed. ‘Cos I have developed a quite – not a very, but a quite – thick skin. I meet Bruce for a beer at The German Club, which has become a bit more like an Old Rhodesians Club. This is some years ago.

I think Bruce phoned ahead and asked to speak to the chairman. The man who’d answered said ‘Chairman? Ve’s all blutty Chairmans HERE!’ I think he did, but I’m not sure.

– Germans, Rhodesians and us. Tom sucks his lollipop in a beer bottle! –

I’m with TomTom who sticks out a bit in this euro-centric, deathly pale, colonial atmosphere. There are some stares. Tom has a blue lollipop which he pops into my empty beer bottle and raises every now and then for a suck, which looks like a swig! Ah, well, we’re used to stares.

Hell, in the years since then its got way more challenging and my skin has thickened even more. I have an Epic Epidermis. Since I became a Mom, I have loitered around many a lingerie department asking store ladies to please measure Jess and make sure she gets a good bra fit. I have discussed panty sizes with skeptical shop mamas. I am quite used to ‘Ja, Right!’ looks . . I just give a huge smile, make a joke, ask nicely, act matter-of-fact. Most people are just fine. Some are simply magic and ‘adopt’ Jess and take her under their wings for a brief while. They’re the STARS!

Where they act weird I just let it go. It’s like a duck’s water off my back.



Everyone knows how to be cautious at an ATM. Do not allow yourself to be distracted. I’m wide awake, so when the guy ahead of me said “Eish, they’ve changed their system, but I managed to get my cash,” I smiled and moved on. When he offered to help me I shoo’d him off. He persisited and shoved next to me and pointed at the screen and babbled his tale. Pest. He looked like a bit of a smiling simpleton. I felt sorry for him, but I firmly told him I can do this, I don’t need your help. Buzz off please. He hovered nearby as I made to withdraw some cash to loan to Tommy’s mate Jose. They were waiting in the car. The white Ford Ranger 4X2 diesel. Next minute my card was stuck in the machine and he was gone. I got no cash.

One minute later as I was phoning the bank about the stuck card, my phone beeped: R3000 withdrawal – my max amount.

How the HELL did he do that!? He was gone.

So I was wrong: He was no simpleton. But then again, maybe I was actually right: There WAS one simpleton in that ATM booth this Sunday.