I’m on a few forums and chat groups where us moms and ladies share our joys, tears, fear and lives. One in particular is with a group of fellow mommies who happen to also be amazing photographers and all who share a great sense of humour. Today without exception, our conversation diverted into our past lives and work experiences. And while the tale of the man twig wasn’t directly related to my own employment history, I did get dragged into to to help out a very beloved friend of mine.
Katja (her stage name in our heydays) and Mimi (little ole me) go way back in time. We’ve shared many a good time together and in our hours of need we’ve comforted each other. Even though she now lives in the land down under, I still regard her to being one of my greatest loves and cherished friendships in life, reglardless of if we only get to see each other every few years.
Katja and the love of her life (we’ll forgive him for being a Kiwi) spent some time in SA a few years back and with K’s background in theatre she managed to net a fantastic job on the set of a film being produced in a little Karoo dorpie a few hours outside of PE.
Hubby and I were relaxing in the lounge, he was couch bound after a nasty fall had resulted in him breaking his femur bone. On a chilly Saturday afternoon we were snuggled in a makeshift Christmas bed of sorts when I got a voicemail from the Kiwi. It went something like this: ‘Hiya Mimi, its ah, the Kiwi. Katja asked me to call you as she’s stuck on set, but, ah, well, she kinda, well, ah, I don’t know how to say this actually. Ah, well, Katja needs to ask you a massive favour, she, ah, ah fuck it, she needs you to buy a prop for the set, she, well, ah, she needs you to buy a black dildo. Ok, so, ah, call us back when you get a chance. Thanks, bye!!!!’
SORRY, WHAT???? Clearly I misheard the thick Kiwi accent, because surely I wasn’t just asked to go shopping for a chocolate love stick???? I listened again, still unsure of what my ears had just heard and handed the phone over to the invalid to listen, the look on his face confirmed that what I’d interpreted was indeed horrifyingly accurate.
Shortly after my dear friend Katja and I were chatting and laughing on the phone, nervous laughter mind you. I still wasn’t entirely convinced that she wasn’t trying to take the mickey out of me. What essentially transpired from our chat was that there was a fairly graphic scene required in the movie, and the lead actor had developed some stage fright, perhaps he didn’t think his bits were impressive enough, but what was now required was a fill-in phallice so to speak. I was given a budget from the set director (R500.00) and told to go out and find the most realistic joy stick I could find, for an African actor, on my own, on a Saturday evening as there was a driver being sent to come and collect it from me that same evening for a 5am scene shoot.
With my husband rendered a complete invalid and none of my friends willing to partake in this crazy affair I was left to explore ‘toy stores’ all on my own.
I parked my car discreetly around the corner of the first store and tried to walk in with relative confidence. I stood in front of their selection and realised that this store was clearly still designed for the previous Apartheid regime, all colours under the sun were available except dark chocolate. So with my tail between my legs I hightailed it out of there and went off to the next store, yep, there is more than one titbit shop in town.
Walking into this much smaller, and dare I say, intimate store was mortifying as there behind the cashiers counter stood a little old man with a warm, friendly face, the kind you would place on your own grandfather. Now ask yourself, would you be able to approach your grandfather and ask for a chocolate love stick?
Naturally, in the sweetest little voice he uttered the following ‘Welcome dear, how can I be of assistance this evening?’ I think I died a little right then and there, I wanted to crawl into a hole, I wanted to run out of there and never look back, but I’d made a promise to Katja, and even though I momentarily questioned the value of our friendship right there, I pushed forward, smile and bravely asked to see his selection of chocolate love wands. I swear, he didn’t even flinch at my request, but used his walking stick to stand up and shuffle across to proudly show off the selection available to me. Just before he left me alone with my cheeks flushed red with embarrasment he softly asked me ‘do you have a preference in length?’, to which I responded ‘I’m not sure actually, you see, it’s for my friend….’ yeah, as if anyone is going to believe that.
I made a frantic call to Katja as now I wasn’t sure of what level of chocolate was required, let alone the length, were we talking milk chocolate, or albany??? The look on Grandads face told me he didn’t for one second believe that the call was in the least bit genuine, and Katja told me we were looking at a nice albany chocolate…. with the most realistic balls that my money could buy. Realist balls would be less work for the sets makeup artist apparently, there you go. So I opted for ‘medium length’ lets be honest boys, it’s not as big as you think with lovely wrinkled dangly bits, paid my money and walked out with my newly aquired albany dangle stick hidden securely in a brown paper bag, not suspicious at all.
I drove home with the man stick hidden in my cubby hole, praying that there wouldn’t be some unlikely roadblock on the way home that would result in me having to open that brown paper bag. When I got home I was greated by a delighted husband and a handful of unexpected friends who’d swung by. All screeching with laughter at the situation I’d found myself in. I was still comfortable with the thought that at the stroke of midnight that the wand would be handed over and my story would end. But it didn’t, of course not, why would it come to such an easy end.
Katja called and profusely apologised. The driver had fallen asleep and was not on his way. He was however going to be driving early in the morning to collect the actor from the airport, and asked to collect the prize parcel prior to collecting the shy actor. Not a problem I thought, but he didn’t know town, he didn’t know how to get to my home, he would need to meet me somewhere public….. He knew where Makro was… Now isn’t that great. For the local shoppers you’ll know that Makro opens at 9am on a Sunday morning, but the gates open at 8:30am, so I was asked to meet ‘Frank’ in the parking lot at 8:30 sharp. He would be driving a white Toyota Tazz.
Sunday morning came and try as I might, but I couldn’t convince the invalid to come with me, nice supporting husband isn’t he!!! So I grabbed the chick stick and took a slow drive to our drop off point. I pulled into the parking lot, the only person there aside from the security guard who greeted me with a huge toothy grin and wave. I sat in my car, watching every car that drove past the entrance until I saw a little white Tazz pulling into the parking lot and parking a few bays away from me. I’d given ‘Frank’ my number to call when he arrived, but there was no call made. Instead he rolled down his tinted window and beckoned me over, much like a dodgey transaction that would take place in a dark alley way or dimly lit road. My stomach sank when I realised I’d be making this transaction in full view of the security guards, handing over a paper bag for cash, to a young man who looked incredibly disheveled, tired and if I’m honest, horribly hungover. ‘Good morning Karen, I believe you have a parcel for me’ he mumbled, yup, I certainly did. Perfectly aware that we had all eyes on us from the security staff I handed over brown bear and was handed a neatly folded stack of notes in exchange.
At this point one of the security guards was clearly curious and started walking over, my heart sank to my knees, I knew what was going to happen and how embarrasing things were about to get for me. Thankfully ‘Frank’ still gripped with the oblivion of being hungover, started his car with vigour, announced he was late for the airport and took off in record speed. Leaving me in the middle of Makro parking lot, with a wad of notes in my hand and an approaching security guard. As luck would have it his two way radio bleeped and he turned back on me and headed into the guardhouse, allowing me to haul ass back to my car and skulk back home.
And thus ends the tale of the dark chocolate man twig. Now, some of you might be asking why I would share this tale of loaded laughs and embarrasment, and to you I say this:
Our lives are irrevocably changed when we become parents, we live and breath for our children, so much so that we can easily lose sight of who we are, or at least, once were. One day our kids will allow us time to find ourselves again, they’ll permit us to have our own adventures and laughs without them in tow. But until that day comes it’s good to remind ourselves that once upon a time, a very long time ago, we were just normal people, we did silly things, we found ourselves in hilarious circumstances, we loved, we lost, we partied and we played. Perhaps one day even, Charlotte will read this blog and know how truly remarkable she is, how many she has inspired and helped, and that her dull, boring and predictable mom once had a life that had unusual adventures and stories. And so I’ll keep sharing little tales like this one, before my mind starts to fail me and the memories begin to fade.
And on a side note. If your friend calls you up for a huge favour, hang up, immediately, or expect to have one hell of a story to tell one day to your friends and to embarass your children with!!!