Not a Bad Start to the Weekend


Lindsay:  New girlfriend – Scottish and Super, engaged to a lovely Irish-born South African rugby player

Jason:     The lovely Irish-born South African rugby player.

Billy O’Brien:   Jason’s dad.  A lovely, if ever so slightly lecherous, Irishman.

Heather:  Lindsay’s friend (and mine, now) – a crazy fabulous Capetonian who does event planning for Rand Merchant Bank

To remain tactfully nameless:  The yummy rugby-playing engineer. 

Dale:   Yeah – not actually his name, but we’ll go with that.  Drunker that average rugby player.


Linds and I were supposed to hook up for drinks after work, likely free ones at one of the show opening at the Alliance Francaise.  She, however, managed to ditch work at noon to join Billy on the trip to Pretoria to watch the finals.  Jason’s team had been playing a tournament all week and were in the final that afternoon.  Important stuff, they tell me.

It was just as well for me, as I have been laid down with a bug for a couple of weeks, and went home to bed. 

           sms (text message) from Linds mid afternoon:   they’re losing. 😦 not sure when will be back. not looking good 4 the boys right now!

           billy talking about the game later that night: they played like a bunch of pansy school boys.  pitiful.

           sms almost sent by Lindsay with about ten seconds to go in the game: boys lost 17-13 (or some such score?)

That’s when someone scored a try (a score of three points earned by advancing the ball to or beyond the opponents’ goal line… I’m learning).  Then the clock ran out.  But in rugby, if you get a try, you also get to try to kick the ball through the goal posts.  Nice rule, if you ask me.  It was, I’m told, an impossible kick.  In an athletic move of legendary proportions, they made it for the two points needed to win the game and the title.  Dad – this is the stuff an SI writer could make poetry out of! 

          sms from Lindsay a few moments later: They won!!!!!

So when that lot was done jumping on eachother’s bruised and broken bodies, showering and having the obligatory drink on the patio, they drove back to Jo’burg, specifically to a dodgy-by-Canadian-standards-pub called “The Colony.”  A colony of what, I’m not quite sure.  It’s the type of place only frequented by the under-aged, the elderly-and-alcoholic, and rugby teams.  Classy.   

I dragged myself out of bed and threw on the outfit I had put together thinking we were going to somewhere that serves martinis.  My hair was curled and I had black jeans, black boots, and a black and turquoise tank-top on.  Rather hot considering how lethargic I felt, I’d say.  I drove myself to the Colony in my clean and very white car.  (It has leather seats and CD player.  Love her.)

As I walked in about five rugby boys (they’re all built like bricks and were wearing team shirts) asked about my accent as one tried to put his arm around me.  “You’re in trouble, tonight” one of them said.  “Yeah, I gather.”

Thankfully, Lindsay and Billy weren’t difficult to locate – standing with drinks in hand (for Billy anyway) guarding the trophy.  Like shade in the dessert, it’s nice to find refuge.  Linds filled me in on the game and Billy declared it a bloody miracle. I said hello to a few people I had met previously and Billy offered me a drink.  He’s been very nice to me since he discovered I can cook (made roast chicken the other night) and play golf. 

The table we were standing at was on the terrace, against a large beam and near some tables.  I thought I’d extricate myself from my spot between the post and a group of large and increasingly loud men, so I turned around and bumped into a very good-looking man with an apologetic but come-hither look on his fit face. 

 (Tactfully skipping that conversation and a few later… I will say this, however: the boy can dance.  I mean really dance.)

As the evening wore on and the team got drunker, the show got more amusing.  Now, as a rule, I don’t drink anything that’s either creamy or bright green.  They were drinking pints of something called John Deere: it’s like bug juice from camp with subtle undertones of mouth wash.  After trying the obligatory sip I was generously presented with a shot of something called a Springbok.  It has two layers: bright green and creamy.  Strangely yummy.  Thank God for the car keys. 

Now the culture here is somewhat different to the one I grew up in: Dusty’s and Felicita’s.  Pubbing and socializing in BC lacks a certain gender divide.  Here, the boys stand around in one circle talking about sports and the girls stand around in another talking about the how silly the boys get (and work and other grown-up sort of things).  At first this was strange and annoying.  It was not until the men-folk started jumping up and down and chanting and then proceeded to drop their pants that the benefits of the arrangement became clear to me. 

That was the warm up.  There is that point in the night that rugby girlfriends can sense like a deep-sea fisherman can sense a coming storm.  I was the tourist on the boat: it caught me right off guard.  I think it was about 15 minutes after they started chugging a mix of beer, John Deeres and cider out of the trophy.  I was sitting at a picnic table with a few of the girls when Lindsay gave one of them the “here-it-comes” look.  It’s an unspoken looks that galvanizes the forces into action: we have to get them into a car before something very nasty happens.  Just then Jason and a handful of his mates started scrumming at the entrance. 

Divide and conquer.  I had already agreed to drive one of them home (the yummy one, by sheer coincidence, of course).   He then turned to talk to ‘Dale’ to ask if he had a safe way home.  In SA that has an entirely different meaning, so I was not about to leave the poor boy on the patio in that state.  The three of us got in the car, and thankfully the windows got rolled down.

My car is not as white and clean as it was before the trip.  It’s also rather stinky.  So as one of them is hanging half-way out of the car, the other is saying, “Oh, you don’t have to slow down.  He’ll be fine.”  We did get him to his gate safely, however, where he sort of got out /  fell out of the car.  He didn’t have his keys.  This isn’t a place where you can climb through the kitchen window.  There are 12-foot walls in the way.  So his friend decides to help: he grabbed the bars of the gate and started tugging.  Very funny: one huge guy stumbling down the street as the other attempts to pull the electronic and barbed security gates open.  In the end we did find the keys and wished him good luck.

The other one got home safely as well.


The next morning I went for a lekker (that’s ‘great’) breakfast and then over to Jason and Lindsay’s where we baked by the pool: boys defenitely worse off then the girls. Then a group of us went to a braai (BBQ with real wood and basically just meat on the menu) at another friend’s house.  More lounging with feet in the pool.  I also watched half my first rugby game.  It was actually pretty interesting in parts.  This is a good thing, as I don’t intend to sit out of the sports talk for much longer. 

That night I had braaied meat again, with red wine and great conversation.

Not a bad start to my weekend. 

The story of Sunday will come later.  That part of the story is where we meet Heather; it involves a cheesy Italian crooner and Pimms. 


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