Thursday, February 26, 2009

Should I feel bad about the cat I ran over?

Okay, so everyone knows I don’t like cats. It would be fair to say that I’ve done some pretty mean things to them over the years. The most memorable being my revenge on the fat grey and white cat at a complex I used to live at in Johannesburg. This cat used to annoy the hell out of me by musking my front door (this smells intensely awful…imagine the smell of rotten potatoes mixed with the urine of a really dehydrated old man who hasn’t had a bath in three weeks) and walking all over (and leaving dirty paw prints) on my parked car. Occasionally I would even catch it napping on my cars roof before chasing it off and driving away.

One day I decided to sneak into my car and not wake up or chase the cat off the roof. I quietly put the car into first gear, pushed the clutch right in, turned the key and took off all in one quick movement. I had no idea if the cat had gotten startled and jumped off or if it stayed there but I couldn’t see it in my mirrors… ‘what the heck, let us have some fun’ I say to myself before flooring it and taking two 90 degree bends on my way out of the complex. I was almost there; I had about 20 meters to go before exiting the boom gate and hitting the main roads. Alas, I see Mandla the gate guard running toward me with his hands waving in the air ‘STOP!’ he screams.

Now the moment I had been waiting for, try to look innocent EEbEE… big eyes, questioning yet slightly confused expression… yes, perfect

Evil snigger

(Falsetto) ‘Hi Mandla, what’s the matter?’ Mandla is laughing so hard that he uses hand gestures to finish off his sentence which starts ‘Stop! Heeheeee…The cat hahaHAAA, she’s on hehe…(points at roof)’. Excellent! He is completely deceived by my wonderful acting (and quite possibly distracted by the cat clinging onto my roof for dear life) and suspects nothing. I open my door and get out ‘really? A cat? On my car? What’s it doing there?’

(Match point - EEbEE)

There are many who disagree with the concept of revenge. ‘Counter the bad with the good’ they say ‘make piece, not war’ they say, ‘where’s that sack of weed I was hiding from the cops’ they say ‘let’s tie dye our shirts and stop working for the corporate monsters’ they say... Let me tell them what I have to say! Watching that fat feline stumble away from me in a half panicked and drunken motion marked the end of the most satisfying act of revenge I’ve ever had. I know I should feel bad but the revenge, it strikes right to ones core human nature. I had little control over the matter you see, it was pure instinct.

Oh and if you are wondering about the title, I would never actually run a cat over. That’s just cruel (what do you take me for anyway!?). I’d just like for my bumper to smack that cat noggin hard enough to teach it to stay away from me (hmmm, what’s the analogy I’m looking for here. I have it! Picture a water balloon hitting a sumo wrestler and not exploding…in slow motion. The impact is spectacular and both kind of jiggle around for a while but still manage to walk (or roll) away from each other unharmed. So there…

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Clouds...

I took this picture way back in 2007 on a tree rat radio-tracking expedition at Weenen nature reserve. The weather was very odd, blisteringly hot during the day and freezing cold at night. I guess that is the the reason for these peculiarly shaped clouds. I would have liked to have taken these with the snow covered Drakensburg mountain range in the background. This would have meant me having to drive twenty or so kilometers and off a cliff so I decided to settled on the more conservative 'dry grass and thorn tree' theme.

They may not look like much, just click on the picture to see it at native resolution for a better idea (pictures seldom do justice to the real thing)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Great Toilet Dilemma

Some people appreciate the almost oriental appearance and design of the buildings at the University of KwaZulu Natal biological sciences campus in Pietermaritzburg (S.A.). I know this, I’m one of them.

Especially after coming from a Wits University where someone decided that it would be more practical to make all the newer buildings out of pre-cast concrete blocks then leave them unpainted for that… grey look. I for one love the colour grey but the effects of the overkill phenomenon definitely shine through at the end of the day.

Returning to my story.

After marveling over the architecture at UKZN and actually using the place, one quickly realises that said buildings designer wasn’t all that good at designing practical toilets. Let me outline what I have to go through every time I wish to relieve myself at the office.

This is a picture of a cubicle in the men’s room. The problem with this cubicle may not jump out at you at first glance. For this reason I have included a second picture (further down) in which I place my personal hygiene at risk to illustrate the scale of my problem.

See it yet? no... scroll down

Yes, the dolt that designed this cubicle

forgot that people (most people) HAVE LEGS!

So it’s basically impossible to get in or out of the cubicles without touching a manky surface. But wait, it gets worse… These toilets use a pressurized cistern flushing system. To those unfamiliar with the system, it makes use of pressurized water to flush excrement and save many litres of water compared to a regular (gravity) cistern. Unfortunately saving water comes at a very high price to cubicle users as flushing is quite explosive and water splashes out of the bowl (which I point out in the first picture...has no seat-cover!) I've tried my best to illustrate the problem with the doodle below.

There is quite simply no space to do ANYTHING. To avoid the splash, you flush then retreat to behind a closed door, wait patiently for the flush to end (4-10 seconds, it varies). You then need to get out of the cubicle. To do so without brushing against any surfaces you must stand and balance precariously on the edge of the bowl whilst simultaneously opening the door. You then jump off the seat to freedom (and hope nobody sees you)

Alternatively squish yourself into the 'safe zone' when opening the door. Unfortunately this area is so small that the margin of error when you position yourself is non-existent and your back will brush against the wall on your way out.

Why oh why didn't they just make the doors open outward...

(If you want to know why I don't use urinals I will be happy to post one of my previous arb comments that covers the topic).

Monday, February 2, 2009

First ever Kung fu dream

I have no idea how or why this happened but last night I had my first kung-fu dream. It was fun. All of my buddies and I doing some sweet moves to the greatest ever kung fu anthem classic (Carl Douglas – kung fu fighting. If you don’t know and like this song you should be shot… or force fed raisins). The setting was also brilliant, a seaside dock on a sunny day (I think it was somewhere in the far east judging from the amount of bamboo)

Maybe it will happen again tonight. It could be a series! I’ve been disappointed by series dreams before though, you always get the ‘to be continued…’ bit but the next episode never shows.

Of course some would say ‘eebee. Why don’t you just take up real kung fu?’ and I would have a number of reasons for saying no:

• Never! That’s like offering me to slowly impale myself with a blunt cooking utensil or judge pop idols (Dream kung fu is fun because it doesn’t hurt).
• One needs an opponent in kung fu and I would hate to have to unleash the wrath of Eebee-wan Kenobi on any innocent person. I havn’t ever done this before so I’m expecting the outburst to be of epic proportions.
• They will make/have made a Kung fu simulator that can be played on pc at any time. I could get my painless kung fu kicks almost as good as (if not better than) dream kung fu.

So there.

(I’ll try to post Carl Douglas – kung fu fighting mp3 for those of you that don’t want to be shot or force fed raisins. Alternatively, ask and I will email to you)