Posts Tagged ‘shame’

The mushroom cloud of gas ascended the staircase. It grew in intensity as more particles were exuded by the culprit. The whole house was asleep. It was not surprising, as it was 5 am in the morning and the temperature gauge outside on the deck read minus 9 C. I stretched in my comfortable warm bed and waited for the familiar sound of tea cups. This was our morning ritual…….give mom a cup of tea on waking and she could face anything that might come her way! So the rustling, banging and pinging of the security bell continued downstairs as doors opened and closed. My mouth was dry and I wondered if I should relent and assist the tea maker.  I turned over and decided against it, my bed was just too cosy. I was about to doze off again when my comfort zone was disturbed…….

“That damn chimney stack is probably churning something foul out into the atmosphere,” I shouted down to the tea maker. There was no reply but the flurry of activity continued. I stumbled down the stairs suffering from the effects of my lack of ‘the morning cuppa.’ The tea maker was anxiously sitting at the table with his eyes glued to the iPad.

“What is going on?” I am not big ‘on the morning patience thing’ until my being has been gentle coaxed into consciousness. The magical powers of the ‘English Breakfast’ brew is a wonderful start to any morning. But this morning was going to be a challenge as I would have to face it cold turkey. It was soon to become apparent that I might need something a bit stronger than just tea. The tea maker looked up from the computer An antidote has to be here somewhere…………

Josh had been ‘skunked.’ The little bugger ran off when let out for his ablutions and got into a tussle with our resident skunk. Josh has been watching out for him for ages from the lounge window. He had stared out longingly with his jaws quivering and had built up quite an appetite for the little creature.. He was after all a true terrier! The sight and familiar scent of this ‘delectable morsel’ was just too much for him to bear.  He ran across and seized the moment. There was much hissing and growling. I don’t think he was expecting the retaliation that he received. The skunk furiously responded and did what a skunk does best……. Ready, aim, fire and the target was hit! Bull’s eye! The viscous yellow goop dripped off his head and down the side of his coat. Josh was suitably humiliated and ran back to the front door with his tail between his legs.


The look of shame......

The look of shame……


I was later to learn that this chemical is known as mercaptan.  It has a strong, sharp lingering smell and was vaguely familiar. My stomach turned as Josh was carried into the bathroom. A memory of a stench I had once endured came flooding back to me. We had lived near a paper mill in South Africa and had endured the ‘aroma.’ You never forget that especially if you combine it with ‘morning sickness!’ Josh hung his head in shame and despair. He knew he smelt awful. He could also hear from the tone of our voices and the odd cuss word that we were not pleased. We washed and scrubbed and still the odour lingered. Oh my, this was going to be a marathon.

Three days later we continue to wage the war against ‘the smell’ and wonder whether this is just another step in the direction of becoming Canadianised. Surely a really cold winter will suffice?



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The Bum Scraper

The Bum Scraper




There was a loud screech as I reversed out the driveway! The tyres squealed as I made my way around the corner. This was fun! I was riding my son’s ‘boy racer’ as he had borrowed my car. It was exhilarating to feel the power under the hood.  I felt like I was chasing along NoordhoekBeach on the back of a wild stallion! Yippee! I had to revive old skills of driving such similar vehicles. It was also a ‘stick car’ which means that it had a gear lever. I recall being told, when confronted with such ‘bum scrapers,’ to keep the revs up!  I have become spoilt here in Canada as we drive automatic vehicles. You merely point and accelerate. So the co ordination of gear lever, clutch and brake all had to be synchronized in my ‘blonde head.’


I finally got the hang of it but was so grateful that men in my household were not able to observe me. After about ten minutes of rough starts and stalls, I made my way down to the other side of town where I was about to start my Christmas shopping. I parked conveniently and competently. I had got the hang of this ‘wild horse.’ I grabbed my coat and rushed into the building. The shopping was successful and I managed to find just what I was looking for. Oh how I wish that all of these shopping jaunts could be so successful! The Christmas list was now beginning to look less daunting. I paid for my goods and pushed my trolley out to my sleek chariot.


As I approached my car, I noticed that someone had stuck a wooden block behind one of my back tyres. Silly fool! Some prankster was obviously waiting for me to reverse over the big wooden ‘hump!’ I was irritated and threw my parcels into the boot. I took out the block and with great aplomb, threw it onto the sidewalk. Take that! I mumbled under my breath and swung my legs into the car. My tall frame took quite a bit of effort to get settled into the seat. These ‘bum scrapers’ are much lower than what I am used to. Then I looked up and noticed a note neatly clipped on my windscreen. It read….


You left your car on neutral. There is a piece of wood under your back wheel.


The note!

The note!

I imagined the scene. I had forgotten to put my handbrake on! ‘The black stallion’ decided to take off without its rider!  Someone observed the over zealous vehicle and rushed to the tyre place nearby. ‘The kind someone’ fetched a wooden block and gently pushed it up against the back wheel. My face burned red with embarrassment and shame!

 How was I going to explain this one away? Ha! Ha!

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