Archive for April, 2011
Well, I said I’d return with Part 2: The High School years…and I shall now share that with you.
In 1992, I entered high school with a personal life in tatters and a non existent love life. Little did I realize at that point, that was as good as it was going to get.
During the first few months, everyone was sorta feeling each other out, not literally of course, but there were no real cliques forming yet. Well except for those who had pre-existing friendships from Primary School.
Because I went to an out of town High School, I was one of only three people who came from my Primary school. They were both girls which meant I was fair game. A mysterious stranger who nobody really knew.
This worked in favour for…oh, about 1 month.
You see during my first few weeks I had a girl who liked me. Her name was Dee Dee. During English class she asked one of her friends to find out if I liked her. Which I did. She relayed the message, and we ended up “going out”. Awesome!
Just after English period we had second break, and when I went to go hang out with her, her friend told me she changed her mind. And we “broke up”.
That in a nutshell was my entire High School dating life.
My personal life got worse, and I lost complete confidence in asking anyone else out again.
I got along with all the girls, and was always fun to be around. I never actually had anyone like me back, and sorta just accepted that.
There was a younger girl who seemed interested in me once, I didn’t know her that well, so I convinced her my name was Carlos, and I was half Mexican. I think that went on for an entire term.
There were those I tried to get to know better, but for some reason I always tended to make things way too complicated in my head.
Another infamous moment…my matric Farewell. (or as the yanks call it – Prom)
You see, pretty much everyone had a partner, or willing cousin ready long before hand. But me, much like I am today, couldn’t find a single person to go with me. Everyone I wanted to ask already had a date…true I always set my sights too high, so I would never get Paula, Lana or Valanesse to go with me (three popular girls of our year). So the week before our Farewell, I literally walked up to someone I had never spoken to before and asked if she was free. She was a few years younger than me, but was a complete dear about the whole situation, and said sure why not. Her name was pronounced “shaan”…that’s right Shaun was taking Shaan to the dance. You could NOT make this stuff up.
The awkwardness continued through over the next few days, right up until I fetched her and met her parents. I think they actually felt sorry for me. But hey, I’d take a pity date over no date any day of the week.
The dance was pleasant enough…I have a photo to remember her by, but other than an awkward hello in the corridors, I don’t think we spoke again after that.
You know what I love about them High School girls? I get older, they stay the same age….yes they do…yes they do.
But yeah, that’s High School for you…part three will have some interest stories from my post High School dating life …if of course you want to hear it.
My previous blog was what the kids on the street call an epic failure, which is a damn shame because I felt it was good and original. I guess what it comes down to is that its just not something people care to read.
So I’ve decided to go back to basics. People seem to like hearing about something they can relate to. And what’s easier to relate to, than relationships!
I’d like to share with you my complete history of girlfriends…don’t worry, you’ll be done reading in 5 minutes.
I’ve always (and by always, I mean since this blog idea popped into my head earlier today), compared my resume of girlfriends to the Mel Brooks movie History of the World Part 1.
Its awkwardly funny, filled with innuendos, factually incorrect and had about a 90min running time.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a superb memory, but there may be certain inaccuracies here and there, which are simply a result of “the facts as I remember them”.
Now enough waffling, let’s get to the good stuff!
In primary school I was quite the stud, well as much of a stud as a 6-11yr old could be.
I was always getting Valentines cards, being flirted with at Saturday night birthday parties, and basically liked by the opposite sex. Probably for my maturity…and my skills at king stingers.
My first girlfriend came into my life in Grade 1. Her name was Gillian…yes, I’m going to name em and shame em!
I had many crushes during my early years, not unlike today, girls like Paula, Natalie, Claire, Kim…but Gillian was the girl I was brave enough to let know!
She was cute as a button, and we got on amazingly. Our junior love was the stuff of legends. Even both our parents were fond of the kids significant other.
Our first date was around Valentines Day, and we went to the ice rink with her Parental supervision of course. I’ll never forget when they came to pick me up from my house, she gave me a Snoopy mug with the slogan “you’re always on my mind” on it. (I still have that mug…and use it daily).
We were an item for a long time. And I never really had an interest in pursuing any other girls…and believe me we had some hotties!…again, as hot as 6-11yr olds can be.
However… As people get older they are influenced by many other factors when it comes to love. At that age, seeds can be planted from friends, family, status or moments in life.
Come standard 4, my life was a mess. With the loss of my dad, and a year before I lost my older brother, my priorities in life changed, and Gillian and I grew apart.
During that year, we went in a school tour to Cape Town. I grew really keen on a girl named Robyn. She was an athlete, had an older sister who knew my brother, and we had a mutual liking for one another.
During the tour, we snuck off to a friends hotel room…and kissed alone in the dark for 5 minutes! The irony was, a year or 2 before, it was at Robyn”s birthday party a few years before that Gillian and I had our first French kiss behind the wall of her house…although that evening turned bad for me because everyone threw each other in the pool…and when I got home after the party I got a beating for getting my shoes wet, but I try and remember it for the kiss…
Anyways, back to the hotel room.
The next day, as kids do, they can’t keep a secret, and during one of the bus rides, someone told Gillian about the kiss, and she slapped me there on the bus. I deserved it, and always felt bad about doing that to her…I wonder if she even remembers.
That also pretty much ended things between Robyn and I. From hero to zero I guess.
A year after primary school ended, Robyn and I got into contact and we trying going out on a date. My mom took us to see The Mighty Ducks.
We never really saw each other after that…but we did have a telephone conversation a few years later which featured the memorable line of “hey I see there is a sequel to the Mighty Ducks coming out”…I don’t think I got the hint.
I’ll be back with the High School years a lil’ later…
Sure. The Burg is my driver….but we’ve never really seen it that way. To us, for the last four plus years, we’ve been best friends. We’ve seen it all, and been through more (a burgism he always likes to use).
In fact, its exactly 4 years ago today that the two of us embarked on the first of what would be a series of adventures.
You see, when we were assigned as partners…it wasn’t just a job for us. We both had a spirit of adventure, and of course, a heightened sense of drama.
Back then, the roads were a different place for The Burg. They were just a means to get somewhere, but together, being on the roads gave us both meaning. If I may, I’d like to share a few stories with you all.
Of course I can’t share EVERYTHING with you…because Burg would probably get fired…and I’d end up on the scrap heap.
As I mentioned, our first trip together was 1 year ago. We headed from Johannesburg to Sun City for our first ever SAMA awards. Burg was in a bad way then. He had no money and was in a bad depression. I felt bad for the guy…I was also worried about my own safety to be honest. We got hopelessly lost that evening as we made our way. Neither of us really knew how to get there, so we ended up seeing a bit more of the neighboring towns than we originally wanted to hehe. Burg had to deal with some demons that weekend, and I’m happy to say we both survived it. For three more years after that we did the annual trip there. In fact, one year he even brought someone along. That was the start of the end for that friendship. I think Burg still misses that friend, but he tries to act like he doesn’t…because it still hurts. This year it was announced that the venue was changing, but I think we’ll always have fond memories of that annual excursion. I know I will. Lord knows he needed that annual getaway.
Burg’s a crazy cat, but his heart has always been in the right place. I see a side of him a lot of others don’t. He cares so much for people, that why when he get his heart broken, it drives him to the point of insanity. He just loses so much faith in the world.
I remember when a girl he really liked, and I mean REALLY liked decided she didn’t want to pursue anything with him. It hurt him bad. I took them to a lot of functions, and I saw how he genuinely loved her. She was the one. They got on great and I thought maybe this time it would actually work out. He took a lot of pain out of that “relationship”. He yearned for her, her touch, her attention. He never wanted to give up. Many a days he drove him in tears, but would never let anyone see him that way. When they finally stopped seeing each other…he was lost. This was where he went through his little emo face. Which to be fair, looked good on him hehe.
He was filming a short film at the time and had a role as a “mean looking guy”, perfectly suited. Anyways, one of the days he got his filming day wrong and only realized it while he was on the way to the location. Never one to let a good day out go to waste, he made a spur of the moment decision to take us to the beach. He had the idea of writing the name of the girl he was pining for’s name in the sand and watching the ocean wash it away. This would be such a bad decision except that the nearest beach was 7 hours away. And he had never driven there before…and it was 10am in the morning. He had his video camera with him and filmed the entire trip down. In fact, all videos are still on Youtube if I remember.
The most amazing part of it was, we drown all this time and he simply walked onto the beach, wrote the name, watched it wash away, and got back in the car, and we drove right back. It’s the most amazing experience, and boy was it scary being on those dark rainy road with trucks carrying logs swerving all over the place…but certainly wouldn’t be the craziest thing he did. That was to come a few months later.
We’ve had so many good memories. Of course every one is balanced by an equally sad story. In the early days, I had to take him to pawn shops as he sold off everything he owned just to survive and take care of his mom. That took its toll on him. That’s why it was an absolute pleasure to take him shopping when he can into some luch. And boy can the kid and his mom shop! We went everywhere! Every bit of space I had was packed to the brim with stuff. From dvds to furniture. Hahaha, I remember the two of them actually holding stuff on the roof just to get it home.
I’ve just got to go put in some petrol (or gas to those American readers out there)…but I’ll be back with some more stories about The Burg and The Burgmobile you won’t wanna miss….
I’ve always been cursed (blessed) with having a ridiculously good memory.
I retain EVERYTHING…sure its good for trivia and movie facts, but it also means I relive everything as if it was yesterday but simply thinking about it. This is particularly hard when it comes to bad memories.
I’m always so amazed when I talk to friends and say “hey remember that time…” And they often reply with “mmm. No I don’t”. Or worse yet, they think they do and proceed to give completely the wrong account of the incident.
Since I’ve been on a “making lists” train as of late, I thought I’d share with you 50 obscure memories of my childhood.
1) The first word I was able to read was “hi-fi”…it was in a newspaper.
2) The movie on TV the day my brother died was Top Gun. The night before was Moscow On The Hudson.
3) In grade two, we went to the zoo on a field trip. A group of us got hidings from Miss Du Plessis for stretching too far over the crocodile wall.
4) A bunch of friends once rode to my house on their bicycles, one of them called out “shaunie, fatty, come out and play”…my mom raced ahead of me a ripped into the kid and proceeded to tell him how fat his whole family was. I didn’t get to play with them.
5) I won our church fundraiser darts competition when I was just 12. I beat out the adults too.
6) The first book I bought with my own pocket money was the book adaptation of Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome
7) I fell off the goal posts and broke my arm in std 5. I hid it for a few days, but when I had to glue a project together in class, everyone found out.
8 ) The opening line to my headboy speech in Std 5 was “Where we are going, we will no longer be a Big fish in a small pond, we will now be small fishes in big ponds”
9) During our Cape Town tour of 1990, I bought a nudie pen. You know the one you turn upside down the clothes fall off the girl on the pen. I sold it before the tour ended.
10) On the first day of that same tour, some kid through my old buck gin hat into the toilet. It was so embarassing I didn’t wear it for the rest of the tour.
11) My first best friend was named Ryan.
12) In std 1, I took gift bags to school for my birthday. My mom made me give the girls she didn’t like the worst toys. I remember having to give someone a …thimble.
13) During school holidays I would move my mattress to the lounge and watch Ghostbusters at midnight.
14) I once had a Tarzan doll. I rolled over it one night while sleeping and broke it.
15) My late uncle bought me a comic book to cheer me up after my brother’s death – Captain Atom issue #19
16) When I was named headboy in primary school, I got kisses from all the previous year’s female heads and deputy heads. Older women score!
17) In std5 we made perspex knives. Why I have no idea.
18) The first time I had a wet dream was after I saw The Doors…lotsa nekkidness there!
19) The first valentines day card I got in grade 1 was from a girl named Natalie. The last one I got was in std 6 from a girl named Lauren.
20) In Std 1, I earning praise from my teacher Mrs Holgate because I knew that Margaret Thatcher was called The Iron Lady.
21) I had a hampster named Flash. He could read. My mom left him out in the sun and he died. It was the first time my heart broke.
22) In 1990 I begged my brother to let me take his soccer ball to school. My mom made him say yes. That afternoon it was stolen from outside the library. I got a whippin at home.
23) When I got my first A+ in high school (for accounting no less), my mom bought me Terminator 2 on VHS.
24) I bought a scrooge Mcduck stained glass ornament and a dennis the menace puzzle at a school jumble sale in 1988.
25) In Std 6 I did the most awesome project on dracula and horror icons.
26) The guy who first got me interested in my lifelong love for tennis was a guy named Stephen Budge. Possibly related to Don Budge.
27) I bought a toy from the tv show Popples, but kept it hidden because my dad thought it was too girly.
28) Every birthday I would rent either the friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm street movies.
29) One of our end of terms movies during primary school was The Secret of Nimh
30) We once had a fun fair at our primary school. I got sick on the spinning teacups because I had a whole packet of sherbet before I went on.
31) The first song I slow danced to was “sacrifice” by Elton John.
32) The first person I spoke to on the first day of High School was a guy named Ronald. Don’t think we spoke much after that.
33) There was nothing better than spaghetti bolognaise from the tuck shop in primary school.
34) After our school athletics day in 1989, we stopped at the shop and bought six pack of Jumping Jack cooldrink. Tutti Frutti flavour.
35) KTV premiered Dino Riders at 4pm on my 10th birthday.
36) When a girl named louise had her birthday party, we watched Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
37) During leadership camp in Std 4, the song we all had to rehearse to was “We all stand together” …also known as the frog song.
38) At that same leadership camp, a boy named stephen snuck a drag off a teachers cigarette when he left it balancing on a chair.
39) My first ever “date” was to the ice rink.
40) The first time I went to Sun City was 1991. The movie on the TV was Fletch. It was stuck in a loop and I saw the first 20 minutes six times.
41) I used to have Street Hawk pyjamas, and a Bionic Six bed spread.
42) I cried like a baby when I was announced as head boy. A guy named Allan asked me a few weeks later if I cried because my dad wasn’t there or if I was happy. To this day I still don’t know the answer.
43) At a birthday party I won a dance competition. It was legit judging too, because the host’s older sister and her friends judged. Older women score #2!
44) The last cassette tape I bought was the Jurassic Park soundtrack.
45) I was the tins in the bin champion for 2 years running. Tins in the bin is exactly was it sounds like.
46) With my first ever school holiday job, I used the paycheck to by the Empire Records soundtrack.
47) The first time my name was in the paper was in the Sunday Times magazine for winning a hamper of horror balls.
48) In std 5 we once has to wear togas to a roman theme function. I flashed two girls. I know who they are, but I’m sure they don’t remember. Guess I made zero impression!
49) I got punched in the face by a bully from a visiting school in 1991. I didn’t drop…but I did take a martial arts stance immediately afterwards ….even though I never had a single lesson.
50) The last thing my dad and I ever watched together was the Royal Rumble 1989. He died a few hours after that.
Can you remember obscure things from your childhood? Or have you hidden them away?
I’ve always been one to mind my own business. I tend to keep my head down when I walk…perhaps occasionally staring at a beautiful woman, but never ever have I been one to go up to someone and start a conversation.
However, for some reason (I have my theories), I’m ALWAYS the person someone else comes up to and engages in a debate.
If I go alone to a movie, concert, sporting event or other function, I’m the one who people turn and look at. Even in shopping centers people turn at stare. My mom always asks me why they do that, and I always just say they must think I’m famous.
Sometimes its understandable, to a point, because I’m wearing a sports team’s shirt which is the universal ice breaker. Or perhaps its a unique tshirt that attracts someone’s attention. If that happens, I suck it up and without being rude, engage in a brief conversation with whomever makes the approach.
Today however, I had to deal with an incident that happens far too often in my life.
You see, for a lack of a better term, I tend to have a unique appearance. I always have. Even in high school there was always something that brought attention to me…such as my slicked back hair…which earned me a nickname from the geniuses in the year ahead of me of “Slick”.
Till this day, each and everyday I always have a different hairstyle. I used to have a different colour every few months too.
I always wear something unique. Whether it be a bandanna, a hat, a trenchcoat, my legendary pant, a see through shirt, a white suit, a fake snake skin shirt. Whatever suits my mood.
One of the things I hate about this country, and I truly do, is that there is very much a close mindedness about individuality.
You can really dress us and walk down the high street, or go to the mall, or just dress good for dressing good sake.
There is always someone who will judge you or make a comment, or compare you to someone trending.
Years ago when I had corn rows in my hair, I was constantly called Beckham. Cos you know, that one time he came to South Africa, he had it done.
I went through a phase where I wore eyeliner and a smart shirt and tie. I was called one of The Parlotones.
Now, because I have a loooong beard I am constantly called Amla. This, for my international readers, is a reference to a national cricket player named Hashim Amla, who happens to have a long beard too, because he is Muslim.
In the last 2 weeks, I think I have been called this at least 8 times.
Today was by 2 drunken Afrikaans guys in a shopping center. Who started insulting me further because I gave them an unimpressed stare. (To be fair, my p*ssed off look is legendary, and has been featured in many films).
It just saddens me that people always feel compelled to mock and ridicule someone just because they themselves are not an individual.
I do believe if I lived in New York or London, I wouldn’t stand out as much, which makes me want to be there even more, just so I can be left alone.
I’ve dealt with it all my life, because I’ve never thought twice about trying something different. Sometimes its a popular choice, other times not, but I’ve always felt I’ve that a good head on ones shoulders and a pair of balls will go a long way.
If this means putting up with drunken concert goers throwing beer on me because I won’t humour them, mean kids who try and impress their friend by insulting me when they walk past, parents who judge me, and colleagues who feel the need to insult me to appear witty, then so be it.
Live as The Burg. Die as The Burg.
There once was this girl I liked. I knew nothing about her really…except that she worked in an arms and ammo shop in the shopping center I first saw her. My attempts at flirting with her were initially sweet and charming, but I think the minute she realized I was serious, quickly changed her mind and said she knew nothing about me, and then suddenly she had a boyfriend.
Neither of which deterred me, and my solution to problem “A” was to write down a list of 100 facts about myself and then present it to her…Seeing as though I’m still single, it obviously didn’t make much of an impact.
I’d actually like to revisit that list now. A lot has changed. Some not so much. But maybe this will become a Dummy’s Guide To Burg.
1) I still live with my mom as I take care of her. People never understand why.
2) My dad died when I was 11.
3) My older brother killed himself a year after that.
4) I never had a childhood and missed out on so much socializing. I feel bitter about that sometimes.
5) I have a very very very high IQ…but for years have had to show patience when dealing with others.
6) I have the patience of a saint.
7) I sometimes pretend like I don’t know something in order for someone else to answer a question.
8 ) I hate warm/hot weather and prefer cold and rain.
9) I still eat with my baby fork.
10) I can’t sleep/nap unless my feet are covered.
11) I am straight edged. Don’t drink, smoke or swear…and never have once in my life.
12) I don’t believe in religion, but don’t believe anyone has the right to say their beliefs are the only correct beliefs. Wish more people would think that way.
13) I am an insomniac.
14) I worked in call centers doing technical support for 8yrs.
15) I am diabetic
16) I have been in 5 movies as an actor. 2 of them feature films. 1 has had a cinematic release.
17) I hosted a tv show once a week for 2yrs.
18) My favourite sport is tennis. I have a good knowledge of records and history.
19) Lord of the Rings is my favourite movies of all time.
20) I have a massive Johnny Cash music collection.
21) I have never been in a real relationship. Except for that one English period in high school.
22) I lost my virginity when I was 29.
23) That was my only time.
24) I am attracted to exotic woman. Namely indian and asian.
25) I don’t believe in marriage, but would reconsider it for the right person.
26) I hate the phone.
27) Even though I don’t drink, I collect shot glasses. I always ask someone to bring me back one if they traveling overseas.
28) I am a die hard WWE fan, and am undoubtedly the most knowledgeable person in South Africa on it.
29) I collect trading cards. And sometimes trade with colleague’s sons.
30) I love reading, and buy books to store in my library till I feel like reading them one day.
31) I almost never return calls.
32) I am a ridiculously good poker player, but I only learned how to play a few years ago.
33) I am a Liverpool supporter.
34) I love musicals, as long as they are movies and tv shows.
35) I’ve never been to the theatre.
36) I have unbelievably quick reflexes.
37) I see “things”…some may call them spirits.
38) I am a trekkie.
39) I am a brilliant ten pin bowler, and could have taken it more seriously.
40) I have 7 tattoos. Each has a very personal meaning.
41) I have a dog. He does not have a name.
42) I collect movie merchandise and action figures (which I never open)
43) My all time favourite band is Aerosmith.
44) I love Bollywood movies.
45) I know I am a phenomenal writer, but lose faith in myself quickly.
46) I believe everyone deserves a second chance. But 3 strikes and you’re out.
47) My favourite actor is Johnny Depp.
48) I’m very athletic, and despite my size and weight surprise people.
49) I used to write my own comic books as a kid.
50) I have a cat. His name is Rang’a because he is a ginger cat.
51) I strangely still trust my primary school friends, even though I haven’t seen some of them in almost 20yrs
52) I’m the best person to have in a crisis situation.
53) I had a cancer scare last year.
54) I don’t have a best friend.
55) I have a hatred for the country I live in. This upsets a lot of people who don’t understand why. They also don’t get it if I explain.
56) I enjoy reading autobiographies.
57) I am on twitter @theburg
58) I’m the guy everyone opens up to about their problems. I take this as a compliment, but at times its too heavy a burden.
59) I don’t own my own car.
60) I am a coffee connoisseur.
61) I’ve developed a fear of crowds.
62) My favourite food is seafood. Throw it into a pasta, and I’m yours.
63) I broken my arm and ankle in my life.
64) I have a passion for old TV shows, especially old cop shows from the 70s and 80s.
65) I loathe practical jokes and prank phone calls.
66) I collect PEZ dispensers.
67) The last time I had any sort of physical “contact” with a girl was almost 4 years ago.
68) I have a weird need to buy plush toys if they ask me to.
69) When I like a girl I don’t see her in terms of her age, race, or religion, this almost always works against me.
70) I like old skool Disney movies.
71) Pam Grier was my first “african crush”.
72) I listen to most all music…yet cannot tolerate dance music.
73) I wish I had someone to talk to about my “day”.
74) I’m not afraid of anything in life anymore….well except for heights.
75) My radio station of choice is Lotus FM.
76) I have a dvd collection of over 3000.
77) The crime I hate the most is theft.
78) I have vertigo.
79) I do my best thinking when I drive.
80) I enjoy having milkshakes with people, but that hardly ever happens.
81) I am fascinated by Egyptology. I’m not sure if that’s an actual term though.
82) My top 5 wrestlers of all time are: Kurt Angle, Bret Hart, Mr Perfect Curt Hennig, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Hulk Hogan.
83) When I was a kid, I had an alter ego of “Pencil Man”, I made my own costume and had an entire backstory.
84) If I go to the cinema, I always go to the late show so that I’m alone.
85) My all time favourite comedy is the British “The Office”.
86) Big bugs or masses of insects freak me out.
87) I secretly love cooking shows
88) I’m a VERY good dancer, but hardly ever dance.
89) I am observant to the world.
90) I have had a work crush at all my jobs.
91) I am unbelievably lucky in competitions.
92) I am equally unlucky in life.
93) I find something attractive in most all women. With a few exceptions.
94) Wes Anderson is my favourite film maker.
95) Gays guys are often attracted to me. I take it as a compliment.
96) I believe if you like someone, you should tell them.
97) I hate people who comment in the forums of online stories/columns. They are for the most part mean idiots without a backbone.
98) I don’t think ill ever be a parent, but I’m open to the possibility.
99) I am a romantic, and believe in the “epic gesture”…just like hollywood showed me.
100) I will live in New York one day. In fact, I started growing my beard on the day I got hijacked (july 15th 2010) and won’t shave it off till the day I arrive in NYC. Its now 16cm long.
So that’s its…feel like you know me better? Or did you just suffer a case of TMI.