Friday, November 14, 2008

Home Is Where The Van Is.

I remember a time in my life when I would spend my winter holidays playing out the fantasies of Wimbledon in my back garden. I was ten and my brother, Matthew was eleven. I say Matthew, but he preferred to go by Pete Sampras, and I - Andre Agassi. Blinking Yanks. Why were they so good. There is something you must understand about my brother, not only is he superior in age to me - he has superior prowess. That's nice for saying he's got bigger muscles than me. And they keep getting bigger every time i see him, such is the nature of the sanitare-ware and plumbing profession. I have discovered that reverting to the old taunt of referring to him not by his alter ego but rather as Steffi Graff - simply won't cut it anymore. So on centre-court we have muscles and we have on the opposing side - well, not so much. So like any good younger sibling does, I improvised. I used my wile and cunning to beat him at the psychological game, not to mention those deft little touches over the net. I say that i used the improvisation to beat him. I improvised that i did, beat him - that i did not. In the hundred matches or so Matthew and i have engaged in, i can honestly count the number of games i have one on a single hand - with the regulation five fingers in tact. Its just plain embarrassing. So on the weekend I found myself and one fellow Kirsten-hoffian, to be up against the proverbial wall. Our opposition this time was not against Brother Bear, but rather the formidable force of one Nicholas 'Glomail-Ad-Because-You-Ju
st-Got-Stepped-By-A-Stepping-Machine" Key (I claim no claims in this regard for such a glorious alias - nick made that one up all by himself - and we are all very proud of him) and of course of the indomitable elder Aspeling twin, Lisa

Nick not only has game but he has muscles to boot. When my great stamina proved to fall short in comparison to our opponents dual efforts, because Lisa did have to help Nick out many a time - i reverted to my old ways. I tried my guile, i tried my cunning, and while I'm sure it was entertaining for all of ten minutes - it didn't put enough points up on the board. Safe to say that Kirsten and I left the court having been one of the best two teams that played that day. At least in the top two.

The thing that grates me is that it doesn't end, or even begin there. My victories on the Playstation seem to be getting just as sparse. I don't doubt my sheer talent, that's just plain obvious - but i cant peg it down to anything else. It would help if I didn't have a competitive bone in my body, but alas i have at least four of them, and most of them constitute my limbs.

I am sorry for letting you down Kirsten, i will bring my alleged A-Game next time. Either that or I'll just kick Nick repeatedly in the shins. Slow him down a bit, you know.

This week has been on the refreshing side for me. Another one of those series of moments that lead you to believe you can do better at things than what you have been doing. This was a culmination of some constructive advice from a friend with better perspective than I, completing my third tertiary academic year, discovering some great music in the form of Civil Twilight all over again and spending time with people who don't care much for my self pity. I found myself returning (in the worst way) to that place i found myself in a couple weeks back. That stylish picnic with the styled-up humans. I spent some time again on the outskirts of their realm and it revealed more about me than it did about them. I found myself getting despondent at the thought that i will never be so cool as to get through all three meals in one day without messing copious amounts of food on my clothes. I will never be that guy. What i learned is this. Life is what you make it. I was watching a program concerning a gentleman who had contracted a form of lung cancer and was being sued by another gentleman also suffering from a similar form of cancer who had felt cheated because the first guy was rich and used his money to secure a drug tester that effectively left the second guy with a 0.5% chance of getting a placebo. Which he did. The story i must tell you is not true, its fiction - the principle however is not. Now the rich guy doesn't want to spend his last few weeks alive battling out a court case. So he chooses to settle and offers the second chap an exorbitant amount of money to settle. The guy refuses. He refuses on the premise that taking the first bloke's money wont hurt him, but taking his time away from him would - so he chooses to ensue in the lengthy court case and robs the very life from the rich guy.

Heavy days. The point of the story is not one of vengeance fulfilled, because i think we can all agree that the second guy didn't go to bed that night thinking what a champ he was for making that decision. It's like Graeme Vermooten always says. Good choices = good consequences, bad choices = bad consequences. The point of the story is that life is futile and precious and fleeting and a sequence of good choices just might lead one in the direction of truly getting rest at the end of an arduous day. I am of the persuasion that life could actually be that. If only i wasn't so stinking selfish and lazy.

I think a good choice could involve decidedly delicious Greek food over a setting Sea Point sun with a new friend. And i think a good choice could involve eating Aunty Linda's delicious macaroni cheese and a good choice may indeed constitute Spur burgers and sharing the love of all things Taylor Swift with a genuine Southern Belle. I don't think its any coincidence that good choices almost always involve good food.

Perhaps Mr. Vermooten could we not rather say that good food = good consequences?

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