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Meanwhile # 2 | April 2004
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Once upon a time in fairyland, there was a bowl of spaghetti full of Absolutely Fabulous flavours. These ingredients were of no particular age, but if you can relate to one or all of them, you’re on the right track: We’re on a road to nowhere…

The honey pots of strife, which these bumble bees gather around to listen and learn from one another, have loads more in store for you and every other boiled egg, willing to crack a smile. So go, help yourself. It’s sweet as sugar & spice.

Now in this crazy bubble bath of bubbles, we have some deliciously tasty berries to meet before we continue with the story. We have a whole compote of raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, mulberries, black berries and of course jingle berries, not to mention the baboon berries, who lost all their berries in the production process… loopy-loop.

And on a dreary, misty morning, just before sunrise, they decided to go for a walk along the short river, the long river was way too short for a morning stroll. Each with an umbrella, a summer coat, sunglasses and a night cap in the hand, they took on the road and were met halfway by no other than Maja the bee who likes to think of herself as queen of the jungle, the know all and be all of everything there is to be or not to bee. Shall we continue. Or just before we do, I would like to mention that this is no jingle berry baby to bear with one paw, oh no, this is the MOTHER of all bees, so you better know your stuff or she will sort you out. And even when you think (or know) you know your stuff, she might still know better. You just can’t win. Jy mag nie wen nie, it’s as easy as that.

Terug by die feeverhaal. Ek verwys graag na die cherries as ‘n allegaartjie van blou fieterjoel en met Maja in die geselskap, neem die partytjie natuurlik ‘n heel ander kleur aan – Pers! Alles word binne sekondes met 15 grade verhoog: volume, capacity, activity, hysteria, energy levels and verbal consumption – we have lift off! Half way in mid air, someone rang the door bell and opened the poop shoot, just in time for the ladies to get out and head down to the river for that stroll. Next to the river they found a nice green patch of grass to sit on and take in the fresh morning air. One breath of fresh air, one breath of Gauloises Blonde, one breath of fresh air… “who’s stinking idea was this walk in anyway? My split toe nails are causing me excruciating pain in the upper left follicle” (high pitched voice: Juffrou Rottenmaaier) and just when they thought the morning could not get any more interesting, a canoe full of furry monsters came floating by.

En daar, reg in die middel, soos in alle malhuise, sit ons eie Drama Queen. Daisy de Drama Queen. ‘n Brose ou bottervliegie, vol tierlanteintjies en fieterjasies, wat maar al te goed weet hoe om krane oop te draai – seker iets wat sy geleer het toe sy by die munisipaliteit gewerk het as OTT beampte. Hoor hier, en as dit nie krane is wat Bachus se spinnekopsop laat in tap by die liters nie, dan is dit die tipe wat soos plaasdamwalle breek en in galonne oor die kranse antwoord gee. Ons vir jou Suid-Afrika.

Whichever valve oopgemaak word – binneklep of buiteklep – die effek is presies dieselfde: maskara op die ken. VVBM (Very Valuable Blackmail Material), not to be taken for granted, as the Vanity Fair is one of our favourite magazines.

En reg langs Daisy op die dwarsbalkie sit Babushka, the Screaming Orgasm (uuh no, not the drink). As her names suggests, she is not what you would call the quiet type. Think: cross between peacock and turkey – beautiful, but boy oh boy is she LOUD! Een van daai skreeubekke wat so helse keel opsit voor jy nog aan die byl geraak het.

Gin wonder sy’t ‘n gil soos ‘n begeesterde tokkelossie nie, want sy moes nog haar lewe lank weghol vir Boesman die bylman… wrede ou met ‘n woeste kuif. And that’s why she’s got balls, I mean for a woman and all, she’s pretty brave / outspoken – is there a difference? Bring vir Dingaan en Goliat gelyk my maat, sy maak hulle plat met die aarde voor jy nog kon sê: “sewe sakke sout in ‘n strooisak sussie”.

En dis toe, terwyl die gevaarte verby die giggle girlies gly, dat Babushka vir Gypsey Girl in die water gewaar - ‘n seeperdjie van ‘n ander kleur. Een van daais met al die kleure van die reënboog. Wat noem mens hulle? O-ja, a rainbow fish – ‘n reënboogseeperdjie. Kan jy net dink hoe fraai is die klein seevaardertjie. One of many talents. Jy ken daai visse en krappies wat so skaam is en heeltyd wegkruip tot mens hulle uitlok met ‘n stukkie kaas – en eers wanneer hulle heeltemal gemaklik en veilig voel, hulle verskyning maak. Well, dis dan dat jy vir die eerste keer hulle ware kleure sien - sulke lang tentacles met groot oë en pof wangetjies wat met die soepelheid van ‘n vier-jarige Chinesie ewe grasieus deur die water wikkel. Daar is nie veel vissies wat by hierdie blaasoppie kan kers vashou nie – miskien net vuurvliegies.

“Kom ons vang haar!” skree Babushka, “ek het ‘n haarnet wat groot genoeg is om vier vissies en ‘n meermin in te hou”. “Ja, dan kan sy saam met ons paddastoele soek vir die boskanaries, cha-cha! cha-cha-cha! cha-cha-cha! cha-cha!” kom dit uit die wilgertakke met lang maanhare - dis Sasha and she’s very Sasha. If you do not entirely grasp the context of the word Sasha, drop your pants en maak ‘n paar bollemakiesies. Maybe a bit weird, but bloody marvelous, if you can actually be bothered to take some time out and try it. You know, it’s like a lot of things in life. You don’t know what something really tastes like unless you’ve tried it and even then, you still don’t know all the different aspects to it, unless of course you have already sampled it grilled, fried, pickled, blended, smoked, marinated and shaken or stirred. The way I see it, Sasha is an acquired taste that would come across as a super spicy bloody mary, but indeed is more down the lines of a strawberry milkshake – very sweet and very tasty.

After some serious consideration and overruling by Maja, because without that, it would not be a fair election, Gypsey Girl was saved from the mud slides of the short river, as instigated by Babushka, who convinced herself that “I did it myyyyyy way” (Nat King Cole & the Rastafarians), while Sasha and Daisy were happy to give advice from the sideline where they were trying to figure out just exactly how FIVE of them in ONE canoe are going to tackle the rapids further down the stream. “Should we warn them?” Naaaa.

Wat is die punt van hierdie gebackwards, forwards and straight back into no particular direction? Kom tot die punt vroumens, hoor ek die ongeduldige buffels brom in die agtergrond, maar as mens heeltyd net in een rigting stuur: reguit voorentoe in reverse gear, dan mis jy mos juis die punt! Wat van al die lekker sousige dele en daai lastige systraatjies tussen-in? Who cares about the destination if you’re not having fun getting there!! If you had to choose between a ride on a bicycle, a boemper car and a bromponie, you would probably go for the air baloon, wouldn’t you? That’s what I said. So I changed the rules.

Volgende keer vertel ek julle wat die klomp merries aanvang as hulle mekaar se stertvere begin uittrek. And until then, goodnight Mandela, sani bonani madoda and hambani kahle bomama. Spring is in the air, I can smell it in my corn flakes.

Ruby Rowntrees

© MEANWHILE

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