Archive for the ‘flashbacks’ Category

Cut From The Heart: Episode 9 – The Call Centre Girl in the Heels and The Black Dress

November 21, 2013

Well, this is it…my final deleted story from my upcoming book. And to be fair, this was a very hard decision to cut from the stories. I really battled with the decision, because I felt when compared to the other stories, it really felt like it held up strong enough to form part of my story. But in the end one more needed to be cut, and this unfortunately got eliminated.

So here is:

Bonus Story # 9 – The Call Centre Girl in The Heels and Black Dress
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The story has become a bit of a running joke between a friend and I because it’s one of those that probably made sense to begin with, and just as fittingly had an equally nonsensical ending to it.

My book details my career quite well, but for the purpose of this story, what important to know is in 2004 I made the break from the IT industry into the entertainment industry. However, I made an unexpected return to the IT industry in January of 2005.

It lasted all of a month, before I suddenly quit to take up a dream job writing for a well-known magazine.  That month was a very low point for me mentally as I felt I had failed in my quest to change my life around.

Being back in the call centre was different this time round. I didn’t really bond with anyone,  even though I was good at the job I had zero interest in doing it.

There was one perk however…there was a cute Indian girl who worked there who I was attracted to.  She came to visit our section quite often, and because of low self-confidence, I was never able to really be my charming self (and we know what a huge success rate I have when I’m confident).

I remember one lunch time sitting outside with the younger guys and they were talking about the girls in the office. One guy spoke about the girl I liked and began to list the problems with skinny girls, which mostly related to uncomfortable sexual position.  What am I doing here with these idiots I thought to myself.

When the job with the magazine came up, I was told I had the job…if I could literally start the next day. I explained the situation to my manager (who was my friend as well, so that made me feel extremely guilty), but he understood it was a dream job for me.

However, I had to work in my months’ notice. Which, I did. So for a month I worked the graveyard shift at the call centre, went home to freshen up, and then raced to try and make it to my new job on time.

Part of my role there, was to cover industry events during the day and evening.

So effectively, my schedule was, work 9-5, cover events in the evening, go work the graveyard shift, home for about an hour and then repeat.

Of course, this meant I didn’t get to see the girl who I liked. However, I managed to get her number and we began texting each other.

There seemed to be some sort of interest from her side, which gave me a bit of hope. So when an awards function came up, (The Channel O African Music Awards), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to ask her out.

Much to my surprise (and absolute fear) she said yes.

The night of the awards came up, and I went to go and fetch her, ironically from the same building I was working just a few weeks prior to that. When I picked her up, we ran into my friend who just laughed when he saw us together.  (I know right, what is it with friends laughing at me when I fetch a girl?)

I drove her home so she could get ready for the evening (it was a bit of a glam do, so she wanted to put in the effort, which I really appreciated).

As I waited for her in the living room, I found myself surround by a rather large Indian family and an even larger awkward silence. I sat there in my long black jacket looking as uncomfortable as this all sounds.

She eventually came out to rescue me, and she looked amazing in her heels and elegant black dress.

Thankfully the conversation seemed to come easy, and we got to know each other quite a bit and she found my jokes to be rather entertaining. I even braved holding her hand as we made our way to through the social scene. And for me, there is nothing better than holding a pretty girls hand. For me it’s about the simple things in life, and if I’m being honest. It’s the one thing that hurts me even today – that I don’t have someone to even hold hands with.  Every day when I see couples holding hands, I feel a great sense of sadness and loneliness overwhelms me. This happens at least once a day.

The evening went so well, that I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement for the potential of where it could go.

I made a seemingly good impression, and having some of my musician friends come up and greet me and my date just added to good impression.

She even got a goodie bag. I took her home and we hugged and kissed goodbye (relax guys, just a peck)

Now that’s a date I thought.

The next day I texted her to say thanks for the good evening and we should do it again. She agreed.

Then…suddenly…she began to avoid me.  Invites to other outings went unanswered. Not even as much as “sorry I’m busy”.

This is where the awkwardness began. Without reasoning, how does one know when to stop making a fool of one’s self.

Eventually I just stopped messaging her, as it seemed like that’s what she wanted.

Then about year later, I mailed out a joke wedding invite to a bunch of select people, one of which was her, (yup, THAT story is covered in my book), and she replied with the friendliest email in the world asking me how I am and we must catch up sometime.

So I replied with sure, let’s do lunch. Which she replied yes to, and we ended up setting up a lunch date at a place just outside her work so that she wouldn’t have to go too far.

The lunch went surprisingly well, and just like that night a few years ago we got along great. I thought well, maybe we just needed a second chance at this.
Until of course, I said we should do this again. Then she said but I thought you were in a relationship now (don’t worry, I laughed just as much as you are laughing right now).  I said, no, I am as single as I have always been.

She avoided me since that lunch ended. Once again with no explanation.  I had twice made a complete fool of myself, without even realizing it.

I’m not sure what she’s up to these days, but I seem to remember seeing a while back she had a kid since then.  My friend and I often try to understand what exactly happened with her, but it’s just another one of those stories that hurt to try and figure out.

Mmm…I wonder if she’s free for dinner this weekend

Cut From The Heart: Episode 7 – The Writer…No, Not That One, The Other One

November 19, 2013

There haven’t been many times in my life where I’ve met someone who I can connect with on another level in terms of personality, humour, views on life etc. So it always saddens me when I do and then they suddenly disappear on me, only to resurface years later with a whole new life. This was such a story…

Bonus Story #7: The Writer…No, Not That One, The Other One
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During my time in the magazine industry, I met some great people, and one of my favourite persons I only got to know once I had left. The year was about 2006.

We had worked together briefly, and always gotten along, she had a breezy vibe about her, the sort of vibe that made you instantly at easy and comfortable.

At this point we had both moved on from our jobs though, and just less than a year after I had left, we starting chatting again on Facebook, instantly got on and decided hey, let’s meet up again.

I was a bit nervous about doing it because I was going through my personal hell year, and couldn’t really afford to wine and dine her or do anything too fancy.

Thankfully she was a pizza kinda of girl, which fit my non-existent budget to a tee.

I spent the whole day nervous about was this a date or not (as is common practice with me), and didn’t want to assume too much, but I really hoped it was one.

The hours of course, took days to pass, but eventually our time arrived.

We met at a pizzeria just a few blocks up from my work, and as luck would have it, this was no ordinary pizzeria, it had tables and candlelight which screamed date to me.

She arrived and immediately greeted me with a comforting hug that was simply part of her breeziness.

The night passed all too quickly, but the conversation that night was revealing, intimate, honest and hopeful. I will never forget her last words of the conversation – “I can’t believe there has been this amazing, wonderful, honest person in front of me all this time”….

Oh yeah…being myself had finally paid off.

As night’s do, they come to an end, she kissed me goodbye and said we must definitely do this again soon.
Hell yeah! You don’t have to ask me twice.

If that was a date, it was pretty much a 10. The first actual date I had had in a very long time, and it went near perfect. It might also actually be the last date I was on. Well, at least where we both considered it a date.

Then…. my attempts to setup a follow up date were in vain. The excuses started slowly, till the point where any attempt I made to contact her were met with silence.

It seemed like she had disappeared completely…eventually I got the dreaded Facebook deletion.
How did I mess this one up?? I’m still not sure to this day. It just stopped. Ended. Ceased to exist.

A few years later she added me on Facebook again, this time, with a new surname and baby boy. She seems to have been through testing times, but ultimately she seems happy, so how can I be upset with that?

We haven’t chatted in a long time now, and I follow her work on social media …but not one mention has ever come of that night she had that amazing guy sitting right in front of her.

If you’re enjoying this series of postings and are looking forward to my upcoming book, please visit me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @theburg

Cut From The Heart: Episode 6 – The Drunk Dial

November 18, 2013

This following sorry was one of the last stories I decided to cut from the book, I liked how everything played out, but ultimately I just felt because of how things ended it wouldn’t bring much to the overall journey of the book. That however doesn’t mean I won’t always wonder what might have happened if I ever got a chance with the story I like to refer to as:

Bonus Story #6: The Drunk Dialer

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Over the years, I was lucky enough to act in several movies and do some extra work in tv shows and commercials, a lot of those experiences I cover in my book, but I did take a break from it all for a couple of years. In the middle of 2012 I got the chance to do some extra work for a commercial for a well known reality show. It wasn’t anything that would rocket me to the fame moon, but it did give me the chance to work with some old friends and just enjoy being in front of the camera again.

When I’m in set, I always seem to light up and become more myself, the funny charming guy who has no problem flirting with makeup artists, producers and other cast members.

This was no exception.

It was just a one day shoot for me, so I didn’t have much time to really get to know anyone, but there where one or two ladies that caught my eye. The one I chatted to quite a bit, and the other was a very business like lady who was from the creative agency. We said nothing more that hello. But I really couldn’t stop thinking about her.

Thankfully after my scene was filmed I was told I’d be needed for the final scene of the day as well. As the crew setup the shot and waited for the sun to set, I pulled out all my best “cool guy” material. She laughed, but I was never sure if it was at my jokes, or the guy behind me dressed in a gorilla suit.

We wrapped up fairly quickly after that, and before I knew it, she was gone. I casually tried asking some indirect questions to see if anyone knew her name, but alas nobody did. I thought that would be the end of of.

But by now, I think you’ve figured out my stories are never over that quickly…

As luck would have it, a few days later I was told there was a problem with my footage and it would need to be redone. Not only would I get paid for an extra day, but I’d have a chance of seeing the mystery woman again.

I deliberately arrived on set extra early that day, made obvious by everyone saying “we won’t need you for a bit if you’d prefer to come back later”…I’m a patient guy so I just hung out in here green room. And by green, I just mean the table in the cafeteria where the other actors (and their moms) were.

Eventually she showed up. We exchanged pleasantries and that was it. The whole day I kept trying to find a way to engage in conversation, but we never did, she was in work mode the entire time, except this time instead of heels she was wearing pink sneakers. It was after all, a Saturday. But she was still just as beautiful.

After we wrapped I left feeling slightly defeated. But, I never, ever give up.
I hit the internet trying to find any clue as to what her name might be. She wasn’t on any of the call sheets, but the name of the advertising firm was. So I started there, and began searching employee profiles on social networks, going through their friends to see if I recognized any of the pictures (yes, not unlike a witness trying to find a killer at the police station) , news articles, pictures from company events. Anything that would give me a clue to her name.

Now one thing my book will teach you is, I am gooood at this. Even before the days of Google. If someone existed. I would find them.

And I did. Of all things I found a picture of her on a football fan club page from some function, which had her first name listed below.

The rest was easy, and I emailed her some lame email asking how the rest of the shoot went and when we could see the final product. We began emailing back and forth, and I could tell she was very guarded in her replies. Understandably so.

As I worked at melting the ice, I eventually found my way through by talking soccer, as we supported opposing teams. So the traditional football banter began.

As her phone number was listed on her email signature I thought it was fair game and added her to a chat program called Whatsapp.

Come game day we began chatting footy, and eventually I felt comfortable to start flirting. I invited her out to coffee, which she turned down because of her busy schedule. So I took the hint. And invited her out to milkshakes instead. Nobody can resist that.

The more we chatted, the more she revealed. That she had a son, and I she couldn’t understand why I’d want to get involved in all that baggage. Now let me make one think clear, I do not consider children baggage. I never have and never will. They are no baggage, they are a package.

In fact, my attraction is not diminished by race, religion, age, children or even history of mental illness. This is not necessarily a good thing. (Especially the last one), as it’s often made things more complicated. I just happen to be more attracted to women of Indian decent. I always have been, and always will be. That is a preference, not a determining factor.

Anyways, where were we. Oh right, mental illness.
Mmm. No wait, sorry.

We began talking more often, and more casually now, it was hard work but she was eventually even occasionally messaging me first. Not often, but often enough to think maybe she was actually thinking about me. She talked about how her day was and how she wished she didn’t have to go out with clients in the evenings. She would even send me pictures of what she was going to wear for the evening.

We spoke about out jobs, and she mentioned that they were looking for someone and I should apply. I had just started a new job and didn’t plan on leaving so soon, but I thought I could at least see what they had to offer. So I sent it. That was a Friday.

On the Saturday, we spoke a lot on chat. All day. Then in the evening she was feeling depressed after a hard week of work. I did what I would always do and helped build her up. Eventually her responses were becoming more and more illegible. She did like her evening wine, and this night she was clearly enjoying it. We kept flirting via text…and then…at about midnight…

Ring. Ring. (Ok my phone is on silent, so it only vibrates)

Vbbbbbrrrrr. Vbbbbbrrrrr.

She was calling me.

I answered. Her first words were something along the lines of
“What do you want. I don’t understand why a guy like you would want to get involved with a woman with a kid who has no time for her own life”

I told her not to overthink things (rich coming from me!) and to just enjoy what was going on.
She told me I was so wise and always said the right thing. I am. And, I do.

This call went in for about and hour, between the slurring of the words and the clanging of the glass against the phone, I only actually understood about 25% of the conversation.

Then she said, she was going to take a shower but expected me to call her back in 10min.
I said ok cool, and we ended the call.

Then, I realized I didn’t have airtime in my phone. And I happened to be broken than broke that night so couldn’t even top up.

It was a horrible feeling. And I message her some lame excuse about how my phone was giving trouble and we’d have to chat in the morning.

On the Sunday morning I got an email from her.
Thanking me for applying for the position within the company, but unfortunately they won’t be considering my application at this time.

A few weeks went by before we chatting again, it was awkward and whatever magic was there before, was gone. I tried reigniting it, but she didn’t give me an inch. Even casual conversation wasn’t all that casual.

She sent me some message about how some big black guy was harassing her at the office and her brother was there to calm her down. Then just like that, she changed her phone number.

About a year later we chatted on Facebook, she was concerned about some messages I had been posting (more on that in my book), and suggested I stop as it could have an impact on my professional career in the future. Then she asked me if I needed some professional help. Then she deleted me.

And that’s how it ended. Much ado about nothing in the end, but that nothing was hard work. Perhaps if she just said yes to a milkshake, we would of seen if there was really anything there.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 5 – The Hot Train Girl Diaries

November 17, 2013

So here’s a little scoop for you all. The title of my book was originally going to be called The Hot Train Girl Diaries.

Over the last year, I’d met a few girls on my morning train I found myself attracted to. In fact, there were 4 in total.

I affectionately referred to them as

Hot Train Girl #1
Hot Train Girl #2
Hot Train Girl #3
And
Hot Train Girl Original.

Here’s another scoop for you.
My book starts with the story of Hot Train Girl #2, and sets off a series of events that would go on to change everything about me.

For now however, I would like to share the story of Hot Train Girl #1 with you, in what I shall call:

Bonus Story #5: The Hot Train Girl Diaries – Book 1

It was February 2013 and I’d been taking the train for about a year. As I mentioned, I’d seen a number of girls on the train I was attracted to, and since Valentines Day was coming up, I thought, what the hell, let me do something typically me and give gesture or romance to them.

Now, its not a given than I would see any of them on that day as we sometimes take different trains. I thought I would play it by ear, and if I saw someone either in the morning or the evening, I would write a Valentines day poem and give it to them.

I had these little plastic eggs that came with the old Kinder joy chocolate eggs, so my plan was to write the poem, fold it up in the egg and give it to the girl to open up at work.

That day, when I got to the train station, I saw HTG#1 get on the train, so I sat a few cars back and wrote my poem to give to her when we got off.

I came up with:
“There once was a girl on the train
Who from admiring I could not refrain.
She had style, she had grace
She had beauty upon her face
I can only hope tomorrow I’ll see her again.
Happy Valentines Day”

Not bad I thought, so when we got to our destination, I time my walk so that I met her on the escalator.

Awkwardly, I said I’d like to give her something, and I proceeded to hand her the egg.

I could see she was a bit taken aback, so I quickly reassured her by saying
“Don’t worry it’s not Anthrax or anything like that”.

Yup. I attempted to reassure her that my mysterious egg was not a toxic powder.

That same day I saw her in the mall. When she saw me, she literally dived into the closest store to avoid me. I pretended I didn’t notice, so she thought she got away with it. But I felt so horrible.

Over the next few months, we didn’t speak again, but as we almost always parked next to each other in the parking lot, we did exchange a smile near daily.

Conversation didn’t happen a lot, but in passing, I did promise her that one day we’d have a proper conversation. She said cool.

We would also see each other in the mall where I working during lunch time. In fact, one time, I met my friend for lunch, and she arrived with her baby in tow. As I kissed her hello and greeted her boy, HTG#1 walked past and saw this. I immediately wanted to say, I promise this is not what it looks like! You know, just in case she thought otherwise.

The exchanged smiles became less often.

Now, to my credit, one thing about me is, I notice the smallest changes a girl makes to herself. Such as changing their hair subtlety, or when they are wearing something new for the first time. Its just a case of paying attention to people.

So one morning, I noticed HTG#2’s hair was different, so I went up to her and said her hair looks nice.

She replied with a laugh and said “Yeah, we start fasting tomorrow so I haven’t washed my hair, but thanks”.

Yup, a smooth follow up after the anthrax.

The next day she started Eid. (Yes, she was a muslim Indian girl).

For about a month I didn’t see her. In fact, I didn’t even see her car.

Then suddenly, her car was back! That evening on my way home, I thought if her car is still there, I was going to leave her a note saying I hope she had a good Eid and I was glad she was bad.

I sat in my car in the parking lot, wrote the note and then went and put it in the side of her window. It was such a windy evening, I was worried the note would blow away, but I chanced it anyways. At the end of my note I included my email address.

The next day I was nervous what she might say about my note. But I didn’t see her. As I came home that evening, I walked past where her car was just 24hrs ago. And what did I see…a crumpled up piece of paper in the flower bed.

I thought to myself, surely she wasn’t a litter bug…so it couldn’t possible be my note.

I drove out the parking lot, as this ate away at me…I turned around the car and drove back. I went back to the parking and went to go pick up the piece of paper.

It was a Mcdonald’s receipt for a happy meal and a milkshake.

Later in that week however, I did see her. And we spoke. We spoke a lot, about our jobs; she worked in the same centre as me at a clothing store. We spoke about travel as I was going overseas soon. And of course, I asked her if she got my note. She said no, and suggested maybe the wind blew it away. I knew it. Dammit.

Anyways, she told me she had an interview for a new job at the airport the next day. I felt sad that I may not be seeing her again.

That day I was anxious to know how the interview went. I casually walked past her store a few times, in the hopes of bumping into her, but never did.

However, that evening I saw her car, so again I reverted to the note on the car idea. I wrote a note asking how the interview went, and wished her luck for the outcome. Again I included my contact details.

That night I sat waiting for a message from her. Foolishly so, I know, but I lived in hope.

I saw her once or twice after that on the train, and gathered that she had changed her parking spot. Till eventually I didn’t see her at all.

I went overseas at the end of October, and haven’t seen her since I returned. I assume she got the job she interviewed for.

Through all this, I still don’t even know her name.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 4 – The Too Much Makeup Girl

November 16, 2013

As we continue this build up to my book, I’ve been making the very difficult decision as to which stories to cut from the final version. As I share them here with you all, I find myself wondering what the actual criteria for removing them is.

I guess ultimately, its about finding a balance. Fine tuning the flow of my life. All of these stories I share here are by no means less important, and the girls I mention in these stories will always form an important part of who I am. (Good or bad).

Back during my IT days, I working for a little company called Microsoft. Now in my book there are some major stories that come out of these days, but there were also lesser known stories that very few people knew of. I’d like to share on of those with you now.

Bonus Story #4: The Too Much Makeup Girl

By 2002 I had resigned myself to the fact that I may die working in a call centre. The only positives about being in IT for the last 5 years was that I had made some close friends, and I was making some decent money. But, I was not happy, this was never what I was meant to be doing with my life.

Career wise, MS was not the highlight of my life. For the most part however, I was well liked. From my quirky dress sense to my humour, it was easy to get along with everyone, from every department. From the strictest of bosses to the bitchiest of bitches, I was sorta the one guy who managed to be friends with everyone…well until the day I got fired, but that epic story is covered in my book.

There were several departments within the company and we as the helpdesk didn’t have much interaction with the other employees. There was however one girl in particular that used to come through our offices occasionally to visit a friend.

She was a petite indian girl, who was sexy as hell. None of the guys ever spoke to her, maybe out of intimidation, or maybe just assuming she would never be interested in us plebs.

The guys would always say how she wore too much makeup, as if justifying their reason why they never approached her. Perhaps she did, but I felt she wore that much makeup as compensation for low self confidence.

We changed office buildings several times during my stay at the company, and by the final move during my time there, her and I had actually started talking. She would greet me everytime she saw me and we’d have a random conversation, till eventually we started emailing each other.

Some of the guys were like “you’re the man Burg!”, but for me, it was just about getting to know someone.

Surprisingly, she happened to be single at the time, however, it was a recent thing as she had confided she had split from an abusive boyfriend.

I wondered if all that make up had actually been a cover up for something more heartbreaking.

I took my time with her, and helped build her confidence back up, she deserved better, and I promised her nothing left.

Eventually I had the courage to ask her out to coffee one Saturday, making it clear it was a date, and she actually said yes!

As the day approached, in part paranoia and part previous experience, I grew doubtful this was actually going to happen. So on the Friday night I confirmed she was still on for the next day, she replied of course! And I went to bed almost as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.

The next morning I shaved, got dressed up, and in my excitement headed out an hour early to our agreed coffee shop at the East Rand Mall, which was halfway for both of us.

As I say, I got there early, so I had to kill and hour walking around.

Eventually at 2pm, I made my way to the coffee shop and got a table. I texted her and said I was there. She replied with “on my way, might be a bit late”.

She was 5 min late.
Then 15 min late.
Then 30 min late.
Then an hour late.

So I texted her again, asking if everything was ok.
She didn’t reply.

Foolishly, I waited another hour. And I could tell the waiters had noticed I had been stood up. So I casually asked for the bill and made my way home, not before having the world longest pee because of all the coffee I consumed in 3 hours.

As I got home, I got a message from her. She apologized and said she just couldn’t do it.

I was confused, hurting, but never once showed any anger towards her. Instead I said I understand, and hoped we could reschedule. It was one of the few times I actually cried tears of disappointment.

When Monday came, our emails were suddenly awkward. She never came down and visited anymore.

In fact, our communication came to a sudden and bizarre end.

A few months later, she was pregnant.
Then I heard she and her boyfriend were back together.
Then I heard the boyfriend killed himself.

A short while after that my time there came to an end.

The whole experience was very confusing and painful. And as of today, I don’t know whatever became of her.

But I do think back to that time often, and wonder what might have been different if she showed up that day for coffee.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 3 – The Cute Neighbour and The Weakest Link

November 15, 2013

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Ask any of my friends, I’m not really the party type; I very rarely go to gatherings or celebrations. It’s just something I don’t feel comfortable doing anymore.

Back in the day however, I made the odd appearance at a braai (bbq) or birthday gathering, and this was one such occasion.

The year was 2003. I went to a friend’s birthday celebration, not really expecting to have a good time, even though he was the closest thing I had to a best friend, and I knew a lot of his friends, there was a always a chance I would make an excuse and leave early.

However to my surprise I ended up having a good type pretty quickly and that was probably mostly due to the fact that I hit it off with his girlfriend’s neighbour. She was cute, fun and extremely young, yes three things I look for in a girl.

We chatted the whole time, and boy was I smooth, I even walked her home in the evening (yes next door, but still), and managed to get her number.

I felt like the heavens opened up pumped my fists, and rejoiced, exclaiming “I got a number!!!”

That night we texted each other and quickly began flirting with each other. I put on a pair of balls and asked her out. To the movies, it was anything too hectic, but a nice way of spending time together. To me, nothing beats an old school dinner and a movie.

The week after the braai, I drove out to fetch her, and of course as I arrived, my friend was leaving his girlfriend’s house, he just laughed that laugh of his that pretty much says “busted!”

She invited me in to meet her parents, and her sister, and boy was it awkward, the parents barely responded to anything I said, even my jokes, which were HIGHlarious were met with zombie like responses. They just spend their time staring at the movie that was playing on the TCM channel. I tried to make conversation about my knowledge of movies, but still no response. In retrospect, they may have been wax models of the real people.

Thankfully we didn’t stay too long. We headed out to the mall, and I gave her the choice of what movie she wanted to see, she wanted to watch Freddy vs Jason…(a girl picking a horror movie is normally a good sign, but all i could think of was – dammnit…I’ve already seen that).

The movie passed far too quickly, but we inevitably began holding hands during the movie, and she didn’t let go for the rest of the night. This of course made going to the bathroom a bit awkward.

I didn’t plan on making a move further than perhaps a goodnight kiss, but when we were driving home, I mentioned that I was going to be a contestant an episode of The Weakest Link the next day, so I couldn’t be out too late.

Just before we got to her house, she said to me, “Can I wish you luck for tomorrow?” of course I wasn’t going to turn that down.

We parked on the side of the road a few blocks from her house and began to make out. It was very natural and very appealing, and then she undid her bra, allowing me to put my magic hands to work. Her hands made their way to my gear stick, and then she realized she had the wrong gear stick and proceeded to go for my other gear stick.

It was what we call a good session. We didn’t go too far but far enough to know there was an attraction.

I dropped her off and said good night, and we texted each other for the rest of the night.

The next day I filmed my episode of The Weakest Link, and the host asked me a question of “Shaun, I believe you’re single…why is that?”, I had the perfect response of “Well after last night maybe not, I had a date, a good date”…we all laughed, and I thought man, when that airs on TV it’s going to be a zinger.

The next day I texted the girl, and she didn’t reply, i tried again several times, and she eventually started replying with short sentences, finally saying we can’t see each other anymore.

Ergh…here we go again, I thought. She sorta eluded to the fact that her parents didn’t like me, which might have been true, I’ll never actually know. She was young, and maybe that played a factor. There was never a clear reason given

For me though, it was just another unsolved mystery. I think she is now living in the UK, but I often wonder about her. Of course, when that episode of The Weakest Link aired…well that just hurt even more.

For the record, I went out in the third round.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 2 – The Knife Store Girl & The Magic 8 Ball

November 14, 2013

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I’ve always lived my life by the rule of random, or at least when it comes to meeting people I take a fancy to. And I know what you’re thinking…

“That’s just silly! Who still uses the word fancy!?”

And you’re right, it’s these sorts of old school words and mentality that make dating that little bit harder for me. However, there is just something wonderful about someone catching your eye and evoking the romantic in ones self.

One of the prime examples of this was…

Bonus Story #2: The Knife Store Girl

During one of my more sociable years circa 2002 I was actually spending a lot of time hanging out with friends, engaging in hobbies and actually enjoying the happenstance of life.

I had a very good friend that I did most everything with named Jared. Jared had somehow convinced me to take up kickboxing. Which is one of the things I still miss to this day. The class was quite varied and included a much younger crew as well, and therein lay another story I will share with you later down the line.

Jared and I shared a lot of common experiences when it came to women, so we always encouraged each other. Being the nice guys in the friends zone is slightly easier when there is a buddy waiting for you there.

One of our many outings involved a trip to an armory store in one of the major shopping centres called Sandton City. I tagged along with Jared and another friend as they were looking for some collectors knifes. As guys do I assume.

As we browsed through the display cases of weapons, the guys oohed and aahed as they perused through the vast selection of items designed to cut someone’s heart out.

Me on the other hand saw something just as effective to do that. The blonde who was working behind the counter at the ammo section.

Now yes, I’ve often said how blondes are not my thing, so maybe it was the allure of a guns and ammo type of girl that somehow made her appealing to me. Or perhaps I was simply envisioning what she may look like in a bikini firing a bazooka. I guess we will never know.

To my own credit, I am very good at spontaneous small talk and making people laugh, so it was easy to start a conversation with her.

Now if I remember correctly, we had actually ordered boxing gloves from the store for our kickboxing class, which meant we would have to come back to collect them the next week. Awesome! A second date!

When we returned a week later she wasn’t there, and I found myself feeling somewhat stood up, which led to a number of ridiculous, yet not unexpected, decisions.

I made numerous casual trips back to the mall over the next few days (riding out more fuel than I could afford as the shopping centre wasn’t exactly close) till eventually I bumped into her again.

This time, I actually had the guts to ask her out. Of course she said no, saying that she didn’t know anything about me. (Presumedly going out with someone is the WORST way to find out about them? Discuss).

Of course, that type of comment to me is like a red flag to a bull and it became my mission to let her know as much about me as possible.

So dejected, but inspired, I went home that evening and put together a list of 101 facts about myself. When I had finished, I read through the list with pride. It was funny, honest, emotional and pretty much exactly how I am in real life. This was a sure fire winner! No girl could resist giving a guy with these credentials a chance.

The next day, I made my way back to the store and lo and behold, she wasn’t there. Thankfully, she was just at lunch however and instead of waiting, I said I would just come back later. As I waited aimlessly in the shopping centre, I literally bumped into her in the food court. She was talking to some muscle bound guy who she introduced to me, he worked in another store in the centre. I grumbled something that probably sounded nothing like “nice to meet you”, and proceeded to give her the list, explaining that if she still didn’t want to give me a chance after that, then I’d stop, but if she did my contact details were written down. Of course, douchebag jones stood there with us the entire time. She replied with an awkward ok and took the letter. Which I’m not sure if she even ever read.

Days went by and I never heard a thing from her. The usual foolish panic of “did I write the correct phone number” started to go through my head as I stubbornly tried to justify that I still had a chance here.

Then came one of my now infamous ideas. The magic 8 ball idea.

The new plan was to go see her one more time, and let her ask the magic 8 ball if she should go out with me. It was charming and purely dependent on fate.

Jared and I spent the next weekend scouring shops for a magic 8 ball which proved to be impossible. So I gave up in the idea.

Then, the Tuesday evening after that – during our kickboxing training session, the 8 ball idea came up in conversation and one of the people in the class said she had one. Suddenly the idea was back on. I literally made her go home and fetch it.

As we sat waiting for her to return with the ball in the parking lot, I couldn’t help but be excited.
Best. Idea. Ever.

That next weekend, we set out one last time to win this girl’s heart.
Excited about my brilliant idea, I had all the confidence in the world.

When we got to the store she was busy, so we had to wait to see her. Tick tock, tick tock.
While we were waiting, douchebag jones suddenly arrived. And she told me that he was her boyfriend. It clearly wasn’t, but she had obviously called the guy to come pretend they were together so I would leave her alone. Ouch.

I never even got to unleash my magic 8 ball idea on her. I just walked out as the guy who finally got the hint. Double ouch.

As life would have it. I now work in that same shopping centre and walk past that store every day. Triple ouch.

Hey some guys collect knifes, I collect fragments of my broken heart.

Ps. I also now own two magic 8 balls, and became well known for it on a segment on a tv show I hosted where viewers would send in their questions for the ball to answer.

There is a funny irony to my life sometimes.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 1 – The Pharmacy Girl

November 13, 2013

So unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably have seen one of my hundreds of postings on social media announcing that I am finally releasing a book.

It’s been a lifelong work, and has sorta, although not completely, changed direction over the last few months.

While it is still autobiographical, the book combines the stories of my life, with the stories of my loves.

The book recalls 50 stories of love, romance and heartbreak taking place throughout my life while looking back at certain key moments that were going on at the time.

Amazingly, when putting the list of 50 stories together, I ended up with well over 50 stories. I’m not sure if that’s awesome or just plain depressing!

As a result, I was forced to cut certain stories from the book, and rather let those go to waste, I’d rather share them here on my blogs with you awesome readers. Each was cut for a different reason, but ultimately, they all have been important memories for me.

If you are on Facebook, I’d like to encourage you to go support my page at http://www.facebook.com/ShaunMyburgWrites as we build up to the release of my book.

So with that…I bring you:

Bonus story #1: The Pharmacy Girl

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There was a time when I used to receive so much mail that I was actually one of those people who required a PO Box in order to get all my mail…well, a hefty share of it at least. In about 2002/2003 mail theft was a massive problem and I lost so much that eventually certain vendors asked me to stop ordering from them as they couldn’t keep replacing my orders. Some times I used to receive empty envelopes in the postal box with the goods removed. Which was rather nice of the thieves as they could of just tossed the envelopes in the trash.

Anyways, the point of all that is, when I had to collect a registered or “too big for the box” item, I needed to go into the post office which shared a premises with the local chemist..or pharmacy …or drug store…depending on where in the world you live.

I was a ridiculously regular customer, so I was well known by the staff of both the pharmacy and the post office.

Since the post office section was at the back of the pharmacy, I always had to walk past one of the counters where a beautiful girl worked.

For months we would exchange smiles, with an occasional hello. In fact, if I had two parcels to collect, I would deliberately only fetch one so that I could go back the next day to see her.

Eventually I struck up a conversation with her pretending I needed something from the actual pharmacy. A pair of tweezers. Yup, after months of trying to think of a great opening line, I asked her where I could find a decent pair of tweezers.

This was about 10 years ago. And I kid you not, I still have that pair of tweezers, unopened in its packaging.

Lame or not, the ice had finally been broken. The raven haired beauty and I were becoming actual friends. So of course, the logical next step, was to order even more items online so that I could go to the post office even more often.

Then, I was given the chance to travel to the UK for the first time in my life, to visit my cousin and see some friends. Me being me, immediately thought, hey, I should ask pharmacy girl if she wants to come with. I checked with my cousin and he said since he would be working during the days I was there, that I should bring her so I have company. Fantastic!

The next time I saw her, I casually brought up my trip saying just the right things so that she would say “aw! That’s so cool, I wish I could go!”

And me…again, being me, said “so come with”…

Then of course came the double blow of “I’d need to clear it with my boyfriend first though.” Followed swiftly by, “I can’t believe you’re willing to pay for everything, that’s amazing!”

And YET AGAIN, me being me said, “sure don’t worry about anything”.

So while she cleared it with her boyfriend, and her family I raced to a travel agent and began doing enquiries about costs.

The next week, I had to go meet her parents, and boyfriend, so that they could see I was a genuine guy. What an awkward evening that was. Ironically the parents were pretty excited about it, I think looking back at it now, they saw me as this successful guy who could provide much better for their daughter than her mechanic boyfriend.

Then came the worst part! After her parents approved, (the boyfriend didn’t for the record), she said yes. And I said well, I’ll sort out everything.

Then I realized, after all this, I didn’t even know her last name! I made up a story about how I needed a copy of her ID to book the ticket, so at least was able to see her surname.

A few weeks of awkward planning followed, till about a month before we were supposed to leave. When I got the best worst news.

She had broken up with her boyfriend! I’d like to think it wasn’t over this, but hey, let’s be honest it most likely was.

I thought this could actually be an amazing time. Nothing bonds people like traveling! Right?

Of course, as is the theme of my life. 2 weeks before we were going to fly, she changed her mind. Citing she didn’t know me well enough, and just wasn’t comfortable doing this.

8 grand. That’s how much the ticket cost me. And here I was smiling back at her saying how sorry I was to hear she couldn’t make it anymore, but I could literally hear pieces of my heart falling to the floor.

Thankfully, i was able to get a portion of my money back, which eased the finances, but did nothing for how much my heart was hurting.

I went on a life changing trip to the UK in October of 2003, and when I returned a month later, I found out she had left her job at the pharmacy.

I closed down my PO Box…and never bought a tweezer again.

The Zen of Burg – 10 Steps To A Happier Me (Part 2)

April 19, 2012

Right, so if you’ve read part 1, you will know what this part 2 is about 🙂

6. The New Me, Same as the Old Me

Over the years the most noticeable things to disappear from my life were my smile, my laugh and my self-confidence. Finding a picture of me smiling from the last 7 years is about as likely as finding gold in a hobo’s dentures. Over the last few months, all of those missing elements have begun to return. A lot of it can be credited to my new work colleagues who have a very similar sense of humour to me, and they truly bring out the old me that I know so many of my friends once knew. I laugh more, smile more, and have the confidence to be the person I really am again.

The me at home is VERY different to the me out in the real world, and for the longest time, the real me stayed at home permanently. I wasn’t fun to be around, I could barely hold conversation with people without getting annoyed to the point of wanting to drown them in a small shallow bucket. I’m at my best when I am funny and witty. I love to make people laugh and lighten the mood. That’s my gift. I make people feel good. When I couldn’t do that, I felt incomplete, and quite honestly worthless. Now I feel I can walk into a room and light it up again if need be. I walk with an air of confidence again, I take pride in the way I dress. It’s certainly not like this 24/7 , but now I don’t feel like the short fat kid who has to sit in the corner at the school dance anymore. I’m the short fat kid who asks the prom queen to dance again.

7. Live for the moments.

I am the KING of the big gesture, I used to do so many epic things for people (yes, girls), to try and win them over and convince them of my awesomeness, 99.9% of the time it backfired and I often didn’t get so much as a thank you. Yet I didn’t learn, I kept doing it, because I enjoyed doing those things, but selfishly I wanted something back from it, even if it was just a thank you. Those sort of things can be so draining to both your heart and soul. The easy answer was I was doing it for the wrong reasons, or so friends would always tell me, but then when the next “target” came along, I would commit the same foul.

Over the last few months, a light switch finally went off in my head that allowed me to admit that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. However, and this is a big however, so take note. This does not mean I should stop doing it. I ENJOY the big gestures, the work or research (called creeping these days), that goes into a big gift, or heartfelt gesture, so why should I stop doing it? No, instead, I need to change the reasons as to why I’m doing it. I no longer expect anything in return. I do it now because to simply make someone’s day is good enough for me. It makes me happy. Whether it be friends, a love interest or a complete stranger. I like to show that romance and magical moments still exist. Now I live for those moments. The moment of telling a beautiful girl in the elevator that she is in fact a beautiful girl, then simply walking away with no further interaction needed. Sending someone flowers, anonymously or otherwise, simply to make them smile knowing that someone made an effort for them that day.

So be warned, you may in fact be the recipient of a #BurgMoment… when you least expect it, something good could happen to you. You may get flowers, you may get your lunch bill paid for, you may have a clowns show up at your office, you may get invited to an all-expenses paid holiday. There are so few genuinely good moments in life, that sometimes you have to make your own. I notice everyone and I’m happy to say these moments have already started happening… so you could be next!

8. Don’t Give a Damn about People Opinions, But Stand Up For Yourself.

I’d always been “too nice”, too nice to rock the boat, too nice to complain, and too worried about what people might think about me, didn’t wanna embarrass myself you know. I had my pride. (This was always a very strange contraction to my outside appearance, with my tattoos, piercings and clothing, I always seemed to attract attention. I had an aura about me that drew people towards me). This effectively led to me being screwed over way too often and always coming out with the short end of the stick.

Then something changed. It might have been the 5 years in the music industry that hardened me, or maybe that was just part of it. But somewhere along the line I became a bonefide badass. You didn’t mess with me. If I am in the right, I will fight till the bitter end to make sure I come out the victor. Customer services and banks around the country know this better than anyone. I don’t accept cr@ppy service, I don’t accept being spoken down too, and I don’t allow people to be bullied. I stand up for those who feel they don’t have a voice anymore. I’m still learning the fine are of not going too far with making a point, and admittedly, sometimes I do push it too far, but I blame all the pent up aggression I have inside me. However, I’m glad I have hardened the eff up. And you know what? I have gotten more freebies, gift vouchers, apologies, and service than I have even had in my life. Score a point to the little guy.

9. Open to Trying New Things

I have always been so stuck in my ways. As much as a free spirit as I am, it takes a lot for me to break out of my own personal mould. It’s always been frustrating for people, because if my mind is made up, there is no changing it. Ok ok, let’s just cut to the chase, I will finally admit it. I am stubborn, fussy and hard to please….wow, I can actually hear about 400 people collectively saying “I told you so”. But I do admit it, and this is what has led to a lot of arguments with friends. Lately however, I have been so open to trying new things. Whether it’s something simple like a food I hate that I’ve never actually eaten, or maybe going out somewhere I don’t like with friends just to be with friends, or heck maybe even the reverse cowboy…I more than willing to entertain new things in my life. Maybe it’s something that comes with age, I’m not quite sure…all I know is that the way I’ve been living wasn’t making me happy. Of course I do all this within reason, it’s not like I’m living the life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll now simply because being sXe wasn’t working for me, however I am now open to that cocktail on the beach in Hawaii or that beer in Germany…

10. I am Awesome.

To steal a catchphrase from The Miz. I am awesome, and I need to keep believing that to survive this crazy ride through the rest of my life. I’m a good person, and so proud of that, because there are very few of us left. In a world that is getter meaner and crueller by the day, it is us few white knights who need to keep the hope alive; the hope of something better out there, something good and caring.

I take this role very seriously; I like to bring hope to people but in an honest way. That has always been the purpose of this blog, and my life. I have seen it all and been through more, and it’s these life lessons that give others strength. There may be a touch of arrogance to what I say, buy my life has never really been my own, and I finally understand that. My experiences, the tragedy and the triumphs are given to me because I can handle them. I live my life openly, and this blog has never been shy of revealing things that most people are ashamed of, but I do it so that if just one person can relate to it, it’s been worth it. I’ve always seen myself as a person who comes into people’s lives when they need me the most. I offer comfort when others cannot. People tend to trust me and share their problems with me, which while overwhelming at times (especially when it’s not something I can physically help with), is something of an honour.

As my blog approaches that magical milestones of 100,000 views, I’d like to take this time to thank #TeamBurg old and new for supporting me, for loving me, for hating me, for having a reaction to what I say. I write because I feel I have something to say, and I always encourage you to do the same.

The Zen of Burg: 10 Steps to a Happier Me (Part 1)

April 19, 2012


The path to happiness is different for everyone. There is no hard and fast rule on how to get there, and of course, one person’s idea of happiness may leave another scratching their head. So each to their own I guess.
Now that all the clichés are out the way, I can get down to this blog’s real purpose.

It’s been a tough few months obviously, those who follow me have seen the drama first hand, as I’ve never held back sharing anything I’ve been through. Lately however, I’ve been feeling a permanent state of contentment, and seemingly happiness. It’s not happiness by definition though, there is still a lot of issues and drama I deal with on a daily basis, a lot of which would make most people give up on life, but for the first time I have found some balance in my life, and for a Libra, balance is VERY important.

As I sat back and thought about what exactly brought about this change in me during a very significant time in my life, I was (much to my surprise!) able to identify 10 specific reasons why I have this sense of calm over me lately.

1. Big Dreams, Smaller Steps

You all know about my obsessions. The New York deal, the being a writer deal etc etc, and I know most people are sick to death of me constantly talking about it. Well, have a think about it, and you’ll actually realize I’ve been very quiet about it for the last few months. Not because I’ve given up on it, but I’ve realized that every time I get close to it, someone moves the proverbial goal posts further away. My solution to this is to make smaller goals, but more of them.

To achieve my dreams, I need to slice up life into just a few more pieces, this helps to avoid such big disappointments. There will always be an end goal, but for now, I’m content to chase smaller dreams in the hope that they will all add up in the end.

2. New Job

Another thing that was well documented was my unhappiness in my old job, and the people I with whom worked. The simple solution was to walk away from everything I knew for the last 5 years and start again. A silly, not very well thought out decision, but one that had to be made. And now 8 months later I can honestly say I made the right decision.

I have a great job, in a great location, and work with some great people. People I get along with, can joke with, and more importantly, people who have given me a fair, clean slate. Instead of judging me on things I have gone through. It’s a wonderfully liberating feeling.

3. Traffic vs Train

One of the worst things about living in South Africa is the traffic. Well, not so much the traffic, but the idiots on the road who get away with the most shocking disregard to road rules you will ever see. On a daily basis this would anger me, fuelling so much rage inside that I would be tense and irritable all day long. It was bad… very bad. I would chase down taxis who cut me off, forced me off the road, drove in emergency lanes… it was making me a very angry and hateful person. Not in a racist way, as some people liked to blame it on black drivers in this country. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow or green. An idiot is an idiot. However I just didn’t like the person it forced me to be. Also, not having my own car was a downer.

Thankfully with the new job, and the recent implementation of the Gautrain (a public train system for my international readers), I was able to change my way of travelling, and I can honestly say, this was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s changed my view on life in a big way. I feel more carefree, more relaxed and most importantly, it now gives me time to appreciate people more. I’m a big people watcher. I love seeing how people react to situations and such. It also fools me into thinking I’m living a New York or London lifestyle, which keeps me content for the time being.

4.More Time for Friends, new and old; Less time for People who Make Me Feel Bad.

This was a very important thing for me, and hopefully something a few of you have picked up on too. I’ve made a genuine effort to speak to my friends more, and in fact try and see them more. In the last 2 months, I have seen more old friends than I have in the last 5 years. I say yes a lot more when people ask me out, or ask if they can visit, and in fact I encourage it.

I still have promises to a lot of people I very much intend to keep. I still have a few issues with transport and such, but they will come right soon enough. I’ve also been open to making new friends, something I had forced myself to become too cautious with over the last few years. Thankfully, I have made friends with some wonderful new people which has made my circle that little bit bigger. As for those who have added no value to my life, I have taken the Scorched Earth approach to them and snuffed them out my life completely without compromise. It’s best for both parties. No longer do I beg people to be my friend, because the truth is they probably never will be, if I have to do that. I have learned appreciation for my friends old and new.

5. More Accepting of Help

Ok, this has clearly been the toughest one. Through all my struggle I have always tried to handle things alone…often with disastrous consequences. I always felt so guilty about accepting help from friends, as if I had failed or let everyone down (which in some cases I have), but now if someone offers to help, and I need it, I take it with a thankful heart, and a promise not to abuse that trust. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way in taking people up on their offers, but now I understand what goes into gestures like that. I am so thankful to #TeamBurg and I couldn’t even begin to thank everyone by name for fear of leaving someone out. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for you guys, and I always appreciate the kind words you have for me, and the encouragement you send my way, even if at times I come across as a cranky old b@st@rd.

Stay tuned for the part 2 of this blog later tonight…