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The Baby Vendetta – 1

20 Feb

My god-daughter cracked up my ribs today. I laughed harder than I had done in a while. It made her cry so  loud, it truly was entertaining.

Her little chin wobbled. Her soft cheeks puffed out. She opened her mouth really wide and let out some guilt-inducing screams. Or rather, they should have induced regret in a lesser human. Instead, her incredulous reaction made me laugh even more.

My little god-daughter was ten months yesterday. Last time I saw her she was all of five. After our first ice-breaking encounter, we bonded fast. She was happy to snooze off strap-tied to my back in a wrapper. We got on just fine.

Then I went on several travels, got my head back to work, did some charity stint and lazed about some. I came down to see her this week and she was  filled with ‘anonymised’ disinterest. She eyed me with unconcealed disdain, and attacked all my personal gadgets. One time, I barely rescued my USB-modem from the yawning chasm of her oral cavity. It came back to me engulfed in spittle. There was no stopping the wrecking mechanics she wrought in her parents’ living room.

I begged to take her away for a week to instil some required discipline. Her mum laughingly refused my request. And by the time I was on the receiving end of her ‘special’ look of disdain, the timer was ticking for her.

It happened on the morning I woke up to a catchy disco beat weaving out of her room. The sort of rave sounds you’d expect from a top-rated club. The refrain, I could not hear – and I did want to learn the words.

So, I dragged me out of bed and trundled into the room next door. It went, ‘pick it up, pick it up, pick it up..’, with the boom rhythm pumping the vibes through my veins. I stood in the doorway, watching the little girl with a proud look on my face as she screamed and shook her head in delight. Her eyes shiny and excited, and her mouth wide open. She stood upright in her crib, clenching the side-bars with her cute hands and rocking her wee body up and down to the beat.

Suddenly, she noticed me standing there with my smile. Just as suddenly she stopped and let her face fall. She offered me a puzzled frown which when properly interpreted meant, ‘Why in the world are you listening to, and obviously deriving pleasure from my music?’

So I turned around and left. I knew I’d get my own back soon.


A Teeny Weeny Way

16 Oct

The good thing about light is the warmth it brings. But then if you live in one of those parts where the sun seeks a more than intimate relationship with the earth’s surface it feels a lot like a combustible experience.

With the heat comes noise – lots of it. Tempers are on a short fuse and aggression is often sky-high. Voices are raised, car horns scream loud and clear into the night, sirens wail mournfully and even smells cry out to you in dismay.

My friends count these amongst the delicious entertainments they would recommend to any un-impressed newcomer. This is the land I have come to know, when we stood face to face the very first time I had a certain suspicion it would remain unchanged.

Over the years, I have lost patience with the people who stick their knives into the qualities that are found in their own neighbourhoods, and yet hunger after the vices and whims of other places.

Sad though, that I am becoming one of those ‘despised many’. There was some gory detail on the news all last week and a steady stream of thoughts popped into my already over-loaded brain.

In brief, I figured the only difference between the human specimen and the base animal specimen is the level of susceptibility to delusion … self-delusion, that is.


Yo! The animal looks in a puddle and sees the reflection of a goat, rhino, croc, heron or whatever genus it might be. It recognises itself in that reflection and acknowledges the individual and collective features that make him so. And he goes along on his happy way.

The human comes along soon after and peers sneakily into the same puddle, snorts in disgust at the image reflected and then determinedly covers it in sand. As he goes off, he is furiously  calculating ways and means to make certain that no one else ever uncovers that image.

So there we have it.

I have been round and about my neighbourhood and those other places to see if the waves of delusion are at the same level and if there are any willing to accept that we are what we are – and get on with being just that.