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theZEBRA
just spent the weekend at the army barracks
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Songs of the Plains
Family Court

One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

Ogden Nash
Mouth to Mouth
Tuesday. 2.10.04 9:31 pm
I strangled a cat last night. At least I dreamt I did. Not a particularly traumatic dream...until I woke up to find my fingers wrapped tightly around something warm and soft.

It was at this point that I recalled my dog jumping onto my bed earlier that night to wrestle my blankets from me. The same dachshund with a warm and soft neck – rather like what I was gripping so strongly.

I became slightly agitated when I realised abovementioned Warm & Soft Thing wasn’t moving. I contemplated having to administer Mouth to Mouth to something whose breath could rival the foulest of dragons. Then I thought it best to open my eyes and check exactly how far gone she was first.

Warm & Soft Thing turned out to be my upper arm – numb from reduced blood flow.

Whew. No mouth to mouth after all.

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Desk Monkeys
Sunday. 1.4.04 9:26 am
I am alive. Barely just, but alive. I’ve just had a month’s break from coll. A month which was supposed to have been spent lolling about lazily at home until I took on the shape of a glassy-eyed dugong. But the only word I can think of to best describe the last two weeks is…traumatic. Pure and simple torture.

Let me explain. My favouritest aunt thought that I might have been perhaps not too happy with my job at the skatepark, on account of my wages being enough to just sustain a family of four hungry gnats. So she ferreted around and found me a temp position in a bank. Well, that’s very nice of you, dear aunt. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve already got the tummy, and my legs are starting to resemble dugong flippers. Another week plastered to the couch should just about do it.

So my aunt left and I stroked my dugong whiskers happily. Unnecessary hard work gracefully evaded. Or so I thought. My dad got wind of it and one hour later, off I went to inform my aunt that my dad had changed my mind.

I’m a silver lining type of zebra. How bad could a job at the bank be? Maybe a robbery would occur during my time there, complete with ski masks, guns and hours wishing you’d gone to the loo earlier. Or I might meet someone secretly embezzling millions from the bank, blackmail said person and convince him to buy me a Jag E-type for Christmas.

So off I went comforted to my first day of bank work. And was promptly directed to a tiny table with a computer (without online access) and stacks of forms barricading me from the exit. I was to be a computer desk monkey. I didn’t even have a phone or a stapler. They were generous enough to supply me with a pencil, but they’d forgotten to sharpen it. I wouldn’t need it tho, they told me. All I’d have to do is close and set up credit card accounts of people with more money than me. Nothing to it. I could take a break when blood from my stumps started smearing the keyboard, to prevent it from short-circuiting. In the event of which they’d deduct the cost of the keyboard from my paycheck.

Two weeks later, I slammed my head through the computer screen, walked to the manager’s office and politely told her through the air vents of the monitor that she could find some other masochistic jackass with a penchant for papercuts to be her desk monkey. And with that, I was FREE. Never had the sunshine shone so brightly, never had the breeze breezed so breezily.

My dad told me that I would learn much from the bank. He was right. I learned that I would never ever ever work in a bank again. Unless it was to rob one.

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Bummer
Sunday. 11.23.03 9.12 pm
I met a guy. I went to a sort of gathering not expecting much fun out of it. But then I found myself sitting beside this guy and we hit it off right away. True, he did use a dirty trick – he started talking about rugby. I was hooked. From rugby, we went on to other stuff, hippety-hoppety-ing from one topic to the next, and he was so easy to talk to. And he was witty too! How often do you find a guy you barely know who has you clutching your sides, gasping for laughter? I was so glad I’d gone for the gathering. Throughout the 4 hours or so, I was sort of hitting on him yet trying not to seem too obvious. And whoa, was I mentally grinning from ear to ear when he gave me his contact details and told me to look him up if ever I was in the neighbourhood.

Gathering over, and this zebra was wagging her tail happily all the way back to the car. Until someone I was driving with casually asked what Hippety Hoppety Guy and I had been talking about? So I mumbled a reply, and then he remarked offhand – oh, by the way...did you know that he’s gay?

GAY?!!!!!!!!!!!!! As in not straight?!!! As in my dad would have a better chance with him than I would?!! As in GAY?!!!! AAAAAARGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! Why why why why why why why dammit why?! I even got his numbeeeeeeeeeeeer. Sob. Sob. Sobsobsobsobsobsobsob.

It’s not fair.

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Chop Chop Chop
Friday. 11.21.03 4:24 am
The lawnmower went chop chop chop
And a froggie went hop hop hop
But she hop hop hopped too slow
And it chop chop chopped her toe
As her toe flew off plop plop plop
She cried out loud stop stop stop
But chop chop chop said the blade
And lop lop lopped off her head
Down did her body flop flop flop
No more would the froggie hop hop hop

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Yaks
Wednesday. 11.12.03 6:40 pm
I want to go to Nepal.

I want a reason to buy hiking boots.

I want to go for endless hikes till I wish I’d never bought the damn hiking boots – at least I’d have an excuse to roll over and surrender.

I want to buy things made of yak hair.

I want to find yak hair in my food...hang on, I don’t want that.

I want to trek 4,058 metres above sea level.

I want to know what it feels like to be half dead from altitude sickness.

I want to see a Lama (religious teacher, not animal – that’s Llama).

I want a glimpse of the snow on Mt. Everest.

I want to eat a yak...or part of one.

I want to freeze till my hooves drop off.

I want to gape and gawk at the weird things people do there, then again that happens all the time at home – whenever I glance at one of my sisters.

I want to be able to brag to my friends that I stepped in yak poo.

I want to scrape it off my boot, dry it, and bring it home for a conversation piece.

I want to be an Ian Wright wannabe.

Have you been to Nepal?

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Add Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tuesday. 11.4.03 10:00 am
I’ve been feeling rather paranoid lately...even more so than I usually do at any rate. I've been seeing Zookeeper henchmen everywhere I look. Behind lamp posts, up in trees, in the toilet cubicle next to mine (I took a peek, just in case)...you get it. To give you an idea of what sort of people these henchmen are, they’re the sort who wouldn’t think twice about sticking zebras in a huge meat grinder just so they can sell ‘em off as Exotic Meat Sausages. Add evilknievel, car-crashing, tree-killing buttmonkeys to that, and you’ve got one very jumpy zebra. I’ve barely any stripes left, most of the black bits went white with fright long ago.

So I thought I’d leave instructions for Things to Do in the Event of My Death. I’d planned them out some time ago, but it’s always good to have a copy lying around for someone to carry them out. Anyhoo, here they are.

1. Locate and capture alive the sadistic animal-haters who had me chopped and minced to death.
2. Prepare eight pieces of rib-eye steak.
3. Combine ½ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup red wine, 2 cloves garlic (crushed), 2 tsp grated green ginger, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp barbecue sauce.
4. Pour mixture over steaks and marinate several hours.
5. Take steaks and rub vigorously over bodies of sadistic animal-haters.
6. Stuff remaining pieces into body orifices of sadistic animal-haters, the further in the better.
7. Gain access to cage filled with hungry grizzly bears.
8. Serve while still alive and wriggling.

Note: Serves 3 adult hungry grizzly bears.

In the event that I am not ground to sausage bits but rather left to die a painful miserable death, leaving behind a relatively intact carcass, here’s my list of Things to Do with My Carcass.

1. Cremate it.
2. Invite as many people as possible to a funeral and later, an elaborate lunch gathering with a bland soup starter for friends, foes and family.
3. Take ashes of one Dead Zebra (that’s me) and empty into randomly selected salt and pepper shakers.
4. Set S&P shakers on tables.
5. Have a quiet chuckle every time someone mentions how much he/she misses Dead Zebra and how he/she wishes DZ could still be with him/her.

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Blame the Buttmonkeys
Tuesday. 10.28.03 5:42 am
An interesting thing happened the other night. I was driving home after rugby practice with No Balls Ken when we encountered what seemed to be a roadblock – cops in blindingly hideous neon vests, flashing lights and sirens and whatnot. But as my car inched past Stick-Waving-Cop No.2, we noticed something else. By the roadside, a truck was trying to pull out a van which had wrapped itself around a half-collapsed tree like an overaffectionate chimpanzee. I felt a pang of sympathy. Poor tree.

Now being one to always mind my own business, I drove past the crash site with nary a glance backwards. But invisible buttmonkeys sneaked into the car through the air-conditioner vents and yanked the wheel to the side, forcing me to stop on the road shoulder. Afraid of contracting rabies from said primates, NB Ken and I jumped out and sought safety in numbers, which coincidentally was around the tree/van hybrid.

The van was a total wreck. The front was completely thrashed with the passenger’s side barely hanging on. NB Ken sneaked closer, presumably to look for blood or brain matter. Whatever. As long as I wasn’t gonna be the one scraping grey gunk off my shoes. I was leaning casually against another van when a guy next to me informed me that the dead body was in it. Didn’t faze me tho. I merely jumped two feet and nearly collapsed from cardiac arrest.

That put me in a bit of a spot. NB Ken was merrily toeing patterns in the gore underfoot, and I didn’t want to spoil his fun. Should I stand closer to the mangled corpse or risk the possibility of trampling on bits of him instead? Life’s little decisions. Then I spotted Hideous Vest scouting about in the undergrowth near the wreck. He was probably gonna pull out a severed limb in a moment.

I didn’t stick around to find out. I grabbed NB Ken in a headlock and manhandled him back to my nice safe car. Then drove home at about 40 km/h.

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Of 30 Guys and 1 Ball
Saturday. 10.25.03 9:43 pm
It’s that once-every-four-years time again. For the past couple of weeks, rugby fans have been flocking to Land Down Under for the Rugby World Cup 2003. Alas, due to insufficient funds, I shall not be able to experience the odour and rabid screams of 40,000 other overzealous fans up close, nor shall I be able to gaze at the players’ worshipped cauliflower ears in the flesh. Instead, I’ve had to make do with the wonders of Astro and Star Sports. No matter. I’m not here to whinge and whine about my sorry state, however sorry it may seem.

Alright, fine. It hasn’t been that horrible watching rugby from the couch – eyes glued to the screen, bag of chips at hand, clutching a rugby ball for dear life (Adidas, thank you very much, it has to be of the brand sponsoring the All Blacks), rising with a roar whenever a try is at hand, and ending it by either throwing pillows and curses at the screen or running a victory lap around the sofa and slamming the abovementioned ball to the ground for another celebratory try. RAWWWRRR!!!!!!!!! I’m getting all worked up just typing this out.

Yesterday’s game between New Zealand and Tonga was a beautiful one. Not because the All Blacks scored 13 tries, not because they set a new points record for this year’s tournament, not because they played absolutely marvelously even without Chris Jack and Joe Rokocoko, but because LEON MACDONALD played throughout the entire game AND was the goalkicker. It was brilliant. He got the flags raised for all 12 of 12 conversions (Carlos Spencer kicked one of ‘em cuz Rangy was limping a bit at one point) – that’s a 100% conversion rate people(!), and some of ‘em were from all over the place. He delivered a beautiful kick that had Mils Muliaina and Dougie Howlett just about strolling to put it down for a try. He scored a try himself and was this close to scoring another. Pure poetry in motion. He even cracked a smile or two, only for a few seconds though, his face muscles probably weren’t used to all that action. Icing on the cake was when he got picked for Shane’s MVP during the after-match analysis.

Whew. I was all starry-eyed and delirious with joy at the end of the match. I was practically all set to get his name tattooed on the left cheek of my bum and his face on the other, then take a pic and send it to him. Only the thought of not being able to sit down for the next few days after that stopped me.

So yeah, it’ll be tough deciding whether to don my Springboks jersey or to stay true to the All Blacks when they meet. Whichever it is, it’s gonna be a great month or so for me. That is, as long as George Gregan doesn’t get his grubby little paws on the trophy at the end of the tournament.

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